“Our (weather) guys, they’re blaming it on Nebraska,” joked emcee Michael Schwanke of KWCH, Channel 12.
Former Butler baseball coach B.D. Parker introduced Rising Entrepreneur winner Justin McClure of Justin McClure Creative.
“I’m still scared of that man,” McClure said upon taking the stage.
A couple of Dustrol employees introduced Business Entrepreneur winners Ted and Barb Dankert, who founded what today is the largest in-place asphalt recycling company in the country.
“When I went to work for Ted in 1979, I didn’t have gray hair,” vice president Brian Hansen said. “I don’t know what that tells us.”
Ted Dankert said he’d hoped to have a couple of teleprompters to help him with his speech.
“I got to checking on it but found out they were all tied up till November 7.”
After his remarks, his wife teased him by saying, “I don’t know if you noticed or not, but Ted took up all our speaking time.”
She had some words of advice for the audience before she left the stage.
“Get in your cars, buy lots of gas and drive lots of miles, and wear out the asphalt as quick as you can, and Dustrol will have work to do next year.”
Perhaps the most intriguing comment of the night came from KT Wiedemann Foundation president Doug Pringle, who accepted the Social Entrepreneur award on behalf of the organization.
He told the audience, “I’ve never had a job in my life that I’ve loved.”
He said that changed with Chesapeake.
In an interview later, Pringle explained.
“It’s just such an exciting job, and it’s such an exciting place to work. It’s just a joy to come to work every day.”
He says it’s not that he hated previous jobs.
“Well, I mean, I think there’s a difference between liking a job and loving a job.”
Pringle says it’s great to be at a place where the culture is one of enthusiasm and employees are treated “very, very well.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he says. “I just think all that together is pretty cool.”