VAN WERT — Just over a week remains for nominations for the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce 2014 Recognition and Awards. Those awards will be presented at the 92nd Annual Dinner and Awards ceremony on Jan. 30.

Chamber President Susan Munroe is offering a chance to honor a local business through one of the recognition categories or the award categories.

The recognition categories have two types of honors: the Golden Shovel and the Milestone recognition. The Golden Shovel is presented to any current chamber member whose business has either undergone a recent expansion or addition or to a business who shows a commitment to the community through continuous improvements to its facility or through improving service.

The other recognition is for milestones. Current chamber member businesses who celebrated a milestone year in operation in 2013 are eligible. Those anniversaries in business have celebrated a milestone year divisible by five (5, 10, 15, 20…) in the past year.



The two marquee awards of the evening are the Ray Miller Award for individuals and the Crystal Image Award for businesses.

The Ray Miller Award is for a county resident affiliated with the chamber or a chamber member business. This person must have shown a strong commitment to the community through volunteer work, participation in community organizations, and outstanding service to the community. Past winners have included Jon Rhoades, Dottie Stahl, Charles Koch, and Gary Corcoran.

The Crystal Image Award is presented to a current chamber member who has demonstrated leadership within the community through business responsibility, productivity strength, employee empowerment and overall service to the community. Past winners have included Vantage Career Center, Eaton Corporation, Starr Commonwealth, and the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

The awards will be given Thursday, Jan. 30 at Willow Bend Country Club. A social hour begins the evening at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Steve Buehrer, administrator/CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and former state senator and legislator representing this area.