Business of the Year: Wenger Manufacturing, Marel announce philanthropic gift

Representatives from Wenger Marel speak at the Sabetha Greater Community Foundation Gala on Saturday, January 14. Pictured are (L-R) Jesper Hjortshoj, Paul Wenger, Will Eisenbise and Landon Bailey.

Wenger Manufacturing was honored at the Greater Sabetha Community Foundation Celebration Gala as the Sabetha Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year on Saturday, Jan. 14.

At the Greater Sabetha Community Celebration Gala, Marel and Wenger Manufacturing officials announced the creation of the Wenger Marel Charitable Fund, a philanthropic charitable fund. The fund will support sustainable development and community investment in the following areas: 1) Reading and STEM Education, 2) Food, Nutrition and Water, and 3) Community Support. This statement on their website emphasizes their philosophy: “Through partnership, Marel aims to empower external organizations, our customers and employees to support the communities in which we operate.”

As part of the acquisition of Wenger Manufacturing Inc., Marel proposed a philanthropic commitment of $4 million. An agreement between Marel executives, the Greater Sabetha Community Foundation and GMCF was finalized to create the Wenger Marel Charitable Fund. An executive board will be formed to administer grants from the fund to the Sabetha community and other communities where Wenger has an industrial and employment presence.

This announcement was made to the community by Wenger and Marel executives, Paul Wenger and Jesper Hjortshoj.

“We are very proud stewards of the Wenger legacy. I have known the company for many years, and I have admired the company for many years. We always admired Wenger, but we never really got it. How can you build the world’s center for this type of technology in northeast Kansas?” Hjortshoj said. “Now, I tell the 8,000 people who work for Marel, why is Wenger so special? It is what you talk about here. It is a community where people support each other. Where they support businesses that are here, families that are here. And that is why we, as part of the process of the acquisition of Wenger, decided to donate these $4 million that will be managed by the Greater Sabetha Community Foundation for the good of the community.”

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