Archbold, OH
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Mostly cloudy





by David Pugh
Buckeye Staff Writer

Andy Brodbeck had just returned home, Tuesday, Sept. 28, when he got a call he never expected.

"I received a call from Ed Bracken, with the Lions Club. He said I had been nominated for Citizen of the Year, and the selection committee had chosen me for the honor," Brodbeck said.

"I didn’t say anything for a while. Then I said something to the effect that I don’t see myself as deserving of this, but it would be an honor to accept."

An Archbold native and 1974 Archbold High School graduate, Brodbeck has played many roles in the community. He has been a businessman, a church leader, and since 1996, chief of the Archbold Fire Department.

Business Career
He was born to Howard "Cy" and Hattie Brodbeck on Jan. 4, 1956. After finishing high school, he went to work for Sauder Manufacturing, a job he held for seven years.

He married Sherri Short in 1976, and helped at the Archbold Dairy Freeze, a business owned by Sherri. It was located in the building now occupied by Betty’s Restaurant on Stryker Street.

He and Sherri purchased Short’s Catering in 1982 from Sherri’s parents, Gerald and Marilyn Short.

Brodbeck said he made a hard decision to leave Sauder Manufacturing. The couple ran ran the catering business until 1987.

That was the year Erie Sauder, founder of Sauder Woodworking, built Founder’s Hall. The couple was asked to run the banquet hall and The Barn Restaurant. Sherri later took a different job, while he became head of all food services for Sauder Village.

Then, in 1993, "Erie built the Heritage Inn. I was part of the team that helped build it,” he said. At that time, he was named director of business operations.

In 1999, the couple purchased the Locker Room, formerly Bill’s Locker Room, which is now owned by their son, Kyle.

Brodbeck has been a member of the Archbold Rotary Club for a number of years, and was president of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce in 2001-02.

Fire Department
Brodbeck joined the Archbold-German Township Fire Department on Jan. 1, 1977.

"It was one of those things, I’d lived in the town all my life, I wanted to give back, to support the community. Plus, it’s an interesting job," he said.

He moved up the department command structure. By 1995, he was assistant chief to the late Richard Erbskorn. When Erbskorn died suddenly on Dec. 13, 1995, Brodbeck became acting chief. He was officially appointed to the role early the next year.

Then in the early 2000s, he was named the village’s first full-time fire chief. He also serves as the Fulton County coordinator for the Ohio Fire Chiefs Emergency Response Plan.

Faith, Family
Brodbeck has been a member of the Archbold Evangelical Church since 1975; he attended the church prior to joining.

He served in the youth ministry for a number of years, as the church chairman for six years, spent five years as a member of the elder board, and is currently serving another term as church chairman.

Brodbeck said he has been blessed with an incredible family. He and Sherri have two sons, Kyle and Kurt. Kurt is a youth pastor in Carmel, Ind. He lives in Noblesville, Ind, with his wife Brooke, and their son, Corbin, 3. They are expecting a second child "any day now."

In addition to owning and operating The Locker Room, Kyle is also a member of the fire department.. He and his wife Tara have a son, Keaton, 7, and a daughter, Chaney, 5.

Brodbeck said he is humbled "by the thought of even being considered (for Citizen of the Year), and feel blessed to have been chosen.

"Everyone, in their own way, is deserving of being Citizen of the Year. Each person contributes to the community, their church, their workplace, or an organization they belong to and they all do it in a different way.

"I just happen to be the person picked this time, and I’m honored to represent the people of our community this year.

"I love this town and I love the people. Archbold has been my place of residence my entire life.

"Some things have changed throughout the years, but a couple things that haven’t is that Archbold is still a great place to live, work, and raise a family."–Posted 9.29, 10:46 pm


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