VALLEJO, Calif.–Stanley Cheng, chairman and CEO of Meyer Corp., U.S., and founder/proprietor of Hestan Vineyards, was honored last month by his alma mater, Oregon State University, with the Weatherford Award. Hosted by OSU’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program, the Weatherford Award recognizes lifelong achievement in pioneering entrepreneurship and innovation of distinguished entrepreneurs with a connection to Oregon.
One of four recipients of this year’s award, Cheng graduated from OSU with a degree in mechanical engineering. He founded Meyer Corp. in 1981, and his engineering background and penchant for developing technologically advanced products led to introducing hard-anodized cookware when he debuted the Circulon brand in 1985. Now the company, which employs around 7,000 people and produces more than 40 million pans per year on average, also offers such cookware brands as Anolon, Farberware, KitchenAid, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen and SilverStone. With cookware factories in Asia and Europe, the company said it is the world’s second largest cookware manufacturing operation, with more than 100 cookware lines distributed in more than 30 countries.
With a passion for wine, Cheng also entered the vineyard business in 1996 when he and his wife Helen purchased a 127-acre property in Napa Valley. Named after both owners, Hestan Vineyards released its first wines from the property in 2005, and include the critically acclaimed Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Meyer Cabernet Sauvignon and the more recent Stephanie, a new line of red Bordeaux blends named after their daughter. At the Weatherford awards ceremony, guests were served Hestan wines, complements of Cheng.
Stanley Cheng is also the recipient of the 2002 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Housewares Charity Foundation.