Members of the business community in Sedalia came together Thursday night to recognize those who have made an impact in the city for the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards dinner.
Well-known in the Pettis County nonprofit community, Open Door Executive Director Jack Menges received the Outstanding Citizen Award, which is selected by the executive committee.
“Almost everyone in the community knows Jack and the incredible work that he does every day,” said Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce Board President Karl Kramer. “We have known Jack for many years and find him to be a man of passion, integrity and compassion. In fact, Jack sees every level of cooperation and collaboration as meeting a different need. He empowers businesses to be successful, he facilitates agencies and individuals to work together, he challenges schools and social groups to work together, all for the betterment of our community and to make a difference in people’s lives.”
“I accept this award this evening on behalf of all the social service workers in the community because I want to tell you something, they work together,” Menges said. “… I tell people you live in the best community there is. People work together and people try to see that everyone is taken care of.”
The Spirit Award, selected by the Military Affairs Committee to recognize military personnel who have gone beyond in building relations between Sedalia and Whiteman Air Force Base, was presented to Lt. Col. Jeffrey Carter, Commander of the Whiteman Security Forces Squadron.
“This year’s Spirit Award winner has been a vital member of our (Military Affairs Committee),” said committee member Dianne Simon. “He is dedicated to helping the city of Sedalia by coordinating volunteers for countless community organizations.”
“What this community offers me as a commander is a very unique opportunity,” Carter told the audience. “Not only am I trying to build 600 brand new officers in the United States military to protect the B-2 bomber, but I’m also trying to build citizens. This organization, the Chamber, gives me the opportunity to teach my young airmen what it’s like to give back. You heard the number of places we’ve been able to put our fingerprints on as a military organization for Sedalia, but I will tell you in return we appreciate the support the Chamber and the Committee has given us.”
The Democrat’s own Advertising Manager Eddie Crouch was the recipient of two awards, Lifetime Membership and Ambassador of the Year. Crouch is retiring from the Democrat in May.
The Lifetime Membership Award is given to “deserving members who have officially retired from work, and given to individuals who have unselfishly and tirelessly contributed to the Sedalia community,” and provides a lifetime membership with the Chamber.
“This award goes to an ambassador that has went above and beyond volunteering her time towards the many events the Chamber has hosted,” said Dianne Zinn, Chair of Ambassadors. “She spent countless hours helping with the Chamber breakfast as the cashier, she also has helped with numerous events. She is a go-getter and does her best to get new members, new ambassadors and educate all on what the Chamber is and what we do.”
Other award recipients included:
Special Project of the Year went to the 2014-15 Leadership Sedalia class for the George A. Whiteman Corridor Project.
The President’s Award, selected by Kramer, was awarded to John Dawes, former, Bothwell Regional Health Center CEO and a member of the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee and Board of Directors and Chair of the Leadership Sedalia Steering Committee.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Kim Braverman for being the Piccadilly Gala Committee chairman, helping raise the most money in four years from the event.
The Sedalia Progress Award went to Jorge Guevara of Guesa USA and Sedalia Bus Shelters LLC for his commitment to helping Sedalia’s public transportation by giving buses a face-lift and constructing bus shelters.
Committee of the Year was awarded to the Trail’s End Committee, Co-Chairs Dale and Liz Yelton, for their work on the Trail’s End Monument that was dedicated in April 2015 on the Missouri State Fairgrounds.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.