distinguished alumni award
W.A. "Bill" Krause
W.A. "Bill" Krause, 57BA, is owner, president, and chief executive officer of Krause Gentle Corporation, of Des Moines, which owns more than 300 Kum & Go convenience stores and 19 other affiliate companies.
Krause graduated from the University of Iowa in 1957 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. From modest beginnings, when he pumped gas by day and drove trucks by night, he has built Krause Gentle from a small firm of three employees to a massive, multi-million-dollar organization employing thousands of people in operations as diverse as convenience stores, banking, and transportation.
In 1992 alone, his achievements were recognized with a 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.
Not only a successful businessman, Krause is also an outstanding citizen of Iowa. One of his favorite sayings is "Don't look back; we aren't going that way," yet he is a firm believer in giving back. The Krause Gentle Corporation contributes ten percent of net profits to area charities. Krause himself volunteers his time to help many civic and philanthropic causes. He has served as a member of the boards of Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Junior Achievement of Central Iowa, and the State of Iowa Merit Employment Commission.
A devoted fan who describes his only hobby as the University of Iowa athletic program, Krause can boast a football attendance record of 111 consecutive games. His support for the University of Iowa is demonstrated in many other ways, too. He is a life member of the Kinnick Society, which recognizes the most generous annual contributors to UI athletics; he has served enthusiastically on numerous fund-raising campaign committees; and he provides summer jobs for Hawkeye student-athletes at Krause Gentle Corporation. 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.
Other university departments and campaigns, including the College of Liberal Arts, Hancher Auditorium, the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, and the Iowa Opportunity Fund, have all benefited from the commitment and support which made Krause a member of the UI Foundation's Presidents Club. He is also a member of the UI Alumni Association's Director's Club.
Krause Gentle's slogan is "People make the difference and the difference is Krause Gentle people." With his dedication to his business career, the University of Iowa, and the people and communities of his home state, Krause can truly be described as someone who has made a difference.