Eric R. Garen
Net Worth: $350 million
Source of Wealth: Technical schools
Residence: Los Angeles
When Eric R. Garen co-founded Learning Tree International Inc. one of the first schools devoted to teaching computer operation and programming his role at the company was relatively modest.
Although officially executive vice president, he was also Learning Tree’s first instructor and the author of its first course, “Microprocessors and Microcomputers.”
He continued teaching on a part-time basis until 1980, when he turned to helping co-founder David C. Collins run the company full-time.
In 1991, Garen was named president of Learning Tree, which is used by such companies as Hewlett-Packard Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and AT & T; to train their workers in a range of skills, from basic computer use to advanced programming.
Garen, a Sacramento native with an estimated net worth of $350 million largely based on company holdings holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Caltech in Pasadena, and a master’s degree in computer science from USC.
Before co-founding Learning Tree in 1974, Garen worked for six years at Technology Service Corp., where he was a design engineer and later a project manager.
In December of 1995, Garen helped take Learning Tree public. The company had net income of $12.3 million in 1996, up from $8.1 million from the year before, and it has been called one of L.A.’s most successful companies.