The Herald, Sharon, PA Published Monday, Oct. 8, 2001


YSU gives distinguished citizen award to Wendell August Forge owner Knecht

GROVE CITY -- F.W. "Bill" Knecht III, chairman and chief executive officer of Wendell August Forge in Grove City, was presented the Youngstown State University 2001 Distinguished Citizen Award.

This accolade represents the highest mark of distinction given by the university. Recipients are honored for outstanding professional achievements, personal commitment and contributions made to YSU and the Youngstown community.

Knecht's son, F.W. "Will" Knecht IV, was the master of ceremonies. The program included remarks by YSU's development director, president and board of trustees chairman, with Will Knecht making the final presentation and introduction.

More than 400 people, including Grove City College President and First Lady, Dr. John H. and Sue Moore, attended the ceremony.

After graduating in 1962 from Youngstown State with a bachelor's degree, Knecht was an IBM sales representative. During the next 16 years, he received yearly recognition for his achievements and was made a member of IBM's 1974 Golden Circle. This recognition designated him as one of the top 100 salespersons in the country.

Knecht bought Wendell August Forge in 1978, which is the nation's oldest and largest hand forge and hosts thousands of visitors each year. Showrooms are located in Grove City; Berlin, Ohio; and Prime Outlets of Grove City, Pine Township.

Knecht is a trustee of Grove City College and Youngstown State. At Grove City College, he serves on the Building and Grounds Committee. He also serves on the boards of Penn Northwest Development Corporation; Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Mahoning Valley Historical Society; and Youngstown and Rockwell Springs Trout clubs.

Knecht and his wife, Connie, have two children and five grandchildren.

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