Bill Weigel gets 2018 PBPA award

Sandra ClarkOur Town Leaders, Powell

Bill Weigel, board chair of Powell-based Weigel’s Stores, was named Business Person of the Year for 2018 by the Powell Business & Professional Association. The award was presented in March because Weigel was out of town for previous meetings.

Justin Bailey outlined the reasons for the award, and Weigel received a standing ovation from the 100-plus club members and guests present.

Bill Weigel and Justin Bailey

“The mark of a person is to leave things better than they found them. Bill Weigel fits that description to a tee. And that’s why we’re proud to honor him as the 2018 Powell Business Person of the Year,” said Bailey. Read full remarks: Bill Weigel_PBPA Business Person of the Year

“Powell is my home, it’s where I grew up,” said Weigel. “I love the Powell Station, the way we’re growing; yet I’m proud of how we’ve stayed (with small-town closeness).

“Justin has got me involved in everything (the PBPA) has going on. I want you to know, I’m up to the task.”

Weigel was tapped to lead Powell’s inaugural flotilla. He practiced kayaking before the event and led over 100 watercrafts down Beaver Creek like a pro. As a treat, he stationed company executives at the take-out to provide cold drinks and a hand up the creekbank.

Weigel, now 80, remains active in the family business that he joined in 1960. Billy, as he is known by friends in Powell, grew up on the family farm, Broadacres, now a subdivision of the same name. The red barn remains and Broadacres Dairy still processes milk on site. But the cows are gone as is the vegetable farm operated by the Weigel brothers prior to 1931. More company history here.

Leadership: Bill Weigel is respected by company associates – check the company social media here.

He’s mindful of his family’s legacy and selective in his choices of community support. He’s a board member and bell ringer for the Salvation Army. And since 2007, he’s proudly hosted the Weigel’s Family Christmas event, which includes a hearty breakfast and a shopping excursion to an area Kmart or Target store for Christmas shopping. Adult volunteers accompany each child with smiles on every face.

When the Knoxville Journal ceased operation, Weigel adopted the milk fund, in conjunction with the News Sentinel. It was a perfect fit.

He’s a visionary, leading Weigel’s into drive-thru milk stores (architecturally, small buildings with uplifted “wings”) and then into convenience food stores. And now into expansive, well-lit stores with a virtual kitchen – a place to pick up pizza or hot food for dinner.

Think of the dairy farmers who didn’t build stores. Think of the small-store owners who didn’t expand with gasoline and ready-to-eat foods. Then give a nod to Billy Weigel – the business leader who has proven he is “up to the task.”

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