Success: Mike Wehr

From his second recruiting visit to the Mount Mercy campus and continuing still today, Mike Wehr has found that beyond a fantastic education, beyond professional hard work and daily focus, the relationships he’s forged with the remarkable people who have come into his life have helped to create success – over and over again.

After a first visit, Wehr was initially unsure about Mount Mercy, but Coach Paul Gavin had been recruiting him to play basketball, and convinced him to visit a second time, play with the team and spend a night on campus.

“Honestly, it’s a scary thought that a decision you make when you are 17-18 years old really impacts your life path. An even scarier thought is where I might be if I had not attended Mount Mercy. That decision really shaped where my life is today because it provided me a setting in which I could first be successful. I will always look back at these four years as a time when I grew in my confidence, my ability to form vital relationships, hone an effective communication style and really figured out who I was and wanted to be as a person.”

Mike Wehr 03
Chief Operating Officer
Raining Rose, Inc.
Cedar Rapids

After graduating from Mount Mercy, Wehr was encouraged to accept a summer internship with Raining Rose, Inc., a personal care contract manufacturer that specializes in lip balm manufacturing. He had no guarantee of a position with the company after that, but he recognized the opportunity he and the company had for success. Wehr has been with Raining Rose for more than 13 years.

“It is rare that you see someone in today’s world stick with their first company for 13+ years, and I have to say that I had no intention of being with Raining Rose this long when I first took the position. After my first 6 months with the company I saw the opportunity I had in front of me, the opportunity we had in the marketplace, the vision and leadership style of the owners and I knew I was going to be there for a long time.  I think my professional success is a compilation of my upbringing and the people I have surrounded myself with. I will be forever grateful to my parents and siblings for teaching me that there are no shortcuts, that you have to work at something if you want to have success. I was fortunate to have great teammates, teachers, coaches and friends throughout high school and at Mount Mercy who influenced my confidence, communication and ability to form relationships.

The milestones throughout Wehr’s career thus far have proved the strength of character that can exist within a team of people. One of those milestones was also one of Wehr’s proudest moments of his career. 

“The work our team did to recover from the flood of 2008 is something that I will always look back on as a testament to our passion, perseverance, grit, teamwork and success. It is one of those times in your life that you really find out what you are made of, what your team is made of and how hard you can work to make sure you control your own destiny. We had eight to ten feet of water in our facility, we lost everything except our computer system, and yet somehow we not only recovered, but grew 12% that year without manufacturing at full strength for seven months. All of our customers stuck with us, which is a reflection of the type of partnerships we had built. All of our employees stuck with us, which was a testament to the culture we had created.”

Wehr and his team have transformed Raining Rose from a small niche manufacturer with just 10-15 employees and revenues of approximately $1 million dollars, to one of the largest lip balm manufacturers in the country, with approximately 300 employees and $40 million dollars in revenue. That growth was literally signified for Wehr with the opening of a 120,000+ square foot building in Cedar Rapids. It was a second significant and meaningful milestone in his career.

“When we hung the Raining Rose sign on our new manufacturing facility, it served as a physical recognition and achievement for numerous individuals that worked incredibly hard to build something special.”

Asked what advice he would give potential Mount Mercy students, Wehr said he would want them to know that the Hill is a “pretty special place.”

“The education is fantastic, but even beyond that it will support you, allow you to find yourself, and provide you with the foundation to be successful. It has an amazing reputation in the community, and a phenomenal alumni family when your time on the Hill is done. I know I will always cherish the friendships I created while on the hill. A group of us still text daily…Go Cubs!”

Be a Mustang. Success Follows.