It’s no secret the City of Delaware has become a coveted place to live, especially for young families. As for the reasons why people are flocking to the city, one has to look no further than the people who make up the community. People like Susan Wells.
A longtime supporter of Delaware City Schools, Wells was named the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year during its annual dinner and awards ceremony held Monday at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris.
Prior to announcing Wells had been chosen for the prestigious honor, Dusty Hostutler, chairman-elect of the chamber board, said the recipient is “spotted around the Delaware City School District so often that one could be confused,” and she is “the type of individual who would make any organization she’s associated with better.”
Hostutler added that not only does Wells help organize events for students and teachers, but her involvement on levy and bond issue committees over the years has helped the district garner voter support while other area districts have seen similar levies voted down.
“She inspires people to have the courage to do things they may not see as possible, and she helps drive results with winning efforts,” he said. “There is not a citizen, who has without any thought of recognition or acknowledgment, done more for an organization than she has done for Delaware City Schools.”
Officials at DCS couldn’t agree more.
“Susan is one of those people who has endless energy,” said Director of Communications Jennifer Ruhe. “Not only is she active at her children’s three schools (Smith, Dempsey and Hayes), she has spent many hours volunteering at the district level.
“No task is too small, and no task is too big for her to take on. Every time we ask for help, she says, ‘Let’s do it,’ without hesitation.”
Wells left speechless
During her acceptance speech, Wells said the honor was unexpected as she thought she was in attendance strictly as a “plus-one.”
Instead of tooting her own horn, Wells took a moment to thank her husband, Tim, for supporting her in everything she does, and DCS Superintendent Paul Craft for his support and giving her the chance to give back to the school district.
“Years ago, (Craft) found me at an event, and he started talking about a levy. It all started there,” Wells recalled.
She also thanked those who have made it their mission in life to help the city’s youth.
“I just want to thank Delaware City Schools, especially, for giving me the opportunity to serve in the schools,” she said. “They are an amazing group of people who do amazing work every day. They serve our children; they feed our children; they support our children; and along the way, they educate our children.”
Wells added volunteering is simply her way of lending a hand to the community she feels blessed to call home.
“I’m just so honored to give back to a community that’s given so much to me and my family,” she said.
The fact Wells used her time at the podium to thank the school district for its contributions toward making the city a desirable place to live and raise a family didn’t come as a surprise to those who have seen her devote so much of her time to the betterment of DCS.
“We know how fortunate we are to have Susan as an advocate for our schools,” Ruhe said. “Delaware is an amazing community, and there are so many worthy candidates for an award like this, but Susan really demonstrates the power each of us has to make a difference. She is a team player who always gives credit to others, but her perseverance is one of the main reasons many projects come to fruition.”
Along with the announcement of the Citizen of the Year award, the chamber also handed out the following awards:
• Wayne Hilborn Lifetime Achievement Award: Joe DiGenova, posthumously
• Large Business of the Year: Burgess & Niple
• Small Business of the Year: Hetter Heating & Cooling
• Quality of Life Award: Recreation Unlimited
• Innovation in Business Award: Richwood Bank
• Corporate Citizen of the Year: Two Men & A Truck Columbus
• Outstanding Chamber Member of the Year: Ohio Living Sarah Moore
Contact Joshua Keeran at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @KeeranGazette.