Chamber Honors Businesses, Leaders, and Hero
BY PETER E. BORTNER (STAFF WRITER PBORTNER@REPUBLICANHERALD.COM)
Published: June 11, 2014
ORWIGSBURG – They make their livings here, and winners of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards said Wednesday they love making their lives here, too.
“I do business in seven states, and there’s no place I’d rather be than in Schuylkill County,” Bob Greene, owner of Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. and the chamber’s Business Man of the Year, told almost 200 people gathered at Schuylkill County Club for the group’s awards breakfast.
As they honored the people and organizations that make the region thrive, chamber members also took time to remember the county’s latest hero, Army Capt. Jason B. Jones, the Blue Mountain High School graduate who died June 2 in battle in Afghanistan and whose funeral procession passed by the country club later Wednesday.
“We want to give him the honor he deserves,” chamber Executive Director Robert S. Carl Jr. said. “He is our hero. He will always be our hero.”
Capt. Jones’ grandfather, Joseph H. Jones Sr., received recognition for the James M. Stine Lifetime of Service Award, only the second such award given, and appreciated the timing.
“This is really overwhelming at a particularly difficult time,” Joseph Jones said. “I love Schuylkill County. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”
The chamber presented awards to Joseph Jones, Greene and five other people and organizations to recognize leaders not only in business, but in their communities. The chamber gives these awards annually, and this year’s winners had been announced May 7 at the group’s annual luncheon at Mountain Valley Golf Course, Barnesville.
“The cream must rise to the top,” Carl said.
Cindy Petchulis of Providence Place Retirement Community received the Business Woman of the Year award.
“Caring for seniors gives me a lot of joy,” she said.
Maria Rowlands and Theresa Pothering of the accounting firm Rowlands & Pothering were honored with the Entrepreneurs of the Year award.
“We’re honored to receive this award,” Pothering said. “Schuylkill County is a great place to start a business.”
The Cotler Group received the For-Profit Organization of the Year Award.
“Their involvement is wide and varied,” Jeanne Porter, a member of the chamber’s awards committee, said in presenting the award. “The Cotler Group makes a difference every day.”
Sexual Assault Resource & Counseling Center of Schuylkill County was honored with the Non-Profit of the Year Award.
“To say we are pleased is truly an understatement,” said Jenny Murphy Shifflet, SARCC’s executive director. “Thank you for recognizing the work we do is valued and needed.”
Ridgeview Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, Shenandoah Heights, sponsored the breakfast.
“We’re bringing a lot out to the community,” said Administrator Kameron A. Rager, who also told those attending the breakfast the center will be opening an Alzheimer’s care unit in about four weeks.