Kirk Wendland, President of the St Johns County Chamber of Commerce, reported to Historic City News that yesterday several members of St Johns County’s business community were recognized for their participation in strengthening the local business environment.
This year’s “Champions of Business” theme was chosen to recognize exceptional members and the accomplishments of distinguished business professionals who help build and strengthen the foundation of St Johns County and the Chamber of Commerce.
Among the awards presented during the Chamber’s 2013 Annual Dinner were the Chamber Chairman’s Award, Chamber Member of the Year, Economic Development Member of the year, and Chamber Ambassadors of the Year.
The Chamber Chairman’s Award honors an outstanding individual and steadfast supporter of the Chamber of Commerce and St Johns County. The Chairman’s award was presented to Bill Hughes, General Manager of TPC Sawgrass. Bill’s leadership in the Ponte Vedra Beach Division and involvement in one of the Chamber’s largest public events, The Ponte Vedra Auto Show, helped set the tone in creating a more visible and accountable presence of the Chamber in Ponte Vedra Beach. Bill was also instrumental in the merger of the Ponte Vedra Beach Chamber and the St Johns County Chamber.
The Ponte Vedra Beach Division Board was also recognized for their participation and support of the merger and their ongoing efforts in leading the Ponte Vedra Beach Division.
Adam Shockey, owner of Tour St Augustine and St Augustine City Walks, was recognized as the SJC Chamber Member of the Year. In October of 2012, Shockey launched the Chamber’s Tourism & Hospitality Council. Through this Chamber Council, Shockey sought to provide excellent programming and educational seminars on specific industry topics such as legal tips on tourism, business law and liability. As a dedicated Chamber member, Shockey understands the Chamber’s mission and commits his time and resources to better the business community.
The Fred Schroeder Economic Development Council member of the year was awarded to Christine McGlade from Northrop Grumman for her support of the Chamber’s Leadership St Johns program and the Aviation and Aerospace Academy at St Augustine High School. Christine was recently appointed to head her organization in St Johns County and will oversee an $80 million Hawkeye manufacturing plant expansion that is expected to add 400 jobs for the NE Florida workforce. As a employee of the largest private industrial employer in St Johns County, Christine is a strong advocate of the Chamber’s Economic Development efforts and through Northrop’s involvement in education helps buoy St Johns major advantage when recruiting business and industry, its excellent school system.
Marty Lewis, with Money Pages, was honored with the Gene Morse Ambassador of the Year award. Serving as an Ambassador for the past 11 years, Marty stepped in to serve as the Chamber’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Coordinator at a critical time. With his professionalism and quick wit, Lewis brings stability, enthusiasm and leadership to the Ambassador Program.
The Ponte Vedra Beach Division Ambassador of the Year award is entitled the Grace Hayes award. Joe Flask, owner of Brightlink Technology was presented the distinguished award for his “team player” attitude, Chamber dedication and his support of numerous Chamber initiatives.
“This has been a very good year,” Wendland told reporters. “We would having given 1,000 awards tonight if we could, but we wanted to make sure that we recognized these great members who have gone above and beyond to help our business community and Chamber make great strides in 2012-13.”