The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of their Annual 2016 Business and Community Awards. In an attempt to help promote October as “Chamber of Commerce” month, the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce will hold a special awards luncheon, sponsored by Luzerne County Community College, to recognize the winners of the awards. The luncheon will take place on Thursday, October 27th at 11:45 am at Genetti Catering in Hazle Township. The cost of the luncheon is $25 per person. Reservations are required by Friday, October 21st by registering online, calling the Chamber at 455-1509 or emailing .
Winning the Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by the 2006 recipient, Comfort Keepers are two organizations for 2016 Eckley Miners Village and Fyzical Therapy & Balance Center. The purpose of the award is to show appreciation and recognition to a small business in the Greater Hazleton Area and promote the importance of small businesses to the economy and welfare of the entire community. Eligible applicants included any Chamber member business that has no more than 50 full-time employees and is located in the Greater Hazleton area. Judging was based on staying power, growth, community contribution, and overall management philosophy.
The Large Business of the Year Award, sponsored by the 2009 recipient, Gottstein Corporation is Berger Family Dealerships. The purpose of the award is to show appreciation and recognition to a large business in the Greater Hazleton and promote the importance of large businesses to the economy and welfare of the community. Eligible applicants included any Chamber member business that has more than 50 full-time employees and is located in the Greater Hazleton Area. Judging was based on staying power, growth, community contribution, and overall management philosophy.
The Rocco Colangleo, Sr. Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by M&T Bank is Joseph Clark. The purpose of this award is to extend appreciation to and honor an individual volunteer within the Greater Hazleton Area and to promote the importance of volunteerism to the community at large. Eligible applicants included any resident of the Greater Hazleton Area that participates in volunteer work or community service not required by their place of employment.
Pride of Place Award, sponsored by the 2011 recipient, Kavlick Enterprises/McDonald’s is Heritage Hill Senior Community. The purpose of this award is to recognize a local business or organization whose exterior property physically improves or enhances the community and environment in the Greater Hazleton Area. Eligible applicants included any Chamber member business that was located in the Greater Hazleton Area, and the structure must be a commercial or public building.
The Healthy Workplace of the Year, sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross in cooperation with ChamberChoice, is Gonnella Frozen Products. The purpose of this award is to recognize a business in the Greater Hazleton Area who is adopting wellness practices into their workplace. Eligible applicants included any Chamber member business located within the Greater Hazleton Area and judging was based on strength and creativity of their workplace wellness initiatives.
The Green Business of the Year award sponsored by the 2010 recipient, George J. Hayden, Inc. is American Eagle Outfitters. The purpose of these awards is to recognize a local business or organization who is adopting “green initiatives” within their workplace.
The Young Entrepreneurs of the Year Award, sponsored by CAN BE is Matthew Nause, owner of Nause Landscaping. The purpose of this award is to promote the development of future business owners and operators in Greater Hazleton.
According to Terry Malloy, Chamber Board member and Awards Program Chairman, “We have initiated these awards to highlight businesses that are located in the Greater Hazleton Area, and to recognize the important role that volunteers play in our community. The judging was extremely difficult with many excellent applicants in each category. However, I feel that the judges made excellent choices with the above-mentioned winners.”
In addition to the business and community awards, the women’s networking committee will be awarding the recipients of their annual Women’s Empowerment Grants. This grant was established to encourage women to pursue training or education that will help them start or advance a career. The target of the grant is women who: are currently working and want to advance in their career through education or training; are returning to the workforce; are seeking to change their current career path and pursue something more in line with their interests or passions and it is intended to be available to those who would not necessarily have access to scholarships or grants. For 2016 the committee has been able to distribute three grants totaling $2,000. The recipients of this year’s Women’s Empowerment Grants are: Jessica Ann Enriquez, currently pursuing a certification through Childbirth International; Deunizel S. Dela Rosa, currently pursuing an LPN degree from Penn State Hazleton and Lesley Piacente currently pursuing a Bachelors of Applied Science from Northampton Community College. The funds are raised at events coordinated through the Chamber’s women’s networking committee throughout the year, in addition to funding provided by PPL, who has been a supporter of this grant fund, since its inception. The Women’s Networking committee as well as any business woman from throughout Greater Hazleton is encouraged to attend to show their support of this years recipients.