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Alan Ashton

Status: BRONZE
Member Year: 1988

Computer software design

Business Profile:
Word processing

As president and co-founder of WordPerfect Corporation, Alan Ashton stands as an authoritative yet unpretentious leader. Ashton graduated magna cum laude in Mathematics from the University of Utah in 1966. He received his Ph.D. from the same university in Computer Science in 1970.

Currently, Ashton's executive duties focus on designing software that is powerful, yet flexible and easy to use. WordPerfect, the million-dollar product from which the company takes its name, evolves from an idea which originated as early as 1969 when Alan, then a graduate student, submitted two computer projects for possible research-one involving music and the other word processing. His professors opted for the first idea. It was not until nine years later, in 1978, that Dr. Ashton received his latent idea and started on the path that eventually led to the number-one-selling WordPerfect 4.2. In addition to his many corporate responsibilities, Dr. Ashton taught Computer Science at Brigham Young University, where he was a full time professor for 14 years. There he enjoyed working with students on advanced-degree projects and his willingness to help others learn prompted BYU's graduating Computer Science class of 1986 to elect him the "Outstanding Professor of the Year."

He also founded Thanksgiving Point in 1995. A family man at heart, Ashton enjoys spending time with his wife and eleven children in their home in Orem, Utah. Other interests include farming, music-especially the trumpet, and competitive tennis. Alan and his wife, Karen, are currently serving in the Toronto East, Canada Mission.

Management Philosophy:
Life is wonderful, overflowing with opportunities for learning. To me success and happiness are not necessarily having a flourishing business, making life easy and comfortable, but having close and intimate relationships with a loving, happy wife and del

Hobbies and Interests:
Family, farming, music (especially the trumpet), and competitive tennis.

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere I can be with my family; we like to visit different places.