Chincoteague, VA—May 25, 2022: The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce recognized and honored business leaders and community servants at the annual awards show held Tuesday night at the Island Theater. Attendees helped celebrate the 75th anniversary of the art deco treasure known and loved by so many islanders. Channel Bass Inn hosted the event sponsored by Axient, Seaside Vacations & Sales and Pico Taqueria.

The highlight of the event was the announcement of the Citizen and Businessman of the Year. A committee appointed by the Board of Directors of the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce reviews all nominations and carefully selects candidates who they believe demonstrate excellence in professional and community leadership and exhibit the highest moral and ethical standards. high. The nominee must make a significant contribution to the well-being of the community through involvement and participation in civic, social, educational, charitable or business activities.

The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 John White Shields Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Billie Ann Bowden in recognition of her selfless contributions to voluntary organizations in addition to helping friends and family in times of need. She is a member of Chapter #62 Order of the Eastern Star and the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary. Billie Ann devotes many hours each week to The United Methodist Church of Christ’s Opportunity Shop and Manna Café. Accompanying doctor’s appointments, feeding sick or bereaved families and helping fellow citizens are part of his daily life. It has been said that Billie Ann will take on tasks that others cannot or will not do, not for return gain, but because she is a ‘generous, caring and committed citizen’, according to her newsletter. of voting.

The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Leonard “Buddy” Burton Businessman of the Year Award was posthumously awarded to Rick Watson of WatsonGas Inc. Rick served on the Seafood Festival Committee for many years, even before the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce became the organizer in 2011, providing free gas for the event and spending countless hours on the grounds the week before and the day to make sure all the fryers and stoves were working properly. He is respected for the quality of service that WatsonGas has always provided, but Rick is best known for his friendliness. The nomination paper states: “The Rick Watson family is the embodiment of what all businesses should be. They are an asset to our room and an asset to our island.

Outgoing Board member Rebecca Hudson was thanked for her recent Board service and presented with a plaque of appreciation. Chamber staff informed the public of upcoming advertising campaigns to reach driving markets in Hampton Roads, Richmond, Northern Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. The chamber website, chincoteaguechamber.comwill also receive a facelift in 2022. The focus on search engine optimization and increased spending dollars on digital marketing are expected to yield huge benefits for the upcoming travel season, which is shaping up to be very strong.