By SHELLEY TERRY - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ashtabula County Chamber of Commerce 126th Annual Meeting and Business Excellence Awards drew a packed house Friday morning at Kent State University Ashtabula campus.
Ten awards were presented to members of the chamber after everyone enjoyed fine fellowship and a hearty catered breakfast.
Jessica Forsythe, president and CEO, started the festivities by welcoming everyone and then asking all board members to stand and be recognized. She then introduced Tina Stasiewski, chairperson of the board.
Stasiewski, vice president of business development at Ashtabula County Medical Center, said the board of directors had four initiatives this past year:
• Take an active approach to connecting members with elected officials;
• Endorse the Ashtabula Area City Schools levy;
• Launch Engage Ashtabula County, and
• Name and logo change to the Ashtabula County Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber members then elected four new board members: Patrick Colucci, Bill Hyland, Holly Mayernick and Trevor Sprague.
Forsythe thanked outgoing members Tony Orlando and Ryan Richard.
Award winners recognized with plaques were:
• Cristal — Connect Award;
• Andover Bank — Engage Award;
• Ferrante Winery — Advocate Award;
• President’s Award — Thomas Fence Co., and
• Bright Star Award — Tina Stasiewski.
The Young Professionals of Ashtabula County’s Top Five Under 45 Awards went to Dawn Cragon, Ashtabula County treasurer; Bryce Heinbaugh, Insurance Exchange, RadioActive Electronics and The Great Outdoors Store; Sarah Masek, Beatitude House; Jim Timonere, Ashtabula City Manager, and Mark Winchell, Ashtabula County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Forsythe note several upcoming activities for chamber members, including Cleveland Indians opening day, Castaway Bay family weekend, Good Morning Ashtabula and a golf outing.
She also discussed the benefits of chamber membership, which includes COSE: Small Business Resources affiliation, conference room rental at the chamber office, networking, software, education, Office Max, Facebook and Twitter.