Arizona Council on Economic Education

In October of 2016, Karl was called “A Champion for Education” by the Arizona Council on Economic Education and was presented with their “Leadership Award.” The award honors Karl’s outstanding contributions and commitments to education in our community.

Arizona Heritage Award

In March 2016, Karl was honored by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce with the “Arizona Heritage Award”. The award celebrates Karl’s enterprising and philanthropy commitment that have enriched the people of Arizona.


In 2013, Karl & Stevie gave a major gift to Barrow Neurological Foundation to enhance the Goldman Auditorium with 3D technology. The Ellers have made many contributions to Barrow over the years including funding for the Eller TelePresence, a teleconference system that allows observers to watch live neurosurgeries in a conference room.

Arizona Centennial

In February 2012, Karl and his wife Stevie, chaired the fundraising effort for the Arizona Centennial for the entire state.

Stevie Eller Dance Theater

In 2003 the University of Arizona’ dance program was blessed by the completion of the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. Karl and Stevie donated a major portion toward the building of the 29,000 square foot complex that is host to some 50 performances a year.

Arizona Historymakers

In 2001, Karl and Stevie were honored as “Arizona Historymakers” by the Historical League of Arizona. The program honors outstanding Arizonans who have distinguished themselves with noted achievements in diverse areas as well as community service and philanthropy.

Eller College of Management

In 1983, Karl established and funded the Karl Eller Center for the Study of the Free Enterprise Economy at The University of Arizona (UA). In mid-1987, The University of Arizona named its MBA School for Mr. Eller. Then in June of 1999, the UA honored Karl further by renaming its business college as the Eller [...]

Circle K

In 1983 Karl became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Circle K Corporation and resigned those positions in 1990. During that time, he built Circle K into the second largest convenience store operation and the largest publicly owned convenience store chain in the United States. He built the company from 1,221 [...]


In the early 1980’s, Karl was chairman and chief shareholder of Swensen’s Ice Cream which had various locations through out the valley.

Public Service

Karl has been very involved in the community over the years and would use his companies’ powers to get a strong message out. This early ‘70s billboard is a good example of how he would utilize radio, television and outdoor advertising to reach the people of Phoenix.