Date: January 7, 2007
About: Thomas C. Oakley - Class of 1950
Five Inductees Named To Business Hall Of Fame
The second class of the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame will be inducted Jan. 17 during the organization's annual meeting.
This year's class consists of Joe Bonansinga, Thomas A. Oakley, William Klingner, Robert Hulsen and Rich Niemann Sr. They will join the inaugural eight-person class inducted in 2006.
"It's always wonderful when we can celebrate the business community and business leaders," said Amy Looten, executive director of the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce. "Any time we can celebrate them, we should take that opportunity."
The Business Hall of Fame has a display on the second floor of the Oakley-Lindsay Center. This year's inductees were selected by a committee chosen by the chamber. The Hall of Fame was formed to celebrate Quincy's strong business foundation.
The original class consisted of Elmer Wavering, Parker Gates, Robert Gardner, C.A. Moorman, Frank Strieby, Thomas C. Oakley, Harold "Bud"
Knapheide Jr. and Daniel Vorhees.
Thomas A. Oakley and Niemann are the first living Hall of Fame inductees.
Oakley has been the president and CEO of Quincy Newspapers Inc. for 38 years.
"I love what I do, and I've been very fortunate," he said. "This is a great company, and it takes a great group of employees to make it happen."
Oakley is known for his tireless support of regional economic and transportation issues, calling the efforts "a work of a lifetime." He has worked with every Illinois governor since Otto Kerner in the mid-1960s.
"We've grown significantly as a company, and now we have 12 television stations and two newspapers," Oakley said. "We are very involved in every community and market we are in."
Oakley also said he is proud to be the fourth generation involved in the business, with his children and grandchildren also working for the company.
Niemann is the chairman of the board of Niemann Foods, which operates 64 stores in three states. He's well-known for his civic work and says he's honored because "I'm in very good company" in the Hall of Fame.
"I've worked with all of them (the
2007 inductees), mostly in civic work, and I'm humbled to be inducted,"
Niemann said. "So many people have helped me reach my goals."
Niemann said he defines success as setting goals and reaching them.
"If you treat people right, it all comes back to you," he said.
The Hall of Fame is another way to meld past accomplishments with future vision, Looten said.
"It brings awareness of these leaders and some of their characteristics and ways they do things to our future leaders," she said. "The passing of information on how the next generation can be better leaders, if we can serve that purpose, that's a good thing."
Bonansinga worked at WGEM-TV for many years and was known as "Mr. Quincy"
for his longtime civic work.
Hulsen worked his way to the top of Moorman Manufacturing and helped make it one of the leading livestock feed companies in this country.
Klingner founded Klingner & Associates civil engineering firm and was an expert on the Mississippi River and area drainage districts. He also served as Quincy's city engineer and as the Quincy Park District engineer.
The induction takes place at the chamber's annual meeting Jan. 17. Cost is $15, and reservations can be made until Jan. 15. by calling 222-7980.
Contact Staff Writer Rodney Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org or (217) 221-3370