DC Chamber of Commerce holds annual meeting


By Dawn Hatfield


GREENVILLE — The Darke County Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting on Friday, May 19, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Currently 259-members strong, the Chamber has been serving Darke County for 96 years. The annual meeting was a day of celebration to mark the acceptance of new members; highlight achievements of award recipients; and celebrate the 12 ribbon cuttings, 16 networking events, and nearly $23,000 sold in Chamber certificates over the past year.

Chairman Joel Allread welcomed attendees and recognized GNB Baking Centers as the event sponsor. After the Pledge of Allegiance and invocation, a buffet-style lunch was served by Romer’s Catering allowing guests to share conversation and networking opportunities over a delicious meal of broasted chicken, gourmet burgers, home-made macaroni, and tasty desserts.

At noon, President Rachel Neal delivered a Year in Review address, detailing many of the Chamber’s accomplishments during the past 12 months. As a new president, Neal thanked the Board of Directors and Kim Manalo, office administrator, for the incredible support to the Chamber and to her personally as she navigated new waters.

Awards presentation followed with several new accolades being bestowed upon members. Treasurer Kristi Strawser presented the Community Leadership Award, naming Workforce Specialist Tamala Marley of Darke County Economic Development as the first-ever recipient. “[Marley] has shown exemplary commitment to the growth and development of Darke County and was integral to the creation of a new event in our community, STEM2D, welcoming high school girls to explore careers in many different fields… to help our younger generations recognize the value of engaging in [STEM] fields and remaining in Darke County,” said Strawser.

Jason Willis presented Pepcon & Poeppelman Materials as recipients of another new honor, the Chamber Member of the Year Award. Willis said, “The criteria for this award refers to earning a high level of respect in our community, exhibiting the economic support of Darke County businesses, volunteering with Darke County Chamber of Commerce and within our local community, [offering] innovative products or services, and providing exemplary customer service.”

Kara Allread honored Beanz Bakery owners, Sean and Kristi Strawser, as Chamber Citizens of the Year. Allread began with a quote: Only he can be a leader who never loses hope. She said, “This Gandhi quote regarding leadership certainly embodies our 2023 Citizens of the Year award recipients. They are quickly approaching 30 years of partnership that started as teenagers and years that followed of education, training, craftsmanship, hands-on care, parenthood, late nights, early mornings, successes, failures, friendships, colleagues, more education, leaps of faith, grief, and—back to the beginning—partnership and commitment.” Allread continued, “Two of the most impacted industries by the pandemic were small businesses and healthcare; our recipients represent both… their investment in Beanz goes far beyond cookies…”

Joel Allread completed the awards presentation by honoring Bob Nelson with one of three Legacy Awards given in 2023 to recognize the commitment of those board members who have served a full 10-year term.


May 2022-May 2023

Billers Stamps and Engraving

Hotel Versailles & Silas Creative Kitchen and Cocktails

Ohio and Indiana Roofing

Alpha Construction, LLC

Troy Sunshade


Jon Coomer Investment Management

947 Creations and Crafts, LLC

Quiet Harmony Ranch

1984 Creative Group

Greenville Area Dog Club

T&E Glass and Aluminum


Delphos Wireless (Cricket)

Darke County ESC

ProMedica Hospice

Your Happy Place, Inc.


Technical Roofing of St Henry

Alchemy Cocktail Lounge

Miami Valley Janitorial

Entegrity Consulting Group

Bunch Trucking, LLC



The Turquoise Door Boutique

Micon Construction, Inc.

Darke County Farmer’s Union

Baker and Zartman

Lightning Electric, Inc.

C&L Electric

City Electric Supply


Hollinger Excavating, Inc.

The Hive Collective

First Rate Industries, LTD

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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