1-15-2020 – Bernhardt, Poarch win awards

Posted on: January 15th, 2020 by admin


January 15, 2020


By Guy Lucas

Jan 14, 2020 3:02 PM


One of Caldwell County’s oldest and largest companies, which in the past year was named by the governor’s office for its leadership in exports, was named the county’s Industry of the Year Tuesday.


Executives with Bernhardt Furniture accepted the award at the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission’s annual Caldwell Economic Development Celebration.


In presenting the award, guest speaker John Loyack of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina called Bernhardt, founded in 1889, a “steady and stalwart presence” in Caldwell County that has become “an iconic brand known worldwide.”


Bernhardt has more than 1,500 employees, 90 percent of whom work in Caldwell County, making it one of the county’s largest private employers, but as important the company and related Bernhardt Family Foundation are known for contributions to the welfare of their employees and the community, Loyack said.


The Herman Anderson Award for contributions to local economic development was presented to Dr. Mark Poarch, president of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, in recognition of his efforts to expand the college’s economic development partnerships, including with local industries to meet their training needs and with industries local officials are trying to recruit.


The award is named for a former Blue Ridge Electrical Membership Corp. executive who “was known as Mr. Economic Development,” said Bob Floyd, who presented the award. Anderson passed away late last month.


Poarch said that the fact that Anderson recently died made it particularly humbling to receive the award.


He said that supporting local business and industry is one of the three prongs of the college’s mission.


“We try to throw everything in our tool belt at business and industry,” he said.

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