The Licking County Chamber of Commerce welcomed over 275 members August 7th at the Virtues Golf Club, for the Chamber’s 15th Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration. This event commemorated another successful year of programs and services and celebrated numerous community organizations and individuals. Chamber Chairman Ryan West recognized the contributions of outgoing board members Andrew Guanciale, Pat Jeffries and Dan McVey. Incoming Chairman Mike Birkmeyer introduced the Chamber’s newest board members, who include: Brandon Hess, Shai Commercial Real Estate and Mattingly Foods; Steve Noth, Anomatic, and Todd Ware, The Energy Cooperative.
Following this recognition, companies and individuals were honored in six award categories, highlighting the exceptional diversity and passion of businesses and individuals that make up Licking County’s thriving, vibrant economy, and community. Those categories include: Business, Non-Profit, Employee, Young Professional, STEM Business and STEM Educator of the year.
The “Business of the Year” award recognizes a company that makes our community a better place to live and work, through its commitment to customer service and active support of community projects or programs. The 2018 honoree is the Tony Adams State Farm Agency, a business dedicated to putting its clients and our community first. The agency lives that commitment daily, as its team members volunteer service on over 30 boards, organizations, nonprofit and charitable organizations, including: Center for Disability Services, St. Vincent de Paul Haven, Crimestoppers, and Red Cross, to name just a few.
The Chamber’s “Non-Profit of the Year” award received 18 nominations, but The Works took home this year’s honor. The Works’ mission is to enrich lives by providing interactive opportunities that inspire creativity and learning. This mission was fulfilled once again in 2018, in grand fashion, through an exciting new partnership with The Ohio State University at Newark and bringing “SciDome” – a full-dome planetarium and science education facility – to our community, along with the opening of the new Community STEM Center. The Works continues to make STEM education exciting, and attainable, for our entire community.
The “Employee of the Year” award honored an extremely deserving recipient, one whose title and performance are that of an employee of the highest order! Central Ohio Technical College President and CEO Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D. accepted this award with pride. Dr. Coe’s accolades are many, but pale in comparison to her achievements. During her tenure, COTC opened 4 full-services campuses in Coshocton and Knox counties and Pataskala, in addition to the significant expansion of physical and educational assets at the Newark campus. Dr. Coe also initiated and oversaw the development of the COTC Gateway – a one-stop shop for admissions, advising and records.
This year’s “Young Professional” was awarded to the Licking County Foundation’s Megan Evans, for being a changemaker and influencer within our community. Megan is a volunteer extraordinaire, having chaired the 2018 Newark City Schools Renewal Levy, volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Chairing the Women’s Leadership Network, among other noteworthy service-oriented activities.
“STEM Business of the Year” honoree was Owens Corning Science & Technology Center. This long-term community asset has led the way in worldwide technological innovations. The organization was recognized for its continuing commitment to investing in renewable energy and teaching young people the value, planning, applied science, and logistics associated with this effort.
Wrapping up the evening, the “STEM Educator of the Year” was awarded to Etna Elementary School’s Beth Holmes. Beth was honored for the innovative teaching practices she brings to her 5th grade science and math classes. Her “out of the box” educating techniques were recognized for truly inspiring student success.