A second generation physician serving Wapakoneta struggled to find the words to describe the way he felt when he and his wife, also a physician, received the honor as the top citizens of the year.
“I was really surprised,” the man said. “It certainly wasn’t anything that was expected.”
These were Dr. George Herman’s first words when asked about the award at the conclusion the Wapakoneta Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Annual Meeting & Community Banquet Awards at the Grandview Plaza.
Dr Herman and his wife, Dr. Parmie Herman, were named 2011 Citizens of the Year during the banquet.
When presenting the award, Chamber President Josh Steinke described them as “people that have dedicated their careers to the improvement of the care given to our residents, children and senior citizens.”
Workers from Hermans’ office crept in just moments before the announcement, and Parmie Herman was quick to dedicate the award to all the help they receive in making their care to Wapakoneta’s citizens possible.
“This award is for all those people back there,” Parmie said. “They do all the hard stuff to make it easier for us. Those are our best friends sitting right there.”
The Hermans met in college and moved back to Wapakoneta and took over his father’s medical practice in 1987. George Herman was described as a devoted Boy Scout leader who’s claim to fame was his campfire cooking. It was said his apple pies brought many visitors to the troop’s campfires.
Parmie Herman was described as devoting her service to their church teaching Bible study, playing in the bell choir, and helping with fundraisers. She also was noted for the best pasta sauce in town.
“To be held in this regard, among this kind of company, well it is quite an honor,” George Herman said.
Attendees witnessed seeing the ever talkative Jon Derryberry held nearly speechless when he was announced as 2011 Outstanding Business Person for his 30 years of service in health and life insurance as an insurance agent at Derryberry & Davis Insurance Agency.
Derryberry thanked business partner Alan Davis and Davis’ wife and also his life partner, Robin LaFountain, as helping to make the award possible.
“You know, it could be anybody,” Derryberry said. “It’s hard to even get a nomination. I will wear this on my sleeve. There are so many good people in this town and so many deserving of this honor.”
Dan Bennett was awarded the 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award and seemed humbled by the presentation, dedicating the award to others in a short speech.
“I had help from many other people to get this,” Bennett said. “I want to thank everybody for the honor.”
Bennett’s accomplishments included placing reflectors on fire hydrants, clearing litter from county roads, making repair’s during Servant’s Day, guest speaking at Ohio Northern or doing conceptional design for the soccer field house as just some of the volunteer work he did throughout the community.
Other awards given out were the Ambassador Award to Sister Cities of Wapakoneta, Connie Chinn as Outstanding Employee for her accounting work at H & R Block and J.M. Green and Associates, Greg and Julie Mescher for Most Improved Property for improvements on their home at 109 E. Benton St., G.A. and Wintzer & Son as Most Improved Commercial Property for renovations and construction done at 202 and 204 W. Auglaize St. and renovations under way at 8 N. Blackhoof St., and the Equestrian Therapy Program at Fassett Farm as non-profit organization of the year for its unique therapy program for both children and adults.
Awards for the event were sponsored by Minster Bank and Ron Spencer Real Estate (Most Improved Residential Property), Fifth Third Bank and G.A. Wintzer & Son (Most Improved Commercial Property), Superior Federal Credit Union and Time Warner Cable Business Class (Non-Profit Organization of the Year), TSC and the Grand Plaza Banquet Hall (Volunteer of the Year), American Legion Post 330 and Fraternal Order of Eagles 691 (Ambassador Award), J.M. Green and Associates and H & R Block (Outstanding Business Person), Stroh, Johnson & Co. and Wal-Mart (Outstanding Employee) and the Chamber of Commerce (Citizen of the Year).
Entertainment was provided throughout the night by Susanna and Micah Nicol, Lynn Nagle, Susan Hawson and Jodi Allen, who sang a variety of songs throughout the evening. A guest singing appearance was also made by Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen Kelsey Barrett.