PIQUA — Piqua Daily Call photographer Mike Ullery was one of five recipients of the Cheryl Stiefel Francis Pride of Workmanship award on Tuesday, presented by the Piqua Rotary Club to Piqua business people in recognition of their work on the job as part of making Piqua a better place.
Ullery was nominated by Rotarian Dwayne Thompson. Thompson was not able to attend the luncheon, so Randi Pearson of the Piqua Rotary Club read Thompson’s statement on Thompson’s behalf, saying, “I have worked with many photographers over the years from the Piqua Daily Call and never have I met an individual like Mike Ullery, who has such invested interest in our schools, community, and region as a whole.
“His photographs capture and tell a story about citizens of all ages, local events, and relevant happenings all while promoting pride in the community.”
Thompson’s statement went on to say that he has received many compliments from parents and other community members about Ullery’s photographs of students at school programs, like sporting events, clubs, and academic programs. “He is everywhere at all hours,” Pearson read.”
Thompson added that Ullery has “worked with countless students” in regard to teaching photography and that “Mike is a friend to everyone.”
The Pride of Workmanship awards were renamed to honor the late Cheryl Stiefel Francis, who was executive director of the Miami County Foundation prior to passing away in January. Members of her family attended the luncheon on Tuesday, including her husband Tim Francis, her mother Edna Stiefel, and her sister Kathy Sherman.
As a Piqua Rotarian for many years, she served as the club’s first female president. She was also a member of the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce for over 25 years, serving on a number of committees and as chamber president in 2000. She became a member of the YWCA Piqua in 1980 and served on many committees. Stiefel Francis also served on committees and boards for a number of other community events and organizations, such as the Taste of the Arts committee for Mainstreet Piqua.
Doug Murray, one of the founding members and former board presidents of the Miami County Foundation, spoke briefly about Stiefel Francis prior to the awards ceremony, saying that, in the eyes of the board members of the Miami County Foundation, Stiefel Francis was “one of the best administrators we had ever seen.”
Murray said that Stiefel Francis not only had a strong work ethic, but, “She had great interpersonal skills.” Murray described her as an “outstanding leader” who was also friendly, open, energetic, and “never in any kind of a bad mood.”
“She had a can-do attitude I’ve never seen in my life,” Murray said.
Pearson described Stiefel Francis as a champion of the Pride of Workmanship awards as she loved to go out of her way to recognize people for their hard work, whether it was the good service at a restaurant or other workers in the community.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org