Local impact: honoring members who lead by example

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The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce honors individuals and businesses who serve Capital area and Chamber at its 14th Annual Pinnacle Awards on June 6, 2019.

Thank you. Thank you to those members who are doing the work that makes the Capital region so welcoming, supportive, dynamic, generous and collaborative. We know that hundreds of you are out in our community giving your time, energy and talent so others can thrive. Fourteen years ago we created the Chamber’s Annual Pinnacle Awards Luncheon so members and people in the community can say thank you and recognize your often behind-the-scenes efforts.

On June 6, this year’s honorees received accolades in front of a sold out crowd of 300 Capital region community, nonprofit and business leaders. We’re proud to present the 2019 Annual Pinnacle Award honorees nominated by peers and selected by a committee of last year’s winners. Pictured above, from left: Connor Spern of Servpro, Concord Young Professional of the Year; Ryan Barton of Mainstay Technologies, LLC, Business of the Year; Doris Ballard of Concord Community TV, Nonprofit Business of the Year; Michael Herrmann of Gibson’s Bookstore, Small Business of the Year; Rosemary Heard of CATCH Neighborhood Housing, Business Leader of the Year; and Jeff Trombly of Ledyard National Bank, W. Grant McIntosh Volunteer of the Year.

Founded in 1898, Gibson’s Bookstore is the oldest continuously operating retailer in the Concord area and the largest independent bookstore in northern New England. Current owner Michael Herrmann moved the business to 45 South Main Street where it tripled in size, expanding staff, inventory and services. Gibson’s hosts more than one hundred author events a year, as well as book club, readings and open mic nights with Poetry Society of NH. Its podcast ‘The Laydown’ features current reads, upcoming releases and the hottest book news. Active in the community, Gibson’s partnered with hundreds of schools, nonprofits and other organizations over the years, including the Chamber’s Capital Area Student Leadership program and Concord Public Library for Concord Reads. Gibson’s bought local toy store Imagination Village to integrate the best in educational toys and games with their extensive collection of children’s books, and partnered with True Brew Barista to add a café. In 2014, Gibson’s received the coveted Independent Spirit Award from Book Publishers Representatives of New England. The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce proudly presents the 2019 Pinnacle Small Business of the Year Award to Gibson’s Bookstore.

Ryan Barton had experience, skills, and a vision. In 2004, he founded a computer consulting company out of his Ford explorer with the goal of meeting the growing IT needs of small organizations in central New Hampshire. Since that time, Mainstay Technologies has grown to a team of over 40 individuals across two offices in Belmont and Manchester who uphold the company’s commitment to making a positive impact with all clients while maintaining a zero-debt financial strategy. Mainstay provides information technology and cybersecurity services to businesses in the Greater Concord area and across New England. Mainstay’s mission is to give more than they get, positively impacting every life they touch—whether in the office or off the clock. Core values include integrity above all else, team driven approach, professionalism, excellence, forward-thinking holistic approaches to business technology, and passion for all that they do. Mainstay strives to be a good steward of the natural beauty of New Hampshire and takes steps to minimize the company’s impact on the environment, including green building practices, energy-saving equipment policies, and encouragement of telecommuting and remote workers. Mainstay Technologies exemplifies the type of business that should be recognized for its accomplishments and everyday efforts to help community organizations and businesses work safely and efficiently. Mainstay inherently integrates the values of authenticity, compassion, and skill in everything that they do and has received numerous awards and recognitions. We’re honored to present the 2019 Pinnacle Business of the Year Award to Mainstay Technologies.

Rosemary Heard’s direct influence on NH’s housing market and affordable housing availability in the Capital area cannot be overstated. With 25+ years of private and public sector experience in the real estate industry prior to joining CATCH Neighborhood Housing, a nonprofit offering housing and education services in Merrimack County, Rosemary has deftly led the organization through a period of major expansion. She grew CATCH’s housing portfolio by 296%, almost tripling its ability to provide safe, affordable housing for those whom CATCH serves, and expanded net assets from $3M to $25M. Staff went from six to 30+ employees. Rosemary initiated Alliance Asset Management, a nonprofit property and asset management company that manages CATCH’s properties while providing a source of sustainable funding for the organization. She helped create HOMEteam with NeighborWorks of Southern NH and Lakes Region Community Developers to provide first-time home buyer education seminars, financial fitness courses and mortgage counseling to over 68% of the state’s population. Rosemary is an exemplary leader, and her impact on CATCH is a testament to her ability to take risks, innovate, and persevere. It is our honor to present the 2019 Pinnacle Business Leader of the Year Award to Rosemary Heard.

Concord Community TV’s expansion from a small public access station with three channels to an active community resource is a success story of how to usher in change. Devoted to providing the resources, training and transmission that enables citizens to tell and share their own stories and those of a vibrant community, ConcordTV is everywhere these days. When the internet and social media erupted as a means of communication, ConcordTV quickly adapted and innovated by streaming its channels online, making programs available on demand, creating videos on YouTube and Facebook and offering podcasts on various topics. ConcordTV offers adult education classes in television production, provides media training to teachers, presents workshops for nonprofit groups with limited resources, and hosts video camps training youth in film, television and media literacy, proudly showcasing their work at last year’s sold-out youth film festival held at Red River Theatres. ‘Concord On Air’ recognizes the contributions of many Capital region stakeholders and industry leaders each year. Focused on supporting and sharing the stories of Concord and its citizens, ConcordTV’s ongoing service to the community capturing city meetings, major election coverage, school events, sports matches, arts events, community milestones, as well as Chamber events and educational forums, demonstrates why they are such an important part of Concord’s story. We’re honored to present the 2019 Pinnacle Nonprofit Business of the Year Award to Concord Community TV.

The Chamber announced two more awards live at the event — we presented Concord Young Professional of the Year 2019 to Connor Spern of Servpro, for her outstanding service to the Greater Concord Chamber, CYPN and the community. She actively represents Servpro at Chamber events and forums, serves on the Chamber's Local Government Affairs Committee, The Friends Program Planning Committee and the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness Marketing Committee. She volunteered at The Friendly Kitchen with CYPN and now works there part-time as a coordinator. Connor is a student at NHTI and CYPN's newly elected Marketing Coordinator. She inspires everyone around her with her positive outlook, eager participation and vibrant spirit.

We presented Jeff Trombly of Ledyard National Bank with our 2019 W. Grant McIntosh Volunteer of the Year for his decade of dedication to the Chamber’s Annual Funds for Education Golf Tournament. Jeff quietly goes about extensive preparations, arriving the night before and remaining long after golfers have gone, in all types of weather, ensuring things go well. Jeff also chaired the committee and is a big reason it has been so successful.

Please join us in thanking and congratulating these inspiring members for all they do to support the Chamber, their businesses and Greater Concord.

Tim Sink is the President of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. Read his posts at ConcordNHChamber.com/blog.

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