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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES 2019 HONOREES 10-22-2019

Another outstanding array of honorees have been selected to be saluted by the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce at its 53rd Annual Appreciation Banquet. The banquet will be held on October 22 at The Christ United Methodist Fellowship Annex (Corner of Walnut and Portsmouth St) You may purchase tickets by calling the Chamber office 740-286-2722 or stop by the Chamber located in The Office Commons All tickets must be paid for in advance or when picked up. Price per ticket is $40.00.

Here is a list of the 2019 honorees:

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – Iron City Pipe And Supply – This was a monumental year for Iron City Pipe And Supply as it converted a former box manufacturing building on South Bennett Avenue into its new Jackson location. In operation since 2004, it is a full service supply company providing its clients with a wide range of quality products from trusted sources. Iron City carries an extensive catalog of tools and a wide variety of pipe, valves and fittings from the top manufacturers in the United States.

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR – Whit’s Frozen Custard – Starting in a small shop, Whit’s had to move to their current location on Huron Street to accommodate the growing business. Whit’s Frozen Custard is a superior premium ice cream dessert and has a large number of flavors and toppings.

COMMUNITY PRIDE AWARD – Jackson Area Kiwanis Club – The Kiwanis club members spend their summer months watering the flowers on the lighted lamp posts in downtown Jackson. But during the entire year, they are dedicated to serving the needs of children and assist in many other community activities, including the Pig Iron Day celebration.

COMMUNITY PRIDE AWARD – Jason Gillum for Jeepin For Joy – Jason Gillum, who has been a part of many community projects, started what has become an annual event with three rides each year benefiting a number of charities. Although now under the auspices of the Jackson Area Festival And Events Association, Gillum remains the chairman of the yearly rides.

MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD – John Ellenberger – This year marked the culmination of a half century of service to the community by John Ellenberger, who had managed the Mid-City Cleaning Center almost ever since his family built the facility on Broadway Street in the 1960’s.

BEAUTIFICATION AWARD – The Local – Located in the Masonic Temple building on Pearl Street, The Local is an art gallery housing artisans from the local area, and featuring The Local Salon And Spa.

BEAUTIFICATION AWARD – Walmart – The Jackson location on East Main Street just finished a $4 million plus upgrade and remodeling to its store.

BEAUTIFICATION AWARD – Kelly Wiley – Kelly Wiley has purchased multiple downtown buildings and is renovating the previous unused upstairs sections of those buildings into downtown apartments.

BEAUTIFICATION AWARD WINNERS

A communmity must work hard to keep itself presentable and beautiful, and it takes an entire community to accomplish it.

Once again this year, the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce is singling out three such indidividuals and businesses as Beautification Award winners to be presented at the chamber’s Annual Appreciation Banquet.

“It is so vital to have those who take great pride in our community and show it every year in this fashion,” noted Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director Randy Heath. “These are strong contributions that truly show the vibrancy of Jackson.”

THE LOCAL

Opening in 2016, THE LOCAL, located on Pearl Street in Jackson in the Masonic Temple building, is a combination salon, spa and art gallery owned by Karisa DeLay.

The spa and salon is a full service spa and salon operated by DeLay, who has been in the salon business in Jackson for the past 18 years.

As for the gallery, they sell the works of local artisans including paintings, pottery, jewelry and other hand-crafted items.

“Artists needed a place to house their works,” commented DeLay on the purpose for opening the gallery.

KELLY WILEY

Wiley, a local realtor for the past 13 years and broker for Kelly Wiley Realty, is in the process of developing multiple apartments in the downtown area.

She currently owns three buildings downtown on Broadway Street just west of Main Street. She has developed upstair living apartments in two of them and is working on the third. One of those buildings will house on the first floor The Sweetery, which is expected to open by the first of the year.

“When I bought my first building in 2014, I saw a great need for more development in the downtown,” said Wiley, “and was inspierd to have people live, work, shop and eat downtown. I am working toward that goal and seeing a revitalization in the downtown area.”

WALMART

Late this summer, Walmart completed a $4 million-plus renovation of its Jackson store on Main Street.

“The amount of money invested here shows our long-term commitment to the Jackson area,” stated longtime Jackson store manager Greg Blankenship.

Among the biggest changes were the commencing of their new grocery pick-up service, changing the floor from tile to concrete throughout the store, flooring which requires less maintenance and is more durable, adding to the store’s color scheme and improved lighting in the produce section.

The chamber’s 52nd Annual Appreciation Banquet honoring these Beautification Award winners will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at the Family Life Center of the Christ United Methodist Church on Portsmouth Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour commencing at 5:30.

Reservations are available by contacting the chamber office at the Office Commons on Huron Street and Burlington Road at 286-2722 or in person at 135 Huron Street.

Other honorees include Iron City Pipe And Supply as the Business Of The Year, Whit’s Frozen Custard as Entrepreneur Of The Year, Jackson Area Kiwanis Club and Jeepin For Joy as coordinated by Jason Gillum as co-Community Pride Award honorees, and Johnny Ellenberger as the Meritorious Service Award recipient.

MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD

JOHNNY ELLENBERGER

After his service to his country, Johnny Ellenberger wanted to provide a service to his community and family as well.

And he did just that, for more than 50 years.

For his work, then ownership, then management of the Mid-City Cleaning Center for a half-century, Ellenberger will receive the Meritorious Service Award from the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce at its annual Appreciation Banquet this fall.

“Johnny has been one of those persons who has always been there to help anyone who needed it and provide a service that was critical for our community,” said Randy Heath, Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce executive director. “He can certainly be proud of his service to Jackson as he can now relax and reflect on a job very well done.”

It was in the 1960s that Johnny’s father, Merle Ellenberger, decided that Jackson needed a new, modern laundromat and the Mid City Cleaning Center was born. Merle had become a business institution in Jackson, managing the prominent G. C. Murphy Store in downtown Jackson for more than 30 years.

When Johnny returned home from the service and Vietnam in 1968, his father offered him the opportunity to buy and manage the laundromat. He jumped at the chance and in 1969, was the new owner of the laundromat he had helped keep clean during his high school days.

“For me, it was never about the laundromat business itself as much as it was always about the customers,” he recalled. “My dad instilled in me a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility, but also the fact the customers were always the priority.”

And Ellenberger lived true to that creed.

There were countless times Ellenberger would use his own resources to help people in need, carrying laundry out to the car for someone unable to, buying food from the old Swirly Top if they were hungry, maybe a coat for a child in need, or a ride. No matter the need, if he could help, that was his desire as he helped many generations during his five decade association with the business.

The relationships, though, involved among the owners of the facility have certainly come full circle.

When Merle came to Jackson, he and his wife Amy became friends with the Bennett family, whose daughter, Bernadine, worked for Merle at Murphy’s. When Bernadine married Art Stockmeister, Merle encouraged Art to go into the plumbing business and did one of his first jobs for Merle. 

In 1999, when Johnny wanted to spend more time with his wife and three daughters, he sold the laundromat to Art’s son, Alan, but remained the manager for the next 20 years until August 31 of this year, which allowed him to continue his interaction with the patrons he enjoyed so much.

Ellenberger will be among those honored at the chamber’s 52nd Annual Appreciation Banquet, which will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at the Family Life Center of the Christ United Mehtodist Church on Portsmouth Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m., with a social hour commencing at 5:30.

Reservations are available by contacting the chamber office at the Office Commons on Huron Street and Burlington Road at 286-2722 or in person at 135 Huron Street.

Other honorees include Iron City Pipe And Supply as the Business Of The Year, Whit’s Frozen Custard as Entrepreneur Of The Year, Jackson Area Kiwanis Club and Jeepin For Joy as coordinated by Jason Gillum as co-Community Pride Award honorees, and Beautification Award winners The LOCAL, Kelly Wiley and Walmart.

COMMUNITY PRIDE AWARD

JEEPIN FOR JOY

For Jason Gillum, helping to provide toys for kids at Christmas has been a labor of love for more years than he can count.

But now, still with his assistance, it is a labor of love, and joy, for so many other people with the positive results continuing to grow.

It is for that effort by Jason in the beginning and the many more that have joined since that Jeepin For Joy, its coordinator, Jason Gillum, and its sponsor, the Jackson Festival And Events Association, are being bestowed the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce Communithy Pride Award this year.

“It is so important for all of us to be there for the children of our community,” remarked Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director Randy Heath. “When you can have fun while doing it makes it twice as nice, as Jason and all of the Jeepin For Joy participants have proven.”

In 2016, Gillum wanted to expand his program and include more people, including JAFE, which now is the sponsor for the Jeepin For Joy rides.

The first ride was in August three years ago, when 52 Jeeps showed up to go on a 100-mile journey that included journeys to Buckeye Furnace and the Moonville Tunnel in Vinton County.

“We did it as a fund raiser to buy Christmas gifts,” said Gillum, who still servers as the coordinator. “Those taking part can either bring toys or buy a shirt with the proceeds going to purchase more toys.”

After one ride in 2016 and 2017, in 2018 they conducted Jeepin For Jackets with Gillum and Jeff Bryant of Bryant Exhaust partnering under the auspicies of JAFE, with another Jeepin For Jackets ride this month.

This year, a feature ride was the Jeepin For Joy Mud Run. They also were able this year to buy a trailer to store the toys and had a booth at the Jeep Fest in Chillicothe.

“Last year, we helped 343 families including 1,000 children with toys for Christmas,” he noted. “We hope it continues to grow.”

Gillum is the owner of multiple entities, including the Gillum Insurance Agency, Gillum Rentals, Gillum Farms aka Honky Tonk Stables, and is the event coordinator for the Stockroom 601 and the new Park’s Edge Event Center.

Jeepin For Joy will be honored at the chamber’s 52nd Annual Appreciation Banquet, which will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at the Family Life Center of the Christ United Mehtodist Church on Portsmouth Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour commencing at 5:30.

Reservations are available by contacting the chamber office at the Office Commons on Huron Street and Burlington Road at 286-2722 or in person at 135 Huron Street.

Other honorees include Iron City Pipe And Supply as the Business Of The Year, Whit’s Frozen Custard as Entrepreneur Of The Year, Jackson Area Kiwanis Club as co-Community Pride Award honoree, Johnny Ellenberger as the Meritorious Service Award honoree, and Beautification Award winners The LOCAL, Kelly Wiley and Walmart.

COMMUNITY PRIDE AWARD

JACKSON AREA KIWANIS CLUB

Assisting the community in countless ways with a focus on youth, from watering flowers downtown in the summer to assisting with the Santa House in the winter, the Jackson Area Kiwanis Club is there for the Jackson area 12 months a year.

For that dedication and service, the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce is honoring the local service organization with its Community Pride Award at its annual banquet this fall.

“Service organizations, such as the Kiwanis Club, are truly the heart and lifeblood of a community,” said Randy Heath, executive director of the chamber of commerce. “Potential business and industry want to see a community that is alive, and the Jackson Area Kiwanis Club is a great example of that.”

The local club was formed in 2004 and now has 25 members.

“The dedication of our members is the key to our success,” commented Kiwanis President Judy Wiggins. “We are very proud to be able to assist the community in all the ways that we do.”

And there are many ways they help.

Among the community projects they are involved in are assisting the Victory Grange in making Apple Butter for the Apple Festival, One Day Community Service Project, Christmas Tree Festival for the American Cancer Society, treat bags for Santa and assistance at the Santa House, Back To School Clothing, Library Craft Night and summer reading program, July 3rd Family Fun Day at Manpower Park, local school reading program, Apple Festival 5K Run, filling of 20,000 Easter Eggs and donations to sports program, the food pantry and Shop With A  Cop along with other programs.

And that doesn’t include possibly their most visible project.

Each summer, the club accepts donations, and then cares for, day after day after day, seven days a week, the flowers on the period lighting in downtown Jackson which beautifies and brings to life the downtown area.

“We had a number of members who contributed their time this year,” she gratefully added.

Among their fund raisers are the annual Spaghetti Supper, golf tournament, assisting the Jackson Fire Department at Pig Iron Day, and helping with the fire department bean dinner.

The Kiwanis Club will be honored at the chamber’s 52nd Annual Appreciation Banquet, which will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at the Family Life Center of the Christ United Mehtocist Church on Portsmouth Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour commencing at 5:30.

Reservations are available by contacting the chamber office at the Office Commons on Huron Street and Burlington Road at 286-2722 or in person at 135 Huron Street.

Other honorees include Iron City Pipe And Supply as the Business Of The Year, Whit’s Frozen Custard as Entrepreneur Of The Year, Jeepin For Joy as coordinated by Jason Gillum as co-Community Pride Award honoree, Johnny Ellenberger as the Meritorious Service Award honoree, and Beautification Award winners The LOCAL, Kelly Wiley and Walmart.

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

WHIT’S FROZEN CUSTARD

A passing thought, a long disucssion, then a dream, much hard work, and a dedication that produces a successful business.

That is the track of the journey of Whit’s Frozen Custard, the Entrepreneur Of The Year honoree this fall by the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce.

“This is the definition of what a true entreprenuer is,” noted Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce executive director Randy Heath. “These are the kinds of businesses that truly make a community whole.”

In September 2016, owners Jonda and Brad Dunn, with Jonda as the manager, opened Whit’s Frozen Custard in the mall on Huron Street.

But that wasn’t big enough, and in November, 2018 because of growing business demand, Whit’s moved one door down to a 50 percent larger facility in the same location.

“We frequently stopped at the Whit’s Frozen Custard in Waverly, and I said to Brad I would like to have one of these one day,” said Jonda. “It took us two years to decide to move forward, but we finally opened.”

Jonda, though, already had vast experience in producing delicious food items, operating Jonda’s Sweet Treats since 2007, beginning by simply baking sugar cookies. She then went into the catering business, and will once again cater the chamber’s Appreciation Banquet this year.

Of course, there are the daily lunch specials, and an unknown number of flavors when patrons start to mix and match Whit’s gourmet permium ice cream, and that doesn’t include the more than 40 toppings available.

Whit’s Frozen Custard will be among the honorees at the chamber’s 52nd Annual Appreciation Banquet, which will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at the Family Life Center of the Christ United Mehtocist Church on Portsmouth Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour commencing at 5:30.

Reservations are available by contacting the chamber office at the Office Commons on Huron Street and Burlington Road at 286-2722 or in person at 135 Huron Street.

Other honorees include Iron City Pipe And Supply as the Business Of The Year, Jackson Area Kiwanis Club plus the Jeepin For Joy as coordinated by Jason Gillum as co-Community Pride Award honorees, Johnny Ellenberger as the Meritorious Service Award honoree, and Beautification Award winners The LOCAL, Kelly Wiley and Walmart.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR!

IRON CITY PIPE AND SUPPLY

Iron City Pipe And Supply had a decision to make this year, whether they were moving on out, or moving on up to a newer, larger location. and more importantly, whether to stay home.

Fortunately for Jackson, they chose larger, newer and home, and for that reason are being honored as the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce Business Of The Year.

“Every time a business chooses to stay rather than go, especially one such as this that is so valuable to industry, it sends a very positive message to those looking to come here as well,” said Randy Heath, the chamber’s executive director. “It is great that this successful business and all of its employees get to stay home.”

Until this year, Iron City Pipe And Supply had been located on Broadway Street in Jackson since its inception. When Bellisio Foods announced its expansion and needed more land, and Iron City Pipe And Supply felt it needed more space, Bellisio Foods purchased Iron City’s location on Broadway Street and the search for a new home was on.

Several of Iron City’s customers, which stretch over a multi-state area, wanted them to relocate out of Jackson and closer to them. But of course, that would have meant hiring new employees in a different location or asking several of their employees, many longtime residents of Jackson, to relocate.

“We wanted to keep the jobs and our people here,” recalled Rick Smith, now the sole owner of the business after co-owning the business since it began in 2004 and purchasing the ownership of the last remaining partner three years ago.

And after assistance from many, they found their building, a building that was first a pants factory in the 1950s, later a plastics manufacturer and then a box manufacturer, but now the new home of Iron City Pipe And Supply on Bennett Avenue at the south edge of the city with a brand new purpose.

“This building has three times more room, from 35,000 to 103,000 square feet, and we totally remodeled it from front to back,” he pointed out about their new location which opened for business in July of this year.

“This location allows us to be on the highway in minutes,” he noted, “and being in a rural area, it is advantageous to our customers.”

Iron City Pipe And Supply is primarily an industrial based supplier, supplying pipe, valves and fittings to major industries and those contractors who work for those industries, such as power plants, the natural gas industry, chemical plants and large production facilities.

But that is really only one-half of their business, as they also have safety supplies available, such as hard hats, safety vests, tools, anything related to construction work. They also sell over-the-counter work tools to the general public that are used on work sites.

“We started out with four or five of us, and now we are up to 21 employees, with almsot 50 percent of them being added in the last two years,” Smith said.

“I want to thank all of the people who partnered with us,” he stressed. “It was a great working relationship. The Jackson County Economic Development Partnership was a big player and Alan Stockmeister was instrumental along with many others.”

Iron City Pipe And Supply will be honored at the chamber’s 52nd Annual Appreciation Banquet, which will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at the Family Life Center of the Christ United Mehtocist Church on Portsmouth Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour commencing at 5:30.

Reservations are available by contacting the chamber office at the Office Commons on Huron Street and Burlington Road at 286-2722 or in person at 135 Huron Street.

Other honorees include Whit’s Frozen Custard as Entrepreneur Of The Year, Jackson Area Kiwanis Club plus the Jeepin For Joy as coordinated by Jason Gillum as co-Community Pride Award honorees, Johnny Ellenberger as the Meritorious Service Award honoree, and Beautification Award winners The LOCAL, Kelly Wiley and Walmart.