The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual meeting and awards recognition on Thursday, Dec. 3.
The chamber had to innovate and create a platform for its annual gathering due to the governor’s executive orders of Nov. 18.
Sharon Scott, the chamber’s executive director, said of the meeting, “We felt in the best interest of public health and safety, the best way for us to deliver the program in 2020 was via a virtual format.” Aaron Harris-Kirby, President and CEO of Pointe West Management and the chair of the chamber’s board for 2020, supported the idea as long as the vehicle used was not Zoom. Harris-Kirby said, “Don’t get me wrong, Zoom has been an important part of our lives in 2020, but everyone has Zoom fatigue. We wanted to make the meeting as informative, engaging and fun as possible during a pandemic. We knew we could not physically distance 400 people in any venue in Montgomery County. We prepared a request for proposal document in late August for a virtual production. The annual meeting resembled the traditional format with some added fun.”
Harris-Kirby shared the 2020 progress toward the very aggressive Program of Work of 100 objectives for a 100 percent completion rate. She said, “This program of work was adjusted with the movement or removal of nine items due to the pandemic and the addition of 7 objectives and over 200 tasks because of the events of 2020.”
The chamber’s award winners for 2020 in the business award categories were Business of the Year: LewisGale Hospital Montgomery; Small Business of the Year: Joba Studio; Distinguished Business Person of the Year: Ed Tuchler, Shelter Alternatives; Distinguished Government Leader: Mark Miear, Montgomery County Public School System; Distinguished Board Member: Terry Vangelos, Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS; Regional Impact Award: The Public Safety Task Force of the NRV; Outstanding Community Service – Individual: Jennifer Majdanik, BAE, OSI Systems; Outstanding Community Service- Organization: The Montgomery County Health Department; Outstanding New Members: Gigi’s Cupcakes and Pest Management Services, Inc.; 2020 Pivot Awards: Cody Thompson with Zeppoli’s; WING and New River Engraving, Inc.; Chamber Volunteer of the Year: Christine Chittenden, Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS; Ambassador of the Year: Tia Brown, Budget Blinds Serving Salem, Roanoke, Botetourt and the New River Valley; Green or Sustainability Award: Blacksburg Transit.
The Non-Profits of the Year (small) award was won by Vittles for Vets with New River Community Action named the Non-Profit of the Year (large). The Distinguished Non-Profit Leader was Sara Bohn, United Way NRV.
The Technology Company of the Year was Baseline Solar Solutions, and the Leadership NRV Sparkplug award was presented to Meghan Kuczmarski of Edward Jones.
The nomination process was open to members and non-members from April through October, and the nominees were vetted by a committee composed of previous award winners. The 2020 Awards committee was chaired by board member Terry Vangelos, Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS – Christiansburg.
The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce serves Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Montgomery County, supporting approximately 650 local businesses through business advocacy, education, marketing and networking opportunities.
For membership information, visit the chamber website at www.montgomerycc.org or the chamber’s Facebook page, or call The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce at 540.382.3020.