We are excited to once again open up nominations to Chamber members for the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards!

Learn more about each award below and then use the form to nominate a Chamber Member or an individual employed by a Chamber member that you feel deserves to be recognized in any of the following categories:

  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Holzaepfel Economic Impact Award
  • Jon Sparhawk Small Business of the Year Award
  • Young Professional of the Year
  • Community Support Award

Annual Awards Nomination Form

Don’t wait – nominations are due by 5:00PM on Wednesday, December 15.

Each year, the Chamber honors businesses and individuals in the following five categories:

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual who has shown tremendous service to the community over an extended period of time.

Past Award Winners:

1986 Pat Sauber
1987 O’Bleness Memorial Fund (John Clark & John Jones)
1988 The Athens Community
1989 Robert D. Huff
1990 Donald Barrett
1991 Michael J. Holzaepfel
1992 Jim Sands
1993 Charles & Claire Ping
1994 Charles & Claire Ping
1995 Jim Anastas
1996 Don Wood
1997 Kenner Bush
1998 Harold Laughlin
1999 Foster Cornwell Posthumous
2000 John Jones
2001 Sandy and Jack Bortle
2002 Ed Robe
2003 Fred Weber, II

2004 Bob Norris
2005 Richard Castrop
2006 Diane McVey
2007 Rick Abel
2008 Robert Gall
2009 Larry Conrath
2010 Andy Stone, Athens City Engineer & Director of Public Works
2011 Mark Snider
2012 Larry Payne
2013 Aaron Thomas
2014 The Sheridan Family, Shamrock Auction Services
2015 Michael Carpenter, Carpenter and Associates
2016 Ron Lucas, City of Athens
2017 Phil Meyer, Ohio University Credit Union & Wendy Jakmas, Individual Supporter
2018 Bill L’Heureux, L’Heureux Properties
2019 John Schmieding, Athens Area Mediation Services
2020 Frontline Healthcare Staff from OhioHealth, Athens City-County Health Department, Athens County EMS, Holzer,


Holzaepfel Economic Impact Award

The Holzaepfel Economic Impact Award was first established in 1993 and recognizes a business for exceptional economic impact on the Athens community.

Past Award Winners:

1993 Columbus & Southern Electric Company
1994 University Commons
1995 County Commissioners, City Council, Township Trustees
1996 Columbia Gas of Ohio
1997 Le-Ax Water District
1998 TS Trim Industries
1999 Athens County Port Authority
2000 McBee Systems, Inc.
2001 Diagnostic Hybrids (DHI; Dr. David Scholl)
2002 Cornwell Properties / Les Cornwell
2003 Ohio University / Dr. Alan Geiger
2004 Linda Clark / Innovation Center
2005 The Market on State / Brent Hayes and Tom Parfit

2006 Ohio Realty / Joyce and John Wharton
2007 O’Bleness Health Systems
2008 Ohio University
2009 SJB Companies / Jack & Sandy Bortle
2010 Kroger of Athens / Dave Shull
2011 Sunpower, Inc.
2012 The Laurels of Athens
2013 Holzer
2014 The Ohio University Innovation Center
2015 TECHGrowth Ohio; The Voinovich School / John Glazer
2016 OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital
2017 Athens County Economic Development Council
2018 ACENet
2019 Athens Mold and Machine
2020 Jackie O’s Brewery


Jon Sparhawk Small Business of the Year Award

This special small business recognition was instituted in 2001. Several years later, after the untimely passing of local restaurateur and Chamber Board member Jon Sparhawk, the Chamber chose to honor his achievements and memory by renaming this award. This business should have ingenious marketing promotions, a thoughtful and conscientious work ethic, and be a community supporter.

Past Award Winners:

2001 Damon’s
2002 184 Columbus Road Limited (VMW Car Wash)
2003 Jon Sparhawk/Oak Room
2004 Certified Mechanical
2005 Milo’s
2006 Brennen’s & Class A Sounds
2007 Mac’s Thrifty Store
2008 A Lasting Impression
2009 Third Sun Solar & Wind
2010 Kiser’s BBQ Shack

2011 Fluff Bakery & Catering
2012 Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery
2013 Mark Porter AutoPlex
2014 Airclaws, Inc.
2015 Lance’s Trailer
2016 Avalanche Pizza
2017 White’s Mill
2018 Red Tail Design Co.
2019 Nelsonville Emporium
2020 West End Ciderhouse


Young Professional of the Year

This award was established in 2014 to highlight the work of individuals under 40 who have excelled in their professional lives and made an impact on their community.

Past Award Winners:
2014 Kristin Kinnard, Career Connections
2015 Josh Wise, Kroger
2016 Nate Chapman, Quidel
2017 Jenny Stotts, Athens CASA/GAL Program
2018 Dr. Tara Slingerland, Butcher’s Bites
2019 Becky Clark, Pork & Pickles
2020 Dr. Shane Foster, Athens Eye Care

Community Support Award

This award was also created in 2014 to honor a business who exemplifies community by going above and beyond to support the Athens Area for a variety of causes in the area.

Past Award Winners:
2014 SJB Companies
2015 Ohio University Credit Union
2016 Mark Porter Autoplex
2017 OhioHealth
2018 Hocking Valley Bank
2019 Kiser’s Barbeque
2020 Milo’s Whole World Gourmet

Annual Awards Nomination Form

Nominations are due by 5:00PM on Wednesday, December 15.