COUNTY CHAMBER: Honors its own

SOUTH WHITLEY — Whitley County’s Chamber of Commerce held its annual gala to recognize local businesses and business persons at Brownstone on State in South Whitley Tuesday night.Doug Brown, the chamber’s recently-hired executive director, served as master of ceremonies and expressed his gratitude to colleagues and chamber members alike as he talked briefly about the organization’s many changes and transitions over the past year.“We’re not anything without the members,” he told the crowd. “And, I wanted to say ‘thank you.’It’s been an unbelievable ride so far,” said Brown, citing his hiring in June, the addition of other staff members such as marketing coordinator Brandon Ferrell and the sale of the chamber’s old headquarters coupled with the moving in to a new building on Garland Ave.“We crammed a lot into the first four months since I’ve been here,” said Brown. “We felt like we’re building from the ground up and we’re on the right track.”Don Clemons of Rabb/Kinetico Water Systems was honored as Ambassador of the Year, while Passages President Tom O’Neill and Robin Wright accepted the award for Jewel of the Community.“The community has been very supportive,” O’Neill said. “We can do our job, but if the community doesn’t support us, it doesn’t work.”The business awards were handed out with Kernel Colodas winning the Small Business of the Year and Shindigz garnering the Large Business of the Year.Garnering President’s Awards were Old School Investments, LLC., Myers, Hockemeyer & McNagny Law Firm, Reiff Enterprises, LLC. and Del Fuego Investments.Board President Jennifer Zartman-Romano said “We wouldn’t be where we are without all of you.”