Chamber announces new director, awards

Sharon Baroncelli

MOUNT JACKSON – The Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce announced its new director and presented yearly awards at its annual banquet and meeting Tuesday evening at the Mount Jackson Fire Hall.

Outgoing president Mike Ashley formally introduced Sharon Baroncelli of Woodstock as the chamber’s executive director. She replaces Cheri Wright who resigned in October. Baroncelli boasts a lengthy resume, having served as executive director for the Warren County Chamber of Commerce and for the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber in Fairfax County, among other positions.

“It’ll be a true business focus,” Baroncelli said of her intentions in the new position. “(We’re going to be) working with our business members to grow their business and the economic stability and viability of our business, expand them as well as new growth, new businesses to the community. It’ll be a balance between the two but it’s good for our citizens. It’s good for the growth of the county.”

Baroncelli said the chamber’s new tagline is “a voice for business success.” She hopes to help make that voice heard by as many business people as possible.

“We’re here to grow and stabilize and bring in new (businesses),” she said.

Baroncelli said that her experience serving other chambers will be useful in her new job, explaining how the game is very much the same, only with different players.

“Nothing’s different, nothing’s unique other than the membership; what makes up your chamber,” she said. “We have a strong chamber here because it’s a caring community of business leaders. They’re very active in the community – they live here, so we all care about what happens with our community and they’re here to help the success as well. Chambers are chambers no matter where you go but they’re all based on results and goals and outcomes are based on the memberships.”

Baroncelli’s role with the Shenandoah County Chamber is part time one and she will continue to serve as the director of development for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Prior to announcing Baroncelli’s hiring, outgoing president Mike Ashley handed out awards for big business of the year, small business of the year, non-profit of the year and citizen of the year.

Lord Fairfax Community College, represented by Cheryl Thompson-Stacey, took home the honor of big business of the year. Small business of the year was the Woodstock Brewhouse, represented by co-owner Karl Roulston. Non-profit of the year was given to Keep the Change Food Pantry, of Woodstock, which works to bring meals to the needy. Jay and Tammy Ross were chosen as citizens of year for their work with the Conicville Fire Department and 4-H among others. The pair is known for their charitable steak dinners.

Some chamber business was also conducted. Two empty seats on the chamber’s board were vacant. Dennis Dysart, president and chief operating officer for First Bank and Jenelle Walker, of City National Bank, were elected to fill the seats.

Dawn Funkhouser was also announced as the incoming president for the chamber. She’ll replace Ashley following the completion of his term and what Ashley called “a past presidency period”. Ashley was a founding member of the chamber and has served the chamber in some capacity for five years.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com