PIQUA — Lifelong Piqua resident Edna Stiefel received the prestigious Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce Order of George Award during the Chamber Celebration event at Piqua High School on Thursday evening.
Stiefel, 84, is a well-known volunteer throughout the Piqua community. She was introduced during Thursday’s event by Ruth Koon, who highlighted some of Stiefel’s contributions to the city.
“(Edna’s) career in volunteering for this community began a number of years ago when her sorority initiated an event called Breakfast with Santa,” Koon said. “That event continued for a number of years to the delight of many young children with the proceeds being donated to local charities. This was the start of her volunteerism in Piqua that would span for almost 50 years and continues today.”
Stiefel is a member of the Park Board, and vice president of the citizen-based organization The Friends of Piqua Parks, which has made improvements to both Das Park and Pitsenbarger Sports Complex. She and her late husband, Paul, together formed the North Parks Neighborhood Association.
“Her positive attitude and strong desire to improve and enhance our community’s city parks and neighborhoods is welcomed by our city staff and city commissioners,” Koon said.
Additionally, Stiefel has served as chairperson of the spiritual development committee for the Piqua YWCA, is an active member of St. Mary’s Church, and a volunteer for Piqua Catholic School and Lehman Catholic High School.
“I continue to marvel at her energy, enthusiasm and commitment by responding to many important issues facing our community,” Koon said. “I have to mention also that she does not drive but is never home. She has a very busy schedule. Her transportation to meetings is never an issue because she is such a valued member of each committee on which she serves.”
Stiefel is also the mother of Cheryl Stiefel Francis, who was chairperson of Mainstreet Piqua’s Taste of the Arts, and for whom the Cheryl Stiefel-Francis award for non-profit excellence was created in honor of.
“I am shocked. If I lived to be 100, I would never have dreamed this would ever happen,” Stiefel said after accepting the Order of George award Thursday. “I’ve had some other awards, but this one just really floored me. I’m just honored. I love this city and I’d do anything for it.”
Also honored Thursday were recipients of the Cheryl Stiefel-Francis award and the 2021 Business Person of the Year.
Justin Coby, executive director for Miami County Health Partners, was selected as the recipient of the 2021 Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce Cheryl Stiefel-Francis award.
Coby, a native of Piqua and graduate of Graham High School, was nominated by his employees, who described him as “exceptional” and a “true leader” in their nomination letter.
“In his organization, he is not only the executive director, but also functions as the pharmacist and mentors young pharmacy students,” said Lorna Swisher, who presented the award to Coby. “He shares his passion for affordable health care for all, and the clinic’s mission, with these students and with everyone else he meets.”
Mary Beth Barhorst of Piqua’s Readmore Hallmark was chosen as the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce 2021 Business Person of the Year. Barhorst was nominated for the award by Teresa Anderson.
“I honestly do not know how many years (Readmore Hallmark) has been in the downtown, but I do know downtown Piqua would not be the same without it,” Anderson said in her nomination letter.
Barhorst is known for going above and beyond for customers and for the community, engaging in downtown events and promoting local retailers and non-profit fundraisers.
“Mary Beth is what I would consider the epitome of a small town, small business owner and deserving recognition for her many years of giving and supporting the Piqua community,” Anderson said.
Normally, the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce award ceremony is an in-person event, however, in compliance with COVID-19 precautions, Thursday’s event was held at the Piqua High School and was livestreamed. The video is available for viewing on the school’s YouTube page, Indian Nation Station.