The Huntington University Foundation honored local business owner Ralph Johnson on Thursday, Sept. 12, with its Distinguished Service Award.
Johnson was presented with a framed citation during the foundation's 75th anniversary dinner.
The Huntington University Foundation established the award in 2002 to recognize individuals or organizations that embody the principles associated with the mission of the university.
Recipients are chosen because they give substance and credence to the university's beliefs, make significant contributions to the Huntington County community and serve as effective role models for students.
As a businessman in the Huntington community, Johnson grew his father's gas and oil distribution business from two trucks into a thriving company which today has two divisions, wholesale distribution and retail.
Johnson is now retired and the company is operated by his children, Ryan Johnson and Darlene Stanley. Ryan Johnson runs the wholesale division, which is operated as Johnson Petroleum, Inc., and Stanley runs the retail division which is operated as Johnson Junction, Inc.
Today, the wholesale division has four retail locations as well as a quick lube station, a truck stop/wash and a warehouse.
The retail division operates five gas stations/convenience stores and the company employs more than 60 individuals.
Since 1938, the Huntington University Foundation has assisted Huntington County residents who attend Huntington University through the annual Huntington County Grant and endowed scholarships.
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the foundation is planning special events throughout the year, including the monthly breakfast series and a drive to raise $75,000 for scholarships.
"We want to honor and celebrate our 75th with this special amount," Ed Vessels, foundation president, said.
Complete caption: Ralph Johnson (third from left) and his wife Barbara Johnson (second from left) receive the Huntington University Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award from Ed Vessels (left), foundation president, and Huntington University President Sherilyn Emberton on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the annual foundation dinner.