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Alyx Schoonover reacts after hearing Schoonover Industries was named Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce 2006 Small Business of the Year. The business also won the award in 1994, becoming the first two-time winner.
Times-Gazette photo/Tom E. Puskar
Employees make the difference
Schoonover Industries owner credits workers for second award

T-G Staff Writer

Robert Schoonover credited his employees with helping make his company the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. It was the second time Schoonover Industries has been tapped for that honor.

"The way to have a good company is to carefully select your people," Schoonover said.

His company, which has been in the metal fabrication business for more than 20 years, was chosen from seven finalists, who were honored Tuesday at the 13th Small Business Awards Luncheon at the Convocation Center.

Schoonover introduced his "dream team," key company employees who accompanied him Tuesday. He also put in a special word for his other key employees holding down the fort at the metal fabrication business.

"It's the 28 people who aren't standing up here," he said. "The ones who do the heavy lifting are the ones who aren't here."

Other Small Business of the Year finalists included Aber's Towing & Crane Service, Ashland Express, Bendon Publishing International, Bill Harris Auto Center, Challenge Fasteners and Sorellas II.

"You represent the best of the best," said Dennis Miller, regional president of National City Bank. "Whether you are the ultimate winner, you are to be congratulated."

Miller provided sponsor remarks and also gave recognition to a new business, Retail Detail 1, Professional Auto Detailing and Window Tinting.

Mayor Bill Strine presented a proclamation and praised the area's small businesses for their contributions to the community.

The mayor cited the recent water distribution system mishaps.

"It's an unpleasant thing when you have things going wrong in the city," Strine said. "It's always nice in those emergencies when the community pulls together. You wouldn't believe how many small businesses offered their help."

For a complete version of this story, see Wednesday's Times-Gazette. To subscribe or get a copy of the paper containing this story mailed to you, call 419-281-0581.

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