On December 13, The Middleburg Business and Professional Association held its final Biz Buzz meeting of 2016 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church’s Parish House.
The evening reviewed the past year, celebrated the organization’s recent successes, including reaching a record-breaking membership of some 119 members and served as the setting for the formal recognition of some of the Middleburg community’s most outstanding role models and citizens.
The Legacy Award
Laura and Larry Clark of Wylie Wagg accepted the Legacy Award, honoring their commitment to animals and the legacy they’ve created in Middleburg.
The Clarks moved from Manhattan to Middleburg after 9/11, opened their first store in Middleburg in 2002 and later opened four more.
The Clarks became respected advocates for keeping pets healthy, animal rescue, and community events like the “Dog Days of August.” They also help the Middleburg Eccentric’s only animal columnist write his popular “Albert’s Corner” column.
Accepting the award Laura Clark said, “I can’t thank all of you enough We were able to do something we loved for a long time and love all of you all. This is such an honor.”
Kriser’s Natural Pet has now purchased the Clark’s successful chain, but Middleburg will keep and celebrate both its pet store and the Clarks’ enduring legacy.
Frontline Customer Service Awards
The Association honored Sam Rogers of the Red Horse Tavern and Gemma Brown of the Salamander Resort and Spa with it’s “Frontline Service Award.”
“Sam Rogers treats all of his customers as friends, and is always quick to ask about you and your family,” MBPA President Lee said. He always “puts his customers at ease,” she noted, with a greeting that “makes you feel that he had been waiting all day for your arrival.”
“He is kind to his staff, generous to local charities, not only with food but with cash and gift cards, and has a following second to none.”
Gemma Brown of Salamander Resort & Spa was awarded the Frontline Service Award for Hospitality.
Gemma defines the resort’s hospitality “with genuine care and a high level of service awareness that sets the environment for resort guests and their experience,” President Lee noted.
Retail Customer Service Award
Cindy Wines of Middleburg Millwork Inc. received the organization’s “Retail Customer Service Award.”
“Cindy knows her customers, is knowledgeable about the products and is always kind and thoughtful to everyone,” Lee said.
Town Spirit Award
Recently retired Middleburg Town Council Member Bundles Murdock took home the Town Spirit Award for her dedication to the Middleburg community.
Lee praises her readiness to promote and help with anything that will serve the town’s best interests, as well as her service on the Town Planning Commission and Town Council.
“She appears to be everywhere you look — in the coffee shop, the post office, the town office, every once in a while riding around in a police car, at the community center, out to stop traffic to keep her Orange County Hounds safe or at the National Sporting Library & Museum — yet she always has time to greet a visitor with a smile, give directions, make a suggestion for a day’s outing — locally, of course — and even offer a ride to someone left behind,” Lee said.
Power of One Award
Sheila Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts received the Power of One Award. “She is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, neighbor, mother, and friend,” Lee said. “She is serious, funny, hardworking and a real non-stop dynamo. She is probably one of Middleburg’s biggest cheerleaders.”
Johnson built and opened Salamander Resort & Spa for visitors and locals alike, Lee noted, and she also brought the community “movies that would make us think, discuss, interact and enjoy” via the Middleburg Film Festival. “To Dr. Sheila Johnson, we thank you for following your dreams and that they have happened to come true in Middleburg.”
Volunteer of the Year
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Snooks Swain, who served as a Middleburg police officer in the ’60s and with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office until the mid-’90s.
As a volunteer, Swain has supported the Seven Loaves Food Pantry, and Middleburg FISH served as a deacon at the Middleburg Baptist Church and on the town-appointed Health Center Advisory Board and Wellhead Protection Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Winchester Moose Lodge 1283 and the Middleburg Fire Department, which he joined in 1953.
The Leven Powell Award
The Leven Powell Award, named after Middleburg’s founder, went to Bob Dale for his outstanding work and commitment to help the Middleburg community achieve common goals and collaborate on projects.
Dale spent 40 years in the Middleburg office of Yount, Hyde & Barbour and now serves as the executive director of the Windy Hill Foundation.
“Windy Hill is gaining a tremendous leader as well as someone with a thorough understanding of Middleburg and the needs of the foundation’s many residents,” Lee said.