One of the many things that Chambers of Commerce do is recognize community and business leaders in their respective communities. Here at the Adrian Chamber, we have done so for many years at our annual awards banquet.

During my tenure, we have sought to effectively use our event programming to further advance our mission of promoting, increasing and enhancing the Adrian economy.

In that vein, we are combing two of our most popular events, our Annual Awards Banquet and our FUNdraiser. The purpose of awards banquet event is to celebrate the hard work and successes in the business community and to present several awards to very deserving businesses and individuals. This event features a social hour, dinner and an awards ceremony to honor outstanding members and businesses that have been nominated by their peers. The event is combined with our annual FUNdraiser that provides operating support for the Chamber’s programs.

Let me give you a little background on the Awards:

First, the Beautification Award annually recognizes a diverse range of projects that result in improving the appearance of physical buildings, grounds or community space.  This Award is sponsored by Mark & Mary Murray, owners of the Adrian Image Center and Adrian Armory Events Center.

This year’s recipient is Lenco Credit Union, for the total remodel of their West Maple Location

The Commitment to Excellence Award is sponsored by Siena Heights University and is traditionally presented by Sister Peg Albert, OP; PhD. This is designed to recognize a local business that demonstrates the following:

  • Ethics
  • Community Engagement
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Service Oriented

Exhibiting strong ethical values, a commitment to the community in which you live and do business, being exceptional stewards of the environment and customer service that goes beyond the minimum are the cornerstone for the Commitment to Excellence Award.

This year’s recipient is Geraldine Boykin, Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and Vice President of the Lenawee NAACP Branch 3162.

Finally, the Comstock Award is presented by Citizens Gas. The Addison J. Comstock Award will be presented to an individual who aggressively promotes commercial growth within the community, actively works to improve the quality of life for people in this area, is an involved leader involved in business, civic and community activities, and impacts the future of our community through involvement in planning, visioning and effort.

The award is designed to recognize an individual or organization who is tenacious in their promotion, development of the city, its economy and business growth. Scott Klemm, former director of Citizens Gas Fuel Company, was the first recipient of the Addison J. Comstock Award. Other recipients included Joe Ann Steele, Garry Clift, Ben Negron, Carol Souchock, Don Taylor, The Lenawee Intermediate School District, Emory and Kris Schmidt, and most recently, Dave Maxwell.

This year’s very deserving recipient is Londa Pickles, Sr. Vice President of Gurdjian Insurance Group, Inc.

In addition to honoring these recipients, we are also having our auction fundraiser.  You may know that I have resigned my position as President to return to Florida for personal and professional reasons. As the Chamber Board makes plans for the next president at the Adrian Chamber, your support of this fundraising will make their job easier for the next director.

I also make a final appeal to attend the event. It will be held at the newly-remodeled Adrian Armory Events Center on May 15, 2018 form 5:30 – 8:30 pm. You may have seen the recent news about the Chamber becoming part of this complex, so come help celebrate with us too!

To learn more about the event, donate to the auction, and register to attend, visit:

We are also featuring the donations on our Facebook page:

If you have additional questions about the Adrian Chamber, or want to talk about your business participating, give me a call at 517-265-2320, or email me at

by John R. Bartoszewicz,

President and CEO, Adrian Area Chamber of Commerce