HOLLYWOOD, Md. – On May 10th, the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce held its annual business awards celebration – which honored four Chamber members that represent the success and corporate citizenship that contribute to making St. Mary’s County a great place to live and do business. The nomination process is open to all Chamber members and the recipients are chosen by a selection committee representing a cross section of our membership and past recipients. In addition, Sheriff Steve Hall was the keynote speaker.
This year’s Lighthouse Award will go to AV3, Inc.
This award recognizes a business 0f 16 or more employees that has been in business for at least four years. Nominees must (1) show revenue growth & job creation, (2) be recognized for excellence in their industry, (3) demonstrate innovative and creative product, customer service, management, staff development and marketing practices, and (4) be involved with the community.
AV3, Inc. is a Maryland Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) operating in the beautiful backdrop of St. Mary’s County. AV3, Inc. has a 17-year-old history providing Audio Visual (AV)hardware and installation, maintenance, and warranty services support to customers globally.
Incorporated in 2006, Owners, Jason Burroughs and Lou Nicholas have evolved their business into what it is today; one of the top AV-integrators in the nation. Together, they have established a reputation as a trusted partner in technology by upholding the highest standards of audiovisual solutions by providing the DoD, State Government, Local Government, Educational Institutions, and Enterprise Commercial clients with the best-in-class technology products, managed solutions, and professional services.
AV3, Inc. not only excels at customer service and innovation but strives to consistently put their employees and community first! They have cultivated a culture that invests in their employee’s growth, development, and making sure they feel valued and appreciated.
Additionally, AV3, Inc. places an emphasis on upholding a sense of service in the community that has provided tremendous opportunity for their business and employees. Their organization recognizes they are a part of a larger community within and outside of St. Mary’s County and strives to support their neighbors whenever possible.
This year’s Beacon Award goes to S. Hunt Aero, LLC.
This award is like the Lighthouse Award and recognizes business 0f up to 15 employees.
S. Hunt Aero, LLC was established in 2013 with a focus on developing and managing aviation and technology-related facilities on or adjacent to St. Mary’s County Regional Airport. S. Hunt Aero purchased 81 acres adjacent to the airport for the purpose of developing the property to spur industry and growth. Subsequently, St. Mary’s County designated the Airport and the adjacent area as the Aeropark Innovation District.
S. Hunt Aero, LLC has been a catalyst for technology and aviation-related economic development in the Aeropark Innovation District by constructing infrastructure and buildings including 7 large commercial hangars, 6 General Aviation hangar buildings which added 38 hangars to the airport inventory, 4 office/high bay flex buildings, the University of Maryland UAS Research and Operations Center (UROC), and the TechPort building.
S. Hunt Aero, LLC is proud to be an integral part of the growth and revitalization of St. Mary’s Country Regional Airport and looks forward to an exciting future as we travel the next mile of Southern Maryland aviation.
The 2023 Emerging Business Award goes to Above Par Golf & Entertainment.
Akin to the Lighthouse and Beacon awards, this award recognizes a business that has completed a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years in business, and has demonstrated growth in customers, revenue, and number of employees.
Above Par Golf & Entertainment opened in September of 2021, with a goal to provide a central indoor location for golfers of all skill levels to feel welcome. Owners Ryan and Becky Goldsborough wanted to provide entertainment and expertise for all. During their research and development stages, they found virtual simulators that provided services beyond just golf, including baseball, football, archery, and can be upgraded to add dozens of other sports and games! They knew indoor entertainment was needed in Southern Maryland, and this brick-and-mortar business would pair perfectly with their already ongoing golf tournament business.
Above Par provides an active community gathering place for individuals and area organizations and offers is full turnkey coordination of golf outings as fundraising events. In total, they have organized events that have raised an estimated $100,000.00 for area non-profits. There is also space available for private event rentals.
Their business is built on creating positive experiences for customers and building loyalty in those relationships and making it easy to do business with them. They even added crypto/NFT as an optional form of payment and can conduct online virtual golf club fittings.
The 2023 Community Service Award will be presented to Dunkin Donuts – The Java Group, LLC.
This award recognizes a business that (1) contributes to community-oriented projects and enhancements with service to boards, charities, mentoring, scholarships, etc. (2) Gives time and energy to Chamber service, (3) Shows leadership and support of other Chamber members, (4) Displays an exemplary business/community image.
Maria Icaza and her husband opened their first Dunkin’ in 2007. Today they have five stores between St. Mary’s and Calvert County. Maria regularly advocates for small businesses at the national, state, and local level. She has been the leader for the Washington DC Dunkin’ Franchisees for the last 15 years.
She is the co-chair of the Ad Committee for the DC Market and sits on the Brand Advisory Council for Dunkin’ Brands. She also sits on Dunkin’s Government affairs and Consumer Engagement committees, and the Joy in Childhood Foundation. The mission of the Joy in Childhood Foundation is to help sick and hungry children. Created by Dunkin’, every year on National Iced Coffee Day (May 23, 2023), the Dunkin’ Franchises donate a $1 from every coffee sale to benefits Childrens’ National Hospital in DC.
Maria believes in growing talent from within the organization and providing opportunities for those who embrace it. Her store managers all started as crew members and through coaching, mentoring, and hard work, are now leaders. She is a big supporter of the Special Olympics and employes at least one special needs individual in each of her stores.
Maria believes in giving back to the community. She sponsors school programs and supports a number of nonprofit organizations in the community. She is a member of the Lexington Park Rotary Club, past Member of the Board of Directors of the St Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce, and was the Co-Chair for the Judicial nominating Committee for St Mary’s and Calvert County for the past 8 years. She currently sits on the Calvert Health Foundation Board.
2022 Business Award recipients were:
- Beacon: Tobacco Barn Distillery
- Lighthouse: Askey, Askey & Associates, CPA, LLC
- Emerging: Shepherd’s Old Field Market
- Community Service: Servpro of St. Mary’s and Calvert County
This year’s honorees will be recognized at the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Celebration, held on Wednesday, March 10, from 11:00 – 1:30 pm (program starts at noon) at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department.
For more information, visit the Chamber website: https://smcchamber.com or call 301-737-3001.