MARION -- Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois Director Doug Kimmel said Thursday that receiving the Marion Business/Industry of the Year Award from the Chamber of Commerce is a team win.
"It's a wonderful testament to the work that goes on out here on a daily basis in providing the airport facilities and services that accommodate the public and measurably add to the economy of our region," Kimmel said.
"This includes the work of airport employees, airline staff, TSA personnel, rental car operations, FBO personnel, flight training operations, CAP squadron, ATC and FAA staff, Fire Protection District personnel, Sheriff's Department, and numerous businesses located throughout the Airport Business Park," he said.
"Together, our activity accounts for over $22 million in annual economic impact to the region, and most importantly provides a transportation portal to the world economy. It was once said that to measure the heartbeat of a community take its pulse at the airport. Thanks to our work now, and to so many that have come before us, our pulse continues to beat strong for all of Southern Illinois."
Airport board chair Bernard Paul of Marion said being recognized by one's peers is a humbling experience.
"But it also makes us proud to be a part of the miracle that is Marion," Paul said. "Growth is all around us, and we are excited to be a part of it. Thanks to the Chamber for everything it has done, and continues to do, to keep the spirit of expansion alive and thriving."
The Marion Area Chamber of Commerce will present the award to Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois at the 97th annual Awards Banquet & Auction on Friday, Jan. 19 at The Pavilion.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets to attend are $60/person or $400/table (seats 8) and are available by calling the Marion Chamber of Commerce at 618.997.6311, clicking here, or visiting marionillinois.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I look forward to honoring Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois not only because of the wonderful support they give to the Chamber, but also to the region as a whole," said Dalus Ben Avi, executive director of the Marion Chamber. "Veterans Airport is the perfect example of business and professional people working together to build a healthy economy and to improve the quality of life in our community, which is the Marion Chamber's mission. It is our honor to celebrate them for their accomplishments, their future and all they bring to our area."
Finalists have been revealed for the other awards presented at the annual dinner.
Citizen of the Year finalists are John Markley, Deborah Frey and Scott Detrick.
Clearwave, Heartland Regional Medical Center and House2Home are finalists for the Distinguished Business Award.
Admiral Nancy Brown and Fred Monroe are finalists for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ashley Gott, Mindy Reid and Celia Robertson are finalists for the Distinguished Member Award.
The three candidates for the Mayor's Service Award are Gail Barger, Bill Nielsen and Mike Pinto.
And the three finalists for the Young Professional Leadership Award are Ashlee Church, Heather Goines-Evans and Erin Kopec.