The 12th Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Celebration sponsored by Appalachian Wireless was livestreamed from the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Paintsville on Nov. 24.
The event was a blend of pre-recorded videos from local, regional and even state-wide Chamber supporters, live entertainment spots, and in-person awards presentations.
AEP- KY Power was the entertainment sponsor for the evening, bringing Marlana VanHoose, members of the Johnson Central High School Honor Choir, Pointe of JOY! Dancers, Aliyah Allen and Sean Whiting. The Chamber Board of Directors utilized the services of JK Media — Jason Kinner to create videos of each award winner and to provide the technology required for livestreaming to Facebook.
Mark McKenzie, Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce president, said, “There are many moving parts to successfully livestreaming a nearly 90-minute event, requiring a lot of work planning, creating, and editing, but we are very pleased with our end result and are glad that despite the social distancing challenges, we able to safely recognize several successful businesses and persons in our community.”
Award winners were as follows; Small Business of the Year, East Kentucky Signs and Apparel; Large Business of the Year, Foothills Communications; Business Person of the Year, Bob Pack of Paintsville Utilities; and Upstart Award for New Business of the Year, Optimum Wellness Center Pharmacy.
A new award, the 2020 COVID-19 A.I.M Award (Adaptability & Innovation Member Award) was created this year to recognize a business and a non-profit that used innovative business practices to adapt to the many challenges created by COVID-19 and social distancing requirements.
Treasures on Main was chosen as the AIM Award for a business and the Johnson County Public Library was selected for a non-profit. The most prestigious award of the night, the O.T. Dorton President’s Award, was present posthumously to Denny Dorton, former President of Citizens National Bank.
Dorton’s son, Drew Dorton, of Lexington, accepted the award on behalf of the family and provided a video and photos that were shared during the event.
Although the event looked and sounded different from the normal awards dinner, from the quiet banquet room to the absence of audience applause, the recorded virtual event is being shared far and wide on social media vis the Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and will be aired on Foothills Communications Channel 4 in the coming weeks.
“I want to thank our Presenting Sponsor and our Entertainment Sponsor, AEP-KY Power for making this virtual delivery of the Chamber Annual Awards possible, allowing us to shine a light on some outstanding award winners,” McKenzie said. “We hope the chamber awards event was valuable to the business community and that everyone saw the importance of supporting our local businesses. Our community has many opportunities, so let’s partner, collaborate, and work together to make a better future.”