DTMP, RiverFront are businesses of year Morgan Music, Cackle Hatchery earn Chamber's Image awards

By Fines Massey The Daily Record fmassey@lebanondailyrecord.com

The Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce switched out its quarterback and honored a few of its star players during the "Thursday Night Lights" celebration.

The Chamber held its annual end-of-the-year dinner Thursday night at the Kenneth E. Cowan Civic Center. At the sports-themed event, the organization named the top businesses in Lebanon for 2011, handed out awards to some of its members and outgoing President Byron Dudley passed the torch to incoming President Kim Breeden.

Two people stepping out of the Chamber limelight, one has moved away and the other is leaving the Chamber Board, were given the top individual awards for Community Service and the President's Award.

"The success of any community, and ours is no exception, is because of the result of major and minor contributions from volunteers," said Dudley. He added that the two people being honored that night were aware of the importance of the "dash." On everyone's headstone, there will be a born date and a death date, but what is important is the dash in between those dates because it represents what people have done with their lives, Dudley said.

"Tonight, it is my honor and privilege to recognize two individuals who believe what they do during that dash is the most significant thing. They bring much to our community, they bring skills, they bring advice, they bring experience, they bring friendship and vision and they bring leadership and inspiration. But what they give is their time," Dudley said.

Joe Knapp, a former Chamber president, was awarded the 2011 President's Award, which is also known as the Volunteer of the Year. According to Dudley, Knapp was responsible for coming up with the Chamber's Young Professionals Network, coined the concept of "adding value" to the Chamber membership and orchestrated a meeting between the Chamber and Bennett Spring businesses. He has been on the Chamber Board of Directors since 2005 and is leaving the board this year.

The Community Service Award was given to Mark Grieshaber, who recently moved out of the city for a job promotion.

"There is simply one word that comes to my mind when I think of this individual, and that is ‘professionalism.' What I mean by that is that this individual is a great role model for people in all they do, including their behavior, their attitude and their relationships," Dudley said.

Grieshaber has served on the Chamber board, Friends of the Fort, Lebanon Area Foundation, Rotary Club, Lebanon Ambassadors, Lebanon REDI and others.

Thursday's event marked the seventh year for the Chamber to honor both big and small businesses in the Business of the Year and Image awards.

For Business of the Year, Dudley said several things are taken into consideration, including growth, innovation, stability, community service and history in the community. He added that with a large number of nominations, choosing the winners was not easy.

RiverFront Campground and Canoe won Small Business of the Year. Dudley said that since buying the campground four years ago, owners Jason and Amanda Glendenning have added more campsites, rafts, kayaks and doubled their workforce in the past two years.

<em>For the complete article, see the Friday/Saturday edition of The Daily Record.</em>


<p><strong>Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
Debbie Wikowsky,</strong> right, addresses members at the Chamber's
annual end-of-the-year dinner. This year, the Chamber chose a
sports them, "Thursday Night Lights."</p>

<p><strong>Outgoing Chamber President Byron Dudley,</strong> right,
presents Joe Knapp with the Chamber's President's Award, which is
also known as the Volunteer of the Year Award.</p>

<p><strong>Mark Grieshaber</strong>, left, was awarded the
Outstanding Community Service Award as presented by outgoing
Chamber President Byron Dudley.</p>

<p><strong>New Chamber President Kim Breeden</strong> addresses
Chamber members for the first time. One of the things Breeden
emphasized was more involvement in its programs by members.</p>

<p><strong>Outgoing Chamber President Byron Dudley</strong>, left,
presents a plaque to Morgan Music owner Mike Morgan for the Small
Business Image Award.</p>

<p><strong>The Cackle Hatchery</strong> was awarded the Large
Business Image Award. Pictured from left, are Cackle Hatchery
owners Jeff, Clifton, and Nancy Smith and outgoing Chamber
President Byron Dudley.</p>

<p><strong>Outgoing Chamber President Byron Dudley</strong>, left,
presents Amanda and Jason Glendenning, owners of RiverFront
Campground and Canoe Rental, with a plaque for Small Business of
the Year.</p>

<p><strong>Detroit Tool Metal Products</strong> was awarded Large
Business of the Year. Pictured from left, are outgoing Chamber
President Byron Dudley, DTMP Interim CEO Brad McKean and Melissa
Stiffler, director of human resources.</p>

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