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Floyd Event Center, PharmHouse share 2021 Business of the Year

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Two local businesses and one nonprofit were honored in the Floyd business community last week with awards voted on by peers during the 31st annual Floyd Chamber of Commerce Membership Meeting and Dinner.

The evening event on Nov. 22 featured a silent auction before dinner and space to mingle, a welcome return to tradition after the pandemic’s disruption of 2020.

Retiring Executive Director of the Floyd Chamber, John McEnhill presented the 2021 Executive Director’s Award to Alexandra “Alee” Epperly for playing a key role in various projects.

“Alee has really stepped up big time,” McEnhill said Nov. 22. “She’s helped me with graphics, she’s helped out at the Visitors Center, she worked on the Floyd Visitors Guide…” He listed several others and thanked her for all of her efforts.

The Floyd Event Center and PharmHouse Pharmacy were jointly awarded the Business of the Year award for hosting mass vaccination clinics during the spring and fall for community members to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

Maggie Hessinger of the Event Center accepted the award on behalf of the two businesses, noting Portia Thompson, owner of the PharmHouse Pharmacy, was unable to attend.

“Throughout this process, I got to work with Portia closely. I was here when she loaded in all of her equipment, I was here when she worked seven days a week trying to make sure everyone in our community was vaccinated who could be, I was here when she went out to cars to meet with patients who couldn’t walk in,” Hessinger said. “And, she was here for me when I had family members who needed to be vaccinated and couldn’t get a vaccination anywhere else.”

She said she was honored to accept the Business of the Year Award for both businesses, and added, “I hope when you see Portia next you’ll let her know what an awesome job she did keeping our community safe.”

Partnership for Floyd was awarded Nonprofit of the Year for its dedication to developing hiking and walking trails in Floyd, including the Dodd Creek Trail, which has an entrance in the Floyd County Recreation parking lot, and Pioneer Trail, which is slated to open this spring.

PFF Board President Anne Pendrak accepted the award Nov. 22, and nonprofit Secretary Jane Cundiff thanked the community for its support since 2004 in a newsletter later that week.

“We all love Floyd County and Partnership for Floyd likes to — well, partner with our community,” she said.

Retiring Executive Director of the Floyd Chamber, John McEnhill was named Business Leader of the Year, adding it to other honors he has recently received, including being the 2021 Christmas Parade Grand Marshal and having a scholarship founded in his name.

Organized by the Chamber, Karin Grosshans explained Nov. 22, the John McEnhill Altruism Scholarship “will be awarded to a Floyd County student who exhibits the qualities of altruism, volunteerism and compassion,” she said.

McEnhill, who has said his drive to serve the community was passed down from his parents, told community members, “It’s been an honor and a privilege” to be a part of the Chamber, and the scholarship is very “near and dear” to his heart.

McEnhill said he looks forward to continuing his involvement on the Board and as a business owner with Buffalo Mountain Ziplines.

Melissa Branks was announced to be the interim executive director for the Chamber beginning Jan. 1, bringing with her to the position two years of managing the Floyd Farmers Market.

McEnhill said he and Branks will officially begin training for the transition in December.

The silent auction portion of the 31st annual Chamber meeting was longer than the business meeting, raising more than $4,000 by the conclusion of the program Nov. 22, which McEnhill noted is the most that has ever been made from the annual auction.

A number of community businesses donated items to raise funds for the Chamber, including Bell Gallery and Garden, The Floyd Country Store, Monkeying Around, Gardners Funeral Home and numerous others.

Learn more about the Floyd Chamber, members and upcoming events at www.floydchamber.org.

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