TROY — The Troy Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated local leaders, organizations, up-and-coming pillars of the community and one “mathtastic” educator at its annual Community Awards Night at the Crystal Ballroom on Thursday evening.
The secretly announced A. Robert Davies Memorial Outstanding Young Man and Shirley Culp Davies Memorial Outstanding Young Woman awards surprised and honored Mark Francis and Stephanie Baker-Silk.
Last year’s recipients Andrew Johnston and Natalie Rolfs honored the pair who were selected for the annual award.
“Thank you for thinking of me … it’s been a wild ride,” Baker-Silk said. Baker-Silk currently serves as the executive director of the Miami County Dental Clinic. She also serves as a committee member for the Miami County Continuum of Care and Tipp City Rotary, as well as a Lunch Buddy for Troy City School’s Future Begins Today program.
Baker-Silk also contributed to the Troy community through her work with Troy Main Street, including building the Santa House on Prouty Plaza. She also helped secure funding to retrofit an old ambulance into an educational vehicle during her employment with the Troy Fire Department.
Johnston recognized Francis as “someone that exemplifies selfless humanity and is someone who empowers those around him to be the best version of themselves.” He also highlighted Francis’ involvement in the Troy community with Troy Junior Baseball and other youth sports, his past work with the Troy Recreation board and Stones Throw Food Cooperative.
In closing, Johnston noted Francis’ gift of time that he “freely gives” to many causes in the community.
The 2019 Outstanding Educator award went to Troy High School math teacher Jacqui Lehmkuhl. With math puns throughout her speech, Lehmkuhl thanked her husband, her students, her faith and the administration for allowing her to fulfill her dream since second grade of being a math teacher.
“Teaching is my oxygen,” she said. Lehmkuhl received a $1,000 grant from Troy Foundation, half of which will go to her classroom and the other half to the Troy High School’s Principal Fund.
The chamber also recognized Mayor Michael Beamish as the Distinguished Citizen award, which was presented by Ozzie Haddad. Haddad said Beamish, “loves his community and it shows.”
Beamish said he was privileged and honored to receive the award at the sunset of his mayor-ship. He gave his “Top Ten” of his proud accomplishments, number one being his family.
“You’ve heard me say many times, with great optimism, that it takes good people doing good things in the community,” Beamish said. “I’d also add leave everything a little better than you found it. It’s been my honor to be surrounded by good people doing good things to make this great community.”
Other honors included the Community Service individual award to Dave Pinkerton. The Community Service Non-profit Award went to Troy Noon Optimist.
The following is a list of the 2019 Leadership Troy graduates: Brenda Allenbaugh, The MT Studio; Gabbrielle Braun, Troy City Schools; Paul Brown, F & P America; Jacob Eldridge, Baird Funeral Home; Sean Ford, United Way of Miami County; Jen Hess, Regal Beloit; Casey Hubbell, The Troy Foundation; Eric Krites, Assistant Chief of the Troy Fire Department; Nicole Loy, former executive director of Troy Main Street; David Mason, Young Life, Olivia Monnin, Clopay Building Products; Scott Naill, Upper Valley Career Center; Bobby Phillips, Troy City Council member, Superintendent Chris Piper, Troy City Schools; Kailey Pour,Troy Area Chamber of Commerce; Michael Rieman, Dungan & LeFevre Co.,LPA; Frank Rupnik III, First Presbyterian Church, Troy; Nikki Sherck, CASA/GAL of Miami County Inc.; Stephanie Silk, Miami County Dental Clinic; Sarah Simon, Troy-Miami County Public Library; Tim Summers, Unity National Bank; Mindy Weaver, Miami County Park District; and DeWayne Williams II, ALN Senior Care & Home Services.