The Henderson|Chester County Chamber of Commerce awarded six community members and businesses at the 2022 Chamber Banquet last week.
Emily Johnson was awarded the Ryan Parnell award.
Chester County Retired Teachers Association was awarded the Neal Smith Imagination Library Award.
First Farmers Co-Op was awarded the Excellence in Agriculture Award.
Henderson Tropics was awarded the Emerging Business Award.
Besso’s was awarded the Business of the Year Award.
Beth Everett was awarded the Volunteer of the year Award.
NEO Products was awarded the Industry of the Year Award.
Courtney Insell was awarded the Presidential Plaque award and the Board Member of the Year Award.
The Outstanding Citizen Award, the chamber’s highest honor, went to the late Dr. Ronald Johnson.
Johnson is remembered from many facets of the community from Lions Club, the Chester County Board of Education, Hee Haw Hootenanny and more.
Johnson passed away on April 15, 2022 at the age of 77.
Read the following speech given by last year’s honoree, Tony Hysmith, on what the community had to say about Johnson.
“The Chamber of Commerce has used its annual banquet to recognize an individual who has exhibited outstanding leadership and citizenship in our community. The nomination form mentions vision, civic pride and commitment to the betterment of society. Past recipients have made Chester County a better place to live. These people have served over and above their responsibilities at their various jobs. As I contacted several organizations regarding our honoree, it was easy to see our recipient is a true Chester Countian.
“Heather Griffin said when she started looking for helpers and supporters for our first Remote Area Medical clinic in 2011, which some may recognize as the RAM Clinic, our recipient was one of the first to sign on. He showed up the first day and served in many areas over the weekend. Not only did he serve in his area of expertise, he also served in the intake area, and even stood in the hallway directing foot traffic for almost 800 patients that weekend……with a smile on his face the entire time. Heather was sure she scared him off after that, but he volunteered for every single clinic held here. He was an integral part of the success of each clinic because of his knowledge and his connections, but even more because of his cheerfulness and servant heart.
“Our recipient served more than 20 years on the Chester County Board of Education. Bob Moore, who served alongside him, stated, ‘He was a fine man and a valuable asset to Chester County. He was always smiling, always cheerful, and willing to do whatever was asked of him. He was faithful in his support of the teachers, and his decisions were always based on the children’s best interests.’ Bob said, ‘It was truly an honor to serve with him on the school board. He leaves a legacy of dedicated service to the community that he loved so well.’
“Terry Carroll stated our recipient has been an important part of the Chester County High School Alumni Association since its inception in 2016. Our honoree has served on the board, been instrumental in helping to provide scholarships for CCHS graduates, and has recently served as President of the Association.
“Tiffany Jones stated, ‘Each November since 2013, with the exception of 2020 and the most recent production in 2021, our recipient transformed into his role for the annual Henderson Hee Haw Hootenanny. He was extremely dedicated to his role in this production each year and brought many tears of laughter to the audiences he entertained. He easily became a crowd favorite with his precise punchlines and his undeniable grin. He even attracted friends and guests from out of town who would purchase tickets early enough to ensure they received the best front row seating. Each Christmas following the Hee Haw production he would walk into the chamber office toting a cake he had baked for the chamber staff. His presence and support of the Henderson Chester County Chamber of Commerce was greatly appreciated.’
“Renee Phelps states our recipient baked several loaves of his homemade sourdough bread to present to the sponsors, and as door prizes, for the quarterly Chester County Retired Teachers Association meetings.
“In summarizing our recipients’ contributions to the Lions Club, Ben Flatt mentioned our honorees’ support of children in the community. Not only did our recipient hold many offices in the Lions Club, he helped screen children at the Lions Club eye screening days in all our local elementary schools, and for many years he prepared and presented the student of the month award. He served faithfully as the ‘sausage man’ on pancake days, as the ‘popcorn man’ at the walking horse show and as the ‘snow cone man’ on soccer Saturdays and at the annual Relay for Life Lions Club booth. He was a recipient of The Melvin Jones Fellowship award, which was established as the Lions Club International Foundation’s highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian services.
“When this very chamber was organized in 1976 our honoree was a charter member.
“You have heard the accomplishments. Many of you have served alongside him. He served many areas in our community, over and above his day job. I have described a true Chester Countian. It is fitting that we recognize as our 2022 Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizenship recipient, Dr. Ronald Johnson.”