2021 Iowa Business Hall of Fame
DR. ANGELA WALKER FRANKLIN
Angela L. Walker Franklin, Ph.D. became the 15th president of Des Moines University in the spring of 2011. With a distinguished career in higher education spanning more than 25 years, she has held senior administrative positions at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Since becoming president of Des Moines University, Dr. Franklin has published the university history entitled, “Now is the Time, Des Moines is the Place,” launched the $50 million Purple & Proud fundraising campaign, led efforts to design a new campus in West Des Moines and much more. Dr. Franklin is widely involved in the Greater Des Moines community, serving on the boards of Bankers Trust, Greater Des Moines Partnership and The Harkin National Advisory Council. She is also Chair of the Assembly of Presidents of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and a member of the George Washington Carver Statuary Hall Project. Dr. Franklin is an inspirational servant leader and author of her 2014 memoir, “An Unconventional Journey…An Unlikely Choice,” which chronicles her journey to the college presidency and shares lessons learned in leadership.
WILLIAM (BILL) LILLIS
The late Bill Lillis was the managing partner at the Lillis O’Malley Olson Manning Pose Templeman LLP Law Firm. Bill’s practice specialty was complex real estate transactions. He began his professional legal career at the Polk County Attorney’s office in 1968, and in 1970 joined the law firm that would eventually bear his name. He was recognized multiple years by Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers and Martindale Hubbell. Bill loved being an attorney and was instrumental in real estate and zoning work throughout the Greater Des Moines community and had the ability to bring people together, enhancing business relationships. His insights and connections have been described as influencing nearly every significant real estate venture in central Iowa. Bill and his wife Kathleen were advocates for the the city of Des Moines and shared a passion for several organizations in the community including Anawim Housing, the Diocese of Des Moines, the Dowling Catholic Foundation, and United Way. Bill was also involved in Men on the Move, Des Moines Art Center, Drake University, Salisbury House, Easter Seals and Central Iowa Shelter and Services.
Mike Wells started working in the family business in 1977 as a route driver while working his way through Morningside College in Sioux City. He joined the Blue Bunny sales force in 1981. Mike held various positions throughout the company including route sales, production, transportation, office services, and marketing, culminating with a series of senior management positions which eventually led to his title as COO and later President and CEO in 2007. In October 2021, he assumed his current position as CEO/Chief Engagement Officer of Wells Enterprises. During Mike’s 14-year tenure as CEO, Wells has seen explosive growth and performance improvements under his leadership. Mike serves on the International Dairy Foods Association Executive Council and is chair of the International Dairy Foods Association ice cream segment board, chair of the Siouxland Initiative board, vice chair of the LeMars Chamber of Commerce, and past chair of the Iowa Business Council. Mike and his wife Cheryl have a shared passion for their community and are partners with the LeMars Betterment Foundation, Library, Arts Center, Alzheimers Association, and the Floyd Valley Foundation.
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