The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the National Rivers Hall of Fame to those people who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways. The National Rivers Hall of Fame with members in 36 states is the only national museum telling the stories of the people of America’s rivers.
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Honored in 2007
Ken Wheeler resides in Paducah, Kentucky. He was employed by Litton Industries for 24 years, where he was a vital member of the team that produced nuclear submarines. From 1977 to 1980, he was vice-president of submarine programs at Ingalls. Since joining Midland Enterprises in 1981, Wheeler has held several positions, including vice-president of maintenance and repair at Port Allen Marine, president of Walker Boat Yard, vice- president of Hartley Marine, president of R&W Marine and vice-president of maintenance and repair for all Midland Enterprises companies.
From 1990 to 1992, Wheeler was president of the Propeller Club of the United States. He was president of the Tennessee River Valley Association and past chairman of the Waterways Industry Association of Paducah. Wheeler was also involved in the development of the River Heritage Center in Paducah.
Wheeler graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He and his wife, Jean, have two daughters, Laura and Leslie, and two granddaughters, Sarah and Abigail.