Two New Members to Enter SC Business HOF; Graves Drug Store to Receive Business Builder Award

The Southwestern College Business Hall of Fame will add two new names Saturday, April 13.  Larry Ewart and Cory Helmer will join the ranks of other distinguished business leaders in Southwestern College history. The Business Builder Award will be presented to Dared and Renee Price, owners of Graves Drug Store.
The agenda for the hall of fame induction begins at 8 a.m., with the unveiling of plaques and a breakfast in the Deets Library, immediately followed by the induction ceremony in Richardson Performing Arts Center.  The cost of the breakfast is $15, seating is limited and RSVP is required. 
This year’s inductees include:
•         Larry Ewart ’73 began his 40-year career in crop insurance on a part-time basis when he joined Wheat Growers Mutual Hail Insurance Company in 1974, continuing when the company merged with FMH in 1994. He became state supervisor of Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma in 2003, and vice president—claims manager in 2009. During that year he also became a member of the newly-created management committee, later taking on management of the Internal Claims Reporting Center in addition to managing the external claims staff. In 2015 Ewart was named senior vice president and national claims manager. He has been a champion of change over the years, and is credited with transforming the claims operations at FMH, as well as being an advocate for the industry as a member of a number of NCIS committees.
 •      Cory Helmer ’99 has chosen to make his career in the same city where he was born and raised, Winfield, and has focused on improving up his hometown as well as his industry. He is currently Winfield/Udall market president of the Union State Bank. Coryis a 2004 graduate of the Kansas Bankers Association Commercial Lending School and a 2012 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has worked in the banking industry for more than 20 years. He also is active in the community, currently serving as the vice-chair for the Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Board of Director for the William Newton Healthcare Foundation. Helmer is active at Grace United Methodist Church in Winfield where he is the finance chair.
The Graves Drug Store has a decades long presence in Cowley County, both as a pharmacy and gift store, and as a community business leader. Established in 1947, the company has changed and adapted to remain relevant and ground breaking. Dared and Renee Price purchased the Winfield and Arkansas City stores from the Graves family in 2010 and have responded to customer needs with a multitude of changes to the operations and business focuses of the stores. Graves now offers compounding, immunization, packaging and compliance services; patient counseling and medication reconciliation; medication therapy management; and smoking cessation programs. The gift department added an ecommerce component and has seen a growth in sales of more than 80% in each of the past three years.
The Prices also serve on boards of directors for various organizations in Cowley County and are
enthusiastic supporters of community development.
The induction ceremony is a part of Founders Weekend at Southwestern Thursday through Sunday, April 11-14.
For more information about Founders Weekend at Southwestern College, contact Charles McKinzie, director of alumni engagement, at (620) 222-1135.
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