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FISHER — Class of 1971 graduate Gregg Zehr and class of 1963 graduate Delmar Banner will be inducted into the Fisher High School Hall of Fame.
They will speak at and be honored during activities Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28, at the high school.
Student presentations will be made during an all-school assembly Friday afternoon, at which the honorees will speak, followed by classroom presentations.
The honorees will be inducted during the annual alumni banquet Saturday evening.
The program is a formal one to recognize the achievements of Fisher High School alumni and to link the alumni with current Fisher High School students. The high school and the Fisher Community Foundation for Educational Enhancement work together to support, promote and to organize the project.
A photo of each recipient will be displayed at the high school.
All hall of fame recipients will receive a $100 honorarium as a part of their selection.
Criteria considered for hall of fame selection include achievements in career field, willingness to tell experiences with current Fisher High School students, contributions to society, positive contributions as a role model and recognition by peers.
Zehr grew up on a farm, attending both grade school and high school in Fisher. After high school, Zehr attended Goshen College for two years, then transferred to the University of Illinois, where he graduated with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.
Zehr is founder and president of Lab126, where he leads the engineering and design team that invented the Amazon Kindle electronic reader.
Zehr started the company in 2004 and launched the first Kindle in 2007. The design teams there have continued to introduce new versions of Kindle, including the Kindle Fire in 2011.
Prior to Lab126, Zehr held vice president posts at various Silicon Valley technology companies, including Apple, VA Linux and Palm. In his nine years at Apple, Zehr developed several generations of Macintosh computers. For the last two years at Apple, Zehr was vice president of the PowerBook hardware design team.
He left Apple to join VA Linux, a startup, where he established the hardware design team that developed Linux-based servers optimized for internet websites. Zehr lives in Palo Alto, Calif.
He is a son of late Chet and Marian Zehr of Fisher.
Banner earned degrees in agriculture (BS 1967) and law (J.D. 1971) from the University of Illinois.
After service with the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Banner began his legal career with the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of St. Louis. There he became general counsel to senior vice president of operations and was assigned to Washington D.C., where, as special counsel to the Farm Credit Administration, he was the principal author of the Farm Credit Act amendments of 1980.
On Wall Street, he chartered the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corp. that annually markets hundreds of billions of dollars in Farm Credit debt to the investing public worldwide. Banner conceived, created and was selected as the first president and CEO of The Farm Credit Council, the Washington-based federated trade association representing Farm Credit banks and associations nationwide. In that capacity he served as principal spokesman and legislative manager for the nation’s largest provider of capital to U.S. agriculture through the difficult period of the early to mid-1980s and the Farm Credit Act amendments of 1985.
From Washington D.C., Banner returned in 1986, with his wife, Kay, daughter Annie and son Josh, to Fisher to join the family farm operation, to practice law and for nearly 20 years, serve as adjunct professor of agricultural law and finance at the University of Illinois.
His teaching assignments included agricultural law, environmental law and policy and veterinary jurisprudence. There he founded and served as principal in the National Center for Farm and Rural Business Finance. For USAID, Banner chartered the first two agricultural finance cooperatives in the Republic of Georgia and authored a law for on agricultural cooperatives in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
He is a partner in the Champaign law firm of Lietz Banner Ford LLP with concentration in the law related to agriculture and its financing, including agribusiness, cooperatives, other not-for-profits, estate and business planning. He is a principal author of Illinois Amendments to Article Nine of Uniform Commercial Code and the Illinois Grain Code. A frequent lecturer to audiences of farmers, lawyers and lenders, he has conducted seminars in the areas of agricultural law, finance and estate planning in 20 states.
Active in leadership and teaching at Gibson City Bible Church, Banner has planned and led numerous missions to Copper Island off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and to India. These are in addition to assignments to assess feasibility and identify best practices for Christian micro-finance ministries on site in Kazakhstan and Bangladesh.
He has served on the boards of the American Agricultural Law Association, The Master’s Mission and the Wilderness Retreat Society of Canada, a Christian mission to First Nation peoples of British Columbia.
He is the founder and chairman of the board of Friends of IERF International, a U.S. mission board to support the ministry of India Evangelistic Relief Fellowship in Ongole, India, a Christian witness to orphans, widows, the imprisoned and impoverished people in the Indian state of Andra Pradesh. Banner served as counsel for formation of the Fisher Community Foundation for Educational Enhancement and as counsel to the Foundation.
Banner continues to operate the home farm, where he and his wife reside. They have five granddaughters
Banner is a son of the late Clifford and Martha Banner of Fisher.