W.A. Krause’s roots are in Iowa. Originally from Eldora, Iowa, he attended the University of Iowa and majored in journalism. In the late 1950s, Mr. Krause entered into a small business partnership with his father-in-law, Tony Gentle. The two entrepreneurs were pioneers in the convenience store concept.
Today, Krause Gentle owns more than 420 Kum & Go convenience stores in 13 states (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Colorado, Arkansas, Wyoming and Wisconsin). Kum & Go’s 3,500 associates serve more than one-quarter-of-a- million customers every day. Kum & Go is Iowa’s largest privately held and the 22nd largest convenience store chain in the United States.
Krause was president of the National I-Club twice and currently serves on the National I-Club board and co-chairs the committee coordinating the athletics program’s initiatives within the UI’s comprehensive “Good. Better. Best. Iowa” campaign.
Mr. Krause and the University of Iowa
Krause is a 1957 graduate of the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication. While at the University of Iowa, Krause served as team manager for the Iowa football team under Forest Evashevski’s direction. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity while attending the university.
Krause and his wife, Nancy, have contributed to the University of Iowa athletics program for 41 consecutive years. In 1993, they committed $500,000 to the Hawkeye Horizons athletics facilities campaign; the W.A. Krause Family Weight Room in the Richard O. Jacobson Athletic Building is named in recognition of that gift.
The Krauses support a number of University of Iowa programs, including the U of I Henry B. Tippie College of Business where he established the Krause Faculty Fellowship and created the Krause Challenge, an educational investment-management program for the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa and Drake University.
Krause was president of the National I-Club twice and currently serves on the National I-Club board and co-chairs the committee coordinating the athletics program’s initiatives within the UI’s comprehensive “Good. Better. Best. Iowa” campaign. Bill’s son Kevin is the National I-Club incoming president, making it the first time that a father and son have served as National I-Club presidents.
In 1993, Krause was named the National I-Club “Hawk of the Year”. He received the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000, and is a member of the President’s Club.
All three of Bill and Nancy Krause’s children and their spouses earned degrees from the University of Iowa: Kevin Krause, B.A. 1982, Juris Doctorate 1985 and wife Mary B.A. 1982;Kyle Krause, B.A. 1985 and wife Sharon Executive MBA gradate 1994; Kate Krause Prange, B.A. 1989 and husband David, B.A. 1988
A.J. Krause, Kevin’s daughter, is following the family tradition as the third generation to attend the University of Iowa.
Commitment to Communities
Mr. Krause has been a strong supporter of communities and youth. Over the years, he has made personal and corporate financial commitments to organizations such as Junior Achievement, donating $500,000 to JA of Central Iowa, the organization’s largest single gift in its history; Holy Family School, where he raised money to save it from closing and personally teaches classes; Dowling Catholic High School, where he sponsored a bonus program for teachers; and programs such as the Krause Challenge, an opportunity for university students in Iowa to invest real money in the stock market.
Mr. Krause has served on numerous industry boards such as the National Association of Convenience Store Board of Directors, Government Relations Board Committee and the Public Policy Committee. He is a past president of the Iowa Petroleum Marketers Association and is a member of the World President Organization.
Recognition and Honors
Entrepreneur of the Year, Inc. magazine, 1993
Retailer of the Year, Iowa Grocer Industry, 2000
National Junior of Achievement Laureate winner
Guardian Angel, Dowling Catholic High School’s most prestigious award
Best CEO (Runner-Up) Des Moines Business Record, Annual `Best Poll’, 2000
Bill and his wife, Nancy.