41st Annual Chamber Award Winners

The Tucker County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the recipients for the 41st Annual Chamber Awards. The banquet was held on Thursday evening, May 16, 2019 at 6:00pm at Canaan Valley Resort. The Chamber has solicited nominations for six different categories, the secret committee has met and the results were announced at the banquet. This year an award for Athlete of the Year, not given every, was awarded. The Tuckineer, which is not announced until the banquet, was a well-deserved surprise to the community.

Educator of the Year: Kelly Reed
Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School
1st grade teacher

Mountain Hospice is the proud sponsor of this award

One colleague wrote, “As a teacher myself, I know the amount of time you have devote to educating young minds. However, Ms. Reed goes above and beyond. She isn’t afraid to challenge their minds and watch as they succeed, because she knew they could do it.” “She always provides each child with individualized learning experiences and attention. For example, she listens to each child reach stories that fit their learning level and records any mistakes. She then works with them one-on-one to learn from their errors.”

One nomination said, “She works tirelessly to help her students learn. Daily, puts in far more hours than the typical eight hour work day. She has given my daughter the gift of reading. More than that, she has inspired my daughter to want to become a teacher.”

Student of the Year: Riley Evans

Sirianni’s Café is the proud sponsor of this award

One nomination said, “Riley is someone who demonstrates strong leadership skills and a hardworking attitude. She is not afraid to face new challenges. She is a self-motived young lady who has not only excelled in her academics, but has aspired and acquired several honors and honorable mentions.”

Another wrote, “I believe her strong academic performance in her transcript speak for its self. However, her meticulous manner and efficiencies in problem solving are outstanding. As I have seen her applying her leadership skills and organizational abilities into her projects. These skills lend themselves to getting the tasks done. Her strengths are in teaming, flexible scheduling and involvement in student affairs has allowed her to become very much a part of her school and community.”

Another added, “Riley Evans has always given to our beloved Tucker County. From baking treats for our Cortland Acres residents to volunteering as an assistant Bible school teacher at Riverview Church, Riley has over 120 official hours of community service and many more unofficial hours. Her service to the community, academic excellence, athletic excellence, and leadership among her peers make Riley the obvious choice for this year’s Student of the Year.”

Employee of the Year: Lois Reed

Blackwater Falls State Park is the proud sponsor of this award

One nomination said, “Tucker County has benefited from the warm, welcoming presence of Lois Reed at Blackwater Falls. She is very much a part of the Tucker County brand. She utilizes finesse and has a calming influence on others, while maintaining the ideals of the park. She does not allow situations to spiral out of hand, but keeps her composure and seeks to find solutions to issues.” Lois has been consulted by outside state park systems who were interested in developing state park lodging, the US Army National Guard-Camp Dawson sought Lois’ advice when setting up and renovation of the main lodge at the Preston County compound, and other WV State Parks seeking advice. The WV State Parks Central Office has consulted with Lois for years seeking counsel on implementing new programs, rate schedules and functions.

Another wrote, “Lois has worked at Blackwater Falls State Park for 39 years. She started working here in the summers while completing her degree in Parks and Recreation Management from Potomac State. Over her years of service, she has filled many roles: Summer Naturalist, gift shop manager, front desk clerk, cabin reservation office, audit clerk, and currently is the lodge manager at Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge.”

One nomination mentioned, “Her commitment to the success of Blackwater Falls and Tucker County is unparalleled. She is known by so many both in the Tucker County industry professionals and guests of Blackwater. The fact that these visitors know her personally is a perfect indicator of her strong hospitality focus.”

Business of the Year: Mountain State Brewing – Brian Arnett & Willie Lehmann

Best of Canaan is the proud sponsor of this award

A nomination said, “Mountain State Brewing is passionate about its products and the community. The company regularly supports local events, donating time and merchandise for good cause. Brian and Willy are also always willing to help out local individuals, families and organizations. If someone or a group needs space for a fundraiser, all they have to do is ask. You won’t be turned away empty handed.”

“Mountain State Brewing has also had an enormous impact on the craft beer movement in West Virginia. Partnering with other local and state breweries, Brian and Willie worked with and lobbied state legislatures to relax distribution process, to allow for the sale of multiple growlers on site as well as breweries being able to offer samples during tours and establish a sliding scale for the resident brewer’s license fees based on volume of production. This has led to a boom in the craft beer movement in the state.”

Another nomination mentioned, “I believe Paul Wamsley, Jr. deserves this award, because under his leadership, St. George Medical Clinic continues to address the healthcare needs of our community while providing local medical professionals with a wonderful job close to home.”

Another said, “Owners Brian Arnett and Willie Lehmann are setting a wonderful example that entrepreneurship can begin and thrive in the Mountain State…and more importantly, in Tucker County. Consisting of office staff, brewers, servers, drivers and organizers, the Mountain State staff are known for their friendly service and small-town hospitality. With a wonderful website and great staff…and some dame good beer…Brian and Willie and staff are shining a bright light on Tucker County. They are proud of their mountain home and the clean, clear water they use to create a dozen different craft beers.”

Community Service Award: Robert Burns

Mon. General Heath Systems is the proud sponsor of this award

A nomination said, “Mr. Burns has dedicated a majority of his life to volunteer work, community programs, and community development. It goes without saying that there is no one more dedicated to our social foundation or the kindness required to inspire an entire community.”

“Mr. Burns is a staple in this community. In addition to his lead role at the Tucker Community Foundation, Mr. Burns currently serves as President for the St. George Medical Clinic, President of the Tucker County Family Resource Network, is a Founding Member and Treasurer of the Tucker County Culture District Authority, Board Member of both the Tucker County Rotary and Tucker County Parents as Teachers. Mr. Burns also, in recent past, served on the Tucker County Landmark Commission, the Parsons City Council, was the Treasurer of the Tucker County Planning Commission, was the Treasurer for ArtSpring, Treasurer of Highland Community Builders, and served as a member on both the Hardwood Alliance Zone Board and the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce Board.”

“I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone who has made me more excited to meet new people and work with them toward a common goal. Mr. Burns is an inspiration, and well-loved by everyone who knows him in our community.”

Athlete of the Year: John Logar

Blackwater Bikes is the proud sponsor of this award

One nomination wrote, “My nomination today requires bringing back an award that has not been given out in many years. I feel after this year’s accomplishments of John Logar, winning the Iditarod 1,000 mile series for the 2nd time, he is deserving of this award. In 2014 he won the 1,000 mile foot race and in 2019 the 1,000 mile bike race. I feel it is time to wipe off and break out the Athlete of the Year Award and honor John Logar.”

Another nomination said, “Dr. Logar recently won the Iditarod Trail Invitational. He rode 1,000 miles on a bike to win this challenging event.”

“Dr. Logar is often seen around our county biking, hiking and enjoying all the outdoor activities this county has to offer. He has proven that his athletic ability can sustain those athletes, even as they grow in age and ability.”

Tuckineer: Joe Drenning, Retiring Mayor of Davis

Citizens Bank of West Virginia is the sponsor of this prestigious award

Multiple nominations were submitted for this gentleman, but one said, “Joe is a very hard working and loyal man to not only his local residents in Davis but also the residents in Tucker County. He is a very productive member of this town and has generated lots of projects to keep the residents of Tucker County moving forward in the generations to come.”

Another nomination wrote, “Mayor Joe traveled to Charleston frequently searching for grants, building relationships and learning the processes which can be lengthy and cumbersome. If they told him “no” one year, he would go back the next year with the same request and more information on why the project needed to be funded. He knows more about the rules and regulations of DEP than any other person I know. Sometimes the DEP folks would learn from him.”

One nomination mentioned, “Mayor Joe Drenning is a perfect candidate for this special award and you will find no other more deserving than he. He has served on the Town of Davis Council for over 26 years as either Council Member or Mayor. He has given countless hours to the Town and Community and his love for the area knows no ends.”

And the nominations continued to praise all that Mayor Joe has done over the years for the town and the community.

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