The Odessa Record -

Chamber celebrates Person and Business of Year


March 22, 2018

--Photos for The Record by Terrie Schmidt-Crosby.

Brian Clavel, Tom Clavel and Nick Stewart are named Persons of the Year at Saturday evening's Chamber of Commerce annual banquet and business meeting.

The Chamber banquet held last Saturday evening drew a good crowd of folks who managed to panic the organizers by waiting until the last minute to buy their tickets. On Wednesday of last week, very few tickets had been sold. At the banquet itself, however, more than 100 people bowed their head as the invocation was led by Pastor Jon Hayashi prior to being served a meal of pork tenderloin, wild rice and carrots cooked up by the Odessa chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America.

Since the date was March 17, the banquet was of course themed as a celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Most folks had found something green and wore it with pride, whether they were Irish, German or a descendant of some other nationality.

Door prizes and raffle prizes were awarded throughout the evening, donated by local businesses or purchased by the Chamber. The grand prize was worth several hundred dollars and was won by local dentist Dr. Mike Condon. In fact, Condon and his wife Michelle were also the lucky winners of the prize for being the best-dressed folks at the event in their tartan kilt and dress, respectively (wait a minute, isn't that Scottish?). Well, regardless of the origins of their costumes, the couple were dressed to the nines and deserved the "best dressed" moniker.

After the dinner, the awards for Volunteer of the Year and Business of the Year were awarded. Nominations had been held at meetings of the Chamber of Commerce and were voted on by members present at the most recent meeting. The results were not announced ahead of time, so the nominees were surprised at the banquet. Chamber member Ted Bruya announced the winners.

For their volunteer efforts on behalf of the Chamber, the town of Odessa, Deutschesfest and many other civic endeavors, Tom Clavel, his stepson Nick Stewart and his son Brian Clavel were awarded the honor of 2018 Persons of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce of Odessa as Tom's wife Gwen looked on proudly. Each of the three received his own individually inscribed plaque at the banquet. Next time you see Tom and his boys putting up or taking down the town's Christmas decorations, be sure to give them a friendly wave.

Zach Schafer and his wife Katie receive the Chamber's Business of the Year award on behalf of Rocky Coulee Brewing Co.

Business of the Year went this year to Rocky Coulee Brewing Company and its manager Zach Schafer, who also serves as this year's Chamber president. Zach and his wife Katie were also on hand to accept the award. The brewery has been involved in Deutschesfest, was instrumental in bringing the Stumpjumpers Motorcycle Club to Odessa for their events and has established scholarships for local youth that are awarded at graduation. Zach is the youngest son of Tom and Lynnie Schafer of Odessa and has long been involved in running the Odessa micro-brewery that was established by his father in 2001 and then opened for business in 2002.

The evening was topped off with live music and dancing, as a Spokane band called Karma's Circle took to the stage following announcement of the awards, door prizes and raffle prizes.


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