2020 A+ Awards Show
Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Betsy McInnis of Amherst for her leadership of 19 years as a Board member and lead volunteer of Family Outreach of Amherst and the lasting impact her volunteer work will have on future generations. McInnis has been considered the ‘backbone of FOA’ with her annual leadership efforts of hosting “Light Up the Night.” Just this January, McInnis helped lead the Family Outreach of Amherst’s 30th Anniversary Celebration. Her volunteer work continues to elevate community understanding around serving and uplifting our most vulnerable through the advocacy and one-on-one case management provided by the staff at Family Outreach of Amherst.
Leader in Innovation Award recognizes Phoenix Fruit Farm of Belchertown for being instrumental in cultivating relationships with other local businesses to improve the economic climate of Belchertown. Their partnership support with the Farmer’s Market and your support of small business entrepreneurs such as Batch Ice Cream truck, among others, is a testament to how Phoenix Fruit Farm crafts creative solutions to redefine the way the Amherst Area works and lives, and we know it does not stop there. Owner, Elly Vaughan runs the business through a ‘fruit with a conscience’ motto, hosts a town favorite for morning coffee and groceries at their Country Store, their apples and peaches are sold across Massachusetts and Vaughan is currently growing their ‘Pick Your Own” part of the business, placing them on the map for leaf peeping and apple picking. Phoenix Fruit farm has proven itself as a model of innovation to other business owners in the Amherst Area and this dedicated work is much appreciated and deserves public recognition.
Leader in Sustainability Award recognizes Kestrel Land Trust of Amherst for its work to create a sustainable Amherst Area, by preserving 25,000 acres across our communities while celebrating 50 years serving as a major force in forest land protection, farm land conservation, and in creating (and expanding) outdoor recreational space in Amherst and throughout Hampshire County. The Kestrel Land Trust is not only providing much needed open space which has been so ‘healing to many during COVID,’ it has also made critical pathways to preserve wildlife ensuring its vitality for future generations of wildlife and humanity alike.
Young Professional Award honors Ash Crawford for being defined as the ‘epitome of innovation and entrepreneurship’ in the Amherst area. As Director of Operations at Amherst Coffee, Crawford helped the business adapt to the new reality of COVID, including setting up an online marketplace, creating a safe and efficient take-out service and starting the ‘Thursday night Sidewalk Bar.’ Their response to COVID demonstrated experimentation, helped keep Amherst Coffee afloat while Crawford simultaneously continued to grow his own business: Quivr. As Co-Founder, of this coffee and tea brand company, expanded its reach online and in local vendors, and introduces new products., including body scrubs and branded apparel. Crawford’s dedicated work as a rising young professional has made a positive impact on the Amherst Area at the most difficult of times.
Community Service Award honors Mercedes-Benz of Springfield in recognition of their outreach efforts through their Driven By Community platform, the lives and jobs of the Amherst Area community benefitted greatly, especially at this difficult time. From the moment Mercedes-Benz of Springfield opened their doors, they supported over 300 local non-profits across our region. When COVID hit, they pivoted their Mercedes-Benz of Springfield Driven By Community platform to place a spotlight on the plight of our small businesses, and raised awareness while raising $20,000 for our Amherst Area businesses and beyond. Their dedicated work has benefited the lives of the Amherst Area community through their work and outreach.
Chamber MVP is Lisa Eugin of Encharter Insurance and an Amherst Area Chamber Ambassador who embodies the mission of the Amherst Area Chamber as a convener, connector, and catalyst for business and community development. As a steadfast Chamber Ambassador, Eugin took advocacy, support and partnership for significant Chamber programming to a new level and was key to the successful launch of our Launching Women Luncheon series programming, and while playing a large role in pivoting vital Chamber programming during this challenging time. Any time there was a need for a helping hand, Eugin was on hand to serve and therefore, earning recognition as the 2020 Chamber MVP.
New this year!
Join us and VOTE FOR this year’s 2020 COVID-Hero live! Our COVID-Hero is a nonprofit or individual such as, doctors, health providers, nurses, teachers, and first responders who provided essential support services and went above and beyond and took initiative to put others before self and moved forward to benefit the greater good. We have created this dedicated award to celebrate the courage, lives and heroic spirit of those that have been impacted by COVID-19, while celebrating those who sacrificed to move us forward. Live voting will be for the following organizations or individuals:
COVID Hero Nominees:
- Amherst Survival Center
- Arizona Pizza
- Bistro 63
- Mary Beth Ogulewicz, Amherst Senior Center
- Rebekah Demling, ARPS PGO
- Wheelhouse Catering
Each of these esteemed businesses has contributed in different ways to supporting community and have demonstrated resilience during this time of uncertainty. More about why each of these organizations or individuals were named will be forthcoming over the next few weeks on our social media channels.
Also, new this year, David Jeffway, a UMass Isenberg alum and owner of Sharper Vision will be creating video tributes for each awardee.
New ticketing structure for our A+ Virtual Awards Show: $20 Awards Virtual Access Pass to the View the Live Awards Show; or $50 Awards VIP Tickets Access Package to the View the Live Awards Show, $25 Amherst Area Gift Certificate, Hard-Copy of 2020 A+ Awards Journal, and Gifts from our Sponsors. Registration is open and A + Award Dinner sponsorships and ads are still available for our virtual extravaganza. More at amherstarea.com. Please email Claudia Pazmany, Executive Director, for any inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org