Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
The Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was named in honor of Helmuth and Evelyn Heise, founders of Will O' the Wisp and Wisp Resort, Maryland's only downhill ski resort. The Heise Award is given to one business owner each year that has shown similar entrepreneurial qualities. The criteria for nomination include the following:
- Open to business owners including partners/families that originated, developed, and/or significantly expanded business
- Willingness to take risks with possibility of losing all
- Involved in the community
- High ethical standards
- Nominee must be a member of the Chamber of Commerce
- Demonstrated leadership (through one or more of the following): 1) By overcoming a formidable problem that threatened the business’s existence 2) By showing business acumen through embarking on a creative, insightful or overlooked opportunity that makes important contributions to Garrett County’s business environment 3) Through substantive community impact
The Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award Committee, composed of previous winners, will choose 3 finalists and present them to the Board with a recommended winner. Then the Chamber Board of Directors will choose the winner. The winner of the annual award is announced during the Annual Chamber Dinner and Meeting on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
You can make a nomination for the 2020 Heise Award by using the online form below or by downloading the form HERE and faxing it to 301-334-8073, emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nomination submissions due by EOD on Friday, April 10.
2019 Heise Award Winner
The winner of the 2019 Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was announced at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner held Thursday, June 6 at Wisp Resort. Martin Heise made the presentation to this year’s winner, Hugh Umbel, owner of Bear Creek Traders, Huey’s Ice Cream, Legacy Home Corp., McHenry Beverage Shoppe and Perkins Restaurant & Bakery.
Hugh is a Garrett County native who was raised in the Sand Spring community near Friendsville. After studying economics and marketing at American University, Hugh created Legacy Home Corp and began constructing custom-built homes in the Washington, D.C. area and part-time in the Deep Creek Lake area. He developed the Garrett County housing community, Waterfront Greens with Umbel-Goodfellow, turning it into a highly sought-after development. In 1992, Hugh began developing Market Square Shopping Center in the heart of McHenry and founded and operated the 20,000 sq. ft Shop ‘n Save Supermarket for over 20 years. Wanting to bring more choices to the area, he added Perkins Restaurant and Bakery to Market Square, a risky development, since he had no prior restaurant experience. Today, Perkins has become a staple in the community for tourists and residents. In June 2003, Hugh acquired McHenry Plaza Shopping Center which is home to McHenry Beverage Shoppe, and in June 2004, Hugh opened Bear Creek Traders, a retail store offering apparel, souvenirs and home décor and is one of the largest retail outlets in the county.
Hugh has employed thousands over his career and currently employs over 100 people, many of whom have been with him for over 10 years. Hugh has served on the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Chamber’s Vacation Guide, Social Events and Board Nominating Committees. Over the years, Hugh has sponsored numerous local events, organizations and events including schools, churches, the Deep Creek Fire Department, Art & Wine Festival, Autumn Glory and the July 4th Fire on the Mountain fireworks.
Past Recipients of the Heise Award
Bear Creek Traders, Legacy Home Corp., Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, McHenry Beverage Shoppe
Tom & Sara Jane Kuhn
Funland Family Fun Center
Railey Mountain Lake Vacations
Heilig's Plumbing & Electrical, LLC
Halian & Associates Landscapes
Skip & Linda Carr
CLS Ventures, Inc.
Book Mark'et & Antique Mezannine
Phenix Technologies, Inc.
Savage River Lodge
Michael Deligatti, Sr.
Arrowhead, Garrett 8 Cinema, Uno Chicago Grill
Brenda's Pizzeria & Trader's Coffee House
Dave & Mimi Demaree
Demaree Inflatable Boats, Inc.
State Farm Insurace
Will & Sharon Roszell
Garrett Automotive Company
Jim Flanigan, Sr.
Johnny's Bait House
Bill's Marine Service
Jonathan 'Smiley' Kessler
Smiley's Pizzeria & Fun Zone
Winners of the prestigious Autumn Glory Festival Golden Ambassador award have made major contributions to tourism in Garrett County. The winner of the Golden Ambassador award is announced at the Annual Autumn Glory Kick Off Reception.
The nomination form for the 2019 Golden Ambassador is now available. To nominate someone for this prestigious award, please complete the nomination form and return it by September 6, 2019 by emailing it to email@example.com, faxing it to 301.387.2080 attention Sarah or by mailing it to, or dropping it off at, The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce 15 Visitors Center Drive McHenry, MD 21541.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has named Bob Boal as the 2019 Honorary Golden Ambassador of the 52nd Annual Autumn Glory Festival. The announcement was made at the Annual Autumn Glory Kick-Off Reception & Dinner on October 9, 2019, sponsored by First United Bank & Trust. Patriot Automotive Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram: King of the 4WD is the title sponsor of the 52nd Annual Autumn Glory Festival.
The Golden Ambassador is awarded by the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce to a person who has contributed to and supported tourism in Garrett County. The Golden Ambassador is selected by a committee of former Golden Ambassador winners.“On behalf of the Chamber and the tourism community, I offer sincere congratulations to Bob on being named the 2019 Honorary Golden Ambassador,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber President and CEO. “Bob is so deserving of this recognition. His passion and commitment for creating tourism experiences while celebrating the history and heritage of Garrett County are unparalleled. He is a humble servant of this community and I am pleased that we are able to show appreciation for his tireless efforts.”Bob taught history at Southern Garrett High School for thirty-two years before working at the Garrett County Election Board for several years. Bob’s love of history led him to promote the heritage and history of Garrett County through his work with the Garrett County Historical Society, where he served as President for twenty years, and the Oakland B&O Museum and Train Station. Bob has played an instrumental role in the creation and maintenance of the county’s museums. He helped oversee the construction of a new Garrett County Historical Society Museum complete with a gazebo and gas house on the Deer Park Hotel Grounds. The Historical Society houses a treasure trove of exhibits related to the founding of Garrett County, the history of the area and the way of life for Garrett County citizens from years past. The Historical Society Museum features 9 rooms dedicated to Garrett County history including Arts & Recreation, Schools, Hotels, Military, Cabin, B&O Railroad, Garrett, Industrial, and Victorian.The Garrett County Transportation Museum was also Bob’s brain child and he played a pivotal role in the design, financing and construction of the Museum. He worked with contacts to find the perfect spot on Liberty Street and oversaw the design that incorporated the look of Garrett County buildings from the 1800s. He spent many hours working with a committee on obtaining financing from the Naylor Family Trust for the Museum and then oversaw the construction. The Transportation Museum, which opened in 2011, includes truck, boat and car displays along with a collection of Deep Creek Lake memorabilia dating back to the early days of the recreational area. Long-time visitors to Garrett County will enjoy reminiscing at the museum about businesses and events that built the lake into a vacation destination. The Museum also offers educational programming and a media-ready room hosts lectures, presentations, meetings and other events.Bob now serves as Vice President of the Garrett County Historical Society and is the co-editor of “The Glade Star”, the Society’s quarterly publication. A tireless advocate for the history of Garrett County, Bob also presents historical programs about the area to service and civic organizations such as the Lions and Rotary Clubs and Mary Browning Senior Center, among others. Bob also works to find historical artifacts to display at the county’s museums and bring donations in to keep the county’s museums running.
Past Recipients of the Golden Ambassador
Patty Manown Mash
Mike Dreisbach & Jan Russell
Edwin S. Walthall
Asa M. McCain, Jr.
Theodore J. Lascaris
Ernest J. Gregg, Jr.
Dr. Alta E. Schrock
Helmuth M. Heise
R. Rudy, Jr.
Rev. I. Lynn Beckman
2019 Volunteer of the Year Winner
The winner of the 2018-2019 Volunteer of the Year award was announced at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner, held Thursday, June 6 at Wisp Resort. Patty Manown Mash, Chair of the Board of the Chamber, made the presentation to this year’s winner, Chuck Olsson, Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer for First United Bank & Trust. Chuck Olsson is the Chair of the Work Ethic Diploma program working with the schools and businesses to create a program that instills a strong work ethic in our young people and helps our businesses hire quality employees. He assisted with the exit interviews required for each student enrolled in the program and recently presented Work Ethic diplomas to 32 students in the inaugural Class of 2019. Chuck also serves on the Chamber’s Work Force Development Task Force, has been involved with the Chamber’s HR Roundtable and has served on the steering committee since its formation in 2016. He has assisted in securing topics and speakers for the monthly meetings and has even shared his knowledge and experience as a presenter on different occasions. Chuck has also acted as a strong advocate of the HR Roundtable, often promoting it as a valuable resource for Chamber members.
Past Recipients of the Volunteer of the Year Award
First United Bank & Trust
Mayor, Town of Oakland
Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, Chair of the Autumn Glory Festival Committee
1st United Bank & Trust, Chair of the Diplomat Committee
Mark Stutzman, Laura Stutzman, Leigh Clarke, Paula Yudelevit, Emily Newman Edwards, Clint McCabe, Jonathan Kessler
Branding Study Committee
Long & Foster Realty
Diplomat of the Year Award
The Diplomats act as greeters at Chamber events, deliver new member packets, deliver membership directories, participate in new member orientations, attend Ribbon Cuttings/Grand Openings/Ground Breakings and present First Dollar of Profit certificates to new businesses. The Diplomat must be employed by a Chamber Member or the owner of a member business, must have been a chamber member for at least one year and employed with their business for at least 6 months. For their efforts, the Diplomats have the opportunity to compete with each other for the title of Diplomat of the Year. The Diplomat of the Year Award was established in 2015.
The Diplomat of the Year is determined through a points system given for membership packet distribution, Business After Hours Attendance, Business Before Hours Attendance, Ribbon Cuttings, Ground Breakings, Grand Opening & First Dollar of Profit Presentation Attendance, Recruiting New Members and Distribution of the Community Profile & Membership Directory.
2019 Diplomat of the Year Winner
The winner of the 2019 Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Diplomat of the Year award was announced at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner, held Thursday, June 6 at Wisp Resort. Patty Manown Mash, Chair of the Board of the Chamber, made the presentation to this year’s winner, Connor Norman of Norman Networking and Promotions. As a Chamber Diplomat, Connor attended 8 out of 10 Business After Hours, 2 out of 6 Business Before Hours, 18 out of 19 Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies, 5 out of 5 Diplomat meetings, helped in the distribution of New Member packets, and referred 3 new members to the Chamber, achieving a total of 242 points. This is Connor’s second year as a Garrett County Diplomat, first as Chair of the committee, and first achievement of Diplomat of the Year award.
Past Recipients of the Diplomat of the Year Award
Norman Networking and Promotions
Patty Manown Mash
Pine Lodge Steak House
Patty Manown Mash
Pine Lodge Steak House
Patty Manown Mash
Pine Lodge Steak House
First United Bank & Trust