CRAWFORD -- Amidst a happy hour and catered dinner, 160 chamber members and associated businesses gathered to dine and recognize their value, commitment and dedication to the communities in Crestline and Galion.

The 2022 Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Dinner, an event hosted by the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce and located at the Hub at Village Square with catering by Avita Nutritional Services. 

Executive Director Miranda Jones was grateful to their community and their 2021 Chamber Achievements. They included:

  • Added 35 New Members
  • Performed 14 Ribbon Cuttings
  • Held over 95% Member retention
  • Saved Chamber Members over $678,000 through their affinity programs and healthcare programs with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Held monthly Chamber Chat sessions
  • Assisted Several New Businesses with finding locations and start-ups.
  • Sponsored Galion Safety Council
  • Involved with the Crawford County Partnership and Crawford 2030 Vision Plan
  • Participated in the U.S. 30 CEDS
  • Hosted a Virtual Annual "Business & Industry Forecast Breakfast" in collaboration with the Bucyrus Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Held the Health & Wellness Fair in collaboration with the Galion Center YMCA
  • Held the 19th Annual McDonald's/Chamber Golf Outing
  • Collaborated with the Village of Crestline to a hold 9-11 Memorial Event
  • Awarded the "Service in Manufacturing" during October to honor local manufactures
  • Worked with the Village of Crestline to create the first DORA in Crawford County
  • Held "Crawford-Opoly" to support small businesses in November in collaboration with the Bucyrus Chamber of Commerce
  • Held a "hybrid" Annual Holiday Open-House and Auction Celebration
  • Administrated the Galion Small Business Relief Grants to local Galion businesses and distributed $190,000 dollars in grant funds to 61 local, small businesses in collaboration with the City of Galion.

The evening showcased a number of awards and the receiving winners from local businesses to individuals.


The Crestline Mayor's Award, presented by Mayor Linda Pitt, was awarded to Zara Construction. While the Galion Mayor's Award, presented by Tom O'Leary, was bestowed upon to Buehler's Fresh Foods which marks the company's 14th location in Ohio.

The President's Award recipient, Louie Kurtzman, showed tremendous dedication to his community, hard work ethic and willingness to give back. For over 40 years, Kurtzman has been serving his community with friendly, professional services.

Executive Committee Award recipient, Carl Watt received the award for an individual or individuals who went above and beyond that the chamber's Executive Committee has declared essential to the growth and success of their community in the previous years. Watt served as a Crawford County Commissioner for three terms as well as other local committees.

Chamber Chair Award recipient, Dostal & Kirk, received the award for being held in the highest regard by the Chamber Chair. Dostal & Kirk's business goes above and beyond to prepare and protect their clients throughout all of life's milestones.

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Chamber Volunteer Award recipient, Pastor Ashwin Welch, is a Galion clergyman who served as a president of the Galion Ministerial Association and is member of many local organization/service clubs. His hands on work earned him the nickname "jack-of-all-trades" who has gone to work on technical and building issues while nurturing the minds and spirits of his congregation through worship services, sermons and faith study.

Chamber Service Award recipient, Gary Frankhouse, received the award for his passion and dedication to making Galion and Crawford County a great place to live, work and raise a family. As director of the Crawford Partnership, Frankhouse worked tirelessly to obtain grants and form relationships to benefit the development of local institutes such as the Freese Center.

Organization of the Year recipient, Galion Center YMCA Childcare, was awarded this by providing solutions to one of five barriers to employment success in the county along with improving local workforce development and providing ongoing solutions. The Galion Center YMCA Childcare never stopped, only improved and strived to make their services readily available during the pandemic.

Service Business of the Year recipient, Avita Health System, was honored for their outstanding service in their field. Avita Health System continued to provide care to the community despite the struggle of employee sickness, retirement and burn out as the pandemic raged on. Avita Health System readily kept up with mandates and protocols and kept patient care a top priority in every area they served.

Retail Business of the Year recipient, Three Bean Coffee House, owner Crystal Ebner was overjoyed to receive this honor. Three Bean Coffee House remained a constant light during a tough season and expanded beyond a coffee shop to offer a great variety of salads, sandwiches and beverages. With Ebner's leadership, the community has a steady and stable central location for community events, meets or on-the-go great coffee.

Business of the Year recipient, The Hub at Village Square and its owners, Vanessa Bell and Alyssa Huss, were surprised and appreciative to receive the award. They have continued to host a variety of events ranging from weddings to murder mystery dinners and all things in between. The pandemic never slowed down their processes in providing a great event space for local business, family and community members.

Young Professional of the Year recipient was awarded to a young professional (under 40) member of the community who has gone above and beyond their expected duties to ensure the betterment of the community. Kara Ault had been nominated multiple times by her peers and colleagues as her work blends both professional and philanthropic efforts in the community. Ault serves as a member of Galion City Council and the Board of Health where she focuses on employment services to adults with developmental disabilities, mental health conditions and substance abuse. Ault advocated and successfully adopted an anti-discrimination ordinance in Galion.

Professional of the Year recipient, Mike Kirk, joked he knew he didn't make the cut for being under 40, but was humbled to accept this honor. He is the new director at the Galion Public Library and has focused on innovating and searching for the best way to better serve the library and its patrons. He is an advocate for community improvement and networks to form partnerships with local businesses, including the creation of the new "Little Free Library" in collaboration with the Galion YMCA. Kirk expressed how wonderful the people in the Galion community have been to him, even though he's only lived here a short time.

To learn more about the Galion-Crestline Chamber of Commerce, check out their website to get involved.

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