Concord has been rated one of the safest and best places to live, not only in New Hampshire, but in the country.
Our Pinnacle Awards Ceremony returns as an inperson, seated luncheon event this year on June 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with an update— it will be held outdoors at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord. Sponsored by Eversource Energy Services, Sanel NAPA and Business NH Magazine, the event will recognize the Chamber’s 2021 Small Business of the Year, Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year and Business Leader of the Year who have all served our community in outstanding ways, along with a standout young professional and dedicated volunteer.
The Small Business of the Year Pinnacle Award recipient is Constantly Pizza,
Inc., located in downtown Concord and Penacook. Established in 1990, the dough is made from scratch every day, the sauce is homemade, and the veggies, meats, and cheeses are sliced on site. The menu is filled to the brim with a variety of thoughtful pizza and sub combinations, as well as the classics. The Concord location features homemade bakery goods.
“Constantly Pizza also goes above and beyond to support community life in the Capital Region,” wrote nominee Nicki Clarke, executive director of Capitol Center for the Arts and Bank of New Hampshire Stage. “Each year, Dave and John Constant also say yes to a significant number of nonprofits across the Capital Region who call to ask for food donations for their fundraising events...When you visit their restaurant, you can also see their good work through the large displays of thank you notes from school groups and athletic teams. It is clear the Constant brothers know how to make an impact.”
Clark continued, “CCA asked Dave and John if they would be interested in purchasing CDFA tax credits to help in the fundraising efforts [for Bank of NH Stage]. They had never done anything like that before but checked in with their accountant and agreed to move ahead with the purchase. We were thrilled to have their support.”
The Business of the Year Pinnacle Award recipient is Associated
Grocers of New England, Inc., in Pembroke. Associated Grocers is a cooperative business model that supports and brings independent retailers across New England together, giving each the chance to be competitive within the industry. When the industry experienced nationwide shortages at the onset of the pandemic, Associated Grocers kept pushing through and forward, allowing clients to keep their doors open when so many others could not.
Associated Grocers is prominently involved in the community in many ways. It is a strong supporter of The Friendly Kitchen and the NH Food Bank. AG donated 250 Gingerbread House Kits to Make-A-Wish this winter and partnered to build 500 Thanksgiving dinners for families in need. It regularly participates in nonprofit events and matched up to $10K in fundraising efforts for a N.H. Bloodmobile. Donated fireworks and a tractor trailer for the base of a parade float support Allenstown’s Old Home Day.
By offering a program for associates to make donations directly from their paychecks to local organizations, Associated Grocers’ donations have surpassed $1.2M since the program’s inception in 2004, benefitting groups such as Girls Inc., Families in Transition and the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness. Helping others is so deeply engrained in the culture that it’s an integral part of Associated Grocers’ Mission Statement and something that all associates work to embody every single day.
The Nonprofit Business of the Year Pinnacle Award recipient is Best Buddies New Hampshire, located in Manchester. Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Best Buddies New Hampshire had to create new ways of connecting participants through friendship and leadership. At a time when people, particularly individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, have been isolated and disconnected, Best Buddies New Hampshire has created new ways to connect participants and bring them hope and joy. With inclusion in mind, Best Buddies New Hampshire reached more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities than ever before by holding over 100 virtual events over the course of the pandemic so that all participants could stay active and involved in a time that was harder than ever before.
Best Buddies New Hampshire also stepped up to adjust its annual friendship walk fundraiser. In June of 2020, the organization held its first ever virtual friendship walk and surpassed its fundraising goal of $83K. Following that success, the nonprofit hosted its first virtual Champion of the Year event on November 21, 2020 and raised over $100,000, surpassing its goal by $45,000.
“I’ve been a board member of Best Buddies for over two years and what the Best Buddies team has been able to do is nothing short of amazing,” said nominee Chris Duhaime of Pivot Creative. “I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in many of these events and in many cases the results were even better than before. The staff has worked so hard to make this year special.”
The Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year Pinnacle Award recipient is Nicolette Clarke of Capitol Center for the Arts and Bank of NH Stage. Nicki came to Concord in 2008 to serve as the Executive Director of the Capitol Center for the Arts. “Working alongside her to manage the daily operations while a capital campaign was underway, I was able to observe her leadership style, always looking for ideas from staff and stakeholders, Nicki’s approach is open, honest, and accepting of others with the mindset that leadership and ideas could come ‘from any seat,’ ” shared Joe Gleason, assistant executive director of Capitol Center for the Arts and Bank of NH Stage in nominating his colleague. “Nicki makes sure other voices are heard and valued. She is an exemplary leader, shepherding the CCA through the recession of 2008 and successfully navigating our recent capital campaign that resulted in the Bank of NH Stage, a long-hoped for second venue to bring in up and coming artists to a smaller space and nurture regional talent.”
“In addition to Nicki’s tenure and responsibilities at the CCA, she found the time to become part of the community in Concord, as a member of the Rotary Club, serving on several committees over the years, President of the Arts4NH organization, and her recently completed term as Chair of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce,” Gleason continued. “Bringing people together through shared experiences in the performing arts, or for street festivals like the Capital Arts Fest, Nicki’s time in Concord has been given selflessly in service to the organization she works for to make the arts available to all.”
“This past year, performing arts venues have struggled and many hard decisions were made to ensure the survival of the CCA. A true leader must weigh the options, with imperfect data at times, and foresee the future. Nicki has done that and, as a result, we are all looking forward to many more seasons with live shows returning to the CCA this Fall.”
We hope you will join us at the 16th Annual Pinnacle Awards Ceremony to thank and recognize these members for their enduring contributions to Greater Concord.