The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce recently held its annual dinner, which brought out around 140 guests together to celebrate the health of local businesses.

“The point of our dinner is to recognize businesses and individuals who have gone above and beyond in serving the our organization and the community,” Executive Director Lisa Carver said. “We’ve traditionally held this dinner to celebrate and spotlight the people who strive to make this a place better.”

New awards were added this year and Carver feels good about the opportunity to recognize more people.

“With our Chamber growing the way it is, we thought it was a good time to expand our awards,” Carver said. “We’re always looking for opportunities to bring more attention to our members and anything to spotlight positivity in our community.”

The new awards were Business of the Year for 10 and Under Employees, Business of the Year for 11 and Over Employees, and the Jeremy Burnside Community Spirit Award.

The previously existing awards include Chamber Member of the Year, Distinguished Citizen, and Farmer of the Year.

“The new awards were very well received. Everyone we talked to was excited about it and that is what the Chamber tries to do. Our goal is to strengthen the business community and I think these awards lend leverage to that goal.”

The award winners included Neal Hatcher Real Estate for Business of the for Ten and Under Employees; Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC for Business of the Year 11 and Over Employees; David Kilroy for Chamber Member of the Year; Robert Black for Distinguished Citizen of the Year; Wendi Waugh for Jeremy Burnside Community Spirit Award; and Charles Nichols for Farmer of the Year.

A new award was the Jeremy Burnside Community Spirit Award.

“It was very well received as well. Jeremy did so much for our community and had such great spirit that we felt it was an appropriate honor,” Carver said. “Jeremy loved everything positive about this community. That’s what he stood for. Wendi embodies everything positive about Portsmouth and shares a lot of those same passions Jeremy had.”

Waugh was shocked to be the award’s first recipient.

“I’m humbled to have received the award and although Jeremy and I were infectious together and I loved dreaming with him he was the mastermind. I believed in him and his visionary approach to transforming this community and I stood by to assist in any way we could dream,” Waugh wrote in response to winning. “I’m honored and energized that I might be able to carry this torch. We do, our community, together. That is what he would have said. Dream Build Live. We will.”

The Chamber continues to grow and reach out to new members. The organization is currently around 500 strong and is continually growing.

“It shows that we have a strong business community,” Carver said. “We have even continued to grow through Covid and the other issues facing our community. I believe our continued growth is due to the strong leadership the Chamber has shown during adverse times.”

To join the Chamber of Commerce, visit Portsmouth.org or call 740.353.7647.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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