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Community Awards Voting Underway

By Staff | Apr 25, 2018

The county’s finest will be honored May 15 when the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce hosts its 2018 Community Awards event. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with the ceremony slated to begin at 6 p.m. at the Mollohan Center.

Reservations are required. Cost is $20 per person or eight place table for the price of 7, $140. For more information on reservations call the chamber at 304-455-3825.

The following are nominees, and a brief portion of the bio submitted. To see full biographies and vote, check out www.wetzelcountychamber.com.

Business Owner of the Year Nominees:

Chad Chaplin, Chaplin Hardware & More: Chaplin’s business has been a tremendous asset to the community. According to the individual who nominated Chaplin, “Friendly, courteous service is always first with Chad and his employees. He is respected by his employees and customers alike.”

Rob and Erika Donaghy, The Original PJ’s Pizza: The individual who nominated the Donaghys said the two “have done an excellent job taking over the restaurant.”

“They have respected the recipes and operations of the past while also expanding the menu and services They have given their time, resources, and delicious pizza to numerous worthy causes.”

Randy Jay, WETZ/99.5 Power Country: The nominator said Randy Jay appears to be a “well-liked and successful business person. His demeanor is of quite humbleness and intelligence.”

The nominator said Randy Jay owns several stations and is has “loyal, committed, professional employees.”

Mike Scharf, Cricket Web Services: The person who nominated Scharf said he has owned his business for seven years “and continues to expand services to meet the needs of his customers.”

“Mike uses his time and talents to help out many organizations in the area. Mike is a kind, trusted, and honest business man and has many faithful customers who can attest to that.”

Ronnie Schoonover, R&R Construction: As of 2018, Schoonover has been a state licensed contractor for 28 years and is still going strong.

In March 1990, Schoonover and his dad started R&R Construction. Schoonover’s mom also participated by taking phone calls, making appointments, and helping with paperwork.

Citizen of the Year Nominees:

Joey Barker: Barker is described as “the definition of this award.”

His “personal presence and continued contribution to the community makes this a better place to live.”

Barker exhibits a positive attitude in all he does, and leads by example. He finds ways “to right the wrongs of others in a manner that provides a beneficial outcome for all.”

Fran Caldwell: Caldwell has served several terms as president on the League of Women Voters, served as president of ArtsLink, participated in Relay for Life (representing First Christian Church), and has assisted at Wetzel County Museum.

All who worked for her remember her as a fair boss and to this day thank her for the work ethic she instilled in them. She has shared her love and passion for porcelain and painting as business and as a teacher.

Joel Davis: Davis has been an active community member. He is kind, passionate, and a strong individual who really cares about the people and the community – between the Sardis, Paden City, and New Martinsville areas.

He remains an active member of society on a local and national level with his involvement and passion for politics.

Charles “Chip” Goff: Over the course of the past eight months, Chip Goff has gone above and beyond for his community.

The night Hundred flooded last year, Goff was unable to return to his home until 7 a.m. the next morning. Upon returning home, he was in tears. When asked why he was crying, he said “My town is in ruins.” However, Goff took charge. For three months, “Chippy” took a lay-off from work, so he could focus on helping his town and its residents.

During the process, he was appointed Mayor of Hundred. Chipper continues to work hard to see the town improve.

Eric Yost: Yost is “proudly nominated” for Citizen of the Year. He is described as “a man of great persistence and drive.” After the flash flooding in Hundred, Yost stepped forward and coordinated a recovery response that made the different “between a community dying or surviving.”

“Mr. Yost’s inexhaustible energy, creativity, perseverance, and optimism got the community back on its feet and back to normal.”

Civic Organization Nominees:

The Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center: A Child Advocacy Center, in the traditional sense, is a child focused/child friendly facility that facilitates a compassionate, multi-disciplinary approach to the prevention, identification, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse. The Lighthouse has seen a record number of children at the facility this fiscal year; although this is unfortunate, this solidifies the community need for these services.

Wetzel County Convention & Visitors Bureau: Over the last few years, the CVB has brought events to the community, such as the Back Home Festival and smaller events for the community to enjoy. They promote different events in Wetzel County in hopes to increase our tourism to the area and help local businesses. They have provided our community with events and entertainment to help increase the quality of life and enjoyment in our area.

Educator of the Year Nominees:

Leslie Lively: Mr. Leslie Lively, 4th grade teacher at Short Line School, does so much for the students in the area. He is involved in many extracurricular activities. Mr. Lively is the leader of the Short Line Engineer Energy Kids. Mr. Lively will also receive the Bob Thompson Excellence in Energy Award. Last summer Mr. Lively and two Wetzel County students were selected to go on a learning expedition to the Amazon Rainforest with the JASON Learning Project.

Greg Metzger: Mr. Metzger is known for his humor and his skill in teaching. He is invested in the success of his students and will make time in his day to offer extra help for students who need it. He will also work with the parents of students to find ways to help improve their grades, and give students opportunities to raise their grades if he thinks they can do better.

Charleen Stokes: Charleen Stokes is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at WVNCC. Stokes has been an inspirational and influential faculty to many during her 30-plus years at Northern. Because of the integration of computers into the business, Stokes knew she had to constantly stay current with the changes of software and operating systems. Stokes cares about her students and co-workers. Stokes is an active and respected member of the community.

Donald Taylor: Donald Taylor puts in countless hours, during and after school in an effort to give his students undivided attention. He always gives above and beyond when a student needs extra attention. The music department has grown and improved immensely since Donald arrived at Valley High School.

Employee of the Year Nominees:

David Fisher: Fisher is an invaluable employee working at Dennis Miller Doors and Windows. He has accumulated a great deal of knowledge and experience working with the equipment, and willingly shares what he has learned. He is very meticulous in his work and very customer-oriented. Dennis Miller Doors and Windows and its customers greatly benefit from his work.

Bob Gibb: Bob Gibb, Program Assistant l / Student Services, WVNCC, is the “face” of the New Martinsville campus. He takes this role very seriously and treats everyone with professionalism and, of course, humor. For the current students, they know they can come to Bob to answer questions about classes, financial aid, and when to submit all the documents and forms that are required. Gibb is always ready to help.

Donald Larsen: Sergeant Don Larson has been a New Martinsville Policeman for over 35 years serving his community. Sergeant Larson has two Live Savers Awards for two different incidents where Sgt. Larson saved four different people’s lives. Sgt. Larson is also an officer that drops what he is doing to respond to calls where back up is needed even if it is from home and he has to leave his family. Sgt. Larson is a well-known officer in the city of New Martinsville.

Robby Parsons: Parsons is Executive Director/Marketing Director Wetzel County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Parsons was hired in 2016 and has had a profound impact on the county’s ability to reach people across the country as well as engaging our local population. Parsons first suggested the idea for what is now the Back Home Appalachian Arts & Music Festival. The attendance at that first festival was approx. 5,000 people. Also, in 2017, Robby created Taste of the Town featuring local restaurants in the county.

Michelle Smith: Michelle Smith of Anytime Fitness in New Martinsville for Employee of the Year is dedicated the community and the company. She provides top-notch customers service in a clean and welcoming 24-hour fitness facility.

She is the face of Anytime Fitness in New Martinsville. She has coordinated several fundraisers to recognize and honor other local organizations.

Entrepreneur of the Year:

Mollie Baker: Mollie Baker has always loved cooking and entertaining. Her friends and family boast that she is a great host for her private parties and for friends and family’s birthday parties. She was taking college courses at WVNCC for teaching when she was encouraged to change her major to becoming a CHEF. She will be catering her first real business event for the Chamber of Commerce for the Awards Dinner in May. She wants her own unique menu and atmosphere for our area.

Valerie Fisher: Valerie Fisher’s brainchild is Garage Sale Central in Sardis, Ohio. This business was started in part to fill the need of liquidating a lot of family “stuff.” She and others in the family used to set up multiple garage sales every year. This business gives the family a place to permanently set up items for sale, and a convenient central location for people in the community to shop.

Professional of the Year Nominees:

Deputy Don Bordenkircher: Deputy Bordenkircher’s role as a Preventive Resource Officer (PRO) is a liaison between law enforcement and the education system. He has bridged the gap between the two entities beautifully. Borde has assisted with the development of the school emergency preparedness plans. The creation of the Sportsman’s Club at Valley High School was created and spearheaded by Borde. Additionally, Borde is a role model to many of the students who do not have a solid male role model in their life.

Mr. Tom Cooper: Tom Cooper has been with Tyler Office of Emergency Management at least eight years, perhaps more. He spends countless hours in training, workshops, meetings, and on the front line during Emergencies or disasters. He is one of a kind: nearly all his endeavors are single-handed, although he has some loyal, energetic, dependable OEM members.

Ray & Gary Ebert: The EBERT Brothers show always provides laughter, fun, and outstanding individuals from the young to the older! They have been providing a valuable opportunity for relaxation enjoyment and good clean down home music for over 50 years. These gentlemen are Humble, Unassuming and very Appreciative of the applause they most richly deserve.

Carman Harman: Carman Harman has been involved with 99.5 Power Country for years. He also goes above and beyond by being willing and available to undertake new ideas. Recently he researched, spoke at, and delivered a unique vita of his accomplishments over the past 20 plus year.

He may not have a shelf full of trophies, but he has an instantly recognizable voice (radio voice) and a zeal for communication. He deserves a pat on the back for a long, long journey/job.

Roy Haught: Roy Haught has made it his mission this year to bring awareness to the public about the importance of proper land documentation and the need for future surveyors, in addition to running his personal business and training his employees. He has also been named President of the West Virginia County Surveyors Associations. Haught takes great pride in providing efficient, quality work and he enjoys researching, exploring, and recording the boundaries or our state.

Dr. Amy Urbanek, DVM MPH: Dr. Urbanek came to the area right out of veterinary school. She worked at another local veterinary clinic for two years then went on to Town and Country Animal Hospital to get more extensive experience for three years. Since opening New Martinsville Animal Hospital, Dr. Urbanek has done many things to serve the county. Her clinic held five rabies vaccine clinics throughout the county, which yielded very large turnouts. Dr. Urbanek is also working with Appalachian Peace Paws to offer low cost spay and neutering for stray/feral cats in Wetzel County.

Jason Utt: Jason has been an exemplary officer from day one. He has received two Life Saving Awards in the short four years he has been employed with the NMPD.

Utt loves the community he serves; he loves his job and serving his community.

The pride he shows for his job beams over into the community of New Martinsville. He treats everyone with respect and is very caring for those who are victims.

Youth Leadership of the Year Nominees:

Katherine Henderson: Henderson is involved in several extracurriculars and maintains a 3.93 GPA. She is a member of several organizations and has served as a volunteer for years in her community. She helped serve and clean up at the Hundred Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser dinners and has participated in 4-H community service projects.

After the 2017 summer flood that affected Hundred, Henderson was quick to ask “What can I do to help?”

Teran Malone: Malone has demonstrated excellent leadership skills with his school’s media program, along with other areas. He has demonstrated excellent community service by implementing and developing a food pantry for Magnolia High School and working with his community and classmates for the betterment of the media program.

Dexton McKinney: McKinney started his own charity in 2017 called Tabs for Tomorrow. Dexton spends 20-30 hours a week pulling tabs from different kinds of cans for the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown. McKinney collects tabs and cans from a variety of donors throughout the area. Once the tabs are pulled from the cans he sells the cans to help with collecting expenses.

Julianna Miller: Miller is an Honor Roll Student at Tyler Consolidated High School (TCHS) and shows great interest in her school, community, State and Nation. She is a member of many clubs and is involved is extracurricular activities.

She contributes time to school leadership as a representative of Student Council where she takes on functions for the student body with things such as the Miss Knight Pageant, Spirit Weeks, and entertainment activities. Other clubs she is involved with consist of Project Pediatrics where she participates in trips to Sistersville Elementary School and Arthur I. Boreman Elementary School to read to grade K-5; Spanish Club; Theatre, where she managed the stage during plays and programs, and Silver Savages the TCHS Students Section Committee.