WARSAW — Angie Ritchey and Dr. David Hoffert were honored Thursday, March 4, with the top awards at the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce’s 109th Annual Chamber Awards Program.
Ritchey was named Woman of the Year and Hoffert was named Man of the Year.
The event was held virtually this year and could be accessed via YouTube or the Chamber’s Facebook page.
The Man and Woman of the Year Awards were announced at the end of the event and were co-sponsored by 1st Source Bank and Times-Union.
Hoffert is the superintendent of Warsaw Community Schools.
Ritchey is the chief technology officer at Lake City Bank.
Doug Hanes of 1st Source Bank presented the Man of the Year Award first. Hanes stated that, “Our Man of the Year is an exemplary leader with a strong desire to serve others. He is an inspiration to not only those he works with, but to our entire community. His leadership throughout the years has impacted our community in ways that cannot possibly be measured, but their effect can undeniably be felt.”
David Slone, Times Union, presented the Woman of the Year saying, “Our Woman of the Year is very active in the community, at work and at home with her family. She is hard-working, generous and is always there to support those who need her. Her commitment to others with challenges in our community is evident in her decision-making focus and level of involvement in local non-profit organizations that help those in need. She jumps in wholeheartedly, welcomes more involvement, and is a role model for others.”
The virtual sponsor for the event was Lake City Bank, and major sponsors included 1st Source Bank, 212 Media Studios, Core Mechanical Services, Grace College & Seminary, Robinson Construction, Silveus Insurance Group, Warsaw Buick GMC and Wildman.
The program began with Chamber President and CEO Rob Parker welcoming everyone to the event before the National Anthem and presentation of colors by the Warsaw Community High School Junior ROTC.
The Chamber’s 2020 Board President, Doug Baumgardner, provided a list of the Chamber’s accomplishments over the last year and Parker gave an overview of the initiatives the Chamber is focused on. An additional update was given by LaunchPad Director Sherry Searles regarding the current child care crisis in Kosciusko County.
Three individuals were recognized for their efforts in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kurt Carlson, Dr. William Remington and Mayor Joe Thallemer. Additionally, Parker thanked all first responders and healthcare workers in Kosciusko County stating that there will be a plaque on display at the Chamber honoring them for their efforts in 2020.
The LaunchPad Family Friendly Business award recognizes a business that provides innovative and creative solutions to support their employees’ family and/or child care needs. Kosciusko Home Care & Hospice was this year’s award sponsor. Glenn Hall spoke about how this year’s winner, Wawasee Community Schools opened two new on-site early learning programs for their staff and the community. Honorable mention recognition for this award was given to Parkview Warsaw YMCA and Zimmer Biomet.
The Making a Difference Award was sponsored by Old National Bank and presented by Sandra Parra. The award was given to The Salvation Army for their positive impact on our community.
Parra said, “This month, The Salvation Army is celebrating its 100th anniversary of serving Kosciusko County and following their motto of ‘doing the most good’ with resources given so generously by the community. Each year, The Salvation Army provides help to nearly 5,000 individuals in Kosciusko County.”
Honorable mention recognition was given to Clevenger Insurance and Kensington Digital Media.
The Kosciusko County Government was awarded the Health and Wellness in the Workplace Award, sponsored by PNC Bank and presented by Corinna Ladd. The Kosciusko County Government recently conducted a health risk and biometric assessment of their employees. They used the results to create and implement a comprehensive workplace wellness program. Employees are able to attend classes on health and wellness during paid work hours.
Honorable mention for this award was given to Goshen Health and Kosciusko County Purdue Extension.
The Rising Star award is given to Kosciusko County’s highest performing new company. This year, the award, sponsored by Horizon Bank and presented by, Mitchell Goon, was awarded to Winona IT.
Goon said, “In their first two years of business, Winona IT has grown its employee and customer base quickly. Their team has risen to the challenge by effectively managing the growth in workload while maintaining a positive relationship with all clientele.”
Honorable mention recognition was given to Cable Bullet and Music Encounters.
This year’s Business of the Year Award was sponsored by Lake City Bank. Lisa O’Neill presented the award to Polywood.
O’Neill said, “In 2020, they welcomed 160 new employees to their Syracuse location. Currently, they are in the process of constructing additional buildings that will provide over 100 new local jobs within the next year. This growth has positively impacted Kosciusko County’s economy with rippling effects for our residents and the surrounding area.”
Honorable mention was given to G&G Hauling & Excavating and Rabb Water Systems.
Lauren Klusman, the Chamber’s Marketing and Communications Manager, presented the Ambassador of the Year Award to Heather Lardino from 1st Source Bank.
John Warren of Crossroads Bank, presented and sponsored the Young Adult Professional of the Year Award. YAP is a group of business professionals under the age of 40 who are active in the community. This year’s recipient was Travis McConnell.
Monica Kendrick presented the Government Excellence Award sponsored by Zimmer Biomet to Kosciusko County Coroner, Tony Ciriello.
Kendrick said, “This year’s recipient is a very dedicated local elected official. He is committed to our community and is always willing to help those who need him.”