Local accountant John P. Itell was left a bit stunned Wednesday night when he was named Washington County Business Person of the Year at the Hager Hall Conference & Event Center on Dual Highway.
“We just go about our good work,” Itell told more than 500 people at the conclusion of the awards.
The award is given to a business person who has demonstrated excellence in business in the last year, enhanced the image of the business community or who has provided superior service to business and the community as a whole.
In his nomination, Itell, a partner with Albright, Crumbacker, Moul and Itell certified public accountants in Hagerstown, also was praised for encouraging companies to get involved in the community.
After receiving his award, Itell touched on the importance of giving back to the community and said “so much can be accomplished” with even the smallest efforts.
Mary Creek and Stuart Mullendore were the two other finalists vying for the award.
The awards ceremony — hosted by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission — honors outstanding businesses in six categories as well as the Business Person of the Year.
The other award winners were: At Your Service Award — Rentals Unlimited Inc.; Going Green Award — Hagerstown Community College; Large Business of the Year Award — Brook Lane Health Services; Leading Edge Award — Biaera Technologies; Non-Profit Award — The Maryland Theatre; and Small Business of the Year Award — Olde Homestead At Cronise Market Place.
There were more than 125 nominees for the awards, and those were narrowed down to three finalists in each category, organizers said.
The theme of the 14th annual Washington County Business Awards was “When The Stars Come Out,” and the featured entertainer was comedian and magician Michael Kent.
Kent combines his sarcastic and irreverent sense of humor with mind-blowing magic and he has been nominated for various awards.
To help him with his magic, Kent brought local business people up on the stage including Liz Thompson, chairperson of the executive committee of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, and Robert E. Bruchey II, former Hagerstown mayor and current interim general manager of the Hagerstown Suns.
Kent used Bruchey for a money trick and he asked for Bruchey for various denominations of bills.
“What’s in there,” Kent asked when he asked Bruchey to pull out his wallet.
“Nothing,” Bruchey said.
Bruchey pulled out a $20 bill which Kent shredded with a paper shredder as part of his trick.
“That’s it, you’re done,” Kent told Bruchey, getting a round of laughter from the audience.
“Where else can you get that many laughs for $20?” Kent asked the crowd.
The event was a black-tie optional ceremony that started with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner. The emcee for the event was Pieter Bickford.
Washington County Business Awards
The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission honored Washington County businesses and named a Business Person of the Year during a Wednesday night awards ceremony.
At Your Service Award:
Rentals Unlimited Inc.
Going Green Award:
Hagerstown Community College
Large Business of the Year Award:
Brook Lane Health Services
Leading Edge Award:
The Maryland Theatre
Small Business of the Year Award:
Olde Homestead At Cronise Market Place
Washington County Business Person of the Year:
John P. Itell