The annual Business Appreciations Breakfast sponsored by the Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Doniphan County Economic Development Commission was held on Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 a.m. at the Highland Community College Wellness Center. View the event program here.
Chamber President, Marty Allen, welcomed guests and led the group in the pledge of allegiance. Pastor Jerry Petering held the innovation and breakfast was catered by Great Western Dining.
The morning started with Teresa McAnerney, of the Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitation, who spoke about the Entrepreneurship Academy and introduced the area high school students who attended the academy that week. McAnerney thanked the Chamber for their support in providing this opportunity for the students to learn best practices for starting and managing a business.
Next, Chamber Board members Theresa Rohrer and Joyce Simpson awarded scholarships to seven Doniphan County high school and college students. Students included Jacob Smith, Tayiah Whetstine and Makenzie Koranda, all who will attend Highland Community Collge, Abigail Smith and Samantha Whitten who attend Kansas State University, Graycen Shue who will attend Northwest Missouri State University and Shayna Wilson who will attend Fort Hays State University.
Marty Allen then presented the business awards to new business and ribbon cutitngs including D.C. Drugs, Dollar General and Fast Lane in Troy, Lighthouse Farms in Wathena and D&D Flowers in Blair. Business Expansion and Capital Improvement awards were given to the Doniphan County Library District #1 in Troy and Nor-Am Cold Storage in Elwood.
Salih Doughramaji, of the Kansas Department of Commerce, presented Ellen Jordan of Midland Steel in Wathena, the 'Award of Merit' from the state of Kansas.
Leah B. Johnson completed the business awards section by recognizing and presenting milestone certificates to buisnesses who have been in business for 5 years: Advanced Fabworks, St. Joe Petroleum and Marie Antoinette's Gluten Free Bake Shoppe, 10 years: State Farm - Jessica Studer and JJT Logistics, 15 years: Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitation, Wash-ena Carwash, Summit Truck Bodies and Heartland Realty, 25 years: Johnson Law Office, 50 years: Mo-Kan Regional Council, 115 years: Farmers State Bank of Wathena, 160 years: Highland Community College.
Craig Mosher presented the George N. Jorgenson Jr. Natural Resource Award to Bill Manville, owner of Blooming Gardens in Wathena, for his volunteer work at the creation of Memorial Garden next to Wathena City Hall and planters on Main Street, serving on and with the Wathena Garden Club and landscaping the Wathena Community Buliding. He is an inspiration to the community to beautify your natural surroundings.
Teresa McAnerney presented a new award, the Rising Entrepreneur Award, to Tyler Miller of M-CON. Tyler started in 2006 with just one other employee, but took to the road for three years traveling to surrounding states trenching and boring as a sub-contractor for large pipeline companies. The fast-pace and ever changing world of construction has allowed for their buisness to grow and add more employees. Today, M-CON employees 53 people, of which 36 are from Doniphan County. Tyler and his wife Lindsey are committed to continuing to be a leader in the underground ultility market and grateful to call Doniphan County home.
Tony Libel of the Farmers State Bank of Wathena accepted the True Leader Award presented by Theresa Rohrer. Tony took over as president and CEO of of the bank in 1967 when he was only 25. He is a third generation banker and his grandfather Lambert Anthony Libel helped form the bank in 1903 and was the original cashier and manager at age 23. It was thought at the time, and probably still is, that he was the youngest bank manager in American history. In 2004, Tony was appointed to one of six positions on the Kansas Banking Association's governing council. In 2013, Tony received the Kansas Bankers Assocation 'Century of Family Banking' honor for his family's 100 years of dedication to the community with Tony's involvement for almost half of those years. Under his leadership, the Wathena bank has been dedicated to serving the community, by helping fund projects in the schools, churches, various charities, town events, as well as the county's volunteer fire department and emergency medical units, among others. As fire chief, in 1993, when floodwaters threatened to envelop the city, Tony spent a week of sleepless nights organizing the placement of thousands of sandbags in and around Wathena, to protect homes.
Marty Allen presented Dana Clary of Highland with the Quiet Hero Award. Dana is not normally described as quiet as she serves her community of Highland and the county in many capacities including first responder, Highland City Council member, Sunday School Teacher, missionary, coach, wife and mother. She loves to give her time to others whether it's working at the local food kitchen or pantry, painting city park, picking up trash, teaching parents how to care for their babies, taking in anyone who needs a place to stay, mentoring young women to be Godly women, babysitting for those in need, finding items for folks when their house burns down, or if they have been displaced for another reason, coaching ball teams, making hot meals for those returning home from the hospital, after school program volunteer and last but not least, being an intergral part of the Kaden's Kloset for foster children and others in need. One of Dana's greatest accomplishments is the example she provides without even knowing it. This is when she is quiet. She doesn't do all these things for awards or accolades, but because she knows it is the right thing to do.
Marty Allen and Leah B. Johnson closed with announcements.