Rush County Citizen of the Year http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/ Rush County Citizen of the Year 1973- Philip H Willkie Philip H. Willkie Selected As ?Citizen of The Year? By Chamber The Rush County Chamber of Commerce today announced that Philip H. Willkie was voted to receive the Chamber?s first annual ?Citizen of the Year? award. The selection was made by the total membership of the Chamber. A special committee was appointed by President Charles Vogel to select an initial list of nominees for the award. After careful consideration of all the nominees, a final list of three candidates were chosen and submitted to the entire membership. The selection of the nominees was based on factors like personal achievements, contributions to Rushville and Rush County, character, services performed for others, and a demonstration of belief in the future of Rushville and Rush County. Willkie will be presented with the award at the August meeting of the Chamber. A permanent award will also be displayed in the offices of the Chamber. Mr. Willkie has a long list of achievements which recommend him for the award. A Navy veteran of World War of World War II, Willkie has been associated with the Rushville National Bank since 1947. He also serves as President of Southern, Indiana, Inc., and Independents, Inc. In these organizations Willkie has been active in the liberalizing of admission requirements for foreign doctors who want to practice in Indiana. He has also led fights in the General Assembly to defeat legislation that would have permitted the legalization of state-wide bank holding companies and banks merging across county lines now prohibited. Willkie also heads up Willkie industries in Rushville and Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The factory here employs over 90 people and manufactures bedroom furniture. In addition, he serves as co-chairman of the sustaining membership drive of the Rush County area for Boys Scouts. Some of his other community activities include the annual auto show parade which brings thousands of visitors to Rush County. Mr. Willkie is also a trustee of the First United Presbyterian Church. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916436 172916436 1974- Bob Waggener The Rush County Chamber of Commerce today announcd that Bob Waggener has been elected as the Chamber?s 1974 ?Citizen of the Year.? Selection for this award is based on the vote of the membership of the Chamber. This is the second year for the award. The 1973 recipient was the late Philip H. Willkie. The purpose of the award is to recognize the one individual in the county who has made the most significant contribution to Rush County during the past year. Nominees are chosen by a select committee appointed by the President of the Chamber. The names of those selected are then submitted to the total membership of the Chamber for their selection of the winner. Waggener?s list of achievements and contributions are impressive. A native of Rush County, Bob Waggener was graduated from Rushville High School in 1934. During high school he participated in tennis, football, track, band and orchestra. Active in scouting he also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Following high school, Bob attended the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio where he was affiliated with Sigma Chi fraternity. His work in Rush County is almost a matter of public record. Through the years he has developed a line of handmade cherry furniture that attracts customers from throughout the country. His dedication to quality workmanship has been one of the primary factors in his business success. The essence of the ?Citizen of the Year? award is, however, more in the field of community servie. In this are the phenomenal growth and popularity of the annual ?Homer Festival? stands as the single most visible monument to Waggener?s service to Rush County. Through the ?festival? numerous workshops are held during summer for Rush County children. These workshops cover such areas as theater, creative writing, music, woodcraft and puppetry. Some of his other activities have included Chairman of the Presidency of the Rush District, Whitewater Valley Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster of Rushville and Manilla troops, Presidencies of both the Red Cross and Mental Health Associations, Co-founder of the Unitarian Fellowship in Rushville, Chairman of the Rush County Committee of Progress, President of the Boy?s Club Youth Foundation, Alumni ?R? Club, Rushville High School Distinguished Service Award, Past Director of the Rush County Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Indiana Sesquicentennial Committee for Rush County, Chairman of the Rush County Bicentennial Committee and recipient of the 1973 Outstanding Alumnus of Rushville High School. He and his wife Emmy have four children: Nancy, Joe, Cathy and Pam. He also has five grandchildren. Commenting on Waggener?s election as ?Citizen of the Year,? Chuck Vogel, Chamber President noted. ?Bob is one of those rare people who is deeply committed to helping to make this county a better place in which to live. He obviously has been doing a good job. This recognition is our way of saying we?re proud of him.? http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916437 172916437 1975- Bob and Marian McGraw The Rush County Chamber of Commerce announced today that Mr. and Mrs. Bob McGraw have been voted to receive the Citizen of the Year award. This is the first time that a husband and wife have been chosen to receive the award together. The selection was made by the total membership of the Chamber. Earlier in the year a special committee was appointed by President Ed Roehling to select an initial list of nominees for the award. After careful consideration of all the nominees a final list of candidates were chosen and submitted to the entire membership. The selection of the nominees was based on factors like personal achievement, contributions to Rush County, character, services performed for others and a demonstration of belief in the future of Rush County. Mr. and Mrs. McGraw will be presented with the award at the November meeting of the Chamber. A permanent award will be displayed in the offices of the Chamber. The McGraws have been instrumental in establishing classes in the public schools of Indiana for special education and the trainable handicapped. In 1956 a group of parents in Rush and Fayette counties got together and started a class for the retarded in Connersville. At the time the parents paid so much a week toward the teacher?s salary. Mr. McGraw drove children from Rush County to the class every day. This was the forerunner of classes in the public schools for special education. The next fall the Connersville city schools hired a teacher and a driver was hired to transport the children from Rush County to class. This was the first class for trainable retarded children in the public schools of Indiana. In 1960 classes for the educable mentally retarded were started. The McGraws were leaders in the formation of the Fayette Association for Retarded Children. Mr. McGraw has served as president of of the board and is currently a board member. The association was started in 1956. In January of 1971, the F.A.T.E. Center was opened. The McGraws and other parents put out their own money to qualify for a loan for the facility. Mr. McGraw did all the electrical work himself and most of the maintenance. The local organization for retarded children is just four years old and the result of the efforts of Bob and Marian McGraw. In 1974 the old Troyer Halterman building was purchased by members of the local organization. Named for Bob and Marian, the McGraw Center was officially opened on June 9, 1975. Currently there are six people working at the Center. The center operates like a business. The workers produce items on contract to other firms and are paid for their efforts. Mr. McGraw attended school at Glenwood and Orange and in 1935 attended Indiana University. While there he worked as campus electrician. He has worked in Connersville and in Dayton and Vandalia Ohio as a process engineer and hard chrome plater for General Motors. They returned to Rush County in 1950. Marion McGraw worked as an elementary teacher for many years. In 1960 she started teaching Special Education classes. She received her B.S. in 1948 and at the age of 59 received her Masters Degree. Commenting on the selection of the McGraws as co-recipients of the Citizen of the Year award Ed Roehling, Chamber President said ?The McGraws have made a very significant contribution to the people of this county and Fayette County as well. They are truly deserving of the Chamber. I want to extend to them my warmest congratulations. I sincerely hope that many of their friends and admirers will be able to attend our presentation ceremony at our November meeting.? http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916438 172916438 1976- Bob Crawley The Rush County Chamber of Commerce today announced that Bob Crawley, former editor of the Rushville Republican has been voted to receive the Chamber?s ?Citizen of the Year? award for 1976. The selection was made by the votes of the membership of the Chamber. A special committee was chosen to select an initial list of nominees for the award. After careful consideration and review, a final list of four nominees were named and submitted to the entire Chamber membership which now numbers well over three hundred. The selection of nominees was based on factors like personal achievement, contributions to Rushville and Rush County, services performed for others and a continuing belief in the future of the county. Crawley will be presented the award during the quarterly membership meeting of the Chamber in October. In addition his name will be added to the permanent plaque which hangs in the Chamber office in the courthouse. Previous winners of the award include the late Philip Willkie in ?73, Bob Waggener in ?74 and Bob and Marion McGraw in ?75. Crawley?s list of achievements is impressive. Over the years Bob Crawley has served as both President and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Rushville Red Cross, Rush County Chamber of Commerce, Rush County United Way, Rushville Salvation Army, Rushville Merchants Association and Rushville Lions Club. As a member of the Main Street Christian Church he has served as Chairman of the Church Board, Deacon, Church Elder, Chairman of the Educational Building Committee, as an instructor of the Young Adult Class, 27 year member of the church choir serving 11 years as director. Crawley is best known in Rush County as editor of the Rushville Republican, a post he held for five years up until his resignation. He served as Advertising Manager of the Republican for twenty-five years http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916439 172916439 1977 - Dr. Clarence Willard Worth M.D. 1977 "Citizen of the Year" - Dr. Clarence Willard Worth M.D. "He always told me, 'I take care of people because they need it, whether they can afford it or not. Life is not always about money. It is, however, always about people." - John Worth speaking about his father. Dr. Worth practiced medicine in the small community of Milroy. House calls were the norm for doctors when he began his practice in Rush County. At any hour of the day or night a call from someone that was ill or ready to deliver a baby might come in and the doctor would arrive at their home a short time later. The practice of house calls has long since vanished, however, Dr. Worth left his legacy in the lives he brought into this world. All told, during his 34 years of practice, Worth delivered 7,500 babies into the world and affectionately became known as "the baby doctor." The last birth that he oversaw was his own grandson, Steven Worth in 1978. Worth was one of several doctors and community leaders who were instrumental in and sough initial funding for building Rush Memorial Hospital following World War II. Dr. Worth practiced medicine in Rush County for 40 years, he was a founding member and past president of Milroy Utilities Corporation. He was also a staff member of Rush Memorial Hospital for many years. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172913833 172913833 1978- Manely Abercrombie In addition to his serving in city government, Abercrombie was active in the community. He was a past member of the Rushville Kiwanis Club, where he was also past president. During the ?70?s, he was president of the Rushville National Bank. He was also a member of the Rushville Rotary Club. He helped found the Boy?s Club. While serving as president of the County Council on Aging, he worked to help acquire and renovate the Rush County Senior Center. In 1978, he was voted Citizen of the Year for his commitment to the Rush County business community. A 1930 graduate, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Rushville High School Alumni Association in 1981. He was a 50 year member of the Main Street Christian Church where he seved as church trustee and on the church board. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916441 172916441 1979- Bill Moster William Moster, Rush County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for 1979 was honored at a luncheon Thursday in the Durbin and presented with a plaque to commemorate the occasion. Reverend Paul Palusko told those assembled to pay tribute to Moster that it was quite fitting and meaningful to honor him at this time. He called Moster ?a supportive individual who draws you to him.? Palusko also said that Nancy Oster had summed up Moster?s character accurately by saying ?he is the kind of person that genuinely likes people.? Jeff Hufford, coach of the RCHS Talk Team, which Moster has assisted for many years told the guests that there were 90 area high school students who had ?felt his touch.? Hufford described Moster as ?a leader who gave of the most precious things; his time, energy, talent and love.? ?Bill is a fabulous man with a great character,? Hufford concluded. Chamber President Ray Maddox noted that Moster is a man who works behind the scenes. ?Local organizations fight to have him head their campaigns,? he said. ?He doesn?t stand out in front and take the glory,? Maddox said, ?but he is always there and encourages others.? After accepting the plaque Moster noted that awards, whether large or small, seem to have a humbling effect on people. He compared his surprise and deep gratitude to his observations of the reactions of persons receiving Oscar awards. ?I understand the feelings of those recipients better than I did. However, in all sincerity, I would not exchange this for all the Oscars and Emmies. This comes from neighbors, friends and my peers. I am very grateful and appreciative. This is a symbol of love, understanding and respect. Who could ask for anything more?? Moster was a member of the original board of the Rush County United Way and has been active for many years with the RCHS Talk Team. He has also served as president of Rotary, was former chairman and board member of the Rush County Counseling Service, a member of the Boy?s Club Board, the Rushville Township Advisory Board and the Swimming Pool Board. He and his wife Lois live on R.R. 6 Rushville where they raise Appaloosa horses. They are members of the Main Street Christina Church where Bill serves as elder and sings in the choir. He has also been associated with Moster and Sons Mortuary for many years. The Mosters are the parents of five children; Tom of Rushville, Mrs. Jeffery (Sarah) Rivers of Muncie, John of Columbus, Mrs. Ivo (Mary) Kask of Indianapolis and Nancy Moster of Memphis, Tennessee. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916442 172916442 1980- James Scott Local educator and historian James Scott was named Citizen of the Year by the Rush County Chamber of Commerce. Scott, a native of Richland township has been associated with the teaching profession for 41 years. He is also well-known for his wealth of information about local county history. Dave Northam, vice-president of the chamber, presented a plaque to Scott in recognition of the servies that he has rendered to the Rush County community. Northam said, ?For many years he has given generously of his time and talents to promoting a better community through his teaching profession and his interest in Rush County history. He has helped to instill a respect for local history through his many talks to both youth and adult groups. He has been active in promoting wood craft skills through craft fairs and the Homer workshops.? Another example of Scott?s interest in people and history can be seen in the bus tours he conducts each year when he takes children to various points of local historical interest. In addition, Scott has entertained many scout, school and civic groups with talks on Indians and Indian artifacts. Collecting Indian artifacts and a study of them has been a hobby of Scott?s for many years. Scott is also a wood carver and makes everything from tiny shoes to totem poles. He works with first time whittlers at the Homer workshops and participates in craft fairs at Rushville and the Indiana State Museum. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916443 172916443 1981- Joe Pike Joe Pike was named the Rush County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Thursday night at the annual meeting of the local body. Pike, a graduate of Rushville High School was chosen from four candidates selected from community service. Pike is currently a member of the Senior Citizen?s Board, the Rushville Economic Development Commission and the Board of Directors of the Rush County Chamber of Commerce. He formerly served on the Boy Scout Council and was a Boy Scout Leader, served as an officer in the Rushville Youth Foundation, is a past president of the Rushville Rotary Club, the Rushville Garden Club and the Rush County Historical Society and was active in the state Chamber of Commerce. Pike is married and he and his wife, Isabell, have three children. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916444 172916444 1982- Nick Singleton Nick Singleton was named Citizen of the Year. Singleton, who did not attend the dinner, was called ?The largest single positive influence on the young people of the community? by Chamber president Bill Trimble. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916445 172916445 1983- Dick Allen Dick Allen received the Citizen of the Year award. The annual meeting was held at the Wilkinson Building. Mike Woods provided music, Al Hodge was Master of Ceremonies. Plaques in recognition of participation in local renovation projects were handed out to several businesses. The Citizen of the Year was presented to Dick Allen by Frank Gorham. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916446 172916446 1984- Norma Harcourt Rush County businesswoman Norma Harcourt was the recipient of the annual Citizen of the Year award presented by Chamber Monday night http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916447 172916447 1985- Dick Eckel Honoring present community leadership and recognizing leadership potential for the future, the Rush County Chamber of Commerce Monday evening paid tribute to Rushville banker Dick Eckel and Rushville Consolidated High School students Darcy Wilkinson and Mark McCorkle. Eckel was presented the Chamber?s Citizen of the Year award by outgoing Chamber President Jim O?Connor. O?Connor characterized the award as an honor bestowed on ?that individual who has contributed to and showed support for the community?not just once in a while?but who consistently rises to the top of the stack, time after time. To me, Dick Eckel is what Rush County community leadership is all about.? In receiving his award, Eckel proclaimed his great pride in Rush County saying ?I am super proud of the Rush County community and I hope that I?ve somehow contributed a little bit to the communities growth and development, and I assure you, I will continue to do so.? Eckel is a life-long resident of Rush County and presently is serving his 30th year at Rushville National Bank where he has maintained the office of the president since 1981. He and his wife, Delila, have three children and three grandchildren. The Rushville Boys? Club has emerged as one of Eckel?s pet projects. Having been actively involved with the Club for 40 years, he has served as president of the organization?s council. He is a former Chamber president and has served as a member of the Mayor?s Task Force and chairman of the Rush County Industrial Development Corporation?s Finance Committee. Eckel boasts one of his most prized accomplishments as his recent solicitation of Steve Biro, former drug user and abuser, for a speaking tour through Rush County schools. Biro speaks about how drugs and alcohol ?can ruin your life.? Biro accompanied Eckel to last evening?s presentation. Other nominees for the honor of Citizen of the Year were Rushville Consolidated High School drama and journalism instructor and Rush County United Fund Executive Director, Marcia Blair, and Rush County resident Rosalyn Fudge. Fudge is president of the Rush County Church Women United, chairman of Rush County UNICEF and chairman of Christian Education for Children and Christian United and Inter-religious Concerns for the Faith United Methodist Church. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916448 172916448 1986- Jim O'Connor Rushville Community leader Jim O?Connor was named the 1987 Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, and Chris Edrington was presented the Athena award at the Chamber?s annual dinner last night at the new Elk?s lodge. O?Connor was presented the prestigious Citizen of the Year award by Chamber President Tom Grenisen. The Rushville District Manager of Public Service Indiana, O?Connor has been a resident of this community since 1981. He and his wife Sheryl, have two sons, Matthew, 9, and Brandon, 7. O?Connor is a respected leader within the county and has been involved in a number of civic and community organizations. He is a member and director of the Rushville Rotary Club and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He has served as president of the Rush County United Fund, as well as director of the Chamber of Commerce. With the Chamber, he has chaired and served in several positions with the Chamber Executive Committee. With the Executive Committee, O?Connor has served as vice-president, two terms as president and as advisor to the president. O?Connor is a member of the Industrial Park Board and an active member of the ?Not for Profit Industrial Development Corporation. He has also taken an active involvement in the Rush County Tee Ball program where his involvement dates back to the league?s conception in 1982. He served both as a volunteer coach and manager of a tee ball team. O?Connor and his family are members of St. Mary Church. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916449 172916449 1987- Ed Roehling Ed Roehling, consultant of local radio station WRCR. Roehling was selected by a special committee and was unaware that he had been nominated for the distinction. In the past, the Citizen of the Year was selected from a list of nominees provided at the annual meeting. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916450 172916450 1988- Phil Mitchell Milroy Elementary and Junior High School Principal Phil Mitchell was honored as the Rush County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Tuesday evening. The award was presented at the annual Chamber dinner held at the Elks Club in Rushville. Mitchell became the 16th recipient of the award and was chosen by past winners of the award. This was the first year that past winners were the only ones that voted on the award. Mitchell has been an educator at the Milroy School for the past 30 years and has been an avid community leader and is involved with many organizations in the county. Included in those activities are scouting, 4-H, Rush County Players and the Rush County United Way. He is a member of the Milroy United Methodist Church and is a past winner of the coveted Jefferson Award presented by the Indianapolis Star Newspaper for outstanding leadership in the State. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916451 172916451 1989- Jeff Hufford ?I am speechless.? Jeff Hufford said and that was probably a first. Hufford, Rushville Consolidated High School speech teacher and Rushville Talk Team mentor was named Citizen of the Year Monday night by the Chamber of Commerce at its annual meeting at Rushville Elementary School cafeteria. Hufford was obviously surprised when the honor was announced by guest speaker Dan LeClerc, one of his former students who is now an Indianapolis advertising executive. LeClerc, a 1975 RCHS graduate, gave a zesty half-hour talk on ?leading significant lives? that urged listeners to find a mission and purpose in life. It was at the end of his speech that he listed three individuals who he felt exemplified that quality: Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee and?Hufford. LeClerc praised Hufford for his role in fostering excellence in other people. ?Some people are important to us because they talk to us, some people are important to us because they teach us to talk.? Hufford was visibly moved and humbled by the honor saying there ?are about 200 people in this room who deserve this more than I do?There?s no way I can say thank you.? He said he was proud to teach at ?a great high school.? Hufford, in his 17th year of teaching speech, English and radio at RCHS has led the RTT to repeated distinctions. The RTT has been ranked in the top 10 speech teams in the state seven time; placed second in the state in ?78 and ?79; and sent 13 individuals to the national finals through the years. The highest level reached by an RTT member came in ?86 when Pat Blair placed second in the nationals. The local chapter of the National Forensic League is ranked in the top 50 in the country and Hufford has been inducted into the Indiana Speech Coaches Hall of Fame, which has only about 30 members. Former Hufford students include Indiana Secretary of State Joe Hogsett. Margaret Mullins was awarded the Athena Award by Marge Cordray of Hubler Chevrolet in recognition of outstanding achievement by a woman. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916452 172916452 1990- Gerald Mohr For Gerald Mohr, it was a birthday present to remember. When he came to the annual Rush County Chamber of Commerce dinner at Rushville Elementary School, where he has been principal since 1986, he thought it was just a birthday present from his wife. He didn?t know he was going to be named the Chamber?s Citizen of the Year. ?I am deeply humbled,? he said after advancing to the podium to receive the award from outgoing Chamber president Terry Smith. In naming Mohr as Citizen of the Year, Smith cited a string of accomplishments and contributions to the community. Mohr began his career as a 6th grade teacher in Rush County in 1967 and moved into administration as principal of the now-closed Manilla school in 1972. In 1976, he became principal at Mays and served there until taking over at RES 10 years later. ?Throughout his career, he has become known to be an outstanding administrator, admired by his peers,? Smith said. ?Teachers, parents and children alike recognized him to be hard-working, organized, dedicated and fair.? Mohr was recipient of the District 10 Principal of the Year award in 1988. Besides education, Mohr is invoved in community affairs ranging from the Rotary Club to the Rush County Players, the Elks, Little League and First Presbyterian Church. He is a member of the Rush County Council, to which he was elected last year. He and his wife, Anita, and their sons Brian and Brent reside just outside of Rushville. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916453 172916453 1991- Joe Delon Joe Delon couldn?t have been blamed if he had thought it was all over after he closed the door of Rushville City Hall behind him on his last day as mayor. After all, he had done plenty. He had been elected to two terms in the mayor?s office by his friends, neighbors, and townspeople who, if they didn?t know him personally, as many of them did, probably knew of him either from the days when he ran a service station on Second Street or from his busy first term as mayor, when new factories and new jobs coming to town seemed to be in the headlines almost regularly. But after his reluctant bid for a third term failed, Delon?s days in public life seemed to be over. He remained in politics as chairman for the Rush County Democratic Party, but much of his time was devoted to his ailing wife, Lyda, who died just a few weeks ago. Wednesday night, however, Delon got a surprise. A big one. Outgoing Rush County Chamber of Commerce President Ron Sowder tried to keep the crowd in suspense at the annual Chamber banquet as he listed the accomplishments of the Outstanding Citizen for 1992. His short speech was rather vague, speaking mainly of service to city and country. When Sowder called Joe Delon?s name, nobody in the room appeared to be any more surprised than Delon. Visibly stunned by the honor, Delon wove his way through a standing ovation to accept his award at the head table. ?I am very much surprised,? he said. Sowder noted that Delon had been ?instrumental? in bringing both Fujitsu Ten of America and INTAT Precision, Inc. to Rushville. After a few years of fledgling industrial recruitment efforts, Rushville landed the Fujitsu plant in 1985. It went online September of 1987 and recently manufactured its 1 millionth audio unit. Today, the plant employs more than 200 people. A few years later, INTAT located in the former Dana plant just north of Rushville and expanded the facility into a foundry, employing more than 200 people. Other smaller industries, such as American Cab also came to town during Delon?s tenure. Delon appeared humbled by the Outstanding Citizen honor. ?What a privilege it is to live in Rushville and Rush County.? He said. ?For what little I?ve been instrumental in what?s happened in Rushville and Rush County, I?m very thankful for.? The name of the Chamber award was changed from the Citizen of the Year to the Outstanding Citizen to denote lengthy service to the community rather than a single year?s contributions, Sowder said. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916454 172916454 1992- Paul Barada Sr. Expecting to present a speech on the Rush County Community Foundation, Rushville resident Paul W. Barada said he was surprised when outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Lienemann announced that he had been awarded the Rush County Chamber of Commerce ?Outstanding Citizen Award?. The announcement of the award was made after a short video on the Varsity Scholars? trip to the Bahamas was shown. Barada helped organize the Varsity Scholars? Program and was instrumental in organizing funding for the new incentive program for high school students. Barada is president and founder of Barada Associates, Inc., one of the few professional reference reporting firms in the United States. Started in 1979, Barada Associates has grown to represent client companies from coast to coast. Prior to starting Barada Associates, Barada was executive secretary of the Rush County Chamber of Commerce. He was also an administrative assistant to the late Richard Folz, Lieutenant Governor of Indiana from 1969-1972. Barada, 47, has authored a weekly commentary on contemporary issues for his hometown newspaper and radio for over a decade. Recently, Barada was named Rush County?s most influential man of the 1980?s. In his introductory speech, Lienemann said in spite of Barada?s professional achievements, he did not win the citizen of the year award because of his job. A 1967 graduate of Indiana University, Barada has served as president of both the Rushville High School Alumni Association. He has also served as a member of the Culver Educational Foundation Board of Trustees. He has also served as a member of the Culver Educational Foundation Board of Trustees. He has served as a director of the Rush County Industrial Development Corporation and is a past-chairman of the Southeastern Indiana Private Industry Council. Barada has served as a Trustee of Rush Memorial Hospital. Currently, he is president of the newly-formed Rush County Community Foundation and vice president of the local board of school trustees. Lienemann said Barada was one of the founders of youth football in Rush County, was a key fundraiser and organizer for the Varsity Scholars program, is a member of the Rushville Rotary Club and helped start the Wall of Fame at the Laughlin Center for the Performing Arts, which commemorates the achievements of outstanding members of the speech and debate team at R.C.H.S. In addition to being a graduate of I.U., Barada attended the Indiana Universtiy School of Law, the Universtiy of Dayton School of Law and did graduate work at Butler University in Indianapolis. He also completed the Institute of Organizational Management at the Universtity of Notre Dame. Paul and his wife Connie have three sons: Paul Jr., Will and Jonathan. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916471 172916471 1993- Jean Ann Harcourt Milroy industrialist and political activist Jean Ann Harcourt was named the Outstanding Citizne of the Year by the Rush County Chamber of Commerce at its annual dinner Wednesday evening at Rushville Consolidated High School. Harcourt said she had noticed several employees of her family business, Harcourt Outlines, in the audience when she arrived, but had supposed that they were there to support another Milroy native, Jennifer Marlow, one of the Chamber?s Student Leadership Award winners. Jokingly, she compared the surprise to working in her office, ?Where I?m supposed to know?what?s going on?and I?m the last to know.? She may not have been ?the last to know? Wednesday night, though, as the identity of the award?s recipient became obvious as outgoing Chamber president Ann Myers read the list of her community achievements, including her position as Rush County Chairman for the Republican Party and Indiana state representative on the GOP?s national committee. Politics, however, are far from being Harcourt?s only activity. Much of her work revolves around contributions to her hometown, Milroy. She is credited with nurturing the Milroy Economic Development Group and spending ?endless hours? promoting Milroy. With her brother Joe, she formed the first company to locate in the new Milroy Industrial Park ? the Harcourt Pencil Factory. She also was instrumental in recruiting a new physician to locate in the southern Rush County community. Harcourt also is one of the origingal board members of the Rush County Community Foundation, serving as Community Relations Chairman. In the nomination, RCCF Executive Director Susie Hazelett was quoted as saying that ?no one has given more to the county than Jean Ann, or brought more business to Rush County.? She is also a member of the Milroy Christian Church. Harcourt was nominated for the award by Sandy Gwinnup and Dr. Robert Jackman. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916455 172916455 1994- Roy Mohr Chamber President Dave Sheets handed the Outstanding Citizen Award to Roy Mohr for his love of ?God, family, community and work.? Mohr has been a Boy Scout and 4-H leader, is active in the Rush County Players and helped in the renovation of the Pleasant Street Playhouse at Milroy, serves on the St. Mary Catholic Church Parish Council, is a charter member of Habitat for Humanity, serves on the Rush County Sheriff?s Merit Board and is president of the Rush County Fair Board. But he may be best known as a man often seen aloft in a cherry picker, helping hang lights at baseball parks or Christmas decorations, or coming out in the dead of night to restore electricity after a thunderstorm or a blizzard. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916456 172916456 1995- Rick Levi Local attorney Rick Levi was named Citizen of the Year by lifelong friend Tom Moster. Moster noted the contributions Levi has made to the community over the past several years, making special mention of the belief of many that by setting a good example, the impact on others' lives will hold a deeper meaning and add strength to a community. "He's a great example to us all," Moster noted. Clearly humbled by the award, Levi walked to the podium amid a thunderous standing ovation. "When I look around and I see the people here, it makes me very proud to be here in Rushville," Levi said. Levi's Community Involvement are as follows: President of the United Way Chamber of Commerce Board of Director Founding member of Rush County Health/Doctor Recruitment Program 50 year member of First Presbyterian Church President of the RHS Alumni Association Instrumental in securing matching grants for the Boys and Girls Club and Community Foundation Member of the Board for the Council of Clubs Active fundraiser for contruction of the Babe Ruth diamond Helped create the Rush County Community Foundation. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916457 172916457 1996- Dr. Steve Sickbert The Rush County Chamber of Commerce selected Dr. Steve Sickbert as this year?s ?Outstanding Citizen of the Year.? Sickbert humbly accepted the award on behalf of the Association for Retarded Citizens, a group to whom Sickbert has dedicated a great deal of time and effort, in assisting mentally challenged citizens to receive adequate education, training and care. Sickbert also is deeply involved in activities and programs at Rush County Schools and the Boys and Girls Club of Rush County. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916458 172916458 1997- Dick Moster At its annual dinner Thursday night, the Rush County Chamber of Commerce named Dick Moster the ?Citizen of the Year.? Moster, a lifelong resident and businessman of Rush County received the honors with his wife Sue by his side, for his involvements in the county and his dedication to the betterment of our community. Moster has been involved in such activities as Rushville Lions Club, Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce, United Fund and is a 20-plus year advisory board member of the Rushville Salvation Army. ?The key to our recipient is not his mere participating in these projects and organizations, but that through his participation he has continually enhanced these organizations with his presence and effort; therefore, consistently promoting and heightening the overall quality of life in Rush County,? stated the nominating letter. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916459 172916459 1998- Dick Neeb Making the presentation at the May 5 Chamber Dinner, he acknowledged the recipient, Dick Neeb, as a major contributor to the community. Morrell listed some ofNeeb?s achievements ? key designer and advisor for construction and continuing expansion of the Boys and Girls Club, key planner and advisor for renovation of the Rushville Police Department building and Eagles Lodge, consultant to renovation projects at Rushville Library and Rush County Historical Society Museum, was involved int eh design concept of Rushville Elementary School air conditioning project and was extremely active in Knights of Columbus. Accepting e award in honor of the late Dick Neeb were his widow, Maurita, and sons, Scott and Morris, accompanied by his wife Angie. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916460 172916460 1999- David Doyle Bill Keaten presented the Chamber?s Outstanding Citizen of the Year award to David Doyle, RCHS choral music director. The award is given to acknowledge the recipients contributions to the community. ?I accept on behalf of all the teachers who work with your children every day.? Doyle humble said. Student Leader Awards were presented to Ryan Johnson and Beth McDaniel. WISH-TV weatherman Randy Ollis was the guest speaker. In a 2006 Paul Barada said about Doyle ?More importantly, he makes each member want to do his best. There is just something about the man that qualifies him for that very highest of accolades any teacher can ever hope to reach; he is truly a ?master instructor.? If our high school offered that title, as many do, David Doyle would be first on my list. His passion, his knowledge, his ability to teach, his sense of humor, and his belief in his students?young and not-so-young?make each choir member believe that they can make him proud of being even the smallest part of what he can create.? http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916461 172916461 2000- Bill Ward Milroy resident and Rush County businessman Bill Ward was honored at Wednesday night?s Rush County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner held at the Root Building. Ward was named this year?s recipient of the organizations ?Outstanding Citizen of the Year? award. Ward, who was clearly surprised at the announcement, was typically humble in accepting the honor. ?There are a lot of people who are more deserving of this than I am,? he said. ?I appreciate it very much. Thank you very much.? Jean Ann Harcourt, who delivered the introduction and presentation of the award, said that Ward was very deserving of the honor. ?This is a man whose middle name should be community service,? she said. She noted that in addition to running a successful small business, this year?s winner is an active member of the Rotary Club, that he served as the Anderson Township Trustee for 16 years and is currently serving his second term on the township?s advisory board; that he played a major role in raising funds needed to secure and ambulance for Milroy; and that he?s been a very active member of the Milroy Economic Development Committee (MEDC). In addition, for a number of years Ward has represented the MEDC on the Rush County Economic and Community Development Corporation and was primary organizer of the Friends of Education group formed to assist local schools with a particular emphasis on lowering the local dropout rate. ?Rush County?s 2000 Citizen of the Year is a man who proudly shares his love of God and church, his love of family, and his love of community,? Harcourt concluded http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916462 172916462 2001- Eleanor Arnold Rush County Historian Eleanor Arnold was presented the Rush County Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year award at a Chamber sponsored luncheon held Wednesday at Miller's Family Restaurant. Eleanor has helped to preserve Rush County history in a variety of ways and has helped edit and publish "Memories of Hoosier Homemakers." http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916463 172916463 2002- Kevin Snyder Kevin Snyder is a life-long resident of Rush County. He is a Graduate of Ball State University with his Bachelor of Science degree in Radio/TV and Business Management. Additionally, he completed an AIB (American Institute of Banking) degree from Indiana Central University (now currently University of Indianapolis) and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin?s Graduate School of Banking. Kevin is active in various community organizations, including serving as an Elder in the Little Flat Rock Christian Church, a board member of the Rushville Rotary Club, Board member of the Rush County Economic and Development Committee, Advisory Board member of WKWH Radio, Board member of the Veteran?s Association, and Board member of the RHS/RCHS Alumni Association where he was recently awarded the ?Service Award? for outstanding service to the community. He has formerly served as a coach for major & minor league baseball, and assistant coach in Babe Ruth baseball. He has also served on the Salvation Army Board and was Treasurer in the Rushville Lions Club. He is married to the former Marcia Carney and they have two sons, Jim, a Senior at Franklin College and Dan, a Freshman, at University of Indianapolis. After 15 years of banking, 6 years ago, Kevin became an agent for American Family Insurance here in Rushville. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916464 172916464 2003- Tom Barnes Marcia Blair then took over the mike to announce the 2003 Outstanding Citizen of the Year. "This year's Outstanding Citizen is very active in Veteran's Affairs in Rush County and throughout Indiana. He is a member of the American Legion Post 150, the U.S. Submarine Veterans Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America and has served as Hoosier base commander and vice-commander representing over 10,000 submarine veterans nationally. He is the fund-raising chairman for the Rush County Veterans Memorial and has helped raise the $50,000 to erect the Veteran's Memorial Bridge in North Memorial Park. All this while feeding Rush County residents for many years at his family owned restaurant, Pizza King. It is my pleasure to introduce this year's Citizen of the Year, Mr. Tom Barnes." http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172913831 172913831 2004- Bruce Davis Davis is a life-long resident of Rushville and is the youngest of four children with two older brothers and an older sister. A 1985 graduate of Rushville Consolidated High School. Davis says the best lesson he ever learned never came from a book or at the expense of another. The school of hard knocks has the best teachers and I would not be the person I am today without graduating from that time period in my life, Davis said. The three year period Davis referred to was 1988 to 1991 when the business world threw him a curve. "I went broke, I sold the business and got out of it for three years. In 1991, I built a large wrecker and came back. Those three years when I was broke was when I got my best education, I promise you that I could never have gone to any college or business school and have them teach me what I learned. That will not happen again, I guarantee you that will never happen again," he said. Davis could not pick out one thing that he is most proud of about Rush County rather he chose to commend the citizens of the county he has called home his entire life. "I am really proud of all of the citizens of Rush County. I am honored that the citizens in the county cater to my business and let me and my family cater to theirs. Without them I would not be able to give back what I can to the community." Davis said. One of the biggest assets to any community is those who choose to live in it. Davis was quick to add that the community and his upbringing have each had equal influence on whom he has become and who he strives to be. Opportunities have presented themselves through the years for Davis to relocate his family and move elsewhere. Each time he declined to act on that chance, finding that there is no place like home. "I like Rushville and I like Rush County. I like the school system here and I like those I work with and live around. I wouldn't live anywhere else," he said. Through the years, Davis Towing has expanded and is as large now as he hopes it to grow. "When my dad, (Bob Davis) opened this years ago, it was a one tow truck operation. Over the years we have grown and I hope we are about done growing," Davis said with a smile. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916465 172916465 2005- Mike Pavey Pavey?s nomination letter stated, ?Mike has been a visionary to our community, helping to plan and execute several key projects that have raised the bar for the quality of life that residents of Rushville and Rush County can enjoy today.? Mike has served as President of the Rushville City Council, where he has been a member since 1996. He is also a member of Mayor Bridges? Board of Works and the Unsafe Hearing Board. It was Mike?s vision to re-create Riverside Park. Mike?s dedicated work ethic facilitated Rushville to create an amphitheatre that could host community events and concerts in a beautiful setting just a block away from the town square. Mike was the city?s lead person on this project. He organized many volunteers to donate time and resources to getting the covered bridge-like structure up in a very quick time frame. He worked behind the scenes to schedule entertainment and setup the logistics of the events. His concept has now turned into a free summer concert series enjoyed by local residents and out-of-town guests. It is a venue that is unmatched by neighboring communities, and will help bring people to our community. Mike is very active in the community and is often a spectator or participant in many public events. His company Emerald Group has donated its times and talents to several projects as well. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916466 172916466 2006- George and Sandra Coons The Rush County Chamber of Commerce announced that local couple, George and Sandy Coons have been selected as this year's "Outstanding Citizen's of the Year." The Coons were recognized for their 25 years of coordinating the annual July 4 fireworks show, as well as, organizing several parades throughout the years. They are only the 2nd couple in the history of the award to be selected. The first being Bob and Marian McGraw. Sandy and George Coons are pictured with Rush County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Marcia Blair http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916467 172916467 2007- Brad Smith At its annual meeting and luncheon Wednesday at Flatrock Grill, the Rush County Chamber of Commerce announced its selection of Brad Smith as its Citizen of the Year. Smith has served as Chief Executive Officer of Rush Memorial Hospital for four years. He was the hospital?s Chief Financial Officer for six years before becoming CEO. Smith was pleasantly surprised but hesitant to accept the award. ?I am very reluctant to receive this award because there are so many deserving community members dedicated to making Rush County and Rush Memorial Hospital what it is today and working hard to reshape its future,? Smith said. ?Thanks to everyone who has welcomed me to this community ? a community I now call home. I have always wanted to help people, and healthcare has given me the avenue to do just this." "I am very honored to receive this award,? he continued. ?The many accomplishments could not have been done without the support of the community, RMH employees, and a progressive board of trustees. I am very blessed to be a part of Rush County and Rush Memorial Hospital. Employees of RMH make my job easy through teamwork, dedication, and loyalty to the hospital and patients that are served. We make a great team.? The Citizen of the Year was recognized for his accomplishments at RMH and for his community involvement. He obtained Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation for RMH as one of the first four CAHs in the state. According to hospital personnel, this CAH designation significantly changed the reimbursement to the hospital which secured the future of healthcare services and the hospital for the 18,000 residents of Rush County. He is credited with providing the vision and leadership needed at RMH and has earned the respect of the medical staff, management staff, and employees with his positive attitude, honesty and straight forwardness. RMH?s turnover rates have decreased since Smith became CEO, staff morale has improved, patient and employee satisfaction rates have risen and patient volumes have grown, as reported by staff members. RMH won the RISE Award and is one of the first three hospitals in Indiana to become a smoke-free facility. Under Smith?s leadership, the Rush Memorial Hospital Foundation was established to raise funds to support the hospital?s ongoing healthcare efforts. Smith added many services and enhanced others resulting in the addition of about 100 new jobs. The hospital?s Home Health Care Agency recently received an award of excellence for being in the top three Home Health Agencies in the state. Land was acquired for the future expansion of RMH?s Pediatric and Women?s Health Center. The Occupational Health program has grown to serving more than 60 companies. RMH?s Anthem Quality Scores have increased from 67 to 97 percent. In recognition of these accomplishments under his leadership, Smith was awarded the IRHA Statewide Leadership Award in 2007. His community involvement includes president/chairman of the Rush County Economic and Community Development Corporation, Rush County Community Center board member, Rotary Club of Rushville and board member, Rush County Fiber Technology Board, Four Communities Grant Committee offering free wellness program to the community, Agriculture Round Table. Memberships in professional organizations include South Central Indiana Regional Healthcare Consortium; Indiana Hospital Association (IHA), board member and president of Southeastern district; Indiana Rural Health Association board member. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916468 172916468 2008- Al Hodge Former RCHS teacher Marcia Blair was next to speak. The former teacher spoke of a program that was started more than 30 years ago by Jr. Historical Society members under the leadership of then high school history teacher Al Hodge. As Blair explained, Hodge was instrumental in having students tape interviews with a number of Rush County residents (more than 300) from varied backgrounds in what has become known as the oral history of Rush County. A number of those interviewed have since passed away, although their thoughts and recollections of earlier times in Rush County have been preserved forever thanks to foresight of Hodge, the efforts of others and modern technology. The tapes have since been transferred into a digital format (CD) and are now available through the Historical Society for $10 each. Hodge also was instrumental in forming what is known as Peer Helpers and Facilitators for high school students. According to Blair, the foresight and efforts of Hodge set him apart from others and she felt privileged to introduce him as the 2009 Rush County Citizen of the Year award recipient. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916469 172916469 2009- Marcia Blair Former RCHS teacher Al Hodge, the 2009 Rush County Citizen of the Year recipient, was next to speak and talked of the decision to nominate Marcia Blair as this year?s Citizen of the Year. He spoke about Blair and her many years of commitment to the community, from her years of teaching first in Raleigh and then at RCHS. He also talked about Blair?s contributions to the theater program at the local high school and her involvement in the decision to build the Laughlin Center addition. Also noted were her years as writer for the Slabtown Players, community plays and her service as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Christian Church and other community organizations. ?I and others feel this award is long overdue. When we nominated Marcia (Blair) we had no idea that health issues would take her away,? Hodge said. According to Hodge, Blair?s foresight and efforts set her apart from others and he and others felt privileged to nominate her as the 2010 Rush County Citizen of the Year. Marcia?s husband of 48 years, Les Blair, and family members accepted the award posthumously on Marcia Blair?s behalf. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172916470 172916470 2010/2011- Chip West Pastor Sam Davenport of Main Street Christian Church then spoke briefly about this year's Rush County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year recipient, Chip West. Davenport noted that West has demonstrated his willingness to make Rushville and Rush County a better place to live and work on many occasions. "Chip is truly a community leader, and I'm pleased to be able to present him with this recognition," he said. http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172913832 172913832 http://www.rushcounty.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=172930523 172930523