ACES Honors Outstanding Citizen, Educators, Longtime Executive Director


ERIE – Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System (ACES) honored James B. Ohrn of Custom Engineering Co. Inc. as the recipient of the Bob and Betty Merwin Outstanding Citizen Award during its Annual Luncheon at the Ambassador Banquet & Conference Center on Thursday, July 28 for his success in business and active participation in charitable community endeavors.

Since 1997, James B. Orhn is has been the vice president/CFO of Custom Engineering Company and Lamjen, Inc., located in Erie, and Venango Machine Company in Wattsburg. Ohrn has served or is serving on the boards of many nonprofit organizations including Hospice of Metropolitan Erie, United Way of Erie County, Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System, Presbyterian Homes of the Presbytery of Lake Erie, The Erie Enterprise Zone Revolving Loan Fund and UPMC Hamot Corporators. He also serves on the Financial Advisory committee of Presbyterian Senior Care of Pittsburgh, the Erie Public Schools and the Eagle’s Nest Leadership Corporation. Ohrn has been active in his church governing board and currently serves as Treasurer of the congregation.

During the luncheon, ACES also honored three individuals — Principal David Nuhfer and faculty Vickie Schultz and Bryan Costa — from Cambridge Spring High School with the ACES Educators of the Year Award for their educational success, community service, and commitment to free enterprise education.

In addition, ACES Executive Director Val Laufenberg was recognized with a special award and video to commemorate her 30 years of service to ACES and Pennsylvania Business Week.

Celebrating 60 years, ACES was founded in 1956 to promote the understanding of the American free enterprise system to students, educators, and general public. ACES’ flagship program, Pennsylvania Business Week has reached over 18,000 students over the past 18 years. ACES is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit, nonpolitical educational organization.

For more information on the ACES organization and Pennsylvania Business Week visit

ACES Awards 2016