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News Story
Updated: 01/29/2014 08:00:02AM

Fort Meade’s Chamber spirit is alive and well

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PHOTOS BY BRIAN ACKLEY

The Fort Meade Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards luncheon earlier this months, with the theme of the Pioneer Spirit is Alive and Well. Guest speaker was Philip G. Mowry, vice-president and chief legal officer with WellDyne Inc. in Lakeland. Mowry spent the first 11 years in law, serving as Assistant Attorney General for Ohio, and then later as an active duty Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force, reaching the rank of Major. Mowry entered the corporate world, and worked for Reynolds & Reynolds and then LexisNexis before joining WellDyne, which helps sponsor a pharmacy technician learning academy at Fort Meade High School. Mowry also started his own company during the recent recession involved in the re-purposing of human capital, and has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for a multi-site technology incubator. He joined WellDyne in 2010.

Chamber President Vera Cannon, left, presents Ragon Barnett III with the 2013 Vision Business Award, given for special recognition as an established commercial enterprise that envisioned what could be and then set its sites on making it a lasting business landmark in Fort Meade .

Janice Thomson, right, was honored with the 2013 Walter Bryant Community Service Award for personifying the word “volunteer” through a life of freely giving time and talent to
help Fort Meade raise the bar a little higher. New Fort Meade Chamber of Commerce President Vera Cannon, left, presented the award.

Toula Giannopoulos, left, gets a hug from Dakota Hodge, who presented an award named after his grandfather Larry.

The Fort Meade Chamber's 2013 Larry Hodge Humanitarian Award was presented to Toula Giannopoulos, left. Presenting was Hodge's grandson Dakota. The aware is given with appreciation for the compassionate service given within this community without desire to be recognized but ever aware of and quietly meeting the needs of others.

Outgoing Chamber President Robert Sweeney, right, receives a plaque of appreciation from Chamber coordinator Priscilla Perry, center, during the group's annual awards luncheon Jan. 15 at the city mobile home park. Sweeney spent three years as the group's leader. Vera Cannon, left, is the new chamber president.

Scott Fowler wasn't able to attend the chamber lunch, but no doubt he looks a lot more comfortable in front of a slab or ribs and some great steaks than he would accepting an award. The Fort Meade chamber voted its 2013 Community Fellowship Focus Award to Fowler's Grocery for partnering with civic, school, and non-profit entities for the purpose of enhancing and supporting events and projects of importance to the residents of Fort Meade. Also honored was local businessman John Stephens, who was not able to attend the luncheon. He received the 2013 Commercia Development Award for ensuring the future of the city by promoting commercial re-generation and expansion as Fort Meade moves forward.

Virginia Cagle, left, was a 2013 Fort Meade Chamber award winner, after being honored with the Pioneer Small Business Award for her store, Chinoiserie Antiques and Gifts for industrious dedication to build an innovative and commercial venture embodying the pioneer spirit of Fort Meade. This month's award isn't the only time she's been recognized. In 2011, she was honored with the Curb Appeal Award from the Fort Meade Vision Committee, presented by Debra Howell, right.

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