Four recipients were honored with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s most prestigious awards at the 112th Annual Membership Dinner. Nearly 300 Chamber members attended the event to learn about how the Chamber was working for them and Columbia during the past year.
“This year has proven that the Chamber is what it is because of our volunteers,” Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick said. “Without the help of our members, the Chamber would not be able to do a fraction of what we have accomplished. Within the past year, we’ve grown as the voice of the business community by assisting every one of our nearly 1,100 members.”
The following individuals were honored:
- Paul Land of Plaza Commercial Realty was named the 2017 Outstanding Citizen. Friends and business partners say Land is always thinking about Columbia as a whole. They say he’s thinking about ways to make Columbia more appealing to businesses and its citizens. Through his professional work and involvement in a number of community organizations over the years, almost every business in Columbia has been positively affected by Land in one way or the other.
- Erica Pefferman of The Business Times Company was awarded the Debin Benish Oustanding Businesswoman Award. Pefferman is the president of the Business Times Company and has exhibited amazing leadership by managing four publications in the mid-Missouri area. She has remained on the cutting edge as the magazine industry has changed over the years. Pefferman’s leadership has led her to winning many different awards including the 2017 Small Business of the Year. Other businesswomen look to her for guidance and she is always willing to help.
- Sean Spence of the Better Business Bureau received the George and Nadine Trial Ambassador of the Year A Spence was not only recognized for the number of ribbon cuttings he has attended throughout the year, but for his enthusiasm he shows towards businesses. The Ambassadors are considered the welcoming arm of the Chamber and Spence exemplifies that in the way he conducts himself daily.
- Allie Marrone of Roto-Rooter Drain Cleaning & Plumbing was this year’s recipient of the Emerging Professional of the Year Award. Marrone has been a role model for young professionals in Columbia. Her involvement has not only been with young professionals, but she has also been a leader in the Chamber. She is in charge of planning one of the largest events of the year, the Business Showcase. She’s also shown to give back to the community by spending countless hours volunteering with several organizations.
“These award recipients are an amazing group of individuals,” McCormick said. “They have brought people closer to the Chamber and opened their eyes to how welcoming the business community can be.”
The Columbia Chamber of Commerce was established in 1905 and is a voluntary, member-supported organization of business, industrial and professional people who are dedicated to developing, promoting and maintaining a sound and healthy economic climate for Columbia. The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is recognized as a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the United States Chamber of Commerce.