Chamber recognizes Smith and Heitman


The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce announced Dr. Dave Smith as this year’s recipient of the Simon Award and William Heitman as this year’s Volunteer of the Year.

Simon Award

The Simon Award recognizes a person or organization that has helped the community and improved the quality of life in Champaign County. The ideal recipient has an exemplary service record to the local community in single or multiple initiatives, thus enhancing the prosperity of the overall population.

This year, the chamber honored Smith for his many contributions of time and talent to the community. As the owner of Freshwater Farms of Ohio, he has created a destination for both local residents and visitors. The Ohio Fish & Shrimp Festival, celebrating its 15th year in 2016, draws thousands of attendees to his farm and to Champaign County.

Smith is a pivotal member of the GrandWorks Foundation as the chairman of its Design/Build Committee and has led hundreds of volunteers in renovation efforts at the Gloria Theatre since 2014.

Through his involvement with the Local Food Council, he has provided much guidance toward the development of a shared-use commercial kitchen for small-batch food processing by local and regional producers. He is a strong advocate for the revitalization efforts in downtown Urbana and has served the Monument Square District as a board member and a volunteer. He has been a board member of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Visitors Bureau committee.

Volunteer of the Year

Since 2011, the Chamber of Commerce has recognized an individual who has demonstrated initiative, creativity, leadership and the ability to shoulder major responsibility and involvement on the front lines of a project. The recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award is someone whose vital contributions of time, energy and resources have benefited Champaign County.

Vice president of Commercial Lending at Civista Bank, Heitman has volunteered his time with many area organizations, using his accounting expertise to help in times of need. He assisted the Cedar Bog Association reach its financial goals during his time as treasurer and helped the Monument Square District reorganize its finances and develop a sound accounting process for the future. He facilitates the Family to Family program offered by NAMI Logan/Champaign, which helps families struggling with a loved one who has a serious mental illness.

Annual Dinner is April 29

The chamber will celebrate these award winners during its Annual Dinner on April 29 in the 4-H Building on the Champaign County Fairgrounds. The dinner will be catered by In Good Taste Catering. A Business Expo and silent auction packages provided by chamber members will be featured during the social hour. Auctioneer Steve Mabry will entertain the audience with a live auction following the dinner.

Reservations should be made by noon on Friday, April 22. For details contact the chamber at 937-653-5764 or [email protected].

Smith earns Simon Award, Heitman earns Volunteer of the Year Award

Submitted story

Submitted by the Chamber of Commerce.

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