The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce held its annual membership luncheon on Wednesday where local businesses were recognized.
The Willow Restaurant catered the dinner, which included pork, chicken, green beans, scalloped potatoes, rolls, cobbler and ice cream.
Invocation was led by Tanger Outlets General Manager Kristen Hauer. The Fayette County Honor Guard presented the US flag and led in both “The National Anthem” and “The Pledge of Allegiance.”
Fayette County Chamber of Commerce President Julie Bolender presided over the event at the Mahan Building on the Fayette County Fairgrounds.
The Business Person of the Year award went to Kurt Cokonougher, vice president of EZ Oil Change.
Cokonougher is a 1981 graduate of McClain High School and currently resides in Fayette County with his wife, Debbie. They have two children and three grandchildren. He was unable to attend the dinner due to health complications.
The award was given to Cokonougher for continuously being described as humble and hardworking as well as being noted for “doing the right thing.”
EZ Oil was started in 1992 by Cokonougher and his business partner Mike Zint. At that time the business had two technicians and operated two service bays. Today, they have six employees and five service bays.
The Large Business of the Year award went to SugarCreek Packing.
SugarCreek opened in 1965. Today they employ over 370 individuals. So far this year, the facility in Washington Court House has produced 16 million pounds of raw bacon, five million pounds of turkey bacon and approximately seven million pounds of bacon bits.
SugarCreek has donated over $77,000 in Fayette County and is one of this year’s sponsors of “The Big Blue Bus.”
The Small Business of the Year award went to W & W Dry Cleaning and Laundry. The owners of this business are siblings Christy Larrick and Ben Snodgrass.
In January of 2015 the siblings purchased S & S Janitorial and W & W Dry Cleaning from their parents who, according to Bolender, were retiring.
Since then the siblings have also purchased and renovated a 16,000 square-foot facility in Greenfield and the former Craig’s building in downtown Washington C.H. In December of last year they purchased Sunshine Laundromat and in April of this year they purchased Sweetwater Bay Boutique. They have added Partyology, SWB Tuxedos and the Linen Closet to their growing list.
A slideshow played during the event featuring various pictures of new businesses partnering with the Chamber of Commerce.
Bolender said, “The slideshow that you’re viewing is proof that we have been busy. When I look back on the year I’m pleased with our growing members and the great things yet to come.”
The keynote speaker for the luncheon was Matt Peters. Peters is the assistant director of the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA).
ODSA provides public incentives by grants, loans and tax credits to various groups. Peters is a graduate of Oho State University. Although he currently lives in Gahanna, he is originally from Crawford County in Bucyrus. He took the time to explain various services available to assist business owners, including free services and information when needed.
Bolender said, “We continue to ask ourselves: why, how and who. Why is this issue important to our membership, how can we help and with whom should we collaborate? I continue to actively seek programs I feel will bring value to your membership. If there’s a program that you would like to see offered or a question you need answered please reach out as a vast network of resources is available.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.