Chamber hands out accolades for businesses
Keynote speaker encourages participation, advocacy, change
The Calvert County Chamber of Commerce held its 2018 Annual Meeting and Excellence Awards on Oct. 18 in Chesapeake Beach.
Christine Ross, president and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, discussed the importance of embracing change and why it is critical to be a member of the chamber of commerce in these times.
“Calvert County has a wonderful blend of rural and suburban You have both entrepreneurs and young families. You have multiple generations of families,” Ross said. “I know you work really hard to find balance, balance is hard, in protecting the past while making way for the future.”
Ross said that takes a lot effort, an open mind, partnership and collaboration to achieve that balance and said change is necessary in order to sustain what the county currently has.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future,” Ross said, quoting former President John F. Kennedy.
Ross said now is the opportunity to seek a new and imaginative way forward that will position Calvert County at the forefront of sustainability that protects the environment, social structures and encourages economic suc- cess for all residents.
She challenged all to show courage and patience and to listen to each other and embrace the power of this opportunity for change.
Ross credits Calvert Chamber President and CEO Bob Carpenter with the organization’s collaboration with local officials to promote a healthy economic climate, as well as applauds the local chamber for dedication to young professionals.
“This is critical for everyone to support the future community and business leaders. The nature of business and joining [chambers] is changing and we need flex and change with it,” Ross said, challenging the chamber to try new things so it will not become obsolete.
Ross credits chambers across the state with building grassroots coalitions with local and county chambers that are critical to the Maryland chamber’s success in protecting jobs and free enterprise.
“Together, all of the chambers in the state have been able to fight counterproductive job killing policies from the beginning to the end, and our most powerful and persuasive tool has proven to be our collective voice,” Ross said, noting several successes under Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) administration, to include mass job creation, regulation eliminations and
reductions in tolls and taxes.
“Chambers of commerce don’t make products. The chambers of commerce make things happen,” Ross said.
Ross alerted chamber members to things on the horizon in the upcoming 2019 General Assembly session that may adversely affect businesses, to include the possible expansion of HB1 — Maryland’s new sick leave bill — and the continued fight for a $15 minimum wage.
Ross said “we are well aware how small changes in legislation can make a big impact on your bottom line.”
During the evening celebration, the chamber took time to handle business and to elect board members.
Susan Coumans of M&T Bank, Janna Jackson of Exelon Genera-
tion/Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, Theresa Johnson of CalvertHealth, Jonna Jones of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Kathy Maney of Talon Benefits Solutions, Teresa Schrodel of Medart Galleries, Danny Woods of Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG and Don Wyatt of Comcast were elected to the board.
The chamber also bade farewell to board members Martha Rymer and Christy Lombardi.
Chair Frank Smith, who is term limited, announced that Jackson would be assuming the role of chair in 2019.
Committee awards were presented. Maney received Ambassador of the Year. Leadshare Member of the Year was presented to Michael Freeburger of Early Bird Home Services. Young Professional Network Member of the Year went to Chelsey Williams of First Home Mortgage. Dana Bustin of Patuxent Printing was named Women to Women Member of the Year.
Patuxent Printing also received the New Business Member of the Year Award while Energy Select LLC received Small Business Member of the Year.
Victoria Karol, former director of strategic partnerships and community engagement for Calvert County Public Schools, was bestowed with the Chamber Member of the Year Award.
“The chamber here in Calvert County has a special soul to it and the community here is truly a caring community. That’s why we need everybody to work together to make the gains for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren,” Karol said, encouraging everyone to participate in the local chamber. “We can’t do it alone, everyone.”
Victoria Karol, former director of strategic partnerships and community engagement for Calvert County Public Schools, accepts the Chamber Member of the Year Award at the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce 2018 Annual Meeting & Excellence Awards Dinner on Oct. 18. Chamber Chair Frank Smith laughs at Karol’s acceptance speech.
Above, Michael Freeburger of Early Bird Home Services receives the Leadshare Member of the Year Award and is presented with a proclamation from Gov. Larry Hogan (R) by his representative Gretchen Hardman. Below, Dana Bustin of Patuxent Printing, left, was named Women to Women Member of the Year from Jaime West, co-chair of the Women to Women Committee. Patuxent Printing also received the New Business Member of the Year Award.