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On Saturday, March 4th, at the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 101st Annual Meeting Event, the Chamber hosted an awards ceremony honoring the 2016 Citizen of the Year and the 2016 Organization of the Year. The event was held at the Hartness House with many local Chamber members in attendance. MC Brian Hernon of HB Energy Solutions introduced Paul Kendall of Lawrence and Wheeler Insurance to announce the Citizen Award. As is the tradition, Paul’s speech was carefully constructed to purposely build suspense and prolong the anticipation of the big announcement. He spoke of someone who has done a lot for our community, someone who loves Springfield, who believes in the Chamber of Commerce, and who would do anything for our town. This person, Paul said, has a great sense of humor, is a New England Patriot’s fan, as well as a fan of the Springfield Cosmos. He or She supports Springfield Hospital, our Parks and Rec Programs, and is an active member in local civic organizations. This person is a great presenter and teacher, happily married, and a role model to many. This person has been very involved with our Vermont Apple Festival, as well as the Winter Carnival. He or She helped to build the new playground at Riverside, participates in the annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, and has helped out the Community Health Team, Project Action and the Springfield Prevention Coalition. He was a devoted mentor for a student in the local Let’s Do Lunch program. He was a class participant, and is now on the steering committee for the Leadership Southeast Vermont Program. He was a Rotarian President, and Chamber President for two consecutive years. He was a soccer coach and led his Springfield Girls Varsity Team to the State Championship game. He is the Executive Director of the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center. He leads by example, brings out the best in all those he works with, is instrumental in getting young people involved in the community, goes the extra mile, and constantly puts others and our town on the top of his list. He has a strong work ethic, and the tenacity and perseverance to accomplish any task. He is personable, fun to be around, and has a kind and giving heart. He has a beautiful family, whom he adores, with his wonderful wife Lizzy and their two children Addison and Mac. The Chamber is thrilled to announce the 2016 Citizen of the Year: Christian Craig!

Sue Hernon of HB Energy Solutions (2015 Organization of the Year) then took the stage to announce the Organization Award. She spoke about an organization that recognizes the importance of supporting local businesses and that has successfully incorporated this ideal into its core. This organization supports community events and proactively seeks out ways to brighten our community. This organization supports local civic and even religious groups, having a positive impact on our community. This business has been there for Springfield through its most prosperous times and withstood great challenges during more difficult times. The organization has invested in our community, demonstrating its determination to be a leading business in this town and region. While many businesses have cut back on quality to chase market share, this business has raised the bar for its competition, prioritizing quality and trusting in this community to recognize its value. This business is a local treasure which through investment and much hard work by its management is not just an asset, but a business the whole community is proud to call its own. This business supports the local arts and sciences across a broad spectrum. It is a valued member of the Chamber and hosts well attended mixers. This business has reinvented itself by reviving its roots which brought it such success in the past. The business not only supports but also showcases our local farms and brewery. This business displays the work of a local painter. The business is a gathering place for lovers of music, through its hosting of both live bands as well as the Springfield Community Band. It was the host and a major sponsor of the Vermont Steampunk Festival. They host weekly Rotary meetings and events, the Community Raffle drawing and Theology on Tap, to name a few. This business provides space to and houses the Hartness-Porter Museum of Amateur Telescope Making, providing tours through the museum and its historic tunnels, free of charge. This business has demonstrated that investment in Springfield brings dividends for both the business and the community. This Inn and restaurant consistently serves the best tasting and incredibly diverse entrees and beverages we have all come to enjoy. The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce is so pleased to announce the 2016 Organization of the Year: The Hartness House Inn and Tavern!

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you for all that you do to help make Springfield a wonderful place to live, work, and play!

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