Industry Appreciation Event

The annual Industry Appreciation Event hosted by Caldwell County Economic Development showcases our commitment to celebrating the remarkable achievements of our local industries and the individuals driving economic growth and prosperity within Caldwell County.

Event Overview:

The Industry Appreciation Event is an annual gathering dedicated to honoring and recognizing the invaluable contributions of the existing industries in Caldwell County. As we reflect on the previous year's successes, we also look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead.


During this event, we proudly present two prestigious awards:

Industry of the Year Award:

The Industry of the Year award celebrates excellence, innovation, and leadership within a specific sector. This award recognizes outstanding performance, exceptional growth, and a commitment to excellence across various facets of operations. The recipient is selected based on criteria emphasizing innovation, market leadership, sustainability efforts, economic contributions, corporate social responsibility, and more. The selection committee carefully reviews nomination forms, and the winner is announced during the annual Caldwell County Industry Appreciation Luncheon.

Your nominations for the Industry of the Year Award can be made here.

Herman Anderson Award:

The Herman Anderson Award is dedicated to recognizing an individual who has made outstanding contributions to economic development in Caldwell County. This award acknowledges individuals who have demonstrated exceptional engagement and dedication to benefiting the local economy through professional or volunteer efforts. Nominees are evaluated based on impactful initiatives, innovative strategies, sustainable development practices, collaborative leadership, inclusivity, measurable results, ethical standards, thought leadership, and long-term vision.

Your nominations for the Herman Anderson Award can be made here.

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Class of 2021-2023 Recognition:

In addition to awards, we also take this opportunity to recognize and catch up with the local industry partners we have collaborated with over the previous year.

Guest Speakers:

Our event features distinguished guest speakers who share valuable insights and expertise:

Keynote Speaker: Ted Abernathy

Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner of Economic Leadership, LLC, shares insights on economic development trends and Caldwell County demographics. With over four decades of experience in economic development, Ted brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our event.

Presentation by Austin Rouse

Austin Rouse, Director of Business Recruitment for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, provides a state-level update on economic development efforts. Austin's extensive experience and dedication to attracting new businesses to North Carolina make his presentation invaluable.


While initially an invitation-only event, we may open registration to the public later. For now, we prioritize industry representation to foster meaningful connections and collaborations.
Thank you for joining us in celebrating the success and resilience of Caldwell County's industries. We continue to drive economic growth and prosperity for our community and beyond.

Past Recipients:

As part of our commitment to transparency and recognition, here are the past recipients of the Industry of the Year Award and the Herman Anderson Award:


Industry Appreciation Event


1997 Herman Anderson
1998 Barton Hayes
1999 Bert Huffman
2000 Ann Smith
2001 Alex Bernhardt
2002 Paul Broyhill
2003 Larry Taylor
2004 Harper Beall, III


2005 Dr. Kenneth Boham
2006 Jason Richardson
2007 Brian Crutchfield
2008 Alvin Daughtridge
2009 Linda Story
2010 Bobby White
2011 Bob Floyd
2012 Doug Johnson

2013 Allen Stewart
2014 William Howard
2015 Jerry Church
2016 Donna Bean
2017 Elaine Lockhart
2018 Laura Easton
2019 Dr. Mark Poarch
2020 Deborah Murray


2004 Lois Kilsey, Neptco 
2005 Roger Jackson, Sealed Air 
2006 Richard Wiley, Duke Energies 
2007 Bob McCreary-McCreary Modern 

2008 Al Huffman
2009 Steve Kincaid
2010 Bill Johnson
2011 Scott Hardiman


2004 Bemis
2005 Greer Lab
2006 PolyChem
2007 MDI
2008 Thomasville Furniture
2009 Google
2010 Shurtape Technologies
2011 RPM Wood Finishers Group

2012 Caldwell Memorial Hospital
2013 Exela Pharma Sciences
2014 Sealed Air Corporation
2015 Associated Hardwoods
2016 Bakers Waste
2017 McCreary Modern
2018 Automated Solutions
2019 Bernhardt Furniture
2020 MDI

PARTNER OF THE YEAR (Began in 2012)

2012 CCC&TI – Dr. Ken Boham
2017 Hazel Edmond, Melody Adams, NC Department of Commerce


NEW INDUSTRY OF THE YEAR (2007) – Vantage Foods
LEGACY AWARD (2014) – Bernhardt Furniture
ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP AWARD (2016) – Blue Ridge Energy
LEGACY AWARD (2018) – Fairfield Chair
INNOVATION AWARD (2018) – Aiken Development