The goal of this year’s Green Chamber Impact Awards event was to impact attendees from start to finish. Initially participants’ taste buds were impacted by dining on a buffet by Old Carolina Barbecue. This was not a boring luncheon menu, as attendees pleasantly discovered.
The audience heard how successful organizations in the greater Green area are making an impact on the community. Joel Reed, President of Green City Council, and Lori Howerton, CEO Green Chamber of Commerce, warmly congratulated each of the recipient businesses as Michelle O’Brien, Chairperson of Green Chamber, presented their accomplishments leading to their selection.
Award recipients were: Vision Award, Warmus Builders; Community Award, Green Branch Library; Environment Award, Kovatch Castings; Impact Award, Akron General Health and Wellness. New this year was the Mayor’s Sustainability Award. As the Chamber selection committee has chosen IMPACT Award winners over the last 4 years, they have noticed businesses repeatedly making an impact. In order to recognize these organizations, the Chamber Board of Directors created the Mayor’s Sustainability Award. The initial Mayor’s Sustainability Award was presented to Park Auto Group.
The keynote speaker was Brian Bailey, co-founder of Old Carolina Barbecue Company, a small business making a big impact right here in Northeast Ohio. Many were surprised to learn that this company is headquartered in the City of Green.
Clearly these awards put the Green Chamber’s vision, “We are a driving force interconnecting and enriching the businesses and the community.” into action. By the time 1 p.m. rolled around, attendees were motivated, energized, and ready to make an impact in their companies, organizations and their community.
Summary of 2012 award winners accomplishments:
Vision Award – Warmus Builders – For 25 years John Warmus has been focused on his vision: “We strive to meet the highest standards of customer service, quality, and craftsmanship… This commitment to excellence and customer service brings with it a legacy of quality workmanship that confirms its solid growth over the years.” The community has seen this vision come to fruition in residential neighborhoods and commercial complexes, like FedEx Custom Critical’s building and Hattie Larlham’s facilities on Boettler road. Green has immeasurably benefited from Warmus Builders projects with jobs and first-class facilities.
Community Award - This award is typically given to an organization that contributes to the greater Green area in more ways than dollars. Contributions are made in volunteer time, marketing support, and overall community presence. As a publically supported entity the Green Branch Library has no choice but to find alternate ways to contribute to the community. For those not familiar with the Green Branch Library, they have been ranked second in number of items checked out system-wide. They also partner with other not-for-profits, like the Green Historical Society, to showcase local history through library programs. The staff actively participates in community events and volunteers to open their facilities to a variety of community focused users. We all win with the Green Branch Library.
Environment Award - Kovatch Castings received the Environment Award for the completion of a major project that began as a simple initiative two and a half years ago. Kovatch Castings took a bold step of investing millions of dollars into a 16,000 square foot building addition and two multi-million dollar energy efficient gas ovens. The gas ovens reduce gas utilization by 47% and produce a much higher tolerance product. The company also takes excess heat from the new ovens and utilizes it throughout the rest of the building. In addition, the company replaced all lights throughout their facilities with high quality, energy efficient lighting with automatic shut off switches. The company consumes a large amount of wax in the investment casting process, recycles all excess wax, leaving very little waste. Clearly, our world is a better place with the improvements Kovatch Castings has made. (Would like a better concluding sentence.)
IMPACT Award - Winner Akron General Health and Wellness Center of Green successfully combines vision, community, and environment and easily jumped into making a huge impact in the Greater Green area. Its 100,000 sq ft facility has brought 240 jobs and is estimated to create another 100 jobs with the professional center. The facility’s environment, inside and out, was carefully designed by TC Architects to integrate operations and administration so Akron General could effectively deliver on their comprehensive approach to healthcare. Akron General has integrated itself into the community in multiple ways, such as by opening up its vast conference space for public use. Serving as an event sponsor for the Green Expo allows them to execute their mission by educating the community about the importance of health and wellness. The knowledgeable Lifestyles staff work together to meet clients fitness goals and to further their mission to make wellness and prevention a part of good health. With one-third of the American population considered obese this is a noble task and one destined to make a significant impact.
Mayor’s Sustainability Award -
The initial Mayor’s Sustainability Award was presented to Park Auto Group. The company, located in Green since 1987, was recently sold to Serra Automotive Group of Grand Blanc, Michigan. Since 1987 the greater Green community has been the recipients of the business acumen, vision, generosity, and impact of John Mears, Glenn Mears, and John Ludwig, former owners of Park Auto Group. The Chamber chose to honor the significant investment and work of these men and their organization. It’s hard to capture the impact of 25 years. But from chicken dinners, to sponsorships, to Community Safety Days, anyone who has lived in Green has witnessed their impact. We are grateful for their vision, belief in the value of supporting the community and its citizens, and desire to make a lasting impression.
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