Michael K. Winder

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Mike Winder
Mike Pic head shot.jpg
Mayor of West Valley City
In office
January 4, 2010 – January 6, 2014
Preceded by Dennis J. Nordfelt
Succeeded by Ron C. Bigelow
Personal details
Born (1976-01-27) January 27, 1976 (age 39)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Karyn Hermansen
Children 4
Profession Business Executive and Author
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)

Michael Kent Winder (born January 27, 1976) is an American businessman, author, and politician. He was the mayor of Utah's second-largest city, West Valley City between 2010 and 2014 and was a Republican Party (GOP) candidate for Salt Lake County mayor to replace Peter Corroon.[1]

Education and family[edit]

Winder was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. graduated first in his class from Taylorsville High School, where he was student body president and the state Sterling Scholar in Social Science.[2][3]

He holds a Masters in Business Administration and a B.A. degree in History from the University of Utah. He has also completed executive leadership programs with the Walt Disney Institute of Management and at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.[4]

Winder is married to the former Karyn Hermansen, a native of West Valley City and piano teacher who was elected to the Granite School District Board of Education in November 2014.[5] They have two daughters and two sons.[6]

Business career[edit]

As a businessman, Winder is president and CEO of Neptune Strategies, a marketing and development firm. He was also hired in July 2014 as vice president of community development for Zions Bank.[7] He was director of public affairs for The Summit Group Communications from 2009-2011.[8] From 2004-2009 he was vice president of marketing for Winder Farms, part of the sixth generation to be involved in the business and helping to transition Utah's oldest milkman into one of the nation's fastest-growing online grocers.[9]

Winder was Business Development Manager for West Valley City from 2000-2004, during which time he also chaired the Chamber West Economic Development Committee, was a founder of the Granger Crossings Business Improvement District, and was named as one of "40 Rising Stars Under 40" by Utah Business magazine.[10]

Political career[edit]

Winder has served as a member of the State and Salt Lake County Republican Party Executive Committees, deputy campaign manager for Congressman James V. Hansen, and chair of the Research and Policy Committee for the Jon Huntsman, Jr. for Governor campaign. He is the founder of the GenX GOP Network.[11]

He was elected to an at-large seat on the West Valley City Council in November 2005 with 71% of the vote over 12-year incumbent Barbara Thomas.[12]

He was elected to be the seventh mayor of West Valley City, Utah, on November 3, 2009 with 76% of the vote over opponent Kevin Fayles.[13] As mayor, he has helped oversee the economic turnaround of the city, including the revitalization of Valley Fair Mall.[14]

In 2010, other local officials from around the state elected Winder president of the Utah League of Cities and Towns.[15] Salt Lake City Weekly honored him in their "Best of Utah 2011" edition[16] and he was named Utah's "Best of State Mayor" in 2011.[17]

At 29, he was the youngest council person in city history, and when sworn in on January 4, 2010, at age 33, he became the youngest mayor in city history.[18]

In 2012, Winder and former county council member Mark Crockett emerged from the Salt Lake County Republican Convention field of six to face off for the GOP nomination for county mayor.[1] Crockett narrowly defeated Winder in the GOP primary election, 50.7% to 49.3%.[19]

Author and historian[edit]

An historian, he is the author of twelve published books on Utah and LDS history, including Presidents and Prophets: The Story of America's Presidents and the LDS Church.[20] In 2005 Winder was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. to a four-year term on the Utah Board of State History, and reappointed in 2009.

Winder presented an academic paper as part of the Abraham Lincoln Sesquicentennial in 2009 and was published in the Journal of the Theodore Roosevelt Association in 2011.[21][22] As mayor in 2012, he also authored the first photographic history of West Valley City for Arcadia Publishing.[23]


Winder wrote articles for the Deseret News and KSL.com (the website for KSL-TV) using the citizen-journalist program Deseret Connect, on West Valley City, under the assumed name of Richard Burwash. The name was made up and inspired by his ancestor Richard Winder that lived in Burwash, Sussex, England in the 1500s. Winder quoted himself in the articles and used a photo of a real person, Peter Burwash, a former professional tennis player in his internal profile at the Deseret News.[24][25] Winder said he wrote the articles because, "he was frustrated that the newspaper had drastically reduced its city government coverage after layoffs last year but not its crime coverage and wanted to try to restore balance."[26] As a result of his confession, Winder accepted a reprimand by the West Valley City Council, resigned from his job with a public relations firm, and issued a public apology to his constituents.[27][28][29]



  1. ^ a b Mark Crockett, Mike Winder headed to GOP primary in county mayor's race | Deseret News
  2. ^ Winder touts track record in mayoral campaign | The Salt Lake Tribune
  3. ^ 13 NAMED STERLING SCHOLARS | Deseret News
  4. ^ "Mike Winder" (PDF). Hinckley Institute of Politics. 
  5. ^ https://scf10.slco.org/clerk/elections/results/public/
  6. ^ "GOP star a political force". Salt Lake Tribune. October 15, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=21868410&authType=NAME_SEARCH&authToken=hxRh&locale=en_US&srchid=218684101411936799454&srchindex=1&srchtotal=39&trk=vsrp_people_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A218684101411936799454%2CVSRPtargetId%3A21868410%2CVSRPcmpt%3Aprimary
  8. ^ Winder resigns from Summit Group firm after writing news stories under fake name | Deseret News
  9. ^ Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News, Sports, Archive - The Salt Lake Tribune
  10. ^ "Forty under 40: rising stars.(Cover Story)". 
  11. ^ http://www.utahpolicy.com/nl/daily978.htm
  12. ^ Jensen, Derek P. (November 9, 2004). "Victory in hand, Nordfelt makes plans for the future". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  13. ^ Gems Election Results
  14. ^ The Renaissance Out West: Mayor WInder, The Man with a Plan | Salt Lake Magazine
  15. ^ http://www.ulct.org/ulct/about/leagueboard.html
  16. ^ Salt Lake City Best Of - Best of Utah: Best of Utah 2011: Media & Politics Page 5
  17. ^ Best of State - Utah
  18. ^ Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News, Sports, Archive - The Salt Lake Tribune
  19. ^ Mark Crockett defeats Mike Winder in vote tally, will face Ben McAdams in November for S.L. Co. mayor | Deseret News
  20. ^ Book review: ‘Presidents and Prophets’ | The Millennial Star
  21. ^ Lincoln frequently worked with LDS faithful | Deseret News
  22. ^ Home - Theodore Roosevelt Association
  23. ^ Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News, Sports, Archive - The Salt Lake Tribune
  24. ^ "Mayor Used Alias to Promote Town". New York Times. November 13, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  25. ^ West Valley City mayor admits using false identity to write news stories | Deseret News
  26. ^ "West Valley mayor admits writing articles". Salt Lake Tribune. November 11, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  27. ^ "WVC Council openly reprimands Winder for actions with the press". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). December 6, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  28. ^ "West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder resigns from public affairs job". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). November 16, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  29. ^ http://www.wvc-ut.gov/archives/94/An%20Apology%20From%20Your%20Mayor.pdf

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dennis J. Nordfelt
Mayors of West Valley City
2010 – 2014
Succeeded by
Ron C. Bigelow