Annual Meeting Leadership Awards recognize business community members for outstanding work

July 7, 2020

Recently, we shared our successes with you during our 2020 Annual Meeting. Of course, this one was a little different than previous ones because we couldn’t celebrate with you in person. But we were still able to come together as a community in a different way and highlight some of our achievements in the last fiscal year, as well as honor businesses and leaders in our community who are shaping Buncombe County.

This year, as we prepare the latest iteration of our AVL 5×5 plan, we encourage our business community to continue to focus teamwork, collaboration, and community.

We also hope you will join us in celebrating the following 2020 award recipients.

Small Business Leader of the Year, presented by HomeTrust

  • Ric Davenport of FASTSIGNS of Asheville
    • The Small Business Leader of the Year Awards recognize individuals who clearly reflect quality and dedication in their business who are accomplished leaders, who are innovative and who are civically responsible. FASTSIGNS supports hospitals, retailers, manufacturers, as well as creating many personal signs. Ric’s leadership in growing his business and helping other businesses communicate effectively made him a clear choice for this award.
  • Marta Santamaria of The Venue
    • Marta Santamaria doesn’t just own The Venue, she owns The Ridge and The Planning, as well. Her three intertwined companies plan and execute everything from business events to weddings. Her ability to look at the human element of each event during every phase of production is unique, in addition to her eye for detail, work ethic, and passion.

President’s Award, presented by Roberts & Stevens

  • The people of Buncombe County
    • The President’s Award, sponsored by Roberts & Stevens, is given at the discretion of our Chamber staff to a deserving individual or organization.  When the Chamber set out to name a recipient this year, it was hard to come to consensus. So many people and organizations have stepped up to support the community by volunteering, by adapting to meet community needs and by showing leadership on so many fronts. So this year, we give the President’s Award to the people of Buncombe.

Family Business of the Year, presented by UNC Asheville Family Business Forum

  • Friday Services, Inc.
    • The Family Business of the Year award recognizes a family-owned business for their contributions to the community and success as a family-owned enterprise. Friday Services has been providing labor to local companies of all sizes for 40 years. Friday Services looks at staffing not as simply a placement, but an opportunity to change lives. Their unique approach to guiding individuals to careers that will last made it clear that they were deserving of this award.

Excellence in Public Service Award, presented by First Bank

  • Buncombe County Emergency Operations Center
    • This award recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the community through involvement, service or motivation to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Buncombe County. We typically present this award to an individual. This year, we honor a group who has served our community with true excellence during this difficult time. Since the earliest days of COVID-19, the Emergency Operations Center has held the health and safety of our community as its highest priority. Congratulations to the entire team!

We also want to offer our congratulations to our 2020-2021 Board of Directors, and our appreciation to board members who are completing their service. Watch our Youtube Playlist to learn more about each recipient of our Leadership Awards.