Nearly 250 business and community leaders gathered on Thursday at the Nittany Lion Inn as the Chamber of Business and Industy of Centre County (CBICC) celebrated its 2017 Excellence in Business Awards.
The annual awards are meant to recognize the best of Centre County's business and entrepreneurial community.
Jeff Fortin, Penn State associate vice president for research and director of the Office of Industrial Partnerships, was honored as this year's CBICC/Centre County Economic Development Partnership, joining previous recipients including State College Borough Manager Tom Fountaine and Penn State President Eric Barron.
Open nominations were accepted for awards in six categories and an independent panel of business and community leaders selected finalists and winners in each category. This year's winners were:
• Technology Company of the Year – EnergyCAP
• Startup Company of the Year – ConidioTec LLC
• Business Leader of the Year – Patrick Irwin, Vice President of Construction, Leonard S. Fiore
• Corporate/Community Impact – West Arete/Contributary platform
• Small Business of the Year (retail, service/professional service, hospitality, restaurant/caterer) – Tait Farm Foods
• Young Professional of the Year – Amanda McClellan, Doing Better Business
A total of 48 businesses and individuals were among the nominees.
“The Excellence in Business Awards are a wonderful opportunity to showcase the strength and diversity of Centre County’s business community,” said Vern Squier, CBICC president and CEO. “We welcomed the opportunity to celebrate local business while specifically acknowledging the achievements of this year’s finalists and winners.”
Bernie Swain, co-founder and chairman of the Washington Speakers Bureau, was keynote speaker and Forever Broadcasting radio personality Jeff Brown served as emcee.