The Waterford Chamber of Commerce held its 13th annual awards ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 12 and rolled out the red carpet to its member businesses and award recipients.
The Grammy’s were selected as the gala’s theme. The chamber employed the services of Zodiac Entertainment to provide a crop of entertainers dressed in costume to mimic the celebrities at the Grammy Awards.
“Every year we get compliments on the event, but this year was exceptionally great,” said Executive Director Marie Hauswirth, who dressed up as Lady Gaga during the evening.
“There are three major things along with entertainment that we focus on: Thanking the outgoing board members, welcoming the incoming board members, and giving out six awards,” Hauswirth said.
The first honor was presented to Wendell Hutchinson of Hutchinson Electric, who received the Above and Beyond Award.
“Their customer service is upstanding professionally and for many of us, personally,” Hauswirth said.
Hutchinson Electric has been in business over 20 years. Hutchinson orchestrated the electrical work for the vendors at the chamber’s Business & Home Expo, and volunteered his time and resources to the lighting of new gateway signage in Waterford Township.
Dr. Adam Apfelblat was selected as the recipient of the Chamber Support Award.
“Adam has been there from day No. 1 supporting and serving as an integral part of chamber operations and its success,” Hauswirth said.
Apfelblat was the chamber’s initial newsletter editor, served as executive board secretary, and then served as president for two terms.
The Community Partner Award was bestowed on Waterford Parks and Recreation.
“Over the past couple years, Waterford Parks and Recreation have partnered to increase participation and heighten the awareness of our signature events,” Hauswirth said. “Through the use of social media, our publications and our websites, on behalf of both organizations, we have been able to resurrect the Concerts in the Park and bring additional attention to other special events.”
The LaFontaine Automotive Group was recognized for its communitywide service via the Humanitarian Award. The LaFontaine Automotive Group has been owned and operated by Michael and Maureen LaFontaine for over 30 years. The group is renowned for going the extra mile in the community.
“That extra mile means spending countless hours and energy raising funds and awareness for organizations whose mission can impact or touch a life in many different ways,” Hauswirth said.
This year’s Entrepreneur Award was doled out to Ernie Dell of Cycletherapy. Lastly, the President’s Award was bestowed on Bill Burr of All Saints Cemetery.
“Along with the consistent face representing All Saints Cemetery, Bill has been a consistent face of the Waterford Area Chamber, Clarkston Area Chamber and the Waterford Optimist Club. Basically, Bill Burr is Waterford’s Waldo. Wherever you go, Bill has been there supporting the efforts of just about every organization in Waterford,” Hauswirth said.