Businesses honored at chamber dinner

PHILIPPI – Local business owners and residents packed Heiner Hall Cafeteria on the Alderson Broaddus University campus Friday for the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet


Guest speaker for the dinner was Larry Cavallo, vice president for exploration and development of Consol Energy. Cavallo shared West Virginia’s energy future with special emphasis on Barbour County.

“Barbour County is going to be one of our key players in the Marcellus Shale drilling,” Cavallo said. “We are happy to be here, and will be here quite a while longer and we appreciate that Barbour County has embraced our activity here. We look forward to working with you in the future.”

Several local business owners and organizations were honored during Friday’s program. Richard Creehan, president of ABU

received the President’s Award. Barbour County Chamber of Commerce President Brenda Hunt said Creehan looked beyond the way things were and saw the way things could be.

“Creehan shared that vision with others that got them excited about the possibilities,” Hunt said. “The realization of that vision will have impacts not only on Alderson Broaddus University, but our whole community, our county, our state and beyond.”

Barbour County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Don Smith presented Heart and Hand Ministries with the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award.

“This award is presented for the significant award that business has played in furthering the good of Barbour County,” Smith said. “They recently dedicated The Market Place, which is bringing in additional visitors to the county. The staff of Heart and Hand Ministries and The Market Place have worked tirelessly to promote agriculture in Barbour County and have provided a workplace addition to downtown Philippi.”

Smith also presented Reg Trefethen of The Market Place with the Community Service Award.

“The Community Service Award is presented to someone who has made a significant improvement to the quality of life in Barbour County,” Smith said. “He provided an outstanding service to the producers and the citizens of the county by bringing in locally-grown produce and goods to be purchased.”

Hunt added that Trefethen spearheaded the effort of location the market into the IGA building.

Two presentations of the Director’s Special Award were given to Brenda Hunt, executive director of Heart and Hand Ministries and Gerald Furby, advisor for the Future Business Leaders of America and Student Council at Philip Barbour High School. Smith said the awards were given to deserving persons or organizations who are not normally recognized through the awards program.

“This year’s recipients were chosen for having a positive economic impact on our community,” Smith said. “It was Brenda Hunt’s vision to make an anchor for economic development by making a market for local growers and farmers. They deliver fresh foods to consumers.”

Hunt added, “Receiving the Director’s Special Award was a big surprise. I can’t take credit for that because the Heart and Hand staff makes things happen. I am really happy for our organization. Everyone works so hard.”

Gerald Furby also received a Director’s Special Award for a business instructor at Philip Barbour High School.

“Furby is key to the implementation of the Chamber’s Annual Career Day at the Barbour County Career Center,” Smith said.

“I am the Future Business Leaders of America advisor and the student council advisor,” Furby said. “We host a Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the school. Kids get to eat with Chamber of Commerce members to learn about their potential careers.”

Dinner music for the event was provided by Rick Kennedy and Jana Lee Ruf, media specialist at Belington Elementary School sang selected songs during the evening. Members of the Future Business Leaders of America from Philip Barbour High School helped with the distribution of door prizes.