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Chamber Will Honor Eight On Thursday

By Staff | Apr 29, 2009

The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual awards dinner Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

The event honors those in Wetzel County for their contributions in the area of education, business, and civic involvement. This year’s honorees are Civic Organization of the Year, Quota International of New Martinsville; Employee of the Year, Lisa Northcraft; Educator of the Year, Rachel Melott; Professional of the Year, Dr. David Harshberger; Citizen of the Year, Ken Block; Youth Leadership/Volunteer of the Year, Estel Mallory; and Co-Business Owners of the Year, Norma Binegar of Country Roads Ford and Greg Yost of Sounds Incredible.

Quota International of New Martinsville, Inc. is a service organization dedicated to hearing and speech and domestic violence prevention. The local organization was chartered on March 30, 1974. One of the greatest accomplishments of the local club was being an integral part of the action that caused the West Virginia State Legislature to make mandatory hearing screening for all newborns. The early detection and treatment of hearing issues ensures their development will be normal and healthy. The organization makes yearly donations to the hospital to help defray the cost of maintaining the testing equipment.

In conjunction with the Wetzel County Hospital, Quota offers an annual multiphasic blood analysis and health screening at a very affordable fee. This is a very valuable service to the community and has resulted in medical problems being detected in people who normally do not get regular checkups.

In addition, Quota of New Martinsville assists individuals with financial need purchase hearing aids, provides scholarships to hearing impaired students and those going into related hearing/speech fields, and sponsors a local student to WV Girls State. Some of the local organizations that benefit from Quota donations are Wetzel County YWCA Domestic Violence Program, Judy’s Place, Journey Hospice, Hospice Care, Wetzel County Relay for Life, Open Door Ministries, Helping Hand Food Pantry, Newborns in Need, Wetzel County Emergency Ambulance Authority, and Esther Crumbley Fund. Quota members also provide Christmas gifts for underprivileged children. These are just a few of the causes that Quota International of New Martinsville has supported over the past 35 years.

In June of 1997, Northcraft began her career at Ogden Publications. She started selling advertisement for the Tyler Star News and Wetzel Chronicle. She now manages office personnel, advertising, and circulation in these offices as well as selling advertising for the Tyler Star News, Wetzel Chronicle, and the Green Tabs. Northcraft enjoys this job greatly because she is a people person. She cares about her customers and their businesses.

Northcraft has an even longer work history in Wetzel County. She started working for McDonald’s in 1986 as a crew person in New Martinsville. In November of 1989, she was promoted to store manager and opened the St. Marys McDonald’s. She received an award in 1992 for Outstanding Manager. She worked for McDonald’s for over 10 years. She says that working at McDonald’s has shaped her into the person she is today. “Working in a restaurant is hard work and managing one is even harder,” said Northcraft.

Northcraft grew up in Sistersville and graduated from Sistersville High School in 1984. After graduation, she married her high school sweetheart, Dave. She and Dave were blessed with two wonderful boys, Alex and Curtis. Alex is a police officer in Sistersville and Curtis is a senior at Tyler Consolidated High School. Northcraft enjoys spending time with her three-year-old granddaughter, Caitlyn. She also enjoys reading and spending time with her pets. She loves the farm life at her home in Shiloh.

Melott has been employed by Wetzel County Schools 34 years. She taught first, second, and third grades at Jacksonburg Grade School, Grandview Elementary, Short Line School, and New Martinsville School. She is presently teaching second grade at Paden City Elementary School. She is a member of the Paden City Elementary Local School Improvement Council and PTA. She received the RESA 6 Exemplary Teaching Technique Award in 2006.

Melott has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Fairmont State College and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Salem University

Married to Melvin Melott, Rachel has one daughter, Beth, and her husband Steve Reinker of Baltimore, Md., and one son, Matt, who is studying at the WVU Institute of Technology in Montgomery, W.Va.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends. Her activities include her church, reading, gardening (yard and vegetable), home canning, and baking.

After retirement Rachel wants to spend more time visiting her children, travel by train across the U.S., and complete coursework in medical assisting program/work part-time in a medical office.

Harshberger is a 49-year New Martinsville resident. In 1974 he graduated from Magnolia High School. He also attended West Virginia University and Illinois College of Optometry, graduating in 1981 with a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree from Illinois College of Optometry.

For the past 28 years he has continued to practice optometry in Wetzel and Tyler counties. For the past 25 years, Harshberger has also been a part time staff optometrist at Anwar Eye Center.

He is a 32-year member of American Optometric Association, West Virginia Optometric Association, and Southern Council of Optometry. He has also served on WV Optometric Association Executive Board for 10 years. He became president of the WV Optometric Association in 1997-1998.

Harshberger is currently a member of New Martinsville United Methodist Church. He has been married to Elizabeth (Jackson) Harshberger for 28 years. They have two children, Nathan, who is an 11th grader at Magnolia High School, and Christa, an eighth grader at New Martinsville School.

Block’s list of volunteer work and involvement is extensive. He has served on the board of directors of the Wetzel-Tyler Volunteers for Better Reading for 15 years, serving as president for the past six. He has served on the Literacy Volunteers of America state board for three years and was named “State Volunteer of the Year” by Laubach Literacy.

Almost constantly by his side are Block’s dogs. With the gentle giants he initiated pet therapy at New Martinsville Health Care Center in 1993, making weekly visits for the past 16 years. He has been named Volunteer of the Year at NMHCC. Block also has made weekly visits to Wetzel County Hospital with the dogs for the past six years. He also frequently visits Sistersville Center. He has also been involved with handicapped children’s picnics, animal safety demonstrations for the parks department, and animal therapy presentations at area schools.

A past member and treasurer of New Martinsville Lions Club, Block is also a member and former deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church. He was an eight-year Little League Coach and two-year Little League Umpire. He was a Cub Scoutmaster and served on the initial board of directors of the Wetzel County Family Resource Network. Block is also a member of ArtsLink and on the Advisory Board for the Wetzel County Board of Education.

Block graduated from the University of Missouri in 1956 and married Patricia Block in 1957. They have resided in New Martinsville since 1959 and have two children, Sandra and Clifford (Chip). He is a retired manager of Consolidated Aluminum Corporation.

Mallory is 12 years old and a sixth grader at Paden City Elementary School. She has an older sister and older brother. Mallory is an honor roll student and participates in many activities including track, softball, band, volleyball, choir, photography club, county spelling bee, Math Field Day, All County Band, Relay for Life, and Leukemia and Lymphoma fund raiser. She was the 2008 Paden City Labor Day Queen and served as an honorary page for the House of Delegates.

Binegar is president/dealer of Country Roads Ford in New Martinsville. She is also a member of the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Board and New Martinsville Rotary.

Binegar is a graduate of Woodman Accident & Life Career School in Lincoln, Neb., also a graduate of Life underwriters training, national tax training school, and Dale Carnegie Course.

Some of the extensive training includes Ford Marketing institutes, FORDSTAR with which she continues to stay current as a Mater Certified Sales Manger; and NADA 20 group, enrolled and active for several years, she has earned Mater Sales Counselor for 14 years in a row.

Binegar was selected by Ford Motor Co. to appear and give a presentation; she was selected for Ford Focus Group panel.

Her contributions to the community include that she has been a host family for “Youth for Understanding”, an international student exchange program, has worked as a volunteer with the program for student and family placement.

A little known fact is that she wrote a book titled “Your Best Deal Is Not A Game Of Chance”. This book was primarily written for the woman car buyer.

Binegar has many accomplishments, but her greatest asset is that she is self motivated. Her motto is, “I have always envisioned my life and then fulfilled the vision.”

She says she has been married “forever” and has two children and five grandchildren who are the apple of her eye.

From the time he was a young boy, Yost dreamed of owning his own music store. In preparation for that, he attended TRW Sound Engineering School in Chillicothe, Ohio, one of the most highly respected sound schools in the country. On Dec. 5, 1992, Yost’s dream became reality when Sounds Incredible opened its doors for business. In June of 1995, Sounds Incredible opened the recording studio, adding to the long list of services the business provides.

Sounds Incredible is a family venture. Yost’s father and brother also work in the business and they’ve been fortunate to have several close friends work alongside them.

The City of New Martinsville and surrounding area has been so supportive and given Sounds Incredible the opportunity to grow and enjoy many successful years. Countless people of every age have learned to play musical instruments at Sounds Incredible. The public has been very supportive of the store, the studio, and the Lincoln Theatre Shows they have produced since the spring of 1996.

Sounds Incredible could not be the success it is today without the support and encouragement of the community, and for that, Yost and the guys are very grateful.

Tickets for the dinner are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. They may be purchased at the door, or by contact the chamber office at chamber@wetzelcountychamber.com or 304-455-3825.