PDT Staff Writer
The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce held it’s annual awards breakfast on Thursday in which several individuals and businesses were honored for their efforts in the community.
Among those honored at the breakfast include the 2013 Leadership Portsmouth Class, the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen, Member and Entrepreneur of the year.
The Leo Blackburn Entrepreneur of the Year Award was given to Paul Yost and Francesca Hartop of Yost Engineering.
This year’s Chamber Member of the Year is Wayne Kempf, President of the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Kempf explained to those in attendance that 2012 was a year of change for the chamber.
“Last year was a time of change for our chamber. The chamber for the last 20 years was under the umbrella of the Southern Ohio Growth Partnership and with the disillusion of the entity, the chamber has went out on it’s own. We’ve had to reestablish our certificate of existence with the state. We had to come up with new bylaws and we had to convert our board from an advisory board to decision making board,” Kempf said. “We have accomplished all of that within the last year. All of this would not have been possible without the staff and the board of the chamber. The staff include Lisa Carver and Donna Arnett.”
This year’s Chamber Distinguished Citizen of the Year is Mike Bell.
“First off you have to say thanks to God. I also have to say thanks to my wife, she should be the one getting this award, if it were not for her I would not do a lot of the stuff I do,” Bell said.
Chip Maillet, chamber board member, served as the master of ceremonies for the event.
“The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to making a difference and believes that the success of our community lies within each of our members. The chamber is proud of its membership and its commitment to bring our members quality services and programming,” Maillet said.
Maillet said one of the many programs offered by the chamber is the Leadership Portsmouth Program.
“Since its inception, the program has graduated over 300 leaders in our community,” Maillet said.
Giving the keynote address for the event was Mike Orworth-President of Green Ocean Innovation, he spoke about the group known as “Portsmouth’s Think Tank” and their activities.
For more information about the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce visit them on Facebook or call 740-353-7647.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.