FAIRBORN — The Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its Annual Banquet April 21, honoring Fairborn businesses, educators and city individuals who go above and beyond to help make Fairborn a better community.
The annual event was highlighted with Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick being honored with the Jack Huelsman Civic Award, while Fairborn City Council was honored with the President’s Award. One hundred sixty attendees were on-hand.
Six additional honorees were accorded special honors, including Alicia Eckhart, City of Fairborn Parks and Recreation superintendent with the Ambassador Award; Dottie Meade, receiving the Greene County Center Education Award; Danielle Wolfe, honored with the City of Fairborn Award; Fairborn City Schools Superintendent Mark North presented Amy Gayheart with the Fairborn City Schools Education Award and TSgt Tikkia Carmichael received the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Service Award.
This year, the Chamber presented a new award — The John Dalton Legacy Award — which went to Pete Bates, owner of Shwartz Jewelry Store, which is celebrating 75 years of business in downtown Fairborn. The award is named in honor of longtime chamber director John Dalton.
“Mr. Dalton tirelessly served as Fairborn’s chamber director for 30 years,” said Chamber Director Matt Owen. “His dedication and service to the chamber and its mission is one of the most longstanding commitments in the entire region. From this day forward the Chamber Legacy Award will bare Mr. Dalton’s name.”
Outgoing Chamber President Karen Huelsman presented Fairborn City Council with the surprise recipient of the President’s Award. She cited council’s forward thinking, innovative ideas and commitment to making Fairborn a great place to live, work and play. Council members in attendance included Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick, Deputy Mayor Paul Keller, Rob Hoffman, Marilyn McCauley, Tim Steininger and Donna Wilson.
Owen applauded city officials, council and staff for the recent economic and revitalization efforts.
“There is a lot going on in Fairborn,” said Owen “The City of Fairborn has established an initiative to revitalize areas of the community for future development. Good leadership is important and the chamber, the city along with the Fairborn Development Corporation are spearheading the effort to make Fairborn a great place to do business.”
Incoming Board President Jim Brown honored outgoing Board President Karen Huelsman with the prestigious Past Presidents “Green Jacket” presentation. Owen also presented Huelsman with a gavel plaque and thanked her for service and leadership as board president over the past two years.
The chamber introduced the 2017 board of directors and officers, which included Board President Jim Brown of the Wright State University Nutter Center; President-Elect Jayme Bettinger, who serves as the Wright-Patt Credit Union treasurer; Mike Foy of Foy’s Variety Store; Secretary John Stroup of Belton-Stroup Funeral Home; Ellen Farthing of the Fairborn Senior Center; Eric Murray of MoneyWise; Bill Richard of Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors; Col. Elena Oberg, Vice Commander 88th WPAFB; Bob Hickey of Wright State University; Rob Anderson, Fairborn city manager; North, superintendent of Fairborn City Schools; David Deskins, superintendent of the Greene County Career Center; Tom Koogler, a Greene County commissioner and new board member Brian Lampton of Lampton Agency.
“This is a wonderful night of celebrating and honoring those businesses and individuals who are not only great employees, but serve and volunteer in our community,” said Owen. “I want to thank our chamber members, ambassadors and supporters for helping make us a strong business organization.”
The event was sponsored by the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance and entertainment for the evening was provided by the Fairborn High School Jazz Ensemble.
Story courtesy of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce.