Ashland Times-Gazette

Strine, Tremco receive awards from Chamber

May 16, 2008


T-G Staff Writer

Wrapping himself in aluminum foil and imitating a burrito gave graphic facilitator Kordell Norton a new perspective.

Norton was the keynote speaker during the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting Thursday at Ashland University's Convocation Center. Norton is the author of "Throwing Gas on the Fire -- creating drastic change in Sales and Marketing" and is a professional member of the National Speakers Association.

Life-changing moments are experiences. And offering experiences to customers is an opportunity for business success.

Norton said Chipotle restaurants offered free burritos on Halloween to anyone dressed as a burrito. He also cited last week's Papa John's 23-cent pizza deal.

During these promotions, businesses gave away products in exchange for publicity, offering customers an experience. Such promotions, Norton said, cause company stock to increase and spread awareness of the business.

While parents used to bake birthday cakes from scratch, now they take children to Chuck E. Cheese for an experience.

"Today's business world is demanding experiences from you," Norton said.

During the meeting, former Mayor Bill Strine was awarded the individual Spirit of the Chamber Award and Tremco was chosen as winner of the corporate Spirit of the Chamber Award.

"Any glory I get out of this strictly comes from all of you folks and the support you gave to me," Strine said.

Strine resigned as Ashland mayor Dec. 31 after serving in the position for six years. Strine also served as city finance director for 26 years before becoming mayor.

Tremco general manager Chris Kerr attributed the company's success to its employees.

"We truly are employee-driven and this award is their award," Tremco general manager Chris Kerr said.

Tremco exceeded its 2007 fiscal goal of reaching $25 million in sales and also clocked one million hours of work without a lost-time accident.

Ashland Eye Care and Towne Pharmacy were honored as recipients of the Quarter of Century Award -- recognizing members of the Chamber for 25 years.

During the meeting, the Chamber voted in new board members. Sue Highman will serve as new board chairwoman, replacing Dennis Miller. Outgoing board member Cindy Cutlip, who served on the board for four years, was replaced by Jack Starkey of Starkey Chiropractic.

Mayor Glen Stewart also gave a proclamation recognizing May 10 to 18 as the 25th National Tourism Week.

Ginger Christ can be reached at 419-281-0581 ext. 239 or at