Board member Sharon Church at her desk at St.Vincent Mercy Hospital, where she is controller.
Who better to represent Elwood’s Chamber of Commerce than someone whose roots run deep in the very community they represent?
Roots don’t run much deeper than Sharon Church’s. She was born and raised in Elwood, graduated from Elwood Community High School, married her husband, Kevin, in Elwood’s East Main Street Christian Church, and when she was ready to settle into a career and raise a family, she and Kevin decided to stay right here in the very town they had called home their entire lives.
Lucky Strike Lanes owner, Chuck Kane
When Chuck Kane accepted a consulting job in Warsaw seven years ago, he thought it would be a one-year commitment. But earlier this summer, after seven years in Warsaw, the Elwood native decided it was time to come home, where he could apply his professional expertise to updating his own business, Lucky Strike Lanes. Since then, that’s where his entire focus has been.
“We’ve been tweaking old ideas,” Chuck said, “stealing some and coming up with new ones all our own. … We have a lot of potential. If our stars align, we’ll have some success.”
Editor’s note: It seems like Chamber member Amber Loy-Boston, owner of Cloud Nine Therapeutic Massage, is always on the go. We got lucky recently when we caught up with her for a few minutes, just long enough to ask a few questions about what made her decide to go into massage therapy, how she started her business, what led to all the other services, and what she sees in her future. Following is the result of that conversation.
Q: What led you to decide to go into business for yourself?
A: It was 2008. During a birthday party for my best friend’s son, the moment had come to break the news that we were moving to Florida. It was mentioned for me to go to massage therapy school to continue what Amber Ball had already pioneered seven years prior in Elwood.
The Elwood Chamber welcomed four new members to its board of directors this year. One of the members is Alicia Macke (formerly Hoose), an employee of Red Gold, an Elwood native, and a new bride. As a former Elwood entrepreneur, Alicia brings a perspective to the Chamber board that is as fresh as it is experienced. As her two-year term gets under way, we are eager to learn more about her and her ideas. A recent Q&A interview with Alicia provides a preview.
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Elwood but moved to Frankton approximately two years ago. I graduated from Elwood High School and Indiana Business College, now known as Harrison College. I have two children, Preston and Ashlyn Hoose. I recently expanded my family and added two more kids - Jake and Anna Macke - when Jerry and I married March 11.
Serving as many as 60 different, delectable flavors, Taylor’s Dairy, 717 East Main Street, is an ice-cream lover’s paradise.
Just look at its list of specialties: Butter Pecan, Amaretto Cherry, Majestic Milky Way, Orange-Pineapple, Elephant Ear, Blueberry Muffintop, Birthday Cake, Caramel Coffee Latte, and something called Cow Tippin’ (vanilla ice cream with swirls of caramel and chunks of chocolate, with chocolate-shaped cows filled with caramel). And that’s just one sixth of Taylor’s current selection!
Tom Austin and Elwood are inseparable. Elwood is where Austin was born, where he grew up, went to school, got married, and worked his entire career – first as a teacher, then principal, and finally superintendent.
Elwood is in his blood, and that is why he is so well-suited to lead the Elwood Chamber of Commerce.
Austin has long valued chambers of commerce for the work they do for their communities – promoting local commerce, tourism and people. It’s the reason he maintained a membership in the Elwood Chamber on behalf of the Elwood Community School Corporation throughout his years as superintendent.
The Perfect Petal’s owner/operator, Kathy Deavers, has a passion for arranging flowers and has been doing it for years. When she finally decided to make her passion a commercial business this past September, she did so not only because she loves what she does, but she also did it as a sort of tribute to her mom and dad.
“I was making arrangements as gifts for family members,” Kathy said, “and my parents encouraged me to open a flower shop so others could enjoy my arrangements. They thought I had talent and should share it. So I did it in memory of my mom and dad.”
Wells Bowling Lanes, located east of Elwood on State Road 37, has been in operation since the spring of 1960. Owner Joe Wells said it all started because his father, Ed Wells, needed a place to bowl.
“Dad, who was a contractor, built it himself,” Joe recalls. “We were from Alexandria and the bowling center over there had eight lanes upstairs with pin boys. But Dad liked to bowl, and the only other place to bowl close by was a six-laner here in Elwood. So he decided to build one himself.”