Beaufort celebrates Civitas Awards



The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce presented 12 Civitas Awards Friday evening at the Dataw Island Clubhouse.

The Civitas Awards celebrates leadership in various community sectors.  The Latin word “Civitas” means “the condition of the citizenship.”  In Roman times, the “civitates” had a primary purpose of stimulating the local economy.  Since 2002, locally, the Civitas Awards have recognized excellence and leadership in the Beaufort County region.

The Tourism Leadership award recognizes a business, person or organization that has made great contributions to Beaufort County’s number one industry:  tourism.  The nominations were Beaufort Inn, Friends of Hunting Island State Park, Lowcountry Tourism Commission, and World Design Marketing.  The winner was Friends of Hunting Island State Park.

The Outstanding Employee Award recognizes an individual who provides excellent customer service, who is a good team player and who raises the bar in his/her workplace by contributing new ideas that better the company.  There were three nominees in this category:  Amanda Hayman representing the Technical College of the Lowcountry, Kim Merritt representing Beaufort Memorial Hospital, and Ellen Starling representing Amanda Rose Weddings & Events.  The winner was Kim Merritt representing Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

The Lowcountry Young Professional award recognizes a young professional who exemplifies strong professional capabilities, leadership qualities, service to the community and a respected character.  The nominees were Carrie Carper, Michael Gonzalez, Ian Hart, Ian Leslie, Charlie Nolette, Heidi Otto and Ashley Twombley. The winner was Ian Leslie.

Leadership Beaufort began 26 years ago, and to celebrate the silver anniversary, Leadership Beaufort Alumni was launched last year to continue the learning and networking.  The award recognizes one of the alumni who best exemplify the directive of Leadership Beaufort to get engaged and give back to the community.  The nominees were Donnie Beer, Rob Bridgers, Holly Davidson, Bruce Doneff, Charlotte Gonzalez, Connie Hipp, Stephen Murray, Margaret Rushton and Ron Tucker. The winner was Connie Hipp.

The Outstanding Non-profit award recognizes a private, non-profit organization that demonstrates enhancement of the quality of life and betterment of the community, contributes a balance of time, expertise and funding, meets an identified community need, and serves locally, regionally or nationally with a local or regional presence.  This year 11 worthy nominees were recognized: Boys & Girls Club of the Lowcountry, Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina, HELP of Beaufort, Junior Service League of Beaufort, Lowcountry Autism Foundation, Main Street Beaufort, USA, Marine Corps League-Yellow Footprints Detachment 1154, Penn Center, Pillows for Patriots, Wardle Family YMCA of Beaufort County, 56th Beaufort Water Festival.  The winner was Junior Service League of Beaufort.

The Community Stewardship recognizes a business that actively and voluntarily supports non-profit and community service organizations or provides much needed support to individuals. It recognizes businesses that have made exemplary or long-standing contributions to our community, promoting community involvement within its corporate culture.  The nominees were Align Education Consultants, Ameris Bank, H2 Builders, Incorporated and Jim N Nick’s BarBQ.  The winner this year was H2 Builders, Incorporated.

The Excellence in Free Enterprise award recognizes a business that is a model of successful enterprise for others. Success can include job creation, unique risks and results, turning a business around or filling a market niche.  This year’s nominees were: Hwy 21 Drive In Movie Theatre, ISLC — Internet Services of the Low Country, Lowcountry Produce. The winner was Lowcountry Produce.

The Regional Economic Impact award recognizes a business that has demonstrated significant accomplishments in promoting economic prosperity and quality of life in our region.  Businesses nominated create a significant economic impact through investment, risk-taking or job creation at a macro level.  The nominees this year were:  Buckwalter Place, Parker Hannifin, Tanger Outlets and the University of South Carolina Beaufort.  The winner was University of South Carolina Beaufort.

The military awards are selected by staff at Parris Island Recruit Depot and MCAS Beaufort through their recognition programs. The Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year is Staff Sgt. Nicholas J. Underwood.

The military awards are selected by staff at Parris Island Recruit Depot and MCAS Beaufort through their recognition programs. The  Junior Enlisted Service Member of the Year is Corporal Jesse Parke.

The Military Citizenship award recognizes retired military in our community that makes exemplary and lasting contributions to the Beaufort area.  There were four nominees in this category: Frank Check,  Dennis Holzinger, John Payne, and David Rosenblum. And the winner of the award is Col. John Payne.

The Lifetime of Leadership award recognizes an individual who has made great contributions to his/her community through various avenues of service. Service may come in the form of business growth and development, setting higher standards and/or demonstrating great leadership skills. Lifetime contributions in communities prior to moving to the Beaufort region are also considered in determining lifelong leadership.  This year’s nominees are Kevin Cuppia, Martin Goodman, Dot Gnann. And the winner was Dot Gnann.

Another award given was Ambassador of the Year, a chamber recognition given to Ginger Olszewski, Store Manager for Belk.

Jimmy Boozer, current chairman of the board passed the gavel to the 2011/2012 Board Chairman Jon Rembold. Also in attendance were past winners Malcolm Goodridge, Kendall Erickson, Jim Grimsley, Fred Washington, Brantley Harvey and Henry Chambers.








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