Chamber honors community members

Ron Erwin recognized as the 2018 Distinguished Citizen

By Melanie Yingst -

Irene Imboden

Irene Imboden

Andrew Johnston

Natalie Rohlfs

TROY — It was a night full of surprises as the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce honored notable Troy community members at its annual Community Awards night at the Crystal Room on Thursday.

Ron Erwin was honored for his contributions to the community as the 2018 Distinguished Citizen of the Year.

“This is a great community to live in and raise a family the schools, churches, clubs and to grow a business and just has good folks here,” Erwin said. Erwin urged attendees to get involved in the community’s clubs, organizations and church programs. Erwin thanked his wife Kathy for her support and shared they will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in a few days.

Vice chairman Jennifer Honeyman spoke on behalf of the Chamber as they recognized Erwin.

Erwin has been involved in a variety of community service organizations including his membership in the Troy Kiwanis since 1977. He also is an active supporter of the Pink Ribbon Girls organization, Miami County Y and Troy City Schools.

Honeyman quoted an Erwin family member prior to his presentation, “Ronnie loves the city of Troy and has always been a quiet man with a big heart.”

The Chamber also celebrated its 2018 Outstanding Educator of the Year Irene Imboden. Imboden is an English and Drama teacher at Troy High School where she has taught for 26 years. She was presented a $1,000 grant from the Troy Foundation, which $500 will go to her classroom and the other half to the high school’s principal’s fund.

“Ever since my junior year in high school when I found out I was two inches too short to be a Rockette — that was my dream job — being a teacher was the only thing I ever wanted to do and teaching in Troy is the only place I ever wanted to teach,” she said.

The Chamber also honored its A. Robert Davis Memorial Young Man of the Year and Shirley Culp Davies Memorial Young Woman of the Year.

The 2018 Young Woman of the Year was Natalie Rohlfs. She is the executive director of The Future Begins Today. Rohlfs is a Troy High School graduate and has been with the student support organization since 2015.

With her family surprising her as she was receiving the award, Rohlfs shared how she was torn in attending the event since it was one of her daughters’ 12th birthday.

“I just hope through the years my girls learned a thing or two about giving back to community. I hope they get to call this place ‘My Troy’ like I call this place ‘My Troy.’ I love Troy, I think I said that when I interviewed for The Future Begins Today,” Rohlfs said. “I look around the room and iI see people I aspire to be like and who I am grateful to volunteer with and I am really happy to call friends and family.”

The 2018 Young Man of the Year was Andrew Johnston. Johnston, a Troy High School graduate and local attorney, is involved in the Troy Rotary Club and serves on various boards including The Future Begins Today, Lincoln Community Center and Riverside of Miami County.

Johnston was unable to attend the ceremony. Lincoln Community Center executive director Shane Carter accepted the honor on behalf of Johnston.

The Chamber also recognized its 2018 Leadership Troy graduates: Laura Arnold, Tamara Baynard-Ganger, Ashley Brocious, Patrick Conrad, Heather Fetter, Sonia Holycross, Andrea Keller, Carrie Kendall, Shawn McKinney, Michael Moore, Jessica Nielson, David Norman, Theresa Packard, Meredith Parris, Beth Peters, John Pritchard, Sherry Saddler, Leona Sargent, Michael Twiss, Mat Verhotz, and Sandy Ziegler-Webb.

Irene Imboden Imboden

Andrew Johnston Johnston

Natalie Rohlfs Rohlfs
Ron Erwin recognized as the 2018 Distinguished Citizen

By Melanie Yingst