Stephen Fesler Burns


Stephen Fesler Burns



Stephen Fesler Burns was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. After graduating from Shortridge High School in 1961, he enrolled at Denison University in Ohio, where he received A. B. degree (1965). Burns then enrolled at the Indiana University School of Law and earned his law degree, Order of the Coif, in 1968. After law school, Burns joined his father’s law firm in Indianapolis, where he developed a strong working relationship with Earnest S. Wheaton, founder of growing and successful moving company, Wheaton Van Lines.

In 1987, Earnest Wheaton hired Burns to take the helm of WVL as Chief Executive Officer. Under Burns’ leadership, the company grew beyond expectations. When Burns and his team developed a five-year plan for the company to reach $95 million in revenues by 2007, the company achieved the goal by 2005. In 2012, the company purchased Bekins Van Lines and in 2013, they purchased Clark & Reid – making Wheaton Worldwide Moving the fourth-largest moving and storage company in the United States, with revenues in excess of $240 million.

In 2002, Burns and Wheaton started a relationship with the Orlando-based charity, Give Kids the World. Through his efforts, the company has raised millions of dollars to help children with life-threatening illness visit Disney World. Burns is a recipient of numerous industry awards, including its highest, the American Moving and Storage Association’s Lifetime Achievement award (2008). Burns stepped down as CEO in 2008 but remains Chairman of the Board.

Burns has had a long and close relationship with the law school, serving on the Board of Visitors from 2012 to 2017. In addition, through his generosity the Stephen F. Burns endowed Professorship was established in 2017. Stephen Fesler Burns was inducted into the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Academy of Law Alumni Fellows in 2008.


Maurer Alumni, Wheaton Worldwide Moving, Wheaton Van Lines, Bekins Van Lines, Clark & Reid, Academy of Law Alumni Fellows


Business | Law | Legal Biography | Legal Profession



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Stephen Fesler Burns