Michael E. Horn of Horn Industrial Companies; Chris C. Reid, chairman and CEO of Independence Bank; and the late John Geoffrey "Pete" Barnard, founder of Modern Welding Co., will be inducted into the Owensboro Business Hall of Fame at a Junior Achievement luncheon at the Owensboro Convention Center on Jan. 14.

And by then, there may be a permanent location for the Business Hall of Fame.

Dan Douglas, president of Junior Achievement of West Kentucky, said a likely location has been found.

When details are worked out, he said, an announcement will be made about the site.

• In 1978, Horn established National Steel Erection Inc. and later Titan Contracting and Leasing Co. Inc.

The companies work in all 50 states.

Horn also owns and leads Titan Fabrication, Inco Services, Milco Constructors, M Industrial Mechanical and Midwest Consulting under the umbrella of Horn Industrial Services.

And in 2007, he created the Michael E. Horn Family Foundation, which supports causes and projects in the area.

• Reid has spent more than 40 years in banking with what's now Independence Bank.

His father, Charles A. Reid, and uncle, Maurice E. Reisz, bought two small banks -- Farmers and Merchants Bank of McLean County and Providence State Bank of Webster County -- in 1971.

They were merged to form Independence Bank in 1997.

When Reid's father died in 2001, he became president of the family-owned bank, serving in that capacity until last year when the mantle passed to his son, Jacob Reid.

During Reid's years at the helm the bank, it grew to 25 locations from Lexington to Paducah with assets of $2.4 billion.

• Barnard was born and raised on an Ohio County farm.

He began his career as a welder in Central City and then moved to Alton, Illinois, before becoming superintendent of pipe fabrication for a Gary, Indiana, steel mill.

In June 1932, Barnard and his wife came home to visit family.

While the women visited the department stores downtown, Barnard stepped into a small welding shop on the northwest corner of Second and Frederica streets.

The owner was wanting to move to Florida. And Barnard was wanting to come home.

That was in the depths of the Great Depression.

And some told him he was crazy to quit a good job and buy a welding shop.

But by the time Barnard died on Jan. 18, 1982, at age 83, the company that began as a one-man operation had become a $70 million corporation with 750 employees in seven states.

Today, the company's website has it has nine steel tank and vessel fabrication subsidiaries across the United States, two facilities that fabricate structural steel and special custom fabrication products and five welding supply stores in Kentucky and Indiana.

Modern Welding is still family owned.

Douglas said that German American Bank has come aboard as the title sponsor of the annual induction dinner.

Amy Jackson, regional president of the bank, said German American is "looking forward to many years" of sponsoring the luncheons -- which will be in the convention center's German American Ballroom.

In 1997, the inaugural class was William M. Elmer, former president of Texas Gas Transmission Corp.; Roy Burlew, founder of Ken-Rad, a company that was sold later to General Electric Corp. and later became MPD Inc.; and Charles E. Field, founder of Field Packing Co., now SFG.

In 1998, attorney Morton Holbrook, home builder William Thompson and newspaper publisher Lawrence Hager were added.

And in 2000, the final year until this year, Carol Martin "Bill" Gatton, whose career includes banking and auto sales; L. Berkley Davis Sr., former head of General Electric in Owensboro and William Taylor Stevenson, former president of Texas Gas were included.

Then program went dormant until January when Malcolm Bryant, CEO of the Malcolm Bryant Corp., and Terry Woodward, owner of WaxWorks/VideoWorks, were inducted.

Douglas said inductees were chosen by a local selection committee based on lifetime achievement, business excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, courageous thinking and action, inspiring leadership, community impact and service as a role model.

The luncheon induction ceremony benefits JA, which Douglas said served a record 21,240 area students -- including 10,197 in Daviess County -- last year.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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