WHACC Celebrates 60th Anniversary
Sold-out Crowd Enjoys Annual Meeting and Recognition Awards Ceremony

On May 16 over 130 tri-city business leaders and city officials gathered for the Warrensville Heights Area Chamber of Commerce 60th Annual Meeting and Recognition Awards.  Acknowledging the growth of the chamber and the quality of the meetings and networking events, outgoing Chamber president, Wayne Lawrence, declared, “This is our time!”

The recognition awards were presented by Chamber Board members Kathy Klonowski(Paramount Preferred Solutions) and Faith Boone (Effective Leadership Academy).

Before kicking off the ceremony, Kathy noted that the “longevity of the chamber speaks to its strength and that it is poised for the future.”  Katie Semo from the Office of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted joined the celebration and provided commendations for all award recipients.

The first group of awards went to tri-city area businesses.

  • New Business Award – recognizes a business new to the Tri-City area within the past two (2) years who has brought significant economic health to the community.  This year’s award went to ABB Inc.
  • Distinguished Business Award – recognizes a business for their noteworthy accomplishments, outstanding achievements and performance excellence.   This year’s award went to Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes.
  • Community Impact Award – presented to an organization, or business that has made a significant impact to the economic well-being of the Tri-City community. This year’s award went to W.F. Hann & Sons.

The second group of awards went to individuals:

  • Years of Service Appreciation Award – goes to an individual who has served with the Chamber for a significant amount of time, and is a respected member of the business community.  This year’s award went to Evelyn Chernikoff, President Emeritus of the Warrensville Heights Chamber of Commerce.  After her years of dedication to the Chamber as President, Evelyn continues to participate at board meetings and attends  practically every Chamber event. Her tireless dedication to the Chamber is highly valued and very much appreciated.
  • Excellence in Customer Service Award– An employee who exhibits exemplary customer service and inspires those around them. This year’s award went to Sue Miller, Sales Coordinator at Marriott Cleveland East.  Sue has been a valuable resource for our Chamber luncheons, making sure every detail is perfect for our events.
  • Business Leader of Excellence Award – Goes to a leader in a Chamber member organization who is well-respected in the business community and inspires others to go above and beyond their duties. This year’s award went to Sheila Miller, Chief Nursing Officer at Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital.   Sheila really cares for the community she serves and led her team to becoming a Magnet organization, an honor South Pointe Hospital now shares with only 7% of US hospitals.  This assures the community that South Pointe provides the highest quality and safest care to the cities they serve.
  • Community Service Person of the Year Award – An individual who works to improve the quality of life in the Tri-City area through volunteerism and service outside of their employee duties.   This year’s award went to Michael Carter, Executive Director at the YMCA.  Michael provides service over and above his role as Executive Director through his support of children’s programs.
  • Networker of the Year Award –Goes to an individual who actively uses their networking efforts to help businesses connect and collaborate in the Tri-City Area. This year’s award went to Jane Pierce, Administrative Assistant to the Mayor, Village of Highland Hills.  Jane truly understands the actual purpose of networking and helping others and consistently acts as a catalyst to connect and collaborate with others.   Jane left the stage in laughter after requiring the audience to pose for selfies!

The last group of award recipients are jointly selected by the Chamber and each of the tri-cities.  They are the Partnership Circle Awardsand can go to either an individual or company who has made a significant impact on the community.  And the winners are:

  • Highland Hills:  ABB for building an outstanding HQ facility and staffing it with 400 professional employees and actively participating in Chamber events
  • North Randall:  Woody Marcus, 3D Visual Concepts for dedication to city council and the chamber for the past 16 years.
  • Warrensville Heights:  WF Hann & Sons – who moved into the area and quickly became ingrained in the fabric of the community.

As the attendees prepared to leave the 60th anniversary, Mayor Smith (N. Randall) had one last literal shout out to deliver.  “Just look around this room and say WOW. I’m so impressed with the growth of this chamber and we’re all a part of its success.”