Jackson named Community Person of the YearGala honors winners
Rockport — Dave Jackson was named Community Person of the Year at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce Year in Review Awards Gala, held Feb. 12 at the Samoset Resort.
This award is given to an individual who, through his or her professional and civic deeds, has greatly enhanced the quality of life in the community.
Amy Rollins and The Rev. Kevin Pleas introduced Jackson.
"Our honoree dispenses community service in healthy doses," said Rollins.
"While living in the town of Rockport for the past 30 years, this person has held and continues to hold many active roles in town government, including service to the Budget Committee, the Parks Committee, the Rockport Elementary School Building Committee, and in various leadership roles for the Rockport Opera House," said Pleas.
Jackson is a two-time Paul Harris Fellow of the Camden Rotary Club — the only known member to have twice received this honor, which is given in recognition of outstanding community service.
"Anyone who has worked with our Community Person of the Year knows this about him — when he sets his mind to accomplishing something, he maintains an unwavering focus. And, when he really believes in something, he approaches the task with an infectious energy and enthusiasm," said Pleas of Jackson's persistence in attaining National Historic Landmark designation for the Camden Amphitheatre and Camden Public Library last year.
"There is no denying that the National Historic Landmark designation has added another jewel in the area's crown," said Rollins.
"Can you save that for my obituary?" asked Jackson, overwhelmed by the introduction.
"This award belongs to everybody in this room," said Jackson, adding "There is no way we could accomplish what we've accomplished in this community without all of you. It's a labor of love."
Small Business of the Year Award
Dream Local Digital
Awarded to a business of fewer than 50 people which makes a positive contribution to the community, has a commitment to excellence and is recognized by peers as a leader in what they do. The recipient must have been in business for a minimum of five consecutive years.
"We are thrilled and honored to have been chosen for this prestigious award," said Shannon Kinney, founder of the national digital marketing and communications agency based in Rockland.
Kinney, who noted the business actually started in her garage, thanked her team, their families, and especially her parents for their support of she and her daughter Rachel "Chickypoo."
"I am proud to be here in Midcoast Maine and an active member of this terrific chamber," said Kinney, adding "proud to be creating jobs and strong customer value, and most of all proud of all of the Dream Local Honey Badgers that get it done every day."
Camden Harbour Inn
This award recognizes a business or organization that has attracted significant positive regional or national attention to the Penobscot Bay region that results in a rise in economic activity for the local business community.
"We all know the Camden Harbour Inn has won all kinds of awards for the lodging and dining experiences it creates, but this award goes beyond all that," said presenter and event emcee Ken Gardiner.
"The Inn's packages focus on Midcoast Maine and what to do in the neighborhood — they send out 9,000 email newsletters touting Midcoast Maine, our region, our economy, our community," Gardiner added.
"Well done Raymond Brunyanski, Oscar Verest and Camden Harbour Inn," said Gardiner.
Recognized as one of the best 500 properties in the world last year, Brunyanski said, "We fell in love with Camden, and we will continue working very hard to get Camden on the map. It's not about the Camden Harbour Inn — it's about Midcoast Maine," he added.
Award for Economic Enhancement
This award recognizes a person, business or organization that has made a major economic investment or enhancement that has resulted in a significant improvement to the region’s economy in the preceding year.
"Rockport Properties' support for Maine Media Workshops and College has been significant to the continuation of the school as a vital part of our community," said presenter Connie Russell.
"Rockport Properties' improvements to the village are made with an unusual sense of vision — one that seeks to incorporate the aspirations of the entire community rather than just serve their own financial goals," Russell added.
"The effort that they have put into Rockport has not only added economic vitality to the community and the area at large, but it has also inspired many of us in Rockport to believe that we can do something really great here that will add value to not only our town but the entire region," said Russell.
Michael Sabatini, Rockport Properties Manager and owner of Landmark Corporation, accepted the award.
Community Volunteer of the Year Award
This award recognizes a person who exemplifies the spirit of community service. Makes an outstanding contribution to the community through volunteer service. Demonstrate exceptional commitment, service, creativity, cooperation, or leadership. Serve as a role model for others in their community. Inspire others to engage in volunteer service. Must not be paid for their activities.
"You give and you get, she tells me," said presenter Sarah McLean, speaking of Jean Freedman-White's tireless hours of volunteering to so many organizations.
"Always think first, step back and see the big picture, then voice your opinion. Be heard. And then ask — all you have to do is ask," said McLean about how the Community Volunteer recipient gets things done.
Freedman-White accepted the award stating, "I accept this on behalf of the hundreds of volunteers who give of their time, effort and energy."
Special Recognition Award
Swing and Sway Dancing
This award recognizes a person, business, or organization that demonstrates outstanding services in one area, which may be job elated. If given to a person they may must be a non-Chamber director.
Innovation in Business Award
The Strand Theatre
This award recognizes an individual, business or organization that produced advancements in a product or business method that has resulted in renewed economic vitality of its business or the local community in the previous year. This business shall have demonstrated a proactive and innovative approach toward finding solutions to business challenges and embraced change as an opportunity for growth.
"We've been doing a lot of growth," said Sarah Ruddy, executive director at The Strand.
"Thank you all for being a part of our development," she said.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.