Piqua Chamber holds 77th annual dinner


PIQUA — Gretchen Roeth was honored Thursday evening as Order of George recipient during the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce’s 77th annual dinner at the Piqua Country Club.

Mark Wion, presenter of the Order of George award, jokingly said he may need to find a good divorce lawyer because, “I had to swear to secrecy (including from his wife) … tonight marks the 56th time the Piqua Chamber of Commerce has assembled to honor a special citizen who goes above and beyond by presenting the Order of George Lifetime Achievement Civic Award.”

“The Order of George takes its name from the phrase, ‘Let George do it’ coined many years ago,” he continued. “This award is a wonderful way for our community to honor those whose efforts improve the lives of those who work and live in Piqua.”

The recipient of the award is kept a secret until the end of the night. Roeth was completely taken by surprise, and was further surprised to see her sister who lives out of state, and daughter and son, who do not reside in Miami County, at the rear of the room after her name was called to receive the prestigious award.

A shocked Roeth told the crowd gathered in the dinning room of the Piqua Country Club, “Oh, what a night. I am never surprised about anything and this is totally unbelievable. It is an honor and I am humbled to say the least. … It’s my privileged to do things for Piqua; I love it. We moved here when I was in the eight-grade and it’s home and I am proud that I can be part of this. So thank you so much.”

Cynamyn Clem, outgoing Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce chairperson introduced Mark Reedy to attendees as the new chairman of the board for 2023.

When Reedy assumed his new role, he thanked Clem and handed her a plaque recognizing her good work as chairperson and went on to say, “I look forward to an active and productive year in the Piqua Chamber in ‘23. I want to thank Cynamyn for providing the leadership in the last year that has us on a great trajectory …”

Joe Dickerson then handed out the Commercial Beautification awards, which are given to businesses for exterior restoration work or newly constructed structures. The award winners included Crooked Handle Brewing Co., 123 N. Main St.; Cornerstone Veterinary Clinic, 301 Kienle Drive; El Tequila, 5795 N. County Road 25A; Hardee’s, 1286 E. Ash St.; Marathon Station; at Sunset Avenue and High Street; Winans Chocolates + Coffees, 310 Spring St. and on Main Street; Referees Sports Bar, 311 N. Main St.; Soak-N-Suds Car Wash, 1304 E. Ash St.; Starbucks, 1202 E. Ash St.; Wellnow Urgent Care, 201 E. Ash St.

Karen Wendeln gave the Cheryl Stiefel-Francis Award for Non-Profit Excellence to Ed Ellis, assistant to the chaplaincy of the Ohio’s Hospice Organization, and former chaplain of Hospice of Miami County. Wendeln provided a long list of Ellis’ previous service and how he has impacted Miami County the and Piqua community.

“In this role (in his current position) he is assisting the director, as well as training current medical students in end of life needs. And if you need any indication of how well respected, Ed is, they would just just ask anybody to train the new staff on how to deal with people in those situations. Ed is still teaching and caring for others as he continues in his 29th year with Hospice,” she said of Ellis.

When he stepped up to receive his award, Ellis thanked the Piqua community for the award and trusting him to serve community members’ families, along with his own family

“I am very grateful for some leadership opportunities that were granted to me as well as the continuing opportunity to serve the patience and the families that we are entrusted with everyday, thank you,” Ellis said.

David Richard, 2021 Business Person of the Year, introduced Kathy Henne, who was named the 2022 Business Person of the Year during the dinner. Henne is a real estate agent/broker and the owner of Re/Max Finest Kathy Henne Team, located on Park Avenue in Piqua.

Richard said criteria of the Business Person of the Year includes “being actively involved with the enhancement of the city of Piqua including their business, community and the Chamber of Commerce. The person should be active in the betterment of the business community; our recipient should be recognized as a leader in the community and this person should be successful in their chosen profession.”

“This year’s nominee exemplifies all the criteria outlined in the nomination application,” Richard said. “The nominators stated in the first paragraph of their letter, ‘Kathy is the perfect example of what this award is supposed to represent. Who else keeps a Rolodex with every clients’ phone number, birthday and anniversary? It’s Kathy …’”

When accepting her award, Henne thanked the Chamber for the “wonder opportunity,” along with God, her family, staff and clients.

“… I really appreciate everything. I appreciate all my clients over all the years who have given their trust to me to take good care of them. I started out this journey with a licence and goal to help people realize their dreams and we have had so much fun. I cant wait to see what the future holds.”

No posts to display