The Fulton Family Foundation - Who We Are
"Do it now" is Ira Fulton's personal motto. This attitude has been with him throughout his career. At age 11, he started a paper route. It grew into a profitable venture that put him through Arizona State College, where he met his wife Mary Lou.
In the 1950's he had various marketing positions for Signal Oil & Gas Companies (now Allied Signal) and NCR (National Cash Register). He then launched his first entrepreneurial venture, a computer leasing company that automated several retailing leaders such as Lane Bryant, House of Nine, and Contempo Casual. This experience led him to buy his first retail establishments, two Eagleson's Big and Tall Stores that expanded into a 35 store chain.
He then got into the homebuilding business by accident. He bought the Aston Construction company from his nephews, intending to phase it out. To do this, he enlisted the help of his son-in-law, Norm Nicholls. The company began to grow, so Mr. Fulton stuck with it. Under his guidance, Fulton Homes has grown from a small construction company to one of the largest, most profitable private homebuilders in the country.
Mr. Fulton has excelled in every business he has ever been in; newspapers, computers, gasoline, retail, and homebuilding. He says, "Give people the best value, customer service and product within the industry, and you will always be the best."
All his business accomplishments aside, he finds the most gratification in "developing people," not homes. Through the Fulton Family Foundation, he sponsors the education of hundreds of Native Americans. The Fulton Foundation has been involved with the American Indian Services for over 14 years, sending Native Americans to college and building homes on their land. And most recently, he provided the means for 50 Mongolian and Cambodian students to attend BYU-Hawaii Campus.
Mr Fulton said, "When you look at history, you realize we are here for just a second, a twinkle of time and you learn we can do things to make the world a better place."
And so he has. He is actively involved in the political arena and does so much good for various non-profit organizations. The BYU supercomputer systems, the IBM and the SGI, which have been affectionately named "Mary Lou" in honor of Ira's sweetheart and companion, are but one example. These supercomputers have enabled students and faculty to improve their hands-on information processing and application. The undergraduate students coming from the math, science, engineering and technology departments (to name a few) have experience that few campuses can provide, thanks to the Fulton's interest and generosity in their behalf.