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Kum & Go's Krause To Receive University of Iowa Business Leadership Award

Convenience store pioneer and University of Iowa benefactor W. A. "Bill" Krause will receive the Oscar C. Schmidt Iowa Business Leadership Award from the university's Tippie College of Business on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

The recognition ceremonies will be held in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union, with a dinner starting at 7 p.m.

"Bill Krause was there at the start of what has become a significant part of the U.S. retail economy when he helped to develop the convenience store concept, and his success is well documented by the growth of the Kum & Go franchise," said Curt Hunter, dean of the Tippie College of Business. "On top of that, he is a leader in philanthropy and education, and his gifts to the University of Iowa have been many and deep."

Krause helped to pioneer the convenience store format in 1959, when he started selling milk, bread and eggs at a gas station and car wash co-owned with his father-in-law, T.S. Gentle, in Hampton, Iowa. More stores followed under the Kum & Go name, and today, the company owns more than 450 Kum & Go stores with 3,600 employees in 13 states.

Kum & Go is Iowa's largest privately held and the 18th largest convenience store chain in the United States. Krause remains the chairman of Krause Gentle Corp.

Krause's ties to the University of Iowa go back to his days as a student. He graduated in 1957 with a B.A. in journalism. Today, he is a member of the Tippie College's Board of Visitors and the university's Presidents Club.

He is a life member of the Kinnick Society, which recognizes the most generous annual contributors to UI athletics, and he provides summer jobs for Hawkeye student-athletes at Kum & Go. In 1993, Krause was named Hawk of the Year by the Department of Athletics. He is past president and lifetime honorary director of the National I-Club and a board member of the Iowa I-Club.

For nearly a decade, finance students at UI, ISU, UNI and Drake have been receiving real-world investment experience through the Krause Challenge, an investment competition that Krause began with his gift of $100,000 to each school. Krause's support has also benefited the UI's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Hancher Auditorium and the Iowa Opportunity Fund.

In addition to serving as chairman of Krause Gentle, he is chairman of the board of the Chieftain Corporation, Liberty Bank Iowa, and several other businesses. He serves on many philanthropic boards and community organizations and earlier this year received the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the National Catholic Educational Association for his support of Catholic schools in the Des Moines area.

Past awards he has received include the Master Entrepreneur of the Year award from Inc. magazine, an Entrepreneurial Spirit Award from the Des Moines Business Record, and designation as Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year by national accounting firm Ernst & Young. More recently, the U.S. Small Business Administration honored him with the Iowa Entrepreneurial Success Award in 1994, and the Greater Des Moines Chapter of Commerce Federation named him the 1995 Annual Economic Impact Award winner.

The Iowa Business Leadership Award was established by the late C. Oscar Schmidt, president of the Cincinnati Butchers' Supply Company, who wanted to honor his father by recognizing an outstanding Iowa business executive. His intention was both to honor an outstanding business leader and to provide a vehicle by which the students and faculty of the college could interact with successful career men and women. The award recognizes outstanding performance in the world of commerce in the belief that business leadership is essential to the economic progress of Iowa and the nation.

Past recipients of the Oscar C. Schmidt Iowa Business Leadership Award, first given in 1980, include: Tom Bedell, president and chairman of the board of Pure Fishing; Marjorie M. Scardino, chief executive of Pearson plc; William T. Kerr, chairman and chief executive officer of Meredith Corporation; the leadership team at Pella, Inc.; and John Pappajohn, president of Equity Dynamics, Inc.


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