Getting Recognition

Madison Area Chamber presents annual awards in four categories

Hellmann honored with the Community Service Award

(February 2020)
Read previous Don Ward columns!

Don Ward

(February 2020) – Three individuals and one nonprofit agency were honored Jan. 22 at the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce’s 96th Annual Dinner, held at Clifty Inn and presented by First Financial Bank and featuring a “Roaring ’20s” theme.
As is the custom, last year’s winners presented the awards to this year’s winners. Previous awards winners also reviewed the nominations and selected this year’s winners. More than 250 chamber members and guests attended the event, where chamber staff also recounted the previous year’s financials, membership and accomplishments.
Stephanie Hellmann received the night’s biggest award, the Jeff Garrett Community Service Award. She was recognized for her hard work and dedication to the annual ORSANCO River Sweep for 30 years. Hellmann has also contributed to community theatre groups as an actor and board member.
She has volunteered her photography skills for several events and organizations, including “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep,” an organization that gives families professional photos as they deal with the loss of an infant and coordinates an annual remembrance vigil for those whose tiny family members left too soon. In addition to a long list of community contributions, Hellmann was also a co-founder and organizer of the Jefferson County Recycling Committee.

Photo by Don Ward

Last year’s winner Dave Ungru (left) and Madison Chamber Executive Director Lindsay Bloos (right) present the Community Service Award to Stephanie Hellmann.

“I believe we need to do whatever we can to help make this place the best it can be,” Hellmann said in a short but emotional acceptance speech.
Tom Power Jr. a resident of Louisville, Ky., received the Small Business Person of the Year Award in recognition for his entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to his business and community support. Power and his wife, Melanie, purchased Rivercrest Marina in 2015. When inclement weather caused major damage to the area, Power pressed on. He improved the marina and added a dock store and golf cart rentals.
Power has supported many community efforts, including the Wine Stein & Barrel event benefiting Madison’s Riverfront Development Committee and offering dock space to 5-to-the-5 Madison Vintage Hydros group. Recently, Power took on the project of rebuilding and re-opening the Lighthouse restaurant on the riverfront with help from his partner Steve Fischer.
“I’m very surprised and very blessed,” Power said in accepting the award. “I hope we can give good service to all you boaters out there going forward.”
Representing last year’s winner, the Madison Salvation Army, Lt. Justin Hartley presented this year’s Nonprofit of the Year Award to Kim Nyberg, executive director of the Madison Area Arts Alliance.

Photo by Don Ward

Sandy Dierdorf presents the Small Business Person of the Year Award to Tom Power Jr. of Rivercrest Marina.

The organization was honored because of its impact on our community through public art projects and bringing art to the table on economic development issues. The Alliance grew from the ground up by building partnerships, adding supporters, cultivating donors and raising funds for its mission.
In the midst of growing the organization, Nyberg also wrote the grant that recognized Madison as an Indiana Arts and Cultural District, which brought regional and statewide recognition. The Arts Alliance has served as a sounding board for the city, chamber and other organizations about the appropriateness of art or locations for public art.
The agency partnered on arts banners with the city, organized art tours and collaborated on numerous projects and events.
Right now, the group is working with businesses and nonprofits on a kindness mural, using local talent and incorporating the public to make an iconic message of hope for residents and visitors. Jefferson County, Ind., is home to many artists, and the Arts Alliance helps shine the spotlight on these residents and encourages their artistry.
“I am so happy to be associated with this organization and the fact it is located in one of the most wonderful, caring community that I’ve ever known in my life,” Nyberg said. “And we’re only just getting started. The sky’s the limit. We’re going to take this as far we can go. I can’t tell you how proud I am of the people who started this organization.”
Super ATV was recognized as the Business of the Year. The business has seen exponential growth since its humble beginning in Harold Hunt’s garage in Madison in 2004. Since then, the company has expanded to more than 250 employees, with even more expected to be hired in the coming years.

Photo by Don Ward

Jacqueline Overpeck presents the Business of the Year Award to Harold Hunt and his daughter, Lindsay Hunt, of Super ATV.

Super ATV provides after-school care and tutoring for the children of employees. The company has taken two abandoned manufacturing facilities and given them new life. Super ATV has shown its generosity to the community in a number of ways. It was one of the first to help sponsor a hilltop switchbox art project with the Madison Area Arts Alliance. The company supports various nonprofit organizations and community events. It has donated ATVs for the Madison Heritage Trail and for local law enforcement agencies. Most recently, Super ATV has made a huge impact by underwriting the cost of books and equipment to students attending Madison Consolidated Schools during the 2019-2020 school year.
Hunt and his daughter, Lindsay, accepted the award on behalf of the company, which is family owned and operated. “We are so blessed and happy to live here and be a part of this company,” Lindsay Hunt said as her father stood beside her.
“This awards means so much to our 250-plus employees because it’s our whole team that makes things happen.”
Hunt spent 27 years with Rotary Lift in Madison before leaving to start his own business.

Photo by Don Ward

Kim Nyberg, executive director of the Madison Area Arts Alliance, receives the Nonprofit of the Year Award from Lt. Justin Hartley, representing the Madison Salvation Army.

At the annual business meeting held just prior to the reception and dinner, chamber President Daniel Butler, Executive Director Lindsay Bloos and chamber Treasurer Kim Brant presented the financial information and accomplishments during 2019. The chamber boasts 332 members, with 33 new members added in 2019 and an 84 percent retention rate. Most of its $254,771 annual budget is derived from event proceeds (55 percent), while member dues account for the next highest income (38 percent).
The chamber’s signature event, mid-October’s Soup Stew Chili & Brew event, again had record-breaking crowds and revenue, Bloos reported. More than $55,000 was re-invested into the community to the event’s participating businesses and nonprofits.
Other key events including Annual Dinner, Women in Business and annual golf scramble, also saw growth last year, they said. New events implemented show promise for the future, including Politics & Swizzle Sticks, during which members have the opportunity for networking with small group discussions with elected officials.
The first Chamber Cash Mob was launched in September to make a direct impact on local businesses. Participants received gift certificates to spend at the “target” business, surprising the local merchant with $750 in sales within about 30 minutes. German American Bank sponsored the first Chamber Cash Mob and selected the target business to be Little People’s Boutique. Two Chamber Cash Mobs are already scheduled this year in February and March. 

Photo by Don Ward

Madison Area Chamber President Daniel Butler addresses the crowd.

In 2019, the chamber also saw increased use of member benefits, more participation in the Madison’s Best competition and a successful second edition of the Guide to the Madison, Ind., Area. Collaboration with community organizations, enhancing membership benefits and value, and implementing a strong strategic plan positions the chamber for action in 2020, Bloos said. 
During the dinner, Bloos announced the launch of a new digital gift card program: Madison Chamber CA$H. Available at the chamber office and online at the website  www.MadisonIndiana.com, Madison Chamber CA$H can be redeemed at participating member businesses. More information on the details of the program will be released soon. 
“The Chamber is fortunate to have dedicated business leaders volunteering as ambassadors and board members,” Bloos said. “We’re looking forward to great year in 2020.”

• Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout. Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email him at: info@RoundAbout.bz.

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