Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hailey Chamber names 2005 awards winners

Banquet is on Thursday


By JASON KAUFFMAN
Express Staff Writer

The Hailey Chamber of Commerce on Thursday will recognize the winners of the 2005 Annual Community Chamber Awards at a dinner in Hailey.

Awards will be given in seven separate categories, including: Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Employer of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Service Individual of the Year, Business Woman of the Year and Honorary Life Member.

Entry to the dinner will cost $30 and is open to the public. The event is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, at The Mint in Hailey.

While the public nominates individuals and businesses for the awards, only the chamber's board of directors vote for the winners, Hailey Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jim Spinelli said.

In comparison to past years, far more people made nominations for the 2005 awards, Spinelli said. He attributed the renewed interest to better overall publicity. "I think there was more exposure than in the past," he said. "There were five times as many nominations that came in this year."

The Business Woman of the Year award is new for 2005. The award's criteria states the business woman must be an owner or employee who is successful, active in the community and demonstrates leadership qualities.

For 2005, the award for Business Woman of the Year will go to Heather Abrams of Mountain West Bank, with honorable mention going to Jennifer Hazard-Davis, the owner of North & Co. clothing store.

The award for the 2005 "Business of the Year" will go to Mountain West Bank, with honorable mention going to the Company of Fools theater group.

"It looks like it's going to be a Mountain West Bank night," Spinelli said. "They deserve it."

The award for the 2005 Citizen of the Year will go to Hailey dentist, pilot and Friedman Memorial Airport Authority board member Dr. Ron Fairfax, with honorable mention going to R.L. Rowsey, a member of Company of Fools. Fairfax retired from the board of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce last year after serving on it for six years, Spinelli said.

"Ron has just been involved in the community so long," he said.

Being recognized in the Honorary Life Member category is Hailey native and City Council Chairman Rick Davis, with honorable mention going to Jo Shanholtzer. "It's given to a person who has given of his time for a very long time," Spinelli said. "I call Rick the guardian angel of the chamber of commerce."

Additional award winners include:

· The Service Individual of the Year award will go to Eric Vick, with honorable mention going to Rob Driemeyer.

· The Employer of the Year award will go to SunValleyOnline.com, with honorable mention going to Marketron.

· The Volunteer of the Year award will go to Shirley Spinelli, wife of Jim Spinelli, with honorable mention going to Jeff Bertz.




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