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Annual Awards

Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards

The Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce holds an Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet on the 2nd Thursday in September, which is September 12, 2024.  In addition to the Business Achievement Awards given out to Chamber members for their years of service, the following awards are awarded that evening:


Michael A. Schultz Leadership Award

The Michael A. Schultz Leadership Award is given to an individual in the community who has exhibited exceptional leadership and dedicated their time and talents for the betterment of the Defiance area. This prestigious award is given to someone who has made significant contributions to the community and their profession.

Past winners of the Michael A. Schultz Leadership Award


2003 Vince Polce
2004 Pete Lundberg
2005 Greg Reineke
2006 Bud Williams
2007 Robert Serrick
2008 Mark and Sal Hench
2009 Norm Walker
2010 Larry Yoder
2011 William Koester
2012 Mark Moats
2013 Jerry Buti
2014 William 'Bill' Small
2015 Rod Martin​
2016 ​Tom Held
2017 ​Mark Klein
2018 ​David Westrick
2019 ​Jerry Hayes
2020 Bryan Keller
2021 Mike & Laurie McCann
2022 Doug & Jennifer Shindler
2023 Robert Morton

Quality of Life Award

The Quality of Life Award recognizes the contributions an individual, business or organization provides to the Quality of Life in our Community.

Past winners of the Quality of Life Award
2003 Mary Barnes
2004 Frank Simonis
2005 Richard Stroede
2006 Jody Doyle
2007 Ann Melton
2008 Donna Polce
2009 Rick Small
2010 Glenn Kuhn
2011 Randy Buchman
2012 Paul & Linda Brose
2013 Annette Kuhlman
2014 Jack Palmer & Mary Steyer
2015 Cindy Mack
2016 ​Sam Switzer
​2017 ​Jeff Strausbaugh
​2018 Gary Cates
​2019 ​​Bill & Priscilla Pixler
2020 Jamie Gerken
2021 Jerry Latta
2022 Peter Lundberg
2023 Rob Cereghin

4 Under 40 Award

The 4 Under 40 Awards are intended for individuals who have distinguished themselves early in their profession and/or career. It is meant to inspire young leaders in our community to excel to their full potential.

Past winners of the 4 Under 40 Award
2013 Stephanie Small
Kelly Worline
Aaron Keller
Doug Plassman
2014 Brianna Clemens
Annette Hoeffel
Brandon McCann
Jeff Starner
2015 John Cates
Tim Hauenstein
Dr. Megan DeTray
Ryan Mack
2016 Jake Oberlin
Amanda Kissner
Kirk Jones
Savanna Weber
2017 None Awarded this year
2018 Lisa Bloomfield
Katie Groff-Held
Michael Wahl
Logan Wolfrum
2019 Jason Bernal
Karin Black
Kirstie Mack
Jonathan Wolfrum
2020 Jessica Kajfasz
Drew Shindler
Nick Siewert
Alesha Switzer
2021 Sarah Cates
Jenna Karr
Shaun Mack
Brett Wagner
2022 Joseph Ewers
Steven Furnas
Ethan Stykemain
Nicole Wells
2023 Abby Wolfrum
Kasey Schwartz
Sean O'Donnell
Nick Wichman

Good Citizen Award

The Good Citizen Award: This prestigious award, endowed by the Laurie and Mike McCann Family began in 2015 and is presented annually to one of Defiance area’s outstanding citizens. In addition to this fund maintained through the Defiance Area Foundation, the family established the following criteria to qualify for the award. Each nominee must be or have been:

  • A promoter (individual or couple) of the Defiance Area for at least 10 years.
  • Active in unpaid positions in organizations providing services to Defiance County.
  • In a leadership position of a nonprofit and/or volunteer organization.
  • Associated with at least one outstanding accomplishment in Defiance County. Nominations are accepted by the Defiance Area Foundation
Past winners of the Good Citizen Award
2015 Nelson Hahn
2016 Darrell Jones
2017 John Diehl and Tom Boals
2018 Randy Buchman
2019 Rita Kissner
2020 Carrie Wetstein
2021 Terry & Ann Melton
2022 Jeff Batt
2023 Ginny Sterling