San Marcos,
26
March
2015

Leadership Center Names Garry Ridge of WD-40 “Outstanding Business Leader”

By Christine Vaughan

The Center for Leadership Innovation and Mentorship Building (CLIMB) at CSUSM names Garry Ridge, president and chief executive officer of WD-40 Company, its “Outstanding Business Leader” for 2015. The annual award, which honors one exceptional business leader each year, was presented on Tuesday, March 17 at a special CLIMB seminar that featured a guest lecture by Garry Ridge and best-selling author Ken Blanchard on contemporary leadership challenges.

The Outstanding Business Leader Award annually recognizes one business leader who typifies the philosophy of the Center and is an exemplar of economic innovation, community involvement, philanthropic contributions and business success.

“Garry is a walking textbook on effective leadership,” said Dr. Raj Pillai, executive director of CLIMB. “He practices what he teaches both inside WD-40 and in the San Diego community at large. He has been a terrific guest in the University’s prestigious In the Executive’s Chair course, which connects business students with the movers and shakers of San Diego County.”

Ridge has been part of WD-40 Company since 1987, leading the company in various management positions, including executive vice president, chief operating officer, and vice president of international. He has worked directly with WD-40 in over 50 countries. Ridge has been awarded Director of the Year for Enhancement of Economic Value by the Corporate Directors forum, the Arthur E Hughes Career Achievement Award from the University of San Diego, and the Ernst & Young—Master Entrepreneur Award. In 2009, he co-authored a book with Ken Blanchard titled “Helping People Win at Work: A Business Philosophy called Don’t Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A.”

Ridge received his Master of Science in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego where he teaches leadership development, talent management, and succession planning. A native of Australia, Ridge has also served as national vice president of the Australian Marketing Institute and the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association.

About California State University San Marcos

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is celebrating its 25th anniversary throughout the year of 2015. Since its founding, CSUSM has distinguished itself as a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. With nearly 13,000 enrolled students, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego and Southwest Riverside Counties.


Eighty-five percent of CSUSM’s nearly 35,000 alumni stay in the region after graduation. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the 2014 HEED Award—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—the University is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. CSUSM is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos. It is 15 miles east of the ocean; just 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.

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