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The 36th annual Minerva Area Chamber of Commerce dinner and the Community Salute awards ceremony recognized five businesses and one individual April 19 at the Great Trail Golf Course.
Following the dinner, Chamber Executive Director Denise Freeland kicked off the event welcoming guests in attendance and awarded the businesses and individuals.
Freeland briefly honored the memory of past chamber president E. David Hank, who passed away March 11 of this year.
"David Hank was a mentor to me and has been a part of the chamber since its inception in 1980," said Freeland. "This year we are renaming the Appreciation Award the E. David Hank Appreciation Award. He is greatly missed." Proceeds of the 50/50 were donated to the E. David Hank Scholarship which will support a Minerva student who is planning to major in English, journalism or music.
The awards presented included the Outstanding Small Business Award, Outstanding Large Business Award, E. David Hank Appreciation Award, New/Emerging Business Award, Economic Development Award and 2017 President's Award.
The Outstanding Small Business award was presented to Studio C Salon by Mike Hoffee of Lion's Den Sport Shop and was accepted by owner Christine Pizzino.
Pizzino purchased Studio C Salon, previously The Tanning Place, in 2012. She has made upgrades inside and out, including hair stations, pedicure units, the reception area, new flooring and paint throughout the salon, and more.
Studio C Salon offers hair services, including men's haircuts, women's cuts, color, Brazilian blowouts, manicures, pedicure, facial waxing, and massage. Full-body waxing will be available soon. There are eight stylists working at the salon and a massotherapist, and the staff frequently comes together to donate and raise money for community events and benefits.
Pizzino is also a firefighter with Sandy Creek Joint Fire District and a member of the Chamber board. She was instrumental in organizing the first Chamber rodeo in 2016.
The recipient of this year's Outstanding Large Business award is the KIKO Company, presented by Jim/Patti McGeorge of Donor Care Center Inc. Dick Kiko, Tara King and Theresa Blocher accepted the award.
KIKO Company was originally founded in 1945 by Russell T. Kiko, Sr. as Russ Kiko Associates. Seeing himself as a pioneer in the auction industry, Russ selected a covered wagon as the company logo. Today, the KIKO wagon is a well-recognized brand representing auction excellence in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Russ's oldest son, Dick Sr., became a licensed Real Estate broker, and in 1969, founded the Richard T. Kiko Agency. During the 1970s and '80s, Russ and his sons continued to build both the auction and real-estate businesses. In 1983, the third generation started becoming licensed auctioneers and realtors, and by 2004, more than 25 first cousins were working for the KIKO Company. Today, KIKO is owned by 24 first cousins and governed by a Board of Directors made up of both family and non-family members.
In the last five years, the Kiko Company's sales have increased by 67 percent, and the number of KIKO Company staff and associates has nearly doubled, from 54 full-time to more than 95 by the end of 2016. New positions in Human Resources, Business Development, Marketing, Advertising, Digital Media, and IT were established in the last two years. More than half of the current staff has more than 25 years of service with the company.
Kiko strongly encourages its employees and managers to become involved in their communities, supporting local charities and providing auction services to area nonprofits, for which Kiko auctions raised more than $4 million in 2016.
The New/Emerging Business Award was given to Chiavari's Bakery and Cafe, presented by Reggie Soltzfus of Dutchcraft Truss & Metal. Owner Rachel Chiavari Wolf accepted the award.
Rachel Chiavari Wolf founded Chiavari's Bakery & Caf in June 2014. The bakery offers made-from-scratch wedding cakes, bridal- and baby-shower cakes, more than 65 cupcake flavor combinations, birthday cakes, breads, rolls, cheesecakes, pies, and brunch buffet items, such as pastries and quiches. Chiavari's provides Mott's Old Mill Bulk Foods with pies, cookies and cakes, and also provides the Normandy Inn with its dinner rolls.
Rachel is a graduate of the Culinary Institue of America, and interned at the Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona. She worked at the Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern in Winesburg as executive pastry chef after graduation.
Rachel is a Downtown Wonderland participant, organizes the Oktoberfest pie-baking contest, and is a member of the Chamber board. She also donates her time and talents to Icing Smiles, a nonprofit that provides custom celebration cakes to families impacted by the critical illness of a child.
This year's Economic Development award went to Yoder's Country Market & Deli. David Yoder accepted the award.
In 2016, David and Tricia Yoder purchased Overholt's Market, which had been in business since 2008, as well as the property next door at 820 East Lincoln Way. The following remodeling project turned an eyesore into a 7,000-square-foot showpiece. The $500,000 investment included demolishing part of the building, and installing a new roof, new flooring, new doors and windows, and a beautiful new faade.
Yoder's offers made-to-order deli sandwiches, homemade soups, October through April; homemade breads, cakes, and cookies; bulk foods, organic flours, and other baking ingredients; jarred foods; local honey and maple syrup; household goods and decorative items; as well as fresh produce in the summer and patio furniture. The new facility also offers a seating area for those who would like to eat in.
The recipient of this year's E. David Hank Appreciation Award is David Catlett Construction, presented by last year's recipient Tom Freeland. Owner Dave Catlett accepted the award.
David Catlett Construction was founded in 2005 by Dave Catlett to provide a full range of commercial and residential construction, excavation, and trucking services. The company offers new homes, additions, roofing, siding, pole barns, septic systems, site clearing, basements, demolition work, and hauling of asphalt, aggregate, and driveway materials.
In addition to running David Catlett Construction, which employs seven people, Dave is also a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Canton and assistant chief with the Sandy Creek Joint Fire District. He is a member of Minerva Rotary Club and the Chamber board of directors.
Dave is the chair of the Minerva Chamber Rodeo, the Chamber's most successful fundraiser, and in addition to being a Triple Crown sponsor, he also donates many hours planning, securing sponsors, procuring supplies, and handling setup and tear down of the rodeo grounds.
The 2017 President's Award went to Richelle Edwards.
As the Frontier Communications technical supervisor for the Minerva area, Richelle was dedicated to fulfilling her office's commitment to community involvement. She joined the Chamber board in 2012 and served on many committees, as well as vice president and president.
Under her direction, Frontier annually sponsored all of the bands for Oktoberfest, the Chamber's annual dinner, the Minerva Chamber Rodeo, the Chili Open, and the Downtown Wonderland sled full of toys. For many years, Frontier also sponsored the main stage for the Brick Street Jazz Festival. Additionally, Richelle and her crew provided manpower for putting up banners, and helping at and participating in festivals, the Chili Open, and a wide variety of other community events. Richelle always arrived early and stayed late, doing whatever needed to be done to make events successful.
In December, Richelle was transferred to Frontier's Medina office as part of a company-wide restructuring and had to leave the board. Her enthusiasm, dedication, and community spirit are greatly missed.
After the awards were presented, special guest Gerry Faust took the stage to present "How to be Great at What You're Doing."
Faust began his coaching career in 1962 at Cincinnati Moeller and achieved the record of 178-23-2 through 1980. He then moved on to the University of Notre Dame and finally ended his coaching career at the University of Akron in 1994.
"This is the first time that I have ever been in this area," said Faust. "Minerva is a beautiful area."
He explained that GREAT is an acronym for "Goals, Reacting to situations, Endure, Attitude, Treat people the way you want to be treated yourself."
Faust told several stories to go with each letter, and explained how he has been at the top and bottom.
"I know both sides, success and failure," said Faust. He then pointed to the sky, "This is where the head coach is. Regardless of faith, we are all assistant coaches. Life is too short to make fun of people, treat people the way you want to be treated yourself."
Gold Sponsors of the event included Colfor Manufacturing, David Catlett Construction, Greenport Financial Advisers, The Hart Mansion Restaurant, High Point Real Estate Group, Kishman's IGA, Loudon Motors Ford and Medicine Center Pharmacy.