Businesses, individuals honored at chamber’s annual banquet
Many businesses and individuals were recognized during the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet Friday evening at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.
Business Improvement Awards
Business Improvement Awards recognize businesses that made marked improvements to their space of operations during the last year.
Business Improvement Awards were presented to Caribou Coffee and Hy-Vee Gas, Fairfield True Value, H&H Mold & Tooling Inc., Holt Family Dental Care, ILA, Jefferson County Health Center, Sweet ’n Saucy and The Sweet Spot.
The Fairfield Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store added the autonomous Caribou Coffee and Hy-Vee Gas in 2013. Since its opening, the store has worked at bringing the best gas prices to Fairfield. Since January, the store has given more than $354,000 in fuel discounts. The store has added fresh brewed coffee drinks, gourmet pastries and sandwiches and a full line of sundries.
Fairfield True Value bought the vacant Hy-Vee store and renovated about 30,000 square feet into a hardware store. The owners have brought many products and added some services that were not available in Fairfield. The store also created 15 to 20 full- and part-time jobs ranging from mechanic to assistant store manager.
H&H Mold & Tooling expanded its production facility with an 8,000-square-foot building in 2013. The second building was built by local contractor SVC, with concrete work by TC Concrete, dirt work and tiling by Estle Excavating, electrical work by Zayer Electric, plumbing by Pierson & Pierson Plumbing and Heating and doors by Live Wire Electric.
H&H Mold & Tooling also purchased a new high-speed six-axis FPT Ronin milling machine in 2013. It is currently being assembled. It will give the manufacturer the capability to concurrently build larger tooling faster and more accurately.
Holt Family Dental Care added new equipment in 2013: digital X-ray units, intra-oral cameras and computer monitors in each operatory. Also in 2013, Dr. Matthew Holt joined Drs. Michael and Theresa Holt.
ILA moved into the old “pool hall” and brought the familiarity of the building back to town. The old pool cues and balls were found in the basement, dusted off and re-affixed to their rightful home. Tours have been given of the old Cascade Lounge or Stonewall as it was known in the 1980s. The kitchen was rearranged, walls and new equipment added to accommodate ILA’s menu. Last year, the restaurant began buying organic vegetables from local farmers and joined the Buy Fresh Buy Local initiative bringing in locally produced foods. It also added local beverages to the menu.
ILA’s dining room includes new furniture, air conditioning and chalk boards along the walls to keep kids occupied while waiting for dinner.
The Jefferson County Health Center continues to grow and add new services since opening in its new location in 2009. In September, a 13,000-square-foot addition was completed to accommodate an expansion of the Medical Arts Clinic, the Southeast Iowa Neurological Associates, NuCara Pharmacy and American Eyecare.
The Sweet Spot is now an ice cream store and restaurant that is open year-round. A room to seat 50 people was added on to the north side of the building. Two public restrooms, including a handicap-accessible one, were added. New concrete was poured so outdoor seating is still available, and decorative fencing was installed for appearance and safety. Food items, including soups and sandwiches, were added.
The Sweet Spot donates Twin Pops to the Fairfield High School marching band and all the fall sports teams when practices begin each August, sponsors a Fairfield Little League team, supports other organizations and donates coupons to businesses, schools and organizations to help raise money or give as prizes.
Sweet ’n Saucy, a new barbecue restaurant and catering service opened in June. The restaurant uses locally harvested hard woods in its smokers to create its sandwiches.
Community Improvement Award
The Community Improvement Award recognizes a community project that made marked improvements in the last year. The award was presented to Vintage Power Wagons. The business purchased and totally re-purposed the former Iowa Department of Transportation property. Vintage Power Wagon put a new roof on the former IDOT maintenance building, put new lifts in the vehicle maintenance shop, replaced the old fence and cleaned up the debris in the yard.
Green Business, Impact, more
The Green Business Award recognizes a businesses that considers the environment as a stakeholder in their operations and completed a project that positively effected or mitigated negative effects on the environment. The award was presented to The Green Building Supply. The business has been in Fairfield since 1991, but as it has grown it needed a larger space to showcase its products. The business moved into an empty building on the southeast corner of Burlington Avenue and Second Street and was able to incorporate its own green building products, design and construction practices in the 1930s building. The improvements included LED lighting, nontoxic paints and finishes, sustainably harvested flooring, energy-efficient windows and the re-use of old building materials from on-site demolition.
The Fairfield Art Association was honored with the Impact Award. The award recognizes a longtime chamber member that has made outstanding contributions to the chamber and the community. The nonprofit art association was formed in 1966 to foster art in Fairfield and the surrounding community. Originally housed in the Carnegie Library, it now has its own studio in the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center and maintains several gallery areas in the facility. It offers weekly art classes, scholarships, downtown summer art installations and more. The group commissioned three major art pieces for the community: “William Henry Coop and Friend” in Central Park; “Leapfrog” on the Carnegie Library lawn; and the mural on the wall of the Roosevelt Aquatic Center.
Fairfield Media Center was honored with the Interactive Media Award. The award recognizes the website or blog of the year. Fairfield Media center, FMC Studios, fairfieldmediacenter.com and Fairfield Public Access Television — FPAC9 on Mediacom and LISCO – are provided by the city of Fairfield as resources for residents to express their creativity and opinions in a legal, noncommercial video format.
FMC also provides opportunities for citizens to make use of current technology to exchange information, ideas and artistry through the video medium. FMC promotes media literacy through training in video production, editing and critical viewing. FMC makes video equipment available through the Fairfield Public Library. FMC has editing facilities, a video recording studio and a knowledgeable staff.
The Burning Oak Restaurant received the New Young Business Award. The award recognizes businesses that entered their first year of existence in 2013 and made marked improvements to their space of operation or product delivery.
The Burning Oak presents a beautiful atmosphere for intimate evenings as well as large parties. Unique menu items are featured on a seasonal menu that includes local and grass-fed proteins, vegetarian and health-focused options. A full bar is offered. Plan are to add evening entertainment and a lounge displaying local art and musicians.
Orpheum Theater received the Progress Award, which recognized it as the business improvement of the year.
Modern American Cinema signed a lease in May on what would become its exhibition house, and the Orpheum Theater, the former Co-Ed Theater, opened Oct. 1.
The lobby has been remodeled into an art deco-style décor, and the north auditorium has been upgraded to digital projection, with Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound, high-quality theater chairs and a stage to accommodate live performances.
The Orpheum has provided a wide range of films and live stage performances and has offered social events, including Team Trivia, in the lobby/cafe. Plans are underway to renovate the south auditorium.
SunnyBrook Living Care Center was recognized with the Rising Star Award. The award honors a chamber member in its second or third year that has made outstanding early contributions to the chamber.
Since its inception in April 2008, SunnyBrook has been a staunch supporter of the chamber and its involvement in the community. SunnyBrook has been a sponsor of Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk, hosted chamber programs, participated in the Jefferson County Relay for Life, Kiwanis Kids’ Day parade, hosted blood drives and much more.
Shawn Lisk was presented the 2013 Past President Award and the Distinguished Retired Chamber Board Member Award.
Terry Baker was presented with the 2013 Distinguished Retired Chamber Board Member Award.
Staci Ann Wilson Wright and Scott Slechta were honored as Citizens of the Year. The awards were presented by last year’s Citizens of the Year Pat Doyle and Jodi Kerr. A complete article was on the front page of The Ledger Monday.
The banquet, with a Fiesta! theme, was catered by Fairfield Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store. The emcee for the event was Jim Pedrick. Pedrick is a past president of the chamber and a chamber ambassador.
Josie Hannes, the banquet chairwoman, gave the welcome. The award presenters were 2014 chamber president Michael Halley and chamber board member Joneane Parker.
Entertainment was provided by Tropicante and the Fairfield High School band drumline.