By Terry Rogers
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford announced its “Ten of the Best” Awards on Thursday, April 6, 2017. The evening was emceed by Jo Schmeiser, Executive Director of the chamber and held at the Milford Senior Center. Ms. Schmeiser led off the award ceremony by recognizing this year’s Marvelous Man of Milford who was crowned at the Annual Girl’s Night Out event in May 2016. This year’s winner was Scott Crothers of First State Manufacturing who raised more than $5,000.
Alicia Hollis of Kent-Sussex Industries was named as Board Member of the Year. Ms. Hollis serves as the Secretary on the Executive Committee, taking all minutes of the Executive Board, Board Meetings and the Annual Retreat. She coordinates the Chamber/Grotto’s Parade of Trees and Community Day as well as serving as the Duck Dash Co-Chair for the Riverwalk Freedom Festival.
“Alicia supported the chamber and our members by attending more events last year than any other board member,” Cheryl Doucette, President of CCGM said. “She is always willing to help out and lend a hand whenever it is needed.”
The Chairperson of the Year Award was given to Angi Hicks of the Milford Chronicle. Ms. Hicks creates email blasts, program flyers and other graphic materials for CCGM. Ms. Doucette called Ms. Hicks a “committee of one,” praising her for dealing with “awful layouts, chicken scratch and red pen corrections.” Ms. Hicks also deals with constant calls from Chamber members and staff, providing her services with a smile and great attitude.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Ruth Abbate whose name is synonymous with volunteering, according to Ms. Doucette. Ms. Abbate served as the co-chair for the Awards Dinner and was the first to turn in the only sold-out Golf Tournament Golf Ball Drop Sheet. She served as the Cupcake Chairperson for Girls Night Out, volunteered at the Red, White and Blue 5K, was Sponsorship Chairperson for the Riverwalk Freedom Festival and a driving force on the new CCGM Scholarship Committee.
Elizabeth Abbate was given the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award for her assistance at many chamber events. Ms. Abbate carried the red bucket asking for firework donations at a mixer in July. She also handed out flags and collected more fireworks donations at the Riverwalk Freedom Festival.
The Non-profit Organization of the Year award went to the Milford Church of God, nudging out the Greater Milford Boys and Girls Club as well as People’s Place who were also nominated. Milford Church of God has been a member since 1995 and their mission is to lead others by experiencing God for real, for themselves and by inspiring people to live in a way that is Christ-centered. Pastor Andy Stevens, who leads the church, is Chairperson of the Chamber’s Economic Development Commission and has helped develop the Stocking Stuffer program that provides stockings for needy children.
Dorey Insurance and Financial Services was chosen as the Small Business of the Year over fellow nominees Mr. Bar-B-Que and Delmarva Popcorn & Nut Co. “Angela Dorey moved from above the canal not knowing anyone in Milford,” Ms. Doucette said. “She went to work for a business that was a member of the chamber and started attending events. Not too long after, she ventured off on her own, moved into a facility and was soon able to hire an assistant. Less than two years later, she moved to a larger facility, now has three employees and serves both businesses and individuals all over Delmarva.”
Grotto’s Pizza was named Large Business of the Year, chosen over Dentsply Sirona and Bayhealth. Although Grotto’s Pizza has been in business since 1960 and is well-known in the beach area, it has only been in Milford for six years. In that short time, they have come to be an important part of the Milford community and are very supportive of CCGM.
Eastern Shore Cleaning, Life Leadership and LulaRoe with Donna Stalvey were all nominated for the New Chamber Member of the Year Award. The award went to LulaRoe with Donna Stalky. “She is a hard-working individual who puts in long hours, volunteers many hours without though of her personal time,” Ms. Doucette read from the nomination form submitted for Ms. Stalvey. “In addition to working for us, selling real estate and volunteering, somehow she manages to start her own franchise last year, having several pop-up sales events, using social media to market her business and participating in the Riverwalk Freedom Festival along with many other local events.”
Terri Stalvey, Past President of CCGM, presented the Fred Rohm Award. Mr. Rohm served as president of the chamber in 2010 and it was his idea to hold an awards banquet that would recognize volunteers. The award was established after his death in 2013. This year, the Fred Rohm Award was presented to Shirley Renzi. Ms. Renzi has been a big supporter of the chamber for more than 26 years, serving on the board, executive board and many committees. She still arrives at the Riverwalk Freedom Festival at 6 AM to volunteer and was instrumental in getting the new Milford sign installed on the divider between Route 1 and Route 113. She has served on the boards of such noteworthy organizations as Kent and Sussex Industries, St. John’s Church and the Milford Senior Center. She also takes care of many elderly members of the community who have no family in the area.
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