St. Mary's Chamber holds annual dinner meeting
Leonardtown, MD - 6/13/2013
By Dick Myers
The St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Meeting featured the passing of the leadership baton and the handing out of prestigious awards. The event was held for the second year in a row at the social hall of the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department.
The organization’s new president for the next year is Kim Oliver of Amelex, who succeeds Kenneth “Buzz” Shelley of Wyle. Before the changing of the guard, Shelley presented the organization’s Annual report to members and handed out several awards.
Robin Finnacom, president of the Community Development Corporation received the 2013 Public Servant Award and Chamber Business Person of the Year Award went to Tom Jarboe of Technology Security Associates, Inc. Neither recipient knew they were receiving the award prior to the announcement.
In presenting the 2013 Public Servant Award to Finnacom, Shelley said: “This year’s recipient of the Public Servant Award is well known in St. Mary’s County and especially Lexington Park. An employee of St. Mary’s County Government since 2000. Originally hired to direct the Lexington Park Plan our recipient has worked in the Department of Economic & Community Development since 2002 and has served as the President of the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation since 2004. As part of the Economic & Community Development Department she managed the Lexington Manor acquisition, relocation and demolition project which represented the single largest CDBG grant to a local government in the history of the State’s Program. In her dual role she has worked to develop and implement strategies for the economic stabilization and revitalization of Lexington Park. Her efforts in the commercial area have included operating the Revolving Loan Fund, establishing the Focus Enterprise Zone, and strategic demolition projects. The Enterprise Zone efforts produced tax incentives related to 1,700 new jobs and capital investments totaling $23.7 million. She facilitated a $7.2 million roadway, sewer and water reconstruction project for a 1.4 mile section of Great Mills Road. Together with the Small Business Technology Development Center our recipient worked to establish retail and service start-ups and expansions in Lexington Park. Through the “Jobs Connection Program” training and assistance were provided for welfare to work clients in order to provide employees for local businesses as well as employment for residents. She established and provides support for the Lexington Park Business & Community Association. Throughout her tenure the Chamber has been able to count on her participation and support in dealing with a number of topics handled through Task Forces or committees managed by our Organization. For her efforts in the area of Economic and Community Development with a keen awareness of the needs and requirements of the business community, we are pleased to present the 2013 Public Servant Award to Robin Finnacom.”
In presenting the 2013 Business Person of the Year Award to Jarboe, Shelley said: “The criteria for the selection of the recipient of this Award include success in their profession, involvement in the community, personal attributes, and equally important is their support of our Chamber. This year’s recipient has displayed very strong credentials in each of these categories. This active member of our Chamber, this person has established themself as a leader in a profession that has and is experiencing unusual challenges. But even when these challenges were not so apparent, they have constantly been working to look for new ways of doing things, and new opportunities for their business. Even in trying times, they have shown leadership in working with and serving our veteran community. Within their industry they are not only recognized for their talent, but trusted. This person is truly rooted in family and community. Anyone who knows this person has seen the family dynamic of an involved parent with a keen interest in and support of education. They actively support educational institutions and organizations at all levels. Their involvement and support also extends to a wide range of projects and programs to enrich the lives of people and strengthen our community. Our own organization can speak first-hand about the Leadership of this individual. As a member they have been actively supporting the Chamber’s programming and community endeavors. As Board member they provided insight and brought their professional and community expertise to every discussion. St. Mary’s County is very fortunate to have business leaders who not only care about their business and employees but their community as well. This year’s honoree not only meets, but exceeds the standards set when the Chamber established this award almost 30 years ago.
- “Managing an increasingly challenging business with a demonstrated commitment to clients and employees as well.
- “Grounded in their family responsibilities.
- “Committed to providing community leadership while fostering the development of future leaders.
- “Supporting the business community through their active participation in the Chamber and other organizations.
“It’s no wonder that this person was nominated and ultimately selected for this award.
“Ladies and gentlemen it is truly my pleasure to present the 2013 Business Person of the Year Award to Tom Jarboe.”
Other recognitions were presented during the meeting, including::
· 2013 Ambassador of the Year – Jennifer Misner of TownePlace Suites by Marriott.
· Scholarship recipients – Alyssa Yochim from Leonardtown High School
Emma Holmes from Great Mills High School
· Plaque presented to 2012-13 Board Chair Buzz Shelley by 2013-14 Chair Kim Oliver
In his remarks Shelley said the organization had “an enthusiastic, stable membership.” He said most Chambers in the state had lost members during the trying economic times of the last few years, yet the St. Mary’s membership had held steady.
Among the accomplishments of the past year, Shelley mentioned the Taste of St. Mary’s, State of St. Mary’s County and State of Public Schools luncheons, the Legislative Breakfast, the Business Showcase and forums on the Affordable Care Act and the local economy.
Shelley praised the work of the chamber’s Government Affairs Committee. “The business point of view must be part of the legislative and governmental process,” he said.
Shelley singled out the hard work of Chamber Executive Director Bill Scarafia and his staff. “They certainly are my heroes. I could not have done it without them,” he said.
Two upcoming events for the Chamber are its annual golf tournament on Tuesday, June 18 at Wicomico Shores and the Taste of St. Mary’s on the square in Leonardtown on September 15.The dinner was catered by the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary; desserts were provided by Anita’s Cake Shop and flowers provided by the Greenery.