TERRE HAUTE —
Business leaders celebrated a city of champions amid a packed floor inside the Hulman Center.
The 99th Annual Meeting of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce featured gold medals on the tables Thursday, as the theme “City of Champions” was carried out from start to finish.
Terre Haute native Evan Austin addressed the crowd via video, as he swims this week in London on behalf of the U.S. Paralympic team. The similarities between success in sports and business were merged rhetorically throughout the evening, as themes of dedication and commitment were stressed.
This year’s award winners included Dr. Dottie King, president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, who earned the chamber’s ATHENA Award for her work toward helping women realize their full potential.
Chamber President Ken Brengle, who assumed that position this summer, noted that King was among those on the selection panel which first interviewed him.
“It is the quality of community leaders like Dottie that helped bring me to Terre Haute,” he said.
King handed credit back to those within her own organization, as well as those in the community, remarking that one cannot lead effectively by themselves.
“I’m overwhelmed and I’m grateful,” she said of the award.
Keith Ruble, superintendent of the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department, won the Vision A Level Above Award for a lengthy career of service which included the acquisition of more than 2,000 acres on behalf of the department.
“I’m very humbled. It’s something I didn’t expect,” he said after receiving the award, joking that people rarely see him in a suit and tie.
The 2012 Young Leader of the Year Award was given to family business-owner Whitney Gurman-Roberts, and the Business A Level Above Award recipient was ThyssenKrupp Presta. This year’s Business Suite of Awards were given to Simple to Elegant, Small Business of the Year; Indiana Railroad, Family-Friendly Business Award; Indiana State University the Environmentally-Friendly Business Award; and Precision Lawn Plus, the Fastest Growing Business.
Brengle said future objectives for the chamber include advancing the community’s Wabash Valley health initiatives, pointing out the battle against issues such as obesity and smoking significantly impact the business community.
“It’s an economic development issue,” he said.
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.