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Willie Ray Fairley listed among Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 1:09 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Willie Ray Fairley has been named among Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders.

Fortune released the list on its website.

The honor comes after Fairley fed hundreds of people in Cedar Rapids per day for weeks following the derecho last August. Fairly also took a team to Texas to feed people after a winter storm left many without power.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR DEAN'S DIP - Willie Ray Fairley, owner of Willie Ray's Q Shack, feeds...
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR DEAN'S DIP - Willie Ray Fairley, owner of Willie Ray's Q Shack, feeds locals in need with support from Dean's Dip on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Conrad Schmidt/AP Images for Dean's Dip)(Conrad Schmidt | AP)

Fortune’s profile on Fairley reads:

“Fairley’s generosity may have cut into his profits, but it has endeared him to a community where he’s now a celebrated household name. (A billboard in Cedar Rapids encourages citizens to “Be a Willie,” and he’s been recognized by Discover, the credit card company, and actor Will Smith, among others.) In Iowa, in a year defined by the pandemic, disaster, and bitter political division, Fairley, who was recognized by Gov. Kim Reynolds in her annual January address, was the rare hero who transcended all that.”

Congratulations to Willie Ray Fairley! He will now be considered for a national Jefferson Award for...

Posted by KCRG-TV9 on Monday, March 29, 2021

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