John (Dailey) Chandler to be Honored During Hall of Fame Luncheon March 22nd.

The Rotary Clubs of Bedford and the Bedford Elks Lodge are pleased to announce that John (Dailey) Chandler has been selected as their 2024  Citizen of the Year by unanimous choice of the joint selection committee.

Dailey Chander (right) with EMT and YLBC Graduate Chase DeLong

Chandler serves Bedford County as a First Responder Paramedic and Bedford Area Ambulance Training Center Director, as well as the long-time facilitator of the Youth Leadership Bedford County Program.  In these roles, he exhibits the qualities of the sponsoring organizations:  Elks Care, Elks Share and Rotary’s Service Above Self.

His nominator, Rudy Plummer wrote, “The COVID pandemic exasperated the first responder availability to the community.  The stress placed on the system because of increased patient load, stricter infection prevention protocols, and decreased number and availability of first responders was immense.  Dailey’s perseverance and leadership were major factors in the successful completion of the Bedford Ambulance service to the community.”

Chandler is a teacher by nature, leading to the success of the Ambulance’s education programs; his EMT classes graduate with a high percentage rate of final certification.  Among those graduates is certified EMT Chase DeLong, who contributed a letter in support of the Citizen of the Year nomination.  DeLong is also a gradate of the YLBC program.

DeLong wrote: “Over the course of one day a month, for ten months, I learned as much about servant leadership, community involvement, and personal integrity as learned during my twelve-year journey to Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Today, I consider it an honor to have had the opportunity to learn and continue to learn from Dailey.”

“We could not be more proud to work with Dailey Chandler through Youth Leadership Bedford County,” added Kellie Goodman Shaffer,

YLBC Graduation 2019

President-CEO of the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the YLBC program. “In addition to being an incredible teacher and mentor, he also serves as a shining example of servant leadership.  His work has impacted students who have done on to be doctors, teachers, police officers, EMT’s, and so much more.  His impact on our community by shaping servant leaders is immeasurable.”

Chandler grew up in a military family, traveling throughout the US and the world before taking the position as Youth Programs Director for Officers Christian Fellowship at White Sulphur Springs.  After more than a decade serving military families in that role, he settled in Bedford as a full-time first responder in addition to his work with the Chamber Foundation’s leadership programs, including the annual Youth Leadership Bedford County Summit and team-building activities for the adult LBC program.  Dailey  resides in Bedford with his wife and two daughters.

The Citizen of the Year Award will be presented during the Chamber’s Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon Friday, March 22nd at noon at the historic Omni Bedford Springs Resort.  The program will also include the recognition of five companies being inducted into the Bedford County Business Hall of Fame: The Bedford County Fair, Bedford Rural Electric Cooperative, Burger King of Bedford, Lana’s Custom Draperies and Blinds, and Structural Fiberglass, Inc.

The Chamber will present Rising Star Awards to stand-out young professionals Kaci Batzel, DC and Matthew Godissart; the Bedford Sunrise Rotary Club will also present two Service Above Self student scholarships during the event.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Luncheon are $79.  In addition to registrations, sponsorship opportunities and program ads are also available by calling the Chamber office at 814.623.2233 or attendees may CLICK HERE to register online.