By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item
NORTHUMBERLAND — About 150 members of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce came together Thursday to celebrate 2012 accomplishments and the people and businesses who make a difference in the Valley.
Many award-winners were shocked to realize they were being honored, including ATHENA Award winner Tere Rill.
“This is a very special honor,” she said.
Rill was recognized for her work helping women network and advance in the business world through — among other things — her numerous networking and mentoring organizations in the Valley and Centre County and her work as publisher and owner of The Women’s Journal.
Rill attributed her accomplishments to a simple philosophy: joie de vivre, or joy of life.
“If you really love life, you can do anything,” she said. “There’s no reason not to.”
The Business of the Year award went to civil engineering firm Stahl Sheaffer Engineering, which is based in Selinsgrove. Though the company has grown to include offices in State College and Pittsburgh, owner Jeff Sheaffer said the company is focused on using Valley resources in its work.
“The more work we do all over, the more we’re driven back here to work with other businesses,” he said.
Snyder County-based Shade Mountain Winery was named Small Business of the Year. The winery is a “true family business,” which produces more than 30,000 gallons of wine on its 68 acres, said Denise Prince, who presented the award.
Michelle Morgan, marketing director and community liaison for the Shamokin Dam Health Center, was named the Karen L. Hackman Star of Excellence Award winner.
“She’s just always there to help and lend a hand,” Prince said.
The Dan Foss Heritage Award was presented to Shamokin Dam Mayor Joe McGranaghan, who has lived in the borough since 1978 and is seeking a second term in that post. It honors someone “who puts the needs of the community above themselves,” said Dan Foss, owner of Foss Jewelers and presenter of the award.
The event also looked back at the achievements of the chamber’s member businesses and the chamber itself. In 2012, the chamber added 82 new members and hosted 85 events, according to Jennifer Daddario, director of operations and membership development.