TROY — Their willingness to bring smiles to the youth of the community, last year’s recipients tapped the city of Troy’s planning and zoning manager Tim Davis and Riverside Development Disabilities’ community relations director Melissa Nichols as the 2015 A. Robert Davies M.D. and Shirley Culp Davies Memorial Outstanding Young Man and Woman of the Year.
Both were surprised and honored to receive the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce award for the organization’s annual dinner Thursday at the Crystal Room in Troy.
“Those of us who know this year’s recipient can attest that he reminds us all of the joy of being what one would lovingly refer to as a ‘Big Kid’” Ham said of David. “He’s always willing to have a joke at his own expense. I am told that he has even been known to dress up in various Disney costumes during the Strawberry Festival, which I’m sure brought much joy to the children who visit the festival each year. I believe there are lessons to be drawn from this gentlemen’s joyful way of life and the happiness he brings to so many.”
Ham noted Davis’ long list of civic involvement, including his membership with the Troy Noon Optimist Club where he has served as the past president and treasurer. Davis coordinates the annual downtown Halloween event and chairs the Optimist events related to the Strawberry Festival. He is also a coach of a rec soccer program and is an adviser to the Mayor’s Youth Council.
Ham lauded Davis as “someone who is the very essence of civic pride and the personification of a truly outstanding young man ought to be.”
“It’s definitely an honor to be nominated and to receive the award,” Davis said. “It’s always a pleasure to give back to the community. I think anybody who does that definitely feels a sense of pride and reward. It’s a great sense of accomplishment and I appreciate the nomination and thank you, Michael, and thank you everyone else.”
Last year’s recipient Mary Wolke tapped Nichols as the 2015 Outstanding Young Woman of the Year because she “always had a smile on her face and is that person you can call on at the last minute to help.”
“As I got to know her better through activities in church, I watched as she treated all kids and adults with such ease and respect. Her integrity was genuine. Always having a smile on her face, she is that person you can call on the last minute to help, no matter how big or little of a job,” Wolke said.
Wolke noted Nichols dedication not only to her family and faith but also to the community through her involvement with the Miracle League, Kiwanis organization and kick-starting the AKTION Club for special needs adults. She also has been involved in her children’s activities, church, and Miami County Animal Shelter.
“Her loyalty runs deep at Riverside where she serves as their representative with Miracle League,” Wolke said. “A close friend, Penny Hoekstra said, ‘With her experience working in the health field, she has the knowledge to create a delicate balance of language promoting the needs and respect towards the people of Riverside and goals of Miracle League.’
“With her experiences, she is never lacking in zeal; she continues to serve her church, family, and community. We are very fortunate to have people like her involved in Troy, ” Wolke said.
“I don’t know what to say! Mary came up and started talking and I was just so excited to find out — it’s always so exciting to hear who the next recipient of these secret awards are going to be,” Nichols said. “I don’t know if you could have surprised me anymore. I am so honored and privileged I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me, but honestly, it’s just a joy to work with all of you to serve our wonderful community and to do things for other people. I’m blessed to be partners with all of you in doing that.”
John Dankworth passed the gavel to the incoming chairwoman Lisa Schelin of MainSource Bank.
“As we enter our 78th year, we want to make sure our members are in the forefront of everything we do,” Schelin said. Schelin said the chamber surveyed its members to learn the biggest challenges that face local businesses such as marketing and workforce needs.
For more information about the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce and its 2016 board of directors, visit www.troyohiochamber.com.