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STOW -- Pride in the community was the topic of the day at the 44th annual Pride Community Breakfast on June 28.
Hosted by the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce, the event focuses on community recognition and awards.
About 200 business and community members attended the breakfast at Acker-Moore Memorial Post.
Business Person of the Year Award
This annual award is presented by the Chamber and the Stow Sentry. It recognizes an individual who lives or works in Stow or Munroe Falls business community and has demonstrated outstanding volunteer service by participating in or supporting local organizations.
This year's recipient, Martin Hilovsky, CEO of EnviroScience in Stow, was recognized for his many facets of involvement in organizations and his profession. 'This person's involvement with the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce Leadership program has been invaluable," said Carley Kruse of Teresa's Pizza, the 2016 winner of the award.
As part of the program, Hilovsky and EnviroScience spend a day with each leadership class "explaining the experience with business, employee mentorship programs as well as their personal and corporate commitment to safe water conditions for humans and animals," she explained.
His company has been the recipient of the Stow Mayor's Award as well as being recognized for charitable work with MS Pedal to the Point, Haven of Rest, Paws and Prayers Pet Rescue and Stow Historical Society, "just to name a few," Kruse noted.
"A scientist, this person has interests and knowledge in the environmental arena including invasive species management, wastewater processes and permitting and ecological restoration," Kruse said.
Volunteer of the Year Award
The winner, Bob Flower, has been a 61-year resident of the Stow community and is a retired electrical engineer, serving Lockheed Martin for 40 years. He has served as president of the Stow Historical Society and is currently a trustee for the society.
"Beginning in 2012, he has spearheaded the moving and restoration of one of the oldest schoolhouses in Summit County, the Stewart Schoolhouse, now located amongst other historical buildings in the Heritage Park Reserve area of Silver Spring Park," shared Kathy Romito of Western Reserve Hospital, who won the award last year.
Noting how Flower played "an integral part" in the fundraising, construction, restoration and detailed planning for the project, Romito said his dedication and efforts have ensured "the Stewart Schoolhouse will be enjoyed for generations to come."
"Without the selfless dedication [of Flower], the schoolhouse would have been demolished," she added.
An invitation was extended for all to attend the dedication ceremony of the schoolhouse set for July 2 at 2 p.m.
Friend of the Community Award
Selected for the honor this year is Rich Sprungle of AudioTechnica. Marty Dennis, who won the award last year with her husband, Dick, described him as "an example of a busy volunteer to help others, as an active and supportive member of the Chamber and as a true friend of the community."
Some of the involvements Marty Dennis shared for Sprungle were volunteering as a high school "Teacher of the Day"; organizing his company's contributions to the Stow-Munroe Falls High School graduating seniors' banquet and After prom events; hosting a field trip with the engineering academy; arranging for headsets from his business for students with hearing issues to assist them in standardized testings; and coaching many CYO sports teams for 20 years.
Sprungle also serves on the Stow Planning Commission, has been president of the Chamber and is an active member of the Holy Family Parish.
Three President's Club scholarships of $1,000 each were presented to three graduating seniors who are pursuing a post-secondary academic degree or professional certification from a career or business school, technical college, community college or a four-year college/university.
This year's recipients are Madison McBryer, Andrew Lubinger and Mary Figler.
Madison will be attending Kent State University to study science education, with a goal of becoming a high school chemistry teacher and advancing to being a professor at an accredited university. She would "like to enhance the world of education one periodic table at a time."
Andrew plans to study computer science and engineering at The Ohio State University. He hopes to create his own technology company, grow internationally and "be a role model for others."
Mary will also be attending OSU to study finance and economics with direct admission to the Fisher School of Business. Her goal is to pair economics and finance together to choose a career path that "provides vast opportunities to help others."
The Chamber's President's Club also awarded an Ohio Business Week Foundation scholarship to SMFHS student Andrew Striner. Andrew was unable to attend due to a recent sports injury but his father Matt accepted the award.
The scholarship will allow Andrew to attend a week-long business camp hosted by Ohio University's College of Business. The intensive week-long program brings students together with business professionals from all over the state to experience entrepreneurship.
This year's Fourth of July Parade, co-sponsored by the Stow Parks and Recreation and the Kiwanis Club of Stow-Munroe Falls, has a theme of "Salute to Veterans." Stow Mayor Sara Kline read a proclamation recognizing this year's grand marshals as "All Who Served."
The Kiwanis Club also recognized member Carroll Jones who served in World War II as an Army medic.
Award winners were also given proclamations from the offices of Gov. John Kasich and U.S. Rep. David Joyce.