Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Award Winners Announced for 2021

Each year, six very special and prestigious awards are presented to individuals and businesses that have made a significant difference in the Xenia Area Business Community and the community during the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce (XACC) Annual Awards Dinner. Donna Saraga, President / CEO of the Xenia Chamber, shared “It’s our pleasure to be able to recognize and honor the outstanding businesses and individuals that make Xenia the best of the best places to be.“

The Robert G. Babb award, sponsored by Alan Besco Cars & Trucks, is given by the past Chairman of the Board to the person who gave them the most significant contribution to their Chairmanship. Because of Covid-19, Past Past Chair, Alan Milkis was not given the opportunity to make his presentation so two Babb awards were presented.

Alan Milkis awarded the 2020 Robert G. Babb Award to Mr. Matt Bennet of Anderson – Williamson Insurance Agency for his guidance and support to the new board president when in-person meetings due to COVID precautions prevented the and for helping the chamber grow and prosper throughout a difficult and enduring time in our community.
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Matt Bennet awarded the 2021 Robert G. Babb Award to Mr. Alan Stock of Xenia Township for spearheading the process to upgrade the safety and security measures at the chamber’s office, serving on the XACC annual awards dinner committee and supporting the chamber by regularly attending special events and promoting the chamber throughout the Xenia community.
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The Russ Remick Retail – Service Award, sponsored by Dr. Robert Dillaplain, Elaine Hughes and Sleepy Hollow Farm and named after a long-time Xenia retailer and Chamber supporter, Russ Remick, is presented to a Chamber member business or organization that has distinguished itself in the retail or service industry. Mr. Remick passed away on June 10, 2020 and is greatly missed in the community. The 2021 Russ Remick Retail – Service Award 2021 winner is Fisher’s Shop Inc. This year’s winner has a profound presence in the Xenia community. From “build off contests” to filling seats on the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce board, the Fisher’s Shop staff and the owner pride themselves on community involvement and show tremendous pride in ownership.
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The Dodds Monuments – Industrial Award , sponsored by Phillips Companies, mission is to publicly recognize a company that has distinguished itself in the manufacturing or the research and development industry, or in distribution and warehousing. The 2021 Dodds Monument Industrial Award to Reptiles By Mack for being a national leader in breeding reptiles for pets. They show industry strength and innovation with the development of their own line of food products and the creation of an incubation breeding medium. The founder is the board chair of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and sits on the PIJAC Zoonotic Diseases Committee. They continue to be a growth leader in the reptile industry, and along with it has grown their business in Xenia, working out of multiple facilities.
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The Barb Zajbel Xenia Ambassador Award, sponsored by Tom Zajbel and Zajbel Machinging, is given to publicly recognize an individual, organization or business that is an advocate and champion of Xenia and has a history of promoting Xenia locally, regionally, nationally and/or internationally. The 2021 Barb Zajbel Xenia Ambassador Award winner to Joe Mullins of Real Roots Radio. Joe, arrived in the city of Xenia in 1995 and began to serve this the city with the start of his radio station, WBZI. His strong work ethic and pride for his community has led to local, regional, national, and international recognition. Not only did he manage to find success and the success of a radio station, his demanding work and strong ethic for volunteerism has been a great benefit to the city of Xenia.
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(Accepting on Behalf of Joe Mullins is his son, Daniel Mullins.)

The Colonel S.L. Stephan Award, sponsored by Bob Evans Farms, is given in Colonel S.L. Stephan’s honor and was established in 1986 to publicly recognize a person who has worked unselfishly, through voluntary services, to promote the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce and the Xenia Community for at least the past two years. The 2021 Colonel S.L. Stephan Award to Ms. Christi Cox of the Greene County Libraries. When COVID shut down in person meetings, Christi took the initiative to start hosting monthly Greene County Women in Business meetings via zoom. Her involvement in starting the New Beginnings Group Home has helped at risk teens in this area navigate through difficult life challenges and has provided teens with all aspects of support. Her compassion encourages others to be involved with these special programs.
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The F.M. Torrence Award, sponsored by Dodds Monuments, is named after the first President of the Chamber Board and is a lifetime achievement award. The recipient must have participated in volunteer services and activities promoting the business, cultural, educational, religious and civic life of the greater Xenia area without motive or personal gain. This beautiful award has honored outstanding individuals within the Xenia Area since 1951. The 2022 F.M. Torrence Awarded is award posthumously to Sheriff Gene Fischer. Sheriff Fischer mentored many in the community, including countless law enforcement leaders and young children. He was also well known for his involvement at the Greene County Fair and other Xenia Chamber of Commerce events. Gene served eighteen years as Greene County Sheriff and as a former policy officer for the Xenia Police Department, he was known by about everyone in this community. Sheriff Fischer typifies the qualities and spirit of the F.M. Torrence Award. His life showed his commitment to improving Xenia and all its residents. He had the confidence of people in Greene County because of his selfless leadership style and belief in our community.
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The Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the revealing of a new award, the Sheriff Gene Fischer HERO Award. “The awards dinner committee and the Chamber Board of Directors agreed that this award not only offered us the opportunity to honor a previously unrecognized but very important group of individuals but also gave us a lasting remembrance of a man who was an unsung hero in our community,” stated Saraga.

The criteria for this new award is as follows: This award is presented to a local First Responder in recognition of the difficult job they do every day by putting their lives on the line to protect and enhance our community, our country, and our way of life. It serves to recognize local Law Enforcement, Firefighters, EMTs, Healthcare Professionals, Search & Rescue and United States Veterans and Active-Duty Individuals, as well as ALL those who have or continue to dedicate and sacrifice to protect and keep us safe.
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(Accepting the award is Gail Fischer and Greene County Sheriff Scott Anger.)


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