The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Member Celebration and Award Ceremony was held March 28 at Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery in Frankford. Attendees enjoyed wine and food pairings provided by Salted Vines and Plate Catering, as well as musical entertainment and socializing. Sponsored by Comcast Spotlight and Coastal Point, the evening featured the annual member awards, and celebrated accomplishments, anniversaries and accolades of its 700 members.
Outgoing board member Richard Mais of McCabe’s Gourmet Market was recognized with a framed painting by local artist Laura Hickman, the same painting that hangs in the chamber conference room. After a unanimous vote by the chamber board of directors, Mais was also recognized with the 2018 Lighthouse Award for his deep commitment to the chamber and the entire community. Viewed as a type of lifetime achievement award, the Lighthouse is the most prestigious award the chamber presents, recognizing a longtime chamber member who contributes outstanding leadership and devotion to both the chamber and local community. Dale Bellinger, owner of Bellinger’s Jewelers, generously donates the award each year.
Ambassador of the Year was awarded posthumously to longtime chamber member and ambassador Nancy Hoeflich, who passed away earlier this year after a courageous battle with cancer. Her daughter Christine Hoeflich-Olley was present to accept the award in memory of her mother. Always a friendly face and an active volunteer, Hoeflich will be missed by the Quiet Resorts Community.
Seaside Seven was presented the New Member of the Year Award for their immediate participation in and support of the chamber as exhibited at the Fire & Ice Festival, and engagement at various networking and community events.
Member of the Year Award went to Lori Smyth of Tidepool Toys and Games. Smyth played a major role in the execution of the 2017 Weekend Wonderland events in Bethany Beach and was supportive in implementing the Find Freezy initiative in Fenwick Island.
Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery was presented the Best in Business Award. Salted Vines has become a pillar in the community, providing innovative programming through partnerships with other local businesses. Its team members go above and beyond to make visiting the winery a unique experience.
The Inspiring Business Award was presented to Caleb Miller of the Bank of Ocean City in Maryland. Miller is active in the Fenwick business community, continually coming up with creative ways for local businesses to partner and grow. He was a major catalyst in initiating Find Freezy in Fenwick Island and garnering community support and interest.
Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church was presented the Community Spirit Award for its exemplary outreach and support of the area’s many J-1 international students and overall support of the community. The church’s mission is to have no person in need within a 12-mile radius, which has a positive effect on the Quiet Resorts area as a whole.
The chamber staff is grateful for the active, friendly business community that makes up its membership and looks forward to seeing what the rest of 2018 brings.