Patton Funeral Home, Gravil Funeral Home, Co-Recipients of IA's Business of the Year
Joseph Barkoff, story and photos:
It has been two years in the making, but the Annual Edmonson County Industrial Authority dinner revved back into action on Tuesday night, December 7th at Tayvin Gardens in the Chalybeate community.
Two local family businesses were awarded Business of the Year, a commitment to local industry was honored, and a guest speaker reminded those present that they are here for a reason.
Both Gravil Funeral Home and Patton Funeral Home were both presented “Co-Business of the Year Award,” by Kevin Alexander, board member and master of ceremony for the evening.
“This has been unprecedented times that we’ve lived in,” Alexander said. “We’ve had people really step up in our community that have had to step up because of the crisis that we faced.”
The board chose not to award a citizen of the year, but instead, as a result of not having a dinner last year, the two businesses each stepped up for their community beyond the ability of words.
“For the effort they’ve made in compassionately and professionally taking care of people at a time [of loss],” Alexander said.
Edmonson County Industrial Authority board member N.E. Reed presents a Business of the Year award to Jerry Patton, of Patton Funeral Home at the Annual Edmonson County Industrial Authority dinner at Tayvin Gardens Tuesday Dec. 7 in Chalybeate.
Edmonson County Industrial Authority board member Kevin Alexander presents a Business of the Year to Roy Gravil and Ron and Sheila Gravil of Gravil Funeral Home at the Annual Edmonson County Industrial Authority dinner at Tayvin Gardens Tuesday, December 7th in Chalybeate.
Both funeral homes combine for close to 100 years of experience in service to the community and the key factor Alexander noted, in making a business like a funeral home work is comfort, he said.
Funeral homes provide a safe place for those who need comfort, but with the restrictions from Covid-19, offering comfort in normal ways had to be adjusted.
Alexander presented the award to Gravil Funeral Home while board member N.E. Reed presented another to Patton Funeral Home, each after a few words.
“We’re just fortunate in Edmonson County because there’s not many communities that have businesses like Gravil Funeral Home and Patton Funeral Home,” Alexander said.
Guest speaker and Purple Heart awardee Army veteran Mike Stoyanovich speaks about being drafted at the Annual Edmonson County Industrial Authority dinner at Tayvin Gardens Tuesday, December 7th in Chalybeate.
Guest speaker Mike Stoyanovich is an Army veteran. A purple heart winning, bronze star wearing, 1968 to 2007-in-the-Army-during-Vietnam-to-Iraq First Sergeant Stoyanovich, veteran.
Drafted into the Army after not doing so well in his first year in college, Stoyanovich ended up in Vietnam after boot camp and eight months training to be an electrician, he said.
When the Army was handing out orders, he was assigned to an infantry unit. He told the issuing sergeant there must be a mistake, as he went to school to be an electrician and the sergeant pointed out the primary job title in his portfolio was infantry. There was no mistake.
Five months into his tour of one year, his base camp was attacked.
Waking to the sound of air raid sirens, and for once with his boots off asleep, his squad all rallied to their preassigned defensive positions in two-story sandbag bunkers on the perimeter.
Shots were hitting the sandbag walls on the other side, and careful peaks only revealed shadows of movement, and then out of the air above their heads, a squadron of Cobra gunships with search lights and mini-guns opened fire at a rate of 2,500 rounds a minute on top of their position, he said.
After 15 minutes of constant fire before they got up to inspect the damage he found an outline silhouette of his body where it was crouched, he said.
“It was an incident that might be explained as divine intervention,” Stoyanovich said.
Later that night Stoyanovich got down on his knees and “gave his life to Jesus Christ,” he said.
His squad mate pointed out there must be a plan for him.
“To make a long story short,” Stoyanovich said,” moving to Edmonson County has changed my life.”
Edmonson County Industrial Authority board member N.E. Reed presents the award for Industry of the Year to Yahagi America Molding Inc. COO Toshihiko Yamamoto at the Annual Edmonson County Industrial Authority dinner at Tayvin Gardens Tuesday, December 7th in Chalybeate.
Also honored was YAMI, Yahigi America Molding Inc.’s for Industry of the Year in recognition of their leadership, commitment, and the promotion of industry and community development in Edmonson County.
Representatives COO Toshihiko Yamamoto and plant manager Takahiro Nonoyama were there to receive the award and Yamamoto said a few words of thanks.