Chamber Honors Local Standouts at 2018 Chamber Business Awards Banquet

September 11, 2018 — The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce honored local businesses last night at its annual Business Awards Banquet, held at the newly renovated Kehoe Iron Works at Trustees’ Garden. Each year, the Chamber recognizes standout leaders in the community and honors individuals and businesses that represent local economic drivers including hospitality, manufacturing and small business.

2018 award recipients are below:

  • Hospitality Business of the Year Award: Savannah’s Candy Kitchen
    Presented to a business that demonstrates how to be a true steward and host. The business should embody the spirit of service so much that its guests visit again, relocate here and/or tell their family, friends and colleagues about the city. Nominees should also be engaged in social responsibility, while contributing to the community by staying up-to-date with tourism trends by educating potential visitors about all Savannah has to offer. Examples of potential award recipients include hotels, museums, art galleries, restaurants, tour companies and retail establishments.
  • Environmental Excellence Award: Kerry, Inc.
    Presented to a manufacturing company that has demonstrated outstanding performance in its efforts to maintain a quality environment for Savannah in 2017. Examples of the criteria for the award include achievement in any of the following areas: reduction of emissions, pollution prevention projects, reduction in hazardous waste generated, reduction in usage/storage of EHS chemicals, water conservation, waste recycling, special products.
  • Manufacturer’s Safety Award: EMD Performance Materials, Corp.
    Presented to the member company that has the best total OSHA Incidence Rate for 2017.
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Cecilia Russo, Cecilia Russo Marketing
    Celebrates those who are building and leading growing and dynamic businesses. This award is presented to an individual whose creative vision, talent and innovative thinking develops opportunities for growth not just in business, but community-wide. This entrepreneur demonstrates the ability to persevere in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles, learn from experience, foster teamwork and build loyalty.
  • Helen V. Head Business Advocate Award: Mike Traynor, Publisher, Savannah Morning News
    Helen V. Head was the first female board chair of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, who is known for believing in and supporting small business. She was the first recipient of the Chamber’s Athena Award for the achievements as a woman in business. While the Chamber board chair in 1993, Head owned and operated a successful CPA firm, while still finding time to give back to the community by serving on numerous boards and councils. The Helen V. Head Business Advocate Award goes to an individual who exemplifies dedication to the community while being a true advocate for local small business. Candidates’ businesses must have been established for a minimum of three years.
  • Gulfstream Community Involvement Award: Critz Auto Group
    Presented to a company that conducted an outstanding community outreach project during 2017. The activities can vary to include involvement with a partnership school, company involvement in coordination of a fundraising event for a charitable organization, ongoing community relations efforts, open house programs for community, educating the public regarding an issue of concern, or any other project that encouraged interaction between the nominated business and the community.
  • World Trade Center International Business of the Year Award: DIRTT Environmental Solutions
    Recognizes a company that excels in international trade and acknowledges the importance it has on our entire economy and region. This award is presented to recognize exemplary corporate leadership for international business that advances relations between the U.S. and other nations, as well as creates quality jobs in the Savannah area.
  • Cornerstone Award: Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
    Recognizes a non-profit company whose mission directly supports Savannah’s business community. It is intended to represent, recognize and encourage a non-profit partnership to result in a richer, better trained and more diverse and inclusive human resource pool.
  • Small Business of the Year Award: Infinity, Inc.
    Presented to a company that has achieved success in its business through growth and quality performance, innovative efforts and active participation in the community. All nominees must be owner, partner or a major shareholder of a business in the Savannah area and must be active in the day-to-day operations of the business. The individual should act as an advocate of his or her trade by participation in trade associations and community activities, as they will serve as an ambassador for small, local business owners during the year in which the award is received. Companies must have been established for a minimum of three years, with fewer than 50 employees and sales not exceeding $7 million.

Congratulations to the 2018 award winners! High res photos from the event are available. For media information, contact Summer Bozeman, communications manager, at SBozeman@VisitSavannah.com or 912-644-6429.

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The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce is a business organization managed by a volunteer board of directors. The Chamber encompasses Visit Savannah, Ambassadors Council, the CEO Council, Savannah Sports Council, Governmental Affairs Council, LaunchSAVANNAH, Leadership Savannah, Manufacturers and Distributors Council, Military Affairs Council, Owner’s Council, Public Relations Council, Savannah Compact Education Council, Small Business Council, Trustees Council and Visit Tybee.

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