MADISON, NJ - The Madison Area Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Awards Dinner on Monday, June 6 at The Madison Hotel where achievement awards were given in eight categories at the year end celebration.
Approximately 100 guests attended the event which was filled with good cheer and camaraderie celebrating some of Madison's finest downtown businesses, individuals and organizations.
"The Chamber's Annual Award Dinner honors outstanding Madison businesses and this year we also recognized improvements to the community by the good people of several vital, local non-profits," said Chamber President John Morris.
Honorees were selected unanimously by the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
Chamber members Whole Foods Market of Madison, Jacquie Dinsmore of TAPinto Madison, Georgeanne Limbach of Madison and The Madison Pharmacy served as event sponsors.
In the Business Improvement category, the Chamber honored Healthy Italia of 55 Main St. with the “2016 Outstanding Interior Renovation Award." Health Italia is specialty marketplace and cooking school where customers are invited to experience authentic Italian cuisine with products and classes designed to share the language, culture and food of Italy.
Also honored was STRYXE of 300 Main St. with the “2016 Innovation Award.” STRYXE is a boutique entertainment venue featuring bowling, amusements, an upscale eatery, wood fired specialty pizza, two bars and private event space.
Both winners are new businesses and the Chamber saluted both for making Madison their home.
The “2016 Appreciation Award" honored Janet Allocco, Executive Director of The Madison Community House.
"Janet is deserving of this recognition due to the love, value and importance she puts into the things she does, not only for the Chamber but for the entire community,” said Michael Odell of Odell & Critchley, P.C. in prepared remarks.
The Chamber “2016 Volunteer of the Year Award” was presented to Meg Wastie, a curator of The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts for her outstanding contributions to the business community.
"Meg volunteers her valuable time to be our special Easter Bunny at the Chamber's Easter Fun Fest,” said Karen Giambra, Executive Director of the Chamber. "We appreciate her time and thank her for the huge smiles she brings to our event year after year."
The Chamber awarded the Madison Area YMCA with the “2016 Non-Profit of the Year Award” for “it’s singular efforts focused on improving the the well-being of the community and individuals.”
“We truly value that the people of the Madison Area YMCA are dedicated to improving the well-being of the community and individuals,” said Chamber Vice President Danielle Dixon of the firm of Thomas R. DeTitta, CPA, in prepared remarks.
"The members, staff and administration of the Madison Area YMCA are outstanding supporters of the local business community and we want to thank them for their support and encouragement," Dixon said.
The “2016 Community Service Award” was given to The Garden Club of Madison for its endless efforts and commitment in restoring and improving common spaces for the betterment and quality of our community.
The recipients of “2016 Distinguished Service Award” that honored the volunteer Citizens Committee that devised, organized and implemented the “Walk With A Veteran” paver project and revitalization at the James Park triangle received a standing ovation at the Awards Dinner.
"The Citizen’s Committee’s devoted efforts -- which included new benches, improved illumination and enhanced landscaping -- have transformed historic James Park into an inviting and lasting place of beauty, honor and remembrance right in the heart of Madison," Morris said.
"The paver project and revitalization of James Park shows that Madison’s history is always with us and its up to us to give it the hard-won respect it deserves."
Former Madison Mayor Jack Dunne, the chair of project, and his fellow members of the Citizens Committee accepted the award.
The much anticipated “Extra Mile Award” is the only Chamber honor determined by the general public. The Bar Method of Madison was the 2016 recipient.
"We honor the Bar Method of Madison for their overall commitment to their clients and to the community," said Giambra. "They successfully lead by example and have created a loving, community-based "family" focusing on healthy living, education and outreach, friendship and fun."
"The ‘Extra Mile Award’ recognizes employees who provide outstanding customer service and go the extra step to make certain that when doing business, Madison is the only place to be," Giambra said.
"It was a pleasure to be one of this year's sponsors," said Dinsmore of TAPinto Madison. "Honoring the work that business owners and organizations in Madison do for the public is what makes the Madison Chamber and town so special. It is important to remember and recognize the people who go out of their way everyday to make Madison the wonderful community it is."