bbedf1ab 83c2 42ca 9ec0 5c0722509f8b Kleer Garry SAGAMORE

State Rep. Brad Barrett presents Garry Kleer with a Sagamore of the Wabash award.

RICHMOND, Ind. — Garry Kleer recently was honored as a Sagamore of the Wabash.

The Sagamore of the Wabash is the highest honor awarded by an Indiana governor for exemplary service to the state, according to a news release. State Rep. Brad Barrett presented the award during the recent chairman’s banquet at the Indiana Bankers Association convention in French Lick.

Kleer, the chairman, president and CEO of First Bank Richmond, was the IBA’s chair.

“Garry has done a wonderful job leading the IBA as the 2022 chairman,” said Amber R. Van Til, president andCEO of the IBA. “I’ve come to learn in my travels with Garry and my time spent in his institution that he’s well-loved by his employees. I think one of the markers of a true leader — a servant leader, which I know Garry tobe — is how the employees view him and receive him.”

Kleer serves on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County, Reid Health Foundation, Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Wayne County Foundation.

“I think Garry’s legacy will be building a better community through collaboration,” added Paul J. Witte, seniorvice president and commercial lending manager at First Bank Richmond. “Garry is good at organizing peopleand bringing ideas together. He’s very approachable. He likes to hear what people are saying, he wants to hearwhat people are saying, and I guarantee you that he will leave the banking community, the IBA and First BankRichmond a better place than when he found them.”

Kleer also was inducted with the IBA Leaders in Banking Excellence and has received the Indiana University East Chancellor’s Medallion, Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, Richmond/Wayne County Distinguished Community Leader, and Boys & Girls Clubs Man and Youth Award. In 2020, he was awarded the Indiana University Bicentennial Medal for distinguished service, and he currently is a member of the Large Community Bank Council of the Independent Community Bankers of America.

CIS fundraiser

Communities in Schools’ All In For Kids fundraising campaign has begun.

The goal is to raise $75,000 before the campaign closes Sept. 30, according to a news release.

Donations may be made online at or by mailing checks to Communities In Schools of Wayne County, 33 S. Seventh St., Richmond, IN 47374.

During the 2021-22 school year, Communities in Schools provided intensive case management to 978 Wayne County students, according to a news release. Those services include supplying food and clothing, teaching students skills to cope with traumatic life events and connecting families with resources that prevent homelessness.

The fundraising campaign makes it possible for Communities in Schools to continue providing the necessary level of services.

Chamber summit

The Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce will have its second Chamber Business Summit on Oct. 14.

The daylong conference includes breakout sessions, a business expo, a keynote speaker and a networking luncheon on the Indiana University East campus. Breakout sessions include the topics accounting/financial, administration/leadership, human resources, marketing, small business and young professional.

David Rendall will be the featured speaker. He helps audiences learn to turn their weaknesses into strengths.

Other speakers include: Tyler Moore from Bolt Media, Sgt. Adam Blanton from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Yan Liu from IU East, Kara Bellew from IU East, Phyu Aung Myint from IU East, Tim Scales from IU East, Ashley Sieb, Lorri Barnett from Purdue Polytechnic Richmond and Sarah Murlin from Reid Health.

Registration is available at

Flu-Lapalooza returns

Meridian Health services is offering free flu shots Oct. 13 as its Flu-Lapalooza returns.

The shots are available 1 to 6 p.m. for ages 6 months and older at Meridian locations, including MeridianMD at 520 S. Ninth St. in Richmond.

Participants do not need to be Meridian patients and can register to win a $50 grocery gift card.

Integrity Award winner

Mike Straszheim, owner of Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services of Richmond and Centerville, received the franchise system’s Integrity Award, the company’s highest honor.

Straszheim’s franchise also received a Salt & Light Award for community service. He was recognized during an annual owners retreat in Nashville.

Straszheim was recognized at Office Pride’s annual owners’ retreat, which was held Aug. 24-27, according to a news release.

The annual Integrity Award recognizes individuals who exemplify Office Pride’s core values and reflects honesty, integrity, a servant’s attitude and honoring God. Nominators described Straszheim as “one of the kindest people you will ever meet” and added that Straszheim “is able to hold to his convictions with grace, and though he may disagree with someone, the person will feel only respect and desire for well-being from him.”

Straszheim’s franchise received the Salt & Light Award for its support of AWAKE (Action With Abounding Kingdom Effects). Straszheim serves on AWAKE’s board and helps start businesses and provide jobs, goods and services to combat poverty.

Co-Alliance headquarters

Co-Alliance, an Indiana-based agriculture and energy cooperative, has moved its corporate headquarters to a larger Indianapolis site.

The new site at 770 N. High School Road better accommodates Co-Alliance’s growing team than its former Avon site, according to a news release.

Co-Alliance has area locations at 1435 N.W. Fifth St., Richmond; 4379 Jacksonburg Road, Hagerstown; 1481 S. Germantown Road, Pershing; and 107 N. Industrial Drive, Lynn.

Cool product contest

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is accepting entries for its Coolest Thing Made in Indiana contest.

Entries for the bracket-style tournament with winners based on fan votes is Oct. 20. Products entered must be manufactured in Indiana. To enter, companies must fill out an application at

Janus Motorcycles of Goshen won the inaugural tournament over Valparaiso’s Hoosier Bat Company. Centerville’s Warm Glow Candle Company advanced to the semifinals before losing to the eventual champion. In the third round, Warm Glow defeated Greens Fork company Birthday Chocolates.

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