April 22, 2024

The Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce (GDCC) is pleased to announce its 2024 Annual Award winners, who will be honored on May 9 at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Gala. This year’s Annual Awards Gala is underwritten by Newburyport Bank.

“Newburyport Bank is proud to support the Annual Awards Gala for the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce,” says Newburyport Bank Business Development Officer Alan Brown, “as this is where we join together to celebrate the success of our fellow business and community leaders. These are the folks that keep our community thriving, and it is our pleasure to journey alongside them.”

Business of the Year is Jewelry Creations, which first opened its doors in Dover in 1981. Current owners Doug and Kelly Glennon purchased the business seven years ago, but their involvement in the greater Dover community began more than 20 years ago. In addition to serving on boards such as Seacoast Educational Endowment Dover, Profile Bank, Dover Children’s Home, and Saint Mary Academy, the Glennons donate regularly to local organizations and encourage each of their staff members to select a local charity for a donation during New Hampshire Gives week.

Nonprofit of the Year is Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST), which connects people and communities through its fixed-route buses and on-demand paratransit services. Since 1982, COAST has provided more than 16 million rides to workers, older adults, students, and others in the greater Seacoast region, linking them to work, school, medical appointments, shopping, social events, and support services. COAST prides itself on providing customer-focused public transportation with a commitment to safety and service.

This year’s Community Arts Champion is Cliff Blake, who has served as vice chair of the Dover Arts Commission for the past four years. Blake was instrumental in bringing about the installation of a commemorative manhole cover to celebrate the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creation in Dover and was a key driver for the implementation of Dover’s recent Arts and Economic Prosperity Survey. He serves as a Dover Public Library trustee, is a member of the Cochecho Arts Festival Committee, and is an enthusiastic participant with Dover Doers and Don’t Trash Dover.

Sean O’Connell, a partner with Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., Attorneys at Law, is the 2024 Citizen of the Year. A former GDCC board chair, O’Connell is also a past chair of the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and was instrumental in bringing about the museum’s move to Dover. He currently serves on the Dover Children’s Home Board of Directors, is a founder and board member for Great Bay Rowing, a member of the University of New Hampshire Alumni Awards Committee, and a former president of the Strafford County Bar Association.

The David K. Bamford Educator of the Year is Beverly Hodsdon, who is an adjunct professor in the Digital Media Communications Program at Great Bay Community College. As a graphic designer with more than 30 years’ experience, Hodsdon brings real-life projects to the classroom for her students to work on. In 2022 Hodsdon received the Great Bay Community College President’s Award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member. In addition to running her business, Joyce Design Solutions, Hodsdon served as a board member for the Richie McFarland Childrens’ Center for 16 years.

The 2024 Annual Awards Gala will be held at a GDCC member business, The Red Barn at Outlook Farm in South Berwick, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $90 each and include a networking reception and full dinner.

Other sponsors include Cleveland, Waters and Bass, P.A.; First Seacoast Bank; D.F. Richard Energy; Profile Bank; Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.; Wentworth-Douglass Hospital; Leone, McDonnell & Roberts, P.A.; SERVPRO of The Seacoast; and HRCU. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit dovernh.org/awards or call the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce at 603-742-2218.