Ripley County Chamber of Commerce honors businesses at annual luncheon

Cathy May - Contributing Writer

Ohio Rod Products was honored as the Ripley County Chamber of Commerce 2007 Business of the Year at their annual luncheon held at the Napoleon Senior Center on May 17.

Chairperson of the event, Shirley Franklin, said in her introduction, "Ohio Rod Products is a manufacturer of long-length, small diameter fasteners such as machine screw, reel bolts, construction bolts and conveyor rods. The company has been located in Versailles since 1966, moving from Cleveland, Ohio. It's been owned by Elgin National Industries since the late 1980's."

Ohio Rod Products employees 86 people and is the largest manufacturing employer in southern Ripley County. They developed and maintain two softball fields, a miniature golf course, picnic/shelter house and just recently developed youth soccer fields through the Ohio Rod Products Recreational Association. They also provide gifts, food and clothing to the needy during the Holiday Season.

As new president, Jeff Liter, accepted the honor on behalf of Ohio Rod Products, he talked about how Ohio Rod Products tries to give back to the community. Recently, they invested $20,000 in updating their miniature golf course and will have the facility open on the weekends for the public to enjoy. Accompanying Liter from Ohio Rod Products were Phil King, Mike Hughes and Duke Hamm.

Chamber president, Darla Westerfeld, introduced owners of new businesses that were present: Stephen & Elizabeth Deputy of AB-n-C Chem Dry, Danny & Angel Roark of All the Rage in Osgood, Connie Shaddey of Cottage Garden in Napoleon, Will Vincent of DiGiovonni's Coffee House in Osgood, Todd Gobel of Gobel Financial in Milan, Todd Menchhofer of PM Furniture in Osgood and Alisha Neal of Employment Plus in Madison. There were 40 new businesses in Ripley County since last year's luncheon.

Westerfeld told of chamber upcoming events: Chamber golf tournament on June 13 in Milan, June 17 trip to see the Cincinnati Reds for $12 (half-price tickets), June 30 Chamber Walk-Run on the square in Versailles and July 3 Chamber night at the Ripley County Fairgrounds Park with fireworks furnished by the Reynolds Foundation. For more information on these events go to or call 689-6654.

Ohio Rod named Business of the Year

Ohio Rod was honored as Business of the Year by members of the Ripley County Chamber of Commerce at their annual luncheon held May 17. Pictured from left are: President of Ohio Rod, Jeff Liter, Mike Hughes, Duke Hamm and Phil King of Ohio Rod, Chamber President Darla Westerfeld and chairperson of the event, Shirley Franklin.