PIQUA — The Piqua Rotary Club honored five people who work in Piqua with the Cheryl Stiefel Francis Pride of Workmanship award on Tuesday, recognizing their work on the job as part of making Piqua a better place.
Engraved plaques were presented to each recipient. The first to be honored was Matt Hartley, owner and operator of M&M Automotive, who was nominated by Rotarian Dave Galbreath. Galbreath said that Hartley is a “true example” of the Pride of Workmanship award.
“Matt does great work,” Galbreath said. “He does all the buses for the city the Piqua, the school system … He takes care of the buses for Piqua Catholic, Lehman High School, the Career Center, the (YMCA).”
The rotary then honored Phil Thomas of the U.S. Postal Service, was nominated by Rotarian Doug Stilwell. Stilwell said that Thomas is the mailman who comes to Allisten Manor’s Flower Box and that “it’s a joy to see him.”
“He enjoys what he does,” Stilwell said.
Kim Kimmel of the Miami County YMCA then received a Cheryl Stiefel Francis Pride of Workmanship award and was nominated by Rotarian Steve Staley.
“Over the last 13 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside Kim to witness firsthand her work at the Miami County YMCA,” Staley said. “And as the business manager of an organization with the budget in excess of $3 million, she has a huge responsibility for accurate and timely reporting, and not only is Kim the accounting department, but she also handles all items related to human resources.”
In addition to Kimmel’s numerous responsibilities, Staley said that she has a good attitude and still finds time to support the Miami County YMCA staff and members. Staley called her a “key asset” for the Miami County YMCA.
The rotary then honored photographer Mike Ullery of the Piqua Daily Call, who was nominated by Rotarian Dwayne Thompson. Thompson was not able to attend the luncheon, so Randi Pearson of the Piqua Rotary Club read Thompson’s statement on Thompson’s behalf, saying, “I have worked with many photographers over the years from the Piqua Daily Call and never have I met an individual like Mike Ullery, who has such invested interest in our schools, community, and region as a whole. His photographs capture and tell a story about citizens of all ages, local events, and relevant happenings all while promoting pride in the community.”
Thompson’s statement went on to say that he has received many compliments from parents and other community members about Ullery’s photographs of students at school programs, like sporting events, clubs, and academic programs.
“He is everywhere at all hours,” Pearson said, reading Thompson’s statement. Thompson added that Ullery has “worked with countless students” in regard to teaching photography and that “Mike is a friend to everyone.”
The rotary then honored Linda Richard of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, who was nominated by Rotarian Sharon Semanie.
“Over the past several decades, Linda has been a devoted employee to a number of bosses, including several Rotarians,” Semanie said. Semanie said parishioners describe Richard as a “hard worker, loyal, dedicated to her job, an individual who gets things done, is dependable, and never leaves a project undone.”
“Whether it’s dispensing holy water in the fountains of the churches, dealing with grieving families, assisting the committee for the parish’s 175th anniversary celebration … Linda goes above and beyond what’s expected each and every day,” Semanie said. She added that Richard “puts her words into action.”
Pearson ended the awards ceremony by saying that they can take pride in their work, adding, “You have received this because your pride of workmanship has helped make Piqua better place to live.”
Honoring a beloved Rotarian
The Pride of Workmanship awards were renamed to honor the late Cheryl Stiefel Francis, who was executive director of the Miami County Foundation prior to passing away in January. Members of her family attended the luncheon on Tuesday, including her husband Tim, her mother Edna Stiefel, and her sister Kathy Sherman.
As a Piqua Rotarian for many years, she served as its first female president. She was also a member of the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce for over 25 years, serving on a number of committees and as chamber president in 2000. She became a member of the YWCA Piqua in 1980 and served on many committees. Stiefel Francis also served on committees and boards for a number of other community events and organizations, such as the Taste of the Arts committee for Mainstreet Piqua.
Doug Murray, one of the founding members and former board presidents of the Miami County Foundation, spoke briefly about Stiefel Francis prior to the awards ceremony, saying that, in the eyes of the board members of the Miami County Foundation, Stiefel Francis was “one of the best administrators we had ever seen.”
Murray said that Stiefel Francis not only had a strong work ethic, but, “She had great interpersonal skills.” Murray described her as an “outstanding leader” who was also friendly, open, energetic, and “never in any kind of a bad mood.”
“She had a can-do attitude I’ve never seen in my life,” Murray said.
Pearson described Stiefel Francis as a champion of the Pride of Workmanship awards, as she loved to go out of her way to recognize people for their hard work, whether it was the good service at a restaurant or other workers in the community.
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