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Community honors

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CK Fasteners has moved to larger facilities twice since Jason Graves started it in 2015. Its current location, at 116 E. 11th St., is pictured. The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce honored Graves Tuesday with its Small Business/Entrepreneur Award.
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The Fayette County Historical Museum moved to 200 W. 5th Street in 2018, with its grand opening on Oct. 13, 2018. The museum received the Chamber’s Beautification Award Tuesday.
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By BOB HANSEN - bhansen@newsexaminer.com

A young man who came back to keep life good in his hometown, an entrepreneur who business is growing leaps and bounds and the enterprise that it took for a volunteer organization to renovate and move into a downtown business all received major recognition Tuesday from the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.

At the Chamber’s Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet, Dr. Andrew Yaryan received the chamber’s Citizen of the Year Award. Jason Graves, owner of C K Fasteners, received the Small Business/Entrepreneur Award. The Fayette County Historical Museum received the Beautification Award.

Citizen of the Year

Yaryan grew up in Connersville and then attended Indiana University Bloomington, where he graduated from medical school with a doctorate in optometry in 2008. His plan always had been to return to Connersville after graduation and open his own practice as a way of serving the needs of the community.

He started his own practice, Yaryan Eye Care Center, in 2009. The practice has another office in Brookville and is opening a third in Rushville.

“In choosing Connersville, Dr. Yaryan made the decision to give back to the town he grew up in and loved. He regularly donates time and money to the community,” wrote his nominator.

Dr. Yaryan gives his time each year to do free school eye screenings for first-graders in local elementary schools. He donates glasses to VOSH Indiana to help those in need.

Yaryan serves on several committees and boards, including the Fayette County School Corp. board and president of the corporation’s finance board. He is a commissioner for the Board of Aviation. He sits on the Franklin County National Bank board of directors. 

Small Business/Entrepreneur

Jason Graves, owner of C K Fasteners, started his fastener business in 2015 out of a windowless, unmarked building on Washington Street.

His nominator wrote, “Unless you were the UPS delivery truck, you wouldn’t know that a business was operating in this location (I actually had to stalk the UPS man on this street when I had an appointment to first meet Jason back in 2016).”

In January 2018, Graves announced his relocation to a larger building on 30th Street and the addition of a new employee to support the business growth. Since then, the business has moved again, to a larger building at 116 E. 11th St.

CK Fasteners operates primarily in the hardware/miscellaneous fasteners industry. It is a distributor of fasteners, cutting tools and abrasives. 

Graves started in the fastener business in 1995. 


The Fayette County Historical Museum moved to 200 W. 5th St. after volunteers with Historic Connersville Inc. purchased and remodeled a building that had been deteriorating for many years.

The museum had been located at 5th and Vine streets for many years. Donna Schroeder, who was president of Historic Connersville, is credited with the idea of moving it to the vacant Wells building, but the cast of those responsible for getting the job done is lengthy.

HCI took possession of the building in 2016 and the museum’s grand opening was on Saturday, Oct 13, 2018, with a ribbon cutting and the Connersville High School Jazz Band. New signs went up just Monday.

The move complements the Whitewater Valley Railroad and adds to the attraction of downtown. Attendance at the museum has increased weekly.  

More coverage of the  Chamber dinner will be in Thursday’s edition of the Connersville News-Examiner. The dinner took place after the News-Examiner had gone to print on Tuesday.