Vernon Inducted Into 2012 Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame
William F. "Bill" Vernon, CEO of industry distributor The Vernon Company, headquartered in Newton, Iowa, was inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame by Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds at a special recognition ceremony held at the Iowa State Capitol on February 21, 2012, in Des Moines.
Being inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame is the most prestigious state-level honor an individual can receive for their volunteer work. The people selected are those who have changed their community, state or the nation through their volunteer service and action.
Governor Branstad said, "Volunteering enriches the lives of Iowans, and it pleases me to see that we have such great citizens of the state who are determined to make a difference in their communities."
Vernon earned his induction by serving on numerous civic, government, cultural and educational committees and was one of the co-founders (serving as board chair for several years) of Progress Industries—a nonprofit organization designed to provide job skills and independence for citizens with disabilities. His vision helped Progress Industries grow from providing only vocational services to less than 50 adults into a highly respected agency that provides vocational and residential services to more than 375 adults throughout Central Iowa. He also created the Iowa Sports Foundation (ISF) and served as board chair for its first seven years. During his leadership, the ISF introduced the Summer and Winter Iowa Games to athletes in our state. Iowa had the second largest start up Summer Games with over 7,000 athletes in 1987. He helped design the Games' logistics to be handled by volunteers; thousands of volunteers make the events successful because of Vernon's initial leadership.
In addition, he was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal (third highest civilian award) from the Department of the Army for his two terms as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for the State of Iowa.
Vernon was previously inducted into the PPAI Hall of Fame and the hall of fame of the Lake Forest Academy, Lake Forest, Ill.
The Vernon Company was started by Bill Vernon's grandfather, F.L. Vernon, in 1902, and is one of only 30 companies in America that is over 100 years old, still owned by the founding family, and continues to be in the same industry.
For more information, visit www.vernoncompany.com.