Lottes honored with President's Award



JASPER — Kim Lottes expected to be in a conference call at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Instead, the Jasper woman found herself accepting an award recognizing her years of public service.

Members of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors surprised Lottes with a visit to her workplace, Hoosier Business Machines on Main Street in Jasper, to present her with this year’s President’s Community Excellence Award.

“I am just so honored, honestly,” Lottes said in an interview a few minutes after receiving the award. “Because this is really a great community. And I think everybody giving their time and talent even makes it more so. I’ve always loved this community and I like to give back to it.”

According to a flyer distributed at the gathering, the President’s Community Excellence Award is presented annually to “an individual who has contributed generously of his or her time, talents or resources toward improving the Jasper community.” The award is “open to all walks of life and honors those who give what they can, in order to ‘make a difference,’” the flyer reads.

All nominations are judged by a committee drawn from current members of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Nancy Eckerle, executive director of the chamber of commerce, explained that Lottes was chosen because of her well-rounded community involvement.

“There’s been winners in the past that give monetarily,” Eckerle said, “there’s been givers that give just in a variety of ways. But for her, it was all of her involvements and her [well-roundedness].”

Lottes was nominated for the award by Laura Grammer of Jasper. On her nomination form, Grammer included a long list of Lottes’ professional leadership accolades. These included Lottes’ career at HBM — where she currently works as the company’s president — and her involvement in many activities and groups like the Jasper Strassenfest Committee and ROJAC.

“If you ask Kim, she will tell you her community involvement or involvement with her children’s activities has never been about accolades or something to put on her resume,” Grammer wrote on her nomination form. “When she becomes involved in something, it’s because of her passion for the community and/or her family. Kim does not join organizations unless she can be a very active participant.”

Grammer continued: “She jokingly refers to herself as a ‘worker bee.’ Kim could be found selling burgers for a ROJAC fundraiser, helping organize a golf scramble for her son’s golf team or running a booth at Strassenfest to help the German Exchange Program to help her son pay for a trip to Germany. She is quite content working in the background to ensure the success of a project or event, knowing that this success will go towards the betterment of our community.”

Rachel Levin of German American Bank is a president of the Jasper chamber’s board. She said Wednesday that Kim checked off boxes in many leadership categories.

“She’s very well put together,” Levin said. “She’s kind, generous — but then also, she can present her ideas in a collective way and get things done, too.”

The President’s Community Excellence Award is traditionally presented at the chamber’s annual in-person meeting. In lieu of that event, the chamber will release a video later this month that features Lottes and area community leaders.

The first President's Award was presented posthumously to Alvin C. Ruxer in 1991. Other award winners include Bob Siebert, Anne Heeke, Jim Stenftenagel, Ed Rumbach, Bob Gramelspacher, Patty Cox, Bob Steffe, Rich Eckerle, Norbert Eckerle, Leon Fleck, Dave Buehler, Dan Mundy, Lynn Krodel, Ken Sendelweck, Ken Sternberg and Maureen Braun, Donnie Lichlyter, Dr. Nancy Otte, Gervase Schwenk, Joe Rohleder, Bernie Vogler, John Siebert, Becky Beckman, Mike Jones, Mike Ackerman, Dan Fritch, John Seng, Dean Vonderheide and Bob Bleemel.

More on