JIM ANDERSON:
 
JIM ANDERSON




 
 
 
 
 
President and Founder of Urban Science in Detroit. He leads the companyís global management team and sets its strategic direction. He formed Urban Science in 1977 to satisfy the growing need of automakers and car dealers for customer and demographic information. The company has been responsible for several firsts, including the first to draw dot maps on a computer in the late 1970s and the first geographic information system to print color images from a computer screen with laser technology in the early 1980s. Urban Science combines scientific analysis and marketing expertise to help companies evaluate structure and manage their retail sales channels. It employs 400 people worldwide and 170 at its Detroit headquarters. Anderson has been active in automobile dealer network planning for 30 years. He also provides expert legal testimony. He began his career in 1967 on the engineering faculty at Wayne State University, where he developed environmental models and computer mapping techniques to display data. He later expanded his capabilities to map census and employment data and other types of demographic information. He also developed statistical and mathematical models for location analysis of demographic data. Anderson was named Ernst & Youngís Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002. In 2003, he developed the Engineering Ventures Program at Wayne State University (WSU) through an endowed chair in the College of Engineering, engineering student scholarships, and offices for the program. Anderson received WSUís Arthur Carr outstanding teacher of the year award in 1972 and the distinguished engineering alumni achievement award in 1995, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Michiganís humanitarian award in 2008. That same year, Crainís Detroit Business recognized Urban Science with its Small Business Award. Anderson received his bachelorís and masterís degrees in engineering from WSU.


WHERE BORN: "St. Clair, and I grew up in Algonac."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "There have been several. My brother convinced me when I was five years old that if I had an engineering degree, Iíd never have to worry about getting a job, so I went into engineering."

LAST BOOK READ: "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James Collins and Jerry Porras. Itís about how companies are built and the two ends of the spectrum: built to sell vs. built to last. Urban Science has been built to last. It doesnít mean it wonít get sold, but the way you build it is different than if you build it to sell and cash in at a young age.Ē

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Committed, honorable, professional, loyal."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "One of my favorite quotes is from Henry Ford Ė 'The best way to predict the future is to invent it.' We are headed for and always looking for that next opportunity when someone tells us 'it canít be done.' Itís the bridge between the world of science, engineering, and the world of business, principally in marketing and sales. Many tools can aid decisions in the sales and marketing world to help you achieve goals in an effective way. Weíre always trying to solve that next problem. We have a vision of the world as a company, and that world is where science and technology combine with the entrepreneurial spirit to make the world a better place to live while creating economic opportunities for innovators."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "Iím a boater and have a lot related to GPS technology that keeps me out of trouble while Iím on the Ďhigh seasí of the Great Lakes. Around the office, from a business point of view, I canít live without my BlackBerry and all of the things it can do."

FAVORITE PLACE: "I love my place of work. We have offices around the world plus Detroit Ė and I have a choice of where we could be located. Weíre in the Renaissance Center because we like being here. I love where I live and love the Great Lakes as a place to go boating."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Boating."

FAVORITE FOOD: "My wifeís chicken piccata is the best Iíve found anywhere."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Itís not singing, I can tell you that. Iím often viewed as a serious person but sometimes people think of me as a standup comic."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As youíre planning your life, you should start where you want to end and work backwards. Write your epitaph first. I did that some time ago. I want to be viewed as a great father, great husband, and an entrepreneur who made the world a better place to live."


At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.