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The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce presented its President's Award and Golden Shovel Awards to area organizations and businesses at the 2017 Chamber of Commerce Banquet held April 20 at Atwood Yacht Club in Sherrodsville.
Amy Rutledge, executive director of the chamber, and Chamber Board President Janet Smith, presented the President's Award as well as a Golden Shovel Award to The Ashton Preservation Association.
John and Evelyn Ashton founded the non-profit organization as a service to the county they adopted as their home and where they opened the Ashton's 5 and 10 variety store, which will celebrate its 85th anniversary this year.
The association offers a number of grants to support community programs and people. Its community grant program has given more than $400,000 from 2007 to 2016 in support of local non-profits, Carrollton Schools, local fire departments, the county fair board, the Carroll County Animal Protection League, FFA Camp Muskingum and the Carroll County Foundation. The association has also provided nearly $400,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the county.
Each year, the association works with the Carrollton Business and Retail Association and the chamber of commerce to organize public events such as Scarecrows on the Square, the Easter Bunny Breakfast and a breakfast with Santa Claus. Association staff also operate the Ashton House Museum, which is open to the public from spring through December. The museum serves as a destination for school children and adults as well as provides meeting space to area organizations.
Jim and Elaine Painting, who are members of the Ashton Preservation Association Board, accepted the President's Award on behalf of the association. The honor reminded them of when Elaine began working for the Ashtons as their store manager, said Elaine.
"When I started with Mr. and Mrs. Ashton and talked about being the manager of their store, the biggest joke was that it was a 40-year contract, because the only other manager of the store...had just retired from 40 years. This year I just celebrated 36. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that it's been 36 years," she commented.
"Throughout those years I have been extremely blessed by the Ashtons, getting to know them at the end of Mr. Ashton's life. With Jim's help, and our board of directors, we work very hard at promoting the adopted hometown of John and Evelyn Ashton. I feel blessed each and every day to fulfill this legacy for this couple," Elaine said.
Special recognition was given to Kinder Morgan for its philanthropic support to the community, including a grant to the Carroll County Parks District.
Golden Shovel Awards were presented to 11 businesses for their investments last year of $25,000 or more in their operations. Each business received a Golden Shovel plaque as well as signed proclamations from Ohio senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, Congressman Bill Johnson, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Representative Andy Thompson.
Carroll Healthcare Center, a 99-bed certified nursing facility, received an award for investing more than $200,000 in improvements including the renovation of resident rooms that dated from 1980, construction and furnishing of a new dining room, upgrades to flooring and windows, and improvements to the parking lot and landscaping.
Deluxe Body Shop was honored for investing $199,000 on upgrades. Owned by Roger and Robin Brooks, who bought the business from Bill and Cindi Wells, the business invested in a new wrecker and new frame rack, which is used for work on cars that have been damaged in crashes.
Sunnyslope Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Center was recognized for investing $350,000 in renovations for resident rooms, dining rooms, lobby, showers, floors, the business office and common areas. The assisted living facility also installed new windows and heating and air conditioning units.
JoMac LTD, a manufacturer of aluminum service bodies and hydraulic cranes, was recognized for its work to expand the facility. Owner Rich Jones added a new 7,872-square-foot building and expanded the existing facility's space by another 3,600 square feet. The expansion allowed the business to create 14 jobs and increase production to $2.5 million.
The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District accepted its award in recognition of the conservancy's new Atwood Welcome Center. The $1.8 million facility features 4,300 square feet offering a registration area, small retail store and administrative offices. Designed to better serve park guests, the ADA-accessible facility includes a parking lot designed to accommodate large recreational vehicles, vehicles with trailers and muttiple entry lanes for passenger vehicles to improve traffic flow.
Carrollton-based telecom company Elevated Services, LLC received an award for investing more than $30,000 in equipment. Owners Aaron and Nicole Paulette purchased cable and antenna analysis test equipment that enables them to test radio frequencies and cable loss. They also upgraded technology designed to protect employees' who climb cell towers and other structures. The Paulettes also improved the business's warehouse driveway and parking area.
Centreville Village of Carroll County, LLC was honored for the creation of its multi-million-dollar assisted living facility, which opened in the autumn of 2016. Owned by Tom and Sherrie Nordquist, the 39,000-square-foot retirement facility offers homes for 26 seniors and employs 23 local residents. The business hopes to provide housing for more than 60 seniors and employ a staff of 35 over the coming year.
Colfor Manufacturing, a division of AAM, received the Golden Shovel Award in recognition of AAM's investment in the Malvern facility to improve capability and capacity. AAM also invested in training for its associates. The Malvern facility produces forged and machined pinions, shafts, gears, tubes and spindles.
Cutler Real Estate, which is celebrating 70 years in business, received an award for upgrades to its office in Carrollton, which opened in spring of 2007. The company invested in new carpet, paint, an upgraded kitchenette and new furniture.
Consumers National Bank was honored for building its new corporate headquarters and branch in Minerva. The 30,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2016, was constructed on the site of the bank's original 1965 building. The facility was designed to better accommodate customers and improve employee efficiency and communication.
Gold-level sponsors of the banquet were Community Hospice, Joseph D. Sekely III, Kinder Morgan, Mercy Medical Center, Republic State Mortgage and Sunnyslope Care Center.