Recognition & Awards

Chamber Annual Meeting

Every year the Chamber of Commerce celebrates several local businesses, business leaders and community members who help make Terre Haute and the entire Wabash Valley a better place to live and work.

Three awards are given during the Chamber Annual Meeting. Nominations for these awards open in June, and winners are announced at our Annual Meeting every August.

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Building Business Award

The Building Business Award, formally the Business, A Level Above award, powered by Vectren, honors an outstanding business of the year in the Wabash Valley, an organization which is committed to being a leader in the community as the pinnacle of business growth and development.

Past recipients have included Sony DADC, Pfizer, Inc., Clabber Girl Corporation, Duke Energy, Union Hospital, GE Aviation, ADVICS Manufacturing, ThyssenKrupp Presta, Thompson Thrift, CSN, LLC, Dorsett Automotive, Joink and Gartland Foundry,  First Financial Bank, Greg Gibson and Brampton Brick.

Building Community Award

The Building Community Award, formally Vision, A Level Above Award, sponsored by Indiana State University, recognizes an organization or individuals who have made a significant impact on the Terre Haute community. The specific areas of focus include Arts, Communications, Economic Development and Education. They also include Natural Environment and Community Appearance as well as Resource and Funding.

Past recipients of this award have included Major General Martin Umbarger, Greg Gibson, Tim Dora, the Terre Haute Children’s Museum Board of Directors, Sisters of Providence, First Financial Bank, Wabash Valley Community Foundation, Keith Ruble, Art Spaces/Arts Illiana, Vigo County School Corporation, Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Vigo Co. Parks & Recreation Dept. – Griffin Bike Park and John McNicohls & Max Miller, the Duke Energy Foundation, frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19 and 3 Sisters Investments.

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Leadership Connect Emerging Leader of the Year

Leadership Connect of West Central Indiana presents the Leadership Connect Leader of the Year Award. Formally Young Leader of the Year, the award is sponsored by Terre Haute Young Leaders with scholarship support from the Wabash Valley Leadership Institute, is presented to an individual with a demonstrated commitment to attract and retain young talent in the Terre Haute community.

First presented in 2011, the Leadership Connect Leader of the Year Award recognizes individuals who possess values consistent with those of Terre Haute Young Leaders and an unwavering responsibility to community programs that elevate the overall quality of life in Terre Haute. Past winners include Whitney Gurman-Roberts, Stephanie Pence, Ellie Caldwell, Jon Scherle, Courtney Richey, Jenifer Wright, Jennifer Isbell-Scott, Lindsay Hull, Jared Ell, Ron Hodge and Vanessa Li.

Moving Forward Award

New in 2021 was the Moving Forward Award. The award was used to recognize a group that took a huge risk and leap of faith during the pandemic to produce a great asset to our community.

The owners and operators of The Mill, Tim and Kelly Drake were honored with the award. 

“We felt that Tim and Kelly needed to be singled out for all the work they have done this year,” Craig said. “Regardless of the timing, what they did was huge and a wonderful addition to the community. The Mill will bring tourism to West Central Indiana and serve as a great venue for local residents.”

The Moving Forward award is something that really means a lot to us,” says Kelly Drake. “There were many times that we felt like giving up because of the circumstances that we all faced last year. I’m proud of this award because we were not only able to pull through an extremely tough year, but to also continue to grow within this community no matter what obstacles come our way.”

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Recognition & Awards

Additional Annual Awards

In addition to the Chamber Annual Meeting, the organization also recognizes individuals making a difference in business and the community throughout the year.

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Advocate of the Year

A new award and honor was announced in late 2019, “Advocate of the Year”. Wabash Valley Asphalt President and Chamber Board Member John Collett was given the inaugural honor.

Chamber President Kristin Craig explained that 2019 was a tremendous year in the government and Advocacy sectors; our members have lobbied at the Statehouse, backed projects that could bring millions in economic growth to our region… campaigned for a casino referendum – AND WON – and much more. At the helm of all of those initiatives was Chamber Advocacy Chair and Wabash Valley Asphalt President John Collett.

During 2019 Collett served the Chamber and our community by going the extra mile; largely by his work advocating for the casino in Terre Haute, something he became very involved with. He stepped out of his comfort zone, especially in terms of doing media interviews and public speaking engagements to ensure our community was the benefit of this economic development. John rallied, not only his own staff, but other Chamber members in the process.

Women’s Excellence in Leadership Award

Formally titled the ATHENA Leadership Award®, the Terre Haute Woman in Business award seeks to honor an amazing woman succeeding and working for both business and community. Traditionally this award was presented during the Chamber Annual Meeting in August, but will transition in 2020 to be presented during the Terre Haute Women’s Conference in March.

ATHENA Leadership Award® has previously honored several outstanding women in the community, including: Sister Barbara Doherty, Marilyn Pendergast, Beth Tevlin, Sydney Bell, Jeanette Winchester, Becky Buse, Marla Flowers, Claudia Tanoos, Patrece Dayton, Sara Smith, Carol Roesch, Dottie King, Sara Arnett, Rachel Leslie, Barbara “Boo” Lloyd, Bernice Helman, Cheri Bradley, Susan Decker, Amy Hock and Rhonda Smith.

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Volunteer of the Year

Each year the Chamber recognizes one outstanding individual as the "Volunteer of the Year".

The honor is traditionally a surprise and given during the Chamber's annual Holiday Open House. The award began in December 2018. It aims to honor someone involved within the Chamber and an overall standout in the West Central Indiana community.

Along with highlighting the work of the award winner, the honor is also presented in memory of past Chamber member Matt Luecking, who died in 2016. Luecking served as a Chamber Ambassador, along with his Chamber membership. Chamber President Kristin Craig says he held the unofficial record for most ribbon cuttings attended.

Past recipients include Karla Noorlag, Courtney Chipol and Trent Kerr.

12 Under 40 Award

The 12 Under 40 Award was created through a partnership between the Tribune-Star and the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce and aims to recognize young professionals excelling in both business and community within West Central Indiana.

The award began in 2015, with the Tribune Star publication featuring the year's winners becoming an exciting read each year.

The 12 Under 40 seeks people who go above and beyond for both business and community. For a full list of past winners click here.

For more information visit 12Under40.com.

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