West Chester/Liberty Chamber celebrates top business, education leaders with annual awards

The annual West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance awards event was forced to move to a virtual setting as officials honored business leaders, companies and for the first time a school superintendent. Joe Hinson (pictured), president and CEO of the alliance, was among the award presenters during this week's online event. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
The annual West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance awards event was forced to move to a virtual setting as officials honored business leaders, companies and for the first time a school superintendent. Joe Hinson (pictured), president and CEO of the alliance, was among the award presenters during this week's online event. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Local business leaders, companies — and for the first time a school superintendent — were recently recognized by an area chamber of commerce’s annual awards.

The West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance honored its 2020 winners during an online ceremony this week, citing top performers for excelling even during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The core of our chamber is connecting people and possibilities,” said Joe Hinson, president and CEO of the chamber alliance. “And we have tried to do that as much as we could virtually.”

And Hinson also took the occasion of the online event to announce the chamber’s annual Regional Business Expo will an in-person gathering – with all coronavirus safety precautions and with consultation from local and state health officials – on July 13 at Lakota West High School.

The expo was cancelled due to the pandemic health restrictions in place during 2020.

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“Our members are ready and our business community is ready and we are ready,” he told viewers.

Among the chamber’s 2020 winners was Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller, who became the first school district leader in the chamber’s 45-year history to win the “Dorothy & Art Roth Citizen of the Year” award.

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The “Carlos Todd Business Person of the Year” went to Susanne Anton, described by chamber officials as a “five-star award winning real estate agent for 26 years,” with Sibcy Cline.

Lee Geiger of Graydon, won the “Jerry Bryan Chamber Member of the Year” award and he was cited for his legal advice “during the COVID-19 pandemic,” by helping “lead our business community by offering no-fee advice and expertise regarding employment issues.”

The Butler County EMA (emergency management agency) won the chamber’s “RCF Community Support Award” for its work during the pandemic.

And Matt Miller of Legal Shield, not related to Lakota’s Miller, won the “A. Christian Worrell III Emerging Leader” award.

The Woodhouse Day Spa won the “Larry Schumacher Beautification Award” and Cozy’s Café & Pub won the “Dave & Katy Kern Beautification Award.

Hinson also noted the chamber, which serves both West Chester and Liberty townships in Butler County, was recently named Ohio’s best chamber of commerce among hundreds statewide by Ohio Business Magazine for 2020.

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