Last Thursday, the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce recognized the contributions small businesses have given to the community during the annual Small Business Awards Luncheon at Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse in Fairfax.
"By being successful in business, they’re giving back so much to the community," said Chamber chairman Bruce Jennings.
The awardees were nominated by the general membership and selected by Chamber staff and the awards committee. For each of the five awards, the judges looked at community involvement, business attitude and people’s perceptions of the business.
"It’s not just Chamber involvement or that they’re successful in their business," said Chamber executive director/CEO Claire Luke. "All five are just absolutely excellent choices by the awards committee. … They’re just people who are great to be around, both professionally and socially."
The awardees include Greg Lowe of Harris Teeter, Retail Business of the Year; Matt and Becky Stoeckel of Executive Press, Service Business Award; Patt Garman of Capital Planning & Investments Inc., Professional Business Award; Rose Mangum of Creative Gift Solutions of Virginia, Home Based Business Award; and Linda Christ of Chryst Insurance, Business Advocate Award.
"To be honored like this is just a delight, and I really appreciate it," said Becky Stoeckel, echoing the sentiments shared by other awardees.
In 1988, then small business committee chair John McGeehan initiated the annual awards to recognize the small businesses’ involvement with the community. Those activities may include school involvement, as well as sponsorship of local youth sport teams and city events such as the Chocolate Lovers’ Festival.
"It is important to recognize small business and their contributions to the overall community," said McGeehan, who is now the Chamber’s vice chairman of government affairs.