Nominations sought for chamber awards; new award added

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BETHEL — To honor Bethel businessman Rocky Freda, who died unexpectedly last summer, the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce will memorialize him by adding a special award to its 41st annual awards dinner and silent auction in May.

Chamber Executive Director Robin Zinchuk said Thursday that the Rocky Freda Memorial Award will be presented to an individual who exemplifies qualities reminiscent of Freda and is using these talents as a Maine guide. Criteria to be met are a sincere love for the outdoors and a demonstrated track record of stewardship of the forest and river assets.

Zinchuk said the chamber’s Awards Committee is currently seeking nominations to recognize deserving community servants for the new award and:

• A Bethel area business that has made significant strides in the past year.

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• A forest products industry entrepreneur.

• A young and ambitious entrepreneur.

• Four excellent employees who have made extraordinary contributions to their workplaces.

• Three graduating students.

Recognition is given through the following: The Rising Star Award; The Lifetime Achievement Award; Forest Products Industry Award; Public Service Award; Non-Profit Leadership Award, and Business of the Year Award.

“We are also seeking nominations from business owners and managers to recognize deserving employees in the following award categories: Hospitality Employee of the Year, Retail & Service Employee of the Year, Ski Services Employee of the Year, and Education Employee of the Year,” Zinchuk said.

Anyone can submit a nomination, although the employee awards must be initiated by the individual’s employer or supervisor, she said.

“The individual nominating should plan to be at the event for the presentation and to support their award recipient, and we do have an emcee at the microphone in light of the fact that many people do not like to speak in front of a crowd,” Zinchuk said.

Please contact the chamber office for any questions regarding the awards criteria. Nomination forms and descriptions of the individual awards are available at the chamber office, or by calling 824-2282. Nominations are open until April 1 and should be sent to Annual Awards, c/o Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 1247, Bethel, ME 04217.

The 41st Annual Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner and Silent Auction starts at 6 p.m. Friday, May 7, at the Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River Resort in Newry.

The cost is $38 per person for a complete buffet dinner from “appetizer to dessert.” Table sponsorships are available at $300 for groups of eight. Call the chamber office at 824-2282 for reservations or information.

“All are welcomed to this event for a special evening of recognition and celebration,” Zinchuk said.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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