Members of the Nokomis Chamber of Commerce gathered for their third annual awards dinner held Monday evening, Jan. 27, at Town Pump Bowl and Lounge in Nokomis.
Chamber President Ed Heck presided over the meeting and announced the award winners. This year's recipient of the Lester Bruns Person of the Year Award was given to Margie Eisenbarth and the Business of the Year Award was Ronk Electric.
Margie Eisenbarth served as a kindergarten teacher in the Nokomis School District for 25 years and has been active within the community in various capacities for many years.
"This person is always willing to step in with a helping hand," said Heck as he introduced Eisenbarth.
The retired teacher dedicates her time to volunteer work and extends her help in children's programs, the annual Nokomis Christmas Celebration and other additional projects. Her husband best decribed her as a very strong community advocate.
Eisenbarth is a very active member of the United Methodist Church, having served as an education chairperson, youth Sunday School teacher and Worship Community Outreach Committee member. As a member of the Worship Community Outreach Committee, she spearheads the weekly snack ministry for approximately 80 North Elementary School students.
She is the current president of the Nokomis Woman's Club, where she's a longtime active member who has served in that capacity numerous times. Additionally, she was part of the Nokomis Public Library Board, assisting with several programs and co-founded the upper level kids phase known as the "Tree House."
"I'm honored, of course. I feel undeserving because Nokomis is a community of volunteers. That's why we love Nokomis," Eisenbarth said as she explained that she and her husband moved to the community over 50 years ago. "And then we had a family and I thought 'what better place to raise them because Nokomis is always ready to step up.' I just help when I can."
Celebrating it's 70th year of business this year, Ronk Electric has been a staple in the Nokomis community for 66 years.
Founded in 1950 by LeRoy Ronk, they offer American-made electrical products and their associates are committed to serving the needs of their customers nationwide.
Ronk Electric has 33 associates, making them the second largest employer in Nokomis, next to the school district. They have gross sales in over $5 million per year.
"That's very important for Nokomis and the Nokomis economy in that it brings outside dollars into the community," said Heck.
In addition to their excellent products, the company is involved in various community organizations, clubs and churches.
"On behalf of us here and all the other Ronk associates, we're honored to be selected as Business of the Year," said Ronk Electric Controller Charlie O'Malley. "Thank you very much."
Before the awards were presented, the chamber voted to retain last year's board members and they include President Ed Heck, Vice President Judy Rupert, Secretary Roger Blankenship, Treasurer Loren Compton, Judy Beaman and JoAnn Keele.
The next monthly meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 6, at the First Baptist Church in Nokomis.Chamber members will have the opportunity to hear from Montgomery County CEO students.