28 Sep Chamber of Commerce Announces Selection of 2011 President’s Award
The McPherson Chamber of Commerce would like to announce the selection of the 2011 President’s Award is Norlan Ferguson of Ferguson Production. The Past Presidents of the McPherson Chamber of Commerce each year select a candidate who has given unselfishly of their time for the betterment of the business community and has contributed to the McPherson business community that is readily identifiable and have a long term impact. Norlan will join a long list of honorees dating back to 1966 with Bill Sheets being the first and when the award was the Man of the Year until 1982 when it was renamed the President’s Award.
Norlan Ferguson grew up in Severy, Kansas. After high school graduation, he served four years in the Navy as a machine repairman. “I received early interest in high school through my vocational agriculture teacher, Alvin House. I then received further training and experience in working with tools in the Navy. I went into the Navy young and green, but I came out with a trade”, Norlan said.
He continued to gain knowledge and experience in the tooling and mold maker industry, eventually attaining the position of Tooling and Maintenance Manager for Century Plastics located in El Dorado. When a Dallas-based company purchased Century, the mission changed and they began providing moldings exclusively for their parent company. Realizing Century Plastic’s former customers were left without a provider, Ferguson saw an opportunity to start his own business.
In 1974, he bought his first molding machine from Century Plastics, moved it into his garage in Eureka, KS, and hired someone to run it for him as he continued working full-time. Two years later he resigned from Century and started focusing all his attention on his newly formed business, Ferguson Production.
They excelled in the custom plastic injection molding business, making it vital to expand and grow. McPherson Industrial Development Corporation, the McPherson banking community, and the McPherson Chamber of Commerce were all instrumental in the successful move of the business to McPherson in 1992. Thirty-seven years later the business has grown from a one-man operation in his home garage to an impressive 66,000 square foot industrial building with 150 employees, and the business is poised for further growth.
Norlan earned his pilot’s license in 1982 feeling it would be beneficial to the business. His interest in flying has continued, and he currently is a Board Member of the McPherson Airport. Impressed with the Chamber’s assistance to him, Norlan wanted to help with their efforts in assisting other businesses and promoting economic growth in the area. He served as a board member from 2004-2007 and continues to serve on several committees, including the committee for the When Pigs Fly event.
Believing in community participation, Norlan is a member of the Board Member of the McPherson Airport, VFW, American Legion, Mason Lodge, ISIS Shriners, the Chamber, and a member of the United Methodist Church.
Norlan will be honored at the McPherson Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, Expo and Annual Meeting scheduled for Thursday, October 20 – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Best Western Holiday Manor Convention Center. The evening will include Business After Hours, Expo, Chamber Presentation, networking and Hors d’ Oeuvres. Cash bar will be available. There is an admission charge for the evening and reservations are required by October 17 by calling the Chamber at 241-3303.