PAINTED POST, N.Y. (WENY) -- The employee classes of 1949 and 1974 were honored at Corning Incorporated on Thursday, June 20 for the time in their careers spent with the company that began 50 and 75 years ago, respectively. Some of the retirees stuck around Corning Inc. and others moved on to different companies making the celebration of their start dates is so unique.

This recognition is unique for other reasons too. It's not every day when the chairman and CEO of a company personally honors their employees.

The annual Service Awards Luncheon hosted by the company kicked off with a brief check in where guests could talk, eat some snacks beforehand, and take a look at a table filled with years of Corning Incorporated history/memorabilia. The trip down memory lane sparked plenty of conversation in the room before the event officially kicked off and retirees were honored.

"Thank you for your commitment to Corning," said Wendell Weeks, Corning Incorporated Chairman and CEO. "Thank you for your commitment to our communities and to this world we all share and our time together at Corning as we just try to make it just a little bit better."

Retirees gathered to socialize, eat, and receive a gift of thanks from the organization. As each employee's name was read, checks were hand delivered by Weeks who walked around and shook hands. A greatly appreciated act from someone in this position.

"This is a very unique event that Corning [Incorporated] does," said Jordana Kammerud, Corning Incorporated's Chief Human Resource Officer. "Most companies honor service up to the day that employee stops working. Once you're a part of the Corning family, you're a part of the Corning family for life. So, as we look at the retirees, we honor their years of service from the date of hire even after they've stopped working."

Members of said Corning family have been looking forward to this day of sharing a meal and stories with one another. It was a nice way to acknowledge their service and years spent.

"I've worked here for-- my last day was in March, 50 years," said Charles Craig, a Corning Inc. Retiree. "It's a great company to work for and of course, here in Corning, New York, it's just one of the facilities. There are many facilities around the world. It's a global company, and lots of great opportunities for people."