Skip to main content

Innovator of the Year


Each year, WEDCO recognizes a business that enriches Wayne County’s character and uniqueness.


2021 Innovator of the Year - PT


2020 - Clean Energy Cooperative

2019 - Wayne Memorial Hospital

2018 - Kitty Hawk Technologies

2017 - Mocha Origins

2016 - Shemanski Maple Syrup

2015 - The Stourbridge Line

2014 - Creamworks Creamery

2013 - Estemerwalt Homes

2012 - Bold Gold Media

2011 - Burkavage Design Associates - EverGreen Elementary School 

2010 - Sculpted Ice Works

2009 - Stone Silo Food

2008 - The Grainless Bakery

2007 - Calkins Creamery

2006 - South Canaan Telephone

2005 - Foxledge

2004 - New Wave Custom Woodworking

2003 - Boyce Products Ltd.


Nomination Process  (Next round - September 2022)

Click on the links below to download nomination forms and guidelines. The forms are not lengthy, and should take an hour or less to complete.  The recipient will be honored at WEDCO’s Sustaining Member luncheon in November.

The scope of the award includes, but is not limited to, the application of new equipment or technology. Equal consideration is given to creative approaches in customer service, human resource issues / personnel relations, management, marketing, or production processes. 

Innovator of the Year Guidelines and Nomination Forms


2018 Innovator of the Year: Kitty Hawk Technologies
Established in 2013, Kitty Hawk Technologies is a Veteran-owned, Small Business that works with multiple Department of Defense (DoD) customers, including the Missile Defense Agency and the Navy, to improve agility and precision in Defense solutions in order to allow both the warfighter and the DoD to perform to the best of their abilities. The company is a key supporter of the DoD’s capability to counteract North Korea’s missile testing program. With technical services being performed in Dahlgren, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Huntsville, Alabama, Kitty Hawk’s Honesdale office is leveraging advanced information technology and adaptive procedures in order to manage those efforts remotely while maintaining the highest levels of quality to its customers.  The concept of computer-based collaborative environments, distributed engineering tools, and advanced communication networks is vital to the company’s success.

2017 Innovator of the Year: Mocha Origins
Mocha Origins received the 2017 award for the creating and modifying their production equipment to meet the needs of small batch chocolate production.  The company creates job both in Honesdale and Cameroon, Africa.  In addition to the chocolate products, Mocha Origins also roasts and packages their own coffee products.  The company is currently located on the Himalayan Institute property and welcomes visitors every Saturday at 2:00 pm for chocolate and coffee tastings.

2016 Innovator of the Year: Shemanski Maple Syrup
Shemanski Maple Syrup received the 2016 Innovator of the Year Award for the innovative way the company is utilizing technology to increase their productivity and range of products.  By utilizing state of the art collection systems and temperature control systems, Shemanski Maple Syrup is able to create a high quality natural product and increase the range of products that they are able to offer.  Stop by their location in Waymart to tour their facilities and sample their excellent products made here in Wayne County!

2015 Innovator of the Year: The Stourbridge Line
The Stourbridge Line received the 2015 Innovator of the Year Award for the innovative way the company is reviving rail service in Wayne County.  The Stourbridge Line is operated by the Delaware Lackawaxen & Stourbridge Railroad Company (DL&S), offering  a seasonal schedule with weekend service as well as community related event trains from Memorial Day through the Fall Foliage Season. Enjoy Twenty five miles miles of historic railroad winding through the Northeastern  PA along the Lackawaxen River Valley. Experience the history & beauty of this ride on The Stourbridge Line.

2014 Innovator of the Year: Creamworks
Creamworks, a four-year-old creamery operated by Riverside Farm's Chuck and Amy Theobald and their children in Creamton, PA. The Theobalds took the risky step of developing a Grade A milk bottling plant when they found traditional dairy farming unsustainable. In 2010, Creamworks processed their first two-week batch of bottled milk - 200 gallons. Today the farm bottles about 1,000 gallons a week with expanding customer outlets. As stated by their nominator, "the Theobalds are saluted as leaders in the field of dairy farming for their pursuit of a vision and advancement not only of their small business, but agriculture as a viable industry for Wayne County's future".

2012 Innovator of the Year - Bold Gold Media Group
Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Bold Gold Media Group of Honesdale, PA, has been selected the 2012 Innovator of the Year.  The award, given annually by WEDCO to a business that invigorates Wayne County's economy, promotes job creation, and enriches the County's character and uniqueness, was presented to Bold Gold Medial Group at a special members luncheon on Nov. 16.  Bold Gold was selected specifically for their development of the Radio Bold App, considered to be the most advanced mobile application in the radio industry.  Vince Benedetto, president of Bold Gold, accepted the award on behalf of the company.  "It was important that we become one of the first to walk down the path of integrating mobile technology with our business," said Mr. Benedetto.  "We wanted big technology."

2011 Innovator of the Year - Burkavage Design Associates/EverGreen Elementary
Burkavage Design Associates was honored for the EverGreen Elementary School project.  Buckavage Design Associates served as project architects for the 105,000 SF building, which has a student capacity of 900. The firm has been in existence since 1948 and has completed $2.5 billion in projects throughout the northeast region and beyond, including the ER expansion at Wayne Memorial Hospital.  WEDCO also recognized Western Wayne School District for their role in the project; Ellen Faliskie, principal of EverGreen Elementary School. accepted the award for the school district.

2010 Innovator of the Year - Sculpted Ice Works
Mark Crouthamel founded Sculpted Ice Works eleven years ago in Paupack Township as an extension of his culinary career. While working as a chef at both Ehrhardt’s Restaurant and Woodloch, he recognized that there was a demand for ice carvers within the region. It was an entrepreneurial desire, not latent artistic ability that drove him to the trade. His first attempts were unspectacular. Two years after his initial class, and vow to never try ice sculpting again, he took up the chainsaw and approached the trade as a craftsman. The more he sculpted, the more he learned about shapes and dimensions and how to approach one form from another. When he started the part-time business it was “just me, a chainsaw, and a marketing assistant”.  The company also manufactures 12,000 blocks of clear ice annually, a high quality product that is coveted by sculptors. The blocks are made in 40 gallon cabinets, which look like big  coolers. The water is circulated to keep the ice clear and cooling plates at the bottom of the containers freeze the water over a three-day period. Sculpted Ice Works is the largest producer of block ice in the northeast and their market includes the metro areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

2009 Innovator of the Year – Stone Silo Foods

Stone Silo Foods was founded in 1994 by husband and wife team David and Laurie Hazzard with business partner Jim Struble. For a number of years, the Hazzards operated a restaurant in South Sterling well-known for its charming atmosphere and exceptional food. They now co-own and operate a successful food manufacturing company specializing in seafood products.  The story of how this came about resonates well in Wayne County.   In this part of the country, our winters are long, people stay close to home, and many of our industries, particularly hospitality, experience a decline in revenue. In the heart of their restaurant – the kitchen – the Hazzards worked with one of their original recipes to see if they could produce it in greater quantities. The hope and intent was to take the product to a larger market and thus earn additional revenue to offset the typical seasonal decline. Their first customer was Dutch’s Market; though the owner good-naturedly deemed the venture “crazy”, he agreed to take on the product. And the rest is history and a story of perseverance and hard work.  


2008 Innovator of the Year – The Grainless Bakery, Inc.

The Grainless Baker manufactures breads, pastries, cookies and other food products from their own gluten-free recipes.  The Grainless Baker is one of only a handful of food manufacturers in the United States making this type of product, and some of the foods made in their Wayne County facility are not produced anywhere else in the world.  Their non-traditional product requires non-traditional equipment, and The Grainless Baker employs a Canadian-based firm to modify equipment suitable for their production process.  Other partners are university researchers and hospitals where new food sources are being explored and refined that would be tolerated by those with celiac disease.

2007 Innovator of the Year - Calkins Creamery

Calkins Creamery blends technology and innovation with the daily rigor of operating a dairy farm.  Emily Bryant Montgomery knows what it is like to grow up on a dairy farm. She and her siblings are the fifth generation raised on Highland Farms, a 240-acre dairy farm established by the Bryant family in 1841 near the eastern edge of Wayne County, PA. Emily left her home to attend Penn State University, obtained a degree in food science, and eventually settled with her husband Jay in California. Both gained knowledge in food processing – Emily took a course in cheese-making at Cal Poly University and Jay worked with an ice cream manufacturing company. Love of family and country living, and the desire to have their children experience the life Emily knew as a child, brought the Montgomery’s back to Wayne County. Their efforts to create a value-added product to improve the farm’s sustainability, while also adding to tourism within the County, has led to Calkins Creamery’s selection as Innovator of the Year.

2006 Innovator of the Year - South Canaan Telephone

Transformation- this single word may best describe our 2006 Innovator of the Year. For a technology-based company to survive for over 100 years, it must have the ability to transform itself in order to remain competitive and provide the best possible services to its customers.  South Canaan Telephone was selected by WEDCO as the 2006 Innovator of the year because of its progressive management and continued technology investment. Customers of the small, independent telephone company have access to an array of telecommunication services which enables them to have a significant advantage over many other rural communities. At a time when telecom technology is at its most critical, South Canaan Telephone has not only competed, it has thrived.

2005 Innovator of the Year – Fox Ledge, Inc.
Since beginning operations in 1994, the company has grown to a workforce of 70 that bottles spring and distilled water under many private labels for delivery from Maine to Washington, D.C.  Technology, innovation, creativity all have a place in the story of this thriving bottled water company, and have led to Fox Ledge’s selection as Innovator of the Year. Fox Ledge captures water that bubbles up from a clear, natural spring tucked in the hills of northern Wayne County, filters and purifies it, and then bottles it for consumers in an expanding northeast market.  High technology ensures that the water is safe for consumers. Water flows through a series of filters to remove particulates and purity is maintained through the use of ultra-violet light. Finally the water goes through an ozone chamber, which essentially purifies the water in the same manner as chlorine, without the residual taste or odor.  Fox Ledge water quality must meet standards that are set internally as well as externally. Testing is performed on a daily basis by Fox Ledge and a separate private enterprise. Fox Ledge also maintains an in-house quality control laboratory, where testing extends beyond water to include bottles, caps and labels.

2004 Innovator of the Year – New Wave Custom Woodworking, Inc
“We have gradually used machines to do jobs that were formerly done by hand, yet have not changed the hand-made quality of the frames we produce.” – Rudy Schemitz, President.  Like so many other furniture manufacturers in the country,  New Wave has felt the sting of foreign competition. Modern tooling has moved away from the handmade, individual piece paradigm towards one of high volume mass production. New Wave’s desire to produce high-quality products while improving production processes to meet customer demand, has led to innovation in tools and techniques, and has earned them this year’s award.  New Wave is a furniture frame manufacturer that provides wooden frames for the upholstery business. Located in Honesdale, the company has been shipping a value-added product from Wayne County for more than 13 years, utilizing the talents of the local workforce. Their hallmark is to provide pieces of exceptional quality, in quantities of one to 1000, with consistency, reasonable delivery time, and excellent customer service. Using pattern following tools, the company has devised jigs to make legs and chair parts that formerly could only be made by hand. Through skills development and technology, New Wave has been able to provide repeatable production pieces to their principle customers using local hardwood species and exotic woods.  Through innovation, New Wave is meeting the challenge of the contemporary market—to provide a quality product at a competitive price and to keep jobs in America.
2003 Innovator of the Year – Boyce Products, Ltd.
David Boyce, founder of Boyce Products Ltd., has directed the growth of his company from a small millwork business operating out of a garage to a national company with renown clients such as CNN, National Geographic, American Museum of Natural History, and Paramount Pictures.  We could title this salute “local man does well”, because indeed, it is so. From the pastoral hills of northern Wayne County came a man with an inventive mind and a vision to create some of the most innovative furniture in use today. David Boyce, founder of Boyce Products Ltd., has directed the growth of his company from a small millwork business operating out of a garage to a national company with renown clients such as CNN, National Geographic, American Museum of Natural History, and Paramount Pictures.  Boyce Products manufactures custom contract furniture. The company’s ability to identify a need, and provide a solution by integrating the functional aspects of furniture with technological advancements, has resulted in several patents, including BoyceWal™ System (a movable wall system which combines custom glass with solid hardwood), Trino™ table (a table system made of a single repeated component capable of creating a table of many sizes and shapes), and Tablevue™ (a pop-up system for monitors and power systems).