2021 Lebanon Annual Chamber Awards Dinner
Congratulations to our 2021 LACAS Award Winners
Community Service Award
A Brush of Hope
Business of the Year Award
Barkers Barbershop for dogs
Industrial Business of the Year Award
Restoration Parts Unlimited, Inc.
Young Professional Award
Ambassador of the Year Award
Spirit of Lebanon Award
Small Business of the Year Award
Glad Rags Boutique
Friends of Education Award
Whit’s Frozen Custard
The Golden Turtle Chocolate Factory
New Business of the Year Award
Innovator of the Year Award
Hidden Valley Orchards
The William Harmon Award
Mayor Amy Brewer
Congratulations to our 2021 Lebanon Annual Chamber Awards Finalists
Deadline to submit your vote is Friday, Sept. 10th!
2021 Business of the Year Finalists:
Barker's Barbershop for Dogs: Hannah and her team at Barkers provide an exceptional dog grooming service focusing on express appointments and all natural/holistic products. Barkers not only attracts a more canine friendly environment to Lebanon, but they also encourage their clients to shop and dine at local stores and restaurants. Barkers also plans to take on dog-friendly events such as the Pooch Parade in 2021 and many more in 2022. Hannah plans to open another shop (or five) in the years to come, but takes pride in knowing that Lebanon will always be the home to her business! Hannah has changed the game for dog grooming. Focusing on the overall brand experience, she has implemented new software innovations, an express transparent grooming concept, all natural products, and wellness evaluations to ensure that all customers and their dogs feel safe, welcome, and at home. She is one of only a few shops in greater Cincinnati that is AKC S.A.F.E. certified. AND she opened in downtown Lebanon during a nationwide pandemic... this displays her courage and fortitude to see her vision become a reality so that all her dogs can experience the best-of-the-best dog grooming services.
Pickard Enterprises (South Lebanon McDonald’s): Pickard Enterprises is one of the first minority businesses to open a business in South Lebanon. Mr Pickard owns several McDonald’s stores in the area. He has a passion for small businesses and improving the local community building a better neighborhood.
GMi Companies: Like so many companies, GMi’s sales dropped by 50% in mid-March 2020, as shutdowns and restrictive work rules were rolled out across the nation. After quickly identifying their justifications as an “essential business” - so that they could keep 150-member team working every day. As a local manufacturer with a domestic supply chain and having recently built up their Product Development capabilities, they knew that they could create new products that would appeal in a Covid-world. They placed a stipulation that any new products must be made from existing raw materials and/or standard items that could be readily purchased “off the shelf” and with no minimum quantities. Controlling their spending was critical, but they made the calculated decision to buy large quantities of acrylic sheets. Between their two facilities, they can cut/shape acrylic and thought they could incorporate it into personal protective equipment (PPE) for others, but this was a very big bet to wager so they needed it to work. Within 48 hours of setting that expectation on innovations, they had the first two potential items prototyped and priced; when customers immediately started asking for options, quotes, and delivery times, they did the rest of the engineering, production readiness, and marketing required. They were accomplishing in a couple of weeks what typically took a few months. And it went just like that – week after week, product after product – listening to customers’ dilemmas, dreaming up solutions, and building prototypes with limited material set. In all, 13 new product families (with hundreds of options) were created, sold, and manufactured – totaling more than $11 million in 2020 revenue alone. Each shipped item is helping others across the country return to work with an added margin of safety from spreading the virus. They added 40 employees over the summer and had to train every person in the company on the new products and how to quote, sell and build them; similarly, they had to remotely teach sales reps all the aspects of these new products so they would know how to promote them in the field. Throughout this entire time, they never closed the doors or had a reduction in force. They are now nearing completion of their building expansion (36,000 sq.ft.) that will house production equipment and materials necessary to continue making many of these new products. Most importantly, they have come to appreciate how flexibility and collaboration, combined with ingenuity and a propensity toward action can turn the bleakest of situations into a positive – for their customers, their employees, their community, and their company. They are proud to have such a positive story to tell and feel emboldened about their collective future as a manufacturer here in Lebanon.
2021 Community Service Award Finalists:
Countryside YMCA: As a nonprofit organization, our role is to identify needs in the community that we are uniquely suited to meet. Even during the pandemic, we had unprecedented ways to serve the greater Lebanon community: we provided childcare for about 90 first responders children, we worked with Joshua’s Place to pack and give meals for families, a phone-a-thon was implemented to make hundreds of individual calls to our senior members to check on their well-being, virtual classes served as way to relieve stress within the safety of ones’ own home. Year round we offer financial assistance for membership for those who qualify, give free swim lessons to Lebanon 4th graders and children in our childcare, offer community arthritis water-fit classes, LiveStrong programming for persons fighting/survivors of cancer, Blessed Respite evenings for those families with special needs children/foster children/kinship caregivers...to name a few of our programs that touch lives each day. We are grateful that many individuals and Lebanon businesses help financially support our outreach programs. Our mission is to improve others’ spirit, mind, and bodies. We intend to help our community stay connected, cared for, and hopeful in their lives. Countryside YMCA is actively engaged in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. This mantra is our mission work...it is the foundation of all we do.
Rotary Club of Lebanon Ohio: The Rotary Club of Lebanon Ohio is a fantastic service organization that serves our community. The Rotary club gave the most scholarships to graduating seniors at Lebanon High School in 2020. The Rotary Club also sponsors free concerts in the park all summer long to bring business to downtown Lebanon business owners and provide a free and fun outdoor activity for residents of all ages. They co-host the Lebanon Country Music Festival and the annual Pancake Breakfast. The Rotary club also supported school supplies drives, food for students during the COVID-19 school shut down, Christmas Baskets for less fortunate children in our community and many more charitable endeavors.
A Brush of Hope: A Brush of Hope is a 501 (c) (3) organization, formed in 2013. Its mission is to encourage children to make positive changes in their lives through their art and creativity. A Brush of Hope is dedicated to creating a support system, through the venue of art for girls and boys. Some of the children struggle with social, environmental, or mental health situations, while others are looking for a place to explore creativity and connectivity with peers in a safe and nurturing environment. A Brush of Hope supports children ages K-12. Their art programs assist children in implementing coping mechanisms, building confidence, raising self-esteem, teaching leadership skills, and learning conflict resolution. A Brush of Hope partners with several local agencies, schools, and community organizations to enhance the lives of our at-risk youth in Warren, Butler, and Montgomery County. Currently, 1,971 children each year use consumable products within their various groups. This includes their summer camps, Girl Scout badges, one on one services, specialty classes, after school enrichment, as well as programs that occur during the school year in their Lebanon studio. Most of the children participating in the programs are living right at or below the poverty level. A Brush of Hope makes their programs available to all children who would like to participate, regardless of their socio-economical background. All children receive art packs with their own supplies so the coping techniques taught to them at A Brush of Hope can travel with them and be practiced anywhere. All females in the 4th grade and older receive back packs with essential personal hygiene products as well as taught how to use the products appropriately. In 2020 A Brush of Hope found creative and effective ways to continue serving the children in Warren County who rely on their services. Summer art camps were held virtually, with all supplies still being provided to the children. A Brush of Hope worked closely with local schools and partnering agencies to follow appropriate protocols and training requirements to gain access and assist in helping children work through unique, difficult, and sensitive situations exacerbated by the pandemic. A Brush of Hope has been awarded grants from; General Electric, the Johnson Charitable Gift Fund, Paycor, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and Premier Health Atrium Medical Center. In addition, A Brush of Hope has received the Distinguished Organization for Art Education Award. A Brush of Hope demonstrates excellence, creativity, and initiative in contributing to the quality of life in Lebanon and Warren County.
2021 Friends of Education Award Finalists:
Whit’s Frozen Custard: Whit’s Frozen Custard for many years continues to make contributions and support to our Lebanon City Schools. They provide sponsorship in the local Town Money Saver every month to support the school news that is printed in the mailer. They provide discounts to our business whenever we sponsor ice cream for school events. Their owner sits on the Lebanon City School Board and is an enthusiastic supporter of our schools. Mike and Amy have also been very instrumental in reviving the student "War Zone" at Lebanon High School sporting events. They are always highlighting the school activities on their social media and they employ so many of our local students. Whit's is a great support to our schools and community.
Lebanon Boosters: Liza Johnson & Mindi Gliatti: The Lebanon Boosters play a huge part in raising money and supporting our Lebanon City Schools. In the last few years, the Lebanon Boosters have made tremendous strides in helping our sports organization thrive. These two women took on a huge leadership role to make it all happen. Liza Johnson devotes countless hours and time to the betterment of our schools through supporting the athletic boosters. Her enthusiasm is immeasurable. Through her efforts, our community is a better place to live, work, and play. Mindi Gliatti is a full time professional, wife, and mom of 2 in Lebanon Schools. Last year she joined the Lebanon Boosters, formed a committee, and began marketing sports apparel to Lebanon with 100% of the proceeds going back to Lebanon Athletics. Mindi handled sourcing suppliers, choosing items, pricing, and coordinating with tons of people including the athletic director, and many parents and coaches. Mindi and her team took the effort 1 step farther and opened a shop at Market 640 which has been very successful. If you've seen one of the nearly 500 personalized jerseys around town-Mindi led the creation of those to Warrior Nation. She's given hundreds of hours, which has resulted in thousands of dollars going directly back into our sports teams.
Girdwood Orthodontics: Girdwood has stepped up to sponsor any sports team, fundraising event, student activity or group not only in 2020 but they have been doing this for years! They even donated water bottles to each student at Bowman Primary this fall when the pandemic hit and students were not allowed to use the water fountains. They are very active within our schools, community and chamber and are a pleasure to work with. I see Girdwood EVERY WHERE, I am thankful for their strong support in LCS.
2021 Innovator of the Year:
Todd Eshenbaugh, Watermark Homes: Todd Eshenbaugh is one of the most invisionary leaders, and he is one that dedicates his time to all. He has put together a business model and developed Watermark Homes, that has added beauty and the growth of new homes to Lebanon. Bringing in new residents to reside and add economic growth to Lebanon. His business practices and integrity are bar none. I proudly nominate Todd Eshenbaugh for his outstanding commitment to Lebanon.
Cashmere Bath Company: Cashmere Bath innovated during this pandemic by shifting their business model to include hand sanitizer and other covid essentials for the community of Lebanon. This required quick turnaround on permitting and licensing through the FDA and TTB. This allowed them to provide County Health Departments and several local businesses with sanitizer essentials. They provided sanitizer stations to local events to allow them to continue during the restrictions. They also hand delivered sanitizer and other essentials to individuals that couldn't leave their homes. By pivoting their business model, they were able to keep their employees on staff and help their retail business doors open to serve the community needs.
Hidden Valley Orchards: HVO offered (and continues to do so) a place of gathering and respite for folks in an organic, welcoming and altruistic format. It is so many different things and celebrated in many unique ways but children through adults and often our furry friends. During COVID they created an outdoor entertainment area, and allowed people to bring their own chairs and spread out all over the farm, allowing people to feel comfortable and still enjoy a wonderful evening/day with entertainment, food and a wonderful atmosphere. The owners of HVO quietly support civic, educational and sports organizations through donation of time, resources, facilities, and products. They don’t declare all they do for the betterment of the community as it is part of their mission and meant as part of the servitude and scope of their everyday business contribution to their surrounding communities. Hidden Valley Orchards owners and team truly love what they do and strive to provide the most enjoyable, authentic small business experience in what has been a challenging retail scope the past year or more. They are always thinking of how their guests would benefit from and enjoy their time as they know folks have chosen to visit them with little time and sometimes marginal resources.
2021 New Business of the Year Award Finalists:
Bin Boss: During the pandemic when the shutdown occurred, Tom and Tammi Battaglia, who own our local gym, Fitness 4U, experienced the closure of their business. They switched to doing personal training online, but also bought a franchise of the business called the Bin Boss! It is such an innovative business where they come out weekly or monthly with their special cleaning truck and clean your trash bins! It is such a great new business, serves a need that has not been served before and is such an asset to our community. They also do it with great positivity and humor! They deserve an award for this exciting and innovative new business!
ORCA Coworking: The Lebanon branch of ORCA Coworking just opened in April and has grown immensely since. It is hard to miss ORCA when you drive or walk through downtown Lebanon. We are so pleased that they planted this location in the heart of the Lebanon community, and we are so excited for their future here. They have already seen so much interest and growth that they bought additional buildings for private offices.
Cartridge Brewing: Built on the banks of the Little Miami River, Cartridge Brewing is a veteran-owned business focused on celebrating the traditional craft of brewing. They opened their doors the end of October, when most businesses were not even open for business. They endured the setbacks of the renovation..yet they never gave up! Their mission is to help restore the Peters Cartridge Factory to its former glory as a gathering place for surrounding communities for the next 100+ years. Cartridge is proud to serve a selection of old-world beers alongside easy-drinking specialty styles – all brewed on-site in their 15 bbl brewhouse.
2021 Small Business of the Year Award Finalists:
Barker's Barber Shop for Dogs: Barkers Barbershop for Dogs is on their 2nd year of doing business in our town of Lebanon. They've not only created a dog friendly barbershop but implemented innovative processes that guarantee customer satisfaction. They have successfully accomplished this through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and have continued to grow adding a full staff and thousands of clients and their dogs achieving the highest remarks from their customers on Facebook, Google and other social media platforms. This business is a great "new" addition to the city of Lebanon attracting visitors from all directions to our downtown. Their clients are encouraged to shop and dine at other local establishments. Hannah has changed the game for dog grooming. Focusing on the overall brand experience, she has implemented new software innovations, an express transparent grooming concept, all natural products, and wellness evaluations to ensure that all customers and their dogs feel safe, welcome, and at home. She is one of only a few shops in greater Cincinnati that is AKC S.A.F.E. certified. AND she opened in downtown Lebanon during a nationwide pandemic... this displays her courage and fortitude to see her vision become a reality so that all her dogs can experience the best-of-the-best dog grooming services.
Maggard Memorials & Laser Art Technology: They are a local small business, family owned and operated. They have been your local and trusted Monument Company serving the community for over 40 years now. They take pride and passion for serving and creating one-of-a-kind memorials. They take great love in creating memorials to tell a story and let the lives of our loved ones be celebrated. Amanda and her team work diligently to serve her community in the most commemorative possible. As a wholesaler in the granite industry, I have to argue Amanda and her team are one of if not the most passionate companies to work with in terms of doing what is right/best for the family by any means possible. She has taken on community projects and provided consultative service ensuring that families are part of the Maggard family in a low point of their lives. Nothing is harder than trying to find ways to commemorate a loved and their memories while trying to fit unmeasurable memories on a finite granite headstone/marker. Many businesses are very transactional although Amanda and her staff take their time to make sure the family is hands on in the process treating the loved one that has passed as her own. There are many pivotal industries although hands down no one has a harder job with higher expectations than families that arrive at her doorstep; for the hard work she has put in and the smiles to grieving families she has Maggard has placed, there is no one more deserving!
Glad Rags Boutique: Glad Rags Boutique not only provides beautiful clothing and accessories to our community, but also goes out of their way to support our other local businesses and our schools. Last year when Lebanon City Schools was getting ready to re-open, Lauren found face shields that could be purchased by other local businesses and donated to the schools for the teachers. She was so forward thinking in trying to do what she could to see that our local kids and teachers could have a safe start back to school. You can always find Lauren and her mom, Vickie, frequenting local businesses and events and posting positive shout-outs on their social media. Her business provides very good quality clothing at great prices and is such an asset to Lebanon. This year has been hard on all business especially the small business. Lauren worked hard to stay on top and help her customers when they couldn’t shop with free shipping. She is always donating for raffles for schools and sports. She buys local to support her neighbors and businesses. Lauren supports downtown in all their events and is proud to be from Lebanon and still lives here with her family.
2021 Spirit of Lebanon Award Finalists:
Karie Lacy: Karie Lacy unselfishly reflects the kindness, passion, and determination that the community of Lebanon has in the past and will continue to exhibit. Karie works tirelessly to find current and future Lebanon residents the home, employment, and small business opportunities through her passion of real-estate. As a Lebanon native, her roots are deep within the Lebanon community, and she uses her passion for real-estate as an opportunity to leverage her own resources to give back to the community and truly exhibit "The Spirit of Lebanon". She has dedicated herself throughout the past year as "The" Lebanon Realtor. Promoting local businesses and creating partnerships has been top of her list. She holds meetings, coffee, lunch and dinner meetings throughout Lebanon. Recently, she was contacted by the Historical Society to host her closings at Harmon Museum which she loved because it not only provides exposure to my clients, but it showcases how vibrant and welcoming Lebanon truly is! Karie is an amazing person and businesswomen who gives back to her clients and community. She never settles for less and always makes sure her name and business is something to be proud of. Her continued support of this community and love for people is more than enough for her to receive this award!!
Renee Forrester: Renee Forrester takes great pride in the fact that she is a member of a family that has lived in Lebanon, Ohio for 11 generations. She loves this community and has generously given back to it in many ways. Early in 2018, she became aware that there were children in Lebanon City Schools who were not getting a hot lunch at school each day. As she admits, one of her main joys in life is to feed people, so the fact that a sizable number of children in her community were missing a hot lunch at school because they didn't qualify for the free and reduced program and/or because of family difficulties weighed on her mind. Her belief that all children deserve good nutrition to help with their academic studies, their physical activities, and their overall good health spurred her to create the Martin Luther King "Lunch on Us" program. Through her efforts of sharing her concern, making others aware, working closely with the school board and superintendent, fund raising, and applying for and receiving local grants, student debt was eliminated. The program was put on hold in March, 2020 because of the Covid pandemic and subsequent quarantining. The state of Ohio began covering lunch costs for all students. However, by May, 2021, there was again significant student debt causing some high school students to not be able to receive their diplomas. Under Renee's leadership, MLK Coalition of Lebanon teamed with the Lebanon Food pantry to eliminate once again all student debt, allowing all students to receive their diplomas of high school graduation. In all, over $28,000 has been raised for this endeavor and donated to Lebanon City Schools. In addition, she has given her time and talent over the years by donating handmade baby blankets and by adopting at-risk high school students during Christmas, providing hand-made gifts and love to them. She made and donated over 400 masks to friends, family, businesses, and strangers to help keep them safe during the pandemic. Renee's stated mottos is..."if you have something you love to do with your hands and mind, you will always have something productive to do. You can help others and that to me is success." Renee retired in September, 2019 after 31 years of service at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. She is an active member of the MLK Community Coalition of Lebanon, of Bethel AME church, and is an advocate to the City of Lebanon to support the black community, speaking out for equality and fairness for all citizens. In January, 2021, she was awarded the Drum Major Award for Adult Community Leader at the MLK Community Coalition of Lebanon's annual celebration of the life and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a leader in planning for Diversity and Equity training for all city employees including the Lebanon Police Department. The first of these trainings was conducted in July, 2021.What shines from Renee is her steadfast faith, her love of family, the influence and support of very strong women in her life, her pride in her two children and grandchildren, and her selflessness in reaching out to help others. In Renee one finds a big, warm heart, a generous spirit, a ready smile, and a lovely friend to all. She is a role model for goodness, decency, and integrity, doing for others in so many ways.It is my distinct honor to nominate Renee Forrester for "The Spirit of Lebanon Award" because she lives a life that is the epitome of what this award represents.
Marty Hubbell: Marty Hubbell gives of his time, services and professionalism daily for the Lebanon Community. Last year, Marty served as Vice President of the Warren County Community Services Inc while we were going through a very difficult time. Marty put in hundreds of legal hours to save the non-profit money, and put us on firmer legal grounds. The result was the organization saved hundreds of thousands of dollars not only in this situation, but he also handled the legal side of WCCS's purchase of a building in Lebanon - giving WCCS their first home since the 1980 inception of the organization. No one is aware of all of the work he did and does on behalf of the organization. He did this despite planning a wedding, renovating one of Lebanon's four historic mansions on Columbus Avenue near Glendower "The Gothic," handling magistrate duties for the City of Lebanon, and oh yes, taking care of his clients at Diehl & Hubbell.
Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors!
Event Sponsor: Miami Valley Gaming
Cocktail Sponsor: Schueler Group
Print Sponsor: 1st National Bank
Table Sponsor: Embassy of Lebanon Healthcare
Award Sponsor: GMi Companies
Supporting Sponsors: Town Money Saver, Traditions of Lebanon, Golden Lamb, The BrickHouse on Broadway Personalized Gift Shop, Greenhouse Cafe, BT Graphics, Broadway Family Medicine Inc., Cartridge Brewing, Girdwood Orthodontics, Countryside YMCA, Black Dog Financial LLC, Sharefax Credit Union, 22three Inc., Hidden Valley Orchards, The Home Depot, Lauren James Aesthetics, Warren County Agriculutral Society