The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce honored several businesses and individuals as part of its virtual awards ceremony for 2020-2021.

Grove Veterinary Clinic was chosen as Business of the Year for its high level of commitment to caring for patients and community members through the pandemic. They cared for animals displaced by the wildfires last year, developed an innovative curbside care model for patients, donated personal protection equipment to local health hospital and healthcare workers, and developed a mental health program for their employees, among other accomplishments.

Business Person of the Year was awarded to Richard O’Hearn, financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments, for his commitment to his clients over the past year’s financial ups and downs. He went above and beyond to keep in touch and make sure his clients were staying safe and healthy. O’Hearn was also recognized as the Chamber Ambassador of the Year. He has been a chamber ambassador for seven years, volunteered at many events, served on the chamber’s board of directors since 2015, and recently served as the ambassador chair for the 2020-2021 year.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! World of Adventure was presented with the Beautification Award of the Year for its recent remodel. It’s buildings brighten the Bayfront with colorful exterior walls, murals of native fish, awe-inspiring sculptures made of recycled tires and scrap metal, and beautiful flowerbeds and shrubs lining Bay Boulevard.

The Don M. Rowley Spirit of Service and Outstanding Volunteerism Award was presented to both Jenny Lingo and Larimee Ward. Both women gave hours of selfless volunteerism to the chamber during the pandemic, including assembling hundreds of wine baskets sold during the To-Go Seafood & Wine Festival.

The President’s Award, presented by outgoing Board President Al Fitzpatrick, was given to Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer for his helpful communications over the last year, sharing important information through social media and encouraging citizens to patronize local businesses during the pandemic.

The chamber also wishes to extend special thanks to Lila and Eric Timmons for designing the handmade stained glass and wooden awards.

For more information about the annual meeting and awards banquet and other chamber events, contact the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce at 541-265-8801.

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