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Franklin Co. businesses honored at annual dinner

September 07, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - One business was founded by two men with a pickup truck 41 years ago, while another was started in 1947 by three men in a rented two-car garage.

Brechbill & Helman Construction Co. Inc. was honored at Thursday night's Franklin County Area Development Corp. Industry Appreciation Dinner as the 2007 Small Business of the Year. The company that Darrell Brechbill and John Helman started in 1966 has grown to nearly 100 employees over four decades, building health-care facilities, churches, hotels, restaurants and other commercial properties in the region.

The 2007 Large Business of the Year Award went to Grove-Manitowoc Crane Group. John and Dwight Grove and Wayne Nicarry started Grove Manufacturing 60 years ago, and built it into one of the county's largest businesses manufacturing mobile hydraulic cranes.

The company was struggling a decade ago, but was acquired by Manitowoc Crane Group in 2002 and since has tripled employment to more than 1,500. Manitowoc last year announced a $20 million expansion that will add 240 new jobs when completed.

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This year, Grove Manitowoc shipped its 55,000th crane, according to the presentation.

County Commissioners G. Warren Elliott and Cheryl Plummer will be retiring at the end of this year after three terms in office. They were presented the Special Chairman's Award for their leadership over the past 12 years.

During that time, along with Commissioner Bob Thomas, the county created the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority and built a $24 million jail while helping fund sewer and water improvements in small communities and accelerating the preservation of farmland, according to the presentation.

"With an unemployment rate of roughly 3 percent ... Franklin County has been ranked among the top five most booming economies in the Northeastern United States," according to the awards presentation.

Chuck Sioberg, chairman of the FCADC's board of directors since 1995 and a member since it was formed in 1986, was presented the Zane A. Miller Award, named for the corporation's first chairman.

Sioberg is co-founder of Martin & Martin Inc., a consulting engineering firm, and has supervised the design of residential, recreational and industrial projects, including the Chambers-5 Business Park, according to the presentation.

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