By Tammy Watts
GREENVILLE — The Darke County Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting at Greenville City Park on May 20. Attendees enjoyed a picnic lunch provided by Winner’s Meats, King’s Poultry, and cookies by Beanz Buttercream. The Green de Villes played, and Joel Allread, chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors, reviewed the past year’s highlights, including the addition of 24 new members since May 2021. The Chamber collaborated on several events: last August’s job fair, a presentation on workplace violence by Sheriff Mark Whittaker, and the IMPACT STEM2D held in April, whereby 60 young women learned about technical and manufacturing jobs available in Darke County.
Kristi Strawser, of Beanz Buttercream, presented the Darke County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award to Phillip and Jodi Pierri. She outlined the Pierris’ many areas of service to the community, which led to them receiving the honor, including volunteering at Planting Day, and First Fridays. Philip sits on the Darke County Chamber of Commerce Board, and previously served on the Main Street Greenville Board of Directors, and Rotary Board of Directors. The Pierris established Y.O.L.O. of Darke County, Inc., a nonprofit organization that “strives to continuously improve the community, while bringing together high energy people to promote healthy lifestyles, and embrace living life to the fullest. After all, You Only Live Once.”
The Pierris raised funds through the Poultry Days 5K for the Amphitheater at Heritage park in Versailles, and through the YOLO 5K, for the water feature at YOLO Urban Park in Greenville. They also sold crafts and food at the Hometown Holiday Horse Parade, to fund raise for future projects.
“Their investment in our community didn’t stop with the completion of the water feature and the Amphitheater projects. They continue to invest in the completed projects; for example, coordinating a summer concert series for YOLO Urban Park,” Strawser stated.
Upon accepting the award, Jodi was quick to credit citizens of Darke County for their support. “We couldn’t do it without this community,” she said. “There is a lot of good happening here, but sometimes people can become consumed by focusing on what’s wrong. We wanted to do our part in highlighting the good.”
Greg Billing presented the Darke County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Citizen of the Year Award to Diana Stebbins, Event Chair of the Hometown Holiday Horse Parade. The parade was selected as the 2019 “Best of Ohio” by Ohio Magazine readers. “Once it’s over, she tells me ‘see you in February,’” Billing laughed, relating that Stebbins only takes a couple months off; the rest of the year goes into planning and organizing the next Hometown Holiday Horse Parade.
“My parents taught me how to give back to my community,” Stebbins said.
The Darke County Chamber of Commerce marks its 95th anniversary this year.
Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Tammy Watts at [email protected]