After the passing of community icon Jeremy Burnside, many groups were shaken and left with the desire to do something extra to honor the mover and his family.
The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce was no different, having been greatly impacted by the late leaders resolve to improve business conditions for the community and the members of the Chamber.
To recognize his efforts, the group has formed a newly minted award that will be an annual celebration of Burnside and one other community leader who shows that same unfettering resolve to do good for the region.
“Jeremy Burnside became a fast friend of the Chamber shortly upon moving to Portsmouth,” Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Carver said. “He appreciated the benefits the Chamber had to offer and took advantage of those benefits to grow his law practice. Jeremy developed a passion for the area and displayed community spirit rarely seen. Jeremy Burnside challenged everyone around him to do better in every way. His drive and enthusiasm changed the hearts and mindsets of so many.
The award will be given at the Chamber of Commerce annual dinner. It will be held in the SSU ballroom on Wednesday, November 9.
The cut off time for nominations is October 19th. Nomination forms will be available online at Portsmouth.org and in the Chamber office, 342 2nd Street.
The Chamber is not new to awards, having given the Distinguished Citizen for many years.
“The Chamber has historically given out awards at its annual dinner. One goal of the Chamber is to empower its members. Recognizing these businesses and individuals is just another way we do that,” Carver explained.
While this is only one award they give, Carver explained that this new one feels special, due to the humanity tied to it.
“I think all of us who knew Jeremy are a little bit better people because of it. We were both from northeast Ohio so we had an instant connection,” Carver said. “Another branch of my family is from Grundy, Virginia where Jeremy went to law school. Conversation was always easy because of our common ground. But then again, Jeremy embraced our community as his own and made being around him an energized experience for everyone.”
Mayor Sean Dunne, friend of Jeremy believes the new undertaking by the Chamber has merit.
“This a thoughtful gesture by the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce,” Dunne said. “Jeremy created new opportunities and new attitudes in our community and his devotion to our city was second to none. Like others, I miss him greatly, but it’s easy to be reminded of him and the many things he did by simply driving though our downtown.”
Wife of Burnside, Maddie, was honored to receive the news her husband would be receiving the honor of an annual award recognition.
“I am so honored the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce is naming an award after my late husband, Jeremy,” Maddie Burnside said. “To say he loved this area would be an understatement. The Portsmouth people were his people and he loved the idea of making this community a better place for all of us. In fact, he devoted much of his time and energy the last several years of his life making certain of it. We live in a beautiful area and Jeremy opened our eyes to better see it. Now, we have to make sure we never take it for granted again and continue building upon all of his, and so many other’s hard work. I know for a fact, there are several individuals and organizations doing just this day in and day out and he’s cheering all of us on from above.”
The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce is a network of over 500 businesses that works under the administrative staff and board of directors to benefit area business conditions and create network opportunities. To learn more, visit their website at Portsmouth.org or give Lisa a call at 740.353.7647.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved