By ROGER AMSDEN, Laconia Daily Sun
Thursday, April 13, 2017
FRANKLIN — The Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce held its Community Hero awards ceremony at the Franklin Opera House Tuesday night, and, fittingly, the winner of the coveted James R. Irwin Award was Todd Workman, who is leading efforts to revitalize downtown Franklin.
Workman heads PermaCityLife, which owns seven block buildings and three mills in the downtown area of the city and is undertaking renovations focused on environmentally conscious living and quality of life measures. "We desire a downtown that is walkable, locally sustainable, and has a distinctive sense of place" said Workman.
Other nominees for the award, which is based on portraying pioneer service and attitude to the Lakes Region, economic visionaries and a spirit of progress in the community were Randy Eifert, Al Mitchell and Rusty McLear. Winner of the J. Bart Conners Award, which is awarded to an individual who best exemplifies an outstanding dedication and commitment to the mission of the Lakes Region Chamber, was Penny Raby of Malone & Dirubbo, who has served the chamber in many capacities, including chair of the Finance Committee. Other nominees were Ted Fodero, Donna Keeley and Maureen Wilkins.
The Hurst Award, which is presented to an individual who represents the citizens of the greater Franklin area, demonstrating a volunteer passion for the betterment of the community was well-known local radio personality and Winnisquam Regional High School baseball coach Fred Caruso. Other nominees were Michael Mullavey, Melissa Lee and Ken Merrifield.
The Public Service Award, for demonstrating a commitment to leadership and charity and public service, was presented to Clare Persson, founder and chair of Stand Up Laconia. Other nominees were Bob Cormier, Tony Felch and Allison Ambrose.
The Young Professional Award winner was Kara LaSalle of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust. Nominees are individuals with a strong community engagement, demonstrating leadership development, inspiring role models. Other nominees included Jaimie Sousa, Brie Stephens and Katelyn Nash. The Student Leader Award winner was Jackson Williams of Inter-Lakes High School in Meredith. Nominees are currently enrolled in school, whose studies and extracurricular activities show entrepreneurial spirit and peer leadership. Other nominees included Kyle Minery, Brittany Petell and Ryan Kelly.
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