Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting
TIFFIN, OHIO – June 25, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have honored John and Linda Detwiler with the Special Recognition Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.
After 11 years of service, Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services President and CEO John announced his retirement from the position in March 2020. Born and raised in Tiffin, Detwiler left the community in his late teens and worked in sales and marketing. In 2009, he and Linda returned to the community where he took the job of president and CEO of the Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce and she became a professor in the Communication Department at Heidelberg University.
“The work that they put in over a decade really elevated the Chamber to a major player in making this community a great place to live, work, play, visit and study,” said David Zak, President and CEO of Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership.
Since joining the Chamber, John has been instrumental in the revitalization of Tiffin, including being involved with Tiffin Tomorrow, a citizen-led group with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and helping to unveil the Downtown Strategic Survey in 2010. John also championed and implemented successful events for the Chamber, especially the Seneca County Farmers Market in Downtown Tiffin. Starting in 2010, John and Linda had been organizing and working the event for two Saturdays a month for much of the year. By laying that groundwork, the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market now is under the direction of the non-profit organization Seneca County Common Ground.
“Whenever there was a farmers market downtown, you could always find John and Linda in the same spot, watching everything and everybody from start to finish,” said Linda Burns, co-owner of Burns Electric.
“Without John and Linda Detwiler, the farmers market wouldn’t have started, it wouldn’t have been sustained, and look what we have today – we have an independent 501c3, we have a professional market manager, we have a $2.6 million community kitchen project that’s underway, raising money because of what they did. That’s going to be a lasting legacy,” Zak said.
Under his leadership, John brought the county’s visitor services under the direction of the Chamber, renaming the organization the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services and creating a separate organization in Destination Seneca County under the umbrella of the Chamber.
“Coming on board as the next director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank you for the groundwork you put in to support our members, tourism and this community,” said Bryce Riggs, Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“Thank you for everything you’ve done for our members, you’ve done for our community. We wish you well,” he added.
The Detwilers also brought the business community together, with the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, Casino Royale, Golf Outing and ribbon cuttings.
“Congratulations, John and Linda on your special recognition award. What a worthy couple in everything you’ve done in Tiffin,” said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.
Montz added that one of his favorite things he does each year is being invited to speak to Linda’s Heidelberg classes about civic engagement.
“I would just like to say to you, John, how much I appreciate the way you led the Chamber. And to you, Linda, over the 13 years that you’ve been a communications professor here at Heidelberg, I really admire the focus and the fire you brought to the classroom for our students,” said Heidelberg University President Rob Huntington.
“Together as a wonderful couple in this community, you helped strengthen our economy, educate our students, and for that, I say ‘congratulations, you really deserve the TSEP 2021 Special Recognition Award,” he added.
To view video of the award winners, click here.
About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership
Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.
TSEP Chair Dean Keller (left), president of First National Bank of Sycamore, presents Linda and John Detwiler with the TSEP Special Recognition Award during the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.