Awards discussed

Published 10:54 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mel Payne

Members of the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce discussed ways to further involve members of the community in the chamber’s annual Citizen of the Year awards. During Thursday’s meeting, held at Victoria Restaurant, members of the board also discussed the annual Chamber banquet taking place in January, where the Citizen of the Year would be announced.

Members expressed concern that little turnout had taken place for the Citizen of the Year and discussed ways to get members of the public involved in the entry process.

According to the nomination form for the 2017 Citizen of the Year award, the award is for members of the community who go above and beyond, to promote economic growth in the area. “The Chamber will consider individuals that have supported and advanced the interest of the business community,” the form cited, listing criteria including supporting new businesses and being involved in actions that may improve community businesses as a whole.

The deadline for nominations for the award was Nov. 3.

Chamber Member Robert Ledbetter said entries in past years have enabled members of the community to be honored.

“I have asked, and I know Carol (Watson) and Dickie (Harris) and the rest of them … we’ve even discussed ‘who do you think, down on your side, or out in the county, we’ve gone through that before,” Ledbetter said.

“There are people out there we are not recognizing,” Ledbetter said.

Chamber President Mel Payne asked members of the chamber to discuss potential actions for next year’s award.

“We need to figure out how to make it more visible to people,” Payne said.

Members noted that the award had been advertised in area newspapers and businesses, and suggested possibilities including extending the application deadline or holding the award another year.

“We all knew this was here,” Ledbetter said. “We just didn’t do it, and it’s been that problem for years. There’s good people.”

Chamber President Mel Payne noted in a request for comment that there had been several entries for the 2017 Business of the Year Award, and encouraged the public to give input.

“We want to know who the citizens of the county want, who they feel like is the Business of the Year and the Citizen of the Year, and we’re not getting enough participation from the citizens,” Payne said. “We’d be more comfortable with more to pick from, in other words. We’re not getting enough participation, so we’re looking for a better way, searching for a better way to get the word out that we are looking for candidates.”

The Citizen of the Year will be announced during the Chamber’s annual banquet, on Jan. 20 at the Lunenburg Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Hall at 1000 Marshall Ave.