When Johnson married Jane Curler, his University of Minnesota sweetheart, he became the son-in-law of Howard Curler, a member of the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame for innovations in plastic packaging. Curler and a partner, Robert Woods, started a company, Curwood, that soon "revolutionized cheese packaging" with their shrink-wrap and made Curler and his family very very rich.
In addition to cheese and meat, Curwood and its Group Companies produce packaging films for coffee, candy, sweet and salted snacks, liquid products, personal care and medical products and the list continues to grow. Manufacturing plants and sales offices are now located across the United States and Canada and in Europe and South America.
In 1977, Howard Curler set up his son Patrick in a business, named PACUR (for PAtrick CURler), with Curwood as his only customer for many years. Ron Johnson joined the company in 1979 and worked for Patrick. Jud Lounsbury details how Johnson succeeded:
The reality is that Ron Johnson lucked-out by marrying Howard Curler's daughter, but that doesn't make him an entrepreneur and a business-dynamo, that makes him lucky.
And in Wisconsin you need more than luck to replace Russ Feingold.- Barry Orton