Jeannie Rose

Jeannie Rose, 2019 Business Person of the Year, with Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce President, Benjy Holloway

Chincoteague, VA-May 20, 2019: The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce hosted its Annual Awards Luncheon at Don’s Seafood Restaurant May 20th to recognize and honor the 2019 John White Shields Citizen of the Year and Leonard “Buddy” Burton Business Person of the Year. The event was sponsored by H&H Pharmacy, Sentinel Robotics Solutions, and Movement Mortgage. Sea Star Carryout Eats provided homemade blondies for dessert. The highlight of the event is always the recognition of the Citizen and Business Person of the Year as chosen by a committee appointed by the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Jeannie Rose was selected the 2019 Business Person of the Year. Jeannie opened Comfort Suites Chincoteague in 1999 as its General Manager. It has remained an Award winning hotel for 20 years, thanks in large part to Jeannie’s strong leadership and commitment to customer service and high standards. Awards have included Inn of the Year and in 2018 the Ring of Honor-both very prestigious Choice Hotel honors. She gives back to the community by donating free night stays or monetarily to local charities and fundraisers. Jeannie also gives freely of her time to help with chamber functions and Historic Main Street Merchants Association, where she has been president for over 10 years.

Gary Mason

Gary Mason, 2019 Citizen of the Year, with Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce President, Benjy Holloway

Gary Mason was chosen the 2019 Citizen of the Year based on his more than 56 years of tireless dedication to the Kiwanis Club of Chincoteague. Gary provides furniture to those who have none, hospital beds or other medical equipment during times of need, assistance with utility bills, and many more unrecognized acts of kindness for the residents and visitors of his beloved Chincoteague Island community. One nomination form said Gary “gives of his heart”, with a smile on his face and possibly a joke as well. Putting his own physical ailments aside at times, Gary works the Kiwanis yard sales and other fundraisers, putting up tents, moving furniture or whatever it takes to meet the needs of the island and the people he loves.

Donna Leonard was recognized for 30 years of service to the chamber board. Mary Alice Birch and Tommy Clark were recognized for ten years of service on the chamber board. “These three individuals have been trailblazers and invaluable leaders on the Chamber Board of Directors and will certainly be missed” said chamber executive director Evelyn Shotwell.

Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company Public Relations Officer Denise Bowden was presented with a check from the chamber as the recipient of the Easter Decoy & Art Festival silent auction of Pre-loved Treasures. Proceeds will go to the Building Fund for the new station which is located at 5052 Deep Hole Road.

Chamber staff updated attendees on growth, media placements, and overall forecast for the upcoming season.