Montpelier Area Foundation Announces 2020 & 2021 Outstanding Citizens

OUTSTANDING CITIZENS…Montpelier Area Foundation announced their Outstanding Citizen awards for 2020 and 2021 at the annual meeting on October 28, 2021.  Left to right are Alice Miller who introduced Carlton and Laura Gray, and Melanie and Paul Haines with Barb Watson who introduced them.  Congratulations!! (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)

By: Rebecca Miller

Each year when the Montpelier Area Foundation has their annual meeting, they like to hear a speaker. This year they asked Jim Lee to share about the STEAM program with them. They met in the media room next to the STEAM room/Computer Lab so it was convenient.

Mr. Lee had a ball telling a large group of fascinated adults about the incredible equipment in the lab. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, so Lee showed how all of these school subjects and job force needs can be taught with the equipment the school now owns.

He stressed that as the students are coming out of Highschool, if they can have some beginner training under their belts, they will be more ready to be trained on the jobs that so need them.

A great need is for CNC operators (Computer Numerical Control) in the manufacturing companies of Northwest Ohio, specifically Williams County. He is hoping to send more workers into the area workforce a little more ready than they would have been without this program.

Following an hour with Mr. Lee, the board members (plus one) enjoyed refreshments and moved through the agenda of their annual meeting. President Deb Clum called the meeting to order.

The Board voted to approve the minutes from the last annual meeting, which was virtual;  the treasurer’s report from Amy Miller; the renewal of Board terms for Steve Yagelski, Alice Miller, Paul Gruetter and Kara Custar.  The slate of officers for the coming year were also approved, with Kara Custar moving into the Presidency, Barb Watson for VP and Rachael Sostoi-Willis as Secretary.

Honoring the Outstanding Citizens of 2020 and 2021 were special moments. Deb Clum announced the two couples. Alice Miller thanked Carlton and Laura Gray, the 2020 Outstanding Citizens award, saying that they have been incredibly involved in the community for 50 years.

She mentioned a number of specific things they have done including being instrumental years ago in bringing Dr. Clarence Bell to Montpelier, and in more recent years, revitalizing the log cabin at the fairgrounds.

She thanked them for all they do and said that a more full list of their loving efforts will be given when they receive their award at the 2022 Chamber Banquet.  “Although a year overdue,” she said she was glad to honor them.

Barb Watson thanked Paul and Melanie Hanes, the 2021 Outstanding Citizens award.  The Haines own Superior Farm Supplies and have been active in the community for a long time.

Watson shared a little about them, saying that the business has been a great addition to the area to make it easier on people who need repairs or supplies.  “I am very pleased to be their neighbor and welcome them as the Citizens for 2021.”

Deb Clum pointed out that over the past two years that have been so difficult, “we have really needed outstanding citizens.” The next annual meeting is scheduled for the third Thursday of October.

Rebecca can be reached at

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