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Larry Lawson Receives the 2018 Horatio Alger Award

Success is not measured by your position in life, but by what you have overcome and made out of it.” – Lawson

Each year 10 to 12 individuals receive a lifetime membership in the Horatio Alger Association with the presentation of the Horatio Alger Award. The Award symbolizes the Association’s values, including personal initiative and perseverance, leadership and commitment to to excellence, belief in the free-enterprise system and importance of higher education, community service, and the vision and determination to achieve a better future.

The Horatio Alger Association honors the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and who are committed to supporting young people in pursuit of increased opportunities through higher education.  Since 1984, the association has awarded more than $143 million in need-based scholarships. In 2017 alone, $18 million was awarded to 2,379 scholars, each who received $25,000 for college.

Larry Lawson Founder/CEO of HeartcoR Solutions & Proxima Clinical Research, was born in 1945 in Port Arthur, Texas, where jobs were limited to the local Texaco refinery. “Was about the only job in town, unless you went into business for yourself,” Lawson says, “a few years after I was born, my father did just that.  He left his refinery job to become part owner of a gas station, and we lived in a little house across the street.”

The family lived on a strict budget, and by 1950, when Lawson was five, his father had purchased a garage on four acres.  The fa

mily lived in a house on the property next door to the garage.  Lawson’s father continued to work hard through the years and eventually built an auto parts store next to the garage. While Lawson’s mother sometimes helped with he store her main concern was for her children, a brother to Lawson who was 12 years older, and a sister who was 10 years old but who suffered from spina bifida.

This situation with the family left Lawson on his own for majority of his time along with his own obstacles to overcome. Lawson, at the age of six, began to suffer from the incorrect development of his hip socket and as a result, he had to be fitted for a leg brace, which he was required to wear for the following six years of his childhood.

“As an active young man this was a difficult situation for Lawson to accept,” says Lawson. The kids in school shunned and bullied Lawson for years. Finally Lawson went to his father to ask how to deal with the bullying, as Lawson’s biggest encourager he told Lawson something he would never forget.

‘Son, life is like a car battery. You have to have a positive and negative force for it to work.  So for every negative thing that comes into your life, you are going to have to find a positive thing that can come out of it.’

Since Lawson’s outdoor play was limited he was encouraged by his parents to get into music. He developed a passion for rock and roll and by the age of 10 began writing his own music. By age 12 he had began copywriting several of his songs and contemplated his own business.  Lawson later recorded his first record which he deemed as his first accomplishment that gave him the confidence to be anything he wanted.

Lawson’s social life had greatly improved, by the age of 16, he formed a band with Johnny and Edgar Winter, who went on to become rock/jazz icons in the 1970s and 80s.  He played with them off and on for the next three years, including his first year at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he

received a music scholarship. Two years later however, Lawson decided music would not be a longterm career and changed his major to accounting.  Lawson after participating in another band known as the Clique in 1969, at age 24, decided it was time to leave and pursue a business career.

In 1981, Lawson felt it was time for a new direction and left his job at Deseret Medical to found MESCO, a medical import/export company.  Later in 1992, he founded Lawson Medical Association after he was out of a job with Sysco in Houston, Texas.  In 2000, he founded Diagnostics Monitoring Associations.  In 2004, he founded and headed eCardio, which became INC 500, one of the fastest growing private companies in America.  His company developed a better way to detect atrial fibrillation and was acquired in 2014 by Merck and Boston Scientific. He remained as the CEO and chairman, and has remained on the board as the company’s largest share holder.  In 2015, he founded HeartcoR Solutions, LLC, and ECG core laboratory composed of successful healthcare executives and experienced professionals grounding in diagnostic monitoring services, cardiac rhythm management, health information technology, and medical device development.

Larry Lawson is actively involved with the Texas Medical Center’s Accelerator program, providing leadership to start-up companies at TMC.  Lawson is also an advisory board member of the Texas Medical Center Venture Fund. “I know the industry, and I know how to make things happen,” he says. “I’m advising 30-plus companies and serve on the boards and as an investor in many of them.  I’m 72 now, and I should be retired, but I’m working more now than ever.  I wake up excited and full of energy because I’m doing something I love,” Lawson says.

 

“…I believe in the saying that for those to whom much has been given, much is expected.  I’ve been given so many opportunities and success, and so I believe a lot is expected of me.  I am honored to receive the Horatio Alger Award and vow to do all I can to support the Association’s mission,” Lawson says.

Other GOOSE Society members conferred to the Horatio Alger Association are: Jack Gill, Art Ciocca and Terry Giles.

Along with Lawson, 11 other individuals were conferred in the Horatio Alger Association in the class of 2018 such as Gregory E. Abel, Ronald M. Bergeron, Sr., Don R. Daseke, Alphonso R. Jackson, David Johnson, James J. Liautaud, Rob Lowe, Reba McEntire, James H. Pugh, Jr., Ernest S. Rady, and H. Lee Scott, Jr..  Other honorable mentions that have been inducted are Tom Selleck, Buzz Aldrin, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Billy Graham, Leonardo DiCaprio, Benjamin S. Carson, President Dwight Eisenhower, President Gerald Ford, President Herbert Hoover and President Ronald Reagan.

GOOSE Society members Larry Lawson and Jack Gill with Buzz Aldrin

As a GOOSE Society member, Larry Lawson was well supported at the Horatio Alger Award Ceremony.  GOOSE members sponsored four tables at the Horatio Alger Awards.  Lamar University constituents made up one of the four tables.  In Lawson’s honor, Lamar University hosted a dinner while in Washington DC.   Back in Houston, The GOOSE Society also hosted a speciality dinner for Mr. Lawson at the crowd favorite BYOB restaurant, Corelli’s.

Written by Blake George, GOOSE Society Analyst

Approved and Edited by Samantha Lewis, GOOSE Society Director

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