Founders


Mike Whalen

Mike Whalen - Founder

Mr. Whalen is the founder of Heart of America Group and has served as President & CEO since 1978. Through Mr. Whalen’s entrepreneurial leadership and vision, the Company has grown from a single restaurant operation to a profitable and growing real estate development and hospitality enterprise. Mr. Whalen received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois in 1975, receiving the distinction of Bronze Tablet Scholar, and his Law degree from Harvard Law School with honors in 1978. Mr. Whalen has received many awards and honors for his achievements, including Humanitarian of the Year by the National Restaurant Association, Entrepreneur of the Year from Inc. Magazine and the BBB Integrity award, among others.

Kim Whalen

Kim Whalen - Founder

Ms. Whalen began her career with Heart of America in 1979 when she joined the company as the first accountant and has since been an integral part of the strategic direction of the company. Her ability to manage accounting processes for restaurants and hotels, development projects, as well as maintain strong banker and vendor relationships led her to become Heart of America’s first CFO. Since 1999, she has served as the Executive Vice President. Her unique knack for thinking strategically and creatively makes her an integral part and leader of the design team, where she focuses her energy on developing attractive, unique designs for the company’s development and renovation projects.

Founders


Mike Whalen

Mike Whalen - Founder

Mr. Whalen is the founder of Heart of America Group and has served as President & CEO since 1978. Through Mr. Whalen’s entrepreneurial leadership and vision, the Company has grown from a single restaurant operation to a profitable and growing real estate development and hospitality enterprise. Mr. Whalen received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois in 1975, receiving the distinction of Bronze Tablet Scholar, and his Law degree from Harvard Law School with honors in 1978. Mr. Whalen has received many awards and honors for his achievements, including Humanitarian of the Year by the National Restaurant Association, Entrepreneur of the Year from Inc. Magazine and the BBB Integrity award, among others.

Kim Whalen

Kim Whalen - Founder

Ms. Whalen began her career with Heart of America in 1979 when she joined the company as the first accountant and has since been an integral part of the strategic direction of the company. Her ability to manage accounting processes for restaurants and hotels, development projects, as well as maintain strong banker and vendor relationships led her to become Heart of America’s first CFO. Since 1999, she has served as the Executive Vice President. Her unique knack for thinking strategically and creatively makes her an integral part and leader of the design team, where she focuses her energy on developing attractive, unique designs for the company’s development and renovation projects.