Chamber of Commerce 2018 Year in Review

Business Synergy

In business, 1 + 1 = 3. No, that is not a political commentary on our nation’s Common Core education standards. Rather it is a statement of fact. Call it business synergy, where one’s success spurs another.

Business begets business.

At the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, local business is our business. A healthy economy springs from a thriving community, and we support this ecosystem through marketing, networking, and advocacy.

Recently, businesses from all over our peninsula gathered at the Community College to celebrate our chamber’s 65 years of service and, more importantly, to honor Eastern Shore business heroes. Governor Ralph Northam presented the awards and provided our keynote speech. Every citizen on the Shore benefits from the efforts of these champions of our community.

As rare as finding an open booth during lunchtime rush at the Exmore Diner, even rarer are hearts as sincere as its owners, Sean and Crystal. They have won the loyalty of employees and customers alike through their honest service and extensive involvement on the Shore. Sean is always quick to lend support to other businesses and charitable organizations. The Diner continues to win accolades from newspapers, food critics, and travel publications too many to list. For these and many other reasons, Sean Hart was named our Small Business Person of the Year.

A doctor’s work is never complete. It involves long hours and constant study, all the while gently caring for those who are hurting. Since 1975, Dr. Drury Stith has done just that, serving our citizens as a medical oncologist at Shore Memorial Hospital. In addition to being its Cancer Committee Chairperson, his roots in the community stretch through organizations such as Franktown United Methodist Church, the Montessori Children's House of Franktown, and Light House Ministries, to name a few. We are blessed to have such a caring gentleman among us, our Outstanding Citizen of the Year.

Creativity and beauty hold great worth. They bring light and joy to our world. The Eastern Shore is steeped in these values, and we celebrated Meredith Lusk of Moonrise Jewelry who embodies such ideals. A natural entrepreneur, her career began at eight when she set up shop at her father’s hardware store and sold jewelry fashioned of shells from local beaches. Today, her products remain true to her Eastern Shore roots. Our Young Entrepreneur of the Year, she has won accolades and awards from Meryl Streep, Sara Blakely of Spanx®, Lucky Magazine, the ABC Today Show, VA Living Magazine, and even Southern Living.

This year the Chairman’s Award was proudly given to the Wachapreague Volunteer Fire Company for their seventy-one years of community leadership and service. As an illustration of the lengths to which they will go for their citizens, they recently moved their own ambulance to Painter VFD to reduce call response time for the larger community. And what would summer without their carnival? For 66-years they have operated this family event to fund the cost of their services. They are an example to us all.

This chamber could not function without our dedicated staff and fleet of volunteers who labor tirelessly behind the scenes of our community. Our Distinguished Service Award provides us the opportunity to highlight one such volunteer, and this year it went to Wanda Caffrey of A&N Title and Settlement Co., LLC. Wanda has headed our Essentials Magazine Committee since 2013, leading a dedicated team that creates articles, photo collages, and reference materials to showcase the history, beauty, and abundance of the Eastern Shore. Constantly dedicated to her task, she presses through late night edits and even drives up and down the peninsula to deliver the magazine.

All residents of the Eastern Shore are touched by these and other business owners – our community champions. When you see them, let them know you appreciate their service. Because alone, we are one. But together, we support, encourage, and boost our economy. Together, 1 + 1 = 3.

Learn more about our Chamber by visiting or stopping by our office on Rt 13 near the Melfa airport. Get involved. Join our team. Elevate business synergy. With your help, 1 + 1 can equal 4, or 5…or even more.

David McCaleb

Previous Winners

Small Business Person

2018 Sean & Crystal Hart, Exmore Diner

2017 Suzanne Golibart, Periwinkles, A Unique Consignment Boutique

2016 Jeannette Edwards, Edwards Seafood

2015  Genevieve Walker Switzer, T&W Block

2014  Blake Johnson, Island House Restaurant

2013  John T. Williams, Jr., Williams Funeral Home

Outstanding Citizen

2018 Dr. Drury Stith

2017 Barbara & Steve Johnsen

2016 Dana Floyd

2015  Jenny O'Neill, Waste Watchers

2014  Kathy Custis, Eastern Shore Boys & Girls Club

2013  Senator Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

2018 Meredith Lusk, Moonrise Jewelry

Chairman's Award
2018 Wachapreague Volunteer Fire Company

2017​ Kristin Webb

2016 George Bryan, SBDC of Hampton Roads

2015  Sandra Johnson

2014  Annie Jones

2013  David Turner, Turner Sculpture

Distinguished Service

2018 Wanda Caffrey, A&N Title and Settlement Co., LLC

2017 Nancy Stern, CEO of Eastern Shore Rural Health Systems and John Peterman, Administrator/VP of Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital

2016 Young Professionals 

2015  Membership, Blue Ribbon Campaign

2014  Dr. Terris Kennedy

2013  Charlie Russell, WESR Radio

     ​   Small Business Person of the Year

This annual award is given to an individual who has positively affected the community through his or her products and reputation as a civically responsible employer providing an excellent work environment.

        Outstanding Citizen of the Year

This annual award is given to an individual who has demonstrated excellence in professional and/or community leadership over a period of the last two years.

         ​Young Entrepreneur of the Year

​This annual award is given to an individual age 39 or younger who has positively affected the community through their products and services, either socially or economically over the last two years.

         Distinguished Service Award

​          Chairman’s Award

2019 Annual Awards Dinner

Annual Meeting

This annual event is a celebration of the year. Open to all members, it includes awards and nomination and election of new officers and directors. The evening begins with appetizers and cocktails. The Chambers board, staff and members share information that will help grow economic development on the Shore. Dinner and awards follow.

Thursday, July 18

Elks Onancock Lodge #1766
22454 Front St, Accomac, VA 

Cost and RSVP
$45 per person

Purchase tickets online 
(3% processing fee will be added) or
Call: (757) 787-2460

Since this is always a sold out event, RSVP is required.

Group Seating
If you want to reserve a table (6 or 8), please call the Chamber at (757) 787-2460 to arrange.

Sponsorships are available by calling the Chamber.

2019 Sculpture Raffle

An annual traditions is the raffle of a David Turner  bronze sculpture.

"Longbilled Dowitcher"

Valued at $850

Contact Chamber for tickets.