Concord has been rated one of the safest and best places to live, not only in New Hampshire, but in the country.
Recognizing an outstanding individual from the local community with its most prestigious award for over fifty years, the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce is honored to distinguish two commendable citizens from the community for exceptional volunteerism: Linda Lorden, the Chamber’s 2020 Citizen of the Year and Deborah de Peyster, the Chamber’s Special Community Service Citation recipient.
A role model for all young people. A tireless supporter of the Greater Concord community. A forward thinker. An outstanding example of what business leaders can be. A strong business leader. Supportive of volunteerism and philanthropy in a manner that inspires us all. Through everything she does is a shining example of integrity, kindness, thoughtfulness and respect.
These are just some of the ways in which fellow citizens and community leaders have described the character and contributions of the Chamber’s 2020 Citizen of the Year Award honoree, Linda Lorden of Merrimack County Savings Bank.
“We received numerous nominations from the community for Linda Lorden and are proud to present her with the Chamber’s highest honor bestowed on an individual for all she has done for the Capital region in many ways, over many years, ” said Tim Sink, president. “Linda exudes the very definition of good citizen.”
Linda volunteers on the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness Steering Committee. She is an active member of the Bow Rotary Club, volunteers at the Friendly Kitchen, previously served on the Board for Riverbend Community Mental Health and as a member of the CATCH Neighborhood Housing Asset Building Coalition. Linda served as President of the Penacook Community Center and as a board member for many years. She participated on the Granite United Way's agency review committee for Merrimack County and its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Committee. Linda was also active with the Red Cross Capitol Campaign and Easter Seals NH VIP Campaign.
Savings Bank of Walpole President Mark Bodin nominated his affiliate Merrimack County Savings Bank colleague writing, “Linda’s involvements are significant and inclusive of so many aspects of community life. Linda has proven she is driven to get involved and make a difference wherever the Concord Region needs her to do so. The fact that Linda does all of this so seamlessly, so selflessly and without fanfare makes her a true heroine in my book.”
“You may recall the photo in the Concord Monitor of Linda helping to clean new apartments providing housing for the homeless,” wrote Jane Difley, retired Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests president and past MCSB board member. “She wasn’t just a bank president providing funding for the project, she pitched in and made sure it happened. This is a trait that distinguishes Linda.”
A thinker, a doer and a visionary. A so far unacclaimed hero in our area's and nation's fight against the virus. No Concord citizen has more supported others and lent a helping hand expecting absolutely no personal honors, recognition or acknowledgement during our Pandemic year of 2020.
The Chamber received glowing accolades for Deborah de Peyster’s efforts to protect her fellow citizens throughout COVID-19 and is honored to present The Special Community Service Citation to Deborah de Peyster for her extraordinary efforts forming and leading the Masker-Aiders of The Woman’s Club of Concord throughout this past year.
"Her intense caring for others that she carries is the springboard that has led her to treat this volunteer effort as an almost full-time job," wrote Joan Goshgarian.
Fellow MaskAider and NH State Representative Christy Bartlett wrote, "She marshalled energy, materials and contacts and has continued through all these months! Keeping our small army of about 30 or so sewists energized, informed and safe is a huge undertaking."
Thanks to Deborah's leadership, more than 16,000 masks have been distributed to essential service providers around the state. "When the pandemic hit, Debbie coordinated mask-making for all 6 of our daycare centers and was able to meet our needs in a matter of days," wrote Merrimack Valley Daycare Service Executive Director Marianne Barter. "Her support, enthusiasm and can-do attitude meant the world to us, both emotionally and financially."
On March 30, the Chamber will present both women with their awards at a gala streamed live from the Bank of NH Stage in downtown Concord—see our Citizen of the Year awards event page for more information and how to register. Thank you, Linda and Deborah for all you do!
Tim Sink is the President of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. Read his posts at ConcordNHChamber.com/blog.