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Aurora -- The man who has served as the city's mayor longer than anyone else was honored last week as the Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year.
At the Chamber's annual holiday party at ThornCreek Winery and Gardens, recently resigned mayor Lynn McGill earned the honor, while the UPS Store owned and operated by Chris and Trudy Capel was named Business of the Year.
LYNN McGILL - top citizen
"McGill sets the gold standard for service to the community," said Chamber Executive Director Laura Holman. "His commitment and dedication to supporting all that makes Aurora a special place to live, work and visit is nothing less than inspirational."
McGill, 83, recently resigned as mayor for health reasons after serving 11 years (one year short of three full terms). He was a Council member for 12 years from 1990-2001 and was the first Council president in 1998-99.
McGill talked briefly at the holiday party about growing up in Harrison and Tuscarawas counties, and about some city improvements during his tenure as mayor. He praised the cooperation shown by all the city department heads and employees he's worked with.
McGill graduated from New Philadelphia High School and attended Bowling Green State University, where he studied economics and business administration. He had a long professional career with the IBM Corp., and was a consultant for the Digital Equipment Corp. for five years. He has worked in and with city governments for more than 50 years.
Some of his other affiliations are the Aurora Community Theatre, Church in Aurora, Aurora American Legion Post 803 and VFW Post 2629. He is a military veteran.
McGill's wife, Sally, is a former Chamber citizen of the year, and has been known for her musical talents with the Church in Aurora choir and Aurora Community Theatre.
UPS STORE - TOP BUSINESS
"These small business owners exemplify customer service as they strive to meet and exceed the needs of the individuals, businesses and organizations that are their customers," said Holman.
The Christmas season marks the 10th anniversary of the UPS Store in Barrington Town Square. The Capels also own the UPS Store on East Main Street in Kent.
The Capels purchased the UPS Store in Aurora in 2002 and purchased and expanded the Kent location in 2007.
In addition to the owners, there are four part-time employees at each location, including high school and college students and a paramedic in training.
In the UPS franchise, the Aurora store has won a bronze award for the last two years and is ranked the No. 1 store out of 24 in the Akron-Canton market. The Kent store is ranked No. 4 and has earned one bronze award.
"The Chamber of Commerce has played a significant roll in the success and growth of our business over the years," wrote the Capels.
The UPS store provides printed materials such as postcards, menus, business cards, yard signs, programs, brochures, canvases, banners and greeting cards.
The store also ships many packages via UPS, especially during the Christmas season.
A complete transformation at the Aurora store is planned in 2013. It plans an open house next fall when the makeover is completed.
The store currently is selling photographs on canvas by Walden resident Paula Kolp. She photographs the Walden golf course, horses and barns in the area.
The UPS store has worked with many local businesses and organizations over the years.
The chamber accepts nominations from the public each year for person and business of the year, and the board of directors selects a recipient from the nominations.
Outgoing Chamber President Holly Novotny was recognized at the party, along with office assistant Lisa Dreimiller, whom Novotny credited with being extremely helpful during this year's changeover in executive directors from Mary Sullivan to Laura Holman.
The new board for 2013 was announced. Officers will be Brad Duguay of Custom Pultrusions, president; Lisa Kusner of Aurora Farms Premium Outlets, vice president; Doug Wieder of Mill Distributors, treasurer; and Karen Bosley of Cortland Banks, secretary.
Other board members are Lori Davis of Wildwater Kingdom, Dottie Dupuy of Howard Hanna, Michelle Harman of Harman Home Design, Charisse Louis of Charene Creative, Jim Maulis of Graphics by Design and Laura Radcliff of Edward Jones.
Ex-officio board member is Novotny of Harry & David, while school liaison is Superintendent Russ Bennett and city liaison is Councilman John Kudley.
Retiring board members are Novotny and Amie Cajka of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189