Dover Chamber Members Hold Annual Awards Gala
DOVER — The Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce is well known for the many good things it does for its community and Friday night was the opportunity for their members to celebrate what several individuals and organizations do for Dover, as they held their annual awards Gala. Leone, McDonnell & Roberts’s own Kristen Bournival, CPA, has served the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce for many years and has helped plan, coordinate and execute the awards gala for the past five years as a member of the Awards Dinner Committee. Leone, McDonnell & Roberts, Professional Association and Certified Public Accountants, contributed to the festivities as the Dessert Sponsor for the third year in a row and had quite the show of support with ten associates on hand to celebrate and congratulate the winners.
“These annual awards presented by the Dover Chamber are a testament to the individuals, organizations and businesses that make Dover a great place to live, work and visit,” said Molly Hodgson Executive Director of the Chamber.”
Hodgson also expressed pride in the 2016 recipients who were selected out of many recommendations. “They represent everything that is good about our community.”
The event took place at brickwalled Rivermill at Dover Landing, with more than three hundred people arriving for the event. They were greeted and ably assisted by the valets of Atlantic Parking Services.
Chamber Executive Director Molly Hodgson welcomed all and turned the microphone over to Scott Fogg of Shaheen and Gordon Attorneys at Law, which was hosting the event for the second year in a row. Fogg proposed a toast for the evening, honoring the recipients.
Hodgson then recognized the large number of important people in the room and thanked the 13 member Gala committee for “hitting it out of the park” this year.
She then introduced the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Don Briand who, coincidentally, was last year’s Citizen of the Year.
After dinner Briand announced Mary Buese who was recognized last May as the 2015 Educator of the Year.
Briand then announced that each award recipient of the evening would receive a congratulatory letter from U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, as well as a New Hampshire Made Clock.
The first presentation was by Jim Brannen of Federal Savings Bank who introduced Thomas Levasseur as Volunteer of the year, stating that Tom “represented the finest ideals of community service.”
Kelly Glennon of Federal Savings Bank announced the next recipient which was the Small Non-Profit of the Year, the Dover Triangle Club, which, she said, “has been helping people to stay sober and maintain various forms of recovery for 31 years.” Mark Kimball and Sandra Jalbert received the award for the club.
The Large Non-Profit of the Year was named by Tiffany Melanson as the Cocheco Valley Humane Society. Outgoing CVHS Board Chair Karen Zaremba introduced their new Executive Director Tracy Hayes. Hayes commented “I am so excited to join CVHS, the staff does such wonderful work, there is an awesome future for the organization.”
Earl Baumgardner of FairPoint Communications introduced Seventh Settlement as the Small Business of the Year, referring to them as “a community supported farm to table brewpub which betters the local economy.” Seventh Settlement has distinguished themselves as a willing partner to non-profits, sharing a portion of the proceeds with them.
FairPoint’s Lisa Leary then announced iHeart Media as the Large Business of the Year. Jeanne Supple who nominated iHeart as always saying “of course we can help, and having a never say no attitude.”
The Citizen of the Year was introduced by Roland LaPointe of DF Richard and he is David Bamford. Bamford is well known in the community for many things, being active in development, education, bringing the Gundalow to Dover, as well as being a resident visionary for the Garrison City.
Stuart Kahl founding principal of Measured Progress described Bamford in this manner, “always been ready and willing to devote himself to causes that have helped Dover.” Said Sean Fitzgerald, “he is truly ‘Mr. Dover’.“
Many of the people receiving awards deflected the admiration given them by those in attendance back to the community and/or its members. Volunteer of the Year Levasseur in receiving his award, cited one of the reasons he was in the position he was this evening, to a quote from Albert Einstein, a part of which states “that man is here for the sake of other men.”
Citizen of the Year David Bamford, when asked how he felt about receiving the award said in a self-effacing manner “there are so many people in Dover that deserve the award more than I.”
Observing the evening, Fran Meffen, Director of the STEAM Academy at Dover Middle School, said, “all these people, businesses and Non-Profits make Dover one of the best places to live in……bar none!”
Greater Dover, Chamber of Commerce