HANNIBAL, Mo. -- A man of many gifts and talents who works tirelessly to help the poor and marginalized took home the top award Saturday night from the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce.
Father Mike Quinn, priest at Holy Family Catholic Church, was presented the Pacesetter Award at the chamber's 110th annual meeting and banquet, at the Rialto.
The award honors someone from the community who has served unselfishly to help Hannibal move forward and provides an inspirational example for future civic endeavors.
Quinn, who is in his 21st year in Hannibal, "is a go-getter with ‘go' being the operative word," 2019-20 Chamber President Rich Stilley said in presenting the award, pointing to Quinn's kind spirit and heart as well as his numerous community activities.
"I have to thank you all so much," Quinn said, adding that the award came as a shock to him. "I just love this community. It's neat to be a part of a group just like you all."
More than 300 people turned out for the event designed to celebrate the chamber's work in 2018 and look forward to its efforts in 2019.
Chamber Executive Director McKenzie Disselhorst said the annual meeting "recognizes businesses and individuals who have made a difference in our community and in our area. It's a great networking opportunity and a chance to get together to celebrate the positive things going on in the community."
Ambassador of the Year Robin Colgrove, with Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, was recognized as "a friendly face at nearly all the chamber's networking events who can always be counted on to help with the ‘extra' volunteer opportunities," Disselhorst said.
Other awards presented included:
New Business(es) of the Year – Mimi's Coffee House and Ice Cream, and Mississippi Mind Trap.
Community Betterment – Mark Twain Behavioral Health, recognized for its new building and expanded services.
Civic Contributor – Douglass Community Services, highlighting its summer feeding and super supper programs; Hannibal Regional Healthcare System for its general community support; and Hannibal Public Schools. The award to HRHS and HPS highlighted the BEST program, where differently-abled students work at HRHS in entry-level roles and gain high school credit.
Special thanks were given to the chamber's board of directors, ambassadors, committee chairmen and membership for their work for the chamber and for Hannibal.
Brad Kurz was recognized for his work as 2017-18 chamber president, and he handed over the post to Stilley.
"Our community is going through some key changes, too, from the riverfront on the east side to Hannibal Regional's growth on the west side and many projects in between," Kurz said. "We need to navigate these key changes in tune with each other, and many of our award winners were selected tonight because they're doing that so very well."
Key for the coming year, Stilley said, is embracing change.
"Our membership is changing every day. We walk a fine line between preserving some of the tried and true traditions and introducing new ways to engage our business community that are vastly different than we have done in the past," Stilley said. "We're heading into an evolutionary period for our region, one with unlimited potential for the coming year and beyond."