Special Recognition

Kloepfer, Lytle Funeral Home earn Madison Chamber awards

Kloepfer has long history helping Hispanic families

(February 2017) – If you attended high school in Jefferson County, Ind., chances are you had Shirley Kloepfer as a teacher. After college and a stint of working with the Peace Corp in South America, Kloepfer spent many years teaching Spanish at Madison Consolidated and Southwestern high schools.
Driven by her concern for the poor and disadvantaged, she spent much of her life serving those in need, especially Spanish speaking families.

Photo by Don Ward

Shirley Kloepfer (left) on Jan. 18 receives the Service Award from Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Bloos.

As a founding member of the community service agency La Casa Amiga, she has tirelessly worked to break the communication barrier for Spanish speaking citizens. Kloepfer spends hours guiding people through job searches, opening bank accounts, enrolling their children in school, getting a driver’s license, and countless other tasks most people take for granted. She has translated in many situations where exact understanding is critical, such as in doctor’s offices and legal discussion. In addition, Kloepfer serves on the City of Madison Human Relations Commission and has been the driving force behind the Hispanic Cultural Awareness Day held every fall. She has tirelessly dedicated herself to serve the Jefferson County community.
As a result of her work and dedication, Kloepfer on Jan. 18 was presented with the Jeff Garrett Community Service Award by the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. It was one of several awards handed out that evening in front of more than 300 people during the chamber’s 93rd annual Awards Dinner, held at Clifty Inn in Madison.

Photo by Don Ward

Trevor Lytle (center) receives the Business of the Year Award from Doug Ungru (left) and Todd Ungru (right).

“I really did not expect to receive this award, so I don’t have a prepared speech,” Kloepfer said. “I thank you for the award, and I thank God for giving me the strength to do what I love.”
The Jeff Garrett Community Service Award goes to a person in the community who is an outstanding member of the community. It is named for the late Garrett, a former chamber executive director who founded the chamber’s Soup, Stew, Chili & Brew festival and also was instrumental in creating the popular Madison Ribberfest and RiverRoots Folk & Art Festival. Garrett died in October 2005 from heart complications.
The evening provided an opportunity for chamber members and guests to mingle, network and celebrate the collective success of local businesses. The night also marked the end of chamber board president Dan Wright of FPBH Inc. engineering firm and the beginning of incoming board president David Sutter, 30, an attorney with Jenner, Pattison, Sutter and Wynn.
In addition to the Jeff Garrett Service Award, five other awards were presented including the Chamber Ambassador of the Year, the Board Member of the Year, the Small Business Person of the Year, the Business of the Year and the Non-profit of the Year. These prestigious awards are given to those who demonstrate leadership, vision, innovation and dedication to the Jefferson County community.
The Business of the Year Award was presented to Lytle Funeral Homes and Cremation Service. Trevor Lytle accepted the award on behalf of the family business, which has been in business since 1920.

Photo by Don Ward

Mary Beth Boone (center) receives the Small Business Person of the Year Award from Mike and Deb Fine.

The funeral home experienced great success and expanded in 2016 to include two new locations. Lytle Funeral Homes and Cremation Services has always been supportive of the community through its countless donations and sponsorships, Bloos said. The funeral home started the first Annual Veteran’s Supply Drive that benefited local veterans in area nursing homes, Madison State Hospital, and the Louisville Veterans Administration Hospital. Lytle also coordinates with the DAV van drivers to take supplies to the VA hospitals. In addition, it provides caring, quality service to families facing the loss of a loved one. Lytle Funeral Homes and Cremation Services is a business that has stood the test of time and grown to be a cornerstone of the Madison area community, Bloos said.
Mary Beth Boone earned the Small Business Person of the Year Award for her work with her clothing boutique, Blush on Main. Boone has innovatively transformed her boutique into a one-stop-shop for style, providing a wide range of goods and services for customers. She is a model for collaboration with her outside-the-box thinking and partnerships with other local business owners. Blush on Main was named one of Indiana’s Top 10 Boutiques in 2016.
The Non-profit of the Year Award was presented to SEI Voices for Children, which was represented by its director, Tonya Ruble-Richter. The staff and volunteers of this organization go above and beyond to represent the welfare of children in need. They have overcome transitioning staff and board as well as a deficit budget. Donating more than 8,000 volunteer hours to Jefferson County, they stand and fight for all abused and neglected children to prevent them from being in harmful environments.
Emilee Roberts, program director at Girls Inc. of Jefferson County, was named the Ambassador of the Year Award winner for displaying great leadership and strong work ethic. She has served as a chamber Ambassador for two years. In 2016, she took the position of Ambassador Chairperson to lead her peers in the program. Roberts has always taken pride in her role and promotes the chamber and its ambassador program through social media and contacts in the community.
The Board Member of the Year Award was presented to incoming president Sutter. He has been a board member since 2015 and served as its vice president last year. Sutter has consistently volunteered his time and talent to forward the mission of the chamber. He has been a supportive and reasoned voice for both the board and staff.

The chamber recognized outgoing board members Ryan Greves, Barbara Trembley and Michelle James. Sutter announced incoming board members to be Sean Runyon (VSG), Doug Ungru (Koehler Welding), Andy Lytle (Microdome Computers) and Roberts of Girls Inc.

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