Three area businesses were named winners of the sixth annual CDC Business Awards on Monday at the Chamber and Development (CDC) Council of Crawford County’s annual meeting.
Categories honored were for New Business/New Owner, Heritage Award, given to a business with three to 20 years of service and the Founders Award, presented to a company with more than 20 years of operation in Crawford County.
Ken Kahl and Crawford County Abstract were honored as the New Business/New Owner recipients. Though Crawford County Abstract has been in the area for more than 100 years, it came under Kahl’s ownership in November of 2012.
Since purchasing the business, Kahl has incorporated new technology and methods to improve customer service.
“Unlike many startup businesses, their company name has had a presence in Denison for over 100 years but the purchase and rebirth of the business has created a wholly new identity for the 21st century,” said CDC Executive Director Evan Blakley. “While a solid customer base already existed, revitalized energy and growth was needed to meet the demands of new technology and innovation in their particular industry.”
Aside from improved infrastructure, Kahl has also moved the business to a new location, expanded customer growth and has even incorporated an additional, full-time employee.
Blakley stated that aside from Kahl’s business ambitions, he also shows a significant dedication to Crawford County.
“He is heavily involved with such a number of organizations and boards, it’s impossible to name them all,” Blakley said of Kahl. “He is truly dedicated to improving his community and giving back in any way he can.”
Bob Adams and the staff of Adams Motor Company were named the Heritage Award winners.
In his statement, Blakley explained Adams and his company have shown a tremendous dedication to customer service and the community.
“This company is owned and operated by a man who believes in the strength of community and believes that the old fashioned approach will keep customers coming back for more,” Blakley stated.
“‘All it takes is great people, a good deal and a firm handshake to keep customers loyal’, he’s known to say.”
Blakley continued that the current remodeling project at the Adams dealership site shows additional care for its consumers.
“It will be very exciting to see the changes completed and to see just how much future return will be generated by the substantial investment in our communities,” Blakley commented.
The final award of the night, the Founders Award, was given to Bohlmann, Inc. and general manager Mark Johnson.
Blakley explained that for the last 63 years, Bohlmann Inc. has produced quality products which are currently distributed to all 50 states and numerous countries. While products manufactured by the company are still in use today, Bolhmann staff continues to innovate new items for customers.
Blakley said the ability to adapt to changes has allowed the company to thrive and has set it up for success for the distant future.
“Maybe it’s that rare understanding that the world is continually changing, which means businesses must change with it, at least, or at best, change ahead of it,” Blakley stated.
“Every time I visit, I am continually amazed by the ground-breaking prototypes they are working on or how great ideas can come from items as unlikely as a can of shaving cream.”
Blakley went on to say that aside from quality products and setting a high bench mark for innovation, Bohlmann Inc. and Johnson, who has been a director of the Denison Community School’s Board of Education for 17 years, serve as a model for community care.
“We are very fortunate to have such a great family and business contributing to the future of Crawford County,” Blakley concluded.
Johnson was not present to accept the award.
Additionally, outgoing CDC Board president Mark Ramthun was awarded a plaque for his year of service as president.