Concord, NH – The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2010 Pinnacle Awards. The Pinnacle Awards recognize businesses and individuals who have demonstrated professional excellence and commitment to the community. Recipients were honored at the Fifth Annual Pinnacle Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 3, 2010 in Concord.
W. Grant McIntosh Volunteer of the Year Award: Gary Miller, UNITIL
The W. Grant McIntosh Award is presented to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of volunteerism and is given in honor of Grant McIntosh, who served as both volunteer Chair of the Chamber and president of the Chamber. This year’s recipient is a fixture at almost every Business After Hours, currently serves on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, and as co-chair of the Funds for Education Golf Tournament. He also served as team captain for the Chamber’s successful membership drive last year. As current chair of the Chamber’s Business & Education Partnership, he oversees the Capital Area Student Leadership program that has graduated over 400 high school sophomores, as well as the Business Grants program which has awarded over $120,000 to support innovative educational initiatives in local schools. For his unending enthusiasm and dedication to the Chamber and the community, the Chamber is pleased to name Gary Miller as recipient of the annual W. Grant McIntosh Award for Volunteerism.
Small Business of the Year: All-Ways Accessible, Inc.
All-Ways Accessible, Inc. (AWA) is a locally-owned company that has been serving both residential and commercial customers throughout New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine for over 13 years. AWA installs elevators and lifts for hundreds of homeowners, businesses and municipalities, allowing them to provide full accessibility and a better environment for all of its customers. Their active involvement in the Chamber includes Liz’s service on the State Government Affairs Committee and successfully leading the Chamber’s membership drive last year. In addition to their many other contributions to the community, Jeff and Liz organized a Toys for Tots campaign that collected over 200 games, stuffed animals, baseballs and footballs; as well as a food drive that collected over 400 pounds of food for the NH Food Bank. Their dedication to “walking the walk” and contributing in so many ways, All-Ways Accessible has become a role model for the community.
Business of the Year: Sanel Auto Parts Company
Sanel Auto Parts Company (SAP) is the leading auto parts and supplies distributor in northern New England. The family-owned SAP started as a junkyard in the early 1920s by Ed Sanel, Sr. and Benjamin Sanel. SAP has grown into a nationally-ranked retailer with 37 stores throughout New England, while remaining committed to its mission of being the best provider of quality products and services to all segments of the vehicle repair industry. SAP employs 380 people in New Hampshire, many of whom follow an example of community service set by its leaders. Ed Sanel, Sr. was one of the founding members of the Concord Boys & Girls Club and the NH Sweepstakes Commission, and the company’s fourth generation has continued community involvement serving on the boards of such organizations as United Way of Merrimack County, Temple Beth Jacob, NH Auto Dealers Association, and many others. Each year for 15 years, SAP employees have gathered fixings for Thanksgiving baskets for 58 families and Christmas gifts for 70 children. Their commitment to their customers and employees, and their passion for creating a better community, the Chamber bestows on Sanel Auto Parts the esteemed Business of the Year Award.
Non-Profit Business of the Year: Granite State Independent Living
Founded in 1980, Granite State Independent Living (GSIL) is a statewide nonprofit organization founded over 30 years ago to promote life with independence for people with disabilities and advocating for social change. GSIL has grown from a budget of $400,000 with a staff of four and one office to a $17 million budget with 1,000 employees and 8 regional offices. GSIL offers 17 successful programs to a diverse group of consumers—many who are newly injured and are in need of assistance with access, transportation, housing, special skills training for employment and learning to be independent. Last year alone, GSIL matched 83 individuals with salaries ranging from $7.50 per hour to $25 per hour, and its staff volunteers in more than 25 businesses and organizations throughout our community. GSIL’s astute business practices and data collection methods have allowed them to work more efficiently and become a leader in the non-profit industry. As a result, GSIL saved the State of NH more than 6.8 million dollars in nursing home costs. GSIL was also quick to see what a dynamic tool social media can be in connecting people who may otherwise be isolated. Employees of GSIL volunteer for the NH Food Bank, David’s House, and the United Way of Merrimack County, CATCH Community Housing, and others. In July, Clyde Terry will appear before the National Council on Independent Living in Washington, DC to address the next steps for the disabled community. For their tireless commitment to making our community barrier-free and positively impacting thousands of lives, GSIL is awarded the Non-Profit Business of the Year.
Business Leader of the Year: Stephen M. Duprey, The Duprey Companies
As an attorney, real estate developer, politician, philanthropist, or road race organizer, Steve Duprey has made immeasurable contributions to the Concord community. A graduate of Cornell University Law School, Steve was a partner at Sulloway & Hollis law firm before starting Foxfire Property Management and The Duprey Companies. He has been a member of the NH House of Representatives, chaired the NH Republican Party, and served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. He has also served on the boards of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, the Capitol Center for the Arts and the NH YMCA. He also played a critical role in the legislation that created the NH Community Development Finance Authority, and is currently helping to fulfill the city’s vision for expanded economic opportunity in the downtown corridor with the Sanel Block expansion project. His lengthy record of community service also includes organizing Concord’s premier road race, the annual Rock ‘n Race, which attracted 6,000 runners/walkers and raised over $300,000 for the Payson Cancer Center. His partnership with Lutheran Social Services is helping Concord’s refugee families with a job training program for new Americans. He also came to the rescue when Concord’s annual fireworks was threatened by budget cuts and supported the city’s beloved 4th of July celebration. Steve’s vision, commitment to the arts and the citizens of greater Concord are among the many reasons he has been selected as the Business Leader of the Year.