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'Social worker of real estate' among Chamber honorees

October 13, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Described as a "social worker of real estate," Elva Kroeger of Jack Gaughen Realtor ERA was honored with the Athena Award Thursday night at the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce annual awards reception.

The Athena Award is presented for excellence in business, community service and assisting other women in reaching their full leadership potential, past recipient Yvonne Butts-Mitchell of Embarq said in presenting the award.

"Elva Kroeger is a hero for today," Butts-Mitchell said, noting Kroeger's work with such groups as Habitat for Humanity, the American Heart Association and her church. As a single mother, Butts-Mitchell said Kroeger has been instrumental in assisting other women facing those responsibilities succeed.

Amy Fager of Madison Settlement Services was named Volunteer of the Year by Chamber President David Sciamanna.

"She has devoted hundreds and hundreds of hours this year" to the Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation, the Festival of Trees and TRUCE, the chamber's anti-drug program in local schools.

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"I've been in the community a very short time, five years ... I made it my goal to make this my home," Fager said.

Wilson College President Lorna Duphiney Edmundson presented the Environmental Sustainability Award to the Falling Spring Chapter of Trout Unlimited for its work in preserving that popular Chambersburg trout stream and Campbell's Run in St. Thomas, Pa. Chapter President Mike Heck, a professional fishing guide, said the chapter spent about $260,000 this year, primarily to acquire more than a mile of wetlands along the banks of the Falling Spring for public use.

"I've guided people from California to Japan to fish that little stream," Heck said.

Hirschmann Automation and Control, manufacturer of communications and process control equipment, received the Innovator Award. President Mark Hendel said the company will build its headquarters for North and South America in Chambersburg next year.

The first Technology Award went to Global Data Consultants. Founded by Greg Courtney in 1995, the technology consulting firm now has nearly 100 employees.

Three awards were presented for property improvement. In the $150,000 to $500,000 category, the award went to Starbucks Coffee, which renovated a former diner at the corner of Lincoln Way East and Stouffer Avenue.

Franklin County was presented the award for property improvement costing more than $500,000 for renovating Building 3 on Franklin Farm Lane. Built in 1854 as the Franklin County Poor House, the building houses Veterans Affairs, Management Information Systems and other county offices.

The award for historic preservation went to Wilson College for restoration of an 1897 Tiffany stained glass window entitled "Hypatia Receiving Instruction," now housed in the college's Lenfest Atrium.

The reception was sponsored by Target, which employs more than 600 people at its distribution center in Chambersburg and will open a store at Chambersburg Crossing in March, Distribution Center General Manager Eric Wickson said. Store Manager Greg Wicklem said the company will begin the hiring of 180 employees in January.

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