WVC Distinguished Alumni of the Year

Wenatchee Valley College Distinguished Alumni of the Year

Media Contacts: Libby Siebens, executive director of community relations, 509.682.6436 (Mon. – Thurs.)

Jerry Kenoyer of Cashmere will receive the 2014 Wenatchee Valley College Distinguished Alumni of the Year award at the 75th anniversary community celebration on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Wenatchee campus. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. around the fountain. Kenoyer is a life-long resident of Cashmere and highly respected member of the fruit industry.

Jerry Kenoyer, WVC Distinguished Alumni of the YearAfter the death of his father when he was 13, Kenoyer and his two older siblings helped take care of their two younger siblings while their mother worked to support the family. He also worked in the family orchard. He graduated from Cashmere High School in 1953 and went on to attend Wenatchee Valley College, where he served as president of the associated student body and also met his future wife, Lucy Doneen, a Wells House girl and now a member of the Wells House Committee.

Kenoyer began working part time as a bookkeeper at Blue Star Growers in Cashmere while attending college. After he graduated from WVC in 1955, he continued to work in the accounting department for 14 years and in 1969 was promoted to general manager, a position he has held for more than 45 years. In a nomination letter, Kirk B. Mayer wrote that Kenoyer "has guided the Cooperative to be recognized as a premiere pear packing facility in Washington state and the number one packer of d'anjou pears."

Kenoyer has served the fruit industry through a variety of venues: as trustee of the Washington-Oregon-California Pear Bureau; chairman of the Washington-Oregon Canned Pear Association; board member of the Washington Pear Marketing Association, Wenoka Sales Inc. and Majestic Valley Produce; and president of Northwest Wholesale Inc.

He has also been a dedicated community leader. He has served on both the Monitor and Cashmere school boards, and has been a member of the Cashmere Rotary Club since 1965. He became a member of Cashmere High School's "Wall of Fame" in 2005 due to his contributions to the community. In 2004, he helped coordinate a WVC alumni reunion.

Kenoyer's daughter, Diane Kenoyer Norwood, wrote in a nomination letter, "These life lessons led Jerry to teach his own children and grandchildren the importance of education, hard work and being committed to family. My father has always stressed the importance of earning an education, as a way to increase opportunities and provide for one's family."

"The most endearing thing about Jerry is his modesty," Greg Taylor wrote in a nomination letter. "As much as [he] contributes to Rotary, he never calls attention to it. As prosperous as Blue Star has been, you'd never know he is the manager from the humble way he carries himself. He takes the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren with quiet pride.... He gives Lucy 100% of the credit for the unity and goodness of his family."

Jerry and Lucy Kenoyer have four children and nine grandchildren.

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Wenatchee Valley College enriches North Central Washington by serving educational and cultural needs of communities and residents throughout the service area. The college provides high-quality transfer, liberal arts, professional/technical, basic skills and continuing education for students of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Visit our website at www.wvc.edu.