WAYNE - The Wayne State College School of Business and Technology hosted Mike Wells on campus as the 2013 Annual Executive in Residence on Jan. 21, 2013. Wells is the president and CEO of Wells Blue Bunny of Le Mars, Iowa, the world's largest manufacturer of ice cream in one location.
From left are: Gerald Conway, Associate Professor and director of the program at Wayne State College, Mike Wells and Dr. Vaughn Benson, dean of the School of Business and Technology.
Each year a senior executive is invited to the campus to be recognized for their accomplishments. Wayne State College honors business leaders from respected businesses with demonstrated corporate responsibility, social consciousness, civic engagement and personal integrity as hallmarks of good business.
Mike Wells started working in the family business in 1977 as a route driver while working his way through college. After graduating from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in 1981 with a bachelor of science in business administration, he joined the Blue Bunny sales force. Early in his management career he held various positions including director of retail sales and transportation and eventually became Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Transportation.
In 2006, Mike Wells was elected Co-President of Demand, Supply, and Logistics, and then COO in 2007. In November 2007, Mike Wells assumed his current position as President/CEO.
Wells was founded in 1913 by Fred H. Wells. Around 1925, Fred H. Wells and his sons began manufacturing ice cream in Le Mars, Iowa. In 1927, Fred H. Wells and his brother, Harry C. Wells, began a partnership to distribute ice cream in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1928 Fairmont Ice Cream purchased the ice cream distribution system in Sioux City from the Wells' brothers along with the right to use the Wells' name. In 1935, the Wells' brothers decided to again sell ice cream in Sioux City and run a "Name That Ice Cream'' contest in the Sioux City Journal. A Sioux City man won the $25 cash prize for submitting the winning entry, "Blue Bunny,'' after noticing how much his son enjoyed the blue bunnies in a department store window at Easter time.
Wells is now the world's largest family owned and managed ice cream producer.
Other business leaders who have been honored previously by WSC for the Executive in Residence include: Al Johnson, Great West Casualty; Bill Henry, First National Omaha; Duane Acklie, Crete Carriers; Aaron Hilkemann, Duncan Aviation; Jan Thayer, Excel Development Group;Terry McClain, Valmont Industries; Tony Raimondo, Behlen Manufacturing; Dave Wimmer, Wimmer's Meat Products; and Jeff Scherer, Smeal Fire Apparatus.