By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Region – Four members of the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce were honored at a breakfast meeting held at the Cyprian Keyes Golf Club May 17.
The 2012 President's Award was awarded to Peter Dennis of PMD Sales Training and Consulting. Barbara Clifford, the chamber's president, noted that Dennis had launched his business in 2008 in the midst of an extremely challenging economy. Soon after he joined the chamber and as such, became involved in the Membership Committee, and presented sales training seminars to chamber members. In 2010 he joined the board of directors. He has also established the VIP program which touts the value of Corridor Nine to prospective members.
“Peter Dennis is a first-rate entrepreneur who is innovative and talented, and who understands that success comes to those who give back to others,” Clifford said. “Peter is an inspirational and dedicated leader in helping Corridor Nine grow and remain strong.
For a sixth time, Jimmie Ames of Avidia Bank was honored with the Ambassador of the Year award.
“Jimmie has been a continuous leader in bringing new members to the Chamber along with mentoring them so they get the most out of their Charter membership,” Clifford said.
“In our long history of new members” campaigns, he has broken all records for signing up the most number of new members as an individual,” she added.
Clifford was also honored at the breakfast as the recipient of the Chairman's Award. Mark Donahue, of Fletcher Tilton, PC and the chamber's outgoing chair, presented Clifford with the award.
“She is unwavering in her belief that an effective chamber of commerce can help its members be more effective and successful in their business and she works tirelessly on a daily basis to have that be the case,” he said. “As chairman I have had the pleasure to be in any number of settings in which my affiliation with Corridor Nine is identified. Universally, in such settings, Barbara's name comes up wrapped in laudatory comments about her energy, her enthusiasm, her sense of humor and her commitment to Corridor Nine.
“If the Chairman's Award is intended to be given to an individual to recognize their positive impact on the people, the programs and initiative of Corridor Nine, there can be no better award deserving recipient of this year's award than the chamber president – Barbara Clifford,” he added.
The Eli Whitney Award, for the Business of Year was awarded to Darline Thorp Yatim, the president of Shrewsbury Health & Racquet Club (SHARC).
This award has only been presented 14 times since it was first established in 1989, Donahue noted. As such, it is given to a chamber member for “perseverance in innovation, meeting business challenges and adversities, and has significantly expanded or revitalized their existing business.”
Like Dennis, Yatim also started her business in the midst of a dismal economy. ?But now, Donahue noted, “SHARC is a transformed multi-sport health and fitness facility in Central Massachusetts.? The business is vibrant, membership is strong and growing at a steady pace and the members, prospects, staff and communities see evidence of positive growth.”
Yatim and her staff also actively volunteer with the Chamber on many committees, Donahue said. The company donates to local schools, foundations and non-profits in the region, including over $9,000 in 2011 silent auctions and fundraising events in the form of tennis instruction, vacation camps, birthday parties and group fitness programs.