ASHLAND -- Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Amy Daubenspeck has seen local businesses and organizations overcome countless challenges over the past year.
The Chamber recognized a handful of these entities Thursday evening at its 10th annual member awards banquet.
Winners were chosen from 37 finalists in 11 different categories, including small business of the year, social services organization of the year and more.
"All the finalists have proved that they've overcame obstacles of all kinds over the past year. What our members and our finalists have done in the past year despite the circumstances, we wanted to celebrate," Daubenspeck said.
The owner of Joan's Tavern, Alex Bosley said he was surprised, but excited to receive the small business of the year award. He opened the tavern in November 2018 -- without ever imagining he'd need to weather a pandemic two years later.
But Bosley is no stranger to challenges.
"We had took over a previous tavern's location and made lots of changes. We changed the whole make up, the whole concept, so it was kind of a risk right away," he said. "But it was well worth the risk. The community has supported us."
United Way of Ashland County's executive director Stacy Schiemann described her nomination as an honor. Like Bosley, she too was surprised to receive an award. The local nonprofit was chosen as the social services organization of the year.
"(Our partner agencies) do everything for the community. For all the agencies out there, this is yours," Schiemann said.
Professional Services Business of the Year
Winner: Spherion Staffing
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