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Kokomo Chamber celebrates 2016 with awards


As part of its celebration of a successful 2016, the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce awarded 11 honors on Thursday evening.

The 102nd Annual Celebration of Commerce & Community dinner and awards program at Bel Air Events on Thursday, Nov. 3, featured reflections of the Chamber accomplishments in 2016, progress updates from the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and a special Sagamore of the Wabash award presentation.

“We are grateful for the faith our members have in us and tonight is our way of showing that gratitude,” said Marla Miller, manager of memberships with the Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward each year to the opportunity to award some amazing people and organizations in our community. This year, with the surprise announcement of a Sagamore of the Wabash Award to Mike Stegall, it made the evening even more special.”

The Chamber presented several awards to members and businesses: Business Person of the Year to Lisa Holaday of Community Howard Regional Health, Volunteer of the Year to Jason Hoffer of First Church of the Nazarene, and Chamber Ambassador of the Year to Deb Mumaw of Sam’s Club. Also, Small Business of the Year to Popcorn Café, Medium Business of the Year to Coffee Junkiez/Pizza Junkiez, and Large Business of the Year to First Farmers Bank & Trust.

The evening also included awards in non-business categories, including Impact Non-Profit Award to the Kokomo Family YMCA and Public Institution of the Year to Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.

Other divisions of the Alliance also presented awards to deserving recipients during the event: the Downtown Association’s Downtown Champion Award was given to The Coterie, while the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau awarded Oktoberfest Volkswagen Cruise-In organizer Garry McNew with its prestigious FIRSTS Award, which stands for Fantastic Individual Recognized for Superior Tourism Service.

In a special recognition, State Rep. Mike Karickhoff, R-Kokomo, presented Charles M. “Mike” Stegall with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, Indiana’s highest honor given to those who have distinguished themselves in the area of service.

“Mike has volunteered countless hours by serving on numerous community boards and committees,” Karickhoff said. “He has shown great leadership through the Kokomo Chamber of Commerce, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and the Community Foundation of Howard County. Because he helped encourage so much economic development in our area, Mike truly deserves this great honor.”