Hardin County honors the businesses and people that make them a strong place to work and live.

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The Chamber and Business Alliance holding their 13th annual membership dinner and awards presentation. The night gives the chamber a chance to recognize the hard work done by businesses and people who want to give back and take care of their communities. For some that dedication to giving back has been going on in the county for decades.

“Our Business of the year is Hensel Ready Mix has been in business for 50 years, they are three generations strong and that is what you will find with a lot of businesses. Especially WKTN who is our small business of the year and they have been in our community for years and years. These are staple, long time businesses in Hardin County and we are excited to celebrate them,” said Jesse Purcell, Hardin County Chamber director.

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Here are Thursday's award winners:

Business of the Year - Hensel Ready Mix

Hensel Ready Mix has served as a three-generation business in Hardin County for over 50 years. They currently have five locations and have poured concrete for some of Hardin County's most recent developments including the Kenton Elementary School, Ridgemont Schools, International Paper expansion, Heritage Cooperative Fuel Complex, and OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital expansion. They also participated in pouring for Television's Extreme Home Makeover and had the first front discharge conveyor truck in the United States.

Small Business of the Year - WKTN Radio

Located in Kenton for over 56 years, WKTN Radio has been working to recreate themselves with content, energy, and a dynamic team. WKTN Radio-95.3 prides itself on being involved in the community through radio broadcast, reporting news as it happens, and partnering in various community events.

Citizen of the Year - Roger Crowe

Roger Crowe is a native-born Hardin County resident serving the community in the law enforcement field since 1976. He has held several leadership positions throughout Hardin County including currently serving as Fiscal Officer for the Grove Cemetery Association and Fiscal Officer for Buck Township, and as a Hardin County Commissioner sitting as chairman since 2018. He was a co-founder of Hardin County Safety School and he retired from the City of Kenton as a Captain of the Kenton Fire Department. He has been very active with the Elks #157 and helps several positions including the Exulted Ruler. He has also served as President of the Ohio Elks Association from 2013-2014. His more recent community project could be seen all spring and summer lining the streets of Kenton with the Veteran's Banner Project celebrating the community's military veterans. With this project, he hoped to sell 42 banners, but with the community supported the project by purchasing 240 banners.

Community Service Award - Mitzi Crawford

Mitzi Crawford is receiving the Community Service Award for her work to develop the Women's Boutique and Common Grounds Haircuts as an extension of outreach for the Abundant Life Church. Mitzi started Common Grounds Haircuts to give residents of Hardin County a place to receive free professional haircuts to help meet the needs of building relationships and confidence in those individuals. She also worked to develop the Women's Boutique where women can come into the boutique and receive free clothing for their daily needs. Her hope was to create a place for women to come together and make friends.

Women LEAD Professional Excellence Award - Jen McMurray

Jen McMurray is receiving the Women LEAD Professional Excellence Award for her outstanding accomplishments in the medical field as a Physicians Assistant and her faithful dedication to community service. In 2015, Jen was awarded as one of the top 50 Physicians Assistants in her field of 115,000 for her passion for delivering high-quality health care, promoting wellness, and saving and changing lives. Jen started her career at the Kenton Community Health Center where she went above and beyond to serve her patients on every level. In 2015, Jen spoke at the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers Conference to promote and educate other clinicians and administrators about the impact PA's can have in enabling great access to care. In 2018, Jen participated and graduated from Hardin Leadership and also became the President of Table One. She was also influential in the establishment of the Table One Community Garden serving residents of Kenton.

Young Professional Leadership Award - Brian Sprang

Brian Sprang has been selected to receive the Young Professional Leadership Award due to his outstanding professional and community service accomplishments Brian has served in many capacities as a leader of the Chairman of the YMCA Pool Project raising over $200,000 to renovate the swimming pool. He has served as the Chairman of the Board for the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance, Hardin County YMCA Volunteer of the Year. Professionally, Brian participated in a Roundtable event in the Department of Treasury in Washington D.C. on Risk Mitigation, Focusing on Disaster Recovery, and Business Continuity. He was published in CU Answers Network for his achievement in IT-related innovations for the credit union and for completing IT professional training.

Ambassador of the Year - Julie Jordan

Julie Jordan has participated in the Hardin County Ambassadors since 2017. She is an active volunteer contributing to all the events at the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance. She is always the first to respond and ask for a job or role to help the organization. She has been an active member of the Women LEAD since 2017 and volunteers in any capacity to support their events. Julie always is kind and helpful ready to do anything she can to help make the Alliance a success.

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