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Bowman leads business awards

March 04, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Judges were bullish on Donald Bowman, who won two of six awards Wednesday at an Oscars-style business banquet.

Bowman was named Washington County Business Person of the Year, and Bowman Development Corp. -- one of Bowman's businesses -- won the Vision Award for its Bulls & Bears restaurant project.

Bowman said he and his employees are proud of the project, which took five years.

Observers have said in recent years that Bowman's renovation of three adjacent South Potomac Street parcels was a pivotal element in rejuvenating the downtown.

The University System of Maryland at Hagerstown campus and projects by Demcore Development also helped reshape the area.

"I think we're seeing people downtown," Bowman said after receiving his awards. "Downtown is an extremely safe place to be. We're not Frederick, but we're getting there ....

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"I think we've become an asset. Hopefully, it will become contagious."

Four other organizations were honored at the 10th Annual Washington County Business Awards at The Maryland Theatre.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission and the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce hosted the event, which mimicked the Academy Awards, complete with statuettes.

Cindy Jackson cried out with glee when Leadership Washington County, which helps people learn about and become more involved in the community, won the Non-Profit Impact Award.

The program doesn't play the direct role of caring for the homeless or the hungry, but "we help the organizations that do all of those things to do it better," said Jackson, the executive director.

Wright-Gardner Insurance in Hagerstown won the At Your Service Award, which goes to a business "for undertaking actions that generate customer loyalty and satisfaction."

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park, near Williamsport, received the Going Green Award for its recycling and environmental efforts.

Custom Machine, a Hagerstown milling, turning and grinding company, won the Small Business Award. The company has 15 employees, according to a video shown at The Maryland Theatre.

The evening started with dinner at Duffy's on Potomac. Guests then walked across the street to the theater.

Timothy R. Troxell, the EDC's executive director, told the crowd that it's important to honor the commitment and contributions of local businesses. Eighty percent of new jobs are at existing businesses, he said.

After the awards, guests went for desserts at Bulls and Bears, Duffy's on Potomac and the Schmankerl Stube.

A drawing was scheduled for a flat-screen TV and other prizes.

List of Washington County business award nominees



Winners and other nominees at Wednesday's 10th Annual Washington County Business Awards:

o At Your Service Award: Wright-Gardner Insurance (winner), The First National Bank of Greencastle, Scrapmania

o Going Green Award: Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park (winner), Fort Ritchie Community Center, Western Maryland Branch of the United States Green Building Council

o Non-Profit Impact Award: Leadership Washington County (winner), Girls Inc. of Washington County, San Mar Children's Home

o Small Business Award: Custom Machine (winner), High Rock Studios, Parker Plastics

o Vision Award: Bowman Development Corp. (winner), Academy Theatre and Banquet Center, Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tiger's Eye Benefits Consulting

o Washington County Business Person of the Year: Donald M. Bowman (winner), Timothy G. Henry, Jeanne F. Singer

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