SHAWANO, Wis., Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NEWH, Inc.—The Hospitality Industry Network has named Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., chairman and CEO of the Kohler Co., the 2012 Icon of Industry, the non-profit organization's most prestigious honor.
"The Icon of Industry award is all about giving back to the hospitality industry and honoring those that rarely get recognized—the manufacturers," explains NEWH, Inc. president Julia Marks. "We seek manufacturers that are heroes to their communities and not just the hospitality community but within their personal and professional lives, giving to organizations that mean something to them. The Kohlers have a long history of giving back to their community in Kohler, Wisconsin, and being actively involved in the design community. The thing that impressed me most about Herb Kohler's nomination was his support of the creative process. I truly believe the willingness of business owners to invest in creative thinking and creative people separates a successful businessman from the average businessman."
Adds Christine Wasmer, vice president of education for NEWH, Inc.: "In considering potential nominees for the Icon of Industry, we considered those companies that have positively impacted the hospitality industry and the community as a whole. Kohler as a company has an impressive history of innovation and leadership in design and community outreach. The individual who is the driving force of Kohler's vision and mission is Herb Kohler. The concept of 'gracious living'—which encourages employees to find ways to give back to their communities and produce products that are environmentally favorable—pioneered by the company gives one a clear understanding of who he is and how he views his company and the world around him. This concept is integral to the mission of the company and is manifested in how they interact with their customers, the environment, and everything they do. Kohler is a highly successful company in business and more importantly successful in their stewardship of the communities they impact and the arts."
Kohler Co. was founded by Mr. Kohler's grandfather, John Michael Kohler, in 1873. He was elected chairman of the board and CEO of Kohler Co. in 1972, and president of the company in 1974, marking a third generation of Kohler family leadership. In 1981, realizing a great opportunity, he converted a dormitory originally built for immigrant workers across the street from the factory into a Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond resort hotel called The American Club. It in turn led to a fourth business group and two of the world's highest rated golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St. Andrews, Scotland.
The National Kitchen and Bath Hall of Fame inducted Kohler in its founding year of 1989, followed by the National Housing Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2002, he was named National Entrepreneur of the Year in Manufacturing. And in April of 2006, he was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame.
Kohler will be honored Monday, November 12, 2012 at the Gold Key Awards breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental New York during the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in November, and then again at the Platinum Circle Gala during the Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference (HD Expo) in May.
About Icon of Industry Award
Each year NEWH gives out its most prestigious award, the Icon of Industry, at the Gold Key Awards breakfast in New York held in conjunction with the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in November, and then again at the Platinum Circle Gala during the Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference (HD Expo) in May. The award celebrates the leaders of the manufacturing side of hospitality, those who have uniquely impacted the industry through their innovative work, consistently dedicated their time and efforts to community or industry outreach through education, and/or corporate giving, and been doing business in hospitality for more than 30 years. In addition, each year an international scholarship is given to two exemplary students in the recipient's honor, who have completed at least half of their program toward a degree in the hospitality industry, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, participated in an industry internship, and exemplify the highest standards of professionalism and scholarship.
NEWH Inc.—The Hospitality Industry Network is the premier networking resource for the hospitality industry, providing scholarships, education, leadership development, recognition of excellence, and business development opportunities. Members of NEWH, Inc. are professionals actively engaged in development, management/operations, architecture, communications, design, distribution, education, manufacturing, production, purchasing, and sales of the hospitality, foodservice, senior living, and related industries.
SOURCE NEWH, Inc.