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Chamber honors business leaders

September 28, 1999|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

-- Others recognized

Hagerstown businessman Michael A. Gardner received the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce's highest honor on Tuesday night.

Gardner, 55, was presented with the Chamber Business Volunteer of the Year award - recognizing lifetime achievement with the chamber - during the local business organization's 80th annual meeting at the Four Points Sheraton in Hagerstown.

"This is very humbling and almost embarrassing for me," said Gardner, vice president of Wright, Gardner and Tischer Insurance in Hagerstown and a past president of the chamber.

"There are so many others doing so many things within this community," he said.

Gardner was introduced by Michael G. Callas, the first recipient of the Chamber Business Volunteer of the year award in 1992.

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Callas said Gardner "truly represents the intent of the award" before highlighting his many volunteer activities in community over the past 30 years.

Gardner is a past president of the Hagerstown Jaycees, past chairman of the board of Brooklane Psychiatric Center, now Brook Lane Health Services, and former board member of the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Hagerstown.

He served on the Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Services Council - Region II, the executive board of the National Capital Area Chapter of the March of Dimes and the March of Dimes of Washington County Community Council.

He's on the boards of the Alexander House Inc., Hagerstown Goodwill Industries and Cedar Ridge Ministries and Boys Home.

He's a member of the First Hagerstown Hose Fire Co. and Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Co., the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Hagerstown and a life member of the U.S. Jaycees.

At his church, Zion Assembly of God in Maugansville, Gardner serves as a member of the Deacon Board, is a Cell Leader and sings and plays guitar with the Praise and Worship team.

Gardner thanked the award committee, his wife, Carolyn, his business partners for the past 27 years and, most of all, the Lord.

"He is my source of significance," he said.

Beverly Kornides, president of Potomac Rehabilitation Services in Hagerstown, was recognized as Chamber Small Business Person of the Year.

James D. Latimer, vice president of state affairs for Allegheny Energy, was named Chamber Business Person of the Year.

Lawyer and musician Carl W. Disque received a new award, the Chamber Distinguished Community Service Award, for bringing the Western Maryland Blues Fest to Hagerstown.

"This is a major success that seems to get better every year," said Chamber Awards Chairman Ronald Z. Sulchek.

Disque said that although the festival was his idea, it wouldn't be successful without the team of volunteers who work throughout the year on the event and the support of local businesses and the community.

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