Michael K. Winder

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Mike Winder
Mike Pic head shot.jpg
Member of the Utah House of Representatives
from the 30th district
Assumed office
January 1, 2017
Personal details
Born (1976-01-27) January 27, 1976 (age 42)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Karyn Hermansen
Children Four
Profession Business executive and author

Michael Kent Winder (born January 27, 1976) is an American businessman, author, and politician. He was the mayor of West Valley City, Utah between 2010 and 2014. A Republican, he currently represents District 30 in the Utah House of Representatives, a position to which he was first elected in November 2016. 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. He has received criticism in the press for city promotion.

Education and family[edit]

Winder was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from Taylorsville High School.[1][2] From 1995 to 1997 he was a missionary in Taipei, Taiwan for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He holds a Masters in Business Administration and an Honors B.A. degree in History from the University of Utah. He has also completed an executive leadership program with Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.[3]

Winder is married to Karyn Hermansen, who was elected to the Granite School District Board of Education in November 2014.[4] They have four children.[5]

Business career[edit]

Winder was Business Development Manager for West Valley City from 2000-2004, during which time he also chaired the Chamber West Economic Development Committee.[6]

From 2004-2009 he was vice president of marketing for Winder Farms.[7] He was director of public affairs for The Summit Group Communications from 2009-2011.[8]

Winder founded Neptune Strategies in 2012, a marketing and development firm.[9] During the 2016 election cycle, Neptune Strategies was paid at least $65,000 for consulting by Friends of Traditional Banking, a Super PAC.[10]

Winder is the executive director of Friends of Traditional Banking.[11] Since July 2014, Winder has been employed as director of entrepreneurship programs for Zions Bank.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

He was elected on November 3, 2009 as the seventh mayor of West Valley City, Utah, with 76% of the vote; his opponent was Kevin Fayles.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17] Crockett narrowly defeated Winder in the GOP primary election, 50.7% to 49.3%.[18]

In 2016, Winder ran for the Utah State House of Representatives, defeating his Democratic opponent. He was sworn in as a member of the Utah State House of Representatives on January 1, 2017.

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.[19] 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. In 2012, he was appointed by Governor Gary Herbert to a four-year term on the Advisory Board for the Office of Museum Services.[20][not in citation given]

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 is a past president of the Utah British Isles Association.[24]

City promotion controversies[edit]

In 2011, Winder wrote articles promoting West Valley City for the Deseret News and KSL.com under the assumed name of Richard Burwash. The name was a pseudonym, inspired by a 16th-century ancestor of Winder's. In the articles, Winder quoted himself as mayor and employed a photo of a real person, Peter Burwash, a former professional tennis player.[25][26]

Winder confessed to the use of a pseudonym and 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."[27] 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.[28][29][30]

In 2017, Winder was accused of removing unflattering information on his Wikipedia page.[31]



  1. ^ "Winder touts track record in mayoral campaign". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  2. ^ "13 NAMED STERLING SCHOLARS". Deseretnews.com. 14 April 1994. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  3. ^ "Mike Winder" (PDF). Hinckley Institute of Politics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-09. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "GOP star a political force". Salt Lake Tribune. October 15, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Forty under 40: rising stars.(Cover Story)". Accessmylibrary.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Utah Local News". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  8. ^ Page, Jared (15 November 2011). "Winder resigns from Summit Group firm after writing news stories under fake name". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  9. ^ "Neptune Strategies". Utah Registries Inc. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Disbursement for allocated federal/nonfederal activity". Federal Elections Commission. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Our Leadership". Friends of Traditional Banking. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Utah Entrepreneur Program". Zion's Bank. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ Jensen, Derek P. (November 9, 2004). "Victory in hand, Nordfelt makes plans for the future". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Gems Election Results\website=Secure.slco.org". Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  16. ^ "Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  17. ^ Roche, Lisa Riley (14 April 2012). "Mark Crockett, Mike Winder headed to GOP primary in county mayor's race". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  18. ^ Page, Jared (10 July 2012). "Mark Crockett defeats Mike Winder in vote tally, will face Ben McAdams in November for S.L. Co. mayor". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  19. ^ B, Geoff (31 October 2007). "Book review: 'Presidents and Prophets'". Millennialstar.org. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  20. ^ "Boards - Utah Division of Arts & Museums". Heritage.utah.gov. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  21. ^ Arave, Lynn (19 September 2008). "Lincoln frequently worked with LDS faithful". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  22. ^ "Home - Theodore Roosevelt Association". Theodoreroosevelt.org. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  23. ^ "Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  24. ^ "Great Britain a true friend". Deseretnews.com. 1 May 2003. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  25. ^ "Mayor Used Alias to Promote Town". New York Times. November 13, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  26. ^ Page, Jared (10 November 2011). "West Valley City mayor admits using false identity to write news stories". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  27. ^ "West Valley mayor admits writing articles". Salt Lake Tribune. November 11, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  28. ^ "WVC Council openly reprimands Winder for actions with the press". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. December 6, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  29. ^ "West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder resigns from public affairs job". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. November 16, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  31. ^ "Mike Winder accuseng multiple accounts tod of manipulating Wikipedia page with multiple accounts in violation of ethics policy". Salt Lake Tribune. March 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]

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