UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen, 308.865.8208

Tom Henning, president and CEO of Kearney-based Cash-Wa Distributing Co., has been awarded the Ron and Carol Cope Cornerstone of Excellence Award from the University of Nebraska at Kearney

In presenting the award, UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen said: “Tom has distinguished himself as a pillar of the Kearney community and as an important, long-time supporter of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He exemplifies everything for which the Cope Award was created and has made an indelible mark on this institution.” The award was presented during Friday commencement ceremonies.

The Ron and Carol Cope Cornerstone of Excellence Award was established in 2003 and is presented to individuals who have provided significant service, support and promotion of UNK, the greater Kearney area, the State of Nebraska and the objectives of higher education. Like the Copes, after whom the award is named, recipients must be true “cornerstones” of the university. The award is university-wide, and all nominations are reviewed and approved by the University Board of Regents.

“Personally and professionally,” Chancellor Kristensen said, “Tom Henning is extraordinarily dedicated to Kearney, to Nebraska and to the University of Nebraska. His accomplishments and affiliations are testaments to a lifetime of service and generous commitment.”

Henning is a member of the NU President’s Club and the UNK Chancellor’s Circle. He actively serves the University of Nebraska Foundation in a variety of capacities, including the Foundation’s Campaign for Nebraska, UNK Committee. He is a member of the UNK Alumni Association, the Loper Athletic Club, and the Dean’s Advisory Boards for both the College of Fine Arts and Humanities and the College of Business and Technology.

“UNK calls on him often, and he never fails to contribute in significant and meaningful ways,” Chancellor Kristensen said.

Henning is also active in Kearney community organizations. His community service includes: membership on the Good Samaritan Health Systems Board of Directors, Kearney’s Air Transportation Committee, the Kearney Area Community Foundation, the Merryman Performing Arts Center Board of Directors and the Buffalo County Economic Development Council, to name just a few.

The Kearney-based Cash-Wa Distributing Company Henning heads is a 78-year-old company that has remained privately owned by the Henning family and has grown to include three distribution centers with representatives serving all or part of nine Great Plains states. The company, which is the 20th largest Broadline Foodservice Distributor in the nation among more than 1,500 peers, was recently recognized as the Nebraska Diplomats Industry of the Year for its growth in jobs and capital gains. Henning has been employed at Cash-Wa since 1971 when he graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He has served as president and CEO of the company since 1988.