Knox County Chamber of Commerce names Businesswoman, Community Leader of the Year

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Amanda Linn. Courtesy the Knox County Chamber of Commerce.

KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Knox County Chamber of Commerce announced Friday that Amanda Linn is the recipient of the 2021 “Business Woman of the Year” award and Bernie Niehaus is the 2021 recipient of the C. James McCormick Community Leader of the Year. They will be honored April 29 at 105th Annual Award Dinner at the Highland Woods Community Center. 

Linn has been the owner of Fords the Art of Photography since 2002. Along with her background as a photographer, she is also a small business owner and an educator. In 2017 she wanted to master her skills as a fine art photographer. She graduated from the MFA program at the Academy of Art University in photography in 2019. Her thesis project was featured at the “Open Door Gallery” and in the “Spring Show” in San Francisco, where she won the director’s choice award.

Jamie Neal, President of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce, said, “Amanda is truly the embodiment of what it means to be Business Woman of the Year. Her drive and creativity are truly inspiring. She is a great role model for women in our community.”

Niehaus was born and raised in Vincennes. He returned from Michigan State University in 1959 to take over the family business from his mother Naomi who had been running it since his father’s death in 1944. Bernie’s three sons and seven of his grandchildren now work in the Niehaus organization fulltime with many others there in the summer. Bernie published his first book, “Splinters,” in 2004 and followed it with “Splinters II” a few years later. These books are a compilation of stories about his family, his faith and church and his hometown community.

Bernie Niehaus. Courtesy the Knox County Chamber of Commerce.

The C. James McCormick Community Leader of the Year Award is for an individual who has made a significant impact on Knox County and enhanced the quality of life for area residents, and community involvement has always been important to Niehaus, contributing personal time, financial support and effort in helping to improve the quality of life in Knox County through his profession, civic groups and community involvement. 

Spencer Burkhart, Board Chair of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce, states “Bernie is very deserving of this award. He is a great leader in our community that wants to see Knox County do well. He commits his time, talent and energy to make our community a better place to live and work.”

Doors at the Highland Woods Community Center open at 5:30 p.m. for the 105th Annual Award Dinner; dinner and the awards presentation begin at 6:30 p.m.

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