Jacobson Warehouse Co., Des Moines
1936 -

Dick Jacobson is a man of strong beliefs. He believes his success in life is due to his education and has helped others get educated. He has backed his belief that athletics teaches leadership with major donations to university athletic departments. He believes you must give back to your community and has done that many times over.

Born in 1936, Jacobson grew up in Belmond in north-central Iowa. He collected newspapers for recycling to make money for college, and used his earning to get a business degree from the University of Iowa in 1958. He then spent two and a half years in the Army.

When he returned to Iowa he took jobs with Swift Independent Packing Co. and Monsanto before deciding to become an independent wholesale agri-chemical broker. When the wholesale fertilizer business began to consolidate in 1966, independents like Jacobson were being squeezed out. At the same time Dick saw a need that he felt he could fill, warehousing. He thought that Des Moines’ central Iowa location at the crossroads of two major interstate highways was ideal. Laying out $3,500, the savings he’d squirreled away over ten years, Dick formed Jacobson Warehouse Company. Over the years it became one of the largest privately held warehouse companies in the country, with operations in fifteen states.

In 1980 he saw another need and formed Jacobson Transportation Company, a truckload common carrier operating in 48 states, Canada, and Mexico. In the following few years he would expand his operations to include four additional companies dong business in packaging, logistics, industrial services and investments. By 2000, all of his various companies were generating close to $100 million a year in revenue.

Despite the demands of his businesses, Jacobson has found time to give his time, talent and financial resources to many public institutions and non-profit organizations and has been honored many times for his spirit of giving.