By Jim Newell
The Orion Area Chamber of Commerce held its 2019 Impact Awards on Thursday, honoring those chamber members who have made a significant impact in the community or in their business development over the past year.
The chamber honored Dr. Joe Mastromatteo with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts in establishing the Orion Veterans Memorial on Odanah Street and Lapeer Road, as well as his continuing support of veterans and the memorial.
Anthony Reighard, owner of M&B Graphics, received the ceremonies highest honor as the 2019 Business Person of the Year. The award is sponsored by Golling Buick GMC.
“He has taken a business and made it, not only a business, but a community business. When you walk through the door, he makes you feel like you’re number one,” said Bill Kokenos of Golling. “He will do anything he can to help the community.”
Alaina and Carissa Campbell received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The mother-daughter team opened Cookies & Cream by Sprout Bake at 20 Front Street. The award is sponsored by Canoe Circle Graphics.
Dawn Ames, chair of the Orion Area Youth Assistance Board of Directors and Family Ministries Director at Lake Orion United Methodist Church, received the Youth Impact Award for her work on behalf of Orion youth. The award is sponsored by Counelis Agency – Farm Bureau Insurance.
Waste Management received the Community Beautification Award, which is sponsored by Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett.
“Waste Management is a great community partner for us,” Barnett said, pointing to Waste Management’s wild life preserve and that the General Motors plant is powered by landfill gas from Eagle Valley Landfill. “Everything they do is about preserving and long-term sustainability.”
Rainforest Café received the Economic Impact Award, sponsored by Andy and Janice Zale of The Zale Group.
Garrett Hoffman was named the chamber’s Board Member of the Year. Hoffman, who represents Mach Studios, is the board’s vice-president.
Kay Corless of Costco was named the chamber’s Ambassador of the Year.
Brian Birney, owner and president of The Birney Directive, and Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett also received tributes recognizing their years of service on the board of directors. Both are leaving the board at the end of the year. Birney is also a past president of the chamber board.
The chamber also thanked Executive Director Kim Urbanowski for years of service at the helm of the chamber. Urbanowski announced that she would be resigning her post in January.
The chamber membership votes on which charities they want to donate to from funds raised from the chambers Minute to Win It, Christmas Tree ornament contest and golf outing donations. This year, Crossroads for Youth and Holy Spokes will share the $705 donation.