The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford (CCGM) hosted their Annual “10 of the Best” Awards Dinner on Friday, April 17. Celebrating 25 years in the Milford community, CCGM celebrated their Past, honored their Present and inspired their Future. David Burton, the Chamber’s first President in 1989, was in attendance along with other past Presidents including Bob Lank, David Rutt, Randy Rice, Craig Crouch, Scott Welch, Charlie Burton, Lance Stubbolo, Ruth Abbate, Mike Kazala and the current serving President Angela Dorey.
“These men and women helped form the foundation, and shape the future of our Chamber,” said CCGM Event Chair Cheryl Doucette. “They deserve special recognition tonight and a little extra attention as well…”
The Chamber awarded five members with honors including Non-Profit Organization of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, New Chamber Member of the Year and Citizen of the Year. There were three nominees for each category and chamber members casted the votes to decide the winners. The 2015 Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award was given to Super Eagle Supply/Blind Industries. Sno-Yo won the Small Business of the Year Award. Walmart won the Large Business of the Year award and The New Chamber Member of the Year was accepted by Chick-fil-A.
The Citizen of the Year award honored Milford resident David Burton. “[David] has been an important part of this community for decades. He has been instrumental in the growth of Milford, helping with raising funds for the Milford Public Library, helping to establish the Milford Boys & Girls Club,” said Doucette. Mr. Burton served as the President of the Milford Hospital for nine years and the Board of Directors for 39 years. He served on the Milford City Council for 10 years and was a huge contributor, personally and professionally, to the revitalization of downtown Milford and the Riverwalk. Mr. Burton was well known throughout the state and region as he led i.g.Burton & Company for over fifty years.
The Chamber also gave out awards for Chamber members that have been active within the organization helping to plan events and organize committees. Stephanie Edwards received Board Member of the Year, Debbie Jewell was awarded Chairperson of the Year, Eric Hitch was awarded Volunteer of the Year and Jacob Kaminski received Youth Volunteer of the Year. Chamber President Angela Dorey presented her President Award to Gary Emory, former City of Milford Parks & Recreation Director.
Among his many accomplishments, Emory cofounded the Bug and Bud Festival with Milford resident Dan Bond, the Lil Bucs Invitational Wrestling Tournament and the Relay for Life event for the city of Milford. His efforts have been recognized by the naming of a the Gary L. Emory Nature Trail at Goat Island and the Emory Little League Field. He also received the most prestigious award given by The Delaware Recreation and Parks Society, the George T. Sargisson Award. In the last three decades Gary’s largest accomplishment is the creation and maintenance of the Mispillion Greenway Riverwalk,which consists of 23 phases connecting Maple Street to Goat Island by way of pedestrian and bicycle paths. Always an advocate for creating healthy lifestyle opportunities, Emory was an integral part of the land acquisition, planning, developing and maintenance that has allowed the town to revive the Mispillion River.