Coal Country Chamber honors businesses, volunteers
wins Business of the Year
By TIM EVANS
The Coal Country Chamber of Commerce celebrated their 20th year of honoring businesses and community volunteers in the Gillespie/Benld area Saturday night at JoDanni’s Amoré restaurant in Benld.
Madison Communications, a fourth-generation family-owned company that began in 1940 as a local telephone exchange carrier known as Worden Telephone Company, was awarded the 2018 Business of the Year designation, cited for their community involvement and sponsorships.
The award highlighted the evening as six other honors were presented to volunteers who help make the Chamber a vital part of the business community.
Madison Communications owners and chief operators CEO Mary Westerhold and brothers Leonard and Stephen Schwartz, children of founder Robert “Bob” Schwartz, were present to accept the plaque as well as a one night stay at the Hampton Inn in Litchfield, presented by managers Miranda Bergmann and Jean Brunver Jachino.
With 49 employees, Madison Communications and its affiliated companies, Madison Telephone and Madison Network Systems, continues to expand. The firm was awarded the Smart Rural Community Award in 2015 by NTCA, the national Rural Broadband Association, one of 12 rural communications companies to claim the honor. The award not only honored the company for their internet, HD TV and digital phone services, but their outstanding commitment to local communities.
The company, which is based in Staunton, believes in the small town values that represent the interest of neighbors and continues to support local communities, encouraging residents to “go green” through mobile e-cycling events. The firm also takes pride in supporting local business organizations like the Benld Adopt-A-Pet, community libraries, scouts and area school districts, as well as the local Chamber. Madison has recognized 22 local teachers over the years with a “Teacher of the Year” contest and has put over $11,000 into the local districts to support classroom recourse since 2008.
For the whole story check it out in the 1-31-19 edition of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat
Coal Country Chamber president Margie Brill, second from left, presents the Business of the Year Award to Madison Communications VP/CEO Mary Westerhold, the daughter of founder Robert “Bob” Schwartz. VP of Plant Operations Leonard Schwartz and VP of Engineering and Construction Stephen Schwartz were also present for the presentation. Enquirer-Democrat photo by Tim Evans.