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March 26, 2013

Ashby named Young Professional of Year

MT. VERNON —

MT. VERNON — Bria Ashby, branch manager of the First Community Bank of the Heartland's 42nd Street office, was named the Young Professional of the Year by officials of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce of Monday.

Ashby will receive the award formally at the Chamber's annual dinner meeting on April 5 at the Holiday Inn.

Nominations were received by the Chamber's Executive Board, which made this year's selection.

"Our executive board felt like we should honor someone who was up and coming," said Chamber Executive Director Brandon Bullard. "The whole community took up for her (Bria). Bria embodies this whole award. In fact, I half in jest said it should be named after her."

Ashby is vice president of the bank, is a member of the Chamber executive board, member of the Mt. Vernon Township High School Foundation Board, involved in CASA, Junior Women's Club, Lifeboat Alliance, Relay for Life, and was the coordinator of the Chamber's Education Clearinghouse and Leadership Academy.

"I was thrilled, a little surprised, and thankful and appreciative of the lovely things that people wrote in their nomination papers," Ashby said.

Bullard said Ashby's nomination was one of about 15 to 20 received by the Chamber.

"There's a lot of young people in this community that are doing a lot of things. The Chamber is proud to not only have Bria involved in our organization, but to the first inaugural winner of the Young Professional of the Year award," Bullard said.

Bullard read a letter from one of the nominees, who stated in an e-mail to the bank president, "This employee was friendly, courteous, knowledgeable and even remembered my 84th birthday with candy and a card."

Jared Knapp, president of the bank stated, "This is one of the many times a customer has called or written about Bria. She always goes above and beyond to provide the best customer service."

Along with the Young Professional of the Year award, the Chamber previously announced Richard Straeter as Citizen of the Year, Dwayn Klein as Small Businessperson of the Year, and Ron Kruep honored posthumously as the recipient of the President's Award. The Chamber dinner will start with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner at 6:30 p.m.

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