Michael Whalen

Michael Whalen

Policy Chairman - NCPA; President & CEO - Heart of America Restaurants & Inns


Michael Whalen developed, owns and operates 27 restaurants and hotels in ten metropolitan areas of six Midwestern states.

The 27 restaurants were built around varying concepts with The Machine Shed Restaurants as the flagship. The original 100-seats blossomed into the second highest volume restaurant in the state, second only to his other Machine Shed Restaurant.

Mike is involved in several commercial real estate developments in addition to his operating entities and he has a long history of community service and distinguished awards:

  • Business Hall of Fame Laureate, Quad City IA
  • Iowa Hospitality Award, Iowa Division of Tourism
  • Restaurateur of the Year, Iowa Hospitality Association
  • U.S. Small Business Administration's Entrepreneurial Success Award
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, Inc. Magazine
  • Board of Directors: various Chambers of Commerce, Convention and Visitor's Bureaus, River Action, Inc.
  • Founder, Wildwood Hills Ranch, a 400-acre nonprofit camp for at-risk youth, St. Charles, IA
  • Founder, KZZQ/99.5 FM Contemporary Christian Radio station, Des Moines, IA
  • President (Past) Iowa Hospitality Association
  • President (Past) Iowa Young Presidents' Organization
  • Honorary Master Pork Producer, Iowa Pork Producers

An honors graduate of the University of Illinois and Harvard Law School, Whalen and wife, Kim have two children, Christopher and Katie, and reside in Bettendorf, IA.

For more information, contact NCPA public affairs at (800) 859-1154 or media@ncpa.org.