Magic of community felt at Chamber event
The Ripley County Chamber of Commerce held its 2023 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner October 26 at the Hog Rock Event Center in Osgood.
If having a full house is an indicator of strong business in the county, business is booming. The tables were full and under the leadership of Brandi Merkel, executive director for the Chamber, the group has seen a giant growth in membership.
The evening was themed magical with the Enchantment Sponsor being The Friendship State Bank. Top Hat Sponsor was Franklin County Farmer’s Mutual Insurance, both donating $1,000 for the event. Many others also sponsored the event in $500, $250 and $100 amounts. Magician Dan Dygert brought his unique award-winning style of comedy magic for the evening. He has been performing for 30 years and has taken his show internationally.
The true magical part of the evening was honoring four people from the county who have brought talent, love, encouragement, skill and more to others for many years.
John Schuerman was named Business Person of the Year. He was raised on a dairy farm near Napoleon. He and his wife, Kathy, have raised their seven children and have adopted two granddaughters ages eight and 11 and are now raising them.
Schuerman earned his law degree and for 50-plus years has served the community he loves. As he was introduced, it was noted that “John has earned the reputation of treating all his clients and people in the community with respect and kindness.”
It was noted that Schuerman has given in a variety of ways over the years: serving as Santa (his helper) where children could have pictures and treats for over 30-years; helping families in need during the holidays, donating to many causes to enhance the lives of children, and more. He has also served as Ripley County’s Prosecuting Attorney, served on the Indiana Trial Lawyers Board of Directors and was a founding member of the Southeastern Indiana YMCA.
His speech was humble as he stood before the crowd and said he thanks God for being where he is today.
Charlotte Norman was chosen as Citizen of the Year. The Milan native married her high school sweetheart, Doug Norman and they have three sons. She has worked with cancer patients for 23 years. She has a history of helping others, being kind, and giving of herself in many ways.
Norman has been a CASA with Voices for Children since 2018 and currently mentors high school freshman and sophomore girls at Milan High School.
Gail Mosier was named Educator of the Year. She has taught math at Jac-Cen-Del Junior/Senior High School since 2001. She teaches eighth grade math, algebra 1 and CCR bridge math. She goes beyond what is required of her as a teacher. She is a mentor to new teachers and serves on various committees at the school. Then she enjoys being the co-manager at the Damm Theatre and a waitress at the Whistle Stop Café in Osgood on the weekends.
Mosier is married to Abe Mosier, and they have a son and daughter. Her parents, Albert and Darlene Volk, are long-time residents of the Osgood area. “Gail enjoys spending time with her family,” Merkel said of the beloved teacher.
Jimmy Adams of Osgood was named Hometown Hero. He said he didn’t feel like a hero but was honored to be there. However, many would disagree with him. He has been the walking mail carrier for Osgood for many years, just recently retiring. During that time, he has done many things for people to make them think of him as a “hero.” If he saw something out of place at a residence, he checked on it. He took his job serious and got the mail to the right place, or figured out why it didn’t get there! Rain, shine, sleet, snow, you get the picture, he hit the pavement.
The evening was complete with a Split the Pot and Silent Auction for those attending to participate in, along with a meal prepared by Hog Rock.
The 2023 Ripley County Chamber of Commerce Directors are President Justin Smith, Vice President, Phil Hart, Secretary, Wanda Burnett, and Treasurer Sharon Miller. Executive Board members also include Amy Thomas, BJ Myers, Carrie McNew, David Steen, Matt Cunningham, Olivia Welch, Rick Pollard, Ron Decker, Tena Heller, and Tina Lynch.