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December 10th, 2013

2013 Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC Catalyst Awards

HARRISBURG, PA – On the evening of Wednesday, December 4th, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC (Chamber & CREDC) joined over 400 of the region’s business and community leaders at the 2013 Catalyst Awards held at the Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts. The individuals and businesses honored were:

  • President’s Award – Dauphin County Commissioners, Mayor Linda Thompson, Harrisburg City Council and Receiver General William Lynch
  • Workforce Development Leader of the Year – Ruth Koup of Dress for Success South Central PA
  • Corporate Citizen of the Year – PinnacleHealth System
  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Gary Nalbandian of NAI CIR, Wormleysburg & Metro Bank, Harrisburg
  • Athena Award – Karen Snider of Susquehanna Consulting & Financial Group  
  • Small Business of the Year – LeTort Trust
  • Volunteer of the Year  – Jewel Cooper of Susquehanna Bank
  • Government Leader of the Year – Capital Region Council of Governments
  • Catalyst Award – Harrisburg Young Professionals (HYP)
  • Business Diversity Champion of the Year – Highmark

One of the many highlights of the evening was the President’s Award.  “While we are weeks away from removing the specter of massive debt from the City of Harrisburg, the Chamber & CREDC decided to recognize the leadership – the remarkable group of elected officials – who were a part of the culmination and execution of the Harrisburg Strong Plan,” stated David Black, President & CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC.  “Creating the Harrisburg Strong Plan required a team of talented professionals, but it also required elected officials dedicated to a better Harrisburg with the political courage to cast the necessary votes.”

The Small Business Award recipient, LeTort Trust, has made supporting the community in which they operate and in which many of their clients reside, a top priority for the company. Their commitment has been to give 5% of their profits earned annually by LeTort Trust back to the community. In 2011, LeTort Trust established the Atgooth Foundation to be a catalyst for change within the community and a means for delivering donations to the organizations they wish to support. One primary objective for their non-profit work is to support Financial Literacy for youth in their communities.

A new award added this year was the Workforce Development Leader of the Year Award.  Nominees for this award needed to be in a leadership position and have made a significant contribution to workforce development initiatives in our region.  This year’s recipient, Ruth Koup, founder and CEO of Dress for Success of South Central PA, stated, “This award was such an honor; but, to me it was much more about an entire regional community coming together to support a vision that embraces opportunity, empowerment, financial self-sufficiency and a way to break the cycle of poverty with careers. To look around the venue that night and realize that all attending had a connection to Dress for Success South Central PA in one way or another was an emotional moment.”

The Catalyst Award is the most prestigious award given by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC.  In order to be nominated for this award an individual or group of individuals’ leadership, business or governmental activities and community service have best exemplified the organization’s goal of being a Catalyst for our region – making it a better place to live, work and play.  In short, it is someone who has made a difference over the past year or perhaps over a lifetime of service to the region.

“We are truly honored to be selected as the 2013 Catalyst of the Year,” stated Renee Custer, HYP’s Executive Director.  “HYP members are committed to initiating growth, building community and increasing engagement in Harrisburg. We pride our organization on being a positive force in Harrisburg, and will continue to work to make our city a great place to live, work and play.”


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