Garon Gembe named James P. Oliver winner

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Garon Gembe received the 2012 James P. Oliver Award for his service to the community. He is pictured with his mother Nancy, and wife Julie.

Garon Gembe understands "moms know everything" and "my dad can get really mad."

As the recipient of the 2012 Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce James P. Oliver Award, a tale from his childhood was shared during the ceremony Sept. 20. Chamber director Joel Fridgen announced the winner at the annual meeting and banquet, held at Green Grove Gardens. He explained that when Gembe helped out at the family business Graphics Universal as a boy, he sometimes hid in an empty trash barrel. His mother Nancy figured it out because of ink stains on his clothing. Therefore, his dad found out too.

Gembe was honored for his contributions to Greencastle and Antrim Township beyond normal community service. For 25 years he coached in the middle and high schools, interacting with 2,500 kids in clinics and over 400 on his school teams. He was a founder of Boys and Girls Club in Chambersburg and serves on the Waynesboro YMCA board of directors. He chairs the chamber golf tournament, has been on the board for 15 years, and was just re-elected. He is also an honorary chairman of G-A MAAX, and is president of Graphics Universal. He and his wife Julie have three sons, Jaron, Jordan and Jerrick.

Gembe appreciated the citizenship award.

"It means a lot to be associated with Mr. Oliver and other recipients. However, individual awards are never truly individual. This is because of people I've been blessed to be around."

Gembe thanked his wife, family, employees and customers for their support through the years.

"It is so cool to be on the same list as my mom and dad. They are my role models and showed me the power in giving back. I love and appreciate them." Gary and Nancy Gembe were the 2000 recipients.

Annual meeting

Board of director chairman Chris Grimm reminded the crowd of the purpose of the Chamber of Commerce.

"Our mission is to promote economic growth and member prosperity. We want and can be the vehicle to promote your business."

“Everyone here is a salesman,” he continued.

"Think positive, listen to others, stand out among your customers. The Chamber can be your showcase."

The chamber has a 16-member board, and committees for Business Education Partnership, Concerts, First Friday, Finance, Golf Tournament, Government Affairs, Heritage Christmas, Membership and Sidewalk Days.