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2021 inductees to Iowa Business Hall of Fame are announced


The Greater Des Moines Committee, a group of 120 local business leaders, has announced the 2021 inductees to the Iowa Business Hall of Fame. They are:

Dr. Angela Walker Franklin, Des Moines University’s 15th president. Franklin, named the university’s president in 2011, has held senior administrative positions at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga., and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. Since becoming president of Des Moines University, Franklin has published a university history titled “Now Is the Time, Des Moines Is the Place,” launched the $50 million Purple & Proud fundraising campaign and led efforts to design a new campus in West Des Moines. Franklin is widely involved in the Greater Des Moines community, serving on the boards of Bankers Trust, the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Harkin National Advisory Council.

Bill Lillis, who was managing partner of the Des Moines law firm of Lillis O’Malley Olson Manning Pose Templeman LLP. Lillis died in 2019. His specialty was complex real estate transactions. He began his professional legal career at the Polk County Attorney’s Office in 1968, and two years later joined the firm that would eventually bear his name. He was recognized several times by Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers and Martindale Hubbell. Lillis was instrumental in real estate and zoning work throughout the Greater Des Moines community and had the ability to bring people together. His insights and connections have been described as influencing nearly every significant real estate venture in Central Iowa. Organizations Lillis was involved with include Anawim Housing and Dowling Catholic Foundation.

Mike Wells, CEO and chief engagement officer at Wells Enterprises in Le Mars. Wells began working in the family business in 1977 as a route driver while working his way through college. He joined the Blue Bunny sales force in 1981. He has held several positions in the company that eventually led to being named president and CEO in 2007. During Wells’ tenure as CEO, the ice cream company has experienced explosive growth and performance improvements. Wells 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 and vice chair of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce.

The inductees will be honored during the Greater Des Moines Committee’s Annual Induction Event on May 4. For more information about the event, click here.

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