Six years ago the Hopewell/Prince George Chamber of Commerce established a committee called CHART, which stands for Chamber Recognition Team. Each year the members achieve success, challenge themselves, and contribute tremendously to the community and their professions and employees.

Becky McDonough is the head of the chamber awards. McDonough sets up all the award ceremonies, gets all the nominees ready, and helps get the awards made to be handed out.

“We also wanted to recognize the President of the Chamber, the staff, and the ambassadors to have a way to recognize who did the heavy volunteer lifting in a given year,” McDonough said.

Volunteers are an integral part of the Hopewell/Prince George Chamber business  model.

The team establishes the awards, they ask for nominations, and then a small committee uses a matrix to determine who has the strongest nomination.

“These awards are not given out to just anyone, but people are nominated and they are earned based off of hard work,” McDonough said.

The number varies because sometimes there are no nominees for certain categories.  The categories include Innovative Business Practices, Economic Growth, Customer Service, Safety, Environmental Impact, Beautification, Health & Wellness, Ambassador of the Year, Chamber Champion, and President’s Award.

These awards are handed out at the Annual Membership Meeting, which this year will be February 22, at Upper Shirley Vineyards from 1 AM – 1 PM. This event is for members only.

Awards are given out annually for the previous year’s accomplishments so this year they are recognizing 2017 accomplishments.

The awards are for the Hopewell/Prince George Chamber. Its members are predominantly from Hopewell and Prince George but will also have members from Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Petersburg, Charles City, and Richmond.  The chairpersons of the CHART are Beverly Epps and John Randolph Hospital.

These awards also help the Chamber staff and Board of Directors be more informed about the great work of the region’s organizations, local governments, businesses, non-profits, and schools.

The Hopewell/Prince George Chamber gets new members from all across the region. Having new people join brings more opportunities into the county and can help build chemistry and bonds with the citizens. People working hard to improve these counties should be rewarded for their help.

For members, it is great seeing what the new changes are. The more people who help, the more the counties grow and build as one unite. These awards are not something one gets for helping one person or just being a member.

“You have to work hard to become a nominee for the chamber awards,” McDonough said.

Members pay an investment fee each year to be a part of an organization that works for economic growth. Economic growth is what drives the economy, funds the government and schools.  If businesses are successful, then residents have jobs, localities have revenue, and citizens have a sustainable community.

Being a member of the club gives them opportunities to help out in the county and environment. Members speak on matters affecting them, research business issues, encourage investment, work to broaden the tax base, support crime prevention programs, and recognize the importance of education. It also helps build business in Prince George County, and for newcomers, they are a source for understanding the community.

“It is never too late to become a member and be great [and] receive an award for all your hard work,” McDonough said.