More than 250 local business owners, associates and leaders packed the ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Old Town Hotel last Friday to honor Charles K. Collum, Jr. as the Alexandria Chamber of Commerces 2009 Business Leader of the Year as well as other business leaders. Collum became the 16th recipient of the award first presented in 1994.
The first Alexandria Chamber Business Leader was C.S. Taylor Burke, Jr., a great banker and mentor to me, Collum said. I feel deeply honored that I have been recognized in the same league with not only Taylor, but the others before me.
Collum serves as Chairman of the Board of Burke and Herbert Bank and Trust Company.
As I look about this room, I see a room full of leaders. Each and everyone one of you is a leader, he said. Whether it is at home, at school, in your childrens lives, or at your workplace.
In addition to Collums award, Cathy Puskar, chair of the of the Chambers board of directors, presented awards to the following recipients in the categories of:
Hospitality Business of the Year
Kimpton Hotels of Alexandria for their three boutique hotels Hotel Monaco, Lorien Hotel and Spa, and The Morrison House Hotel. The award noted, Kimpton has enlivened the streets of Old Town while employing over 400 people and providing significant revenue to the city.
Professional Service Business of the Year
NOVA Smiles. The dental business of Dr. Lawrence Singer, it provides a spa-like feel with a wide range of treatment from general cleaning and exams to full mouth reconstruction, according to the Chamber. Dr. Singer has helped numerous assault and trauma patients and is an assistant clinical professor of surgery at George Washington University Hospital, the Chamber noted.
New Business of the Year
The Full Cup. Owner Frances Crespo has dedicated her business to offering women personalized bra fittings and is one of the few stores in the region that works specifically with breast cancer survivors, according to the evenings program.
Retail Business of the Year
Ricks Wine and Gourmet. A premium wine, beer and gourmet shop, co-owned by Richard Brown and Terry Wight, it has been serving the community since 1994. The owners are also heavily involved in the community, providing donations and other contributions to local schools, organizations, and charities, according to the Chamber.
Small Business of the Year
United States Homeland Investigations, Inc. A certified background and risk management company, USHI offers cutting edge technology combined with uncompromising service and has earned the reputation of being an industry-lead investigative firm, both nationally and internationally.
Sustainability Business of the Year
Maginnis + Del Ninno Architects. An Alexandria based firm since 1976, MDN Architects was an early proponent of energy-efficient design with several projects that implemented such features as passive solar heating and ventilation. Their efforts have enhanced the community in four key areas, according to the presentation: Learning, recreation, workplace and home.
Other award nominees included La Fromagerie, Aida Spa; Alexandria Pastry Shop and Caf, Fleet Transportation, Virginia Paving and Yellow Dot Designs.