New Market chamber hosts banquet
On March 22, the New Market Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet and awards ceremony at the Quality Inn in New Market, with board member Tom Constable serving as master of ceremonies.
The theme for the banquet was “Let’s Make a Deal.” A silent auction raised $525 and Allen Johnson, of Johnson Associated, donated his winnings from the 50/50 raffle back to the chamber.
New Market Town Manager Evan Vass was presented the Outstanding Citizen of the Year award.
“I’m very humbled by the award,” Vass said. “No man is an island, particularly in public service, and while it’s an honor to be recognized I also know, as do many, that it takes an entire community working together to create the proactive successes New Market has completed or are contemplating.”
Vass was hired as town manager in 2003, but took a position as Harrisonburg’s assistant town manager in 2008. He returned to New Market in 2010.
“It’s been busy being back in New Market. I’m confident I haven’t had the same day twice,” he said.
Vass’ numerous projects include the completion of two phases of a grant-funded downtown beautification streetscape project, as well as the completion of a 4.3-mile sewer force main to the Broadway regional treatment facility.
“This summer, we should complete the Shady Lane Street improvement project… as well as the completion of the second and final phase of streetscape,” Vass said. “I work with a great bunch of staff members and have a very proactive and supportive town council that has made the award possible.”
Outstanding Business of the Year was awarded to Shop Civil War, owned by Roy Muller.
“It’s an honor to get that,” Muller said. “You never know who’s going to get it until the banquet, so it was a pleasant surprise.”
Muller moved his shop from Harpers Ferry in 2001 because of the New Market Battlefield. His primary business is developing products for gift shops at Civil War battlefields and museums.
New Market Fire & Rescue received the Outstanding Civic Organization of the Year.
“It was a great honor and shows we’re moving in the right direction,” said John Blosser, president and lifetime member.
President’s Awards went to Karla Kokkonen, Susie Hill, Kathy Boyles, Cathy Donald and Liz Gum.
The 2012 board of directors are Bernie Brown, Dominique Armentrout, Judy DeLaughter, Tom Constable, Bruce Dillon, Karla Kokkonen, Cathy Wittig-Donald, Velma Jordan, Tanya Rosenberry and Kathy Boyles who will serve as treasurer.