Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Chamber celebrates at 95th Annual Dinner

Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019

The 95th annual dinner of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce was held Monday evening, January 21 at the Huntington PAL Club. More than 175 Chamber members and their guests were in attendance.

Steve Petry, 2018 chairman of the board, W.A. Zimmer Company, spoke to the group about some of the accomplishments the Chamber was involved with over the past several years. He stated that the success of any organization comes down to the people.

Petry said, “I also want to give special thanks not only to Steve Kimmel and Angie Garcia of the Chamber, but to all of our local businesses and volunteers that came together and made Christmas in the City truly special last year.”

Petry went on to say, “The Chamber also helped with the presenting of Rushmore Live on September 17; featuring appearances by historical interpreters as the monumental figures on Mount Rushmore. September 17 is Constitution Day across America and was also the 170th anniversary of the establishment of the City of Huntington. The Chamber again helped with the sixth annual Veterans’ Day Parade and saw the finish of the Purple Heart Monument with the final plaques being installed this past year.”

“Always involved with our education, the Chamber also helped with the Viking PRIDE program standing for Persistence, Respectfulness, Initiative, Dependability and Efficiency. Students that are seniors are able to earn this certification through a rigorous program through the high school,” Petry said.

Petry continued, “The Chamber saw the formation of H.Y.P.E. (Huntington Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs). This group of young leaders has a lot of passion and interest in our community and we are looking forward to their impact.”

“But most exciting for me personally, was the introduction of a mentoring program in Huntington County. We (the Chamber) are now a SCORE satellite office, offering resources and mentoring to new and existing businesses. Although we have had support for businesses locally, it is always hard to see business fail; whether they are start-ups or established companies facing hard decisions. Having the ability to pull from others’ expertise and to offer relevant guidance is something I believe can and will be transformational as we move forward. Coupled with current entrepreneurial initiatives, I am excited to see what unfolds in the next few years,” said Petry.

Petry presented Kolby Rosemeyer, Relationship Manager, First Merchants Bank, with the Ambassador of the Year award for 2018. The Ambassador of the Year is always available to attend ribbon cuttings, open houses, ground breakings, Business of the Month celebrations, After Hours and more. Rosemeyer works hard to attend as many Chamber events as possible and volunteers for other activities.

The 2018 Volunteer of the Year recipient was Andrew Rensberger. Rensberger was credited with one who actually works with many volunteers himself. Petry said, “Rensberger goes above and beyond the call of duty to not only find volunteers for city projects, but volunteers himself throughout the community. His assistance was especially appreciated for helping with the 2018 Farmers’ Market and with the 2018 Christmas in the City event.

Petry presented the Chamber’s Community Excellence Award for 2018 to JJ’s and the Stanley family of Brent, Darlene and Nick Stanley and Megan Reckelhoff. According to Petry, “This year’s recipient goes to JJ’s a local company that is always willing to assist and volunteer their time in community projects and events with their support to make Huntington County a better place to live, work and play. JJ’s is a business that offers support to Parkview Huntington Hospital, Parkview Huntington Family YMCA, Huntington University, the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce and many more too numerous to mention. Although the Stanley family was extremely busy operating their business this past year, they still found time to be the chairs for the 2018 United Way campaign.

Petry also recognized the outgoing members of the board to include Kay Schwob, Huntington University; Ryan Lemon, Novae Corporation; Trace Hinesley, Huntington County Community School Corporation and Ben Davis, former executive director, Parkview Huntington Family YMCA.

New to the board of directors for 2019 include Karen Williams, Continental Structural Plastics; Randy Harris, Huntington County Community School Corporation; Brock Zehr, Huntington University; Leanne Runyan, Miller’s Merry Manor; Kerry Beaver, Lime City Title Services, Inc. and Todd Latta, Parkview Huntington Family YMCA.

The dinner and Chamber business were followed by entertainment by Cyrus Steele. Steele, an Atlanta resident is a comedian and impressionist. He performed for the dinner for about 45 minutes with several comedy skits and impressions.

Shown in the photos are the Chamber executive committee. Top row, Randy Warner, 2019 chairman of the board; Sonya Foraker, chair-elect and bottom row Darlene Stanley, treasurer and John Garrott, assistant treasurer.