The chamber’s top honor, the Bud and Donna McGhee Community Service Award, was presented to Dr. Clyde Evans. Evans has been a teacher, a counselor and a principal in the public schools. At the University of Rio Grande, he filled four vice president positions and also served as provost. He taught education and psychology at URG. Between tenures at the University of Rio Grande, he directed a project for the United States Sports Academy in Saudi Arabia.
From 2003 through 2010, he served the people of Gallia, Jackson, Vinton and parts of Lawrence and Ross Counties as State Representative for the 87th House District. His legislative service includes membership and leadership on numerous committees and commissions and councils.
His list of community service activities over the years includes:
• President, Gallipolis Rotary Club;
• Assistant District Governor, Rotary International;
• President, O.O. McIntyre Park Commission;
• President, Rio Grande Village Council;
• Board member, Gallia County Historical Society and Gallia County CIC;
• President of the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce.
Most recently, in 2009, he received the Ohio Career Colleges and Schools Distinguished Government Service Award, for championing the Ohio College Opportunity Grant program.
Evans and his wife, Rosemary, are the parents of four children: Judge Margaret Evans, Sarah Evans Moore, Nancy Seeberg and Dylan Evans.
Following are the rest of the 2010 chamber awards and their respective recipients:
• 2010 River Recreational Festival Chair — Amy Miller
Miller has served as the chair of the River Recreation Festival for the past two years, 2009 and 2010. When you ask her about this particular activity and what it takes to chair such an event, she will tell you it is both exciting and challenging. As River Rec chair, it was her responsibility to organize the event, as well as be in the city park throughout the four-day festival to make sure everything ran smoothly. To do this she worked with many vendors and crafters, available to assist them with any of their needs throughout each day. As she points out, although at times the challenges of the festival could be somewhat nerve racking, she loved every minute of being able to be a part of this most important community event. She not only had the opportunity to meet and make new friends, but also see and visit with her old friends, who come to the festival each year.
In past years, she has volunteered with a number of organizations, and she is quick to tell you how important it is to volunteer in our community. As she points out, it gives her an unique opportunity to expand her horizons through community involvement.
• Volunteer of the Year — Jodie McCalla
McCalla is the Assistant Vice President, Director of Product Development, at the Ohio Valley Bank in Gallipolis. Before returning to Gallia County in 2008, she lived out of state for several years, pursuing a successful career in engineering.
As soon as she returned to her native county, she became very involved in her home community. An active member of the Gallipolis Rotary Club, she is a board member, chairs the Rotary Memorial Scholarship and Gallia County Livestock Queen and Princess Contest and was elected the 2011 Vice President, to become President Elect in 2012. She is a founding member and President of Generation Gallia Young Professionals Network (YPN), an organization very involved in several community projects.
Other volunteer work McCalla donates her time and effort to include: serving on the 2011 Relay for Life Committee,Webmaster for the Gallia County Junior Fair and a 4H Project Judge.
She was the recipient of the 2010 Ohio Valley Bank James L. Dailey Community Service Award.
• Committee of the Year — Gallia County Snack Pack
The theme, clearly demonstrated by the Gallia County Snack Pack Organization, is “Helping to Feed Gallia County’s Hungry Children, One Child at a Time.” Although it is difficult for many of us to imagine going an entire week-end without food, numerous children in Gallia County return to school on Monday morning, hungry and anxiously anticipating the free breakfast available at their school. The mission of the Gallia County Snack Pack Organization is to reach those children and in some small way, improve the quality of their life.
Established in 2007, and copied from a national initiative created by America’s Second Harvest Food Bank Network, Gallia County Snack Pack began distribution at Rio Grande Elementary, delivering 85 bags of food. Now, four years later, they serve all seven elementary schools in Gallia County, providing more than 650 bags each month. As a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations are utilized for the purchase and distribution of food items.
Perhaps more valuable than offering the food, these bags provide a sense of consistent, compassionate care, with the potential for a positive impact on the lives of families in Gallia County.
• Beautification Award — City of Gallipolis
A significant step forward was taken by the Gallipolis City Commission to make Gallipolis a more attractive place for both those who live here and the increasing number of tourists who come to visit this historical French City. Gallipolis is now more than 220 years old, with numerous aging commercial and residential buildings. Over time, many of these structures were not properly maintained, to ensure both their safety and function. As a result, the commission felt it necessary, for the safety and well being of the residents, to take a hard look at any unsafe structures and do something about it. With help from a grant the county shared with the city, a number of these have been demolished.
Through the Gallipolis in Bloom program, established locally five years ago, the motivation and excitement to make the city look more appealing developed. The visiting America in Bloom judges, shared beneficial suggestions as to how the city would not only be more beautiful, but also become a better place to live, work and play.
• Community Involvement Award — Norris Northup Dodge
The philosophy of Mike Northup, owner of Norris Northup Dodge, is and has been an important part of his success as an automobile dealer. Included are the following: the importance of actively participating and taking pride in the community, while maintaining a positive work ethic; all businesses working together, not just individually, to develop and promote the successful future of Gallia County and the surrounding area; and the need for new business and industry in this area is vital to keep future generations here.
This philosophy is clearly demonstrated and very apparent through his ongoing generosity for school and community events and projects.
A native of Gallia County and a graduate of Gallia Academy High School who attended The Ohio State University, Northup bought what is now Norris Northup Dodge in 1987. He employs 41 people and served from 1992-2000 on the Chrysler Corporation Dealer Council.
• Sudden Impact Award — Red’s Truck Center
In October 2009, the Brabhams broke ground for their brand new Red’s Truck Center, located just off Ohio 850 and U.S. 35. Growth in commercial truck service and repair, combined with a shortage of space at Red’s Rollen Garage on Ohio 554, motivated the Brabhams to build the new structure to service commercial truck traffic.
Dedicated on Aug. 9, 2010, Red’s Truck Center opened for business, with the building actually completed in December 2010. During this short period of a few months, they have experienced tremendous growth, largely attributable to the increased work space, parking area and visibility from U. S. 35.
Red’s Truck Center provides fleet maintenance, commercial truck and trailer repair and service, with their mobile repair fleet housed there. They also offer wholesale and retail parts sales. Currently they have 13 full time and two part time employees, with a goal of 20 full time by mid-April.
• Small Business of the Year — Blodgett Dermatology, Inc.
Blodgett Dermatology, Inc., moved into their new building located on Ohio 850, in December 2009. Tom Blodgett, MD, initially formed Blodgett Dermatology, Inc. in October 2005, and practiced in Chillicothe, until his return to Gallipolis in the fall of 2007.
A graduate of The Ohio State University Medical School in 1994, Blodgett completed his residency in dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic. He then practiced as a board certified dermatologist in Gallia County from 1998 until 2005, when he went to Chillicothe to establish his own organization.
Currently, Blodgett Dermatology, Inc., employs two receptionists, a staff of three medical assistants, a physician’s assistant and an office manager.
The following businesses joined the chamber in 2010: Aarons Inc.; David K. Smith, DDS Inc.; French Art Colony; French Colony Chorus; Laurel Valley Creamery, LLC; McCormick’s Custom Meats; Orville Ingalls; Point Pleasant Printing; Red’s Truck Center; River City Outdoor Advertising; SERVPRO of Jackson & Gallia Counties; Tree Care Specialists.
Following are the members of the chamber board of directors for 2011: Jimmy Wiseman, President; Kyla Carpenter, 1st Vice President; Bryan Long, 2nd Vice President; Deb Rhodes, Treasurer; Lori Young, Secretary; Ray McKinniss, Past President; Dave Wiseman, CIC Representative; Tammi Brabham (New in 2011); Melissa Davis; Matt Rodgers; Josh Simmons; Tommie Vaughn.
The chamber staff includes Lorie Neal, IOM, Executive Director; Michelle Miller, Administrative Assistant; Marianne Campbell, volunteer.