By Carol McIntire
April 24, 2012
|Rick Hannon (right) accepts the Chamber of Commerce President’s Award from President Debbie Haugh.
Six businesses and one individual were recognized for their investment in Carroll County during the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet last week.
Golden Shovel awards were presented to Consumer’s National Bank of Carrollton, St. John’s Villa, Days Inn, Huebner Chevrolet, Chesapeake Energy and Rex Energy during the banquet, which was held at Atwood Yacht Club.
Rick Hannon, president of Fusion and an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, was presented the President’s Award.
Chamber President Debbie Haugh, who presented the awards, noted Golden Shovel awards are presented to businesses that have made an investment in their business, shown growth and/or created jobs.
Consumer’s National Bank, which opened in 1994 and located on Canton Rd., has increased its cash on deposit from $2 million when it opened to over $25 million in the 18 years it has been part of the community. The bank branch underwent a major renovation in 2010 that was completed by a local contractor. Ralph J. Lober II, president and chief operating officer, accepted the award.
St. John’s Villa, located on Crest St., Carrollton, underwent a restaurant and vocational site expansion and renovation in 2011. Along with renovations to the restaurant, a bakery and ice cream station were added. The vocational environment was also expanded with the goal of allowing enrollees to reach their maximum potential. May Linne Offredo, St. John’s Villa board member, accepted the award.
Days Inn, located on Canton Rd., opened in 1999 with 43 rooms, a swimming pool and banquet facility to serve the public. In 2012, the banquet facility was transformed into six business-class rooms. Owner Don Warner accepted the award.
Huebner Chevrolet Subaru, located on Canton Rd., recently completed the construction of a 3,000 square foot Subaru showroom and added three new employees. A local contractor was used to complete the $400,000 project. Owner Scott Cole accepted the award.
Chesapeake Energy, the second-largest producer of natural gas, a Top 15 producer of oil and natural gas liquids and the most active driller of new wells in the U.S., has invested $390 million in Carroll County to date including lease bonus payments, infrastructure (roads), drilling operations and charitable contributions. The company’s operations are focused on discovering and developing unconventional natural gas and oil fields onshore in the U.S. Ryan Dean, manager, corporate development, accepted the award.
Rex Energy, a company that opened an office on Public Square, Carrollton, has paid out $35 million in bonus payments in Carroll County. The company has started drilling its first oil and gas well in the county and has been an active community member, supporting several local charities and events. Dave Rogers, who heads up the Carrollton office, accepted the award.
While presenting the President’s award, Haugh noted Hannon and his wife, Carol, have resided in Carroll County since 1994. “Rick has been an integral part of the community investing both time and money in numerous projects in Carroll County,” she said.
He has been involved in the Fine Arts Program at Carrollton High School, Carroll County Commission for Advancement of the Arts, Carroll County Foundation (where he served as secretary-treasurer and chairman), Carroll County Chamber of Commerce (served as president three years and as a board member), Field of Dreams project and the Carroll County Parks Commission (serves as a board member and is assisting with computerizing financial records), and the Community Field scoreboard and press box projects.
“In addition to all of his volunteer projects, he has been president of Fusion Ceramics since 1994,”Haugh stated. “Fusion Ceramics has provided secure jobs for area residents for many years.”
She noted the company constructed a new building in 2010 to help with warehousing.
Amir Eylon, state tourism director who was listed as “the entertainment” on the program, enlightened those in attendance about what tourism is and who is involved.
He noted tourism is a $38 billion industry in Ohio and creates $2.5 billion in state and local taxes and sustains 439,000 fulltime-equivalent jobs.
“Tourism is the fourth largest employer in the state,” he noted.
Saying Ohio is within a day’s drive of 60 percent of the nation, he noted it is ideal for a two—to-three day vacation. “We are in the heart of a really big feeder market and are located in an affordable region which makes us a perfect getaway destination,” Eylon said.
He urged those in attendance to become involved in shaping the identity of the community. “You have the natural attractions here, the historical aspect and the beauty of nature, which is what people are looking for today. Please be an ambassador for your community. Make a difference as a part of your community,” he concluded.