Local businesses and leaders recognized with annual awards

The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Awards Ceremony looked a bit different in 2020 but the significance of the event has not diminished. The contributions of this year’s honorees during a year of unprecedented challenges speaks to their professional excellence and dedication to the community.

On Nov. 19, the Chamber livestreamed the event sponsored by Eversource Energy Services, Sanel NAPA and Business NH Magazine, with the assistance of ConcordTV, bringing positive stories and energy to all who wanted to attend and recognize three businesses, one business leader, a young professional and a volunteer who have all served our community in outstanding ways.

Small Business of the Year

Established downtown in 1994, The Works Café invites conversation and connection. It’s not uncommon to stumble upon community members discussing local politics or to spot presidential candidates chatting up customers.

This civic-minded business supports countless nonprofits, causes and events in our community. The Works Café encourages its employees to get involved in civic engagement, providing lunch on election days for staff who vote. The Works Café further supports the community by paying staff to volunteer for a day at a nonprofit of their choice.

Business of the Year

As part of The Common Man Family, the Concord restaurant abides by the values guiding this independently owned hospitality business: to provide stellar customer service, honest food, and do good in the community.

This year, despite being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Common Man continued to put their community first. To support furloughed staff, the organization provided family-size meals to affected households daily, extended health benefits, and distributed grocery and baby supply funds through an Employee Emergency Assistance Fund.

Nonprofit Business of the Year

The Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association, incorporated in 1899, provides health and wellness services through all stages of life. Today, CRVNA offers home care, hospice care, palliative care, personal home services, pediatric and maternal child health services and wellness programming. CRVNA is the state’s largest home health and hospice care provider, with more than 400 clinicians and staff serving an average of more than 8,000 NH residents every year.

Business Leader of the Year

Christopher Emond of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire has been executive director for twenty years. His tireless work to improve the accessibility of safe and affordable child care – with enormous success – made a dramatic impact on the Capital area and Lakes region. This essential service allows thousands of parents and caretakers to serve in our state’s workforce and supports the next generation of New Hampshire residents to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.

Volunteer of the Year

Jayme Simões of Louis Karno & Company Communications, LLC, is the pulse behind the Chamber’s award-winning VisitConcord-NH.com website and social media presence that promotes Greater Concord as a travel destination. The blog-based site receives 6,000-9,000 visitors monthly promoting Chamber members and Capital area businesses to prospective customers.

Young Professional of the Year

Phil Sletten of New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute is a Senior Policy Analyst who researches and informs public debate on policy issues, particularly state budget and revenue policies and their effects on low- and middle-income families. Phil does a tremendous job of not only educating his peers and writing reports for the public, but presenting to audiences like the Chamber’s Legislative Outlook Forum.

Photos by Kristina C Carlson