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ATCC Foundation honors 2017 philanthropists

Alexandria Industries was named 2017 business Philanthropist of the Year by the Alexandria Technical and Community College Foundation. From left, Steve Schabel, the company's chief sales and marketing officer; foundation Executive Director Amy Allen; company CEO Tom Schabel; director of operations Jason Bachman; and ATCC President Laura Urban. (Contributed)1 / 2
Jill Blashack Strahan, left, was named the 2017 individual Philanthropist of the Year by the Alexandria Technical and Community College Foundation. With her are ATCC President Laura Urban (middle) and Amy Allen, foundation executive director.2 / 2

The Alexandria Technical & Community College Foundation honored Jill Blashack Strahan of Alexandria and Alexandria Industries on Dec. 7 for their philanthropy toward the school.

Strahan, founder and CEO of food product company Tastefully Simple, was named the individual 2017 Philanthropist of the Year. Strahan grew up on a rural Villard farm and graduated from the college's marketing and sales management program.

"As an ATCC graduate, I believe strongly in the quality education they provide. I can't tell you the impact the College had on me," Strahan said in a news release from the college. "I'll be forever grateful for the doors they opened in my life."

Since 2009, Strahan has supported a scholarship that the college said has "led to an incredible future for many students."

The business Philanthropist of the Year Award went to Jason Bachman, director of operations for manufacturer Alexandria Industries.

For almost 30 years, Alexandria Industries has gotten involved in the school's programs and hired the college's students, the college said. Its employees include more than 80 of the school's graduates. The manufacturer has also given generous cash and in-kind donations, the news release said.

It's been said, "If the College needs something, Alexandria Industries is one of the first places we call. They are there whenever we need help," the college said.

Bachman said the company's involvement in the college goes beyond the boardroom.

"It's our employees and what they've done by giving back to the community," he said. "It's our employees who really set the example for us and what we do."