Russel “Rusty” Tobey received the 2019 Herscher Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award on Friday evening. 

At the annual awards dinner, Dan Martin, president of the Chamber, stated, “He is one of the first people who supported me when I bought my business in 2003. He helped me out with a lot of things and was a good sounding board for me.” 

Martin continued, “He is one of the people you call if you need to get things done. This is what makes Herscher work. We have a lot of behind the scenes guys. He is one of those guys.” 

“He has been there for me, personally. He has been there for the Chamber, and he has been there for Herscher. He embodies what Herscher is all about,” Martin concluded.

Tobey was unable to attend the meeting, so his children Kristin Bauer, Erik Tobey, and Kelly Tobeyaccepted the award on his behalf.

Upon hearing about the award, Tobey said, “Thank you. I truly appreciate it, but there are a lot of others who deserve it more than me.” 

Tobey has been involved in his family’s business, Tobey’s Construction and Cartage, for 43 years, and is the current Vice-President.

The Community Service Award, originally proposed by Don Lockwood, has been awarded since 1981 to those who have been important to the community.

Lockwood termed it “Herscher Pride.” He stated, “It’s something I never saw in a community until we moved here. And, it’s very important that it be kept alive.”

Tobey is the 46th recipient to be recognized for keeping Herscher’s pride alive.