GREENFIELD — Whether they were in person or present virtually, all eyes were on a celebration of all things Greenfield 11 a.m. Monday as Greenfield Chamber/Main Street and Development held its annual meeting at Hotel Greenfield to a limited in-person audience.
As part of the event, three men were recipients of Appreciation Awards for their contribution to the organizations. These awards were in lieu of the usual Community Impact Awards because of the pandemic forcing everyone in the community to do extraordinary things to carry on.
Recipients of these appreciation awards were Jack Brown, Gail Steward and Brian Eisbach. All three are stepping away in some way from the organizations at this time, Brown as a past treasurer and current board member, Steward as the Greenfield Development Corporation President most recently and Eisbach as the most recent Economic Vitality Chair on the Chamber board.
Brown said that he was in the middle of enticing several large employers to Greenfield, employers like Cardinal IG and Siegwerk, which is the ink plant that now goes by CRT, traveling to Minnesota to talk with Cardinal officials and Germany to speak with Siegwerk leaders before those respective employers decided to locate in Greenfield. He counts the Warren Cultural Center restoration and constant upkeep of the Public Square as other positive things the community has done or been involved in.
“It was quite a whole operation getting people into a community to set up shop. There were a lot of people involved,” Brown remembers. “There are a lot of good businesses. That’s why Greenfield is still viable.”
Steward said he “probably didn’t add much,” however he can list off several projects that have been done throughout his years of service that were a benefit to the community, such as the development corporation buying the land and leasing that land and building that housed Pamida then ShopKo, as well as doing the same thing with the building that now houses the Adair County Health and Fitness Center.
“I enjoyed doing it anyway,” Steward said. “My mail goal was to do whatever I could do to add the town. That’s the whole idea of development, to keep things going. You can’t stay stagnant.”
Eisbach calculates that the reason Greenfield keeps moving forward is because the people who live here and those who give a little extra push behind the scenes to make things happen.
“Working for a community bank that is community-minded, I think our bank does a good job of making sure people are involved and doing things. I can’t say enough about Stacie Eshelman. She’s a rockstar. Her ideas, her energy. She knows so many people throughout the state as resources. The rest of the Chamber board are all phenomenal as well,” Eisbach said. “With my term coming up, I just decided that it was time for me to step away. There are a lot of people who have gone on and off and I think they’re in good hands.”
During the business meeting portion of the event, Steward introduced Paul Nelson as the incoming Greenfield Development Corporation President and gave a report of the last year’s activities. Nelson relayed that board members and officers for 2021 will include himself as President; Scott Tonderum, Vice-President; Tim Baier, Secretary; Todd Jones, Treasurer; and board members Paul Croghan, David Davis, Charlie Dunn, Heather Shaull and Josh Rardin.
Gina School gave a report from Chamber/Main Street on yearly activities and listed the year’s board members. They include Gina School, President; Stephanie Valentine, Vice-President; Lynn Don Carlos, Secretary/Treasurer; Jane Ernst, Past President; and board members Diane Allsup as Chamber Chair; Nathan Maynes as Tourism Chair; Suzanne Wagner as Design Chair and Rena Freeland as Retail Chair.