AURORA — Ward 5 Councilwoman Kathi Grandillo and Mill Distributors have been chosen as this year’s Aurora Chamber of Commerce person and business of the year, respectively.

They will be recognized at the Chamber’s annual holiday party and awards presentation Dec. 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Atrium of Anna Maria.

The event is open to members and non-members of the Chamber. Tickets cost $25 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres and two drink tickets, with a cash bar also offered.

A silent auction, side board and wine pull will benefit the Chamber’s scholarship fund, which provides money to high school seniors looking to further their education.

Entertainment will be provided by Johnny Live. Tickets must be reserved in advance at 330-562-3355 or

Each year, the Chamber accepts nominations from the community for the person and business of the year. A committee of volunteer member representatives then determines the honorees.

The person of the year award recognizes the contribution of a person who exemplifies civic awareness, demonstrates leadership and works for the betterment of the Aurora community.

The business of the year award is given to a local business or organization that makes a positive contribution to the Aurora business community while showing a commitment to making Aurora a better place to work and live.

"Kathi has been a civic participant for decades with many accomplishments to her credit, most recently representing Ward 5 on City Council and capably chairing the planning commission," said Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.

"Mill Distributors has been an important part of Aurora’s business community for more than 20 years, and owner Doug Wieder has made a point of being involved in Aurora.

"Both recipients are so deserving of these awards, which honor their ongoing willingness to give back to their community. I sincerely congratulate both of them."


Grandillo works full-time as an office administrator for RFI Americas Inc.

"She is the embodiment of the above qualities," said Chamber Executive Director Laura Holman. "She works tirelessly and with amazing positivity on any project in which she is involved."

Grandillo is involved with Club Walden, the Walden Homeowner’s Association, American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Rotary Club of Aurora, city planning commission and City Council (Ward 5 representative).

"This is a short sample from a long list of Kathi’s involvements," said Holman.

"Kathi works diligently to understand and represent the interests of her constituents and the community at large while forging relationships with other members of Council and the administration in order to best determine the needs of the city."

She chairs the planning commission, and according to Holman, "is known for her ability to intelligently and reasonably consider the important issues that come before it. She treats everyone with respect, and is granted that same respect in return."

As fellow Rotarian Laura Radcliff states in her nomination, "Above all else, Kathi is a mom who loves and supports her two sons at every opportunity."

"That unshakeable, loving support is extended to Kathi’s entire family, and truly is at the heart of all she does," added Holman.

"I am humbled and extremely honored to be presented with this award," said Grandillo. "I truly enjoy being involved in such an amazing community and just try to live each day to the fullest."


It is a fourth-generation family company that has served the commercial interior needs of hospitality, health care, education, commercial and government facility industries since 1926.

It is currently run by Doug and Tom Wieder, and was started by their grandmother Beatrice Marx in Cleveland. It built its 40,000-square-foot building in Aurora in 1996.

The company designs, manufactures and installs many of its own products, including a line of terry towels, decorative bedding and window coverings.

She said Doug Wieder, currently a member of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce and Portage Development Board, believes strongly in giving back to the community.

"He is always willing to help support and promote the Aurora business community, giving both of his time and talent and providing donations to worthy causes," Holman explained.

Mill also offers internships to local high school and university students.

"We are honored to be named business of the year," said Doug Wieder. "We feel strongly the need to support our customers and the community.

"In addition to trying to make a difference here in Aurora and Portage County, we also recently donated a significant quantity of linens and bedding to aid in the hurricane relief efforts in Texas.

"We are fortunate to be able to run a fourth-generation family business beginning our 92nd year."

330-541-9400 ext. 4189