Chamber celebrates Citizen of the Year and kicks off its centennial

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David Ruedig, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce 2018 Citizen of the Year, and his family.

Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce 2018 Citizen of the Year David Ruedig with his family at the Chamber's 99th Annual Meeting & Citizen of the Year Award dinner on Nov. 7, 2018. David Ruedig (center), flanked by (from left), daughter-in-law Reagan Ruedig, son Adam Ruedig, wife Mary, daughter Laura Marston, son-in-law Peter Marston and his grandchildren (from left) Jack Marston, Tom Ruedig, Quinn Marston and Charlie Ruedig. Photo by Kristina Carlson.

Concord, NH (November 8, 2018) - Three local businesses and a local business leader received honors at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s 99th Annual Meeting and Citizen of the Year Award event presented by Merrimack County Savings Bank on November 7 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. The gala welcomed more than 300 community, nonprofit and business leaders from the Capital region who came to celebrate 2018 Citizen of the Year recipient David Ruedig. Nominated by both peers and United States Senator Jeanne Shaheen for the Chamber’s highest honor, Ruedig’s selection by a committee of previous winners received high praise from those in attendance and prompted both Shaheen and U.S. Congresswoman Annie Kuster to write letters presented at the event along with the Citizen of the Year commendation.

Ruedig, with his wife, family and grandchildren by his side, received the Chamber’s Citizen of the Year Award from 2017 recipient Bill Chapman of Orr & Reno who extolled his fellow Concord Hospital board member saying, “If you ever get the chance to work with David, take it.” Chapman’s presentation to Ruedig included commendations from fellow nominators like Shaheen who wrote, “Your closest co-workers, colleagues, and associates often recount your innumerable acts of service with a single sentence: ‘Don’t forget the kids.’ Your frequent contributions toward bettering the education of our children, whether serving as president of the Concord School Board of Chairman or the New Hampshire Board of Education, reverberate throughout the Granite State.”

“You’ve ensured a legacy of civic engagement with your generous support of local charities and your service as a member of local boards,” wrote Kuster. “I commend you for your decades of accomplishments in the Concord community.”

The event kicked-off the Chamber’s centennial anniversary as New Hampshire’s state capital chamber of commerce and recognized three founding members who have supported the organization’s mission with nearly a century of membership – Page Belting Company Inc., Swenson Granite Works and Unitil. Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce President Tim Sink also unveiled the Chamber’s new logo, designed by member Sullivan Creative.

Additional speakers included Concord Mayor Jim Bouley who thanked the Chamber for bringing along new leaders each year that the city relies upon to fill needed board, committee and municipal positions; James Milliken, past president, provided the invocation; and Board Member Byron Champlin presented research on the Chamber’s actual date of incorporation, Oct. 18, 1919, and its founding membership – 434 members and 32 sustaining members for a total of 476 members in all, as well as initiatives from the Chamber’s founding year, like a review of Abbot Downing Truck Co.’s plant finances and efforts to get Sears, Roebuck and Co., to move its factory from Littleton to Concord.

Outgoing Board Chair Philip Hastings, Esq., of Cleveland, Waters, & Bass, PA, reflected upon the Chamber’s widespread impact throughout the year including passed legislation that measures the impact of the state prison system on the local community; dialogue with school administrators on planned middle school improvements and the potential tax impact; collaboration with the city on energy projects that will reduce greenhouse gasses but limit the cost burden on small businesses; participation in the Dept. of Transportation’s planned I-93 expansion so proposed developments incorporate economic development, access to the Merrimack River, safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and ‘curb appeal’ for motorists passing through the state capital; a Business Incubator feasibility study that measures the support needs for area startups and early-stage businesses; and a new blog site launched and led by the Chamber’s Creative Concord committee that promotes Greater Concord as a vibrant cultural destination.

Sink thanked Hastings for his skilled leadership in many matters including the Chamber’s purchase of its office space inside the SMILE Building, as well as his gift for making board meetings so efficient and enjoyable that all the directors wanted to attend.

Attendees enjoyed a three-course meal followed by the Chamber’s induction of 2018-19 Board President Joe Kasper of Northeast Delta Dental who reflected on the growing momentum in Concord that includes year-round events that draw thousands to the city; exciting shopping, lodging and dining options; redevelopment of once condemned spaces into bustling mixed-use housing and commercial spaces; one of the top three chambers in the state for membership and activities, and a robust Visitor and Business Center that welcomes thousands of people from around the world to enjoy and support the Capital region’s growing small business community.

The event concluded with Reudig’s Citizen of the Year Award presentation.

The Chamber extends special thanks to this year’s Presenting Sponsor Merrimack County Savings Bank and the following sponsors for their support: Corporate Sponsors Consolidated Communications, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Concord, Eversource Energy Services, Nobis Group and Unitil; Wine Sponsor Eastern Bank; Dessert Sponsor Bar Harbor Bank & Trust; Event Sponsors Bank of America, Devine Millimet, Grappone Automotive Group, The H.L. Turner Group Inc., Liberty Utilities, Mason + Rich, PA, Nathan Wechsler & Company, PA, Northeast Delta Dental, Orr & Reno, PA, Sanel NAPA and TD Bank; Associate Sponsors Cleveland, Waters & Bass, PA, McLane Middleton, PA, NHTI-Concord’s Community College, Northway Bank and People’s United Bank; Supporting Sponsors Concord Hospital and The NHHEAF Network Organizations; and In-Kind Sponsors Grappone Conference Center, D. McLeod, Inc., and 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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