WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education today announced that James F. Dicke II, chairman-CEO, Crown Equipment Corporation, has been selected for membership in the prestigious organization. Mr. Dicke joins eleven other accomplished business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor in 2015. Since its establishment in 1947, the Horatio Alger Award is annually bestowed upon renowned leaders who have succeeded despite facing adversity, and who are committed to philanthropy and higher education.
Mr. Dicke was raised in New Bremen, Ohio, and was a quiet, studious child. His father owned a small parts machining and assembly shop, which allowed the family to live modestly. From the age of 6, Mr. Dicke was bullied for several years with physical and verbal abuse. It took a toll on his self-esteem. Mr. Dicke finally asked his parents to send him to boarding school and even though this was a financial sacrifice, his parents agreed. Despite this, Mr. Dicke graduated from Culver Military Academy, achieving the highest rank of captain. He then went on to attend Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where he majored in business. After college, he married and returned to his hometown to join his father's modest business, beginning the long challenge of creating a capital goods manufacturing business with no initial capital or investors. Over several decades, Mr. Dicke worked to build a team who turned Crown Equipment into an enterprise that today has $2.6 billion in annual sales and nearly 13,000 employees. The company is the fifth largest manufacturer of forklifts in the world.
"Jim Dicke is one of the nation's most renowned executives and philanthropists, and we are proud to welcome him as a lifetime Member of the Association," said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient. "His professional success and generosity are simply extraordinary, but it takes on new meaning when one understands the resilience in which Mr. Dicke's character is rooted. We have no doubt that his story will serve as a model for our Scholars – past, present and future."
Mr. Dicke and his wife, Janet, are avid supporters of education and have donated in a major way to the Culver Educational Foundation, Ohio Northern University and Trinity University. As advocates for the arts, the couple has also given substantial gifts to the Dayton Art Institute and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Already an ardent supporter of Horatio Alger Association, Mr. Dicke has already pledged more than $1 million to the Association and Ohio Wesleyan University to support Horatio Alger Scholars. Mr. Dicke has served as international president of the Young Presidents' Organization and chairman of the commission of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
In accepting this honor, Mr. Dicke commented, "My life has taught me many valuable lessons, all of which have called upon my personal persistence. I am honored to be recognized by Horatio Alger Association for my perseverance as well as my professional achievements and philanthropy. To be included among so many luminaries from the business, government and entertainment fields is quite humbling, and as a Member, I look forward to supporting the Association's mission. The Horatio Alger Association is a remarkable family."
In addition to presenting its annual award, Horatio Alger Association administers one of the largest, privately-funded scholarship programs for students in the United States and Canada. These students, like the Members, have faced significant adversities, but have persevered and are determined to overcome life's challenges. Scholarships are wholly funded through private donations from Members, Life Partners and friends. Since 1984, the Association has provided more than $100 million to promising students in need.
Mr. Dicke and the Member Class of 2015 will be officially welcomed into the organization during the 68th Annual Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. April 9-11, 2015. In addition to recognizing these tremendous leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also honor its 2015 National Scholarship recipients, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and learn from one another.
For more information about Horatio Alger Association and a full list of its Class of 2015, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., fulfills its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. Horatio Alger Association supports students through annual undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships and mentoring programs across the United States and Canada. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $100 million in college scholarships to deserving young people. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
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SOURCE Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.