Chamber honors 2020 Citizen of the Year and presents special award for community service combating COVID-19

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Concord, NH (April 2021) - A local business and community leader received high honors at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year Award event, presented by Merrimack County Savings Bank on March 30 and livestreamed from the Bank of New Hampshire Stage in Concord. The virtual gala welcomed more than 150 community, nonprofit and business leaders from the Capital region who celebrated 2020 Citizen of the Year recipient Linda Lorden online.

Linda Lorden, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce 2020 Citizen of the Year.Lorden’s selection by a committee of past Chamber Board Chairmen for her decades of volunteer service to the Greater Concord community received high praise from those in the virtual audience. The awards presentation included commendations from many Greater Concord business and nonprofit leaders. “Linda is supportive of volunteerism and philanthropy in a manner that inspires us all,” wrote Beth Slepian, Executive Director of Granite VNA. Lorden, with family and friends watching at home, received the Chamber’s highest honor from 2020-2021 Board Chair Leslie Walker of Mason + Rich, Professional Association.

Citing her Concord upbringing in her acceptance speech, Lorden praised the importance of community support from nonprofits that touched her family as a youth and are still supporting the community today, saying “That’s a reason to give back. That was important to me.”

Deborah de Peyster recipient of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Special Community Service Citation. The event also celebrated The Special Community Service Citation recipient, Deborah de Peyster. This rare Chamber recognition awarded to de Peyster for her exceptional efforts forming and leading the Masker-Aiders—a brigade of volunteers from the Woman’s Club of Concord who made and distributed 16,000 cloth masks to essential service providers throughout the pandemic— received enthusiastic applause by online attendees. During her acceptance speech de Peyster praised her fellow helpers, “for the greatness and goodness of human spirit, exemplified by all caregivers and each of the Masker-Aiders.”

Additional speakers included Concord Mayor Jim Bouley, and James Milliken, past Chamber president, who provided the invocation.

Immediate Past Board Chair Nicki Clarke, of Capitol Center for the Arts and Bank of New Hampshire Stage, reflected upon the Chamber’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic stating, “The Chamber established a COVID-19 resource page, offered bi-weekly webinars to businesses seeking information on federal funding, managed a grant program for local restaurants and partnered with six other southern New Hampshire chambers to share additional resources with N.H. businesses.”

Chamber President Tim Sink thanked Clarke for her outstanding leadership during an unprecedented year of challenges for the Chamber and Clarke’s industry. Leslie Walker, Mason + Rich, Professional Association, reflected on the Chamber’s work since being appointed Chair—along with continuing to assist businesses in maximizing their PPP loans and other state and federal funding, the Chamber also distributed complimentary PPE to businesses in need, managed the Glenn and Susanne Currie Small Business Challenge Grant for struggling small businesses and transformed many of its key annual events to a virtual format, offering complimentary webinars on current personal and professional development topics to all who wished to attend.

The Chamber extends special thanks to our longtime Presenting Sponsor Merrimack County Savings Bank and the following sponsors for their support: Corporate Sponsors Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Eversource Energy Services, Grappone Automotive Group, Liberty Utilities, Mason + Rich, Professional Association and Unitil; Event Sponsors Bank of America, Northeast Delta Dental, Orr & Reno, PA, Sanel NAPA, Service Credit Union, and Servpro of Concord; Associate Sponsors Cleveland, Waters & Bass, PA, Concord Hospital, McLane Middleton Professional Association and NHTI-Concord’s Community College; In-Kind Sponsors Capitol Center for the Arts and Bank of New Hampshire Stage, ConcordTV, Your Community Channels and Speedy Printing & Copying.

Incorporated in 1919, New Hampshire's state capital chamber of commerce—the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce—develops economic opportunities, strengthens the business climate, and enhances quality of life in the Capital region. The largest chamber in the state, it is deeply invested in the local community and dedicated to shaping competitive economic development strategy, advocating for policies and projects that benefit the region, and promoting Concord as a culturally vibrant visitor destination. For more information, please visit

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