Annual Dinner

Koehler Welding’s Ungru honored
with Madison Chamber award

Salvation Army earns Nonprofit of the Year Award

(February 2019) – Dave Ungru of Koehler Tire and Koehler Welding has dedicated much of his time and money to establishing a high school Pathway program for students at four area schools – Madison Consolidated High School, Shawe Memorial High School, Southwestern High School in Hanover, and Switzerland County High School in Vevay, Ind.

Photo by Don Ward

From left, Brenna and Vinal Lee accept their Nonprofit of the Year Award for the Salvation Army from chamber Executive Director Lindsay Bloos.

The program began in 2015 with eight students at MCHS when Cub Manufacturing was created. In 2016 a second program was opened at Ivy Tech Community College in welding for MCHS and Switzerland County students. In 2017 Cub Engineering was created inside MCHS. In 2018 Industrial Maintenance classes were started at Ivy Tech. Students from MCHS, Shawe Memorial, Southwestern and Switzer-land County schools are attending. In these four programs there are now 63 students, with 17 graduates as of the end of last year, according to Ungru.
The work-based Cub Manufacturing learning program at MCHS, for instance, offers students the opportunity to directly apply classroom learning in a hands-on production environment. The students have worked on several projects around the city.
Ungru’s dedication to create such a program on Jan. 23 earned him the 2018 Jeff Garrett Community Service Award at the 95th Madison Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner. The event, which attracts around 300 members and guests each year, was held at Clifty Falls State Park’s Overlook Room.
“We are now starting an apprentice program to help those students get involved in a trade who are not planning to go to college,” he said.
Ungru was presented the award by his son, Doug, who also works at Koehler Welding.
In 2016, the Chamber honored Ungru with its Business of the Year Award for Koehler Welding for its work and support of the student program. Ungru himself has donated thousands of dollars to the program for welding equipment and anything else the students needed.

Photo by Don Ward

Dave Ungru accepts the Jeff Garrett Community Service Award at the Madison Chamber Annual Dinner on Jan. 23.

In addition to presenting its Jeff Garrett Community Service Award to Ungru, the Chamber presented three additional awards: the Business of the Year, the Small Business Person of the Year, and the Non-Profit of the Year. These prestigious awards are given to those who demonstrate leadership, vision, innovation, and dedication to the Jefferson County Community.
Jacqueline Overpeck was presented the Business of the Year Award for her success at the All kids Can Therapy Services in Madison. The business, founded in August 2010 by Overpeck, addresses the therapy and behavioral needs of children in Madison and surrounding areas. Her background in physical therapy has enabled her to grow the business and form partnerships with area schools to provide therapy services.
Overpeck was visibly surprised by the award, saying, “I love Madison, and I love kids, so to have a community so supportive of my passion makes me feel very blessed. It’s amazing to find a community that is so small but makes you feel so big.”
Sandy Dierdorf of Madison Travel Co. received the Small Business Person of the Year Award in recognition for his entrepreneurial spirit and love of her community. She moved to Madison nearly three years ago and has become a strong proponent of the town to visitors. 
Vinal and Brenna Lee, who manage the Madison Salvation Army, were presented the Non-Profit of the Year Award. Their dedication received a standing ovation from the crowd as the many aspects of service to the homeless and needy were listed by presenter Nadja Boone. The Salvation Army last year served more than 48,000 meals, Vinal Lee said. They provide dental services and shelter to the homeless and the needy on cold winter nights. They also conduct weekly religious programs to families and individuals in the community. It is the oldest nonprofit agency in Madison, Boone said.

Photo by Don Ward

From left, Mary Beth Boone presents the Small Business Person of the Year Award to Sandy Dierdorf of Madison Travel Co.

“I think this is far less an award to the Salvation Army but shows a commitment to the community,” Vinal Lee said. “The Salvation Army is an idea that belongs to anyone who wants to make it possible.”
The event also marks the transition of leadership for the Chamber. Outgoing board president Shaun King of Sherman, Barber & Mullikin CPAs handed over the reigns to incoming president Daniel Butler who owns Butler Family Dentistry. Other executive committee officers are Brenda Eversole of Century 21, vice president; Kim Taylor of Friendship State Bank, treasurer; and King, past president.
Butler said in his incoming presidential address that the chamber planned to continue with the new Chamber “Guide to Madison” booklet again in 2019. The booklet was first published last year, with 5,000 copies, and was well received, he said.
Meantime, Bloos reported earlier in the evening that the Chamber set another record in attendance and fundraising at the popular Soup, Stew, Chili & Brew, held last October on Madison’ Main Street.

Photo by Don Ward

Todd Boone (right) presents the Business of the Year Award to Jacqueline Overpeck, who founded and operates All Kids Can Therapy Services LLC in August 2010 in Madison, Ind.

Last year, the food competition event, which features live music all day, earned $60,000 in food ticket sales and booth fees, she said. Of that, more than $40,000 was given back to the community through each booth participants’ charity.
Outgoing president King said another accomplishment was narrowing the membership levels from 92 to four in 2018.
Another goal in 2019 is to continue to meet with hilltop business owners to see how the chamber can better serve them.

With more than 400 members. the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce has been serving the area since 1924. The Chamber’s mission is to provide vision, support, and resources to develop business in the Madison area.

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