This past month saw a number of Willoughby business people and organizations honored with various awards. I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge these and congratulate the recipients.
Our Ward 3 Councilman, Bob Fiala, was named the 2015 Distinguished Business Leader/CEO by the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce. Bob is the founder and Managing Partner at TDA Architecture in Downtown Willoughby. TDA also has offices in Pittsburgh and Columbus and employs nearly 50 architects, engineers, interior designers and support technicians.
In past years TDA has been awarded 15 Lake/Geauga County Fast Track 50 awards, is in the Lakeland Community College Business Hall of Fame, was in the inaugural class of the Crain’s Fast 50, is a recipient of the prestigious Weatherhead 100 award, and is a three time winner of the NorthCoast 99 Award, acknowledging the best workplaces in a five county region.
Another Willoughby Business, Brandt’s Candies, was given the Showcase Distinguished Award by the Chamber. Brandt’s Candies was originally founded by George and Agnes Brandt as Brandt’s Open Kitchen Candies. It has remained a family-owned chocolate store since its beginning in 1948.
Jim and Barbara Phillips purchased Brandt’s Candies in 2005 and continue to carry on the family tradition at the original location, using the Brandt family time-honored recipes. Barbara Phillips is also very involved with the Willoughby Lakefront Business Association, an organization that showcases and promotes lakefront businesses and sponsors events to draw attention to the area.
The Chamber also honored The Holden Arboretum/Cleveland Botanical Gardens and D&S Automotive Collision and Restyling with awards.
The Willoughby Rotary Club presented the McKinley Community Outreach Center with its Distinguished Civic Association Award. I’ve written about McKinley in the past and the leadership that Pastor Mike Currier from Body of Christ Community and Pastor Don Perks from the Willoughby United Methodist Church have provided. Located in the former McKinley Elementary School this wonderful organization, with its dedicated group of volunteers, provides assistance to hundreds of families in Western Lake County. They provide taxable items (i.e. paper towels, toilet paper, personal-care items, cleaning products), food, pet food & supplies, books, furniture, household goods, small appliances, shoes and coats to the under-privileged residents of Western Lake County.
The Rotary Club also named Willoughby Hills resident Dale Fellows as its Distinguished Citizen.
Willoughby is truly fortunate to have TDA Architecture, Brandt’s Candies and the McKinley Community Outreach Center in our city. These folks truly are the “best of the best” and I congratulate them on these very deserving awards.
Have a great month.