The West Unity Chamber of Commerce honored Paul Heisey at its 2016 Annual Banquet at the Kissell Building on the evening of November 9.
Bestowing the honor of Citizen of the Year for 2016 upon Mr. Heisey, the President Emeritus of the West Unity Chamber of Commerce, Alan Bennett, noted that his service to the community predates his marriage by a year…44 years to 43. Beginning as an ambulance operator with Bill Hollingshead in 1972, Mr. Heisey has worked for Sauder Woodworking, CCNO, Hillside Country Living, the Millcreek-West Unity School District, and today is the owner-operator of Handyman Hardware in West Unity. Mr. Heisey also served four years as a member of the Millcreek-West Unity Board of Education, and is a member of the Friends of the Library Board, the Maumee Valley Planning Organization, and Gideon’s International. After receiving his award from West Unity Chamber of Commerce President, Jane Schmucker, the quiet Mr. Heisey stepped to the microphone, briefly looked at his award and said, “I don’t know who it was that did this, but thank you…I don’t deserve it.”
The banquet began with a superb catered meal provided by Mo Jo’s Grab N Go, with service assistance provided by local Girl Scouts.
Following the meal, the audience was treated to four vocal selections by Wyatt Short. To say ‘treated’ might be an understatement, as the classically-trained Mr. Short amazed everyone with the range and power of his singing talents.
Awards presented by the Chamber of Commerce included A J Door, which was founded in 1996 by Jim and Jay Trisel. Now in their 20th year of operating, A J Door employs 14 people, and has grown to produce an annual average sales volume of $2.5 million. Their fleet of eight trucks operate in a 75 mile service radius, but the company also serves contracts as far as Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Columbus and Cleveland.
The Chamber Merit Award was presented to a most deserving recipient, the West Unity Police Department. Led by eight year Chief of Police, J R Jones and his Lieutenant Phil Fry, the West Unity has consistently provided community security and stability with a staff of six part-time officers, and three additional full-time officers, including Jeff Arnold, the School Resource Officer at the Hilltop School.
Receiving special recognition from the Chamber of Commerce was Kamco Industries. While work was being done on Wabash Park, Kamco and its employees stepped up and provided the finishing touch to the park…playground equipment. This is by no means an unusual action for the largest employer in the community and now the largest in Williams County, as it was also Kamco that provided the new clock that replaced the non-functioning unit outside of the Klinger Pharmacy.
The evening was scheduled to end with the year activity recap of Chamber President Schmucker, followed by closing remarks from Board member Larry Long. Mr. Long was interrupted though, and informed that the door prize drawing needed to take place first. “So? What’s that got to do with me,” Mr. Long smiled and replied, which drew laughter. That laughter soon became magnified exponentially as Mr. Long called President Schmucker up to the podium to assist in a drawing that became a hilarious impromptu comedy act.
The Chamber Banquet had all the right stuff for a perfect evening for those in attendance. Great food. Recognition of community service.
Recognition of excellence in business. Professional level entertainment, and lots of laughs at the end. On this evening, no one left the West Unity Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet without a smile.
Timothy Kays can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org