Chamber Dinner Honors Top Business, Schricker Award Recipient

KerstingIt was a Who’s Who of Starke County Leadership at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center, Thursday night.

The Starke County Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Award Dinner. The gathering recognizes chamber members, but also honors community servants and top business performers.

Last night’s event saw the Henry F. Schricker Award bestowed to Melba Shilling for her service to the community. Shilling served as both Starke County Historian, and is a member of Tri Kappa, taking up the award’s credo “service before self.”

Due to the recent passing of Schilling’s husband Jim, she will accept the award at a small gathering in the spring.  Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbie Mix accepted the award on Shilling’s behalf.

“Jim had always said that he always believed that when he received his [award] in 1998, he really believed that Melba should have been a part of that time because there’s nothing that he did that she wasn’t a part of. It was decided that it was time to give Melba her own award,” says Mix.

The presentation of the Henry F. Schricker Award, however, was not the only accomplishment being celebrated. This year, the Starke County Chamber of Commerce recognized Kersting’s Cycle Center as its Business of the Year.

The company’s humble beginnings were highlighted next to what has become a major motorcycle name and tourism draw for Starke County. Owner Jim Kersting said he was overwhelmed to receive the honor.

“The motorcycle business has been extremely good to me and my family,” says Kersting.

Following the dinner, with dozens in attendance, the Chamber of Commerce recognized members who have been part of their efforts for the past 15 years, which included 30 organizations.

The Chamber of Commerce stated during last night’s festivities their desire to meet with members and improve their efforts.