Goshen News, Goshen, IN


March 25, 2012

Nappanee Chamber hands out achievement awards

NAPPANEE — Legendary Bethel Basketball Coach Mike Lightfoot was the guest speaker at the annual Nappanee Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Luncheon held Thursday at Dal Mar Banquet Hall.

After a March Madness introduction by Chamber Executive Director Jeff Kitson, Lightfoot entertained the crowd with jokes and humorous anecdotes while speaking about the keys of leadership.

 “To lead a company you have to do the right thing and the honest thing,” he said. “In order to lead you have to have great role models who stand up for what they believe in.”

“I think we need to care more — we’re losing that facet of community and in our culture. We need to risk more, to stand up and say, ‘This is right and this is wrong.’ We need to dream more, we need to have goals and vision. We need to expect more and demand more,” he said. “We can’t settle for being mediocre, we need to expect more from each other and our teams.”

Lightfoot said the key of leadership is to influence the influencers and commit to excellence in all that you do.

“To be a leader you need to serve. You know that your income is based on the amount of people you serve and how well you serve them,” he said.

Kitson presented Lightfoot with a basketball and presented his wife Jackie with a box of homemade fudge from Veni’s Sweet Shoppe. The couple resides in Wakarusa and has two sons.Lightfoot was inducted into the Coach’s Hall of Fame the same year as John Wooden.

Award Winners

Several community leaders received awards and recognition including: Educator of the Year Rita Harnish, a NorthWood High School Science teacher.  Former student Allison Leavitt submitted the nomination letter “on behalf of myself and hundreds of students.”

Leavitt wrote that she loathed science but her parents insisted she take AP chemistry, “Little did I know that decision to take chemistry would change my life. She made chemistry and science come alive for me. Harnish has perfected the art of helping students understand complex students.”

Harnish, who has been teaching for 29 years, said she was overwhelmed and is thankful for the opportunity to work with so many outstanding people at NorthWood. She believes the reason for the success of NorthWood students is the community they come from and the high expectations.  

Harnish said, “Thank you for the privilege of working with your students.”

Excellence in Business Award Recipient was Kim and Pam Stickley of Stickley Ace Hardware. In 1986 they opened a Coast to Coast Hardware store then they bought the Tru Value Hardware Store and made it an Ace Hardware. In 1993 they opened another Ace Hardware in Ligonier, followed by one in Elkhart and then in 2007 their son and son-in-law opened an Ace Hardware in Linway Plaza in Goshen.

The couple also supports The Nappanee Boys and Girls Club, NorthWood High School and Nappanee Youth Soccer.

On accepting the award Kim said, “Thank you for the award. We go to work and we look forward to it, that’s a good thing. It’s been fun and now having the kids come into the business makes it a great experience. “

The Harold Hoffer Memorial Award is given annually to a Chamber board member in honor of Harold Hoffer, the first full-time Chamber director. This year the award was presented by Brian Hoffer to Bobby Gluck.  Gluck, is manager of Nappanee Farm Service (ADM).

The Craftsman Award is given to someone who goes above and beyond promoting Nappanee. Chuck Grimm won the award. Grimm is in charge of the Nappanee Center’s museum and has donated many items to it.    

The Pacesetter Award was presented to Thomas and Linda Mast for the work they’ve done in renovating the old Coppes Kitchen factory complex.

Doug Moore and other representatives of  radio station WFRN were also on hand to talk about the upcoming Friend Fest Christian concert to be held this summer at Amish Acres.                                                                                                                                       

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