Potomac Chamber of Commerce 2019 CITIZENS OF THE YEAR: Friends of the Library-Potomac Chapter board members and supporters. From left, Neil Currie, Geraldine Bernard, Margaret Vogel, Jacqueline Etelson, Denise Pierson, Karin Currie (FOL-Potomac vice president and founder), Judy Davis, Lysette House (Friends of the Library-Montgomery County), Edythe Wingate (FOL-Potomac board president), Carol Westrick (seated, holding inscribed plate), Ralph Buglass, Ginny Barnes (nominator, holding Maryland Proclamation), Adrienne Miles Holderbaum (Potomac Library Manager), Sheila Graves, Selby McPhee, Doris Valis.
Photo by Mary Kimm.
On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Potomac Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards dinner at Normandie Farm to honor the Citizens of the Year, Business of the Year, Youth of the Year and Grand Marshal of the Potomac Day Parade.
Selected as Business of the Year for 2019 is Falls Road Veterinary Hospital, represented by Sue-Anne Slonin, manager.
Jill Phillips, co-owner of Squeals on Wheels and member of the chamber board said: “I have observed Sue-Anne in her position as manager and she is consistently kind, helpful and professional. [She] is the person behind the scenes, making sure everything is running smoothly and at the highest level of quality.”
Phillips also pointed out all Slonin does for the Potomac community.
“Sue-Anne reaches out to the residents of Potomac by delivering the Chamber of Commerce’s Welcome Baskets to new residents and with speaking with new residents about both the Chamber of Commerce and Falls Road Veterinary Clinic.”
Falls Road Veterinary Clinic sponsors puppies being raised for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and the Guide Dog Foundation. They also provide vet services for PetConnect, a Potomac-based pet rescue organization.
Sue-Anne and her family have raised five dogs for Guiding Eyes for the blind and she assists members of Potomac Community Village as a volunteer driver.
Citizens of the Year: the Friends of the Library, Potomac Chapter.
Ginny Barnes nominated this group whose current president is Edie Wyngate, who accepted the award on behalf of the group.
“This organization serves the community in so many invaluable ways,” Barnes wrote. “In addition to promoting the many Potomac Library activities and offerings…they keep books alive and circulating through the community via their monthly [used] book sales.”
Potomac Friends of the Library works year-round to provide special programs at the library.
Among other activities, the Friends hold an author series, programs for children and adults, classes for those interested in learning to knit, visits from kangaroos, and more.
The Friends also facilitate Great Decisions, a national program of the non-partisan Foreign Policy Association. The group meets, usually with a guest speaker, eight times a year. A copy of the Briefing Book, providing analysis on the wide range of topics selected for discussion, will be available beginning in early January at the library’s Information Desk.
This year at Potomac Day, Peter Rabbit appeared as a costumed character and as a member of Friends of the Library Potomac. They also celebrated the new Peter Rabbit herb garden, recently planted at the library.
See https://www.folmc.org/chapters/potomac-chapter for more.
Bullis School senior Caleb Robinson was honored as Youth of the Year. Caleb, 17, is a senior and co-president, with Hannah Baltimore, of the school’s student body. He is also a member of the Bullis football team and an exemplary student, according to Lynn Kittel, Director of College Counseling at Bullis.
“Seeing this confident young man lead the Bullis School as Student Body Co-President, I am thrilled to say he has embraced his gifts, understands the influence he can have on others and eagerly works to make our community more caring and inclusive,” according to Kittel. Among Caleb’s activities at Bullis, Kittel lists: “Bullis School Ambassador (leading campus tours), Editor of LOGOS (Bullis Literary Magazine), Bullis Debate Club, and Bullis Coexist Club (an organization developed to increase appreciation of diverse cultures).”
Caleb excels academically, and also has a talent for spoken word poetry. “I really enjoy poetry; I love writing in general. I love being able to craft something – the ability to say what I want to say,” he said. The main topics for his poetry are how he views the world, growing up as a black man and discovering his passions.
The Grand Marshal of the Potomac Day Parade was long-time Potomac resident Ellen Cromwell, founder of Georgetown Hill Early School.
Cromwell started her school in 1980 “with the mission of providing the best early childhood programs possible for families in Maryland,” according to Kristen Raymond, a member of Georgetown Hill Early School staff, who nominated her. “Ellen set out as a pioneer in her field to create the then-new concept of a full-day preschool with quality programming. Ellen taught and directed preschool programs where children thrived in play-based, age appropriate, and nurturing environments. Ellen's vision for creating exceptional preschools lives on today with the opening of [Georgetown Hill’s] newest school right here in the heart of Potomac Village. Her commitment to creating an exemplary early childhood program now results in 11 campuses, over 300 teachers and over 1,400 students. Ellen is now retired and has just completed writing her 4th children's book.”