Merchants Bank of Indiana and Four Day Ray shared the honor of being named Business of the Year at OneZone’s December 11th awards luncheon at Ritz Charles. Business of the Year awards were given to recognize a small- to medium-sized business and a large business.
Awards were also presented for young professional of the year, volunteer of the year, new construction, renovation and, green award. There was also the Harold Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award and the Difference Maker Award.
Business of the Year Awards
Business of the Year is presented to businesses based on their success in growth and stability, commitment to quality, creative and unique solutions to challenges, entrepreneurial spirit and overall contribution to the community
The Business of the Year award for a small- to medium-sized business was presented to Four Day Ray. Four Day Ray is a local craft brewery in Fishers. They opened their doors in 2016 with the focus on their community and making Fishers a world class city.
Merchants Bank of Indiana was honored with the Business of the Year award for a large business. Merchants Bank of Indiana was Founded in 1990, Merchants Bancorp is a diversified bank holding company headquartered in Carmel, Indiana operating multiple lines of business, including Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) multi-family housing and healthcare facility financing and servicing; mortgage warehouse financing; retail and correspondent residential mortgage banking; agricultural lending; and traditional community banking.
Young Professional of the Year Award
The Young Professional of the Year Award recognizes a business person between the ages of 21 and 40 who has demonstrated leadership and passion for making a difference in his community based on leadership, mentorship, community involvement and entrepreneurship.
Erik Braden, Braden Business Systems, received the Young Professional of the Year award. Erik spent much of his early career on Wall Street, specializing in Mergers & Acquisitions and working in a competitive and challenging environment. It was there that he cut his teeth in the business atmosphere and returned to his home in central Indiana. Erik joined Braden Business Systems 4 years ago. During his time at Braden he successfully led the project to build their new headquarters in Fishers, led four acquisitions to increase headcount and revenue, while expanding the organization's footprint further into the Midwest, and is involved with a local Young Presidents Organization which has proven very successful.
Volunteer of the Year Award
The Volunteer of the Year award was established to celebrate and recognize outstanding volunteer contributions by individuals who also work full time.
This year’s recipient is Adam Aasen, Donatello’s Italian Restaurant. Adam is a small business owner in downtown Carmel. Adam has been an active volunteer for organizations including, Carmel Rotary Club, Humane Society of Hamilton County, Chaucie’s Place, the Carmel Education Foundation, and helps organize the Hamilton County Young Republicans Annual Toy Drive.
New Construction Award
Nominees for new construction and renovation were judged on the quality of work, appropriateness of the construction to its surroundings and the contribution of the project to the overall look of the community.
This year’s winner of the New Construction Award is KAR Global. Headquartered in Carmel, Indiana, KAR has more than 15,000 employees and maintains business units across the United States, Canada, Mexico, the UK and Europe. The 13-acresite, 250,000 square-foot office building features an open floorplan and broad collaborative workspaces. The building was designed to reflect both the company’s rich auto auction history and their international and technology-driven growth. Contributing to the project were RATIO Architects, Shiel Sexton, Gaylor Electric, Ice Miller, Ginovus, CBRE Group, PURE Development, US Realty.
This year’s winner of the Renovation Award is The Bluffs at Conner Prairie. In April 2019, Conner Prairie reopened the restored Chinese House with two important additions: the Lilly Legacy and The Bluffs at Conner Prairie. The new Lilly Legacy Room reflects on Mr. Lilly’s passion of preservation, and his blending of Western and Eastern cultures to create a place of harmony that has had a lasting impact on Conner Prairie. The Bluffs at Conner Prairie is a 275-seat banquet facility that expands the Lilly legacy of Conner Prairie as a special gathering place. Contributing to the project include RATIO Architects, Brandt Construction, and Ritz Charles.
The Green Award recognizes an organization, company or association that is solving environmental challenges using innovative and green practices or by setting up creative partnerships to enhance the environment.
This year’s award was presented to Hamilton Southeaster School District. HSE installed 4,800 solar panels in 2019. These arrays have an annual predicted production of 2,385,600kWhs. This will power three of the 23 in the district. The solar arrays are projected to help save the district over $7 million dollars over 20 years. The incorporation of solar arrays will also help HSE avoid releasing 1,318 metric tons of carbon dioxide yearly. The arrays are also being utilized in the curriculum. Hamilton Southeastern’s Energy Manager has spoken to over 2,000 students this year about the opportunities the solar arrays have provided for the school.
Lifetime Achievement and Difference Maker Awards
The Harold Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual from Carmel and the Difference Maker Award is presented to an individual from Fishers in recognition of their commitment to business in these communities.
The Harold Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award, given to an individual from Carmel, was presented to Mark Westermeier, Former Director of Parks at the City of Carmel. Westermeier was named Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation Director in 2004. During his 15 years at Parks Director he has been a part of the Extended School Enrichment at Carmel Clay Schools; helped open the Monon Community Center and added Central Park, Hazel Landing Park, Founders Park, and West Park. During his time as director the Carmel Clay Parks achieve 100% cost recovery.
Mike Reuter, was presented the Difference Maker Award for Fishers. Reuter has been the Chief Financial Officer for Hamilton Southeastern Schools since 1994. During his time at HSE he has seen the school district grow to be the fourth largest in the state of Indiana. A valued expert on school funding, Reuter has played instrumental roles in the district’s referendum success.
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