Chamber announces community award nominees

HANCOCK COUNTY — The Greenfield Chamber of Commerce plans to honor outstanding entrepreneurs throughout the county with a special dinner event on Thursday.

The annual Community Walk of Fame Awards Dinner is planned for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Adaggio’s Banquet Hall, where seven awards will be given to enterprising people nominated by their peers earlier this year. Nomination forms have circulated throughout the county for months, and the chamber’s executive committee narrowed the suggestions to three nominees per category.

Categories include: businessman and businesswoman of the year, community hero, nonprofit community service of the year, entrepreneurial spirit, chamber service and chamber champion.

The Greenfield chamber every year takes the time to applaud those who make an impact on the community through business and nonprofit efforts, because despite their hard work, they often go unrecognized, said executive director Retta Livengood.

When chamber members notify people they’ve been nominated, they like to have a little fun and bring a small treat to them at work, Livengood said.

Some people laugh; a few shed tears. But the overwhelming response seems to be shock, she said.

“So many of the people are just so surprised to be nominated,” she said. “For those of us in the community, we know they’re doing great things and great work without hoping for any kind of recognition.”

Deby Low of Forty Financial, one of the nominees for the community hero award, said she doesn’t feel deserving of the honor — the community itself is the hero, she said.

However, she appreciates being recognized for her volunteerism, she said. And she’s happy to share the spotlight with others that work hard to make the county a better place to live.

“Two organizations are nominated that I’m involved in, and I’m very happy about that,” she said.

The Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department is one of the three entities nominated for the Nonprofit Community Service of the Year award. Backpacks of Hope, which donates necessary items to homeless people, and the Rotary Club of Greenfield were also nominated.

Parks superintendent Ellen Kuker said the nomination served to fuel a sense of pride she has for her staff members.

“They work hard every day,” she said. “I’m glad somebody noticed.”

Admission to the Community Walk of Fame Awards Dinner is $50 per person and can be paid by registering at

At a glance

Businessman of the Year nominees:

Jim Dawson, On-Site Caterer

Matt Moore, Moore’s Repair

Ron Youngclaus, Jack’s Donuts

Businesswoman of the Year nominees:

Jessica Green, Lucy Couture

Kathy Hall, Berkshire Hathaway

Sharon Schakel, Bolts & Nuts of Hancock County

Community Hero nominees:

Wayne Addison

Mike Burrow

Deby Low

Nonprofit Community Service of Year nominees:

Backpacks of Hope

Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department

Rotary Club of Greenfield

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award nominees:

Joe Fiano, Post Net

Jon Smith, Smith Projects

Ruth Ann Roney, Tuttle Orchards

Chamber Service Award nominees:

David Hoover, Kemper CPA

Nick Ludlow, First Merchants Bank

Kimberly Sombke, Buck Creek Flooring

Chamber Champion Award nominees:

Teri House, Springhurst Health Campus

Mayor Chuck Fewell, City of Greenfield

David Spencer, NineStar Connect

If you go

Each year, the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce honors the best of the community’s entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders.

Admission to the Community Walk of Fame Awards Dinner is $50 per person and can be paid by registering at

Author photo
Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or