Barry McNamara  |   Published April 20, 2022

Wells ’87 to Give Whiteman Lecture

Outdoorsman, social media sensation to present Monmouth College’s prestigious annual talk featuring leaders from business and industry.

TIM WELLS: Avid outdoorsman and YouTube sensation typically receives more than half a billion vie... TIM WELLS: Avid outdoorsman and YouTube sensation typically receives more than half a billion views of his content annually.MONMOUTH, Ill. – With a tagline of “over half a billion served annually,” it might be assumed that this year’s presenter of Monmouth College’s business-themed Wendell Whiteman Memorial Lecture comes from a chain of restaurants.

But 1987 Monmouth graduate Tim Wells is not in the business of flipping burgers; rather, the avid outdoorsman caters to viewers who love hunting, and those viewers love the content that Wells produces. The author of two books and a YouTube sensation, Wells has won the prestigious Golden Moose Award for Best Outdoor Host six years running. His documentaries and shows are viewed more than half a billion times annually.

Wells will return to his alma mater to present the Whiteman Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. His talk is free and open to the public.

Wells, who prides himself as a “primitive hunter,” grew up chasing birds and squirrels on a farm near Canton, Illinois. After earning a business degree from Monmouth, he became an entrepreneur in the asbestos-removal business, employing 27 consultants. Also buying and selling farm real estate, Wells branched off into building commercial properties. Having made an early fortune, he began traveling the world, pursuing his passion for hunting and capturing his adventures on video.

From his ranch near Canton, Wells runs his businesses and continues to host Relentless Pursuit TV.

“We got a big thing going there,” he said of the annual viewership, which could reach three-quarters of a billion for 2022. “It’s crazy how, if you have something that’s tangible and attractive to people, the world is at your fingertips. … The algorithms of the internet are good at finding what people are interested in. … It’s built a huge audience of like-minded people, as well as just people who have no interest in hunting and fishing (themselves), but they love to watch it. That’s my niche.”

“For the most part, my message has always been the same – this is country, I’m a country boy, and I’m no better than the next guy. I just got lucky enough to find myself in a situation where I can film what I do and show you as it happens.” Tim Wells

In addition to the advice of “pursue your passion” and “be true to yourself,” Wells will be able to talk about another important business strategy – diversifying.

“I’ve started a manufacturing business,” he said. “We’re building blow guns, spears and probably a dozen other products that we sell and distribute around the country and around the world. So that’s an entrepreneurial endeavor that goes with my style of living. And I’m still traveling and hunting and enjoying what I love.”

But the top product for Wells’ customers is the businessman himself.

“My product, from the beginning, has always been myself and my love for God, my love for family and my love for conservation,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve changed much since then. I’ve used the tools that have developed for filming and hunting and editing to better present what I do, but for the most part, my message has always been the same – this is country, I’m a country boy, and I’m no better than the next guy. I just got lucky enough to find myself in a situation where I can film what I do and show you as it happens.”

“Every part of that school – football, track, intramural sports, my fraternity, even the people that worked in the cafeteria, the faculty who helped guide me – put me on the right track for life, so I owe a lot to Monmouth College.” Tim Wells

The Wendell Whiteman Memorial Lecture annually brings prominent leaders of American business and industry to Monmouth. It is named in memory of Wendell Whiteman, an alumnus of the College and long-time executive of Security Savings Bank in Monmouth.

“It’s my chance to give back to Monmouth College, which was part of the rudder that guided me through life and helped me get the great start,” said Wells of the opportunity to give the prestigious lecture. “Every part of that school – football, track, intramural sports, my fraternity, even the people that worked in the cafeteria, the faculty who helped guide me – put me on the right track for life, so I owe a lot to Monmouth College.”

The most recent lecture in the series was given in 2019, prior to the pandemic. Wells will be the ninth Monmouth graduate to speak in the series and the third in a four-lecture span, joining Kunal Kapoor ’97 and Dennis Plummer ’73, who spoke in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Other Monmouth alumni speakers include the late Harold “Red” Poling ’49, Walter Huff ’56, the late James Pate ’63, John Courson ’64, Kevin Goodwin ’80 and Hiroyuki Fujita ’92.

Listen Up …

Hear Tim Wells ’87 discuss his career and preview his Whiteman Lecture on WRAM-AM/WMOI-FM.

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