Recipients to receive the Wyoming Business Hall of Fame Award
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Dr. Ray Fleming Dinneen, former U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, and Mike Wandler will be inducted into the Wyoming Business Hall of Fame during a Nov. 17 banquet at the 2021 Governor's Business Forum.
Created in 2013, the Wyoming Business Hall of Fame recognizes business and industry leaders who have demonstrated substantial business merit while making a virtuous impact on their community. The Business Hall of Fame Award is a joint venture among the Daniels Fund, the University of Wyoming College of Business, Wyoming Business Council and the Wyoming Business Alliance/Wyoming Heritage Foundation.
Fleming Dinneen, of Cheyenne, and the late Enzi, of Gillette, have been selected for the Legacy category, which recognizes individuals for making historic and significant long-term contributions to the business community. Wandler, of Gillette, was selected for the Contemporary category, which recognizes an individual who is an up and coming emerging business person or entrepreneur who has a vision for Wyoming's future.
"These three inductees stand out not only for their business acumen, but for their legacy of service and commitment to Wyoming communities and her people," Governor Mark Gordon said.
"The 2021 inductees represent the very best of Wyoming business leaders, making significant contributions to improve Wyoming and their communities," said Cindy DeLancey, President of the Wyoming Business Alliance/ Wyoming Heritage Foundation.
"From guiding families out of poverty to global manufacturing for industries such as mining and aerospace, from serving honorably in the halls of Congress to assisting small business owners, this year's Wyoming Business Hall of Fame inductees have dedicated their lives to making an immeasurable and honorable impact on Wyoming and beyond," said Kent Noble, the Bill Daniels Chair of Business Ethics at the University of Wyoming College of Business.
"These three deserving honorees have not only been successful in their daily work but have made critical contributions to our state by serving on boards and councils and in their public service," Wyoming Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell said. "Dr. Fleming Dinneen lends her expertise advocating for workers and families. Senator Enzi ensured federal contracting opportunities for Wyoming businesses with his creation of the annual Gro-Biz Conference. And Mike Wandler has shared his business acumen and innovative thinking not only on the Business Council Board of Directors, but other boards as well as in his community and industry, and continues to do so."
Legacy - Dr. Ray Fleming Dinneen
Dr. Ray Fleming Dinneen founded Climb Wyoming over 35 years ago. Through her vision, a statewide nonprofit was created to transition families from poverty to self-sufficiency. She has received national recognition for her participant-centered, practice-to-theory approach for working with struggling families. She holds a doctorate in psychology and has a deep understanding of how to engage marginalized populations in the process of restorative growth and discovery.
"Thank you business community for recognizing the value of prepared and motivated employees, and Climb's contribution to Wyoming's workforce," Fleming Dinneen said. "I am honored."
Fleming Dinneen has been a longtime advocate of Wyoming families. She served on the Governor created Economically Needed Diversification Options for Wyoming (ENDOW) Executive Council, the Governor appointed Wyoming Workforce Development Council, on the Wyoming Supreme Court's created Equal Justice Wyoming Board of Commissioners and on the board of the Wyoming Children's Society. In 2016, she received Wyoming Business Report's Women of Influence Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2020 she was recognized by USA Today as one of the ten most influential females in Wyoming.
Legacy - Former U.S. Senator Mike Enzi
Former U.S. Senator Mike Enzi was a true statesman and great champion for the state, dedicating more than 40 years of elected public service on behalf of the people of Wyoming. He died earlier this year and will be given the award posthumously.
"Mike would be honored to be recognized by the Wyoming Business Hall of Fame," said Diana Enzi. "He was first a businessman who owned shoe stores in Gillette, Sheridan and Miles City. He always said he learned all businesses look simple until you find out what it takes to keep them going and he often remarked that he learned to pass legislation by selling shoes-one customer at a time."
During his almost 24 years of service in the U.S. Senate, Enzi was known for consensus building, emphasizing compromise over grandstanding to get bills passed. He operated on what he called the "80 percent tool," encouraging colleagues to focus on the 80% of an issue where legislators tended to agree and discard the 20% where they didn't.
The Senate passed a 2021 resolution that recognized that Enzi was known by many as the moral compass of the Senate and lived by the mission statement, "doing what is right, doing our best, treating others as they wish to be treated."
An advocate of citizenship and community service for youth, Enzi supported the Wyoming Congressional Award program and Boy Scouts of America. He was given the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1999, making him the first Wyomingite to receive the award.
Prior to his four terms as a member of the U.S. Senate, Enzi served eight years as Gillette's mayor and ten years in the Wyoming Legislature.
Contemporary - Mike Wandler
Mike Wandler, president of L&H Industrial, has taken a small welding and machining shop in Gillette and grown it into a global manufacturer across a variety of industries. Under his leadership, L&H Industrial has grown to a well-respected global leader in innovative manufacturing and design solutions for heavy industries and heavy equipment.
"It is an honor being inducted into the Wyoming business Hall of Fame," said Mike Wandler. "Running and owning a business provides priceless freedom in what you work on and who you work with. I am blessed to have spent my life helping create this business continually upgrading our skills and capabilities to improve the performance of the biggest machines on earth. I owe my success and love to so many people who brought me here and showed me the way and so many more that continue this lifelong journey growing and diversifying L&H and collaboration and helping like minded entrepreneurs do the same. I believe we are just getting started."
Wandler first joined L&H when he was 14 working for his father, Leon Wandler. In the year 2000, he began leading the company as president and was driven to improve L&H's capabilities, facilities, tools, processes, work culture and opportunities.
Over the years, he has led a series of transformational initiatives that have re-defined how L&H does business. With his deep experience in the company and immense business knowledge, Wandler is instrumental in identifying new market opportunities. His inspiration for technology is what drives L&H's state-of-the-art machines, software and innovation.
Wandler is also active in giving back his knowledge, expertise and time to help other entrepreneurial companies innovate and grow in Wyoming. He serves on committees and boards where his strengths will positively impact communities, industry, and the next generation of entrepreneurs. These organizations include the Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors, Governors Board of Economic Diversification Advisors, the Wyoming Aeronautics Advisory Committee, and the Wyoming Entrepreneurs Team.
Wyoming Business Alliance/Wyoming Heritage Foundation
The Wyoming Business Alliance/Wyoming Heritage Foundation serves as the state's premier business advocate and proponent with the mission of promoting and advocating a growing economy by connecting business leaders from across Wyoming, representing business interests and issues, and partnering with key business organizations and trade associations. For more information, visit wyomingbusinessalliance.com.
President, Wyoming Business Alliance/Wyoming Heritage Foundation