Salisbury Chamber honors its top performers


The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 98th Annual Awards Banquet last week at La Quinta Inn and Suites in Downtown Salisbury. The event recognized Chamber members for their important work in the community and for the Chamber.

Steve Leonard, President and CEO of the Peninsula Regional Medical System was the keynote speaker. Steve Miller, Director of Wicomico County Parks, Recreation & Tourism, was the emcee.

Member Volunteer of the Year: Karri Todd.

Sponsored by Peninsula Regional Medical Center, this award recognizes a person who puts much of their time and effort into supporting the mission of the Chamber.

Karri Todd is an account executive for the commercial lines department at Avery Hall Insurance. She specializes in reviewing cyber/privacy exposures for commercial accounts. She is a founding member of the Women’s Committee as well as Chair Elect of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and is a multi-year volunteer of Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore. Toddi is also a current board member of Women Supporting Women, which is a regional organization that provides awareness, education, and support to all those who are affected by breast cancer. She is also an active member of Women United and the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore and a development committee member of For All Seasons.

Ambassador of the Year:  Larissa Luck.

Sponsored by Pohanka of Salisbury, this award recognizes an individual that serves on the Ambassador Committee and has not only fulfilled their commitment to promote retention and inclusiveness within the Chamber through outreach to new and existing members — but has gone above and beyond the agreed upon duties.

Larissa Luck is Personal Mortgage Adviser at Nations Lending Corp.’s Salisbury Branch. Luck was raised in Mishawaka, Ind., moved to Salisbury in 2009 and quickly made it home, working for locally owned businesses and engaging with the Chamber and local nonprofits including Habitat for Humanity and Women Supporting Women. In January 2012, she was hired as a home loan consultant and that quickly became a career. Helping people realize their dream of home ownership keeps her fulfilled and passionate every day in her career.

Small Business of the Year: Peninsula Alternative Health.

Sponsored by BBSI, this award is presented to a firm with a staff of five or less, who have a substantiated record as an established business. The company has demonstrated growth in the last two years of operation, demonstrated an innovative approach to the market, and provides superior customer service.

Peninsula Alternative Health was created in 2015 to provide alternative medicine to patients who can benefit from safe access to quality medicinal cannabis. In 2016, they were awarded a Preliminary Stage 1 License Pre-approval to begin the opening process. Late in 2017 they passed final inspection and opened their doors to begin serving patients medical cannabis.

PAH CEO Anthony Darby accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Medium Business of the Year: iHeartMedia Inc.

Sponsored by Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development, this award is presented to a firm with a staff of six to 50, which has a substantiated record as an established business. The company has demonstrated growth through at least two years of operations, demonstrated an innovative approach to the market, and provides superior customer service.

iHeartMedia, Inc. specializes in radio broadcasting through division iHeartMedia and subsidiary iHeartMedia and Entertainment Inc. the company owns more than 850 full-power AM and FM radio stations in the country, making it the nation’s largest owner of radio stations. Accepting the award was Randy Scott of Froggy 99.9 FM.

Large Business of the Year: Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp.

This award, sponsored by Comcast Spotlight, is presented to a firm with a staff of more than 50, which has a substantiated record as an established business. The company has demonstrated growth through at least two years of operations, demonstrated an innovative approach to the market, and provides superior customer service.

This year’s winner, Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp., has more than 30 years of direct industry experience and is a leading designer and builder of a notable array of commercial ships up to 450 feet in length.

Their vessels operate all over the world and are suited for inland waterway or ocean service. Their specialization in the design and construction of passenger vessels, tugboats and ferry boats has enabled them to develop an unrivaled expertise in this field. Accepting the award was Steve McGee, President of Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp.

Business Professional of the Year: Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach.

Sponsored by BEACON of Salisbury University, this award is presented to an individual who is widely recognized as a successful business and community leader.

Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach was appointed the eighth president of Salisbury University in 2000, the first woman to hold the office. She is the University System of Maryland’s longest-serving female president and is the second longest-tenured president in SU history. Her leadership has been transformational, with a strategic vision that has resulted in the institution’s growth in size, reputation and private support. She is a Latin American literature and Spanish-language scholar who is fluent in Spanish, and in 2015, the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore awarded her its prestigious Jim Barrett Community Leadership Award for exemplifying philanthropic leadership. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot also personally nominated and presented her with the 2015 William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for Wicomico County. The Daily Record three times named Dudley-Eshbach one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women, inducting her into its Circle of Excellence.

Environmental Service Award: Delmarva Shredding and Recycling.

Sponsored by Chaney Enterprises, this award is presented to an individual or organization which has done the most to assist the Lower Shore Business Community become more green-oriented.

Delmarva Shredding and Recycling LLC is a locally owned and operated business located in Salisbury. Owned by Dave and Katie Eccleston, Delmarva Shredding was established in 2011 to meet the growing needs of the business and communities to help guard against identity theft.  With mobile shredding trucks, it covers the entire Delmarva Peninsula as well as specific locations on the western shore. In addition to providing mobile document destruction, Delmarva Shredding operates a plant based recycling facility for paper, plastic and metals. Accepting the award was Dave Eccleston.

Agriculture Ambassador of the Year: Michelle Wright.

This award is sponsored by Perdue Farms and recognizes the person or organization that has done the most to aid Maryland’s top industry, agriculture.

Michelle Wright and her family own and operate Wright’s Market located on Route 50 in Mardela Springs. They sell a variety of items that include fresh produce, lawn and garden items, giftware, fresh crabmeat and baked goods. Wright serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Mar-Del Watermelon Association and helps coordinate their two-day annual convention for 350 attendees which raises over $150,000 for their advertising and queen programs. She is the Secretary/Treasurer for the Wicomico County Farm Bureau and assists with the annual banquet for approximately 300 attendees.

Nonprofit Organization of the Year: Alzheimer’s Association – Eastern Shore Region.

Sponsored by Delmarva Power, this award recognizes the group that has best used their resources to aid the community. The Alzheimer’s Association works on a global, national and local level to provide care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. As the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, the Association is committed to accelerating the global progress of new treatments, preventions and ultimately, a cure. Accepting the award was Executive Director Carol Zimmerman.

Awards were also given for membership milestones.

Recognized for 10 years:

  • Stanley Steemer.
  • AHPharma.
  • Spicer Brothers.
  • Baxter Enterprises.
  • Pilot Financial Advisors.
  • Express Employment Professionals.

Recognized for 20 years:

  • Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.
  • Life Crisis Center Inc.
  • Morning Star Publications.
  • Quality Staffing Services.
  • United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore.

Recognized for 30 years:

  • Telewire Inc.
  • Recognized for 40 years:
  • Peninsula Financial Services.
  • Mail Movers.

As your community newspaper, we are committed to making Salisbury a better place. You can help support our mission by making a voluntary contribution to the newspaper.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.