Chamber honors Stark, Nading, ASAP, Force Construction at annual meeting

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop surprises Sherry Stark with the Community Service Award Thursday at the Columbus area of Commerce annual meeting. WRB photo

The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and awards ceremony yesterday afternoon at The Commons.

Sherry Stark was recognized with the Community Service Award. She served as deputy mayor and community development director under Mayor Bob Stewart, before heading up the Columbus Area Arts Council and Heritage Fund. Even after her retirement, she continues to serve including as head of the Columbus Regional Hospital board of trustees.

She was brought to tears after being surprised with the award by Mayor Jim Lienhoop.

The Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress received project of the year. Jeff Jones, head of that project, thanked Columbus, Bartholomew County and Columbus Regional Hospital for banding together to tackle the drug epidemic:

Force Construction was chosen as company of the year. Company president Harold Force looked back at the family business, which opened in 1946.

This year’s Edna Folger teaching award winner was Karen Nading, who teaches at C4 and Columbus East. She has been a teacher for more than 40 years.  She said that her classroom feels like a family.

Hauser High School’s team was recognized as the winner of the countywide Maverick Challenge. The Hauser TempSense team of Emils Vigants, Krista Blackburn and Kiersten Meister created a product and service that will help kids get interested in computer science.