Denis J. Healy
Turtle Wax, Inc.
A native of the Bronx, New York, Denis Healy studied chemistry at City College of New York. He worked in research and development for Colgate Palmolive and the Mennen Company before working as director of research and development for the Barr Company.
Healy joined Turtle Wax, Inc. in 1971 as vice president. He was appointed executive vice president in 1975 and president in 1977. He is a fast-generation Irish American — his father is from Killarney, County Kerry and his mother is from Cork city.
Fiercely proud of his Irish heritage, he is a member of the American Ireland Fund and the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago.
But his civic interests do not end there: he is also chairman of the executive committee of Options for People, a company which brings difficult-to-employ people back into the work force, and is president of the United Service Organization of Chicago.
He is involved in several other wide-ranging organizations including Catholic Charities, the Chicago Symphony Association, Junior Achievement of Chicago and the United Republican Fund of Illinois. Healy is married with three children.
Michael J. Higgins
Executive Vice President
Volume Services America
Revenue: $500 million
Employees: 1,400 full-time; 22,000 part-time
A native of Culnecleha, just outside Bally-haunis, County Mayo, Michael Higgins emigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1949.
He began his career in 1967 with Arthur Andersen &Co. after graduating from Drexel University with a B.S. degree in Business. After working for ten years in the audit division at Andersen, he was hired by Aramark Corporation, a global provider of food and support services, uniform and education resources.
After 17 years with Aramark serving in various senior financial and executive positions, he was appointed executive vice president, chief financial officer and director of Service America Corporation, one of the largest food service management companies in the U.S. As such he was responsible for all of the company’s financial affairs including treasury, corporate finance, accounting, tax, audit and information technology.
In 1998, Service America merged with Volume Services, combining two of the largest food service providers in the U.S. to create Volume Services America. Higgins was appointed executive vice president.
Today, me company provides catering, concessions and merchandise services at over 120 facilities, including sports arenas, convention centers and other entertainment venues throughout North America.
Fiercely loyal to his native land, Higgins is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Irish Center in Philadelphia. He is married with one daughter.
Revenue: $125 million
Maxwell Technologies got its start 34 years ago making high-energy power systems for lofty government science projects such as atom-smashing cyclotrons and equipment used to simulate nuclear explosions.
In the mid-’80s the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization contracted Maxwell to develop a high energy-density, thin-film capacitor to provide a “pulse” of power for space-based electromagnetic guns and accelerators.
Maxwell later redesigned and marketed the capacitor for portable heart defibrillators and as a result was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame which recognizes technologies developed for space that have made significant, positive impacts in commercial applications.
Horgan joined Maxwell Technologies in June 1996 as vice president of business development and was elected to the board of directors the following January.
He increased on-time product deliveries by 400 percent in Maxwell’s I-Bus subsidiary and negotiated several substantial contracts for the company, including utility giant PacifiCorp. In April of this year he was named president and CEO.
Born in Cork, Ireland, Horgan attended University College Dublin where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and went on to earn a master’s degree in industrial engineering in 1984.
He then joined Digital Equipment Corporation in Galway as a manufacturing engineer before being transferred to a Silicon Valley division of the firm. Horgan also served as vice president of customer service for Conner Peripherals where he restructured the department to yield a one-time profit in excess of $15 million.♦