PIQUA — Three notable women were honored for their work in the community on Thursday.
Sponsored by the YWCA Piqua, the annual Women of Excellence awards luncheon at the Piqua Country Club honored Nancy Bowman of Troy and Ruth A. Koon of Piqua. Mindy Bach of Tipp City was named the Young Woman of Tomorrow.
The keynote speaker for the event was Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who discussed Ohio’s Common Sense initiative, along with other initiatives she is focused on, including workforce development, infrastructure and the drug epidemic in Ohio.
Taylor, sharing a quote from her father the day he learned of his terminal cancer, said, “I haven’t had enough time.” With that, she challenged others in the room to follow in the footsteps of the three honorees to use their time to help others.
“Certainly, none of us have enough time. I challenge you to make a difference and to make each day better than the day before,” said Taylor, who presented each awardee proclamations from her and Ohio Gov. John Kasich for their awards. “Make every day count.”
Nancy Bowman, known for being an outstanding journalist in Miami County for more than three decades, was the first to be honored. She is highly regarded by her readers and by local governmental, civic and business leaders as an excellent “hard news reporter” who can be counted on to get the facts right and maintain the highest level of journalistic integrity, according to her nomination.
Formerly with the The Troy Daily News, Bowman is currently a contributing writer for the Dayton Daily News, works as a freelance reporter for several Miami County publications, and is a communication specialist for Premier Health’s Upper Valley Medical Center.
Bowman, married to Terry Burr, is a graduate of the Leadership Troy program and later served on its board. She has also been on the board for Brukner Nature Center and is currently with the Troy Dollars for College organization.
In her acceptance speech, Bowman said journalism is a calling with long, crazy hours, and thanked her husband for taking care of many household duties while she continues her career. She also thanked her cat, Truman, for being her late-night writing partner.
The lifelong Cleveland Indians fan said she has seen a lot of change in her 35 years as a journalist, including in the media.
“There are still dedicated journalists with a desire for fairness and accuracy,” said Bowman, acknowledging her high school journalism instructor and newspaper adviser for instilling in her a love of journalism, the passion to get things right and to treat everyone fairly.
Ruth Koon was nominated for her countless hours of community service in shining a positive spotlight on and throughout the city of Piqua. Koon’s quest for excellence and skill set bring people together to complete a task from start to finish, her nomination reads.
Koon, a Piqua native married to husband Jim, is well-known for the many projects and organizations she has been involved with including, most notably, the Hotel Library Legacy Alliance which saved the Fort Piqua Hotel. Koon played a vital role in the formation of Mainstreet Piqua and served on its board. She was the first chairperson of the Piqua Arts Council and for many years, chaired the Miami Valley Fine Arts Exhibition. She was instrumental in the creation of the Music in the Parks program.
Her accomplishments are many and include service to Piqua Catholic Center for Early Learning; Piqua Catholic School — Dollars for our Scholars; Pro Piqua Committee; Clear Creek Farm; Friends of the Piqua Public Library; Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; and YMCA Board of Trustees.
“When I hear the things I’ve done, it isn’t really me. It’s the committees that I’ve been able to get together and we have worked on so many projects and events,” Koon said. “So it isn’t just me, it’s just maybe my ability to bring the people together who are all committed and enthused about the same projects that I am.”
Young Woman of Tomorrow Mindy Bach is a 2016 honor graduate of Troy High School and currently a freshman at Ohio University majoring in art. Bach co-produced a performance at the Mayflower Arts Center with a college English professor focusing on “Women in Theatre.” She wrote monologues for the performance, helped a carpenter build the set, was the most competent teen performer in the course and helped educate the audience about the issues that girls and women face.
Bach also wrote an essay for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Competition in which she chronicled the challenges of her mother’s suffering from multiple sclerosis. During this time, she maintained honor roll status throughout high school while taking college classes, caring for her three siblings, her mother and their home. She did all of this while holding four jobs and still being active in the community as a team leader at Troy Clubhouse; Reading Buddy with first graders; Troy High School Wrestling score keeper and concession stand cashier.
A talented artist, Bach has had her work displayed at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, the Randalls’ residence in Tipp City and the Troy Board of Education.
She thanked her family, friends, teachers and community members for helping her to be the person she is today.
“Having all the positive support constantly from everyone has made a huge difference in my life and has taught me that I can do things that, coming from my situation, I didn’t always think I would be able to do. But, slowly, along the way, I am realizing that it is possible and I can do something with my life. And I’m hoping that in the future I am able to give back to my community and really make a positive influence on other people like myself.”