SILVER LAKE — A sunny and hot summer-like day provided the backdrop for the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards ceremony at Silver Lake Country Club May 17.

The chamber honored Judy Ray as its Citizen of the Year, Nate Winston, co-owner of E.C.P. Auto Repair, as its Business Person of the Year and Western Reserve Hospital as its Business of the Year.

Mayor Don Walters presented the awards to the winners.

Ray is the administrative principal’s secretary at Cuyahoga Falls High School and has worked at the school since 1985. Ray has volunteered for the school and community for almost 50 years, including work as a Brownie Leader, Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout and Boy Scout Leader, a Little League Baseball Representative and an active PTA member.

“Wow,” said Ray as she took the microphone following an enthusiastic ovation from the audience. “I'm very humbled and appreciative of this award.”

Winston is the co-owner of E.C.P. Auto Repair and Service, on Portage Trail, adjacent to Portage Crossing. He has been in the automotive field and worked as a business owner for nine years. E.C.P. is a full service repair shop specializing in brakes and suspension. Winston serves on the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and also served as a Board Member/?Co-Chairman for the Night at the Races Committee and is currently a Co-Chairman for Wise Guys & Wisdom.
Winston thanked chamber members as he accepted his award.

“I definitely wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Chamber of Commerce,” said Winston, who added he joined the chamber two years ago.


There are more than 1,000 employees at Western Reserve Hospital, 1900 23rd St., including more than 400 physicians and 220 nurses.

The hospital’s specialties include the Center for Pain Medicine, a full-service Cardiology Department, Cleveland Clinic Neurosurgery, a Sleep Medicine Center, a Lung Health Program that provides CT scans and free cessation classes for those wanting to quit smoking, and a 24/?7 Emergency Department.Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO of the hospital, said his employees “work extremely hard” to provide top-notch care to their patients.

“This is our mission and I know we succeed in this mission and our goal every day,” he said. “But success in an organization is more than physicians, it’s more than nurses or the clinicians.”

Starting in 2009, Dr. Kent said the hospital “committed to being more than just a large employer,” and became more involved with the community.

The ceremony closed with a surprise honoree. The chamber presented Walters with a Shining Star Award for his work leading the city.
Walters thanked his staff for their hard work.

“I’m the leader, but everyone else gets it all done,” said Walters. “There’s amazing things going on in Cuyahoga Falls. We’re all proud of that and really the sky’s the limit.”

See the May 21 edition of the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press for the complete story.