Channel 11 weathercaster Tara Hastings, a co-emcee at the 16th Annual Prism Award ceremony, grew up two houses from a BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, so she could identify with this year’s Best Practice Award winner, BP-Husky Refining LLC in Oregon.
Eggleston-Meinert-Pavley Funeral Homes employee Terry Breymaier was selected by the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce as the Person of the Year.
Members of the Christ Dunberger American Legion Post No. 537 Color Guard and Rifle Squad were presented with a Community Improvement Award by Oregon and Northwood mayors Marge Brown and Mark Stoner Wednesday night.
If anything, though, it was the announcement of Food for Thought as the winner of the Horizon Award at this year’s Prism ceremony that could be seen more as a reflection of today’s economic recession.
Food for Thought manager Donald Schiewer, the only employee who directs over 100 volunteers for this Oregon-based service provider, was presented the award by the 2007 Horizon winners, Brad Morrison and P.J. Kapfhammer of Maumee Bay Turf Center.
“Our organization is completely run by your employees, by your people,” Schiewer said, “because we’re volunteer-driven.
“It’s because of you, because of the churches, that we are able to sustain what we do. So I just encourage you to support us, continue to support our effort to help those who may not have what they need today in this economy.”
When this all-volunteer program started in 2007, it served 50 lunches on Saturdays to the hungry and homeless in downtown Toledo. Today, more than 400 lunches are served each Saturday. The lunch consists of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, fruit, juice box and a cookie.
The group also operates a grocery-like pantry where needy families can choose their food and clothing. More than 700 families are served on a regular basis at the pantry located at New Harvest Church in Oregon.
This year, Schiewer will start a community garden on five acres in Oregon. More than 130 volunteers contribute time each week.
General Excellence Award
GenoaBank President Marty Sutter presented the General Excellence Award to Riverview Industries, located on West State Route 163 in Oak Harbor.
Riverview was formed in 1978 by a group of parents whose MRDD children were coming out of the school system and had nowhere to go. The agency was privatized in 1998. Today, Riverview employs close to 150 adults with mental retardation or developmental disabilities in its workshops, janitorial services, and in community placement.
“We serve people with disabilities, and we love doing it,” said Resources Manager Michelle Ish. “We love doing our job, and I think that filters down. We love our community and we love doing this for our community.”
A new program serves adults who are not able to work but still need care during the day. Another new program was developed to meet the growing need to provide high-quality homemaker/personal care services for the same population.
These new programs help Riverview improve the quality and consistency of home-based services delivered to workshop participants and adults in the day-care unit.
Best Practice Award
The Best Practice Award went to BP-Husky Refining LLC in Oregon, a refiner of gasoline including low-sulfur fuels, diesel fuels, aviation fuels, propane, kerosene and asphalt.
“Safety is the number one priority at BP-Husky as evidenced by the string of 3½ million man hours without a lost-time injury as well as a 43 percent reduction in OSHA-recordable incidents,” the Prism program stated.
In 2008, BP-Husky recorded its best safety performance since 1998. One initiative contributing to this record is a concept called near-miss reporting in which employees are encouraged to file reports of hazardous incidents that could have happened but did not. In 2008, 3,200 such reports were filed. As these reports increased, the actual number of injury incidents decreased.
Employees are encouraged through an incentive program to take action to address the hazard to reduce risk to all employees. The company’s message to employees is “We Believe in Zero,” which targets zero injuries as its ultimate goal.
“As an oil company, you have to think about what role you play in our society,” Manager Ron Unnerstall said. “We play a big role—we supply 20 percent of the energy needs to Northwest Ohio. But safety is our priority in what we do. Last year, we had our best year in 10 years, and we’re not stopping there.”
Students and parents were not only impressed with Penta Career Center’s new building, they were impressed with new career programs in Exercise Science/Sports Health Care, Geospatial Information Systems, Machining/Integrated Systems Technology and Animal Science.
The adult education division has also expanded its career programs to include Certified Nurses Aide and a Dietary Management Training Course.
Penta works closely with many area businesses to provide real-world experience for their students. Local companies include AA Boos & Sons, The Andersons, St. Charles Mercy Hospital and Maumee Bay State Park.
Penta, founded in 1965 with 299 employees today, serves 49 higher education career-technical schools in Ohio. It serves 16 school districts, including Lake, Genoa, Northwood, Woodmore, Benton-Carroll-Salem, and Eastwood.
For the first time, the Prism Award ceremony honored local businesses with more than 100 years of service to the community.
Honorees included Spragues Farm Market, Oregon (167 years); Lutheran Home at Toledo (149); Fiske Brothers Refining Co, Toledo (139); Hoeflinger-Bolander Funeral Home, Oregon (132); Veh and Son, Gibsonburg (127); Sunoco, Oregon (115); The Oak Harbor Hotel (110); Gibsonburg Pharmacy (109); Pills & Packages, Elmore (108); East Toledo Family Center (108); GenoaBank (107); AAA Northwest Ohio, Oregon (107); Welles Bowen Realtors, Oregon (106); George Gradel Company, Toledo (106); The Union Bank, Gibsonburg (105); The State Bank & Trust, Walbridge (103); Tank’s Meats, Elmore (102); Schweizer Fruit Farm, Oregon (100), and Dunn Chevy-Buick, Oregon (100).
Jim Dunn of Dunn Chevy-Buick took the podium to respond to the honor, saying, “Obviously, it takes a long time to be here. I am the third generation, and the fourth generation is there now.
“Hopefully, I make it to the end of the month, you know what I mean” Dunn joked. “In the end, it all works out.”