The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County hosted Together We Thrive: A Celebration of Innovation and Resilience on Thursday, November 12, 2020 via Zoom.
The virtual event was emceed by local comedian, motivational speaker and Chamber member Theresa Hummel-Krallinger of High-Five Performance and featured an opening comedy routine followed by the presentation of awards to Boardroom Spirits of Lansdale, PA, A to Z Party Rental of Montgomeryville, PA, and Annie International, Inc., of North Wales, PA. Each of the selected companies was recognized for pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 to fill a need that marked a quick and distinct departure from their usual business initiatives.
Boardroom Spirits, a Lansdale-based local microdistillery, responded to the sudden high demand for hand sanitizer. They figured out how to utilize ethanol, a by-product of their distilling process, to make hand sanitizer which they then produced and made available for free. As of November, 2020, they had given away 1,000 gallons of product. Co-owner Marat Mamedov accepted the award on behalf of the company.
When faced with the shutdown of the hospitality industry in the first quarter of 2020, A to Z Party Rental switched from providing equipment for the area’s events and celebrations to providing tents for the community’s COVID-19 testing sites. They also provided tents to businesses that needed outdoor screening capabilities, and to those hosting safe, outdoor gatherings including drive through funerals. Melanie Kodikian, President of A to Z party Rental, accepted the award.
Annie International, a global beauty supply company, used their experience in manufacturing, global demand, and the ability to manage logistics to manufacture and distribute face masks as the pandemic surged. They created a medical PPE division to serve the corporate, institutional, and retail medical needs throughout the US and the world, and as of November, 2020, they were providing more than 45 million masks weekly. Annie had to overcome obstacles like required certifications, supply chain issues, special labeling and packaging requirements, customs delays, high freight costs but considered it well worth the challenges to save lives. President Kevin Shinn and Executive Director of Sales and Operations Steven Miller accepted the award.
Also recognized at the event was David Zellers, Director of Commerce, Montgomery County, who was presented with The Chamber’s first Partnership Award. The award recognized Zellers’ commitment to providing chambers and small businesses with resources and support such as PPE kits and grants to keep them safe and afloat throughout the pandemic.
The event ended with a video montage of images of frontline workers from local hospitals who were collectively thanked and recognized as local heroes.
Together We Thrive was sponsored by TD Bank, Doylestown Health, Harleysville Bank, My Benefit Advisor, PECO, Univest Financial, C&N Bank, Kreischer Miller, Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Unit, Penn Color, QNB Bank, and The Physical Therapy and Wellness Institute.
The virtual event replaced what would have been The Chamber’s 61st Annual Awards Dinner.