Queen Anne’s Chamber honors business leaders
CHESTER — The Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce held its Excellence in Business awards dinner Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Kent Island Yacht Club to honor those striving to make the Eastern Shore an economic powerhouse.
Winners for the evening included County Commissioner Jim Moran and his company Increte, recipient of the Community Outreach Award; Kristin Weed of the Kent Island Beach Clean Ups, Environmental Awareness Award; Steven and Tammy Holden of Smokehouse Grill, Entrepreneurs of the Year Award; Liz Draper, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award; and Tammy Harper of Kentmorr Restaurant, the
2018 Business Leader of the Year.
“We also need to remember a few very special people who were both leaders and friends of the Chamber of Commerce we lost this past year,” said emcee Eva Stoops, chairman for the chamber this year. She noted the contributions of Gail Ruppe, Fred Beane and Mary Lou Rosendale.
Unlike years past, where winners were notified prior to the event, this year’s dinner featured a surprise for nominees as well as a speech by Dr. Cliff Coppersmith, president of Chesapeake College. Coppersmith discussed the various initiatives underway at the college to develop an ample and varied workforce.
Also on hand for the event were Del. Steve Arentz, R36-Queen Anne’s, and Kim Kratovil, representing Sen. Ben Cardin’s office, to give the winners proclamations for their efforts.
Moran and his company were selected for what the chamber called a “commitment to Queen Anne’s County for many years.”
Organizations such as Haven Ministries, Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, Queen Anne’s Drug Free Coalition, Kent Island Beach From left, Kim Kratovil from Sen. Ben Cardin’s office and Del. Steve Arentz, R-36-Queen Anne’s, stand with Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Liz Draper and Chamber Chairman Eva Stoops.
Clean Ups and Queen Anne’s County Goes Purple are just some of the organizations Moran has supported.
Weed, Kent Island Beach Clean Ups co-founder, was honored for her work that started in fall 2012, when she conducted her first beach cleanup for the International Coastal Cleanup through the Ocean Conservancy.
Her efforts currently include fundraising, recruiting volunteers and educating the community. As an example of her work, in one day, 239 volunteers picked up 30,622 items.
“It feels great to get this recognition because it’s not about me, but about the work that we’re doing. If we can change the habits of just one person, that makes me happy to know that we’re making an impact,” said Weed.
Steven and Tammy Holden of Smokehouse Grill were named Entrepreneurs of the Year for their business being the original and only onsite catering company. They are in Stevensville, and serve the Delaware, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas.
They offer full-service catering for various events and routinely have multiple bookings occurring at the From left, Kim Kratovil from Senator Ben Cardin’s office, Del. Steve Arentz, R-36-Queen Anne’s, and Tammy Harper display her award for Business Leader of the Year and her proclamation.
The highlight of the evening came when Draper received the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been a member of the Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce since 1989. The Draper Brothers family-owned and operated business originally sold beer, wine, liquor and Drapers subs. The business was founded in July 1953 by her husband Jack and brother-in-law, Frank Draper.
Her long tenure in the county’s business community was accompanied by a number of the positions on local boards, including St. Pauls Episcopal
Church Vestry, Maryland State Board of Education, Queen Anne’s County Liquor Board, Mid Shore Community Foundation, Queenstown Bank Board of Directors and the Easton Memorial Hospital Board.
“Thanks go out to everyone for this, but this is not my award,” Draper said. “This is for all the people that have helped me in business and in all my (endeavors). I’ve always felt that as individuals we owe rent for our world space, and payment is made in volunteered service to the community.”
Finally, Harper garnered From left, Kim Kratovil from Sen. Ben Cardin’s office, Del. Steve Arentz, R-36-Queen Anne’s, and County Commissioner Jim Moran celebrate his award and proclamation.
the Business Leader of the Year Award for her work with her husband, Dave, in running a restaurant with 130 staff members.
Her work with charities include the Cancer Comfort Angels, United Way, Compass Regional Hospice, Bosom Buddies, Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center,
Kent Island Federation of Arts and the United Communities Fire Department where, over the past 20 years, she has donated over $70,000. It also includes but is not limited to QAC Goes Purple, Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department, Chesterwye and Wreaths Across America.
From left, Del. Steve Arentz, R-36-Queen Anne’s, Kristin Weed of the Kent Island Beach Clean Ups and Chamber of Commerce Chairman Eva Stoops with the state proclamation.
From left, Del. Steve Arentz, R-36-Queen Anne’s, stands with Tammy and Steve Holden of Smokehouse Grill with their award and proclamation.