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Chamber recognizes business, nonprofit, citizen of the year

By Ryan Cornell

EDINBURG -- The Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce awarded recipients of its 2013 business, nonprofit and citizen of the year at its second annual meeting this week.

Grubbs Chevrolet, Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter and Kandi McInturff received the distinctions, respectively, at the meeting held Tuesday.

Chamber Executive Director Jackie Thompson said members of the chamber gave nominations for each of the three categories, the winners of which were then decided by the board of directors. She said chamber membership has risen from about 260 members last year to 315 members today.

The Chamber of Commerce, which formed from various town chambers and held its inaugural meeting last January, adopted new bylaws and elected new board members on Tuesday. Bill Smith of Edinburg, Holly Thorne of New Market and at-large members Betty Luse and Chris Boies were elected to the board. Following the meeting, Clay Arthur was elected incoming chamber president, replacing Wade Zirkle.

Arthur presented Bobby Grubbs, owner of Grubbs Chevrolet in Woodstock, with the 2013 Business of the Year award.

"This particular business of the year has been a long-standing business of our community," Arthur began. "It has been a large employer in our community, which in this day and time I think everyone appreciates."

He added that Grubbs has supported the chamber as well as community events and organizations such as the Lions Club and American Red Cross.

"And it's funny because I didn't know any of that at first -- all I knew was that he was a good drummer, and that's all I cared about," joked Arthur, who plays guitar in a band.

Nathan Robinson, pastor of Emanuel Lutheran Church, presented Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter with the 2013 Nonprofit Organization of the Year award and recognized its work in assembling local community members and nonprofits.

"They've done Bridges & Bread, which has also gotten churches to partner with social service agencies," he said. "It's been remarkable, the impact this group has on the county and what they do for those who are dealing with homelessness or are on the doorstep of that."

Sheila Orndorff, executive director of the shelter, accepted the award along with Danny Sheetz, Kerry Keihn and Whitney Hamrick.

"It's very humbling," said Orndorff. "We appreciate it so much and we couldn't do this without the support of the community and we really, really appreciate that."

Jenna French, who once served as executive director of the county chamber, recognized McInturff as the 2013 Citizen of the Year, describing her as one of the chamber's most active and involved members.

"The nature of her work requires her to be so caring and compassionate towards others in our community," said French. "And while these traits come naturally to her, she's one of the most humble people I've ever met. She truly embodies selflessness and putting others before herself."

She mentioned McInturff's involvement with Home Instead Senior Care and the "Be a Santa to a Senior" program, which distributes pajamas, gas cards, toiletries and other necessities to local seniors. This winter, the program was able to outreach to more than 115 seniors.

"While many of our local businesses serve as drop-off locations, Kandi pretty much runs the show when it comes to this program," French said. "She essentially converts her basement into a sorting and wrapping station from Thanksgiving to Christmas."

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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