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 6, 2019.
You can make a nomination for the 2019 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, or mailing it to Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, 15 Visitors Center Drive, McHenry, MD 21541. Nomination submissions due by EOD on Friday, April 12.
2018 Heise Award Winner
The winners of the 2018 Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award are Tom and Sara Jane Kuhn, owners of Funland Family Fun Center. For twenty years, the Kuhns operated Funland as a summer business, with no indoor restrooms or air conditioning. In 1992, with the expansion of the lake sewer system, the Kuhns tore down the old arcade and replaced it with a larger building that would include pizza sales, ice cream, indoor restrooms and air conditioning. In 1994, they added bumper cars, a climbing wall and the miniature golf course was updated to a more modern course with water falls, streams, lakes and a cave highlighting some of Garrett County's history. Today, Funland Family Fun Center, the second longest continuously owned business on Rt. 219, is open daily in season and on weekends year round. Tom and Sara donate their time to the Lions Club and Sara was a long-time member of the Business and Professional Women (BPW). Over the years, they have supported local organizations like Believe in Tomorrow, the Dove Center, Garrett Mentors, Garrett County after school programs, local Fire and Rescue Departments, local church Bible School programs and more. They sponsor the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce's annual July 4th Fire on the Mountain Fireworks Display in McHenry each year, they provide complimentary Funland passes to local students attending annual After-Proms and they have given contributions to the youth and families involved with the Overlook Judy Center. Click here to see all of the past winners.
Past Recipients of the Heise Award
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
Golden Ambassador Award
Winners of the presitgious Autumn Glory Festival Golden Ambassador award have made major contributions to tourism in Garrett County and the Autumn Glory Festival. The winner of the Golden Ambassador award is announced at the Annual Autumn Glory Kick Off Reception.
The nomination form for the 2017 Golden Ambassador is now available. To nominate someone for this prestigious award, please complete the nomination form and return it by September 8 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.
2017 Golden AmbassadorPatty Manown Mash was named as the 2017 Honorary Golden Ambassador of the 50th Annual Autumn Glory Festival. The announcement was made at the Annual Autumn Glory Kick-Off Reception on October 11, 2017, sponsored by Clear Mountain Bank. Garrett Regional Medical Center, a proud affiliate of WVU Medicine, is the sponsor of the 50th 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.After moving to Garrett County in 1979, Patty became a salesperson for what was then the Village Inn. There, Patty worked as a one-woman show to bring groups and bus tours to Garrett County; she even served as a greeter and step-on tour guide at a group’s arrival, setting up activities and entertainment. Patty also volunteered to work many tourism trade shows to promote the area. With her role at the Village Inn, she was elected to the board of the Garrett County Promotion Council and she helped Garrett County gain a statewide presence by developing a relationship with the Maryland Office of Tourism.Following her stint at the Village Inn, Patty spent over 20 years working for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as Public Affairs Officer for Western Maryland. During that time, she promoted Garett County to visitors and guests, provided information about the area’s state parks and advocated for Garrett County to state decision-makers.Since her retirement in 2011, Patty continues to fulfill the role as ambassador to visitors to Garrett County. She has served as a greeter and assisted in the retail store at Wisp Resort where she provides information about the area to guests. She also serves as a step-on tour guide and group tour leader for tour buses that come to Garrett County and assisted with the Autumn Glory Craft & Gift Show at the Garrett County Fairgrounds.Patty has served as the Chair of the Chamber’s Marketing Roundtable Committee and she currently chairs the Diplomats. She serves on the Chamber’s Board of Directors on the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area Advisory Board. Patty’s dedication and passion to share the beauty of the area have elevated the tourism industry in Garrett County.Winners of the Golden Ambassador award have contributed to tourism in Garrett County and the Autumn Glory Festival.
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
2018 Volunteer of the Year Winner
Jan Russell, Chair of the Board of the Chamber, made the presentation to this year's winner, Peggy Jamison. Peggy Jamison has been involved with the Chamber's Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area since its inception in 2011 and has served as its chair since December of that year. As part of the Heritage Area's annual grants committee program, Peggy assists in reviewing both project and mini grant applications. Peggy also serves on the Heritage Area's marketing committee where she reviews the marketing plan and application for their biennial marketing grant. Peggy also volunteered at the 2017 Gran Fondo, where the Heritage Area served as the Friendsville aid station for bike riders.
Past Recipients of the Volunteer of the Year Award
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.
2018 Diplomat of the Year Winner
Jan Russell, Chair of the Board of the Chamber, made the presentation to this year's winner, Patty Manown Mash of Pine Lodge Steakhouse.
As a Chamber Diplomat, Patty attended 5 out of 10 Business After Hours, 2 out of 6 Business Before Hours, 9 out of 17 Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies, 4 out of 6 Diplomat meetings, and helped in the distribution of the Community Profile & Membership Directories, achieving a total of 172 points. This is Patty's third consecutive achievement of Diplomat of the Year.
Past Recipients of the Diplomat of the Year Award
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