STARLIGHT — The News and Tribune took home one of seven awards given to businesses and nonprofits Thursday night at One Southern Indiana's 28th ONE Awards program.

“This is our annual opportunity to showcase businesses that are doing great things,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, president of 1si. “My only regret is we can’t give awards to more businesses.”

The River Valley Financial Bank Business of the Year Award for companies with 50 or fewer employees was presented to the News and Tribune.

Serving Clark and Floyd counties and published six days a week, the News and Tribune is the community’s leading source for news, sports and entertainment. Founded in the 1800s as The Evening News in Clark County and the Tribune in Floyd, the papers were separate until 2011 when they merged to become the News and Tribune.

The paper also organizes the Power of Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Gala, and has raised $77,000 since its creation in 2013.

“The paper has been doing what it does for so long, it’s rewarding for not just the current staff but everybody that came before,” said Publisher Bill Hanson.

OTHER AWARDS

The Strothman and Company PSC Rising Star Award for those in businesses between one and five years went to Extol Magazine, a lifestyle publication dedicated to celebrating southern Indiana and metro Louisville.

The free bimonthly publication debuted in February 2015. In addition to the printed magazine, Extol’s website features on-line extras, including podcasts.

The new Business Retention and Expansion Project of the Year Award was given to Beach Mold & Tool, Inc., a manufacturing entity headquartered in New Albany and dealing in plastic injection molding technologies, precision tool making and processing completed assemblies for a global customer base.

Also new was the Brown-Forman Diversity Champion Award presented to the City of Jeffersonville.

Working with the city’s human resources department, Jeffersonville strives to ensure fair hiring, promotion, and disciplinary practices. The city has a detailed Equal Employment Opportunity policy of non-discrimination, professional training annually for all mangers, supervisors, and employees.

The final newcomer was the Wellness Coalition of Southern Indiana Growing Healthy Lives Award, which went to Baptist Health.

Headquartered in Louisville, Baptist Health provides the “Healthier Together” wellness program for its more than 16,000 employees. The program supports critical changes in their employee’s lives, such as smoking cessation, weight loss, and stress relief.

The award “means a lot,” said Dr. Isaac Myers, chief health integration officer and president of the Baptist Health Medical Group. “The team has really worked and put in the time over the years to build this program and to have something that is measurable and engaging.”

The Stites & Harbison Economic Development Impact Project of the Year Award went to J. Knipper and Company, Inc., the largest supplier of end-to-end samples management services to the U.S. pharmaceutical industry.

The company broke ground on a multimillion dollar state-of-the-art high-volume distribution center in the River Ridge Commerce Center in Charlestown. Targeted to open in June, the 313,000-square-foot center will employ 56 people full-time.

The Park Community Credit Union Business of the Year Award for companies with 51 or more employees went to Centra Credit Union, a nonprofit financial institution offering a full range of products and services.

The 75-year-old credit union holds more than $1.2 billion in assets and serves more than 130,000 members. And the Centra Foundation provides assistance to members in the areas of financial literacy, disaster relief, and pressing community needs.

“It’s a real honor to be recognized,” said Centra interim president Chris Bottorff. “It’s really a testament to the customers — the members that we have as much as our employees.”

One Southern Indiana was formed 10 years ago by combining the Economic Development Council and Chamber of Commerce for Clark and Floyd Counties. The ONE Awards are a continuation of a program started by those founding groups.

The organization focuses on business attraction, retention, and expansion; encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs; providing government and workforce advocacy; and networking opportunities. It’s “a tremendous opportunity to promote all the businesses, but also serve the community,” Chesser said.

Until last year, the awards program also included leadership awards for individuals. In November, a separate ACE Awards luncheon was held for that purpose, allowing 1si to add several new ONE awards.

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