SMACC Awards Local Leaders, Businesses

From left: Jeff Vossler, Lucy Spencer, Nancy Mauter and Angela Dine Schmeisser stand with Rep. Craig Riedel. The four former were the winners of the Builder of Bridges award. Spencer was the inaugural winner of the Ambassador of Bridges.Winners of the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce awards stand with chamber representative Diana Green (far left) and Rep. Craig Riedel (far right).
Assistant Editor

It was a good night to sail away to Chamberitaville on Thursday evening as the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce presented its annual chamber awards at the Union Hall on South Street.

The night of celebration was kicked off by an invocation from Ronda Shelby and a meal catered by La Carreta II before awards were presented. Following an introduction from chamber Administrative Assistant Diana Green, the crowd gathered in the banquet hall were given an update on the chamber from board President Dan Schenking who reported the SMACC is continuing to assist its members with meeting networking and professional engagement goals.

Diving into the awards, Schenking was assisted by Ohio Rep. Craig Riedel who presented all the awards. First up was the Good Neighbor Award which is presented to a business that is headquartered outside of St. Marys but has established a client base in the city.

“The business demonstrates exemplary behavior for business practices such as customer service and quality and the nominee is dedicated to giving back to the community through both time and resources,” explained Green.

Winning the award for 2019 was the Lake Improvement Association and it was accepted by LIA President Nick Rentz.

“We really appreciate the honor,” he said. 

Winning the Most Improved Property Award was Shultz Huber & Associates for its new location on Celina Road.

With 10 office rooms and a quiet waiting room, the upstairs training facility is more than 2,500 square feet and can hold the entire firm of roughly 55 individuals. When designing the new space, lighting was a major factor since the business had only two windows in its previous space. Natural light was a  necessity and the new construction boasts a window in every room.

Accepting the award on behalf of the accounting firm was Partner Kim Ray who said the firm was proud of its new location and everyone who made it possible.

The business that had served dinner was also named a winner Thursday as La Carreta II was named the Emerging Business of the Year. 

To qualify, a business has to be three years old or younger and the award gives recognition to the business that has not only thrived but grown and flourished in its period of operation. The business is also to have shown significant community improvement.

“This is really something I didn’t expect,” Owner Sam Delgado said. 

As the night continued, more awards were presented as the St. Marys Community Public Library earned the non-profit organization of the year for its work to spread education and learning through interactive events and after-school programming.

City Law Director Zach Ferrall was awarded the Frank C. Murray Ambassador Award for his dedication to public service and non-profit organizations. 

The owner of Biggby Coffee, Jonathan Sell, was named the Chamber Champion Award recipient for his active volunteerism on chamber committees and at events. The chamber also recognized Sell for his business’s relaxed atmosphere and quality of product.

The last two chamber awards of the night were presented to Todd Sullivan. He won the Outstanding Businessperson of the Year which is an award he was nominated for by his employees at Pantry Pride. Sullivan was described as being an outstanding person to work for and with. 

The employees also considered Sullivan a humanitarian to those around him. 

Sullivan also accepted the award for Business of the Year on behalf of Pantry Pride. The grocery store was recognized for its regular contributions to several local events and organizations while also working closely with Capabilities, Inc. to provide meaningful employment to those with disabilities and special needs.

In addition to the chamber awards, four St. Marys residents were named recipients of the Builder of Bridges Award. The award was created to recognize generous contributions of time and effort for the benefit of the greater St. Marys community. The award has been given annually since 1992 and was named to commemorate the five original builders of the Memorial Covered Bridge in Memorial Park.

“The award is to commemorate the cooperation and community spirit that helped to bring the covered bridge here in town,” committee member Jeff Squire said. “Each year the committee chooses people who have participated in activities that impacted the community whether through their employment duties or something they did independently with their own volunteer spirit.”

Jack Lawler, Nancy Mauter, Angie Dine Schmeisser and Jeff Vossler were named Builder of Bridges winners for 2019 while a new award was also created.

The Ambassador of Bridges was created to recognize youth members of the community who exemplify the spirit of volunteerism and who aim to make the community a better place. 

The inaugural winner of this award was Memorial High School junior Lucy Spencer for her numerous involvements throughout the school and community. 

She was especially recognized for her event Miracle on Spring Street that was held around Christmastime this past year.