By David Rogers. February 7, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC — There was hardware aplenty to be handed out on Tuesday at Chetola Mountain Resort during the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Luncheon, but none of the recipients were more surprised than the company named “2016 Business Of The Year”: 4 Forty Four Construction.
COVER IMAGE: Charles Hardin, left, presents the trophy for Business of the Year to Kevin Troyer while, left to right, Lillie Troyer, Corey Bettis, and Emily Anderson look on. Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
“We are completely surprised and humbled,” company owner Kevin Troyer admitted to Blowing Rock News afterwards. “Most of all I am pleased for our staff because it reinforces our commitment to the community and really recognizes the entire team for their collective dedication and hard work.”
While Troyer has served on the Executive Committee of the Blowing Rock Chamber and currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors, 4 Forty Four was instrumental in the completion of several projects in Blowing Rock this past year, incuding the Rotary Gazebo in Memorial Park and, more recently, the mural on the back side of the old firehouse, across from the American Legion Hall.
As Troyer and team members Lillie Troyer, Corey Bettis, and Emily Anderson approached the podium to pick up the trophy, they were afforded an enthusiastic standing ovation by the Chamber members packing the Evergreen Room at Chetola.
Jim McDowell of Mountainaire Inn & Log Cabins received an equally enthusiastic standing ovation in being named Volunteer of the Year for his multiple roles in leading the Chamber’s entrepreneurship initiative that included securing a 3D printer for Blowing Rock School, which included funding from Karyn Herterich and the George and Ethel Kennedy Foundation.
While there was no controversy about any of the awards, there was an element of surprise. After Appalachian Regional Healthcare System invested more than $30 million in Blowing Rock by building the new Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge, some in the large audience were audibly stunned when the Commercial New Construction award went to the more modest Appalachian Ski Mountain Welcome Center.
Observed one longtime chamber member who asked to speak anonymously, “I don’t want to take anything away from App Ski Mountain, because theirs is great story and this is just icing on the cake. This award may have been one of the most challenging for members to vote on because both of the nominees are so far beyond deserving of recognition. The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge was a huge project and it turned out absolutely beautiful. And of course it also keeps a major healthcare facility and over 100 jobs in Blowing Rock with the old hospital shutting down.
“App Ski Mountain came up with a clever way to make the best of an otherwise awkward situation,” he added, “when they lost their iconic billboard because of the construction of the bridge carrying traffic across the river and up to Chestnut Ridge, extending from the Edmisten Rd. intersection. After some mystifying objections by some of the Town’s Board of Commissioners, which at times defied logic, they worked hard to achieve a satisfactory compromise and ended up building a really nice welcome center for the entire area. They did it right as a first class project. So this one was a real toss-up because both businesses are terrific winners, in my opinion. This award exemplies how much of an honor it is just to be nominated as a finalist.”
Other awards handed out by Chamber chief executive officer Charles Hardin and award sponsor representatives included:
|Award||Award Sponsor||WINNER||Other Nominees|
|Commercial Renovation||Blue Ridge Energy||Blowing Rock Medical Park/PLUS Urgent Care||VPC Builders; Blue Ridg Bites & Brews; Climbing the Walls; Tanger Outlets; Mountainaire Inn and Log Cabins; Diamond Properties; Victorian Inn; White Fence Farm Vacation Rental|
|Commercial New Construction||United Community Bank||Appalachian Ski Mountain||The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge|
|Outstanding Business Service||Monkee’s of Blowing Rock||Adam Hill, DDS||Red Rocks Landscaping, Studio M Salon|
|Service to the Community||Blue Ridge Mountain Club||Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation||VPC Builders; High Gravity Adventures; Vincent Properties; John Aldridge/Village Foundation; Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S.; Karen Herterich/George and Ethel Kennedy Foundation; 4 Forty Four Construction; Chetola Mountain Resort; Charlie Sellers/The Blowing Rock|
|Jerry Burns Ambassadorial Award||First Citizens Bank||Lynn Lawrence||Don Hubble; Virginia Powell; David Rogers; John Aldridge|
|Customer Service (under 10 employees)||John & Lucy Aldridge||Take Heart||High Gravity Adventures; Blowing Rock Service Station (CITGO); Camp Coffee Roasters; Vx3 Trail Rides; Blowing Rock Market; The Last Straw; Sunset & Vine; The Spice & Tea Exchange; VPC Builders|
|Customer Service (10+ employees)||John & Lucy Aldridge||Vincent Properties||First Citizens Bank; United Community Bank|
|Winterfest Restaurant Chili Challenge||Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce||Restaurant G/Gideon Ridge Inn||Winterfest restaurant entries|