Troy Area Chamber of Commerce bestows Community Awards


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The Troy Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual Community Awards Celebration on Thursday, recognizing Leadership Troy graduates, along with a number of local citizens, educators, volunteers, and business leaders doing their part to better the community.

Kathi Roetter, executive director of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, recognized the 2021 Leadership Troy class, which was actually supposed to be the 2020 Leadership Troy class.

“We kept saying, month after month, ‘Let’s just wait,’” Roetter said. They waited until 2021, when they kicked of Leadership Troy in a different manner than usual by holding sessions at the Bravo Room, where speakers came to them.

“They hung in all that time,” Roetter said, saying the theme for this class of Leadership Troy graduates was “flexibility.”

Mike Scott, from US Bank, spoke on behalf of the class of Leadership Troy graduates, saying he was amazed by the passion that all of the speakers had in their niche in the Troy area.

The 2021 Leadership Troy graduates included Scott, Angela Bennedict, Sue Borchers, Christy Butera, Rhonda Clemons, Jenna Denlinger, Sandra Ehrlich, Carla Mercer, Ben Poeppelma, Bill Schlimme, Kelly Snyder, Leiann Stewart, Jamie Szabo, Erin Twiss, and Bethany Whidden.

Rob Davis, 2021 chairman of the board, encouraged the graduates to “take that next step in your journey.”

Next, Michael Ham, a member of the Troy Board of Education, awarded the Community Service Award to Ginny Beamish, who will be completing her term on the Troy Board of Education in December. Ham recognized Beamish’s previous career in education and her contributions to local boards and clubs, as well as her time as Troy’s former First Lady. He also remarked on her contributions to St. John’s United Church of Christ.

“All it took was a visit to Troy, and the decision was made. Troy would be my new home,” Beamish said when she talked about starting her career in Troy. When she retired from her career in education, she became more involved in volunteering. She shared her top observations from going from meeting to meeting, including that progress and growth happens when leadership changes periodically, as well as one should ask questions and then listen.

Troy High School Principal Dave Dilbone awarded the chamber’s Outstanding Educator to THS science teacher Jason Orsborne. Orsborne talked about how he had started out as a business major in college before changing his career path after tutoring students in math and science.

“Teaching was my true passion,” Orsborne said, saying he wanted to make a difference and share his passion for learning science.

Troy Foundation Executive Director Melissa Kleptz awarded Orsborne with a $1,000 grant from the foundation, with $500 set for the THS Principal Fund and $500 specifically for his classroom.

Melissa Nichols, 2016 Young Woman of the Year, then read a speech from 2019 Young Woman of the Year Stephanie Baker-Silk, who was unable to attend the chamber’s event Thursday to award the Shirley Culp Davies Memorial Young Woman of the Year.

Nicols announced the 2021 Young Woman of the Year was Kim Meier, donor relations officer at the Troy Foundation. Meier was a graduation of Milton-Union High School and studied at Marietta College. She was the youngest president of the Kiwanis Club and also volunteers with her church.

Meier was also unable to attend the chamber event, but the chamber captured the moment they surprised Meier at the Troy Foundation with this award on video.

“This is very nice to be recognized,” Meier said in the video, adding that the organizations she has volunteered with have helped her grow as a person.

Mark Francis, the 2019 Young Man of the Year, then presented the 2021 A. Robert Davies Memorial Young Man of the Year award to Ben Redick of Bruns Realty. The chamber recognized Redick for his contributions to Troy Main Street, the Troy Development Council, the chamber as a Chamber Ambassador, the United Way of Miami County’s Community Investment Committee, and more.

“I’m speechless,” Redick said, saying he likes to be a part of the community and watch Troy grow.

Earl Reives then presented the Distinguished Citizen of the Year award to Jim Taylor, who owned Troy Ford for over 40 years before his retirement.

Reives recognized Taylor’s involvement in the chamber, community events, local organizations, Ginghamsburg Church, and the Taylor Family Fund at the Troy Foundation.

“I appreciate all the good comments,” Taylor said. “It’s an honor to receive the award.”

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