WINONA LAKE — On Thursday evening, Jan. 26, the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce held its 111th Annual Chamber Awards Dinner in Grace College’s Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center in Winona Lake.
Kosciusko County business professionals, along with local and state elected officials were in attendance, and several local businesses and individuals were honored.
The night began with the presentation of colors by the Warsaw Community High School Junior ROTC Color Guard and the National Anthem sung by Warsaw Police Department Capt. Brad Kellar. Chamber President and CEO Rob Parker then welcomed everyone to the event and thanked many individuals who helped support the chamber and community during the past year.
Chris Scheeren was the opening speaker for the event and dinner was prepared by local restaurant and chamber member Kelly Jae’s Lakeside. The major sponsors for the event included Lake City Bank, 1st Source Bank, Blue River Digital, Core Mechanical Services, DreamOn Studios, Grace College & Seminary, Lutheran Kosciusko Hospital, Maple Leaf Farms, Robinson Construction, Silveus Insurance Group, SYM Financial Advisors, Warsaw Buick GMC Chrysler and Wildman.
The evening’s keynote speaker was Indiana Secretary of Commerce Bradley Chambers. Chambers was interviewed by Lake City Bank President and Chief Executive Officer David Findlay.
Following the keynote presentation, Parker recognized Lake City Bank for celebrating its 150th anniversary and being one of the founders of the chamber. Parker presented Lake City Bank with a plaque honoring its 150 years of service to the community.
Various awards were then handed out.
The LaunchPad Family Friendly Business Award, which recognizes a business that provides innovative and creative solutions to support its employees’ family and/or child care needs was presented to Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. Kosciusko Home Care & Hospice was this year’s award sponsor, and it was presented by Glenn Hall.
Hall spoke about how TVSC opened an infant-toddler program at Mentone Elementary School for children of its employees. This new program has provided an impactful solution to its employees’ child care needs. Honorable Mention for the LaunchPad Family Friendly Business Award was given to Da-Lite and Zimmer Biomet.
The Main Street Impact Award, sponsored by PNC Bank and presented by Corinna Ladd, was awarded to ONE TEN Craft Meatery. Ladd stated that, “ONE TEN has played a vital role in making downtown Warsaw a more vibrant and inviting place to be.”
Honorable Mention for the Main Street Impact Award was given to the Town of Milford and Urban Retrend.
The Making a Difference Award was sponsored by K21 Health Foundation and presented by Rich Haddad. The award was given to KCV Cycling Club for improving the community through events, bicycle safety education, and the local trails.
Haddad said, “KCV has succeeded in making a difference in our community in many ways.” Honorable Mention for the Making a Difference award was given to AkzoNobel and Rural King.
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 Mitch Goon, was awarded to DreamOn Studios.
Goon said, “Their brand-new studio is over 4,000 square feet of meticulously crafted audio-visual production space. The space is designed to pull off high end multi camera shows or podcasts that can be recorded or broadcast around the world with the push of a button.”
Honorable Mention for the Rising Star Award was given to Ledgeview Brewing Co. and Legacy Family Chiropractic.
The Community Development Award, honoring a business that has shown an outstanding contribution to community development in Kosciusko County. was sponsored by Old National Bank and presented by Sandra Parra. This year’s recipient was Kosciusko Connect.
Parra said, “Since December 2021, they have connected nearly 5,000 customers, and they continue to expand their services. The future looks very bright for Kosciusko Connect.” Honorable Mention for the Community Development Award was given to 802 Center Apartments and Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department.
This year’s Business of the Year Award was sponsored by Lake City Bank. Chris Wiggins presented the award to Silveus Insurance Group.
Wiggins said, “Over the past 83 years, Silveus Insurance Group has had a monumental impact on our community. Their leadership and staff have served on numerous influential boards, and in 2022, the company and its employees financially supported 44 unique charities.” Honorable Mention for the Business of the Year Award was given to Medartis and Paragon Medical.
The chamber’s Director of Marketing and Communications Lauren Klusman presented the Ambassador of the Year Award to Lake City Living Publisher Shawn Brown. Brown attended 86 chamber-related events and referred multiple new chamber members in 2022.
The Kosciusko Young Adult Professional of the Year Award was sponsored by Crossroads Bank and presented by John Warren. YAP is a group of business professionals under the age of 40 who are active in the community. This year’s recipient was Heather Lardino with 1st Source Bank.
Matt Linville presented the Government Excellence Award, sponsored by Zimmer Biomet, to Kosciusko County Council Member Sue Ann Mitchell. Linville said, “She is a wise steward of Kosciusko County knowledge, and no one has more government insight than she does.”
The final awards presented for the evening were the Man and Woman of the Year Awards. These awards were co-sponsored by 1st Source Bank and the Warsaw Times-Union.
Times-Union Editor David Slone presented the Woman of the Year Award saying that “Our Woman of the Year has been a very active and committed member of our community for many years. She is a true servant leader and lives her life very intentionally.”
The 2022 Woman of the Year is Barbara Ridley.
Doug Hanes of 1st Source Bank then presented the Man of the Year Award. Hanes stated that, “Our Man of the Year has worked tirelessly on behalf of everyone in Kosciusko County for over 30 years. He amazes those around him with his grasp of the real issues facing companies in our community and the ways in which other organizations can help meet those needs.”
The 2022 Man of the Year is Ivy Tech Community College Director of Community Engagement Allyn Decker.