GAMBIER — The winner of the Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award is always someone who has had a long-term impact on the Knox County community.
So it wasn’t a surprise when Kim Rose’s name came up as this year’s winner. Rose, an attorney with Critchfield, Critchfield and Johnston, has been involved with a ton of organizations during his time in Knox County.
“I have been blessed to have been in a number of organizations that enrich the quality of life here in Knox County,” Rose said. “And, I’ve enjoyed a number of wonderful partnerships. … When I look at the names that have been on this award, I’m humbled. I’m very grateful to be a part of that.”
Rose has served on boards for the Knox Community Hospital, Salvation Army, Knox County Mental Health and the Foundation Park Conservancy. But, its been his work with downtown Mount Vernon and Ariel-Foundation Park that has set him apart from others.
“The biggest challenge was Foundation Park. With the vision of Ted Schnormeier, the support of Karen Buchwald Wright and the support of the community, this has become something very special,” Rose said. “The Fourth of July is one of the greatest events. We had nearly 10,000 people there. I’m so proud to be part of that organization.”
Rose was just one of many individuals and business owners honored by the Chamber.
Tonya Boucher of The Peoples Bank of Gambier was honored as the Judy Klavins Ambassador of the Year. The award is given based on the person’s volunteer work and attendance at chamber meetings and events throughout the year.
“I was born and raised in Knox County, and I’m very blessed by this award,” Boucher said. “I had a lifetime of mentoring from my dad and mom, Jeff and Norma Boucher.”
The Environmental Stability Award went to the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Mike Flora and Anita Clark accepted the award for Restore, which was honored for its work recycling paint and other household and building materials and products.
Also nominated were the Knox County Recycling and Litter Prevention River Project and OSU Extension office.
The Knox County Board of Developmental Disabilities received the Heart Award, which recognizes businesses for architectural design that complements the community. Steve Oster accepted the award, which was for the new all-inclusive playground project the board has created at Memorial Park.
Also nominated were McDaniel CPA and Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Stephen W. Nease Center.
The Quality of Life Award is given to a non-profit member whose work has enriched the lives of Knox Countians. This year’s award was given to MTVarts and Susan Moreland for their work producing 42 shows in the last 12 years.
The Fredericktown Local Schools and Knox County Career Center were also nominated for the award.
Korey Kidwell, who was also the master of ceremonies, received the Volunteer of the Year Award. Kidwell served the chamber for six years and has been a board member for Knox Community Hospital, Central Ohio Technical College and Licking/Knox Goodwill Industries, among others.
Others nominated were Jeff Harris of the Area Development Foundation and Terry Walter from SCORE.
The Knox County Foundation received the Investor of the Future Award for its philanthropic work in the community. Also nominated were Kenyon College-Gambier Development and St. Vincent de Paul School for its playground.
Health Commissioner Julie Miller was named the winner of the Women in Business Leadership Award. Miller, who oversees the day-to-day operation of the agency, helped bring in a Federally Qualified Health Center to the community.
Cindy Cunningham of Murray, Rauzi, Kidwell and Cunningham attorneys and Lisa Schott of the Philander Chase Conservancy was also nominated.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for new chamber members went to North Main Cafe. Owners, Laverne and Sara Eash, and Nate and Rachel Miller, accepted the award for the cafe, which not only serves customers in downtown Mount Vernon, but helps many local charities and organizations.
The Stein Brewing Company and The Makery: Makerspace and Yarn Shop were also nominated.
Conway’s Eastside Pharmacy was named Small Business of the Year by the chamber members. Owners Denise and Kevin Conway are active in the community, helping serve Kenyon College students and sponsoring many events in the community.
Other nominees included Donley Ford Lincoln and Griffin Insurance.
Lanning’s Foods garnered the Business of the Year Award. The Gilardi family is a longtime supporter of the community and chamber.
The other nominee was First-Knox National Bank.
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