Good Business

Chamber delivers awards during pandemic


Another year of bestowing prestigious accolades is on the mantle for the Chamber of Commerce, hosting its annual awards banquet Sept. 3 at the Crawfordsville Country Club.

Though the ceremony — typically held as an evening dinner gala — was a shadow of its former self due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all of the honor and stature was still intact.

Chamber Executive Director Cassie Hagan and Assistant Director Casey Hockersmith had the uneasy task of putting together a ceremony befitting local leadership while following guidelines from various health departments.

“Given the unique challenges businesses have faced in 2020, it was very important to us to find a way to celebrate local businesses and their leaders,” Hagan said. “Accepting that bringing together so many individuals from major county employers was not a feasible option, we decided to roll out the ‘Green Carpet’ and do something different to make our members feel appreciated.”

The ceremony took shape as revolving door with recipients arriving every 30 minutes to promote social distancing.

“These organizations, businesses and individuals all contribute to the vibrant business community,” Hagan said. “They make our community a better place to live and work and play a special role in leading us through the unforeseeable challenges unique to 2020.”

Seven awards were given during the Sept. 3 ceremony, chosen from a pool of more than 350 Chamber members. The awards and their recipients include: Small Business of the Year, accepted by Dave Peach and Dave Long of WCVL/WIMC/WCDQ Radio; Large Business of the Year, accepted by Steve Gillan of CEL&P; Lew Wallace Entrepreneur of the Year, accepted by Adam and Monica Nagele of Powerhouse Barbell and Fitness; Community Organization of the Year, accepted by Kelly Taylor and Joyce Grimble of Montgomery County Community Foundation; Champion of Change, Mayor Todd Barton; Woman of the Year, Cheryl Morphew of CRMorphew Consulting; and Rising Star: Young Professional of the Year, Cody Hargis of Hoosier Heartland State Bank.

“The Chamber sends out special gratitude to our corporate sponsors, the Crawfordsville Country Club and Chef Hannah Thompson, our local radio team of Dave Peach and David Long, our business members and the community,” Hagan said. “Thank you to the community ... (for supporting) local business in 2020.”

Corporate sponsors include: CEL&P, Davis and Greg Morrison, Franciscan Health Crawfordsville, Hoosier Heartland State Bank, LSC Communications, Nucor Steel, Pace Dairy Foods, ProactiveMD, Tanner & Servies Insurance, Walmart Optical Labs and Wabash College.

For more information about the Chamber, its sponsors or members, visit