Churchill Co. business, residents honored with annual CEDA awards

From left: Sara Beebe, director of operations for CEDA, who’s holding Frank Woodliff’s III certificate; CEDA board member Summer Stephens with Ernie Schank’s certificate; Churchill County Librarian Carol Lloyd; Guy Gibson of New Millennium Building Solutions; Adrienne Snow of Western States Hemp Co.; and Gary Imelli of Fallon Youth Club.

From left: Sara Beebe, director of operations for CEDA, who’s holding Frank Woodliff’s III certificate; CEDA board member Summer Stephens with Ernie Schank’s certificate; Churchill County Librarian Carol Lloyd; Guy Gibson of New Millennium Building Solutions; Adrienne Snow of Western States Hemp Co.; and Gary Imelli of Fallon Youth Club. Courtesy Photo

Last week, the Churchill Entrepreneurial Development Association presented its 2021 awards to individuals who made a difference in Churchill County — not only during the year but also during a lifetime of service.

CEDA doled out the following six awards at the group’s Nov. 10 breakfast meeting (information provided by CEDA).

The Merton Domonoske Award: Frank Woodliff III

When the Merton Domonoske Award for a lifetime of service came into existence, Paula Domonoske graciously allowed us to name this award after her husband Mert, who served our community for many, many years. Mert Domonoske loved his community and served as a councilman and mayor. Past recipients of this award have served this community in a civic capacity, elected or employed.

It would be difficult to imagine a Fallon without Woodliff. For decades, Woodliff’s eye to improve our community has been a hallmark for this community. Among the architect’s accomplishments have been the design for the William N. Pennington Life Center, the city of Fallon’s 9/11 memorial located the courtyard behind City Hall, the former Lahontan Valley News building on North Maine Street and his contributions during the Mayor’s NV 150 Commission, which was part of the state’s sesquicentennial celebrations in 2014.

That prompted Woodliff to say, “In today’s fast-paced world, it is easy to forget how our ancestors lived and how our lives have changed. Understanding how things have changed in the last 150 years provides knowledge, incentive and excitement for what may be ahead.”

The Virgil Getto Award: Ernie Schank

Because of community leaders such as Virgil Getto and other like-minded individuals in Churchill County, this area’s great agricultural industry has contributed immensely to the local economy, second only to Naval Air Station Fallon.

The Virgil Getto Award is for the dedication to the promotion of the agriculture industry.

Schank served as president of the board of directors for the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District for more than two decades. Born in Fallon, Ernie calls himself “a Churchill County farmer” but he has also served as a leader in organizations fighting for water rights on the local and federal stage.

Schank has become an expert in water issues over the years, beginning when he ran for the TCID board as a 28-year-old and stayed for four years. He ran again for the board in 1998 and was tabbed as the new president.

Schank, who is married to Carmen and has four children, is the son of the late Cyril Schank, who served on the county commission.

The Carl Dodge Award: Western States Hemp Co.

Nevada State Sen. Carl Dodge of Churchill County was a man with great vision for this community that was reflected in his service at both local and state levels, extending far beyond title alone. The award named after the late senator is for believing big and taking great risks to improve, family, industry and community.

The business CEDA honored has been dedicated to providing the opportunity for all people of ages to learn about agriculture in community.

Adrienne Snow and Joe Frey began growing and cultivating hemp as a result of two federal farm bills (2014 and 2018) that addressed the crop. The two farm bills opened the doors for hemp growers.

Western States Hemp Co., was founded after the 2014 Farm Bill. Additionally, the 2014 bill established a definition of industrial hemp.

Snow and Frey planned their venture in 2016. Two years later, the farm bill made hemp a legal commodity at the federal level. Western States Hemp also makes different derivatives such as a herbal tea blend and flour, which in turn, leads to the creation of more products. She said they also have equine and chicken supplements.

The Newell Mills Award: New Millennium Building Solutions

Newell Mills was an innovator in the Dairy Industry his entire life, assuring Churchill County’s place on the map. This award recognizes Innovation in Industry that improves the economic viability of the entire community, and this year CEDA recognizes the innovation nurtured New Millennium Building Solutions.

The Newell Mills Award is for innovation in industry that improves the economic viability of the entire community.

New Millennium makes steel girders and joists that are used to support large buildings. The company takes pride in ensuring the best possible customer experience and project outcomes for its clients by providing superior products that are optimized for their specific application.

New Millennium’s Fallon manufacturing facility is currently one of the single largest primary jobs employers in Churchill County and has expanded its operations to 24-hours a day. Taking care of its employees is also a Number 1 priority.

The Stuart Richardson Award: Carol Lloyd

Since becoming the Churchill County librarian, Lloyd’s vision has been directed toward the future. Her passion for the library is contagious. She is this year’s recipient of the Stuart Richardson Award for working behind the scenes to silently save and support the community.

In 2015, the community saw a new library repurposed to meet the 21st century. Former Mayor and Councilman Bob Erickson said the library is a core part of Fallon’s downtown.

Library resources are available 24/7 on their website and include downloadable eBooks, eAudios and streaming video as well as numerous databases on a wide variety of subjects. When CC Communications brought broadband to both the rural and urban areas, the library became the anchor institution.

Before the pandemic, more than 400 people visited the library each day. When access to the building was restricted, Lloyd and her staff became innovative. The library was by appointment only, and staff would deliver books to its customers. With the library returning to normal, she is ensuring the community’s needs are still met.

The Shirley Walker Award: Gary Imelli

This year we honor an individual whose contributions measure up to those given by Shirley Walker in her time of service to this community and will guarantee its vitality for years to come. This year’s is for building beautifully the civility, culture and collaboration in the community.

Imelli has been an active board member of the Fallon Youth Club since its inception. Earlier this year Imelli and FYC Director Shannon Goodrick showed off their new $5.3 million facility. The retired Churchill County School District educator said the new building is appealing to their mission of working with Churchill County’s children.

Imelli was raised in Fallon and later spent 36 years of service to Churchill County School District, as a principal and assistant superintendent until his 2003 retirement. He has been a volunteer in many other organizations and boards in the community including his church, CASA, Parks and Recreation, Churchill Community Hospital Inc. Board of Trustees, and many more. He also served as a Nevada Army National Guardsmen with the Military Police Company in Fallon.


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