George S. May was born on a farm in Windsor, Ill., on June 5, 1890. Tilling the soil, however, held no attraction for the man who would become a management consulting pioneer. After four years of college, George S. May began his sales career selling bibles. Shortly thereafter, a friend, familiar with May's interest in mechanical and technical issues, offered him a job with a farm equipment manufacturer.
During the next decade, George S. May had to cope with the fluctuating economy of the early 1900s. He worked as a freelance consultant on a variety of short-term jobs, and was later hired for full-time work, but was laid off when economic conditions slowed.
By 1924, with a wife and family to care for, George S. May sent out letters to Chicago businesses, highlighting his knowledge and experience as a business problem solver. He obtained a consulting assignment with Chicago Flexible Shaft Company, the precursor of the Sunbeam Corporation, and with that first job, on February 1, 1925, the George S. May Company was born. The first May offices were located at 2620 W. Northshore, at the corner of Rockwell.
In addition to growing his own company, George S. May also contributed greatly to the game of golf. Now listed as one of Golf magazine's 100 heroes of American golf, George S. May staged a number of golf tournaments at his country club, Tam O' Shanter, throughout the 1940s and 50s. May is still lauded as one of golf's most preeminent promoters.
The George S. May International Company celebrated its 80th Anniversary in 2005 as the world's foremost management consulting firm to medium and small businesses, as well as large companies through the firm's major accounts program. Since its founding in 1925, the George S. May International Company has kept its focus on assisting companies to improve their business operations.
The history of the George S. May International Company is the history of business in the 20th Century. It is also the history of one of the nation's more successful family-owned companies.