Chamber announces ’20 awards

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The degree to which 2020 was a profoundly unusual year was reflected by the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce in both the execution and content of its 2020 Chamber of Commerce Awards.

Accustomed to being able to host a large gathering to honor area businesses and organizations, the chamber opted to simply announce its award-winners via a brief video on social media this year, helping to guard against the potential spread of COVID-19 at an in-person event.

Announcing the winners on the video were chamber Executive Director Anne Tyler Paulek and chamber Board of Directors Chairman Cameron Patterson.

Anne Tyler

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“The awards committee met and decided to approach our program a little bit differently this year,” Paulek said in the video. “In light of a very difficult year for the business community navigating the pandemic, we have decided to change up our usual award programming and offer four awards for the year of 2020 that highlight chamber members who exhibited strengths as they were faced with the unique challenges of the past year.”

The Virtual Pioneers Award went to the Virginia Children’s Book Festival.

“This goes to an organization that had to switch gears and move their entire programming online,” Paulek said. “We applaud their resiliency, ingenuity and creativity.”

Patterson announced High Bridge Trail State Park was winner of the Chamber Member of the Year Award.

Cameron Patterson

“This award goes to an organization that helps to maintain beautiful trails within our community as well as a fantastic state park,” he said. “The High Bridge Trail State Park welcomes over 200,000 visitors per year. They have been great in helping to provide programming to our community, and we’re so grateful for all that they do to help maintain beautiful outdoor spaces for us all.”

Robert Russa Moton Museum was the recipient of the Community Action Award.

“This award goes to an organization that has recognized a need in our community and who, through community responsibility, innovation and growth, has served our community with vision and integrity,” Paulek said. “Their strong partnerships with other chamber and community members are an example to us all. They seek to promote dialogue and preserve a story that changed the course of civil rights history. We are grateful to have this wonderful organization in our community. I’m proud of all that they have brought to us through the past year.”

Patterson noted the Pivot Award went to The Fishin’ Pig.

“We’re excited to award this new award to a business in our community that has continued to find new and creative ways to thrive during this COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “This restaurant, which has become a staple in our community, worked to find new and creative ways to serve their customers by ensuring that they were able to put together to-go, family-style meals for their customers that they serve. They continue to provide the same great food and the great customer service that we have come to know and respect.”