AURORA | J. C. Penney Company, Inc. last month at a special ceremony in Texas honored two of its top-performing stores in the state — including one in Aurora — with the Founder’s Award.

With more than 1,000 JCPenney stores across the country, two general managers in the metro Denver area, including Tom Michals, who manages the JCPenney store at Southlands shopping center in Aurora, were recognized by Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer, and Joe McFarland, executive vice president of stores, for significantly contributing to the company’s success in 2016. The awards ceremony was held March 28 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

“Our Founder’s Award recipients continually exceed expectations and achieve results that instill a strong sense of pride among their associate teams and the communities they serve,” McFarland said in a statement. “Leaders and teams receiving this award have gone above and beyond the call of duty by taking our Warrior values of passion, loyalty, service and courage to an entirely new level. I’m proud of our talented group of associates in the Denver area who have worked tirelessly to receive this special recognition.”

The Founder’s Award is presented to general and district managers for leading teams that excel in the areas of financial performance, customer and client service and business expertise. Along with Michals at the Southlands shopping center store, General Manager Donna Baudour was also recognized for his efforts at the JCPenney store at the Prairie Center in Brighton.