Top partner, volunteer, idea and new business honored during commerce ceremony
By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
(Feb. 2, 2023) The Berlin Chamber of Commerce handed out four awards at its annual Installation Dinner at 410 Social last Thursday.
Winners included Garrett Neeb for “Volunteer of the Year,” Jun & Juice for “Emerging Business,” D3Corp earned “Chamber Partner” and the decision to televise the annual Berlin Bathtub Races earned WBOC and Delmarva Sports Network the “Bright Idea” award.
“There is a lot of work that goes into making Berlin what it is,” Chamber Executive Director Ryan Nellans said. “Some of it is big and showy and glamorous and some of it is knuckles-down, day-in and day-out work. But all of it makes where we live better, whether all at once or a little at a time. Improving the quality of life for everyone here is going to contribute immensely to the community here.”
The chamber’s board of directors elected the winners this year, but Nellans said they’re tossing around the idea of having the general membership vote next year.
“We’re trying to get (our members) more involved going forward,” he said.
The evening included cocktails, dinner and words from guest speaker and artist Patrick Henry, owner of Henry Fine Arts.
“We’re excited,” said Megan Hines, who owns Jun & Juice with her husband, Brett. “We just opened in July and we’re so excited to be well-received by the community. We weren’t sure how good of a market there’d be — rural place, a lot people grow ingredients themselves. But we’ve had a tremendous amount of support … We really love it and we’re grateful for the support so far.
Speaking of the volunteer work for which he was recognized, Neeb stressed that the contributions he was able to make are thanks to the support he had.
A highlight of his work was the cottage he built for Santa’s yearly visits.
“The biggest thing is it’s nice to be recognized for this but it’s important to point out that I make things look very easy because I have a team of people behind me,” he said. “Whether it’s (Berlin Economic and Community Development Administrative Assistant) Alison Early and the Town of Berlin or my family helping with the Santa House (or something else), there’s always a good group of people to help support the town.”
John Gehrig, president of D3Corp said his company and the chamber have made good partners for 15 years.
“We’re always happy to help, support local business. They are the voice of business in Berlin,” Gehrig said. “(We’re) just grateful to be part of their team. And of course the team at D3, I thank them, because … they’re the ones who take care of them and work with everyone over at the Berlin Chamber
And we’e just happy to be part of the team that makes Berlin business go.”