Press Release

Crown Equipment CEO to Discuss Leadership in Business, World

October 20, 2016 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

James F. Dicke II

James F. Dicke II to Speak Nov. 3 at Ohio Wesleyan, Receive Honorary Degree

DELAWARE, Ohio – James F. Dicke II is chairman and chief executive officer of Crown Equipment Corp., one of the world’s largest material handling companies. In addition, he has served with organizations including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, President’s Export Council, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Madison Council of the Library of Congress, Young Presidents’ Organization, Republican National Committee, Ocean Reef Community Foundation, Air Force Museum Foundation, and Ohio History Connection.

On Nov. 3, Dicke will discuss “Leadership in Business and in the Wider World,” when he presents Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2016-2017 Robert L. Milligan Leaders in Business Lecture. Dicke will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Room 301 of Merrick Hall, Sandusky St., Delaware.

During his presentation, Dicke will be awarded an Ohio Wesleyan Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his exemplary leadership and contributions to the betterment of the world. An honorary degree is the highest award bestowed by the university.

In 2015, Dicke also received a national Horatio Alger Award, given in recognition of a recipient’s “personal initiative and perseverance, leadership and commitment to excellence, belief in the free-enterprise system and the importance of higher education, community service, and the vision and determination to achieve a better future.” The Horatio Alger Association was founded in 1947 by the Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a 1920 Ohio Wesleyan alumnus.

In honoring Dicke, Tony Novelly, president and CEO of the Horatio Alger Association, said: “Jim Dicke is one of the nation’s most renowned executives and philanthropists. … His professional success and generosity are simply extraordinary.”

Dicke has served as chairman and CEO of Crown Equipment since 2002. Prior to that, he served as the company’s president from 1980 to 2002. Founded in 1945, Crown Equipment is the fourth largest manufacturer and distributor of forklift trucks and material handling equipment in the world.

With its global headquarters in New Bremen, Ohio, Crown Equipment has 18 manufacturing facilities worldwide, more than 13,000 employees, and more than 500 retail locations in 84 countries. It is one of the “Forbes 400” largest private companies.

Dicke is a graduate of Culver Military Academy, where he earned the school’s highest rank of cadet captain. He also was awarded the ROTC Gold Medal for outstanding leadership and the Chicago Tribune McCormick Medal for Leadership Excellence. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at Trinity University, where he was class president and chairman of the Student Union Board. He later served as a trustee for the San Antonio-based university.

Dicke’s philanthropy also extends to Ohio Wesleyan, where he currently sponsors four Horatio Alger students, serves as a member of the President’s Circle, and continues to support the Carl H. Dicke Scholarship created more than 30 years ago by his grandmother, Irene Dicke, to memorialize her husband.

Dicke’s upcoming Ohio Wesleyan presentation is part of the annual Milligan Leaders in Business Lecture Series, organized by the Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship. The series was created in 1992 with an endowment gift from Robert L. “Bill” Milligan, OWU Class of 1922, and his wife, Mary Cook Milligan, an honorary 2002 OWU alumna, both deceased.

Learn more about Dicke and Crown Equipment at and more about the Woltemade Center and Milligan Lecture Series at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at