GEORGETOWN – Votes are in. Envelope, please!
Two volunteer organizations, a business focused on healthcare information technology and another now known around the globe for superior hospitality garnered honors Wednesday at the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce installation and awards luncheon.
The CHEER Community Center was the stage as the chamber saluted four recipients in three Small Business of the Year categories for 2016.
Clothing Our Kids received the Small Business Trailblazer Award, the Joseph Patrick Fabber Memorial Foundation was the pick for Non-Profit of the Year while Microtel Inn & Suites and SecureNetMD shared the spotlight as 2016 Outstanding Business Leader of the Year.
Chamber president Angela Emerson said all of the candidates are businesses or organizations that are run well and “actively work to improve the quality of life in their community.”
State Rep. Ruth Briggs King, who represents Georgetown in the 37th District, presented tributes from the state House of Representatives and Senate to award honorees.
Clothing Our Kids
Founded by Mary Rio in 2012, Clothing Our Kids is a 100-percent volunteer organization that works to provide clothing, shoes and coats to at-risk elementary throughout Sussex County.
Working exclusively with 33 school nurses, Clothing Our Children distributed more than 15,000 items to more than 3,500 students.
“Their mission is to ensure that no child in Sussex County ever misses a day of school because he or she does not have clothing or shoes to walk to school in,” said Rep. Briggs King.
“We really appreciate this,” said Ms. Rio. “We’ve been around for five years and we’re starting to get out there now.”
Joseph Patrick Fabber Memorial Foundation
Founded by Vincenza Fabber in 2013, the JPF’s mission is to secure a drug and bully free society while preventing suicide and preserving life. It is a local, 100-percent volunteer organization that assists children, adolescents and families that are struggling with depression and related disorders.
“Thank you. We are honored and humbled,” said Michael Fabber, executive director.
Microtel Inn & Suites
Built in 2014, the Microtel on U.S. 113 has achieved worldwide recognition, having claimed three major awards – Microtel Motel of the Year, Front Desk Employee of the Year and overall Wyndham Hotel of the Year – at the Wyndham global conference in Las Vegas in 2016.
“We have worked extremely hard. We opened up in 2014 and in a year and a half we became the No. 1 Wyndham hotel in the entire world,” Ben Gray, Microtel general manager. “It is not because of me. It is because of the people that we have in Georgetown. I always love to tell, when we accepted this award in Las Vegas in front of 6,000 people … everybody asked me, ‘What state is Delaware in?’ I can guarantee you, by the time I left everyone knew where Delaware was.”
With a prime focus on healthcare, SecureNetMD strives to deliver the region’s most comprehensive IT solutions in healthcare technology with next-generation solutions “that allow healthcare providers to get back to focusing on what is important – improving patient care,” Rep. Briggs King said.
“We ’d like to accept the award and say a big thank you to the community, supporting us as we grew.,” said Rob Nicholson.
For about a year and a half, SecureNetMD has also been working to develop a tech culture.
“The county has been very instrumental in building out the technology infrastructure, bringing broadband to the area. We’ve really stepped up and partnered with the Delaware libraries,” said Mr. Nicholson. “Beyond our servicing our clients we are also really interested in developing a tech culture down here and giving our kids and our grandkids the opportunity, the option to move back after college.”
Gov. John Carney was a special guest speaker.
Rep. Briggs King administered the oath to chamber officers and directors for 2017.
SLATE OF OFFICERS
President: Angela Emerson, Sussex County Association of REALTORS®
1st Vice President: Linda Price, Fulton Bank
2nd Vice President: Judy Dean, Re/Max Associates
Secretary: Ben Gray, Microtel & Beacon Hospitality
Treasurer: Anthony DelFranco, Cheer
Three Year Director: Bruce Rogers, Bruce Rogers, PA
Three Year Director: Glenn Sweeten, Edward Jones
Two Year Director: Josie Cicerale, Lavender Fields
Two Year Director: Bill West, Town of Georgetown
Two Year Director: Paco Hernandez, Premier Staffing Solutions
One Year Director: Ray Hopkins, Servepro of Sussex County
One Year Director: Christopher Moody, Delaware Technical Community College
One Year Director: Helen Kruger, Kruger Trailers
News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at email@example.com