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Chamber cites awardees; installs newest officials

BERLIN—The Berlin Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner and Installation of Officers was held at Waterman’s Seafood Company on Feb. 20.
Receiving awards at the chamber’s awards ceremony year were Ruth Koontz, of Main St Deli, who received the New Business Award; Donna Compher of Sisters, who received the Philanthropist Award; and Jan Quick of the Berlin Heritage Foundation, who received the Bright Idea Award.
Also receiving certificates of recognition were Executive Director Jack Ferry, Client Coordinator Christine Davis and Mark Kendall, a client, of the Worcester County Developmental Center.
President-Elect Tom Sholtis, of Ocean 98.1 FM said during a Feb. 25 interview he felt that having a growing community was just as important as having a growing Chamber of Commerce. “Everybody is very pleased with the direction the town has gone and is going,” he said.
Sholtis’ remarks followed the town winning Budget Travel Magazine’s “America’s Coolest Small Town” Contest, which he described as both a huge honor and responsibility. He noted that the chamber had scheduled six slots for town-wide events this year, five of which have been officially named. Sholtis said hopefully the sixth event would be a celebration that would give town the opportunity to show appreciation and gratitude to the people and jurisdictions on Delmarva and beyond, which supported the town with their votes.
The speaker for the event was Berlin Mayor Gee Williams. In his remarks to the members of the chamber, Williams noted, “Despite the uncertain and unpredictable economic environment of the past five years, the Town of Berlin is enjoying a resurgence of business, energy, enthusiasm and optimism on a level that wasn’t seen for most of the 20th Century.” He added, “In Berlin the best is yet to come.”
Eastern Shore residents were friendly to visitors, took pride in their families, were loyal to their friends and supported charitable causes Williams noted. But, he added, for many “Change, or the very thought of change, is a cause for fear and negative expectations about the future in many Eastern Shore communities.  
“Doing things the way they have always have been done is deeply ingrained into the local culture and in my view, severely reduces the chances for success both in overcoming old challenges, or taking advantage of new opportunities,” Williams said. He advised that during times of rapid change, whether economic, cultural, or in education or politics, “it becomes more important than ever for all of us as a community to discuss, deliberate and determine what we wish to be our common destination.