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Q & A with Avon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tom Downard

Where are you from? I am from Indianapolis. I was raised on the west side and went to Ben Davis High School. I attended Indiana Central University (University of Indianapolis) and received my Bachelor’s Degree. How long have you been with the Avon Chamber of Commerce? I have been a member of the Avon Chamber of Commerce since its inception in 1997. I have been the Executive Director since January 2000. What led you to this position? Being a business owner in the community, I wanted to be a part of growing an organization that would help our community grow ...

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Cardiac Stents That Dissolve

IU Health West Cardiologist explains new technology that the body can absorb Each year, more than half a million Americans undergo a procedure to place cardiac stents – small, metal mesh tubes used to prop open and de-clog arteries. Metal stents have become the gold standard over the years, but a new kind of cardiac stent recently approved by the FDA dissolves in the body instead of staying in place indefinitely like metal stents. They’re called bio-absorbable vascular scaffolding, or biodegradable stents. “These are stents that have a scaffold, or body, made of polylactic acid that dissolves over time,” explains ...

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Great Fermentations

Writer & Photographer  /  Stephanie Duncan If someone was interested in starting a new rewarding hobby, Anita Johnson could probably convince him or her to try home brewing with one visit to Great Fermentations. With a passion for craft beer, home brewing and teaching people new skills, Johnson, Great Fermentation’s owner, is one of the lucky people who gets to do her hobby as a job. Great Fermentations is a local business that since 1995 has sold beer and winemaking supplies and offered home brewing classes in Indianapolis. Originally opening in Broad Ripple, Great Fermentations opened its second location this ...

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Avon 200 Sculpture Artist Randall Flake

Writer  /  Heather Chastain A man with a passion to mold steel has crafted a permanent legacy for the Town of Avon. Randy Flake, a heavy mechanic, designed and built the 200 sculpture at Town Hall. The sculpture celebrates Avon’s 20-year anniversary and Indiana’s 200-year anniversary. “This is just a hobby I’ve taken to the extreme,” said Flake. “I just have a need to create. I’ve been doing it all my life. I like taking an idea, using my creativity and then raw materials and making something. I enjoy the challenge of trying to make steel move in a direction ...

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Family Promise of Hendricks County Offering Help, Hope and Housing to the Homeless

Writer  /  Christy Heitger-Ewing Lisa, a working mother and full-time college student, was involved in a serious car accident last year. This set into motion a domino effect of bad fortune. Unable to drive, she couldn’t get to work. Not working meant no income, so she couldn’t pay rent. She and her two daughters eventually found themselves living on the streets. Desperate to turn things around, Lisa connected with Family Promise of Hendricks County, whose mission is to help homeless individuals overcome barriers that keep them from obtaining employment and, by extension, permanent housing. According to Stacy Schilling, director of ...

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New Openings: Haus of Hooray

Haus of Hooray is an exclusive party shop and retailer based in Indianapolis. We are founded upon taking the typical balloons and transforming them into a beautiful wedding, gifts, and more. With exciting party supplies that can’t be found locally, we take the traditional party and turn it into a unique and exciting experience. Watch our custom balloons and party decor grab everybody’s attention while creating the opportunity for something memorable.

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Cass & Company Salon

Nestled off U.S. 36, in a cozy Avon Business Center park, you’ll find a salon known for warmth, welcome and comfort. An Avon staple for 15 years, Cass & Company Salon, takes their community commitment seriously. “We want to be the best part of our client’s day,” said owner Angi Snodgrass. “We are constantly working with our technicians. We want to educate, mentor and help them succeed,” said Snodgrass. Education is key. Snodgrass regularly hosts industry professionals as well as attends educational events with her team to better themselves in customer service, technique and personal development.  “We want to build ...

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Indiana Canine Assistant Network Aims to Unleash Hope

Writer  /  Heather Chastain    Photographer  /  Liz Kaye At Community Chiropractic in Hendricks County, hope is being unleashed, as well as chiropractic care. Community Chiropractic’s owner, Dr. Vicki Danis, is working with an Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN) dog at her business. ICAN believes dogs can be catalysts for positive change in people’s lives. By building partnerships through the training and placement of assistance dogs, ICAN creates opportunities for at-risk youth, adults and people with disabilities. Dr. Vicki has been a volunteer with ICAN for three years helping to train assistance dogs for placement. “These dogs inherently know how ...

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Community Center Gets Major Facelift

Writer / Michelle Kaufman The Greenwood Community Center hadn’t seen an upgrade in 23 years. When Greenwood Parks Director Rob Taggart took the position three years ago, he made renovating the community center one of his goals. That goal recently became a reality as a $2.8 million renovation project, which began in April, 2016, was finally completed. The renovated design and new features were unveiled at a grand re-opening January 14. Taggart said the decision to shut down the Community Center in April was hard because it’s not his, but the community’s. “Once it got started, we knew what the ...

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Transforming Life’s Challenges into Success

Writer / Suzanne Huntzinger A loved one passes away, must be moved to assisted living or nursing home, divorce or job loss – all of these curveballs in life can leave families in a pinch. But the Royer Brothers at RAMS Investing have a way of straightening out those curveballs and turning them into success. Jason and Dustin Royer started RAMS Investing after the financial crisis of 2008, to offer a solution not only for the clients in need, but for investors who were looking for a better and more secure way to invest their money.  Since then, RAMS Investing ...

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