On Thursday, the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce announced their annual awards during a virtual celebration and elimination raffle. Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner announced the 2022 Business Man of the Year winner as Chris Wendling:
“Our business man of the year is the third generation owner of one of Upshur County’s most important legacy businesses.
“Originally opening in Charleston, West Virginia, A.F. Wendling’s was established in 1913 by Albert F. Wendling, but for the past 50 years, its home has been right here in Buckhannon. In 1999 our honoree took over the business and all of its operations.
“At that time, Wendling’s was located on Wood Street in South Buckhannon, housed in a 27,000 square foot facility with 30 employees. Since taking the business over, he learned from his father, Fred, and has exponentially grown the business, which is now under 81,000 square feet located in the former Ames shopping plaza in Tennerton with more than 100 employees – many of these employees have been a part of the Wendling’s family for more than 20 years.
“This ever-growing business and the loyalty felt by the family of employees is a testament to how or honoree truly appreciates the dedication of everyone in the business. He always strives to provide the best for his family, and carefully considers the well-being of every employee and their families as well. He cares about their success and their happiness, letting that care drive every decision he makes.
“That same level of care and concern extends deep into our community as well. He donates and partners with countless local projects through our education system, Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce, youth sports, and West Virginia Wesleyan College.
“Through all these changes and growth, including acquiring another company in Staunton, Virginia, Chris remains individually focused and goes the extra mile to feed his customers and hometown success. Because of his leadership, A.F. Wendling is a thriving in family-oriented environment.
“In addition to our honoree, his wife and parents remain actively involved in the business each day. He and Charity are proud parents of four children who will become the fourth generation owners of A.F. Wendling’s right here in Buckhannon.
“Please join me as we congratulate our 2021 Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce Business Man of the Year: Chris Wendling.”