GREENSBURG — Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual membership meeting and awards banquet virtually Thursday evening, bringing attendees together online via Zoom.
The evening included presentation of the coveted Don Horan Community Service Leader of the Year Award, which has been presented every year since 1975 to deserving individuals who have gone above and beyond to make Decatur County a better place.
This year’s recipient is Tami Wenning, a Westport resident who serves the community as executive director of the Decatur County Community Foundation.
Clearly surprised and ever humble, Wenning said she was embarrassed to be included in the ranks of former Don Horan Community Service Leader of the Year Award recipients.
“It’s an honor,” she said. “Thank you so very much. This is amazing. I don’t know what to say. I’m never without words, but thank you very much!”
Prior to announcing this year’s winner, Jason Barbiere from First Financial Bank and current president of the Chamber’s board of director, shared a few of the reasons Wenning was selected.
He began by saying she has a servant’s heart for Decatur County, and goes above and beyond for every person she meets whether she knows them or not.
“From taking strangers in off the streets who may be looking for shelter, a simple ride or needing some food, she epitomizes what it means to be a service leader,” he said.
“She puts service to others above self in all that she does. She does not know the meaning of the word no when it comes to good causes or efforts. She faithfully works behind the scenes to help anyone she can. She constantly rearranges her schedule to meet the needs of people, whether that is helping an elderly resident in the garden, putting down mulch around a piece of outdoor equipment at the Decatur County Family YMCA or helping a recently released inmate from the Decatur County Jail with food and transportation to her home in North Vernon. This person truly gives back.”
Barbiere noted that for several years Wenning worked at the Decatur County Courthouse, faithfully serving the public in the offices of clerk, assessor and auditor.
He also noted that she presently serves as the president of the Greensburg Rotary Club and is a member of the Westport Kiwanis Club, that she has served as past board member of the ARC of Decatur County and the Decatur County Family YMCA and was the Certified Project Learning Tree Coordinator, and that she is a member of Westport Christian Church.
“Today, she is the executive director of the Decatur County Community Foundation, and under her leadership Decatur County’s top philanthropic vehicle has grown by leaps and bounds,” he concluded.
Also presented was the Entrepreneur of the Year award, which went to Kelby Owens of Phase Financial.
Among his many involvements, Owens serves on the Investment Committee at the Decatur County Community Foundation, on the Missions and Outreach Team at Greensburg Community Church, on the Greensburg Breakfast Optimist Club Board of Directors, and as the membership chairman for the Greensburg Rotary Club. He is the chairman of the Professional Advisory Committee for All For One/The Branch, and serves on the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
One of the other matters of business conducted during the virtual meeting was naming this year’s $1,000 Small Business Grant winner, which went to local radio station WTRE.
It was noted the station is observing a decade of local ownership, and that the $1,000 will be used to improve the audio of various broadcasts the station provides via Periscope.
As a bonus, the Chamber hosted a “Happy Hour” thanks to the commitment of several business sponsors.
The first 100 people who registered for the event were given a swag box that included the necessary cocktail ingredients to follow along as the Chamber’s guest bartender, former professional boxer and Greensburg native Craig “The Golden Boy” Houk, demonstrated the proper way to make three select adult beverages.
Houk is also the founder and CEO of the Indiana Boxing Hall of Fame.
The ingredients for the cocktails were provided courtesy of Rocco’s Beverage Junction in New Point and Rocco’s Midway Liquor in Westport.
Also included in the box was a 15-ounce drink glass courtesy of Levenstein’s Abbey Carpet.
The actual swag box was sponsored by Shirk’s International, The Lincoln Street Business Center and The Studebaker Studio.
The Chamber secured the services of Chamber member Daniel Fayette & Co. to help produce certain segments of the event.
The meeting also included election of candidates to the Chamber’s board of directors. The slate was approved as submitted and included Barbieri, Mandy Lohrum from Girl’s Inc. of Shelbyville/Shelby County, Rachel Sullivan from Decatur County REMC, Barb Bohman from RBSK Partners, Patty Lange-Fischer from Langeland Farms, Dr. Jarrod Burns from the Decatur County School Corporation, Shawntea Still-Jackson from Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, Leslie Thackery from Gilliland Howe Funeral Home, Laura Walsman from Decatur County Memorial Hospital, and Kelby Owens.
Lastly, Tom Hunter of the Greensburg Community School Corporation was recognized for fulfilling his two term, six year commitment to the Greensburg Decatur County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.