Chamber of Commerce banquet set for April

The Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its annual Awards Banquet for April 10 at Orchard Hall in Elkins.

The annual awards program is the highpoint of the Chamber’s program calendar with the largest gathering of business leaders in Randolph and surrounding counties.

The evening will commence at 5:30 p.m. with the cocktail hour sponsored by Allegheny Insurance, Armstrong Wood Products and FirstEnergy. During this time, a wine tasting will be provided courtesy of Heston Farm.

At 6:30 p.m., members and guests will be seated for dinner prior to the keynote address, which will begin at 7 p.m. The keynote speaker for the evening will be Beri Fox, owner and CEO of Marble King Inc. Founded in 1949, Marble King manufactures more than 1 million marbles each day for recreational, decorative and industrial uses.

The company’s products are sold internationally and have been featured in several classic Hollywood films. Fox is an outspoken advocate for U.S. manufacturing and has appeared on such nationally televised programs as “The Colbert Report” and “The Martha Stewart Show.”

Fox brings more than 20 years of manufacturing experience to Marble King. Her emphasis on marketplace diversity has led to the company’s product being used by NASA, in government projects, and in a wide variety of industrial applications (including the iconic rattle in spray paint cans). Several generations of Americans have enjoyed Marble King’s marbles, either in person, or through their appearances on “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” “John Raztenberger’s Made In America” and in such movies as “The Goonies” and “Home Alone 1” and “Home Alone 2.”

Under Fox’s direction, Marble King has expanded into the global marketplace and has received the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Achievement Award as well as a Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting. Marble King earned Creative Child Magazine’s Toy of the Year Award, and is also the first U.S. children’s toy manufacturer to be granted license to use the Made in USA Certified Seal.

Fox was a guest speaker at the first Women in Manufacturing Symposium, and the “Renaissance of American Manufacturing” at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. She has been interviewed on Fox Business News, CBS This Morning and CNN. She currently serves as the president of The Society of Glass and Science Practices and also serves on the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association board of directors.

Following the keynote address, the Chamber’s premiere event will bring recipients of 10 prestigious awards recognizing both businesses and individuals for outstanding service and exemplified excellence to the Elkins-Randolph County community in 2012.

Awards and respective sponsors include: Business of the Year (The Inter-Mountain), Business Woman of the Year (Davis Trust Co.), Business Man of the Year (Huntington Bank), Chamber Person of the Year (Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce), Citizen of the Year (Citizens Bank of West Virginia), Above and Beyond Service Award (Performance Motors), Lifetime Achievement Award (Bialek Insurance Agency), Educator of the Year (Elkins Fordland), You Made it Happen Award (Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad) and Young Leader Award (Elkins Sewing Center and Elkins Business Consultants).

Reservations can be made by contacting the Chamber office at 304-636-2717 or by email at Tickets must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be sold at the door.