The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently held it's 90th Annual Meeting at Oak Hollow Farm in Fairhope. In addition to 'passing the gavel' from current Chairman of the Board Deanna Auner, Homestead Village of Fairhope, to incoming Chairman Contina Woods, Regions Bank, the Chamber recognized top volunteers for their involvement in the Chamber and in the community.
Receiving the Ambassador of the Year for the fiscal year was Cindy Zebryk, Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties. The award was presented by Mark Stejskal, Ambassador Program Chairman.
Ambassadors spend many hours each month representing the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce acting as liaisons between the Chamber Board & Staff and the Chamber Membership. They visit new members, attend ribbon cuttings and grand openings, and are at virtually all Chamber sponsored events. This award is based on the point system -
the ambassador with the most points wins.
The winner this year goes way beyond the call of duty. Zebryk attends every function she can. Her warm, welcoming smile makes her an instant hit with new members that she visits, at ribbon cuttings, at Business After Hours and special events.
She participated in the Total Resource Campaign and was a winner. She even agreed to chair the Annual Golf Tournament this year.
Harbor Communications sponsored the Ambassador of the Year Award.
Cathy Myers, Eastern Shore Ear, Nose and Throat, received the Bulldog Award, which was presented by Heiko Einfeld, Executive Director of the Chamber.
The Bulldog Award, is presented to a Chamber volunteer who has displayed dogged determination and tireless effort in providing support to the Chamber. The award winners exemplify those qualities.
The winner this year took over the Arts and Crafts Festival Artist Dinner in 2013. She quickly helped revamp the event by working with our different caterers to create thoughtful menus, assembling a sub-committee of dedicated volunteers and creating wonderful decorations. Myers' dedication has paid off as the dinner is an event the artists look forward to more and more every year. The Arts and Crafts committee, as well as the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce appreciates all her hard work in making the artist dinner great.
The Bulldog Award is sponsored by Homestead Village of Fairhope.
Gray Englebert, Jubilee Specialties, was honored with the Service Award. The award was also presented by Heiko Einfeld.
The Service Award is presented to a volunteer member who has provided an ongoing, unselfish level of service to the Chamber.
This year the Chamber had a difficult time selecting our Service Award recipient. This award goes to a Chamber member who has served on committees and assisted on several other programs and projects. Englebert chairs the Morning Marketing Meeting and served on the Golf Tournament Committee. He has effortlessly helped the Chamber in a
variety of ways. He is not only giving of the products he sells, he gives of his time and above all he 'steps up' to provide a helping hand when needed.
The Service Award is sponsored by Baldwin EMC.
The Environmental Award was presented to Trey Jinright of Jade Consulting, LLC, and was presented by Alex Cary, Smart Home.
Each year our Chamber selects a member that is proactive in taking steps, above and beyond what is required by policy or law, to protect our precious environment as well as the area quality of life along the Eastern Shore. The Eastern Shore Chamber is one of only a handful of chambers in the United States that presents an environmental award and probably the only one that recognizes them by planting a 15-foot live oak tree in honor of their contribution.
This year's winner specializes in environmentally friendly designs incorporating alternative solutions instead of traditional engineering solutions. Jinright is certified as a LEED professional. He used his expertise in the design of such buildings as the Baldwin County Board of Realtors building in Robertsdale.
Jade Consulting is one of the first in the area to actively promote and specialize in low impact development for municipal and development projects. Some of its LID projects include specialized pond/swale designs to act as small treatment facilities that reduce pollutant loading; thereby creating cleaning water downstream. The firm designed Fairhope Commons (AKA The Palladian) apartment complex with an environmentally friendly landscape design.
When the City of Fairhope was faced with some serious watershed management issues in the Volanta Gully Watershed, this firm took on the challenge by designing upgrades to the gully using LID techniques. This project is multi-phased, and will be approached step by step. Jinright attends numerous City of Fairhope public hearings to help educate the public in addressing storm water issues.
Jinright has always expressed enthusiasm and creativity when tackling problems and has worked on projects at Jasmine Park,Volanta Park and the intersection of Westley Street and Central Blvd. The firm has also worked on projects for Popeye's Restaurant in Daphne and improvements to 'Gator Alley', also in Daphne.
The Environmental Award was sponsored by Fairhope Brewing Company.
Receiving the Small Business of the Year Award was Diane Douglas with In the Company of Angels, which was presented by last year's recipient Paige Moore, Re/Max By The Bay.
The Small Business of the Year Award is a very special award. Small companies such as this one are the backbone of our country's success. The Chamber truly values the hard work, dedication and perseverance that running a small business requires.
This business has been a Chamber member for over 10 years and has a had a popular retail shop in Fairhope for 25 years. Within the past year In the Company of Angels business expanded and the doubled retail square footage.
In addition to running her business, Douglas also provides outreach to several community organizations, including Ecumenical Ministries and has served on many boards and committees, including the Chamber's Arts & Crafts Festival Committee, Tourism Committee and Downtown Fairhope Business Association. What's more, she is very pleasant and is loved by all.
The Small Business of the Year Award is sponsored by BBVA Compass Bank.
The recipient for the Community Leader of the Year Award is Eric Nager, Southern Capital Services. The award was presented by Heiko Einfeld.
When the Chamber searches for the Community Leader of the Year they look for someone who is obviously very involved in the community for both the community's sake and for personal development. The Chamber also looks for someone who is a high achiever in business and treats employees with respect. It is also important that the individual go beyond the call in providing excellent customer service. Serving
on boards and volunteering their time are also two important factors.
Eric Nager serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a chess coach at Bayside Academy. He serves on the adjunct faculty at Huntingdon College. He is a member of the University of South Alabama Alumni Association, Baldwin County Chapter. He is also member of the Harvard Club, mid-Gulf Coast Alumni Chapter,
a member of the Optimist Club of Daphne, a former member of the Daphne City Council and he is also a board member with the Eastern Shore Chamber.
Nager does a lot of extra work for the Chamber such as team captain for the winning team for the Total Resource Campaign, serving on the Strategic Planning Committee, Governmental Affairs Committee and was founding chairman of the Business Academy in 2008.
Nager is a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist with Southern Capital Services. And he is a great boss. He accommodates employees needs to go on field trips, sporting events, etc. with their children during business hours. He even allows employees to perform community service during business hours and he supports employees who serve in the Guard or Reserve. Once every week they have a staff appreciation lunch which is paid for by the company.
He also steps up to help others such as the Korean War veteran who had written a memoir. He guided the man to the right department in the US Air Force so he could get it published. Nager has also authored two books of his own.
The Community Leader of the Year Award was sponsored by Barry L. Booth, DMD.
For more information call Kathie Barton at (251) 928-6387.
Read more about the Eastern Shore Chamber's 90th Annual Meeting in a story written by Mark D. Anderson with AL.com here: