Chamber Awards Dinner Showcases “10 of the Best”

Miss Delaware Kayla Martell & CCGM Executive Director jo Schmeiser

Jo Schmeiser CCGM Executive Director

The Chamber of Commerce for Great Milford hosted the first ever “10 of the Best” Awards Dinner Thursday April 7th, and over 100 chamber members and guests attended the event.

The evening began with a cocktail hour in the Shawnee Country Club bar area, and moved into the banquet rooms where attendees had the opportunity to be photographed with the event guest speaker, Miss Delaware Kayla Martell.

Chamber member Mike Baker, with C.M. Baker Photography donated his time and donated framed keepsake photos, which everyone really enjoyed.

Everyone was asked to be seated and CCGM President Fred Rohm offered a moment of silence before the staff from Nick & Charlie’s Bar and Grill (in the Shawnee Country Club) began serving dinner. 

Nick & Charlie’s not only offered a fabulous menu, they also donated the dinners to Kayla, her guest and all the award winners and their guest.  Several people raved about the dinner and said they could not wait to go back and enjoy lunch or dinner.

After dinner, Chairperson Lorna Petchey thanked all the sponsors and committee members who made the event possible.

The committee members are Fred Rohm, Mike Kazala, Donna Stalvey and Wyatt Hammond.  The evening of the event, CCGM Secretary Angela Dorey volunteered her time to

assist Donna in selling raffle tickets for a prize worth over $1200.00.

In addition to the sponsors mentioned, the following chamber members also supported the awards dinner:  AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Burris Logistics, Artisans’ Bank, Delaware Hospice Center, PNC Bank, Bayhealth, Larson’s Mower Shop, Lank, Johnson & Tull, CPA’s, Dover Federal Credit Union, Kent County Tourism, The Mail Center, Graphics Unlimited, Gooden’s Flora Shop, Delmarva Broadcasting Company, Halpern Eye Associates, Kings Tire and Lube, J.H. Webb Limousine, Blooming Boutique, Shawnee Country Club and E.K.A. Jewelers.

Once Lorna was finished it was my turn to introduce Milford Native and (following the event theme), top ten Miss America Pageant finalist, Miss Delaware.  Kayla spoke about the challenges she faced with being diagnosed with alopecia, a condition that caused her to lose her hair, saying that no matter what challenges a person is faced with, they can reach their goals if they believe in themselves and work hard to reach their goals. After Kayla inspired the guests, I congratulated all the nominees and turned the microphone over to Fred Rohm to announce the “10 of the Best” award winners.

Winning Non-profit Organization of the year is Delaware Hospice Center.  Delmarva Broadcasting Company won the Small Business of the Year award, and Bayhealth took the award for best Large Business of the Year.  New Member of the year was awarded to Milford Live.

The Citizen of the Year award went to Ruth Ann Beidemann, Youth Volunteer award winner is Jordan Hosfelt, Chamber Volunteer of the Year is Terry Johnson, Chairperson of the Year is Cheryl Ruddy, Board Member of the Year is Deanna Smith and the President’s Award is Ruth Abbate.

Event Chairperson Lorna Petchey did a fantastic job, and the chamber is thankful for all the time and hard work she did to make the event such a success.

For more information call the chamber at 422.3344 or send an email request to