The Addison County Chamber of Commerce recognized local businesses, organizations, and individuals with its annual awards during the Chamber’s annual meeting held on September 8th at the Middlebury Inn.
Four awards were presented in front of a crowd of 100 attendees which included Chamber members, local business people and other dignitaries. In addition to the award presentations, the Chamber membership voted on a new board of directors.
Vermont Hard Cider Company was presented with the Business of the Year Award which is given to a business located in Addison County that demonstrates excellent business practices and provides a positive impact on the community. According to Andy Mayer, Chamber president, “Vermont Hard Cider’s growth, commitment to Addison County, and commitment to the environment, while enhancing the Vermont brand make them a natural choice for the award.”
In addition to the Business of the Year award, the Addison County Chamber presented its Buster Brush Citizen of the Year Award which is given to an individual who has made numerous contributions to the community without the expectation of acknowledgement.
This year two recipients were presented with the award—Lorraine Franklin of Addison and Karen Hennessy of Crown Point, N.Y. Franklin and Hennessy are co-founders of the Lake Champlain Bridge Coalition. Rep. Diane Lanpher, District 3, said, “As co-founders of the Coalition, they demonstrated the necessary spirit to achieve success by using their tenacity to hold communities together. Without their efforts I believe area businesses and workers would have fractured into less than effective entities. They showed extraordinary leadership, refusing to settle for anything less than full unity. This unity comes in the form of a bridge. Their effort to reconnect their once separated communities has been relentless.”
The Chamber’s Community Achievement Award is given to a not-for-profit organization for outstanding services and leadership to the community. The Chamber recognized Helen Porter Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center as an outstanding healthcare provider and business. According to just one of the nominations, “Helen Porter’s kind and compassionate care is the norm rather than the exception. They have made the facility welcoming, cheerful and homelike, which enhances the patient’s well being and that of the staff and visitors as well.”
Addison Repertory Theater was recognized as this year’s Business Education Partnership Award recipient. This award recognizes extraordinary programs, people or initiatives which link the business and education communities to bridge the gap between the workforce of today and the one we will need tomorrow. The A.R.T., under the extraordinary direction of Candace Burkle and Steve Small, has provided a home for students allowing them to flourish in many aspects of their lives because of their passion for and accomplishments in acting, writing, directing and producing plays.
Annual meeting attendees voted on the board of directors for the 2011-2012 year. New to the board this year are Sam Cutting IV, Dakin Farm; Don Devost, Addison Advisors and Kelley Mills, Hannaford Career Center. All are serving one-year terms expiring at the 2012 annual meeting.
The board and members of the Chamber recognized Mike McLaughlin, Bread Loaf Corporation; Lynn Coale, Hannaford Career Center and Paul Richey who are leaving the board after serving their terms. Kris Merchant, Waitsfield Champlain Valley Telecom, is the outgoing chairperson while Jeff Costello, Costello Home Works, is the incoming chairperson.
Other board members include:
Bonita Bedard, Vermont HoneyLights, representing Five Town Business Council
Dan Brown, Swift House Inn
Tim Buskey, Vergennes Residential Care
David Donahue, Middlebury College
Donna Donahue, Better Middlebury Partnership
Robin Huestis, Round Robin Upscale Resale Shop
Andy Mayer, Addison County Chamber
Kate McGowan, United Way of Addison County
Kris Merchant, Waitsfield Champlain Valley Telecom, immediate past president
Steve Misasi, Misasi & Misasi, PC
Mike Rainville, Maple Landmark Woodcraft, representing Addison County Economic Development Corporation
Bill Sayre, A. Johnson Lumber Company, representing Addison County Regional Planning Commission
Bill Townsend, J.P. Carrara & Sons
Grover Usilton, National Bank of Middlebury