BY ANGELJEAN CHIARAMIDA
---- — SALISBURY — State Treasurer Steven Grossman talked of what he said were the most important things in life: family, education, hard productive work, giving back to the community and making optimism a way of life, during the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce’s annual Appreciation Dinner last night.
Those where all things the Newton Democrat learned from his grandfather and his father, he said, men who started and grew the family business, Grossman Marketing. It’s the company he ran for 35 years until begin elected treasurer in 2010, and which his sons run now.
Small business are the “backbone” of the state’s economy, much as they are in Salisbury, Grossman said.
Living life optimistically is something he learned from his father, Grossman said, advice which his father got from his favorite baseball player Brooks Robinson.
And his belief in family, education, hard work and community involvement, Grossman learned from his grandfather when he was in high school. But they are also the reason for last night’s Chamber of Commerce dinner, which gave awards to those who give so much each year so that the town, its people and the chamber will prosper.
“Giving something back to our community,” Grossman said. “That’s what tonight’s all about. (Recognizing) terrific leaders who give back again and again. There’s reason to be optimistic in Salisbury. The value of giving back. That’s why we’re here.”
The night, he said, belonged to individuals being honored for their hard work.
The 2013 Business Award went to Walls Ford, said Chamber Chairman of the Board Chuck Takesian. Located since 1997 up on Lafayette Road until it moved to its new Salisbury location on Elm Street, Wall’s Ford has been an active member, as well as a good neighbor and community friend, Takesian said.
“The recent relocation (of the dealership), and their choice to stay in Salisbury, demonstrates a huge commitment and belief in our community,” Takesian said.
The Louie A. Halison Community Service Award went to Jan Morse, the CEO of The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, who Takesian described as the bank’s “backbone.”
“Jan Morse encourages her employees to take pride in supporting the communities they serve,” he said. “She shows by example, involvement and commitment to the many community based organizations in the true spirit of Louis A. Hailson. She believes in paying it forward.”
The Chamber Leadership Award was presented to Delia O’Connor, president of Anna Jaques Hospital.
Named hospital president in 2005, Takesian said, O’Connor has shown an extreme commitment to the community.
“The face of Anna Jaques Hospital has changed under her leadership,” Takesian said. “She is a motivating force in her organization. She’s always accessible, always ready listen.”
Longtime Salisbury advocate Connie Grasso and Alpha Omega Salon owner Linda Boragine were co-winners of the Chamber’s Appreciation Award this year.
Grasso’s a valued member of the Chamber of Commerce, earning praise for the endless hours she’s put into its marketing projects, whether by designing a brochure or working on raffles, Takesian said. Boragine drew praise for being an enthusiastic ambassador for the chamber and town, and for her hard work on Salisbury’s upcoming 375th anniversary celebration.
The chamber also announced its scholarship recipients last night. They are Meghan Hickey, who plans to attend UMass Lowell to study physical therapy, and Kelsie Ferris, also heading to UMass Lowell to study English and journalism.
The Service Center of Greater Lawrence Carmela Zappala Memorial Scholarship went to Christopher Reusch, who will attend Merrimack College this fall. This scholarship goes to a Salisbury student who exemplifies community service.