We are honored to share the news that Touchmark Founder and Chairman Werner G. Nistler, Jr., has been selected as the winner of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2018 Award in the Lifetime Entrepreneur category in the Pacific Northwest! Accompanied by his wife Colleen, family members, and Touchmark CEO Marcus Breuer and his wife Emily, Werner received this well-deserved recognition Friday night at an exciting gala event in Seattle.
An independent panel of judges selected Werner. The award recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
This is a tremendous honor for Werner and a great tribute to his life’s work, most of which has been focused on creating and nurturing Touchmark. In his acceptance speech, Werner acknowledged the people of Touchmark. He also said everyone is an entrepreneur in one way or another, for he believes everyone is driven by passions and perseverance to make the world better. He then went on to share two statements that have always resonated with him:
- “I worked so late last night I met myself coming to work this morning.”
- “Everyone knows how often we have failed, but only God knows how often we have tried.”
As a Pacific Northwest award winner, Werner is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 National Awards. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 10, 2018. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.
Since 1986, EY has honored entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation, and discipline have driven their companies’ success, transformed their industries, and made a positive impact on their communities. Now in its 32nd year, the program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as:
- Howard Schultz of Starbucks Corporation
- Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc.
- Jodi Berg of Vitamix
- Robert Unanue of Goya Foods
- Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn
- Andreas Bechtolsheim and Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks
- Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani
Werner now joins these well-known entrepreneurs. In addition to Touchmark, Werner has developed other enterprises:
- Formed Computran, a medical records technology company and batch-basis service bureau that captured physician orders for medications and treatments, reducing medical errors. Computran grew to serve 700 nursing centers across the country whereupon Werner sold the company to Beverly Enterprises, the largest nursing center chain in the U.S.
- Developed the Dakota Enterprises office building in Beaverton, Oregon, which now serves as Touchmark’s company headquarters.
- Purchased, operated, and sold seven nursing centers.
- Purchased a radio station in Billings, Montana, and brought it back to life. Today it operates under ESPN, http://www.espn910.com.
- Helped lead the formation of the Beaverton Banking Company, a state-chartered bank, and served as Chairman of the Board at age 34. (The bank merged with Valley National Bank of Forest Grove before selling to U.S. Bank.)
- Formed Dynatran, the desktop version of Computran, which he sold to Omnicare, the provider of pharmacy services to long-term care providers.
- Served for approximately 10 years on the Board of Directors of Capital Pacific Bank before its recent sale.
- Developed custom homes and owned office buildings.
Extremely humble, Werner quietly lives his deep faith every day. He gives back to the community in many ways, sharing his time and expertise on boards and making countless charitable contributions. He also continues to serve on the board of the Touchmark Foundation, which he started.
Other accomplishments include completing 58 marathons (including the New York City and Boston marathons). Also, last fall, he was inducted into the University of North Dakota Accounting Hall of Fame.