MOUNT VERNON — Local entrepreneur and proud resident John Ellis was awarded the Walter Rudin Award Thursday night during the Heritage Centre Association’s Annual Awards Banquet. Ellis was selected for his longtime commitment and dedication to downtown Mount Vernon and the HCA.
In a video presentation announcing the award, Ellis was characterized as a family man, a business man and a man whose feet and heart are firmly planted in Mount Vernon. Ellis has been generous with sponsorship and contributions to HCA’s First Friday events and the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival. He has also dedicated himself to restoration efforts of the Odd Fellows building and several residences.
“Our family has been in business in Mount Vernon since 1946,” Ellis said after being surprised by the award. “It is one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Mount Vernon; that’s really difficult. Thank you, I really appreciate this award.”
The Small Business of the Year Award was presented to Paragraphs Bookstore.
“Paragraphs Bookstore has been serving the readers of Knox County since 1996,” said master of ceremonies Thom Collier. “... It is no small feat to be a growing company. Paragraphs has been an anchor in downtown.”
Accepting the award on behalf of owner Anne Storan was Lois Hanson who said part of the bookstore’s continued success is keeping up with the technological trends like ebooks and online sales.
Ohio Rental and The Gold Exchange were also nominated in the category.
Mid-Size Business of the Year was presented to Herald’s Appliances and Electronics.
“Herald’s was started in 1953 by Robert ‘Video’ Herald and occupied a spot on North Main Street for many years,” said Collier. “Today the store is located on South Main Street and is operated by Phil Herald, Bob’s son. ... Herald’s is now the largest independent audio, video and appliance company in Ohio.”
“I’m glad Mom and Dad moved from Indiana to Mount Vernon,” said Phil Herald. “I’m glad to be part of the downtown organization. I’m really proud of this. Thank you.”
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