Chamber hands out ac­co­lades for busi­nesses

Key­note speaker en­cour­ages par­tic­i­pa­tion, ad­vo­cacy, change

The Calvert Recorder - - Front Page - By TAMARA WARD tward@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @CalRecTAMARA

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.”

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TAMARA WARD

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.

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