Local talent turned out to entertain as the Kenai Chamber of Commerce (KCC) launched into 2010 with their annual awards banquet. The Kenai River City Lady's Barber Shop singers started the event with their harmonized rendition of the Star Spangled Banner followed by the Alaska Flag song. Then the Kenai Performers entertaining cast of the play "Grease" put everyone in a nostalgic mood with a preview from the musical that is scheduled to open in February. "We're always proud to announce our community award winners. All of the recipients were more than deserving of recognition for their dedication to making Kenai a great place to live, work, and play," said Peggy Furnish, KCC 2009 president. In her final official capacity as Chamber president, Furnish presented the award for the Outstanding Business of the Year to ConocoPhillips. Peter Micciche and Jeremy Baldridge received the award on behalf of ConocoPhillips. "Although ConocoPhillips is trilled to be recognized as a supporter of the Kenai community, I feel this recognition is for the entire industry whose employees are the people who volunteer and contribute to the Food Bank, Boys and Girls clubs and the many non-profit organizations that make this a very special place to call home," said Micciche.
Receiving the Outstanding Small Businesses award was the family-owned and operated Arby's stores of Alaska. Mike and Tim Navarre received the award on behalf of their family, who have maintained their corporate headquarters in Kenai. "Even though our first Arby's store was opened in Anchorage, we've always kept our headquarters here in Kenai, where we opened this store in 1983. It's been our family's home since 1956 and were proud to accept this award on behalf of all small businesses that have gotten their start here and grown into statewide and even worldwide enterprises," said Tim Navarre.
Other award recipients included the Kenai Christian Church selected for the Service to Youth award, George Ford was honored as the Volunteer of the Year award, and the Community Service award was presented to Lynden Transport. The Pioneer award was given to Jack and Troy Castimore and the coveted Log Cabin Award was presented to Thom and Kathy Tomrdle. As her final act as the KCC Chamber Board President, Penny Furnish honored Scott and Cheryl Hamann with the President's Award. "In selecting the couple who has had the greatest impact on the Kenai Chamber as well as the Nikiski community during my year as president, there was no question that the award had to go to Scott and Cheryl," said Furnish, who then passed the president's gavel to incoming 2010 Chamber President, Debra Milam. "We're looking forward to a great year on the Peninsula. We have some new blood and fresh energy on the board of directors, which is going to help us even better serve our community as we all pull together to make this an exciting place work and do business," said Milam of First American Title of Alaska. For more information about the Kenai Chamber of Commerce visit them online at www.kenaichamber.org or call 283-7989.
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