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Jack and Pete Herschend to receive Excellence in Business Award from OTC

Jack and Peter Herschend, co-founders and co-owners of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation (formerly Silver Dollar City, Inc.), will be the recipients of Ozarks Technical Community College’s 2012 Excellence in Business Award, to be presented Friday, March 9. The award ceremony will be held from 8-9:15 a.m. at the Hickory Hills Country Club in Springfield.

The event will include “A Conversation with Jack and Peter Herschend,” led by Jim Anderson, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.  Reservations are $25; visit or contact Kristin Farish at (417) 447-2651 to reserve your seat.  Past recipients of the award include John Q. Hammons, members of the O’Reilly family, SRC’s Jack Stack, Great Southern’s Bill Turner, real estate icon Carol Jones, and business owner and attorney Sam Hamra.

Jack Herschend is Chairman Emeritus of the board of directors of Herschend Family Entertainment and previously has served as chairman, president and CEO of the organization. His brother Peter served as executive vice president of the organization for 20 years and then as vice chairman of the board until he retired from that position in 2006.

Over the years, the brothers have expanded the family business interests: Herschend Family Entertainment owns, operates or partners in 26 properties in 12 states. Since the company was founded in the early 1960s, the many properties have been internationally awarded numerous times for excellence in theme, presentation and operations, including the worldwide Applause Award for excellence and the THEA Award (Themed Entertainment Association). Jack and Peter have been personally recognized for industry excellence, having been named to the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions Hall of Fame in 2004, and they were co-recipients of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Central Midwest for 2005.

In addition to their business interests, the Herschends have been active in serving their community. Jack began a reforestation program that has been recognized with an award from the National Arbor Day Foundation, and serves on the boards of several organizations including the Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch, Kids Across America and the National Institute of Marriage. Peter serves as chairman of the board of Upper White River Basin Foundation, also known as Ozarks Water Watch, and is on the board of directors of Camp Barnabas. Peter has served on the Missouri State Board of Education since December of 1991, and has been involved with the boards of the Missouri Attractions Association, Travel Industry Association of America, International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, and the Ozark Marketing Council. He was recently named the Education Supporter of the Year, an honor bestowed by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.

Recipients of the Excellence in Business Award are selected based on the following criteria: leader of an Ozarks regional business, entrepreneurial success, innovative business growth, ability to overcome challenges with integrity, supporter of educational development, customer-driven quality, and community achievement.  The 2012 event is presented in cooperation with the Springfield News-Leader, Clear Channel Radio, and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.


Mark Miller

College Director of Communication

Phone: 417.447.2655


Laura French

Coordinator of Public Information

Phone: 417.447.2659


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