Black named top businessperson in Chambersburg

December 12, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Greater Chambersburg (Pa.) Chamber of Commerce has named as its 2008 Business Person of the Year a local engineer who took his business from five to 31 employees in 21 years.

Dennis E. Black, a Chambersburg native, acquired several businesses over the years to expand Dennis E. Black Engineering Inc.

Black said he was extremely surprised by the announcement made at the Chamber's annual business breakfast Thursday at Wilson College.

"I just love this community," he said. "I'm very proud of the community."

The breakfast's featured speaker, Jeffrey S. Pridmore of Lockheed Martin, talked about the importance of improving math and sciences education in the United States. Black agreed.

"Two years ago, we couldn't find qualified people," Black said.

However, with the slumping economy, talented engineers are without work and available to firms that are hiring, according to Black.

Black's firm worked with Penn National Estates, Scot-Greene Estates and several major sewer projects in Franklin County.


"We do quite a bit of work for the county, the Borough of Chambersburg and Fulton County," Black said.

Chamber officials said Black was chosen because of his business and charitable contributions to the Chambersburg area.

"I think he represents what Chambersburg is. ... He worked his way up," Joseph Padasak said in a news release.

Padasak, superintendent of the Chambersburg Area School District, was a member of the judging panel that chose Black.

About 150 people attended the breakfast.

Past recipients of the Business Person of the Year award:

1987: John L. Grove

1988: Robert G. Zullinger

1989: Will G. Pananes

1990: Charles M. Sioberg

1991: John L. Mills

1992: E. Lewis Leaman

1993: Paul E. Lehman

1994: Charles Q. Smith

1995: Allan E. "Skip" Jennings Jr.

1996: John D. Helman

1997: Norman B. Epstein

1998: Michael L. Hurt

1999: Sam Small

2000: Harold L. Brake

2001: John Massimilla

2002: Bill Snell

2003: Mike Ross

2004: J. Christian Snavely

2005: Pat O'Donnell

2006: Peggy Bosma

2007: Michael "Mic" Starr

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