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EDC acknowledges longevity of local businesses at dinner

April 13, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Departing from tradition of the last six years, the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission acknowledged by name Wednesday night 29 businesses in the county celebrating milestone anniversaries ranging from five years for Susquehanna Bancshares and JLG Industries to 140 years for the Washington County Public Schools.

"We're in charge of the future here in Washington County," Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook told the 170 businessmen and businesswomen at the EDC's annual Celebration of Business. "And this board feels it's a very bright future because of what you all have accomplished."

Prior to the presentation, EDC event chairman Franklin Erck said the committee wanted to both recognize businesses for their longevity and develop a way to increase attendance at the evening celebrations.

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"The committee was looking for some kind of a unique aspect to build the program on in the future," Erck said. "We are hopeful that by presenting them with this kind of recognition from the County Commissioners we will be able to grow this event."

Richards Wilbert Inc. was honored for 65 years in the county. James Farley, vice president of the company, said most of employees have worked at the concrete burial vault business for about 30 years. The company started as Wolfkill Vault Service and was renamed in 1974.

"I think it's a very unique business because you're making concrete burial vaults and providing a service to families who are genuinely grieving," he said.

Many of his workers enjoy a pride in craftsmanship as well as a sense of purpose in assisting in that grieving process, Farley said.

"What's nice about having a history is that many of our longtime employees can go back to the company's inception," he said.

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