The Greenville Chamber of Commerce held its 131st awards ceremony Thursday night, Feb. 20, where several businesses and individuals were honored.
Small Business of the Year
Kopis won the small business of the year award. The Greenville-based software development company has expanded rapidly over the past 21 years. Kopis was named one of South Carolinas 25 fastest-growing companies and was named on the Inc. 5000 List. Other small business award finalists were The Worthwhile company, Merit Technologies, and Farm Fresh Fast.
Minority Business of the Year
Memoirs Events and Catering was awarded with the Chamber’s Minority Business of the Year award. The full-service boutique catering and event planning company is co-owned by Raygan France and Jackie Saunders. The sisters graduated from the Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator Program.
Young Professional of the Year
Nalisha Henry, who serves as the Director of Community and Partners Relations at United Way of Greenville County, was the recipient of the Young Professional of the Year Award. Henry oversees the strategic investment of United Way funds to local nonprofits.
Athena Leadership Award
The Athena Leadership Award honors individuals who assist women in reaching their full leadership potential. Deborah McKetty, who currently serves as VP of Community Investment at United Way Greenville County, was this year’s winner for her work spearheading CommunityWorks, a local nonprofit housing trust fund for low- and moderate-income residents.
Max Heller Neighborhood Improvement Award
The San Souci neighborhood was bestowed this award for the community’s efforts to improve the Verner Springs Park, its Community Garden and Concert series and Community Mural Project.
Leadership Greenville Distinguished Alumni Award
Adela Mendoza was in Leadership Greenville’s Class 35. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Hispanic Alliance and has spearheaded several programs, including the South Carolina immigrant victim network. The chamber awarded Mendoza the Leadership Greenville Distinguished Alumni Award for her efforts.
Ben Haskew Collaboration Award
Greenville County Schools was the recipient of this award, which focuses on leaders who display progressive visions and a partnership approach to responsible growth in the Upstate.
Recently retired director of economic development and deputy city manager Nancy Whitworth was the recipient of this year’s Chairman’s Award. Whitworth had a long and distinguished career with the city and was instrumental in establishing public private partnerships and attracting business and economic development to Greenville.
Buck Mickel Leadership Award
The Buck Mickel Leadership Award honors those who have had a dramatic impact on the community through a leadership role solving critical community issues, strengthening the community or providing visionary leadership. The Chamber honored Toby Stansell, principal with Cherry Bekaert, was this award for his leadership, community, civic and cultural impacts in his career.