The 19 finalists for the 2018 Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Member Awards Banquet will be tonight at Ashland University’s John Myers Convocation Center in seven categories are:

 

CULTURE & RECREATION

Ashland County Park District

The Ashland County Park District (ACPD) is currently composed of 17 parks — each has natural features that make it distinct — including old-growth forest, native grassland, restored wetlands and spring-fed ponds. There are also miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, fishing ponds, bird-observation decks, river access for canoeing, and even a vintage cider press stored in a historic barn, all of which make these parks truly a unique part of Ashland County.

 

Ashland Symphony Orchestra

The Ashland Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 48th season of presenting outstanding orchestral music. Maestro Arie Lipsky's artistry and the high quality performances attract professional musicians from Ashland, the greater Cleveland and Columbus areas, and beyond. In addition to presenting outstanding music, the ASO contributes significantly to the community by providing community engagement and education programs, in-school programs, hands-on activities for young people, and scholarships.

 

HEALTH & MEDICAL SERVICES

Ashland Pregnancy Care Center

Ashland Pregnancy Care Center serves as the Pregnancy Resource Center for Ashland County and the surrounding area, by providing free pregnancy testing, limited OB ultrasound, peer counseling, education and material support, parenting classes, mom and dad mentoring, Bible studies, adoption information, post-abortion and miscarriage recovery, sexual integrity and referrals to women and men in unplanned pregnancies. The mission is to share Christ and save lives by being a Christ-centered ministry that offers a network of resources and education that equips each client to make choices consistent with God’s gift of life.

 

SOCIAL SERVICES

Ashland Pregnancy Care Center

Ashland Pregnancy Care Center serves as the Pregnancy Resource Center for Ashland County and the surrounding area, by providing free pregnancy testing, limited OB ultrasound, peer counseling, education and material support, parenting classes, mom and dad mentoring, Bible studies, adoption information, post-abortion and miscarriage recovery, sexual integrity and referrals to women and men in unplanned pregnancies. The mission is to share Christ and save lives by being a Christ-centered ministry that offers a network of resources and education that equips each client to make choices consistent with God’s gift of life. 

Crystal Care Center of Ashland

At Crystal Care Center of Ashland, their skilled nursing team provides for a variety of complex medical care services, including: wound care, physical, occupational and speech therapy, medication compliance and psychological counseling. However, their professional skilled nursing services make up just one piece of the care and rehabilitation puzzle. They have created a care community that’s as home-like as possible, but also allows for convenient, full-time medical care. It’s the best of both worlds. Their private and semi-private rooms are comfortably furnished, and their beautifully landscaped grounds are a perfect place to relax and recuperate.

The Ashland Link — SHC

The Link – Ashland assists people with disabilities to be active in their community through employment, volunteerism, socialization and recreation. The Link works with the person, their family, and the community to support them in becoming productive members of their community as well as manage the challenges of daily living. The Link provides people with disabilities a wide variety of opportunities, focusing on the development of interpersonal, social, and vocational skills.

 

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Armstrong Cable

Armstrong Cable offers consumers hundreds of viewing options, high speed internet service, telephone service and a variety of business products all over their state-of-the-art broadband network. Throughout their more than 50 years in cable television, Armstrong has been a leader in innovation. Using fiber optics and advanced technology, their networks are designed to provide leading-edge services and high reliability. Armstrong has always relied on the great people who work there. Nationally recognized for their customer service excellence, their dedication to the customer has kept them a leader in the industry.

 

Ashland Board of Reatlors

The Ashland Board of Realtors (ABOR) is the voice of real estate in Ashland County. The mission of ABOR is to unite those engaged in the real estate profession so that collectively they can: promote professionalism and enforce high ethical standards, effectively and efficiently deliver products and services that contribute to member success, protect and enhance members’ rights to conduct their business, advocate private property rights, promote community development and mutually beneficial relationships with those engaged in related business and serve the public with integrity and competency.

 

Ashland County Community Foundation

The Ashland County Community Foundation was founded in 1995 under the leadership of its president emerita, Dr. Lucille Ford, and a board of volunteer trustees. This charitable group of community members, along with three partner agencies, made a financial commitment to create a funding base for endowment and operations. A campaign for operations endowment was successfully funded in 2011, ensuring the stability of the Foundation, into perpetuity, and allowing for the hiring of its first executive director, Jim Cutright, in 2012. Mr. Cutright continues to successfully manage the affairs of ACCF, having grown its asset base from $16.2 million to over $44 million, and increased the number of endowment funds from 246 to 410 over the past five years.

 

Housekeeping By Heather & Co.

Housework. It won’t kill you, but why take the chance? Housekeeping by Heather and Company offers local, discreet and trustworthy employees to clean your home in Ashland and Richland counties. Heather Herrick is a proud native of North Central Ohio and has offered housekeeping services for over 13 years. It provides a cleaning services plan tailored to fit your home and business needs. Housekeeping by Heather & Company is involved with many local charities including the Cleaning for a Reason Foundation, which provides free cleanings to women being treated for cancer.

 

Loudonville Mohican Chamber of Commerce

The Loudonville Mohican Chamber of Commerce helps promote local business. It plans events in the community to help bring people to the community and help businesses thrive. The mission of the Loudonville Mohican Chamber of Commerce is to enhance, stimulate and promote business in the greater Mohican area and foster a collaborative and supportive climate in the community.

 

Ruth’s Driving Academy

Ruth’s Driving Academy is excited to be approaching its seventh year anniversary on March 27. The academy began as a way to keep a quality driver education program in the Ashland Area. The mission has always been to spread the knowledge of driving safety to people of all ages. Ruth’s Driving Academy provides eight different programs of education, taught by a dedicated and passionate staff. The academy has grown from 66 teen students in 2011 to nearly 500 in 2017 and over 2,000 since opening. Additionally, hundreds of adults and foreign students have been taught over the years.

 

SMALL BUSINESS

Crazy Monkey Baking

Crazy Monkey Baking began a little over eight years ago by Teresa Humrichouser, a stay-at-home mom with a degree in dietetics and a passion for baking. She wanted to come up with a healthy, easy, portable snack for her children. Since moving out of Teresa’s home kitchen, the business has expanded three times and now resides at the Claremont Avenue location, complete with a loading dock and more room to expand. Crazy Monkey Baking makes five always available varieties of Granola Cookie Crunch and Granola Cookie Crumble as well as four seasonal varieties. It has nine employees and sells to hundreds of retailers throughout the United States.

 

Eva’s Treats

Eva’s Treats is a frozen soft serve yogurt, custard, sorbet and gelato store with over 55 toppings for a guest to pick from in creating their own treat. Open year round with both indoor and outdoor seating available, EVA’s is a welcoming family-owned hometown venue in Ashland. They strive to make a positive impression on their guests, greeting them upon entering and turning them into regulars. Serving only the highest quality products, owners Doug and Nancy Pauly continue to operate the growing business in a creative fashion. They continue to improve their business by using new strategies that appeal to the Ashland area, like having sprinkles in local school colors, listening to customer suggestions, and selling their products to local schools.

 

Housekeeping by Heather & Co.

Housework. It won’t kill you, but why take the chance? Housekeeping by Heather and Company offers local, discreet and trustworthy employees to clean your home in Ashland and Richland counties. Heather Herrick is a proud native of North Central Ohio and has offered housekeeping services for over 13 years. It provides a cleaning services plan tailored to fit your home and business needs. Housekeeping by Heather & Company is involved with many local charities including the Cleaning for a Reason Foundation, which provides free cleanings to women being treated for cancer.

 

LARGE BUSINESS

Charles River Laboratories

Charles River’s mission is to improve the quality of people’s lives. Charles River is focused on attracting, developing and retaining the best and brightest, from bench-level scientists to senior scientific staff, to ensure the highest quality science and service to clients. Charles River has a global presence with 73 facilities in 16 countries. Charles River Laboratories employs over 12,000 employees worldwide and serves the leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, government and academic organizations around the world with service areas in basic research, discovery, safety and efficacy, clinical support and manufacturing.

 

Cowen Truck Line Inc.

Founded in 1972, Cowen Truck Line Inc. is a family-owned and operated truckload carrier. Cowen began operations with two trucks and has grown to 60 trucks and 85 employees in its 45th year in business. Cowen is proud of its exceptional customer service, safe driving record, courteous staff and top-of-the-line equipment. For 45 years, Cowen Truck Line has worked closely with customers to provide excellent service and streamlined delivery processes. Cowen has many long-standing relationships with customers and drivers alike.

 

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Charcoal Mafia BBQ

After completing a six-year contract with the Ohio Army National Guard, Sarah Rader knew she wanted to incorporate her family hobby, of backyard barbeque and smoking meat, into something that she could give back to the community. Based on this idea, Charcoal Mafia was created. In 2012, she started competing in BBQ competitions at the state level and won several awards, including 1st Place Brisket, perfect scores, as well as placing in the top five in all categories. In 2014, a custom food truck was built and a temporary home was located at the Old Elevator where she served lunches from spring until late fall. Since then, Charcoal Mafia now does pop-up lunches throughout the community. The business has continued to grow each year and serves a multitude of events, including weddings, corporate cookouts, auctions, luncheons, holiday parties, graduation parties and baby showers.

 

Premier Designs Jewelry — Rene Spellman

In 2003, Rene Spellman started her independent, home-based business with Premier Designs Jewelry as a way to provide extra income for her family and still have a flexible schedule. She appreciated that the 32-year-old company, based in Dallas was founded on biblical principles and has grown to become the largest fashion jewelry manufacturer in the USA. Her local distributorship has grown in the last 14 years into a full-time career. Rene enjoys expanding her business by serving women, as her hostesses and customers through home parties, vendor events and fundraisers. She has also developed a passion and mission to inspire and mentor other women in entrepreneurship by offering them the same opportunity to own their own business and meet their financial needs.