Don Burrell never forgot a promise he made years ago. The founder and president of Burrell Colour Inc. in Crown Point, Burrell started the business using $700 in proceeds from the sale of his car. Burrell promised St. Jude that if he could make it in business, he would pay it back through charitable acts, said Cindy Agans, Burrell Colour vice president and chief operating officer.
“He continues to do that,” Agans said.
Burrell’s commitment to the community helped garner membership this year in The Times’ Northwest Indiana Business and Industry Hall of Fame.
“It’s a great honor for him to be recognized,” Agans said.
Burrell founded his namesake business in 1960 and built it into a leading independent professional photo and imaging lab.
He sold the business in 2003 but repurchased it four years later, saying he missed an industry that had been part of his life for decades.
His community commitments include the founding and support of the Burrell Cancer Institute at St. Anthony Medical Center and the St. Jude House women’s and children’s shelter, both in Crown Point.
His contributions have helped brighten St. Anthony hospital facilities for patients and their families by making sure walls are lined with colorful, cheery photographic images.
“They help put people at ease in a very stressful time,” Agans said.
Burrell’s business strategy includes treating employees fairly, Agans said.
“He always lets you achieve to your level,” Agans said. “You can start out as a dust spotter and end up a supervisor.
“He gives you the opportunity to learn and achieve whatever you want to achieve,” Agans said.
Burrell’s history led Cal Bellamy to nominate him for membership in the Hall of Fame.
“He’s been very generous,” Bellamy said. “He is known for quality business practices. He set a good example.”