Chamber’s Civitas Awards honor Beaufort’s finest


 From staff reports 

More than 175 Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce and community members gathered Thursday, Oct. 14 on the lawn at the Coosaw River Club for the Chamber’s annual Civitas Awards, where the individuals and businesses that make Beaufort special were honored. 

This year’s winners include: 

Torchbearer Award for overall economic impact – Beaufort Memorial Hospital 

“We are honored to be recognized for our economic impact on our region,” BMH president and CEO Russell Baxley, MHA, said. “With more than 1,600 team members throughout Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties, we truly are an organization that both depends on and supports the many people who live and work here. We’re proud to be a part of this great community.” 

Trailblazer Award for innovation, investment and free enterprise – GlassWRX SC 

Cornerstone Award for small business excellence – Bill’s Liquors & Fine Wine

Caretaker Award for non-profit excellence – Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services

Pillar Award for community leadership – Stephen Murray

“I’m always honored to be recognized,” Murray said. “I thought it was a very nice change of venue holding it outside. It addressed COVID concerns and it was a beautiful evening.

“It was a very good time. I commend the Chamber staff for putting together a profession event where we could celebrate this community.”

Sentinel Award for military citizenship – Sgt. Diego Marmolejo

Buzzworthy Award for influential young leader – Jennifer Phillips

“I thought (the Chamber) did a really good job,” said Phillips, who said she had no expectation of winning. “… No, not at all. It was (Russell) Baxley and Kevin (Phillips, her husband). They are much more deserving.”

Chairman’s Award for exceptional support of the Chamber’s mission – Whitney McDaniel

A new award launched at the event went to McDaniel, who served three consecutive terms on the Chamber Board of Directors and spent five years as Treasurer. She helped guide the Chamber to financial strength during the pandemic uncertainty.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Frank Gibson

A Citadel graduate, Gibson moved to Beaufort in 1975 and soon after founded Lowcountry Insurance Services. During more than three decades of business ownership, Frank made time to serve in leadership roles in numerous civic, political and charitable organizations including two terms as Chamber Chairman. He was also instrumental in the establishment of Leadership Beaufort.

Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.

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