Award to Snodgrass highlighted the importance of education

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Snodgrass with family

Concord, NH (November 2021) – Jim Snodgrass, former Executive Director of Second Start for 47 years, received the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor at their 102nd Annual Meeting. The gala, hosted on November 3 at the Grappone Conference Center, welcomed nearly 200 community, nonprofit and business leaders from the Capital region. This esteemed audience gave a standing ovation to Snodgrass after hearing stories about his vital work in the capital region.

As part of the award ceremony, a former Second Start student who participated in the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes spoke about his life-changing experience at Second Start. Clement Kigugu arrived in New Hampshire as a refugee from Rwanda in 2006, unable to navigate the immigration process because of a language barrier. After studying at Second Start, Kigugu became an interpreter with fluency in five languages and has helped refugees apply for housing, medical benefits, jobs and citizenship. Kigugu is also the founder and Executive Director of Overcomers Refugee Services and serves on the Board of Directors at Second Start. “All of these achievements would not have come into fruition without Second Start, who helped me and other refugees to enter into this county,” said Clement Kigugu. “[Jim is] a humble, wise man who deserves all the praise in the world.” With great pride and enthusiasm, 2021-22 Board Chair Tonya Rochette of HR ROI Consulting, LLC and NAMI New Hampshire presented the Citizen of the Year award to Jim Snodgrass.

The theme of the night was "Together Again" and this message spoke not only to Jim's contributions to our community, bringing together students of all ages, backgrounds and cultures together, but to the celebratory nature of the event. Chamber members were thrilled to see familiar faces after a hiatus from in person events. Additional speakers included City of Concord Mayor Jim Bouley, Chamber President Tim Sink, and 2020-2021 Board Chair Leslie Walker of Mason + Rich, PA. These presenters discussed the Chamber’s hard work during the pandemic—helping businesses access state and federal funds, distributing personal protective equipment, creating grant opportunities for local restaurants and much more. James Milliken, who provided the invocation, gave thanks for these efforts, and encouraged individuals to continue to better the community through Chamber engagement and volunteer efforts.

The Chamber extends special thanks to this year’s Presenting Sponsor, Merrimack County Savings Bank and additional sponsors for their support. Corporate Sponsors: Eversource Energy Services; Grappone Automotive Group; Mason + Rich, Professional Association; NBT Bank, N.A.; Rath, Young and Pignatelli, PC; Unitil. Wine Sponsor: Eastern Bank. Dessert Sponsor: Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Event Sponsors: Liberty Utilities; Nathan Wechsler & Company, PA; Northeast Delta Dental; Orr & Reno, PA; Service Credit Union; Servpro of Concord; Associate Sponsor: Cleveland, Waters & Bass, PA. Supporting Sponsors: Bangor Savings Bank; Concord Hospital; McLane Middleton; NHTI-Concord's Community College; Sanel NAPA. In-Kind Sponsors: Courtyard by Marriot Grappone Conference Center; D. McLeod, Inc.; Speedy Printing & Copying.

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The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce develops economic opportunities, strengthens the business climate and enhances the quality of life in the Capital Region.

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