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Businesses committed to Harford honored at awards ceremony and reception

Companies and organizations that exemplify a strong commitment to the Harford County business community were honored Sept. 17 at the 26th annual Harford Awards ceremony and reception.

Guests were welcomed to the event, themed “The Night Stars Come Out,” by rHarford County Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Deborah Williams of Howard Bank. Bus Boys Entertainment sang the national anthem and Betsy Campion of Campion Insurance provided an invocation. Speakers included Harford County Executive Barry Glassman; Harford Community College President Dr. Dianna Phillips; Chanel Roads-Reed, external affairs manager of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company; Leonard Parrish, director of the Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development; and Bob Bloom of WXCY 103.7.

“This week, we will honor business achievements and milestones for new companies and those who have been with us for generations. These companies have chosen to invest in Harford’s future and created a life for their families in our community. For anniversaries from 25 to 210 years, we will recognize companies that have built our homes; sold us our first cars; helped us choose an engagement ring; brought power to our homes and businesses; served as a safe harbor for our finances and helped us through the loss of a loved one,” Glassman said.

Parrish encouraged business owners to take advantage of his office’s resources, including, “access to tailored finance programs, site selection, fast track and priority permitting assistance, workforce technical training grants, coordination of state and federal programs and resources, utility incentives such as SEED and PACE; and for our tourism related organizations, competitive funding for allocation of the hotel and lodging fee.”

“Thank you to the Chamber for your continued partnership in growing our local economy and for making events like tonight possible to recognize superstars in our business community. Harford County is blessed to have a strong business ecosystem and it is in no small part because of many of the people in this room tonight,” Parrish said.

The 2018 Harford Award recipients are The Bel Air Downtown Alliance, tourism; Tenax Technologies, R&D/technology; The Humane Society of Harford County, non-profit; and Laurel Bush Family Dentistry, service.

The Bel Air Downtown Alliance was represented by Executive Director Christine McPherson and Board President Donna Dickey. As a non-profit community development organization, the Alliance’s mission is to mobilize stakeholders to invest in Bel Air’s neighborhoods, economy and quality of life. The national average Main Street vacancy rate is 12.9 percent, but with the help of the Alliance's economic development efforts, Bel Air's Main Street vacancy rate is only 4 percent, according to their video presentation.

Dr. Mary Teddy Wray, Dr. Aseel Toni and Dr. Ty Saini accepted the award for Laurel Bush Family Dentistry. They spoke about the humble beginnings of the practice and the positive work environment they experience daily. Wray is dedicated to serving the community through her volunteer and philanthropic efforts.

When accepting their award, Swanson and Humane Society Board President Dr. Robert Silcox discussed the great strides they have taken in recent years, including a new, more functional facility. In 2017, their live release rate was higher than ever at 92 percent. They also noted their partnerships with the Harford County Government and Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

Tamera Rush, president and CEO of Tenax Technologies, works with Harford Community College to employ students within her company.

“We’re able to build a career path, because there’s a constant demand to get cyber warriors, engineers… We’re hiring them at a very junior level and working to develop them,” Rush said.

Since 1976, the Harford Chamber has worked continually to be the preferred advocate and recognized voice of business in Harford County. Through a series of diverse networking opportunities, innovative programming and partnered events, businesses can showcase themselves to a local and regional market. Harford County Chamber of Commerce works diligently to advocate for the business community at the county and state levels while educating its members on key areas of legislation and regulation that will impact business.

For more information, contact Kate Rodriguez atkate@harfordchamber.org.

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