Guests began arriving at 6 p.m. and were provided with drinks, appetizers and company of other members of the chamber. There were opportunities to win baskets donated by local businesses, as well as a silent auction. The money raised from the auctions will benefit the Chamber’s Student Scholarship Fund.
After giving time to mingle, the awards were underway, with a warm welcome and introduction given by Nancy Micks, President of the Greater Dubois Chamber of Commerce.
“So many people brought success to our area,” said Micks, “We’re fortunate to have the people we do.” Micks said that she appreciates the support, guidance, direction and input from everyone.
Colette Dushac, Chairman of the Board, said to “take advantage of us please.” In 2011, there were 16 ribbon cuttings, 27 mixers and 24 events where members of the chamber took advantage of what the Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce has to offer.
The first award given of the evening was the Small Business of the Year 2011, presented by Chris Bernardo, of Chris Bernardo’s Carpet Shack and previous recipient of the award. The Small Business of the Year award was presented to the Brady St. Florist owner Jennifer Jackson.
When Jackson approached the microphone, she expressed many thanks to her mom and dad, and husband and brother. Saying they are truly wonderful to her. She also expressed thanks to her staff and said “the award isn’t just for me, it’s for us.”
The next award was presented by previous recipient Todd Arnold of Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc., said that there are three criteria the winner of the 2011 Community Cup Award must meet. Those criteria are positive leadership and optimism, betterment of community and encouragement. The award was presented to Johnson Motors; Bob Johnson accepted the award.
Johnson said that the business is run as ministry, and they base it on what is the right thing to do. He said they also go by the saying, “What was good enough yesterday, isn’t good enough today.” Whether this is in regard to the community, a customer or an employee, Johnson said they always aim to do the right thing.
“DuBois is a gem,” Johnson said. He said the businesses and organizations are doing truly great things here. “I’m proud to accept this award on behalf of Johnson Motors, and I’m honored to be amongst these businesses.”
The final award given was the Distinguished Service Award, presented by Shelly Akers, President of the Dubois Area Jaycees. Akers recognized Carla Cramer in attendance, who is the State President of Jaycees. The winner of this award is chosen by current and past presidents of the Jaycees. This award was presented to Tony ‘Bubs’ Suplizio.
Suplizio is father of five, a grandfather, an usher at mass, devoted member of St. Catherine’s church, a graduate of DuBois Central Catholic, a member of the American Red Cross Disaster team and a member of the American Legion. He was also in the U.S. Navy and a member of the Friendship Fire Department, and has been fire chief twice, to name just a few of his many accomplishments throughout his life.
“He devoted his life to giving life back to this community,” Akers said of Suplizio.
“Thank you to the Jaycees and thank you to everyone here,” Suplizio said. He said he recognized a lot of names of previous winners, and he’s happy to be put in the same group as them.