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2023 Ada chamber honors Carol Slane Florist, Wynn Hauenstein and Hays Insurance

On Wednesday, March 15, the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce hosted members at its annual luncheon at the Inn at Ohio Northern University. The event included a state of the chamber update, three awards including the Business of the Year and a benefit plan presentation by SOCA (Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance).

Guests were welcomed by chamber vice president Dylan Wood, who is also the ONU director of Alumni Relations. A prayer was offered by Ada Public Library director and chamber secretary Rhett Grant. 

While members were enjoying a buffet lunch, Lindsay Walden Hollar reviewed the past year, her first year as director of the chamber. Thanking those who assisted her, Hollar noted that during 2022, the chamber:

  • Hosted five ribbon cutting ceremonies: The Shop-Northwest Ohio Liquidations, Studio 419, Dog Park agility course created by Girl Scout Troop 2006, Ruthie’s and Circle U Waffle Co.
  • Hosted three major events: Wilson Made In Ad Football Festival including a Punt Pass and Kick competition, Harvest & Herb Festival and Merry on Main.
  • Introduced two community activities, a garage sale weekend and pumpkin decorating.
  • Averaged 90 members.

Hollar began the awards presentation noting that the first was “not one we do every year.” It was a recognition of Hays Insurance celebrating their 40th anniversary of having an office in Ada. Chad Hays said that the company was ecstatic to be in Ada and made a pitch for both the upcoming Girl Scout cookie sales this weekend at the 202 S Main drive through and the upcoming Lions mulch sale in April.

The second annual Chris Burns-DiBiasio "Making A Difference" Award was announced, with honors going to Wynn Hauenstein for his leadership and work on the annual Punt, Pass and Kick competition. Hauenstein is responsible for bringing Ada into the PPK sanctioned program and is a founding member of the football festival board. The “always on the go” Hauensteins were unable to attend the ceremony. Wynn will be recognized at the April chamber meeting.

Last but not least, the Business of the Year award was presented to Shannan Brown of Carol Slane Florist. Hollar introduced the business as a place where “you know their heart and soul” goes into the work.

Brown thanked the chamber and commented that her mother had started the business 37 years ago. She recalled that there were a few skeptics about whether “outsiders” would be supported by the community. “Totally wrong. Totally wrong,” said Brown. “Ada has been fantastic for all of us.” She thanked her parents, her husband, and coworkers Sandy and Paula.

The program also included a presentation by Will Roberts of the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance on benefits programs available to Ada chamber members. The Ada chamber currently offers an Anthem healthcare benefit plan. Hollar encouraged members to let her know what other options, ranging from payment processing to small business 401K plans, they would be most interested in.