Summerville, SC - The Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce recognized their best of 2017 at the annual Economic Forecast Luncheon, Membership Meeting and Awards Ceremony held at Summerville Presbyterian Church on January 30, 2018. Awards were given in the categories of Small Business of the Year (50 employees or fewer), Large Business of the Year (greater than 50 employees), Nonprofit of the Year, and the Berlin G. Myers Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 2017 Small Business of the Year award was given to Summerville Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. Dr. Dorothy Baker opened Summerville Pediatric Dentistry's doors in August of 2009 with the mission to provide specialty dental care for patients of all ages with special health care needs. While it is impressive to mention that they support a plethora of community and civic organizations, it is important to share that Dr. Baker’s dream has always been to open a business in her hometown. She purchased the land and worked odd jobs out of town to save the money to construct her building. She even opened her practice during the recession. Now Summerville Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics has two locations, 13 staff members, two additional doctors, and offers orthodontic services. Finalists in the Small Business of the Year category included Cypress Engineering and Landmark 12 Consulting.
The 2017 Large Business of the Year award was given to Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union. Founded in 1955, Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union, today, is a $568 Million Dollar community partner that serves more than 43,000 members through its 12 branches that spread throughout Dorchester, Charleston, Berkeley and Colleton counties. Their guiding principles are safety and soundness, honesty and integrity, advocacy and excellence. Heritage Trust generously makes investments in every community in which it serves, including our military. Founded as the Charleston Air Force Base Credit Union, Heritage Trust continues to be a leader in many activities that support our armed forces. They host a series of educational seminars for businesses and/or individuals. Additionally, Heritage Trust partnered with local school districts to develop a “student-run” credit union branch at Summerville High, Cane Bay and Goose Creek High. Notably, they recently facilitated the Reality of Money simulation to 850 students at four local high schools. These are excellent examples of their commitment to education and bridging the gap of education and workforce. The Inn at Middleton Place was the other finalist in the category of Large Business of the Year.
The 2017 Nonprofit of the Year award was given to Summerville Meals on Wheels. They have been delivering hot, nutritious meals to elderly and homebound adults since 1982. This organization started when a group of Summerville residents saw a need for home-delivered meals to help their neighbors in need of good nutrition due to age or illness. Through their commitment, Meals on Wheels was founded and now operates with a staff of four and a volunteer base of over 200 community members who deliver more than 165 fresh meals each weekday. The meals are community sponsored, as Meals on Wheels receives no government funding.
Finalists in the Nonprofit of the Year category included Dorchester Paws and the Summerville Community Orchestra.
The 2017 Berlin G. Myers Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Mr. Dusty Rhodes. A retired US Naval Captain, Rhodes has been a long-time resident of our community. Rhodes served as Director of the Summerville Chamber of Commerce for 14 years, where he made a mark on our Chamber in his leadership within the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. He continues to serve as a Lifetime Achievement Member of the Association. His vision for the Chamber and our community was a catalyst for where we are today. Additionally, Dusty has achieved recognition of honor from the Summerville Rotary Club and other organizations for his leadership and community support. He and his lovely wife, Emmagene, own and operate the Bed and Breakfast of Summerville. In 2017 they celebrated 60 years of marital bliss! Dusty exemplifies all of the qualifications that make this award one with the highest honor. The award is given in honor of the late and former Mayor Berlin George Myers, who demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and used his skills to make the Town of Summerville a better place for all. Recipients of this award are distinguished and influential individuals that exhibit impeccable character, leadership, honesty, integrity, passion and success, just like the very special Berlin G. Myers.