Twenty Years Ago Barb Bendel (center) joined the ranks of the helpful hardware folks at Whitmore Ace Hardware by becoming a cashier at the Wilmington store. Since then she has been the kind voice that answers the phone and provides top-notch customer service. Her friendly service the past two decades have earned her the Wilmington Chamber’s trophy of the month for January. Presenting the trophy is Chamber ambassador Judy Wunderlich (left) while store manager Mike “Murph” Mitchell looks on. “I never dreamt I would stay here this long,” Bendel commented. “I like working here because it’s a family atmosphere.” Being a resident of Wilmington, Barb knows her customers well. Mitchell, who has been at Whitmore’s 38 years, praised Bendel’s dedication, noting that Whitmore is so fortunate to have such a loyal employee.