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Edisto names top businesses

Lisa Harrell congratulates Breda Hester and Waylon Cain from Edisto True Value. Photo by Jeff Dennis

As the sea breeze caused the surf to run high on Wednesday, June 15th, the Edisto Chamber of Commerce conducted its annual Chamber of Commerce business meeting where it also recognized community leaders.
The award ceremony began with Edisto Chamber of Commerce Board Chairwoman Mary Evelyn Fontaine greeting the crowd from the stage, following an hour of fellowship with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Fontaine’s business is Edisto Seafood, which was recognized in 2015 as the Business of the Year. The chamber event this year focused on Edisto being a coastal island destination for vacation, and for offering a growing list of culinary options on the island.
“We currently have 197 members in 2016, and that includes 28 new members,” said Lisa Harrell, the staff director for the Edisto chamber. Harrell says the chamber’s mission is to support and promote member businesses in the community, and to promote the island’s tourism industry. “We have a new Facebook presence that offers promotions to people looking for a beach vacation at Edisto,” she said. “We also have a print campaign that targets visitors that reside within a six-hour drive radius.” The chamber’s event also included the term expiration of three of the chamber’s board members, and the election of the incoming board members.
For their supplying locals and visitors with their hardware store needs, the chamber’s 2016 Business of the Year Award was given to Edisto True Value Hardware.
The voting for the Business of the Year Award is done by Chamber members, and there was much anticipation when Harrell announced Edisto True Value as the winner. Edisto True Value business owners Brenda Hester and Waylon Cain, a mother-and-son team, came to the stage to accept a certificate. “The past year has been an awesome experience, and all of our employees deserve credit for working hard,” said Cain. “We want to be the best of the best when it comes to True Value hardware stores.”
The Martha Whetstone Service Award goes to people who give back to the Edisto community. The award was created by Mott Parker in 2005, with the inaugural recognition in memory of Whetstone. “We all play a role here at Edisto, but Virginia and Henry Woodhead are tireless cheerleaders for the community, using advocacy from many diverse local organizations,” said Ginger Hodge. Henry Woodhead was not in attendance, but Virginia came to the stage to receive a certificate and a standing ovation.
Before the event concluded, attendees were treated to an improvisational comedic performance from the Theatre 99 ensemble from Charleston. The Civic Center stage is perfect for performing groups of this kind, and the comedians benefitted from fancy decorations put in place by the Edisto Island Open Land Trust (EIOLT), since EIOLT were conducting its annual auction in the Civic Center on June 17.

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (233 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com