Jerry Mall and Bob Burlingame recognized for outstanding business success
The Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards program announced today its recipients of the two highest awards given by the program: Lifetime Achievement and Master Entrepreneur.
The Lifetime Achievement award, given to an individual who has attained a high level of business success in one or more entrepreneurial ventures over 30 years or more, will be presented to Jerry Mall, Chairman of the Board of K&N Engineering, Inc. of Riverside.
Founded in 1969 by motorcycle enthusiasts Ken Johnson and Norm McDonald, K&N contracted with Mall’s firm, Bloomington Tool and Die, to develop tooling for K&N’s line of innovative motorcycle air filters. When McDonald left K&N in 1971 to pursue a career in motorcycle racing, Mall joined Johnson as a principal owner of the company, and moved his machine shop into the K&N. This brought much needed experience in mold making and tooling to the company.
During his 40 plus years in the business Mall has performed every task imaginable at K&N as a hands-on executive. He oversaw the dramatic expansion and growth of the company, which has locations in the US, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands and employs more than 700 people.
“Jerry Mall is an incredible example of hard work, determination and innovation,” said Mike Stull, founding organizer of the event and director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE). “What started off as a high-performance accessory for a couple of off-road motorcycle racers has turned into an innovative global company under his leadership.”
The Master Entrepreneur Award, given to an individual that has established and successfully grown multiple companies during his/her career or has built a company into a clear industry leader with sales volume in excess of $100 million, will be given to Bob Burlingame, founder and CEO of Burlingame Industries, Inc. of Rialto.
While working for a roofing tile business, Burlingame built a machine to stack roof tiles and struck out on his own. After successfully building the business, he sold out in 1981 and retired to his Flying B Ranch in Idaho. A short 8 years later he was lured back to the tile business by suppliers and customers that felt the industry needed his talent and integrity.
He hasn’t looked back since. Burlingame now has numerous businesses including Eagle Roofing Products, a manufacturer of roof tiles; Innovacyn, a manufacturer of healthcare products for equine and companion animals; Mountain Lakes Resort, a camping resort in Lytle Creek; Diamondback Express, a cargo and freight transportation firm; and the Flying B Ranch, a 4,200 acre hunting and fishing lodge. With nearly 500 employees and operations in California, Florida, Idaho, Arizona and China, the company is a unique success story.
Bob Burlingame is truly a Master Entrepreneur,” noted Stull. “He has applied his business philosophy with its team-oriented focus across a wide range of companies and industries with incredible success. His passion and business leadership are unmatched.”
Along with these two special awards, 25 finalists will be competing for additional awards in eight categories at the upcoming event. Individual tickets for the Nov. 7 event are $110 per person and tables of 10 can be purchased for $1,000. In honor of the 10th anniversary, special Premier VIP experience ticket packages are also available. For more information or to make reservations, call (909) 537-3708 or visit
Commencing at 6 p.m., the gala includes a cocktail reception, dinner, special entertainment guests and the awards presentation. All proceeds benefit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Scholarship at Cal State San Bernardino.