Chamber announces Summit Awards: Here's who won

Ronda Wertman
Special to the News Tribune
Shelley Friend (right) was recognized as Mineral County’s Leader of the Year during the annual Summit Awards. Shown presenting her award is Chamber of Commerce president Randy Crane.

FORT ASHBY -- “You can only survive so long without good leadership. We have a room full of leaders here tonight,” said Mineral County Chamber of Commerce president Randy Crane as the 2021 Summit Awards celebrated the best of the best of Mineral County.

“Tonight we have two great leaders to celebrate,” said Crane as he announced Leader of the Year nominees Luke McKenzie and Shelley Friend.

“Luke is one of the most focused, high energy, task-oriented people I’ve ever met. In the three years I’ve known him, Luke has come a long way with his leadership skills, becoming more inclusive, soliciting feedback and opinions, and caring about the people on his team,” Crane said. “He has taken on incredible leadership in the county, now serving as the county coordinator and head of emergency services.

“Shelley has the people skills most of us only dream about, and she has wisdom about how people, and groups and institutions all work, and how to get things accomplished together, with everyone happy in the end,” he said. “Shelley leads by example and we are all better off because of it.”

In announcing Friend as this year’s recipient, Crane noted that only one vote separated her and McKenzie, “so please remember both of them and all they do for the community.

“We are blessed to have this kind of talent,” added Crane. “The people in this room are making this a great county to be in. “

Mineral County Chamber of Commerce president Randy Crane (right) recognized Stephanie Nickerson as the county’s Young Professional of the Year.

Turning to the young professionals, Crane noted the importance saying, “Young professionals rarely get recognized for the incredible work they do. Usually the most significant contributions in the workforce come from the people under 30. Their innovation, focus and drive are hard to match.”

Nominated this year were Ashley Parker and Stephanie Nickerson.

“Ashley has been with M&T since 2018, and became the branch manager in Keyser earlier this year. You will immediately recognize her energy, professionalism and can-do attitude,” said Crane.

“Stephanie has worked for the Economic Development Authority for several years, and has made truly significant contributions there,” said Crane. “Stephanie is a creative force and a doer,” Crane said as he recognized her as the Young Professional of the Year.

Donnie Alt (left) of Brookedale Farm accepts the 2021 Summit Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit from Chamber president Randy Crane on behalf of himself and his wife Donna (not pictured).

“Entrepreneurs have a lot of energy; have great vision, and endless determination, which is what, makes them so successful. Never tell an entrepreneur they can’t do something. You will get run over, I promise,” Crane said as he shared about Donna and Donnie Alt and Betsy Delozier, this year’s nominees for the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

 “They have worked tirelessly to create an incredible agritourism business. They raise cattle, corn, all kinds of veggies, have this incredible wedding and special event venue, have the best corn maze around and more,” he said of the Alts.

“Betsy Delozier is another entrepreneur who keeps coming up with great ideas and then makes them happen. Big D Electric has turned into a flagship business in the area. From there Betsy created a laundry business, a home improvement business and her latest creation, Cross Hairs Indoor Shooting Range,” said Crane, noting that it is something you would expect to see at the FBI Academy.

This year’s award went to the Alts who operate Brookedale Farm, which hosted the chamber for the annual awards.

Chamber president Randy Crane (right) recognized Wayne’s Meats represented by Bruce Harrison as the Small Business of the Year.

Four businesses were nominated for Small Business of the Year - The Candlewyck Inn, Duckies Bar and Grill, Wayne’s Country Fresh Meats and Montum Architecture.

“Only four votes separated fourth place from first place, so congratulations to all of you,” said Crane.

“Wayne’s is such an asset to Mineral County,” Crane added as he presented the Small Business of the Year Award to Bruce Harrison.

“Wayne and Paige are phenomenal people,” said Harrison accepting the award. “This is for the Wayne’s family.”

Northrup Grumman represented by Heather Ack (left) was this year’s Summit Award recipient for Large Business of the Year. Shown presenting the award is Randy Crane, president of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce.

In final recognition, the chamber celebrated Northrup Grumman as its Large Business of the Year.

“You could not have a more diverse group than this, one makes things that go boom, one keeps your purchases really safe and secure during shipping and the third makes clean energy out of thin air,” Crane said of nominees Clearway Energy, Northrup Grumman and Sealed Air.