2020 Summit Award Nominees
Thank you for nominating the best of the best of our businesses, non-profits, and the people who make things happen in our community. This year's nominees are listed below with a brief description of why they were nominated. Read through and vote for your choice in each category. Winners will be announced at the Summit Awards Dinner being held this year at Brookedale Farms in Fort Ashby. Thank you for helping recognize our great people and businesses in the Mineral County Chamber!
Leader of the Year:
Kate Donaghy joined Western Maryland Health System (now UPMC Western Maryland) in 2018 as Director of Community Relations/Marketing, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise from her previous position of Director, Marketing and Communications at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
After being in her new job for only a few months, Kate and her son ran in the “Conquer the Dam” 5K race hosted by the Mineral County Aging and Family Services, and this past year she traveled to Charleston to participate in the 2020 Mineral County Day events. In addition to her involvement in Mineral County, Kate has also participated in activities in Allegany and Garrett counties, including the Leadership Allegany! program.
Under the direction of UPMC Western Maryland President Barry Ronan, Kate Donaghy leads the communications and marketing activities of UPMC Western Maryland. Her strong communications and leadership skills became very evident in mid-March when UPMC Western Maryland’s number one priority became protecting staff and providing safe and effective care for patients amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It was during the height of the pandemic that Kate directed the communications efforts for more than 72 email and/or video staff updates and the creation of more than 140 signs necessary to ensure the safety of patients and staff.
Kate’s commitment to UPMC Western Maryland and the community; her innate ability to inspire, empower, and delegate to her community relations/marketing team; her commitment to hold herself accountable to a level higher than that she expects of others; and her compassion and dedication to excellence and strategic thinking make Kate Donaghy—an outstanding communications/marketing leader—an excellent candidate for the “Leader of the Year” award.
Director McKenzie is beyond deserving of the Leader of the Year Award. In the time that Director McKenzie has been a part of Mineral County he has excelled at his job and performed many extra duties not directly required by his position. He is constantly volunteering to help with additional projects or issues that arise within the county, always offering a helping hand where needed. Director McKenzie is a positive influence in our office, always encouraging our employees to be better and never sell themselves short. He has had a direct impact on my career, ensuring that I always saw my true potential and pushing me to do better every day. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Director McKenzie has gone above and beyond what was required of his position. He has been a huge benefit to our county during this unprecedented time. I honestly can’t think of anybody more deserving of this award.
Mike Price recently retired as the CEO of Burlington United Methodist Family Services, headquartered in Mineral County. Just in the six months before retiring, Mike was able to acquire the Alkire Mansion, undergo extensive renovations, and open it as a home for boys. During this same time period, Mike also led BUMFS to acquire property on Knobley Road, and transformed it into a Recovery Home for 32 women, which is sorely needed in this area. In his spare time, Mike also was able to move Sarah's House into a completely renovated building on Main Street in Keyser, and add three bedrooms at the Staggers House. Mike quietly added more and more needed services across West Virginia his entire time at the helm, and has improved the lives of thousands of people as a result.
Community Service Award:
Dinah Courrier’s list of contributions to our community is too great to enumerate in a short space. In addition to being the long-time secretary for the Keyser Rotary Club, an integral part of many aspects of Trinity Lutheran Church, and a member of countless non-profit boards, she founded and continues to run Food for Thought—a program to provide food for school children in need. Moreover, she has recently dedicated a significant amount of time and energy into creating and managing the Mineral County Museum. Dinah Courrier is the person others turn to when a project needs completed for the betterment of the community.
County United Way
The United Way does so many wonderful things for Mineral County and the other counties they serve. So many families and individuals depend on the help from the United Way. It's amazing to see how Juli and her team bring the community together to help make it a better place. Juli is very driven and dedicated to making a difference and creating a positive impact in our county. She has the support of many corporations, small businesses, and organizations that help her complete her missions. Mineral County is lucky to have Juli and The County United Way!
Luke's murals in Keyser have lifted people's spirits and made them appreciate their town even more, especially with all people have had to endure this year.
Good Carma Catering, Fox's Pizza Den, Duckie's Bar & Grill, Route 28 Bar & Grill, and Millstone BBQ
These businesses have stepped up the entire year to provide lunches to every student in the county five days a week. Their monumental efforts came at just the right time to help the School System make sure every child had enough to eat.
Non-Profit of the Year:
Burlington United Methodist Family Services
Purchasing the Alkire Mansion and renovating it is our way of giving back to the community. The house will be home to seven boys that have been removed from their families. The Knobley Property will house 32 females in Recovery and in an effort to keep their children out of foster care, the property will accommodate up to ten children. Services provided will include: Prevention; Health Promotion and Wellness; Life Skills and other support services.
We have also added three bedrooms at the Staggers House garage to accommodate mothers and the children.
Rotary Club of Keyser
Rotary sponsors several programs throughout the year including food for thought. The club donates over $10,000 to the community thru grants, scholarships, and donations. Three scholarships to Katharine Church Nominees totaling $6,000. One E.E. Church Scholarship to a KHS senior for $1,000 that can be renewed their Sophomore year at PSC. The club gives dictionaries to every 4th grader in the county. This year Keyser Middle School was selected in partnership with a District Rotary Grant to purchase $3,400 worth of white boards to replace aging chalk boards in the school. In an average year the club donates to over two dozen worthy organizations that help them continue to function.
Young Professional of the Year:
Ashley has been with Mineral County Tourism for almost 2 years now. In this short time, she has worked hard to begin to get Mineral County on the map as a West Virginia destination. Ashley has made connections at regional and state level, meets regularly with these connections, and works hand in hand with them on projects and other various activities. Ashley is very passionate and enthusiastic when it comes to building Tourism in Mineral County. Tourism dollars means economic development in our county. That could lead to more jobs being created, more taxes for the county to collect, and more business for our existing businesses. Since Ashley began working in the county in 2016 (with the Mineral County Development Authority), she has strived to make it a better place to live. Now, 4 years later, Ashley continues to work daily to put Mineral County on the map and to help it prosper.
I am pleased to nominate Luke W McKenzie, Director of Mineral County Emergency Services 911 for the Young Professional of the Year Award. I have known and worked with Luke for just under 2 years and have always found him dependable, efficient, and unfailingly punctual. In fact, I have never worked with a person who gives as much attention to detail as he does. His willingness to take on difficult projects and see them to successful completion has repeatedly impressed me.
During this Corona Virus Pandemic, Luke has went above and beyond his normal scope of duties and has handled this situation professionally, efficiently and with great empathy. Our office has the task of financial management and ordering of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Mineral County and Luke has done an exceptional job of ordering and supplying our county with their needs. Financially, he has been able to recover a huge amount of money for our county by applying and receiving funding through the CARES ACT.
His skills do not end with his office work. Luke also projects a warm, cheerful attitude to our co-workers and outside contractors. I have seen him resolve conflicts and handle other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. He loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around him. Luke is a pastor with the United Methodist Church and has his own charge, volunteers with the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, is a volunteer EMT with New Creek VFD and works with Bruceton Mills EMS as well as volunteers in other areas of the community. But maybe most importantly to me, he is a new dad of three beautiful foster babies that he absolutely loves and adores. I believe these characteristics represent all that is good here at our center and in our county, and I am pleased to nominate Luke McKenzie for the Young Professional of the Year Award.
Brian has done a fantastic job in opening Queen's Point Coffee, which has enjoyed acclaim from its patrons far and wide. This year, he was able to get the North Branch Craft Pub off the ground even with the pandemic looming. Brian understands customer service and marketing inside and out, and always makes everyone feel like a part of the family. His success will only keep growing.
Entrepreneurial Spirit Award:
Sarah has turned Good Carma Catering into one of the most unique treasures in Mineral County. Whether you visit her on the food truck or have her cater your event, you are bound to fall in love with her food! The menu items are creative, imaginative, and most importantly, delicious. Sarah thinks outside the box when it comes to recipes, but she also creates classic favorites that satisfy every craving. She supports local businesses, gives back to her community, and is always finding new ways to get her product out there for the world to try. Sarah always keeps us on our toes in anticipation of what her menu is going to feature. She can guarantee people follow her food truck to wherever she may be!
Nathaniel is an eighth grader in Carpendale who has become quite the entrepreneur by starting his own business - Nathaniel Lawn Care and Snow Removal. Nathaniel has been building his business, adding clients, and re-investing in new equipment. This young man represents the best qualities of a young, hard-working, business owner, and is a model entrepreneur.
Terry created North Branch Ventures to fill three needs in our community - a great coffee shop, the first brew pub in Mineral County, and kayak and tube rentals for the North Branch. Anyone who knows Terry, knows that he is constantly thinking of ways to improve our community, create new business opportunities, and make Keyser shine. The three latest businesses are a big success and have definitely made our area better.
Large Business of the Year:
First Peoples FCU
Between April 7 and May 21, First Peoples Community FCU provided free hot lunches to home-bound seniors and those with a significant high-risk diagnosis within the community. During that time 1,500 lunches were delivered to those in need. Several employees volunteered roughly 150 hours of their time to distribute those hot lunches which would vary from BBQ chicken with green beans and macaroni and cheese to pulled pork with corn and carrots. Along with providing meals to the community, First Peoples took it a step further and provided those hot lunches to its employees on select Fridays during this time. The feedback received from the free lunch delivery campaign was overwhelmingly positive.
Lumber & Things
Lumber & Things is a very important industry for Mineral County. Lumber & Things cares about its workers and the community, recently started a new product line, and its owner is a go-to source for knowledge about the pallet, wood, and wood by-product industry.
It is a place that if you want to work, you can. With excellent bonus potential for production, workers can make far above average wage compared to similar local jobs.
Being a locally owned business, profits get reinvested into additional local businesses and investments, compounding Lumber & Things economic impact to the region.
Northrop Grumman has really invested in Mineral County. With the purchase of Orbital ATK, Northrop Grumman validated Aerospace as one of the 5 sectors of their company. Along with the help of the Mineral County Development Authority, Northrop Grumman has expanded and will be hiring 500 new employees over the next 5 years. That is so incredible for our county. This is creating new jobs and keeping Mineral County residents in the county for work.
UPMC Western Maryland
The year 2020 has been a busy year for UPMC Western Maryland – formerly Western Maryland Health System. The year began with the Health System becoming part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer.
The integration with UPMC will not only result in an increase of clinical specialties being offered in the western Maryland region, but it will also expand UPMC Western Maryland’s already robust oncology expertise through its new connection to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.
On the heels of the integration, UPMC Western Maryland was and continues to be at the forefront in the community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic spread throughout the world and eventually reached the region that UPMC Western Maryland serves, staff on the front lines and in every other capacity came together to ensure the continuation of the best care possible to all patients in the community.
As the region’s largest employer, including some 400 employees from Mineral County, UPMC Western Maryland provides quality, award-winning health care in a state-of-the-art facility and contributes more than $300 million annually to the local economy, including $61 million in community benefits in FY2019.
In addition to the health system’s momentous integration into UPMC and the COVID-19 response, UPMC Western Maryland was also recognized with the following awards over the last year:
Healthgrades Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award
Healthgrades Five Star Recipient for Coronary Bypass Surgery
Healthgrades Five Star Recipient for Valve Surgery
Healthgrades Five Star Recipient for Treatment of Pancreatitis
Healthgrades Five Star Recipient for Total Knee Replacement
Healthgrades Five Star Recipient for Hip Fracture Treatment
Healthgrades Five Star Recipient for Vaginal Delivery
U.S. News & World Report High Performing Hospital – COPD
U.S. News & World Report High Performing Hospital – Heart Failure
American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Gold Receiving Award
American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Gold NSTEMI Award
Chime Healthcare’s Most Wired Certified Level 7
Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center for Knee/Hip
W3 Silver Winner for Digital Excellence
WVU Potomac Valley Hospital
PVH has been upgrading their facility and improving their procedures to meet the needs of the community, and have been nationally recognized for their efforts, recently receiving the CMS 5 Star rating. Wait times in the emergency room have been drastically reduced. Most importantly, residents of our community will realize these improvements when they need them most.
Small Business of the Year:
Good Carma Catering
Sarah and Donnie Carman support our community in many ways, not least of which is helping feed our school kids during the pandemic. They are creative with their catering business and with their food truck, and are fun to work with.
North Branch Ventures / Queen's Point Coffee
From the time their doors opened for the first time, Queen's Point Coffee has become a staple in our community. When you walk through their door, you are greeted with a warm smile and a friendly hello. The atmosphere is casual, family-friendly, and business friendly. Brian Wilson and his staff treat all customers like a part of their family. This carries over into their support for their community as well. Their generosity overflows in the form of donations and support for local organizations and events. Queen's Point Coffee was a business that Mineral County needed and it is one that we will love and appreciate for years to come!
The Candlewyck Inn
Fred Engle has run the Candlewyck Inn for years, but during the pandemic, Fred figured out how to reach customers in new ways, using Facebook like he never had before, and sustained his business, reaching many guests he never had before. The Candlewyck is one of the best restaurants in our area.
Summit Award winners will be announced at the Awards Dinner on October 21st. Buy your Summit Awards Tickets now, just $20.00 includes dinner and a fabulous evening!
Voting is closed - get your tickets now to see who won! Tickets must be purchased by October 14th, so get yours now!