ORLEANS — If you thought the presidential election was a close one, take a look at the race between Coastal Engineering and Orleans Bowling Center/Big Dogs Barbecue for Business of the Year.
The board of the Orleans Chamber of Commerce couldn't decide between the two nominees, so for the first time, the vote was opened to the general membership. After three weeks of voting, a tie was declared. Coastal CEO and President John Bologna and Bowling Center/Barbecue owner David Currier accepted the awards at the Chamber's annual dinner held at the Captain Linnell House Nov. 15.
Also receiving recognition was the evening's main speaker, state Sen. Dan Wolf, who spoke of the career opportunities he enjoyed as a young man on Cape Cod before founding Cape Air (see related story, page 16).
The Community Service Award went to the Lower Cape Outreach Council, and Cheryl Esty, foreman of the town's parks and beaches department, won the Town Pride Award. The Fourth of July Committee received the Spirit of Orleans honor.
Outgoing board chair Erik Oliver of Wash Safe Industries recognized three board members – Scott Carey of Carey Insurance, incoming chair Sassy Richardson-Roche of The Farm, and Joe Hartung of oldCape Sotheby's – for their dedicated service and asked all board members to stand for a round of applause. Oliver and immediate past chair Josh Wile of Agway received fancy beach chairs as thanks for their efforts.
Executive Director Noëlle Pina told the 27th annual meeting that the Chamber has more than 330 members and serves more than 67 percent of businesses in Orleans. She highlighted the community's selection by Coastal Living magazine as one of the 10 happiest seaside towns in America, and noted that Orleans was in third place recently in balloting for the top spot (the winner will be announced in a few weeks).
Pina highlighted a variety of marketing efforts, including those in the digital realm, noting more than a thousand additional visits to the Chamber's website and a doubling of its followers on Facebook. The Truly Orleans feature publication has expanded from 48 to 64 pages in just three years; 15,000 copies are distributed and there have been 5,000 on-line views.
The Chamber gave five $1,000 scholarships this year to Nauset Regional High School graduates. Since 1997, the organization has donated more than $162,000 in scholarships.
For more information, visit the Chamber's website at orleanscapecod.org