TROY — The Troy Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) held its 84th annual dinner Thursday night at the Arbogast Performing Arts Center (APAC) to celebrate and recognize local businesses and citizens for their contributions to the local economy and community.
After the dinner portion of the evening ended and attendees were seated inside the auditorium of the APAC, the presentation began with 2021 TACC Chairman Bob Winner, of Winners Computer, and current Chairman Bryan Sexton, of Clopay Building Products Company, displaying an array of photographs looking back at various events during 2022. Sexton also recognized the ambassadors who were present for the evening; he noted they have a total of 25 members who are part of the ambassador team. The ambassador team “promote good will and serve as a public relations unit” for the chamber and are always present at new business’ ribbon cuttings the chamber conducts.
Next Kelly Snyder, executive director of the The Troy Recreation Association Inc., was recognized as the 2022 Ambassador of the Year. Sexton said the Ambassador of the Year is awarded based upon ribbon cutting attendance, luncheons and other chamber activities.
Next, Eric Roetter, 2018 Troy Strawberry Festival, introduced the 2022 Strawberry Festival Chair Kinda Roth, who was recognized for her great work with the festival. Roetter explained that Roth was named chairman in 2020, but due to COVID-19 pandemic, things were cancelled, and then the following year, due to health regulations they couldn’t have the full festival, and instead had a smaller version called the the Strawberry Jam. Roth didn’t get her full opportunity to be chair of the true festival until last year, he noted. However, 2022 was a banner year the Strawberry Festival, making a full come back after COVID with many vendors selling out their products on the first day, Roetter said. He went on to praise Roth for her leadership as festival chair, and shared that the 2022 festival had record attendance with over 200,000 attendees during the weekend.
The next set of awards were handed out by Troy Mercer, of Mercer Group Inc., who is the TACC vice chairman. Mercer recognized Dave’s Services A/C & Heating, which Dave and Shawn Denoyer own, with this year’s small Business Excellence Award
Dave Denoyer said when he stepped to the podium, “We have been blessed … People have invested in me my whole life, when I was a small child, my parents in many different ways, and I had some teachers invested in me. and if it wasn’t for them pointing me in directions they thought I was best at, I probably wouldn’t be here. I’m just grateful for the people who invested in me, which is one of the reasons why we like to invest back in our community. I just say that: invest, invest, invest. We have a lot of great things here, and to look for our children, and invest in them as well. And with that, I just want to say, thank you.”
Mercer also presented Ernst Construction with this year’s large Business Excellence Award. He said Ernst is a fourth generation family-owned business and has locations in not only in Troy, but other cities in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Georgia.
“People in the community recognize the Ernst name for their corporate leadership and long term relationships that represent their commitment to the community. Giving back in ingrained in their corporate values and regular support of local sports teams and Troy Christian Schools, to name a few, and most recently Ernst Concrete committed $1 million donation to the STEP project to improve the soccer and football facilities at Troy High School …,” Mercer said of Ernst Construction.
One of three representatives for Ernst who accepted the large business award briefly spoke about their roles with the business after he thanked the Chamber, joking by saying, “Thank you for the great honor, and I want to say, whatever Dave said is good,” which drew laughter from the crowd.
Also attending the ceremony was state Senator Stephen A. Huffman, who spoke and thanked all in attendance for the “honor and privilege to serve” and praised TACC President Joseph Graves, Executive Director Kathi Roetter and Membership and Program Director Shelby Chaney for their great work at the chamber. He also spoke highly of the family-owned businesses in Troy and the Troy community as a whole.
Lastly, Graves awarded the President’s Award to Haren’s Market for its impact on the city of Troy. The President’s Award is handed out as a way to recognize a business or individual for making a true impact to our community and region. Graves said most of the time when he speaks to Troy city visitors, he hears about their visit to shop at Haren’s and great comments made about the business.
Graves said the President’s Award is typically kept secret until the ceremony, but due to owners Connor Haren and his wife Hannah’s busy schedule, the only way to get them to attend was to give away the surprise.
The Harens accepted the award, and during his speech, Connor thanked the chamber for the recognition and also thanked and praised his wife, saying the business became what it is today after Hannah joined the business in 2016. He called for a round of applause for Hannah.
“Hannah and I both are products of Troy, born and raised in Troy. I have said since the beginning that Troy is an absolute fantastic place to own a business, in part due to organizations like the chamber … but most importantly, the community. I don’t know if you get a community like you do in Troy in other small towns of this size. People love shopping and spending their money locally,” Connor said. “ … Troy just seems to breed fantastic people who work and live in this town… I see a lot of familiar faces in the crowd, and you guys keep shopping, we’ll keep selling.”