AMES, Iowa - Steve King has literally made play his life's work as co-founder of Landscape Structures Inc., one of the leading commercial playground equipment manufacturers in the world. The Iowa State University graduate will return to his alma mater on Wednesday, April 7, to share just how he's done that during a Reiman Entrepreneurial Speaker Series event, sponsored by ISU's Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.
King's talk will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. during a luncheon presentation in the Memorial Union Sun Room. While the luncheon is free and open to the public, seating is limited and pre-registration is required at http://www.isupjcenter.org/forms/form_reimanfaculty.cfm.
King and his late wife, Barbara, founded Landscape Structures Inc. in 1971 as a class project. The Delano, Minn. company now has more than 300 employees and a global network of representatives. More than 50,000 playgrounds worldwide have been designed, manufactured and installed by Landscape Structures.
Also chairman of the company, King is the creator of its "continuous play" concept. It combines traditional playground equipment -- such as slides, swings and climbing equipment -- into an endless stream of activities that stimulate a child's physical, social and intellectual capabilities.
"We are very excited to have Steve King on campus as our 2010 Reiman Entrepreneur Speaker," said Judi Eyles, assistant director at ISU's Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. "Steve's company started as a student project assignment and developed into a very successful company that designs and manufactures extremely innovative playground equipment for children of all abilities. His company now does business all over the world, and they are committed to helping develop sustainable communities, healthier kids and a green environment. We are looking forward to hearing Steve's entrepreneurial story."
King graduated from Iowa State in 1968 with a degree in landscape architecture. He was the lead donor of the recently opened King Pavilion at the College of Design, one of Iowa State's first sustainable green structures. The addition is named after the Kings, who made a commitment of $1.5 million for the facility.
In addition to his talk, King will spend two days on campus visiting entrepreneurship and landscape architecture classes, meeting with students and faculty, and interacting with student applicants for the Barb King scholarships.
The Reiman Entrepreneurial Lecture Series was established through a gift from Roy and Bobbi Reiman of Greendale, Wis., longtime supporters of Iowa State. Their lead gift to ISU in 1993 launched construction of the Reiman Gardens.
Additional information on the Reiman Entrepreneurial Speaker Series is available online at: http://www.isupjcenter.org/programs/reimanspeakers/.