Van Horn lauded for Letterkenny redevelopment at FCADC awards

SHADY GROVE, Pa. — Two businesses on the rise and a person with a lifetime of economic development and civic accomplishments were honored Thursday night during the Franklin County Area Development Corp.’s annual industry-appreciation dinner.

John M. Van Horn, executive director of the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority, was the recipient of the 27th Zane A. Miller Award, the highest recognition bestowed by the FCADC.

During his more than 20 years with LIDA, the Cumberland Valley Business Park was developed, with 40 companies now supporting 1,300 private-sector jobs.

Van Horn has overseen the renovation and reuse of more than 2 million square feet of industrial buildings, the construction of two totaling 60,000 square feet, and 1,200 acres of land accessed by the U.S. Army.

“I am very fortunate to work with a great team,” Van Horn said in an emotional acceptance speech. “It’s been a challenge, and we appreciate this community being behind us.”

The award recognized Van Horn’s dedication to the overall economic, cultural and civic well-being of Franklin County.

“I’m very fortunate to have faith, family and friends,” he said. “We live in this little, quiet valley, and it’s so beautiful, and we’re so fortunate. All of us are blessed to live here, work here — Caledonia to Cowans Gap, Pen Mar to Path Valley. We are so blessed.”

Epiroc Drilling Tools LLC, formerly known as Atlas Copco Secoroc, in Fort Loudon was named Large Business of the Year for its steadfast commitment to its employees, customers and community that it serves.

During the past decade, Epiroc has moved operations from Virginia and Texas to its Fort Loudon location. Adding nearly 100,000 square feet in warehouse, shipping, office and production space in that time, employment has ballooned from 30 to more than 150.

“It’s very much an honor to support more than 150 families in this community,” Epiroc General Manager Keith Mackling said in accepting the award. “We have people who are passionate every day, people who show us every day, people who want to make a difference.

“We never imagined nearly 30 years ago when we started operations in Fort Loudon that we’d have what we have there today.”

The Baxter Group Inc. of Chambersburg, provider of environmental-remediation and air-quality solutions since 1989, was named Small Business of the Year.

Owner Jocelyne Melton praised her team in accepting the honor. She shared how the company overcame adversity.

In 2016, it expanded its services to home renovation, remodeling and basement waterproofing.

“On behalf of Baxter Group, we really appreciate this moment in time,” Melton said.

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