At their annual meeting dinner, the Chamber named the founder of the Neil Coleman Insurance Agency as the 2014 recipient.
Neil Coleman was recognized for his 34 years of entrepreneurship for founding his and his wife's insurance agency
Neil said the award was rewarding, but he didn't do it alone - it takes family, God, and good employees.
Neil began as a Prudential manager in Pickaway County in 1976, moving a year later to Chillicothe. In 1980 he became an independent agent.
Wife and business partner Pat Coleman mentioned it began with the purchase of a fireproof file cabinet and a typewriter.
With their married daughter and employees, they have offices in Clarksburg, Waverly - and a new headquarters in a historic home in Chillicothe, after nine years.
The warden of the Chillicothe Correctional Institution, Norm Robinson, was the keynote speaker.
He gave an energetic talk that sounded more like a coach's retrospective, focusing on efforts to reduce the recidivism rate with leadership.
New Chamber CEO Randy Davies mentioned three business anniversaries this year: a 150th in August for Glatfelter, a 40th last week for Kenworth, and a 35th for YSK in May.
And for the second year in a row, improving Chillicothe education was a speaker's topic. Following up on last year's "Leader in Me" overview, Tammy Arnold explained the "Operation Cavalier Classroom" where donations can fulfill wish lists for teaching supplies.
Kevin Coleman regularly reports on Chillicothe & Circleville councils and local culture
Neil Coleman's family after being named Entrepreneur of the Year. From left: daughter Julie Coleman Park, Neil and Pat Coleman, and Julie's husband
Chairman David Barney, Past CEO Marvin Jones, and present CEO Randy Davies at the Chamber's 2014 annual dinner meeting
CCI warden Norm Robinson was the keynote speaker of the Chamber dinner