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CEO and Past President of Crown Equipment Corporation to Speak With Husson University Students

Published on: October 22, 2014

BANGOR, MAINE - To survive in today’s competitive global economy, companies need to be capable of adapting their products and services to the changing needs of the marketplace. Change is no stranger to James F. Dicke II, Chief Executive Officer of the Crown Equipment Corporation. Beginning in the 1920s as a manufacturer of temperature controls for coal burning furnaces, this family-owned business has grown to become one of the top five producers of powered industrial forklift trucks – a significant departure from their origins.

“Jim’s background leading a global enterprise with over 10,000 employees located in the United States, Germany, Australia and China, with revenues of over $2.4 billion last year, makes him the ideal person to answer student questions about the challenges of leading international organizations,” said Dr. Robert A. Clark, president and CEO of Husson University. “He is part of an elite group of family-owned business leaders who achieved success by driving innovation and solving complex business problems. Our students will benefit from the invaluable experience-based insights Jim has to offer.”

Providing students with the opportunity to interact with prominent business leaders is what the “Conversations at the Dyke Center” series is all about. This Thursday, October 23 at 11:00 a.m., Husson University students, faculty, and members of the public will have the opportunity to speak with Dicke as he shares his thoughts about his more than 34 years of experience as president and CEO of this American success story.

The format for this campus forum is similar to the town hall events held at Columbia University with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The entrepreneurs that participate in the “Conversations at the Dyke Center” series are business leaders at the top of their game in competitive marketplaces. 

Sponsored by Husson University’s College of Business, this unique interaction provides students with the opportunity to connect with successful and talented professionals as part of their education.

Students must complete background preparations leading up to the event and prepare pre- and post-visit papers. In addition, some students get the chance to “pick the brains” of the guest business leaders over lunch.

More About James F. Dicke II

James F. Dicke II began his career as at the age of 18 at the Culver Military Academy where he studied painting under Warner Williams, a bas-relief artist and amateur astronomer. The Academy honored Dicke with distinguished service, man of the year, outstanding leadership and honorary cum laude awards. 

Five years later, he graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. During this period, Dicke served as the assistant to Congressman William M. McCullough. 

Dicke was named President of the Crown Corporation in 1980 and continued in that position until 2002, when he was named to his current post as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the organization. 

He was appointed to the President's Export Council from 2006 to 2008 as part of the George W. Bush administration. Dicke also served as the International President of the Young Presidents' Organization from 1992 - 1993. He is the Chairman of the Commissioners of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Chairman Emeritus of the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio. 

An avid artist who enjoys both painting and photography, Dicke studied with Jack Earl of Lakeview, Ohio and Nelson Shanks of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His art is included in numerous permanent museum and private collections.

Other educational honors include a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio (2005) and a Doctor of Business Administration Honorary Degree from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio (2006).

Crown Equipment Corporation ( designs, manufactures, distributes, services, and supports material handling products that provide customers with superior value. Crown entered the material handling equipment industry in 1956, and designs and manufactures 85 percent of its lift truck components, including key parts like motors, drive units, and electronic modules. The company's goal is to provide the user with the safest, most efficient, and ergonomic lift truck possible to lower total cost of ownership and increase uptime. A strong and extensive global dealer network provides a wide variety of quality material handling equipment, storage solutions, and support services.

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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