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Eight local businesses honored at ceremony

March 07, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

Eight local businesses were honored at the third annual Washington County Business Awards ceremony Wednesday night.

There were 24 finalists for the awards, chosen from hundreds of nominations. The selection committee for this year's awards program included last year's eight winners.

The event is held by the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission and the Hagerstown-Washingtown County Chamber of Commerce.

"These winners represent the very best in our business community," said Pat Halladay, Chamber of Commerce chairwoman for the event.

About 400 tickets were sold for the ceremony at Hagerstown Four Points Sheraton, making it a sell-out, said Chamber President Fred Teeter.

Following are the award recipients:

-- The At Your Service Award, given to a retail or service company generating customer loyalty and satisfaction, went to Hagerstown Community College.

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-- The Be Our Guest Award went to Schmankerl Stube Restaurant. The award goes to a business whose marketing efforts generate visitors to and recognition of Washington County.

-- The Entrepreneurial Award went to Cosmic Pet Products. 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 Hub Labels Inc. The award is given to a growing company that has increased the percentage of revenue it receives from foreign sales relative to total sales.

-- The Innovation Award went to Mack Trucks, 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 Good Humor-Breyer's Ice Cream Inc. The award is given to a business making or assembling a product in Washington County.

-- The Vision Award went to Ellsworth Electric Inc. The award goes to a developer, architect, engineer or construction contractor exhibiting innovative design and creative use or reuse of land and space.

-- The Work Force Development Award went to First Data Merchant Services. The award is given to a company that has made work force development a priority by offering its county employees training and educational opportunities or by investing money or other resources in local programs that positively affect local work force development.

Representatives of the award winning organizations said they were pleased.

"I'm absolutely thrilled. This is a true tribute to our employees," said Ken Wells, manager of the Good Humor plant.

"I am just blown away," said Leon Seidman, president of Cosmic Pet Products.

"We are delighted," said Tony Dahbura, Hub Labels Inc. vice president.

The evening's entertainment was provided by Bill Clinton impersonator Tim Watters of Tampa, Fla.

"Hail to the Chief " was played as Watters entered the room. Guests laughed and applauded as he affixed a magnetized presidential seal to the podium behind which he stood.

Before the event, Watters said he has appeared as Clinton thousands of times, including more than 250 times on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." He said he also appeared in the movies "Contact" and "Naked Gun 33 1/3."

The chamber wanted Watters to appear before, when Clinton was still in office, but the price was too high, Teeter said. Now they can afford him.

Watters, who charges $4,500 an appearance, spoke for about 20 minutes. His brother, Davis, impersonated a secret service agent at the event.

It is part of Watters' contract that he can cancel an appearance if it is publicly known ahead of time that he is the one appearing, Teeter said.

Groups that hire him like to surprise the audience, Watters said.

"They want a little kick ... a little gimmick," he said.

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