Cham­ber presents Ex­cel­lence in Busi­ness Awards

Record Observer - - Front Page - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

STEVENSVILLE — Dr. Scott Billings, a lo­cal den­tist, was in for a big sur­prise last week.

He didn’t know he was up for Busi­ness Leader of the Year from the Queen Anne’s County Cham­ber of Com­merce. But he won the award.

“My staff sur­prised me and brought me over to re­ceive it,” Billings said.

He was one of five busi­ness peo­ple to re­ceive Ex­cel­lence in Busi­ness Awards from the cham­ber dur­ing a cer­e­mony on Thurs­day, Oct. 20, at the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Beach Club fol­lowed by a re­cep­tion and 50 busi­nesses ex­hibit­ing their ser­vices, an­swer­ing ques­tions and giv­ing away good­ies.

The other Ex­cel­lence in Busi­ness Awards were given to Su­san Vianna of Fish­er­gate for Vol­un­teer of the Year, Heather Howe of Fields of Heather Bak­ery for En­tre­pre­neur of the Year and Krista Pet­tit of Haven Min­istries for Com­mu­nity Ser­vant Award. Do­minic DiGiovine of Ch­e­sa­peake En­vi­ron­men­tal Lab won the En­vi­ron­men­tal Aware­ness Award, but he missed the awards cer­e­mony due to a death in the fam­ily.

Billings started his busi­ness in 1981 on Kent Is­land and has now of­fices in Ch­ester. He has part­nered with Dr. Chris Mur­phy in the den­tal prac­tice, now named Eastern Shore Den­tal Care.

“When he started his busi­ness, he was only one of three den­tists op­er­at­ing on Kent Is­land. Since day one, he has been ded­i­cated to his mis­sion of pro­vid­ing the most com­fort­able, com­pas­sion­ate and state-of-the-art den­tal care in the en­tire re­gion,” said Eric Hoff­man, cham­ber chair­man.

“He has been treat­ing pa­tients with un­matched per­sonal, car­ing chair side man­ner that has earned the ‘Fa­vorite Den­tist’ hon­ors for many years by lo­cal me­dia and pa­tient vote sur­veys,” Hoff­man said.

Billings’ busi­ness also gives gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tions to lo­cal char­i­ties and he and his part­ners hold an an­nual “Smiles for the Heart” free day of den­tistry event.

Vianna re­ceived her vol­un­teer award for her work with the cham­ber.

“This year’s re­cip­i­ent is some­one that’s al­ways will­ing to jump in when the cham­ber or staff has a need. As many of you know when the staff went from three to two, there was a void of tal­ent. The per­son that was able to step up is some­one that many of you know and use their ser­vices. You may see this per­son at many events where they have served on a board or have served on a com­mit­tee,” Hoff­man said.

Be­sides her award, Vianna re­ceived procla­ma­tions from Con­gress­man Andy Har­ris, Md. Se­na­tor Steve Her­shey and Del. Steve Arentz. The pub­lic of­fi­cials had procla­ma­tions for each of the win­ners.

Howe re­ceived En­tre­pre­neur of the Year, which is given to a busi­ness owner who demon­strates out­stand­ing lead­er­ship and man­age­ment of all facets of busi­ness, in­clud­ing growth, profit and staffing.

She launched her busi­ness five years ago and re­ceived her as­so­ciate’s de­gree as well as busi­ness man­age­ment and en­trepreneur­ship from Anne Arun­del Com­mu­nity Col­lege along with a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Food Ser­vice En­trepreneur­ship from John­son & Wales.

“Any morn­ing you will see this per­son in [her] shop pre­par­ing for the first morn­ing rush with fresh cof­fee and home­made baked items. She em­ploys seven plus em­ploy­ees and al­ways look­ing to hire good, ded­i­cated cus­tomer ser­vice friendly in­di­vid­u­als. Her store is a great meet­ing place for the lo­cals with a warm greet­ing from her staff,” Hoff­man said.

Howe has re­ceived many pop­u­lar­ity awards voted on by cus­tomers.

She won the Spirit of En­trepreneur­ship, Rising Star from the En­trepreneurs ex­change and awarded the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­mu­nity Col­lege En­trepreneur­ship’s Alumni En­tre­pre­neur.

“She has pas­sion for what she does,” Hoff­man said.

Pet­tit was hon­ored with the Com­mu­nity Ser­vant Award, given to a per­son or com­pany who has demon­strated a strong record of com­mu­nity in­volve­ment through­out the year.

“We are very for­tu­nate to have this per­son in our com­mu­nity,” Hoff­man said. “This per­son has been in­volved in the com­mu­nity for many years, help­ing peo­ple with pro­vid­ing shel­ter, food and cloth­ing to those less for­tu­nate .... You may see this per­son ad­dress­ing the County Com­mis­sion­ers, the com­mu­nity at large or a church group. She is a huge ad­vo­cate for the home­less and those in need.”

This year’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Aware­ness Award went to Do­minic DiGiovine, who has been in­volved in the en­vi­ron­men­tal in­dus­try for 30 years. The busi­ness pro­vides ser­vice and wa­ter ex­pe­ri­ence to home­own­ers, real es­tate agents and the busi­ness com­mu­nity in Queen Anne’s County and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

The busi­ness is a big sup­porter of the Clean Wa­ter Act, the Safe Drink­ing Wa­ter Act and The Bay Restora­tion Fund. The com­pany is cer­ti­fied with the Mary­land Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment to col­lect and an­a­lyze drink­ing wa­ter and in­spec­tion of on-site sewage dis­posal sys­tems.

DiGiovine worked in his fam­ily owned busi­ness as a young teenager. In 1991 he and his sis­ter, Eva, started the Ch­e­sa­peake En­vi­ron­men­tal Lab Inc., where they just cel­e­brated 25 years.

The EXPO spon­sors were PNC Bank, K. Hov­na­nian, Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Beach Club, the Shore Up­date and the Bay Times and Record Ob­server.

Award spon­sors were Cor­sica Tech­nolo­gies, WCEI, Queen Anne’s County Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion, Queen Anne’s County Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Bay Area As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors, WCTR, Eastern Shore Den­tal Care and Merit Avi­a­tion Ser­vices.

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

The Queen Anne’s County Cham­ber of Com­merce held its Ex­cel­lence In Busi­ness Awards cer­e­mony at the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville. The awards re­cip­i­ents, from left, are Su­san Vianna of Fish­er­gate Graphic De­sign, Vol­un­teer of the Year; Heather Howe of Fields of Heather Bak­ery, En­tre­pre­neur of the Year; Krista Pet­tit of Haven Min­istries, Com­mu­nity Ser­vant Award; and Dr. Scott Billings of Eastern Shore Den­tal Care, Busi­ness Leader of the Year. Not pic­tured is Do­minic DiGiovine of Ch­e­sa­peake En­vi­ron­men­tal Lab, who won En­vi­ron­men­tal Aware­ness Award.

PHOTO BY AN­GELA PRICE

A crowd of lo­cal busi­ness peo­ple wait to hear the win­ners of the Queen Anne’s County Cham­ber of Com­merce’s 2016 Ex­cel­lence in Busi­ness Awards Thurs­day, Oct. 20, at the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville.

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

Heather Howe, left, re­ceived the En­tre­pre­neur of the Year award from the Queen Anne’s County Cham­ber of Com­merce dur­ing a cer­e­mony on Oct. 20. Hand­ing out the awards was Eric Hoff­man, cham­ber chair­man. Howe had her hands full af­ter re­ceiv­ing the award and procla­ma­tions from rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Con­gress­man Andy Har­ris, state Se­na­tor Steve Her­shey and Del. Steve Arentz.

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

Linda Fri­day, pres­i­dent of the Queen Anne’s County Cham­ber of Com­merce, opens the awards cer­e­mony at the group’s ninth year of the pro­duc­ing the Busi­ness and Home Expo on Thurs­day, Oct. 20, at the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville.

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