Two distinguished community leaders will be honored at the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Wednesday, January 15, at 11:30 a.m. at the Oakley Lindsay Center. In addition, the Diversity & Inclusion Excellence and Champion award winners will be honored at the event.                                                                                                                                              The Class of 2020 will include Phil Conover, John Wood Community College; and the late William F. Gerdes III, Michelmann Steel.  Dot Foods will receive the D&I Excellence Award, and Chris Taylor, For Home & Her, will receive the D&I Champion Award.

Although he’s well-known for his most recent role as president of Quincy University (2017 to June 2019), Phil Conover was nominated based on his work with John Wood Community College. He served as president/member of the J.W.C.C. Board of Trustees and was instrumental in the establishment of the J.W.C.C. Foundation and served on its Board.

William F. “Bill” Gerdes III, P.E. was the fourth President of Michelmann Steel Construction Company, from 1975 to 2006.  The company was founded by his Great Grandfather J.H. Michelmann in 1865 and recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.  Bill took over from his father, Clarence A. Gerdes, in 1975 and turned the reigns over to his daughter, Laura G. Ehrhart in 2006 after a 50+ year career with the company.  He ran the company successfully for over 30 years.  He remained as Chairman of the Board of Michelmann Steel until his death at age 74 in 2009.

Dot Foods has been on the diversity and inclusion journey intentionally since 2008.  Their journey has included the vision for an even stronger and more inclusive workforce. Dot Foods understand that people are the center of everything they do- from employees to the communities they serve.  They are continuously looking for ways to break barriers, multiply talent, and ensure a climate all can thrive in.

Chris Taylor, co-owner of for home & her in Quincy’s Downtown District, is committed to our community by having space for shoppers to come in and feel they are right where they belong.  He is also the manager of the Cabaret (The Cab) and led way in ensuring this is a welcoming, safe, and fun space for all to enjoy.  He believes that people will fall in love with Quincy when they feel they belong.  Inclusion is essential in all communities, and he considers it an honor to be a champion in this area.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Business Hall of Fame was started in 2006 to celebrate the rich history and accomplishments of the Quincy area business community. The D&I Excellence and Champion awards were established in 2019 to recognize and celebrate organizations and community leaders for their commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives. The event is open to the public. The cost is $25 per person and includes lunch. Reservations are required by January 10 and can be made by going to

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