From the Harford County Chamber of Commerce:
The 26th Annual Harford Award ceremony and reception, themed “The Night Stars Come Out,” was held on Monday, September 17th at Water’s Edge Event Center from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. The prestigious awards honor companies and organizations which exemplify a strong commitment to the Harford County business community.
Attendees were welcomed by remarks from Harford County Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Deborah Williams of Howard Bank. Following the National Anthem played by Bus Boys Entertainment, an invocation was given by Betsy Campion of Campion Insurance. Speakers included Barry Glassman, Harford County Executive; Dr. Dianna Phillips, Harford Community College President; Chanel Roads-Reed, External Affairs Manager of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company; Leonard Parrish, Director of the Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development; and Bob Bloom of WXCY 103.7.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman commented on the impact Harford’s businesses have on our community, stating, “This week, we will honor business achievements and milestones for new companies and those who have been with us for generations. These companies have chosen to invest in Harford’s future and created a life for their families in our community. For anniversaries from 25 to 210 years, we will recognize companies that have built our homes; sold us our first cars; helped us choose an engagement ring; brought power to our homes and businesses; served as a safe harbor for our finances, and helped us through the loss of a loved one.”
After dinner, Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development Director Len Parrish remarked, “Thank you to the Chamber for your continued partnership in growing our local economy and for making events like tonight possible to recognize superstars in our business community. Harford County is blessed to have a strong business ecosystem and it is in no small part because of many of the people in this room tonight.”
He encouraged business owners to take advantage of the office’s resources, including, “access to tailored finance programs, site selection, fast track, and priority permitting assistance, workforce technical training grants, coordination of state and federal programs and resources, utility incentives such as SEED and PACE; and for our tourism related organizations, competitive funding for allocation of the hotel and lodging fee.”
The 2018 Harford Award recipients are presented in four categories: Tourism, R&D/Technology, Non-profit, and Service. The Harford County Chamber of Commerce proudly announces the 2018 Harford Award recipients, respectively: The Bel Air Downtown Alliance, Tenax Technologies, The Humane Society of Harford County, and Laurel Bush Family Dentistry.
The Bel Air Downtown Alliance was represented by Executive Director, Christine McPherson and Board President, Donna Dickey. As a non-profit community development organization, the Alliance’s mission is to mobilize stakeholders to invest in Bel Air’s neighborhoods, economy, and quality of life. The national average Main Street vacancy rate is 12.9%, but with the help of the Alliance’s economic development efforts, Bel Air’s Main Street vacancy rate is only 4%, their video presentation cited.
Dr. Mary Teddy Wray, Dr. Aseel Toni, and Dr. Ty Saini accepted the award for Laurel Bush Family Dentistry. They spoke about the humble beginnings of the practice, and the positive work environment that they experience daily. Dr. Wray is dedicated to serving the community through her volunteer and philanthropic efforts.
When accepting their award, The Humane Society of Harford County Executive Director Jen Swanson and Board President Dr. Robert Silcox discussed the great strides they have taken in recent years, including a new, more functional facility. In 2017, their live release rate was higher than ever at 92%. They also noted their partnerships with the Harford County Government and Harford County Sheriff’s office.
Tamera Rush, President and CEO of Tenax Technologies works with Harford Community College to employ students within her company. “We’re able to build a career path, because there’s a constant demand to get cyber warriors, engineers… We’re hiring them at a very junior level and working to develop them,” Rush stated.
The Harford County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all of the Harford Award recipients, sponsors, and attendees as well as all of the Harford County Chamber members for their contribution to local economy growth across all sectors. The 2018 Harford Award premier sponsors were Baltimore Gas and Electric, Harford Community College, and Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development. Freedom Federal Credit Union, Pro2 Marketing Group, Signature Digital Creative Services, Skylight Creative Ideas, Water’s Edge Events Center, Safe Harbors Travel Group, Seidenberg Protzko Eye Associates, Harford Mutual Insurance, Beacon Staffing Alternatives Inc., Visit Harford!, It’s PayDay, and Vagabond Sandwich Company also sponsored the event.