Friday, October 31, 2014

Chamber honors community leaders

By The Herald Staff | 1/27/2014

Ottawa business and community leaders were recognized Saturday for their contributions at the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.

The awards given for 2013 year include the Russel Crites Award, the Community Builder Award, the Horizon Award, the Quarterly Image Award, the Entrepreneur Award and the Favorite Smile of the Year Award.

Ottawa business and community leaders were recognized Saturday for their contributions at the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.

The awards given for 2013 year include the Russel Crites Award, the Community Builder Award, the Horizon Award, the Quarterly Image Award, the Entrepreneur Award and the Favorite Smile of the Year Award.

The Russell Crites award was given to Janet Peters, director of Development and Planned Giving at Ottawa University. Peters has served on a long list of local organizations, including the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, Ottawa/Franklin County Economic Development (now the Franklin County Development Council), Ottawa Middle School Site Council, Ottawa-Wellsville Infant Toddler Program Advisory Board, Ransom Memorial Hospital Trustee and Ottawa Police Foundation.

“But it is not just a laundry list of organizations’ memberships that makes Janet worthy of this honor,” Blaine Finch, Ottawa, wrote in his nomination of Peters. “It is the way she serves. In every organization in which she serves, Janet is a thoughtful voice of reason, sound counsel and compassion for those in, and served by, the organization.”

Becky Nevergold, Ottawa Communities in Schools director, was honored with the Community Builder Award, along with her staff, Cassie Myers, Steven Lane, Lisa Rivers and Michelle McCauley. Nevergold and her staff were nominated for the award because of their work providing food, clothing, meaningful relationships and solace for students of all ages across the school district, as well as for representing Communities in Schools in a positive light, initiating such programs as Day on the Job and Junior Interview Fair to bring awareness to local opportunities for students.

The Horizon Award was given to Reflective Group, 622 High St., Baldwin City, a web design and development company. The company was nominated for its efforts to “breathe new life” into a Chamber committee, helping develop a new web presence online for multiple businesses and area organizations, and sharing talents with Chamber members at several events to improve their social media presence, according to its nomination.

The Gun Guys, 412 S. Main St., Ottawa, was awarded the Entrepreneur Award for turning a hobby into a successful business, as well as raising money for the Franklin County Cancer Foundation.

“The Gun Guys began with a hobby and have filled a huge need in Ottawa,” Shawn Turner, Ottawa, wrote in nominating the business. “Beginning in a smaller location, they have now invested in a Main Street location that had been unused for an extended period of time, and have now installed a state-of-the-art facility that is recognized as one of the best of its kind in the nation.”

For the Quaterly Image Award, Charlene Martin, of Poncho’s, 429 S. Main St., Ottawa, was recognized for her service. The award honors customer service and people going the extra mile to help. Martin has worked at Poncho’s for two and a half years and has served with a smile on her face, according to her nomination.

For Ottawa’s brightest smile, Meg Dickinson, of the Ottawa Library, was awarded the Favorite Smile of the Year award.

“Megan always has a huge smile on her face and a kind word for everybody,” Turner wrote. “Her enthusiasm is contagious, as well as her focus on the needs of others.”

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