By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item
WATSONTOWN — Three regional businesses were honored for their impact on the community during the annual Central Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony Thursday in the Watson Inn.
Hanna Mensch, owner of Made By A Kid 4 A Kid, A+ Office Outlet, of Mifflinburg, and Mark Burke, of ThinkID8 in Bloomsburg, were received “Impact” awards for their community and business contributions. The chamber had 313 members in 2013, the most in seven years, President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Smith said.
“We do this so we can recognize our membership and the things that they are doing,” he said. “I think they need to be recognized for what they do.”
Mensch is an 11-year-old Meadowbrook Christian School student who started her jewelry business as a way to have fun and capitalize on a hobby, Smith said.
“The idea was she would be capable of making 90 percent of her products herself,” he said.
Hanna has worked hard to achieve her goals and has encouraged other young people to pursue their dreams, Smith said.
“Hanna is proof that impact has no age limit,” he said.
One day, Hanna hopes to appear on her favorite television show, “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors, Smith said.
A+ Office Outlet is a family-owned business that has “continually impressed us with their outstanding customer service,” said Tea Jay Aikey, the chamber’s executive and finance assistant. The business was founded in 2004 and offers unprecedented “convenience and generosity,” Aikey said.
Burke was the only award recipient to offer a few words following the award presentation, and he stressed the importance of education and inspiring young people to follow their dreams.
“I think this shows that we have a shared understanding of learning in our community,” he said.
Smith echoed his words and said he hopes others will continue to look for ways to impact their surroundings.
“We all have a place and something to contribute,” he said.
The chamber is hoping to take a more personal approach to business in the future, Smith said.
“We realized that it’s not only the businesses making an impact, but the people behind them,” he said.