Severna Park Chamber Honors Members
The Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce nominated eight local businesses for Small Business Administration awards.
Each year, the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce honors members by submitting them for the Maryland Small Business Week Awards Program.
In 2012, we honored eight businesses and four of them have won at the state level and will move on to regional competition. On May 18 at our General Membership Luncheon at Chartwell Country Club, it will be our great honor to recognize all eight for their accomplishments.
2012 Small Business Person of the Year
It is our distinct honor to recognize Anna Torres-Radle, president of Fieldstone Animal Inn as our Business Person of the Year. In 2004, she took the opportunity to combine her love of dogs and her desire to own her own business by purchasing Fieldstone Kennels.
In the first year of operation Radle worked 12-hour days with just two part-time employees and her husband’s help in the evenings. In the summer of 2011, a new milestone was reached when she and her husband, Charles, purchased the business property with the help of an SBA 504 loan.
Through hard work and her business acumen, Radle helped this business grow each year by leaps and bounds, reflecting an average of 15 percent increase in revenue each year since 2009. She dedicates her spare time to raising her family and helps with many charities and community causes.
2012 Financial Services Champion
Jim Brennan of Middleton Gardiner Group was recognized for this award. Brenna regularly gives small business seminars to help educate clients and prospective clients on different issues pertaining to their business and/or personal success. He has been an active member of the Light House Shelter of Annapolis for nearly a decade.
He has donated his time to the Severna Park Community Center and the Watershed Action Group, an environmental group started by the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce. He chairs the W.A.G. and spearheads an annual Earth Day event to promote environmental awareness.
2012 Home-Based Business Champion.
Angela Balsamo, owner of Tab Publishing d/b/a Coffee News Bowie, is our honoree for 2012. She and her husband, Tom, bought their first two territories for Coffee News in July 2006 and within a few months added two more territories giving them a huge presence within Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties. The ability to work from home so that they could eventually raise a family and still both be involved in the business had huge appeal.
Balsamo supports small and home-based businesses and mentors other Coffee News publishers and business owners. She is active with various business organizations and sits on the Board for Opportunity Builders, Inc.
2012 Maryland Family-Owned Business of the Year.
Our honorees were Kevin and Michael Sosnoski of Goska’s Liquors for this award. Kevin and Michael Sosnoski are third generation retailers who are continuing the values and reputation their family established more than 80 years ago. They both appreciate the importance of giving back to their community. In 1986, Michael Sosnoski was hired by the Anne Arundel County Fire Department and is currently a pump operator at Brooklyn Park Fire Department.
Kevin Sosnoski has been a board member serving his residential community for three terms, has held the title of treasurer for the Anne Arundel County Licensed Beverage Association for the past 13 years and has volunteered his time to local school events and youth sports organizations. In 1995 Kevin and Michael took ownership of Goska’s Liquors from their father, Walter Sosnoski.
2012 Accountant Champion.
Ann Furst of the Gardiner Appel Group is our honoree in this category. Being an educator at heart, Furst believes in the value of knowledge for the business owner. She is a volunteer instructor with the Annapolis chapter of SCORE. She shares articles of interest to business owners in local newspapers and is active with Toast of Severna Park, a Toastmasters International Club.
She is a member of the Beautification Committee of the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce and active in other chambers and professional organizations as well.
2012 Veteran Small Business Champion.
We proudly recommended Aaron Drummond of Tailorcraft Builders for this award. Drummond is a veteran and has exemplified himself as a true champion of supporting those who have served in our Armed Forces. This past year he did a complete home remodel for a local disabled veteran of the War in Iraq, free of charge.
He worked with the local VA as well as the veteran’s family to design a home that not only met the family’s needs with his wounds (a double amputee) but also fit the taste and style for their family. This is nothing new for Drummond, as he has participated with other charity organizations in the past to help disabled vets with their housing needs.
2012 Women in Business Champion.
Nancy Greer of Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi was our honoree in this category. With a bachelor’s degree in social work, Nancy Greer’s lifelong goal has been to work with people to make a positive difference in their lives. She is tireless in promoting the business she runs with her husband, Billy Greer.
She is well known in the community for her kindness and support of others. She has a particular passion for women and small business and much of her networking collaborative efforts have been with women. Lighthouse Shelter, Sarah’s House and SPAN (Supporting People Across Neighborhoods) are just a few of the charitable causes Greer has championed over the years.
2012 Young Entrepreneur.
We proudly nominated Eddie Conway of Garry’s Grill & Catering as our honoree for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Conway has worked his way up through the ranks in the restaurant business, starting at age 14 as a dishwasher at Garry’s.
Finally in 2008, Conway was able to purchase the restaurant from Garry Anderson and make it his own. His role is multifaceted; he is in the restaurant six days a week managing all facets of the operation. Garry’s is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. 363 days a year.
He has been successful from the start of his ownership and always has an eye on improving the operation. Conway is well known within the community for his philanthropic work. He donates between $25,000-$30,000 each year to various causes, including breast cancer research, local high schools and nonprofits.
Linda Zahn is the CEO of the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce and provides a chamber update to Patch on a regular basis. The chamber is located at 1 Holly Ave. in Severna Park. The telephone number is 410-647-3900 and the email is email@example.com. The website is www.severnaparkchamber.com