WHITE MOUNTAIN TREASURES, EMPLOYER & ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AND STEVE EASTMAN COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARDS ANNOUNCED AT MWVCC ANNUAL MEETING
Community-spirited individuals, employers and entrepreneurs will be honored with the White Mountains Treasure Award, Employer of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year for their dedication to Mt Washington Valley, NH on October 24, 2017 at the 105th Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting held at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, starting at 5:00pm. In addition, the Steve Eastman Community Spirit Award will also be announced at this meeting too. The prestigious White Mountains Treasure Award was established to thank and honor individuals and organizations who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, exemplify that success is not measured by what they accomplish in life for themselves but by what they do for others. The Employer of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year awards were established to honor those in the community who’ve achieved outstanding success as managers and business people. The Steve Eastman Community Spirit Award celebrates the kind of community caring that typified Steve Eastman’s approach to civic activism as a business owner and entrepreneur in Mount Washington Valley. Eastman (1949-2008) was the co-founder of The Mountain Ear newspaper in 1976.
2017 White Mountain Treasures: Carol & Edward Westervelt & Ruthann Fabrizio
Carol and Edward Westervelt of North Conway were nominated as White Mountain Treasures by Peter Waugh of Memorial Hospital. In his nomination, Waugh stated, “These two dedicated individuals are the epitome of leadership, community spirit, community involvement, and volunteerism in the Mount Washington Valley. Their contributions to Memorial Hospital and the White Mountain Valley are second to none. Their efforts for improving the lives of the people are immeasurable. They have spent countless hours over the years supporting the Gibson Center, serving on the board and assisting with fundraising events; the Race to Beat Cancer; Arts Jubilee which has brought the performing arts to area residents, allowing folks of all ages to enjoy music; the Pequawket Foundation; Connie Davis Watson Foundation in its mission to support beautification projects in the Valley; Mud Bowl; New England Ski Museum; and the North Conway Public Library. In 2008 they were recipients of the distinguished Joseph D. Vaughn Award from the NH State Committee on Aging and the Department of Health and Human Services. Carol and Ed Westervelt have selflessly given of themselves to this community and the Mt Washington Valley over decades of volunteer service. They have without question had a major influence on the lives countless members of the community.”
Carol began her volunteer service at Memorial Hospital in October, 2001 and Ed in February of 2010. Carol serves at the Information Desk in the Main Lobby. She also co-chaired the Memorial Hospital Legacy Gala. Ed began in the Purchasing Department making deliveries throughout the hospital. He now serves as a Greeter at the Main Entrance of the hospital where his warm, welcoming smile is greatly appreciated by patients and visitors. He is also a former hospital Trustee. Together they have logged over 4800 hours of service to the hospital. In addition, Carol has also served as a Skier Services representative at Cranmore Mountain Resort; and is a Past President of the Eastern Slope Ski Club (ESSC). Ed was the Director of the Vaughn Community Services; volunteered at the Attitash Equine Festivals; ESSC Races and ski sales; and was a Boy and Cub Scout Leader for years.
Ruthann Fabrizio of Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation was nominated as a White Mountain Treasure by Claire Flynn of Bartlett, NH. In her nomination, Claire shared, “Ruthann Fabrizio has exhibited a life-time commitment to helping others, even before she moved to the Mt. Washington Valley. In 1998, when a group of recent UNH graduates banded together to help the late Jennifer Hill who was battling brain cancer, Ruthann was there to help. She and Liz George-Hussey worked with the founders to get Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation off the ground as a non-profit organization. They established the Disbursement Committee to screen applicants, and make decisions about the non-medical financial assistance that would be given to each client. Currently, Jen’s Friends is easing the financial and emotional stress of 71 cancer patients and their families. Although three other board members assist Ruthann in follow-up with each client, it is only Ruthann who makes the initial contact with an applicant.”
For many years Ruthann was the Head Nurse of the Operating Room at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Ruthann was also a flight nurse with the Air Force Reserves, retiring as a major after 13 years of service. She moved to the Mt. Washington Valley in the late 1970s, and became the Assistant Manager, and later the Manager of Merriman House at Memorial Hospital in North Conway. While raising her children, Ruthann worked as a per diem Social Worker at Memorial Hospital. At the same time, she became an Advisory Board Member of Vaughan Community Service Inc., a position she held for 30 years.
This year, Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation has received five to seven applications each month. Ruthann discusses their situation, cancer treatments and financial needs, and suggests other organizations that may provide additional services not covered by Jen’s Friends. She spends many hours on the phone just listening to patients’ and family members’ concerns and fears, offering support and guidance along the way.
In 1999, Ruthann and Oncology Nurse Roxanne Major started the Journey of Hope Cancer Support group at Memorial Hospital. This monthly gathering provides emotional support to those with cancer, as well as to their family and friends. Not content to sit back, but always interested in how else she can serve her community, Ruthann joined with Denise Leighton, of Vaughan, and in 2012 became the co-facilitator of the monthly Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group.
For more than 40 years Ruthann has demonstrated her compassion and a willingness to be involved in various organizations to help those struggling with life’s greatest challenges.
Employer of the Year – Red Jacket Mountain View Resort
The Red Jacket Mountain View Resort will be honored by the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce with the Employer of the Year award. Nominated by General Manager, Jon Sallinen, he told the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, “The Red Jacket Mountain View Resort has been a staple in the Mt Washington Valley Community since 1971. The company philosophy has always been that guests, employees, the community and the stakeholders all receive the same attention. This has established a safe and fun work environment.”
After 15 years of continuous employment at the Red Jacket, employees are elected into the “15 Year Club” and honored at a gala dinner and reception each September. In addition, every January, a silent auction among employees is held to benefit the North Conway community. The company’s fundamental core value of taking care of the team was evidenced this year when a national help shortage hurt those in the tourism industry yet the Red Jacket Mountain View was able to retain professional staff with tenures from three to thirty-five years with the company.
Entrepreneur of the Year – Josh and Kayla Brustin, Pinkham Real Estate
Josh & Kyla Brustin of Pinkham Real Estate will receive the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. Nominated by Theresa Bernhardt, she told the Mt Washington Valley Chamber, “Since acquiring Pinkham Real Estate, Josh and Kyla have established the successful Pinkham Vacation Rentals, been awarded “Best Agency” by the Conway Daily Sun for both 2016 and 2017, grown the agency to 11 full-time realtors and converted the former Wave Gas Station in North Conway Village into a state-of-the-art contemporary office; greatly improving the aesthetics of the Village.”
Josh Brustin arrived in Mount Washington Valley in 2004 determined to find a new career. After extensive interviewing, he succeeded in joining Pinkham Real Estate and quickly established himself in the top tier of realtors in the area. His ambition grew. In 2014 Josh became principal broker of Pinkham Real and together with his wife, Kyla Brustin, and their business partner Linda, Josh’s vision for Pinkham Real Estate grew larger. Josh, Kyla and Linda investigated and implemented new marketing strategies, added new realtors, and established Pinkham Vacation Rentals. Their most recent accomplishment was the conversion of a neglected building on White Mountain Highway in North Conway Village from a dilapidated gas station into modern, class A office space, with room to expand into the building behind it.
Steve Eastman Community Spirit Award – Brian Smith and family
Brian Smith and family of North Country Fair Jewelers will be honored by members of the Eastman family with the Steve Eastman Community Spirit Award. According to Tom Eastman, “Smith has long supported community causes as a businessman in North Conway, served on the Board of Directors at the Gibson Senior Center, and his socially conscious children have carried on that charge in good stead.” Brian’s children, including Emily Smith-Mossman, son-in-law Gregg Mossman, Katie Smith and Jen Julian, all work with him at North Country Fair Jewelers. All have been involved with the Back to School Backpack Giveaway, and with #The Revolving Closet used clothing boutique for local teens. Smith-Mossman, named a White Mountain Treasure in 2014, serves as executive director of North Country Cares, supported by her board of directors.
The award celebrates the community caring that typified Steve Eastman’s approach as the co-founder of The Mountain Ear newspaper in 1976. Eastman (1949-2008) bravely fought a brain tumor for two and a half years after selling the newspaper in 2005.
The Steve Eastman Community Spirit Award is presented by his wife, Sarah W. Eastman and his brother, Tom Eastman, who worked with Steve for 28 years as assistant editor and who has been at the Conway Daily Sun for 10 years. Both Steve and Tom are also White Mountain Treasures (Steve 2007 and Tom 2010).
Every year on the last Tuesday of October, the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce holds its Annual Meeting. Chamber members, elected officials and guests gather to review how the Chamber has advanced the local business environment and impacted the community during the previous year. The chamber celebrates its 105th Annual Meeting in 2017.
- An overview of Chamber’s Program for Action from the past year and a financial report will be shared.
- The meeting includes a cocktail reception and silent auction from 5:00-6:30, followed by a dinner, meeting, awards, and ticket auction from 6:30-8:00pm. This is a time when the Chamber can honor our White Mountains Treasures, Steve Eastman Community Award winner and Employer/Entrepreneur of the Year for their outstanding community service and commitment to the Mt. Washington Valley.
As one of the Chamber’s signature events, the Annual Dinner provides a unique forum for business and community leaders to share an evening of networking, fine dining, community spirit and recognition, and a great silent auction. For more information, and to register to attend the Annual Dinner online, please click here.