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Chamber announces leadership award winners, ceremony Nov. 7


DEVENS — The Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Community Service & Leadership Awards event on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The event will be held at the Devens Common Center.

Award categories are as follows:

Outstanding Citizen/Volunteer – named for the late Robert W. Lewis, the award is given to an individual who has advanced the community significantly by his or her contribution of time, talent and efforts.

The honorees this year are Earl Carter of Groton, Loret Schur of Sterling and Susan Casserly of Pepperell.

Earl Carter’s service to the Town of Groton began over 25 years ago when he and his wife Bonnie moved to the area and opened Metric Screw and Tool Company. Since then, Carter has been a board member of the Mountain Lakes Club and the Groton Historical Society, assisting with the maintenance of the Boutwell House. He also served as curator of the house over a four-year period. Carter has also devoted many hours to the Big Book Pages for Peace project, building the rigging that supports the book replica.

Loret Schur has served the town of Sterling on the Personnel Board for 23 years and over 15 as chairperson. During that time, she brought the town into the modern era by re-writing the personnel bylaws and instituting a contemporary compensation system. At the same time, she also served a number of terms as president and vice president of the Sterling Historical Society, preserving the character and history of our town. Schur is also a very committed member of the Trinity Lutheran Church.

Susan Casserly has been devoting her time and energy to better her community in a variety of ways. She was a member of the Westford Rotary for many years, serving terms as treasurer and president. She serves on the Pepperell Business Association and was the club’s treasurer and president. Currently, Casserly is a member of the Pepperell Groton Rotary Club. She has been a volunteer for Indian Hill Music Center and is the treasurer of PACH (Pepperell Aid Church to Home) and has volunteered at the Department for Social Services in Lowell.

Outstanding Company/Organization Award – named for the late Roy L. Jeannotte, it is given to a company or organization that has made a substantial contribution to the lasting enhancement of the Nashoba Valley Region by demonstrating exceptional leadership and community involvement.

This year we have two winners: Devens Eco-Efficiency Center and Phoenix Park of Shirley.

The Devens Eco-Efficiency Center has provided education and services to the region since 2007, helping businesses lower consumption of energy, reduce the use of toxic waste materials and run more sustainable operations.

The Eco-Efficiency Center has also helped to create the Devens Regional Household Hazardous Products Collection Center, which now benefits 75,000 residents in 10 towns and protects the health of children, pets, ecosystems and drinking water by making it easier to properly dispose of toxic waste. Additionally, the Eco-efficiency Center has helped more than 100 institutions in the Nashoba Valley reduce waste, protect the environment, save money, and, perhaps most importantly, strengthen their ability to provide jobs and services to the community.

Phoenix Park is a refurbished 12-building office and industrial complex located in Shirley. The original cotton mill was built by the Shirley Shakers in 1850 and later owned by Sampson Cordage Works and its predecessors, which manufactured rope for nearly 100 years.

Since December 1998, Eric Shapiro and his team have undertaken a massive restoration of the old mill that has not only contributed significantly to the local community but has also revitalized an integral mainstay of times past. The restoration has turned the building into a vibrant business community housing more than 50 businesses, from bakeries to high-end flute builders, bike builders, an educational collaborative, nursing service, printers and a sign maker, to name just a few.

The on-site professional management team is second to none in the service it provides to its tenants and the team is constantly trying to improve amenities to offer the best possible scenario for entrepreneurs and business owners to succeed. Shapiro also pays for any tenant’s first year of chamber membership, highlighting the important connections businesses can have with their local chamber.

Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will include a cash bar and entertainment featuring pianist Donn Hill. Dinner and program to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $39 each ($29 for senior citizens and $19 for children). Advance registration is required. Make your reservations now to honor these special people.

The 2012 Community Service & Leadership Awards are sponsored by Parker Hannifin, Rollstone Bank & Trust, Sunny Delight Beverages Company and MassDevelopment.