Mike Bailey pumped his first gallon of full-service gasoline at 12 years old. His father had just moved his service station business to the south side of Riverton at 811 South Federal Boulevard. Today it’s still the center of the business that Mike took over from his father in 2002.
Since then, Mike has been the heart of Bailey Enterprises which has grown into the multi-faceted, community-oriented business that it is today.
“I’m lucky,” says Mike. “I’ve always known what I wanted to do. I pumped gas for the first time when I was 12 and I knew that I had to work with my hands serving customers. I was working full-time at 16 changing tires and pumping gas.”
Community and family are very important to Mike, and he advocates continuously for positive impacts within the community. Mike isn’t afraid to get out in the community and make a difference. He can often be found personally volunteering and providing resources, whether it’s time, monetary donation, or staff to participate and assist in putting on local events, serving on community boards. Not only does he support these events in the planning and set up stages, but Mike and his wife June are usually in attendance.
“Riverton has helped us grow and I really believe, that as a local business, it’s our responsibility to help Riverton grow. It’s local people supporting local people.” Mike Bailey
Stop by a Bailey Enterprises, Inc entity and you are likely to see Mike, either helping out with rental equipment, helping in the tire shop changing tires, working on pumps at the Pit Stop and occasionally you can even find him pouring coffee for customers at the Speedway Café.
“I’m even more fortunate that I have great people that work with me operating the business. That lets me keep helping customers. I like doing what needs to be done.” Mike Bailey
As much as Mike loves his employees, they definitely return the sentiment. When asked for quotes about working with Mike, the consensus was clear, Bailey’s is a family, and his employees respect and love him.
“Mike is more of a leader than simply a boss. Many people fear a boss, but Mike, to me, embodies a leader, he is someone that everyone looks up to and can rely on. Mike is personable and easy-going and he always finds time to engage with the employees.” Mona, Manager Pit Stop 2
It’s such a great place to work and that is proven when you see the years many employees have given to the company. That doesn’t happen in an unhappy work environment. Mike treats them all like family, pushing them to work hard and advance in their careers.
“I have worked with Mike since I was 11 years old. He has taught me so much from business skills, everyday life skills, overall he has always encouraged that I apply myself and be the best person in all things. I have learned from his example how important it is to give back to our community so it can be the best for our children and future generations. I appreciate and look up to him every day and I can’t wait to continue learning and growing with him in my corner pushing me.” Kassie Holdren
And actual family members are treated no differently than other employees.
“Many assume that since I work with family, I don’t have to work as hard or that I get by with slacking at work. They couldn’t be more wrong, because working for the family, I get pushed harder to be successful and you can’t really call out sick or not show up to work when your family is the boss!” Brandon, Mike and June’s son
Many employees have worked with Mike for over 30 years. Through the good, the bad, and the growth of it all. They tell stories of Mike fondly and with laughter.
“I most admire Mike for his interaction with the customers. Mike truly enjoys working with the public and it shows. He is always willing to help people, whether it be professionally or personally. Mike will be the first to jump under the hood of a vehicle with a wrench, and change tires when the shop is busy,” stated Scott Martin, a Bailey employee for over 30 years. You would often find Mike and Scott fondly yelling at each other and just having a good time.
“His dad was a hard worker and Mike’s drive to expand the business comes some from that, however, the drive and work ethic that Mike has isn’t just taught. It’s ingrained and he is not afraid to get dirty and help. Mike is always the first to volunteer if someone needs help.”
Scott laughs as he recalls times that he and Mike were working till midnight in the “Good Ole Days” pulling split rims and pumping full-service gas in the brutal Wyoming winters.
Scott isn’t the only employee who remembers the “Good Ole Days”.
“When I first started at Bailey’s, some of my fondest memories are from way back in the ole days. We all looked forward to completing our shift/duties and once they were complete, a group of us would go out to an old red rail tie and just sit there and discuss all kinds of things,” said Pam Hubenka, another 30 years + employee. Smiling fondly with a far-off look in her eye, she shakes her head and says, “Rail Time. That’s what we called sitting and talking and solving the world’s problems. We sure had a good time just being. When you work with people that long, you are more than co-workers, you form lifelong friendships.”
Pam says she respects Mike’s visionary drive. “He can look at a project and see all the possibilities. He is able to breathe life and excitement into the mundane and he can even make you excited when you know the work is extensive and hard. He motivates and supports you to the point that you get excited to overcome challenges because he is so driven to help you see the possibilities.”
It’s been almost 20 years since Mike took over the family business. His employees only have one more thing to say,
“Thank you Mike for everything you do and Happy Birthday!”