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Green Chamber announces IMPACT Award winners

12/13/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

The Green Chamber of Commerce presented its annual IMPACT Awards last month. Shown above, from left are: (front row) Green Chamber Chairperson Michelle O’Brien, a Giant Eagle store manager; Green Chamber CEO Lori Howerton; Green Branch Library Manager Sherry Swisher; Doug Ribley, vice president of Akron General Health and Wellness Services at Akron General Health System; and Green City Council President Joel Reed (at large); (back row) Warmus Builders owner John Warmus; Park Auto Group General Manager Tom Flory; Park Auto Group Chief Financial Officer Mike Greenbaum; Park Auto Group former co-owner Glenn Mears; and Doug Kovatch, CEO and president Kovatch Castings Inc.
Photo courtesy of Green Chamber of Commerce
GREEN — The Green Chamber of Commerce announced IMPACT Award winners and showcased how these local entities are making an impact on the community during a November banquet.

The award and recipients included: the Vision Award, Warmus Builders; Community Award, Green Branch Library; Environment Award, Kovatch Castings; and Impact Award, Akron General Health and Wellness Center — Green.

Also, a new award presented for the first time this year was the Mayor’s Sustainability Award. The Chamber Board of Directors created the Mayor’s Sustainability Award to recognize businesses that continue to make an impact on the community over time, according to chamber officials. The first Mayor’s Sustainability Award was presented to Park Auto Group.

Michelle O’Brien, chairperson of the Green Chamber, detailed the award recipients’ accomplishments with the following descriptions:

• Vision Award: For 25 years, Warmus Builders has strived to meet the highest standards of customer service, quality and craftsmanship. The company has built residential neighborhoods and commercial complexes such as the FedEx Custom Critical building and Hattie Larlham’s facilities, resulting in jobs and first-class facilities.

• Community Award: This award is typically given to an organization that contributes to the Greater Green area in more ways than dollars. Contributions include volunteerism, marketing support and overall community presence. As a publicly supported entity, the Green Branch Library has found alternate ways to contribute to the community. The library has been ranked second in number of items checked out system wide. They also partner with other not-for-profits, such as the Green Historical Society, to showcase local history through library programs. The staff also actively participates in community events and opens its facilities to a variety of community users.

• Environment Award: Kovatch Castings received the Environment Award for completing a major project that began as a simple initiative two-and-a-half years ago. Kovatch Castings invested millions of dollars into a 16,000- square-foot building addition and two multi-million-dollar energy-efficient gas ovens. The gas ovens reduce gas utilization by 47 percent and produce a much higher tolerance product. The company also takes excess heat from the new ovens and utilizes it throughout the rest of the building. In addition, the company replaced all lights throughout its facilities with high-quality, energy-efficient lighting with automatic shut-off switches. The company consumes a large amount of wax in the investment casting process and recycles all excess wax, leaving very little waste.

• IMPACT Award: Akron General Health and Wellness Center — Green combines vision, community and environment, making a huge impact in the Greater Green area. Its 100,000-square-foot facility brought 240 jobs to the area and is estimated to create another 100 jobs with its professional center. The facility’s environment, inside and out, was designed by TC Architects to integrate operations and administration so Akron General could effectively deliver on its comprehensive approach to health care. Akron General has opened up its conference space for public use and served as an event sponsor for the Green Expo, which allowed it to execute a mission of educating the community about the importance of health and wellness.

• Mayor’s Sustainability Award: The first Mayor’s Sustainability Award was presented to Park Auto Group. The company, located in Green since 1987, was recently sold to Serra Automotive Group, of Grand Blanc, Mich. Since 1987, the Greater Green community has been the recipients of business acumen, vision, generosity and impact from John Mears, Glenn Mears and John Ludwig, former owners of Park Auto Group. The chamber chose to honor the significant investment and work of these men and their organization, which has included hosting chicken dinners, offering sponsorships and presenting Community Safety Days.

The event also included keynote speaker Brian Bailey, co-founder of Old Carolina Barbecue Co., which is headquartered in Green.

For more information about the chamber, visit www.green coc.org.

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