ROCKLAND — The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce today announced their annual award recipients. Awards will be presented at the Chamber’s Annual Gala Awards Dinner Friday, May 20 at the Samoset Resort.

The highlight of the Chamber’s Awards Gala will be the presentation of the 2022 Community Person of The Year — the Chamber’s most prestigious award that recognizes and individual who has greatly enhanced the quality of life in our region through their civic and professional deeds. The recipient of this award is not announced in advance, and the identity of this year’s recipient will be revealed at the event.

Congratulations to the following individuals, businesses and organizations that will be honored with other awards at the May 20 Annual Gala:

Small Business of The Year — Craignair Inn by the Sea & The Causeway Restaurant
This award is given to a business of fewer than 25 employees that has been in business for at least five years, which is recognized as a leader in their field, and that makes a positive contribution to communities in the Camden-Rockland region. For the past two years, throughout the pandemic, owners Lauren and Greg Soutiea have renovated the Craignair Inn by the Sea and The Causeway Restaurant, transforming the property, the cuisine, and the guest experience.

Community Service Award — Organization — The People of Pen Bay Medical Center
This award recognizes a person, business, or organization whose activities have resulted in a significant community enhancement and/or positive contribution to the quality of life among local community members. Covid-19 has impacted our lives in a variety of very significant ways. Collectively, the nurses, doctors, staff, and leadership of Pen Bay Medical Center have been at the forefront of caring for our communities and shepherding us through this once in a lifetime experience. Our communities salute their dedication to keeping us safe and healthy.

Community Service Award — Individual — Shari Closter
This award recognizes a person, business, or organization whose activities have resulted in a significant community enhancement and/or positive contribution to the quality of life among local community members. Shari Closter has been a fixture in Knox County for decades and has dedicated herself to serving our communities both professionally and personally. Shari is a tireless volunteer for efforts to recover lost dogs and reunite them with their families, as well as single-handedly conducting roadside clean-up efforts in the area. Shari also previously lent her talents professionally to community-serving nonprofits including the Chamber of Commerce and Trekkers.

Public Improvement Award — Rockport Public Library
This award recognizes a person, business or entity who has made a major tangible improvement to a property or program that benefits the general public. The Town of Rockport joined together with generous donors to build a beautiful new home for the Rockport Public Library which opened in late 2020. The new library is a true community hub to showcase the library’s collection, provide community meeting space, and expand the availability of technology.

Milestone Anniversary Awards

Once again, the Chamber will present Milestone Anniversary Awards to Maine-based businesses and organizations with local ties (or a local office of a company based outside Maine) celebrating anniversaries in 25-year increments. Due to the pandemic, this year’s Milestone Anniversary Awards will recognize those achieving milestones in 2021 and 2022.

Those being honored for milestone anniversaries include:

25 Years — Bay Chiropractic Center; Grasshopper Shop of Rockland

50 Years — The Apprenticeshop; Coastal Opportunities; Dorr Woodcarving & Sign Co.; The Leather Bench; Maine Coast Construction; Margo Moore Interiors

75 Years — Eastern Tire & Auto Service; Graffam Bros. Seafood; Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District; Maine Lobster Festival

100 Years — Schooner Ladona

150 Years — Schooner Lewis R. French; Schooner Stephen Taber; Union Fair

200 Years — United Christian Church, Lincolnville

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Gala will be held on Friday, May 20 at the Samoset Resort. The event is open to the public, and tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available on the Chamber’s website at penbaychamber.com.

To learn more about The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, visit PenBayChamber.com.