Kennon Products, Inc. has served the aerospace industry for over 30 years. With humble beginnings in 1984 as a garage-shop operation, Kennon has evolved considerably, and now designs and produces products for customers as diverse as the U.S. military, aerospace OEMs, hospitals, oil and gas companies, aircraft owners, and recently, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Looking to expand, the State Loan and Investment Board approved a $3.2 million grant and loan project to the Sheridan Economic and Education Development Authority joint powers board in January to build a 40,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Sheridan for Kennon Products. With the help of the grant, Kennon will be able to explore new product lines and hire 39 new workers.
Kennon also recently won the Sheridan Chamber of Commerce Large Business of the Year award.
Interviews with Kennon employees:
ACT staff were given a behind the scenes tour and had a chance to talk to VP of Research and Development Mark Weitz and Quality Manager Linsday Fischer about the goings-on at Kennon.
When was your business founded/established? What is the history behind Kennon?
Mark W. – Ron Kensey co-founded Kennon in a small rented garage in California in 1984 and moved the company to Sheridan in 1989. Kennon is an employee-owned company that manufactures products and provides engineering services to a multitude of markets including the Department of Defense, commercial, military aviation, NASA and behavioral healthcare. The company is inspired by and committed to the protection of high value assets, from aircraft and other essential equipment, to the most important asset: life.
What has surprised you most about your job?
Lindsay F. – The quality management, we’ve formalized our processes and are now able to compete with very large companies.
What has been your biggest success or favorite project
Mark W. – I really enjoyed working on the V-22 Osprey. Part of our project was creating an interior kit for heads of states and dignitaries including the HMX-1 Nighthawks.
What makes your business unique to Sheridan?
Lindsay F. – We are a very unique local company that doesn’t sell any products locally, but we are very involved within our community. The company and its employees volunteer over 2,600 hours and provide $70,000 in charitable contributions annually.
Which businesses are you inspired by?
Lindsay F. – We recently won the Chambers Large Business of the Year award and our fellow nominees of Bighorn Design Studio, Blacktooth Brewing Company, Sheridan Media and Wyoming Roofing are all companies whose value to the community we recognize and we applaud their efforts.
What’s happening in the future for Kennon that you’re excited about?
Mark W. – We’ll be opening a new facility that will be three or four times the space. The State loan and investment Board approved funding in January to help us construct a manufacturing facility.
What is on your wish list for your next five years here?
Mark W. – Continuing to expand with a new building and allow the growth from the new location to continue to grow our company.
What is your favorite part about living/working in Sheridan?
Lindsay F. – My favorite part is the quality of life; our community is incredibly generous, the education system is wonderful and there is immense opportunity for involvement no matter what a person’s interests may be.
VP of Research and Development Mark Weitz shows ACT staff various projects that Kennon has worked on.