Chamber Honors Businesses- 2010

Chamber Honors Businesses with Awards
Hall named Business Leader of the Year.

By Jeanne Theismann
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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The stars of Alexandria turned out Oct. 8 for the annual Chamber of Commerce business awards, which served as a good-natured roast of Charlotte Hall, who was presented with the 2010 Business Leader of the Year Award.

"Her accomplishments sound like an eHarmony commercial," said Willem Polak, founder of the Potomac Riverboat Company where Hall is a partner and vice president. "It's all about relationships."

Held at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, more than 300 people turned out for the event that recognized several businesses for their contributions to the city.

The Business of the Year Award went to fibre space, with owner Danielle Romanetti joking that her husband, a PTO employee, "wasn't too excited about coming here tonight."

Other awards included Association/Non-profit of the Year (Campagna Center), Eco-Friendly Business of the Year (Bike and Roll) and Large Business of the Year (Intercontinental Hotel Group). The Small Business of the Year award was a tie, with Aida Spa and New Target sharing the honors.

But the focus of the evening was Hall, and Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks and "Mango" Mike Anderson joined Polak at the microphone.

"Believe it or not, over at City Hall we don't intentionally create things for people to laugh at," deadpanned Jinks before getting more serious.

"Charlotte has an irreplaceable knowledge of the community," Jinks said. "Her ability to sift through information and give city officials good advice is invaluable to the community."

Anderson, chiding Hall for her "cloak of secrecy," joked about how the King Street trolley came about.

"Charlotte wanted to dig a canal between the river and the Metro but city wouldn't let her," Anderson said. "So she settled for getting the trolley."

As Hall took to the stage, attendees donned sunglasses in her honor courtesy of Jack Taylor.

"I need to start by saying a special thank you to Nita Whitesel and Ralph Capobianco," Hall said. "They are no longer with us but they were my mentors and left a great legacy to the community."

Hall thanked Polak and her mother Ann for "keeping me energized" and looked ahead to the city's future.

"This award is about us," Hall said. "Together we survived Hurricane Isabel and 9/11. I take great pride in being a part of this community and am excited about the good times that are still to come."


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