earns Madison Chambers
Community Service Award
Business Award at Annual Dinner
(February 2006) January traditionally signals
a fresh start for many businesses and organizations, but for the Madison
Area chamber of Commerce, this years Annual Dinner held Jan. 25
at Hanover College held even deeper significance.
by Don Ward
Garrett (left) and son, Drew, accept
a plaque from the chambers Leisa Grimmet
in memory of Jeff Garrett.
With the death of Chamber Executive Vice President Jeff
Garrett on Oct. 30, chamber officials told the crowd of 350-plus that
they have faced and overcome many challenges in recent months without
a leader in place. In fact, challenging seemed to be the
word of the night as speaker after speaker took the podium to describe
a difficult few months without a director.
Outgoing board president Scott Hubbard candidly expressed his frustration
of overcoming many obstacles in recent months to keeping the chamber
on track. A year ago, I didnt wear glasses and I had more
hair, Hubbard joked as he outlined the many successes of the past
Returning Chamber Foundation Board president Louis Alexander offered
similar sentiments, and both men praised the chamber staff in its ability
to move forward.
But chamber officials used the Annual Dinner to turn a corner and enter
a new era with the announcement of a new executive vice president in
Galen Bremmer, 50, a former chamber director from Wabash, Ind. Newly
installed board president Kevin Watkins introduced Bremmer to the audience,
saying he had been selected from 45 applicants. We are not looking
to fill Jeffs shoes because I dont think we could do that.
Mr. Bremmer fills the need of the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce at
this time, Watkins said.
by Don Ward
Kevin Watkins (left) presents outgoing
president Scott Hubbard with a clock to
stay on time for meetings.
During his turn at the podium, Alexander enthusiastically
echoed the feelings of many board members, saying, We are very,
very, glad to see you, Galen.
Bremmer spoke briefly, saying he was impressed with the many programs
and activities in place and marveled at how engaged its
members were in the chamber. If we can get this many more people
engaged, think of what we can do.
Without missing a beat in the transition, Watkins stepped up to the
microphone and delivered an inspirational call to arms for chamber members
to reach higher this coming year, and asking them to support or at least
participate in a discussion of his ideas. Specifically,
they included initiatives to improve education, to speak with one voice
as a chamber on important legislative issues, and to organize a consortium
of people to develop a comprehensive, sustainable plan for the
future relating to the environment and quality of life issues.
by Don Ward
Hughes accepts the Community Service Award from 2004 winner Margaret
Later in the evening, the chamber representatives presented
Madison Chemical Co. with its annual Business Service Award and recognized
Robert Hughes of Clifty Engineering as its 2006 Community Service Award
Madison Chemical Co. was founded more than 50 years ago by David R.
Beano Goodman Sr., in the garage of his home on East Second
Street. Goodman is still involved in day-to-day operations as chairman
of the board, and his son, David R. Dick Goodman Jr., is
president. Treasurer and CEO Dan Hodges accepted the award on behalf
of the company, saying, I wish the Goodmans were here beside me
because they are the true leaders of our organization.
by Don Ward
Grote (left) presented the Business Award to Madison Chemical
Co., which was represented by CEO Dan Hodges.
The company was recognized for its many contributions
to local charities and for its recent improvements in environmental
safety, receiving numerous state awards in that area.
Hughes, affectionately referred to as Mr. Miss Madison because
of his funding and support of the city-owned Unlimited hydroplane race
boat, was cleverly coerced by his executive assistant secretary of 41
years, Betty Helton, to return from Florida to be present to accept
the award. He was joined by his Clifty Engineering executive employees
Arnold Curry, Raymond Combs and Charlie Grooms who watched as he told
the audience how proud and surprised he was for winning. His company
was recognized for its support of nearly every charitable agency in
Ivy Tech Community Colleges Margaret Seifert, the
by Don Ward
newly installed chamber board posed for a photo following the
Community Service Award winner two years ago, presented
this years award because last years winner, Ron Marriage,
died last year.
The chamber also presented its Ambassador of the Year Award to River
Valley Financial Banks Linda Ralston, who won for the second consecutive
year. She was recognized for having nearly perfect attendance at ambassador
meetings and taking part in 12 of 34 ribbon-cutting events last year.
She was also credited for bringing in four of 58 new members in 2005.
In Hubbards summary of last years activities, he reported
that the chamber assisted the Small Business Development Center in opening
the Ohio Valley Food Venture commercial kitchen, expanded membership
to an all-time high of 386, sold $50,000 in Good Cents Gift Certificates,
attracted 375 participants in the inaugural Texas Hold Em poker
tournament, held four morning networking events downtown, 12 Business
After Hours events, launched an electronic newsletter online, held six
human resources workshops, four joint seminars with the SBDC, four technology
seminars and seven Third House legislative forums. It also attracted
22 teams for the spring golf outing and 34 companies to the Job Fair.
Back to February 2006