Tom Henning sometimes reflects upon the history of his family-owned company with amazement. 

“My grandfather started this business during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Now it’s in its third generation,” he said. “Here in little Kearney, Neb.” 

Henning’s two brothers, a son, a daughter, and three nieces and nephews all work for Cash-Wa Distributing Co. 

Henning, who is president and CEO, spends part of his day working closely with the senior management team on strategic initiatives. But an important part of his job is mentoring staff and building and maintaining relationships with vendors, customers and industry partners. 

“That is the key to success in any organization,” he said. 

The most enjoyable part of his job is working with the Business Development team. 

“Our mission and focus is to do the things necessary to make our customers successful.” 

Henning is always looking to the future, even when he’s dabbling in his livestock “hobby” or keeping an eye on the commodities market. Service, however, is a key part of his life. 

“I have served on a number of boards and in leadership positions that were civic, charitable and industry related.” 

He gives of his time for many reasons, but each instance is an educational experience for him. 

“It’s also gratifying to think that through this type of service, there is a possibility that one can make even a small difference at some point in time.” 

That’s why he’s looking forward to his role as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Omaha Branch Board. He hopes his years of business knowledge in the Tenth District can help the Kansas City Fed acquire a real-time perspective of local and regional economies. 

“I think I will bring a broad perspective of the economy because of the nature of the business we’re in,” he said. 

Cash-Wa serves more than 8,000 foodservice customers that include restaurants, schools, recreational amenities, healthcare organizations, government entities and 1,000 convenient stores in an 11-state region. 

“I also look forward to the learning experience and the knowledge that will be acquired, not only from the Fed System, but the extremely bright individuals who are on the staff and those who serve on the Board.” 

Taken from TEN Magazine Spring 2013

Learn more about Mr. Henning here.