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Bill Hanneman Leaves His Legacy at Viking
Bill Hanneman, former president of Viking Engineering, recently passed away. During his time with Viking, he was instrumental in many changes and advances that helped the company grow to where it is today.
Date Posted: 8/1/2012
The Pallet Enterprise staff was saddened to learn that Bill Hanneman, a long-time friend from Viking Engineering passed away on Monday, June 11, 2012. Hanneman joined Viking in 1980 as vice president of marketing, and then served as president from 1985 until his retirement in 1998. After his retirement he pursued other business interests while continuing to serve on Viking’s Board of Directors until 2010.
During his time at Viking, Hanneman played a key role in many changes and advances. He was instrumental in moving Viking forward as an employee-owned company and, today, Viking continues as an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan), based on the plan that he helped design and implement. He also played a significant role in launching Viking’s Champion Model nailing machine series in 1987, a machine that has become one of the most popular pallet nailing machines in operation today.
According to those he worked with, Hanneman was a visionary who led by example. Colleagues said that he knew what Viking was capable of and led the company to reach those goals. During his tenure as president, Viking experienced substantial growth. One of
his contributions to the company’s growth was the implementation of an employee education program. Inspired by his own life-long love of learning, Hanneman wanted Viking’s employees to have the opportunity to continue to learn and better themselves. The program he instituted to help pay some continuing educational expenses for employees provided the framework for Viking’s current education program. He led by example in this area also, going back to school for a Master of Business Administration in 1988.
Outside of the industry, Hanneman played an active role in his community. His long love of the Boy Scouts of America was evidenced by his work to become an Eagle Scout, his time in the Explorers and the Sea Scouts, and eventually becoming a Scout Master. Moreover, he was actively involved at his church, Discover Church in Brooklyn Park, Minn., where he served as Council President for 22 terms over the years and was considered by many to have been the chief elder of the congregation, or as he was affectionately called “The Leader of the Pack.”
Hanneman is survived by Jeanette, his high school sweetheart and beloved wife of 61 years, along with his sons Mark and Bradley and his granddaughter Talia.