Mike Wildman has come a LONG way since Richard Nixon was President!
Most people in this room know JUST how long that’s been, and without giving away his age, let’s suffice it to say that, like Nixon, Mike has always known he had it in him to be a success story. …and here he is today celebrating the pinnacle of his career with his induction into the International Towing Hall of Fame.
Mike got “hooked” on towing following his stint in the Army. On a whim, he offered to ride-a-long with a friend on a tow where they found FIVE California blondes from UCLA in a disabled van. Service with a smile extended to a week with these girls as “guests” at his personal residence while their van was in the shop! (Those were the days) He started work at Carpenters Towing THE VERY NEXT DAY, and decided that this was the life for him!
Mike’s first heavy duty call, a year later, was better only in principal. He latched onto a truck weighing 170,000 pounds and yarded it up the hill. At least he’d learned enough by then to NOT ride that rocket down the other side, although he wanted to. He is after all a WILD MAN.
Mike’s move to Bend Oregon in 1977 found him leaving his towing career behind until he just couldn’t stand it anymore. 11 years had passed. In 1988, he and Joanne bought Central Oregon Towing and promptly changed the name to Consolidated and added a 1800 number. With just two and a half trucks (one affectionately known as the “Happy Hooker”) it was an ambitious dream to sound bigger than they were. That dream has become “Central Oregon’s Most Recognized Orange Fleet” and was the best move he ever made.
Mike has spread his professional customer service mantra (Our Only Business 8 Days A Week) across not only Bend, but Oregon and the United States as his influence in our industry has grown. Consolidated Towing is known as the “go-to” company in Central Oregon, expanding to what is now a fleet of almost 50 pieces of signature orange equipment.
Throughout his career, Mike has “been there AND done that” in so many ways. Training, formal education, certification and accident reconstruction are just a few of the hats that he has worn. Mike has dedicated his life to improving the towing industry one day at a time by being a man behind the scenes. Most recently as the Treasurer of TRAA.
No business plan is complete without a company that plays an active role in its community. Consolidated Towing supports Central Oregon’s youth, seniors, and community events with not just money, but active participation by the staff in many local charities, activities and fundraisers.
Two of Mike’s favorite mottos are “Lead from the top” and “A Quality Service Creates its Own Demand”. He credits much of his personal success to the support of his wife, Joanne, who has endured more than her share of “Honey I’m going to miss dinner tonight,” Mike Wildman phone calls. In addition, nothing makes Mike happier than to see his son, Ty, daughter Lori, and her husband Keith devoting their lives to an industry he loves, not just working in it, but committed to making it better as a whole.
As we look back on a life spent dedicated to towing & recovery, we see a contented Mike Wildman who knows now that all those hours, days and years have not passed in vain. He is duly honored and celebrated tonight and forever as an industry torchbearer.