2018 Cornerstone Award Recipient and Van Wert community champion, Scott Niswonger. (Photo submitted)
2018 Cornerstone Award Recipient and Van Wert community champion, Scott Niswonger. (Photo submitted)

VAN WERT — “Learn. Earn. Return.” A visionary mantra by one of Van Wert County’s most inspirational supporters, Scott Niswonger.

The Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce will honor Niswonger’s visionary spirit at its 96th annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, at the Wassenberg Art Center. The Chamber will present its prestigious Cornerstone Award to Niswonger, a Van Wert native, Executive Chairman of Landair Transport, Inc. and Chairman Emeritus of Forward Air Corporation; founder of the Niswonger Educational Foundation and most notably, locally, a champion of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

Last presented in 2008 to Central Insurance Companies, the Cornerstone Award honors a business or person whose extraordinary leadership has resulted in lifetime contributions to Van Wert County creating a stronger, more vibrant community.

On the essential nature of philanthropy and giving back, Niswonger shared at this year’s Niswonger Performing Art Center Gala, “When Nikki and I got away from Van Wert many, many years ago we recognized just what a wonderful place Van Wert was … to have this great underpinning of philanthropy and giving back, where it’s volunteer work or funding — whatever.” He continued, “It exists in Van Wert like it exists in no other place.”

The Chamber Board of Directors invites members of the business community and Van Wert residents to attend an evening of festivities and networking as we also recognize area businesses and individuals for their accomplishments and contributions to the Van Wert area.

The Chamber is excited to host this event at the stunning Wassenberg Art Center located at 214 S. Washington St. The evening’s festivities will kick off with a social hour beginning at 5:15 p.m. with appetizers, a cash bar and entertainment by Twist & Shout, followed by a catered dinner by Willow Bend Country Club. Following the presentation of the Cornerstone Award to Niswonger, the culmination of the evening’s events will include the presentation of the following awards: Ray Miller, Crystal Image, Golden Shovel Awards and Milestone Recognition Awards.

The Chamber of Commerce looks forward to hosting its Annual Dinner on January 25 to honor and celebrate the outstanding contributions of its members and their businesses. The Chamber’s past five annual dinners were sell-outs so make sure to register early! Tickets are $50 per person with corporate tables available at $400 and other sponsorships available.

To register for the Chamber’s 96th annual Awards Dinner, or for more information, contact the Chamber office at 419- 238-4390 or chamber@vanwertchamber.com. Reservations will be accepted until Jan. 19, 2018, unless sold out earlier. You may also register on line at www.vanwertchamber.com. Award nomination forms are available at the Chamber office at 118 N. Washington St. or call or email the Chamber office.