ACCEPTANCE ... Decatur Mayor John Schultz accepts the Stephen Decatur Award, presented annually by the Decatur Chamber of Commerce for outstanding service to the community, from close friend and city attorney Tim Baker (right). (Photo by J Swygart)
Decatur Mayor John Schultz, honored Thursday night with the Chamber of Commerce's annual Stephen Decatur Award, said he sees the honor as "the acknowledgment that there is still much more to do."
The award, first presented in 1988 to Rita Setser, is presented for outstanding service to the community. It is named for naval war hero Commodore Stephen Decatur.
Schultz, who served 16 years as a city councilman, is in his sixth year as mayor.
Schultz, 63, has been married to his wife, Brenda, for 43 years. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
City Attorney Tim Baker presented the award to the mayor, saying, "He's approachable, enthusiastic, optimistic. He's humble, he's kind, he's generous, and he's strong and decisive."
Also presented during the Chamber's annual dinner at The Mirage were the President's Award, the Small Business Award, and the Large Business Award.
Chamber Member Larry Macklin presented the Small Business Award to Keith Gerber, who founded Hoosier Pattern, Inc. "Without [my associates], Hoosier Pattern would not be successful in where we are today," Gerber said.
In 1997, Hoosier Pattern, Inc., a pattern shop specializing in tooling for the foundry industry, was founded by Keith Gerber and two partners in a 3,500-square foot facility with one employee. In July of 2009, Gerber became the sole owner. Hoosier Pattern has continued to grow and now consists of 25 employees who work in a newly-renovated 45,000 square foot facility.
The Large Business Award recipient was Fleetwood RV, with the honor accepted by John Draheim, general manager of the operation here.
Draheim said, "The people are one of the main reasons we wanted to be in Indiana. This plant was our most productive and best plant of 54 plants."
Fleetwood RV, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of Class A and Class C recreational vehicles. Driven by its commitment to innovation, quality and value, the Chamber said the company is a recognized leader in the motorhome segment and manufactures some of the industry’s most iconic brand names, such as American Coach, Discovery and Bounder.
Fleetwood RV is headquartered in Decatur which is also home to its manufacturing facilities.
Also last night, Chamber President Ron Storey handed the President's Award to Past Chamber President Carl Stevens, who said it was "a pleasant surprise" and he looks forward to continuing to serve the Chamber this year.