Bob Marquette, chairman of Oregon’s Health and Welfare Committee, was
honored as Person of the Year, and Gross Electric was honored on its 100th anniversary at the 17th Annual Prism Award ceremony at Sunrise Park and Banquet Center on Woodville Road.
The business awards were hosted by the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce, and local television news broadcaster Chrys Peterson returned as emcee.
Peterson recognized the camaraderie displayed by businesses and community leaders throughout the ceremony, despite the economic conditions locally.
“We all know that every single job is worth fighting for in this bad economy,” Peterson said.
“I was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and when I go home I know it’s not like this — people that give you a hug and shake your hand,” Peterson continued after the ceremony.
“For those of you who grew up here, I hope you appreciate that because it’s not like this everywhere you go. We do a lot of negative news, especially in this bad economy we’re in, so it’s always good to see something positive recognized.”
Terry Breymaier, the 2009 Person of the Year, presented Marquette with the 2010 award. Breymeier was awarded mostly for his community service with Friends of Pearson Park.
“For me, it’s even more special because it’s an old friend — one of my old Waite Class of ’65 members,” Breymaier said. “Eventually, he migrated to Oregon, as I did, and started his own business there.
“I know personally when I needed help not only with personal issues, but with the Johlin Cabin, he was the first person I asked,” Breymaier continued. “He’s graciously provided assistance to the unfortunate people in our community. What I’m saying is he made the community a better place to live.”
As chair of the health and welfare committee, Marquette has led an effort to provide Christmas baskets to needy individuals for 39 years. The award, kept secret, caught Marquette off guard.
“Obviously, I had no idea that tonight would so honor me among my peers, my friends, and my community. Give me a second to gather my thoughts because Terry and I go back a lot of years—but he’s never done anything like this before.
“I have had the privilege, truly and honestly, to live in a community that allows me to do this. We truly live in a giving and gracious community,” Marquette continued, adding that the award should be more for the recipients of the program.“
Gross Electric opened in downtown Toledo in 1910, then years later moved stores to the suburbs. It is currently in its fourth generation of family ownership.
The business was represented by Steve Miller, who has worked at the Woodville Road location 20 years. The Northwood location has been open 30 years.
“A lot of people forget about us, but we’re there open for business,” Miller said. “It takes a big team effort to run our business.”
Other businesses nominated were Oregon businesses Challenger Learning Center, Orchard Villa, Buffalo Wild Wings, Occupational Care Consultants, Oregon YMCA, the Cardiac Rehab and Heart Program at St. Charles Mercy Hospital, and Jeffers Crane. Also nominated were Jam Tire (Northwood), P&W Painting (East Toledo), Lake School District, Clay High School, and Relay for Life (Perrysburg).
Judges were P.J. Kapfhammer, owner of Maumee Bay Turf Center; Joel Mann, president and CEO of Mann Technologies; Tom Blaha, executive director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission; Dave Hymore, assistant vice president and bank manager of First Federal Bank; Gregg Clark, superintendent of Northwood Local Schools; and Ed Schimmel, an attorney with Hizer and Schimmel, LLC, and president of the chamber.