North Conway, NH – October 29, 2018 marked not only the 106th annual meeting of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, but also a night to celebrate entrepreneurs, employers, community spirit and tremendous volunteerism. In a sold-out event, there was plenty of networking, bidding on silent auction items and delicious food and spirits all taking place at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort. Chamber members, business leaders and local representatives filled the room to celebrate the successes of the chamber, and the many individuals and businesses who’ve contributed to it throughout the Valley.
The Annual Meeting was also a night to recognize Tad Furtado, of Conway Family Dental Care and outgoing Chamber of Commerce Board President, and to thank him for his six years of leadership for the chamber. Incoming President Christopher Bellis, co-owner of the Cranmore Inn was also recognized and as the new President of the Board.
The Chamber’s Annual Meeting is always a time to offer recognition to businesses throughout Mt Washington Valley who’ve shown leadership and community spirit. This year the annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award went the team at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty of Antonella Bliss, Lindsey Maihos and Rose Robinson. Recognized for their eleven years leadership at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty, this team began the same year as the economic crisis and has more than doubled sales in successive year and given back to the community through donations and leadership.
The annual Employer of the Year Award was awarded to Badger Realty. Dick Badger & Brenda Leavitt were recognized for creating a family-oriented culture within an industry that had not historically been recognized for teamwork. The company was recognized for its commitment to its employees’ continuing education and for its generous donations to the community.
This year the White Mountains Treasure Award wasn’t award to just one person but to two very deserving individuals. Floyd Corson was recognized for his commitment to the church and for founding the White Mountains Musical Arts Festival. Shirley and Richard Van Dyne were described as mainstays of Memorial Hospital’s entrance for 10 years and it doesn’t stop there. The list of non-profit organizations they’ve worked with and helped included Meals on Wheels, Girl Scouts, Red Cross Blood Drives, Albany Historical Society and many more.
This year’s Steve Eastman Award, created to honor the late Steve Eastman, (1949-2008) former MWVCC board member, longtime community leader and former Mountain Ear newspaper founding publisher, recognized Cindy Russell. Cindy Russell stepped down prior to this past season as executive director of Arts Jubilee, the valley’s celebration of the performing arts. With well over three decades of bringing Arts Jubilee concerts to the Valley, Cindy Russell’s talent and direction will be missed, but not forgotten.
The evening ended in the warmth and celebration of the Mt Washington Valley community and all of those who make it a success.
Photo: Lindsey Maihos, Antonella Bliss, and Rose Robinson of Coldwell Banker Wright Realty accepting the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Photo Courtesy of MWVCC