Businesses honored at awards ceremony

March 01, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

Eight local businesses were honored at an awards ceremony Wednesday night at the Four Points Hotel in Hagerstown.

There were 24 nominees for the Washington County Business Awards, hosted by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

About 350 people attended the first of what is intended to become an annual event. The nominees and winners were chosen by a group of community and business leaders.

The keynote speaker was listed as Robert Williams Wentworth, who was described in a media release and to the audience as an international philanthropist, venture capitalist and author.


Economic Development Commission Marketing Director Tom Riford, master of ceremonies, even held up what he said was Wentworth's newest book.

But "Wentworth" was actually an actor, Dale Grand, who is known as "The Great Impostor."

Grand spoke for about 30 minutes, telling stories and jokes, and answered questions from audience members.

After he finished speaking, Riford announced that no such person as Wentworth exists.

"This man is a fraud, a fake," Riford told a shocked audience.

The idea of tricking the audience came from a committee planning the event, Riford said.

The At Your Service Award went to The Book Store Etc. The award is for a retail or service company generating customer loyalty and satisfaction.

The Be Our Guest Award was given to Prime Outlets at Hagerstown. The award is for a business whose marketing efforts generate visitors to and recognition of Washington County.

The Entrepreneurial Award went to Frontier Internet Commerce. The award is for a company with fewer than 50 employees that has increased employment or production, or created an innovative service.

The Going Global Award went to Fil-Tec Inc. of Cavetown. The award is for a growing company that has increased the percentage of revenue it receives from foreign sales relative to total sales.

The Innovation Award went to HBP Inc. The award is for a company whose use of technology has produced a measurable increase in sales, product quality and production.

The Made in Washington County Award went to Hagerstown Kitchens. The award is for a business that makes or assembles a product in Washington County.

The Vision Award went to Bowman Development of Cavetown. The award is for a developer, architect, engineer or construction contractor exhibiting innovative design and creative use or re-use of land and space.

The Work Force Development Award went to Callas Contractors Inc. The award is for a company that has made work force development a priority by offering its county employees training and education opportunities or by investing money or other resources in local programs that positively affect local work-force development.

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