Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce award winners

BALTIMORE COUNTY—There are many honorable, local businesses and people throughout our community that have contributed to the overall socio-economic success of Eastern Baltimore County—and some of those businesses and people were rightfully honored last Thursday night at the annual Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce award ceremony.

The Cornerstone Award was given to ST Engineering Aerospace Middle River Aerostructure Systems (MRAS). They are celebrated for their job creation and 90 plus years of aviation innovation and excellence. MRAS is an world-leading manufacturer of thrust reversers, engine nacelle components, specialized aerostructures, and supplies and supports these products for engine makers, aircraft makers and aircraft operators.

The Rising Star Award was given to Pooles Island Brewing Company. Pooles Island has become a new tourism destination in Baltimore County.

Pooles Island Brewing Co. is a brand new 10,000 square feet brewery and tap room in Middle River. Led by Head Brewer, Patrick Jones, Pooles offers six signature beers plus a rotating selection of seasonal and experimental brews, all emphasizing the use of fresh and local ingredients whenever possible.

A key feature at Pooles Island is the Tap Wall featuring 12 different styles of beers. The 3200 square foot tap room features an outdoor patio off the main room and a semi-private area for special events. Food service at the facility includes a rotating selection of popular local food trucks which are available on evenings and weekends.

The Customer Service Award was given to Redmer Insurance Group. Redmer is an independent insurance group who’s agents are not tied to any specific insurance company. Redmer was celebrated for its loyalty and commitment to the community and for its innovative and ethical practices.

The Revitalization Award was given to Federal Realty Investment Trust for their multimillion dollar renovation of The Avenue at White Marsh. The Avenue at White Marsh has become a major entertainment destination in Baltimore County due to its AMC IMAX & Dolby Theatres, iFly Indoor Skydiving and a collection of restaurants and retail shops. The property includes a newly renovated plaza with enhanced dining and public gathering space spring through fall, as well as, a 6,900 square foot outdoor ice rink throughout the winter.

The Economic Impact Award was given to Marine Trades Association of Baltimore County (MTABC). MTABC works closely with government, community, and business leaders to make considerable progress in including legislation, waterway quality and safety, and the prosperity of the marine industry. As a community-oriented association, MTABC has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships since 1994. MTABC continues to offer environmental scholarships for students who serve with Back River Restoration Committee. In addition, MTABC supports specialized industry training for its members and their employees.

The Citizen of the Year Award was given to John Melzer, who is know around Baltimore County and specifically Dundalk as the man who totes around “Shaun the Sheep” and picks up trash. Melzer also informs people of all ages about the dangers of littering.

“People will say that one piece of trash or a cigarette butt they throw on the ground is no big deal, but when hundreds of people are doing that daily, it really adds up. When it rains, a lot of the trash goes down the storm drains and into our waterways. Animals like to eat some of the trash, especially if it has some kind of food scent on it. Animals can get sick from this or even worse,” Melzer wrote in a letter to the editor for The Dundalk Eagle last year.

The last award that was given was the President’s Award which was given to Sophia Montgomery. Montgomery was honored for her many years of commitment to the chamber and the community. She volunteers her time with the Baltimore County Business Association, Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce, Cockpit in Court Summer Theater/CCBC Essex, Federated Garden Club of Maryland, Maryland Business Connection, Republican Women of Baltimore County and Well Armed Woman.

The keynote speaker at the award ceremony was Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis, President of Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). Kurtinitis spoke on the important role community college’s play in every community and how CCBC seeks guidance from industry leaders in the community on what kind of jobs are needed in today’s world in order to better develop their curriculum for students.

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