Organizations and Individuals Recognized at Annual Meeting
Member businesses and individuals of The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce were recognized during the organization’s Annual Meeting sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities, on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at the Frosty Valley Resort in Danville.
Nearly 200 people attended the evening event which celebrated outstanding member achievements, elected members to the Board of Directors, highlighted Chamber activities of the past year, and previewed the year ahead. The Chamber’s five annual awards were presented to businesses and individuals for their significant contributions to the community. The following awards were presented:
Small Business of the Year - Sponsored by First Columbia Bank & Trust
Awardee: Shanty Secrets
Large Business of the Year - Sponsored by DRIVE
Awardee: Millville Mutual Insurance
Nonprofit of the Year - Sponsored by PNC
The Children’s Museum, Inc.
Community Progress Award- Sponsored by My Benefit Advisor & World Kinect Energy Services
Awardee: Elmdale Inn Bed & Breakfast
Outstanding Citizen - Sponsored by Berwick Industrial Development Association
Awardee: Harry Mathias
The Small Business of the Year award is presented to a member business or organization of 30 employees or fewer than has done one or more of the following: demonstrated business or community leadership evidenced by diversification and creativity in the development of new products, services and/or markets; demonstrated staying power and positive response to adversity; or demonstrated community involvement.
Shanty Secrets is nestled along the Susquehanna River outside of Riverside on Boyd Station Road. They offer a memorable dining experience with fresh, local ingredients as well as cooking classes. The small business has grown with the help of partnerships and friendships that they have developed in the area. Shanty Secrets is vegan-centric, which is in growing demand. The business has been involved in the community by providing meals for frontline workers and a Cinco De Mayo celebration for teachers in the Danville School District.
The Large Business of the Year Award is presented to a business with 31 or more employees, and the criteria are the same as for the Small Business of the Year.
One of the oldest continuously operating businesses in Columbia County, Millville Mutual Insurance Company has been in business since 1875 and strongly supports its local community. Some of the biggest events in the small but mighty borough of Millville, PA, such as the annual Fireman's Carnival, the 4th of July parade, and two exceptionally large fireworks celebrations, simply wouldn’t happen without their support. They are also big supporters of youth sports and organizations like the Little League and Camp Victory.
The Nonprofit of the Year Award is presented to a nonprofit organization with 100 or fewer employees that have provided diversified and creative aid to the Columbia Montour region utilizing business, personal, and community resources.
Founded in 1985, the Bloomsburg Children's Museum has been enriching children’s lives through interactive programming for thirty-eight years. In 2021, over 25,000 people visited the museum and that number does not include all of the programs offered at outside venues. It's a boon to the economy, an incredible resource for children and families, and a growing gathering place that continues to thrive year after year thanks to Ginny Weibel, Executive Director, her staff, and many engaged volunteers.
The Community Progress Award goes to a member business or organization that showed improvement in the internal or external appearance of a commercial property through either new construction, renovation, restoration, or remodeling, and completed that construction within the last three calendar years or by December 2022.
Featured in the walking tour of Bloomsburg, the historic, Colonial Revival Style house (with Federal and Georgian elements) at 503 Market St. has been a landmark in the community for years as a private residence. In 2021, Jack Devine and Deb Shade transformed the property into Elmdale Inn Bed & Breakfast, a B&B that adds much to the charm and welcome of the Bloomsburg community – it’s an adaptation of a classic landmark in the historic district.
The Outstanding Citizen Award is presented to an individual that is an employee or volunteer of a member organization who is involved in civic activities beneficial to the Columbia Montour region and who projects a positive community image.
Harry Mathias served as Interim Superintendent of the Danville Area School District from July through November last year after serving as Superintendent of the Central Columbia School District for 19 years. Mathias guided Danville through challenging times and led the search for a new superintendent.
He serves as a Board Member of the Community Giving Foundation and served as a grant advisor to the Columbia County Commissioners as they administered $12 million in American Rescue Plan funds. Funding supported public water and sewer projects, non-profit organizations, and small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
He is also President of the Harry C. Mathias Sr. Charitable Foundation serving Montour County through grants to the Exchange Swimming Pool and Warrior Run Area School District, including for their needy student food and clothing funds and scholarships to Warrior Run Area graduates.
The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that represents more than 400 businesses and organizations from the Columbia and Montour region.