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CBICC Awards Gala Honors Otto's, Harrison's, Tait Farm and Other Centre County Businesses

by on March 04, 2011 2:19 PM

The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County celebrated the local business community at its annual awards gala Thursday night.

While the awards cover every industry, the business of food ruled the evening.

Otto's Pub and Brewery took home the Small Business of the Year Award; Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering won the Corporate Philanthropy Award; and Tait Farm Foods Community Harvest won the Quality of Life Award.

Held at the Penn Stater Conference Center and sponsored by SPE Federal Credit Union, the event provides a backdrop for making connections. But the main purpose is to shine a spotlight on success stories in the business community.

“It’s important to us that we are able to recognize these accomplishments and honor them,” said Jean Gerber, vice president of the CBICC.

Media personality David Price emceed for the fifth consecutive year, and Rick Hirsch’s Quintessence Band provided music.

Attendees were greeted with valet parking and a red carpet—a new touch to this year’s event and the brainchild of Connie Corl, CBICC’s events and publications coordinator.

Commenting on the red carpet, Price cracked: “That should attract plenty of stars. I heard Charlie Sheen is in attendance.”

The awards, given to area businesses and business leaders, were presented in nine different categories, recognizing such values as philanthropy and community spirit.

The hope is that through recognition, the industry group will inspire, Gerber said. Honoring community-minded businesses and individuals, particularly in the current economic climate, can have a domino effect, she said. The award winners, which have managed to succeed while simultaneously giving back, “set an example for other businesses to follow."

The event also raises awareness of businesses that operate under the radar, yet provide integral products and services to other Centre County organizations.

“The event gets their name out there,” Gerber said.

CBICC members nominated the award candidates in October 2010; in January, they voted for finalists in the nine categories.

The winners are as follows:

  • Community Service Award – Ted McDowell, AmeriServ Bank (sponsored by Centre County Community Foundation)
  • Corporate Philanthropy Award – Harrison’s Wine Grill and Catering (sponsored by Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc.)
  • Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award - Scott Good, Goodco Mechanical and Energy Stewards Inc. (sponsored by Minitab, Inc)
  • Outstanding Technology Company of the Year Award – Automated Records Centre (sponsored by Sound Technology, Inc.)
  • Quality of Life Award – Tait Farm Foods Community Harvest (sponsored by Mount Nittany Medical Center)
  • Small Business of the Year Award – Otto’s Pub and Brewery (sponsored by First National Bank)
  • CBICC Spirit Award – Frances Stevenson, Kish Bank (sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank)
  • CBICC Volunteer of the Year Award – B. Perry Babb, Keystone Business Support Inc. (sponsored by CBICC)
  • CBICC Ambassador of the Year – Lauren Keck, Sweetland Engineering & Associates Inc. (sponsored by CBICC)

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Matthew Groves is a senior in the Penn State Smeal College of Business, and will be graduating in May with a degree in Business Administration Economics. He grew up in State College and loves the community and what it has to offer. He looks forward to sticking around after he graduates, and doing something that can benefit the area.
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