ASHLAND -- Pat Byerly has received the Jim Lingenfelter Award for her many years of service to the Ashland and Loudonville communities.
The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce presented the Lingenfelter Award and two Spirit of the Chamber awards earlier this month.
Buehlers Fresh Foods was honored as the 2020 Business Spirit of the Chamber receipt, and Erica Bays of Park National Bank was named the 2020 Individual Spirit of the Chamber recipient.
"Normally, these awards are presented at our annual meeting luncheon in November. However, we did not meet in person due to COVID restrictions," said Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce's interim director, Amy Daubenspeck. "Our annual report went out last week. We met with the awards recipients individually to present them with their awards."
The winner of the Lingenfelter Award, Byerly, has provided funeral services in the Loudonville area for 21 years with her husband Ted.
She's also served on numerous boards. Byerly was a founding member of the Samaritan Hospital Foundation, serving for 13 years on the board. She spent more than a decade on the Samaritan Regional Health System Board in Ashland and served on the boards for the Kettering Hospital Board in Loudonville and Ashland County Community Foundation Board, too.
"Before accepting the award, I want you to know it is my belief that in public service, one rarely accomplishes much on their own," Byerly said. "It is working with others that gets the job done. My reward has been new relationships and many treasured friends.
"So on behalf of all those who have worked with me over many years, I gratefully accept the Jim Lingenfelter Service Award. My thanks to the Chamber for continuing to recognize Jim's contributions through the award."
The award is intended for an individual who emulate the characteristics of Jim Lingenfelter, who was known for his passion, dedication, and positive attitude that spanned the entire county as he worked to make connections and bring organizations together for the good of the Ashland area.
The Chamber board chooses the Lingenfelter award recipient. Last year, the Chamber recognized Brian Hinkle of First National Bank.
The Spirit of the Chamber awards are given annually to one business and one individual for exemplary dedication and service to the Chamber throughout the year. The recipients are to have demonstrated leadership in volunteerism, energy, creativity and giving. The award has been given since 1993.
The winner of this year's Individual Spirit of the Chamber, Bays, is well known for her attendance at Chamber programs, ribbon cuttings and community events.
"She is always willing to lend an extra hand when we need it; we know we can always count on her," the Chamber said in the email announcing the winners.
Buehlers Fresh Foods took the business Spirit of the Chamber award for how its approached the pandemic, the email continued.
"Back in March, when we all hunkered down and stayed home, Buehlers Fresh Foods took the lead on implementing procedures to keep their customers safe. And, it didn’t go unnoticed," the email said. "From initiating mask wearing of their employees to sanitation carts to ramping up the personal shopper program, Buehlers really stepped up to the plate and continues to this day."