Jim Carpenter is a distinguished businessman, author, and nature lover. He founded Wild Birds Unlimited in 1981 in Indianapolis, IN, and grew the franchise with his wife Nancy and his excellent Team. Currently, he is in his 42nd year as President and CEO with over 360 franchises in the U.S. and Canada. Wild Birds Unlimited is highly ranked for franchisee satisfaction and corporate culture and is ranked as a top franchise opportunity for veterans, women, and 2nd careers.
In 1981, he opened the first WBU location, a 700 square foot retail shop on the north side of Indianapolis. By 1983, he began franchising the concept, which has grown to 300 locations across the US and Canada. Jim is intensely involved in the hobby, having designed many successful bird feeding products and developed retail concepts implemented in Wild Birds Unlimited stores. He holds a B.A. in Biology from Indiana University and a Master’s Degree in Horticulture/Plant Physiology from Purdue University.
The mission of Wild Birds Unlimited is to bring people and nature together. This effort has sponsored or funded many projects, such as observation towers at wildlife refuges, sending disadvantaged youth to Audubon camps, and international citizen science events. Recently, Jim & his wife, Nancy, have purchased an abandoned golf course and plan to transform it into a town park and nature preserve. Jim also authored the book “The Joy of Bird Feeding.” His board participation includes the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Indiana Nature Conservancy, and the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute. Honors include Purdue’s Distinguished Agricultural Alumni Award and being designated a Sagamore of the Wabash and a Distinguished Hoosier by two Indiana Governors.