The 2013 Chamber of
Commerce Business Leader of the Year Award went to Jerry James
Lowell and Gene Huck
of Watertown, president and vice president respectively of
Atrex Oil and Gas. They own and manage one of Ohio’s largest oil and gas
producers, and are in on the ground floor of the new oil and gas extraction
boom in eastern Ohio. They employ 16 people locally and 500 in its area of
And the Gabe Zide
Citizen of the Year Award for 2013 went to former governor, lieutenant governor,
state representative, director of the governor’s office of Appalachia, mayor
and city council member Nancy Hollister.
She told WMOA News, “I don’t get caught
by surprise very often but I sure was tonight. It’s great to be with such good
folks, my fellow honorees. It’s a good class.”
Last night's keynote speaker, veteran Navy SEAL
and endurance athlete Don Mann, says he fell in love with Ohio's first permanent settlement when he drove into town.
“It’s such a nice,
quaint town, really a hidden gem as they call it. I was driving down the road,
looking left and right at all these old buildings, and the hotel is amazing.
And I’m honored to be here in this community tonight.”
Mann, who trained
SEAL Team Six - among many accomplishments – says lessons he’s learned on his
life’s journey lend themselves to motivating others.
“In my time being a
SEAL and training others to be SEALs, I came up with a philosophy to follow for
my whole life. In the teams we call it ‘combat mind set.’ When I speak on that
to civilians, students, athletes and business people, I say there’s a lot of
lessons we’ve learned that translate across disciplines and cross barriers. So
I’ve been enjoying this last couple of years, traveling around and sharing what