A Special Evening Celebrating Our Award Winners

MCE Palmer Gillis Entrepreneur Award Ceremony

In celebration of entrepreneurial talent and innovation, Maryland Capital Enterprises, Inc. (MCE), hosted the 12th annual Palmer Gillis Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Banquet. This prestigious event, held in collaboration with local business leader Mr. Palmer Gillis, took place on November 2, 2023, at the Assembly Hall in Salisbury University’s Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons.

We had the pleasure of recognizing outstanding local entrepreneurs who have significantly contributed to the Eastern Shore’s economy and community. This year, the spotlight was on Dr. Nicole Odom-Hardnett, founder and CEO of Focus Point Behavioral Health in Princess Anne. Dr. Odom-Hardnett, honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award sponsored by Salisbury Wicomico Economic Development, has been pivotal in offering comprehensive behavioral health services. Her devotion to community service is truly commendable.

Another highlight was the presentation of the Innovator Award, sponsored by Unique Styles Custom Home Builders, to Chelsea Lahey, the Owner of Galaxy Gymnastics in Salisbury. Chelsea’s approach to gymnastics instruction is setting new benchmarks in athletic and personal development.

We also celebrated David Tawes, owner and president of Absolute Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in Fruitland. The Workforce Development Award, courtesy of Worcester County Tourism & Economic Development, was presented to him for his exceptional commitment to workforce expansion and development.

Bryan Bourdeau, Assistant Director of the Dave & Patsy Rommel Center for Entrepreneurship at Salisbury University, presented the Bernstein Award competition and Shore Hatchery Winners. This year’s winners were Katherine James with Driven Physiotherapy, Jessica McCarthy with Breathe, Inspired by Nature, Sara Aquino with Atlantic Portable X-Ray, and Niki Pino with Hook Optics.

These awards are a testament to MCE’s ongoing commitment to fostering and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit that defines the Eastern Shore. Our partnership with Mr. Gillis reflects our shared belief in the transformative power of entrepreneurship in enhancing lives and communities.

Heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Odom-Hardnett, Chelsea Lahey, David Tawes, and all the nominees. Your achievements are a beacon of inspiration to both current and future entrepreneurs.

Here’s to continuing the legacy of innovation and excellence in our community!

We extend a special thanks to Rommel’s Ace, Erick Sahler and Vernon Powell Shoes for their generous door prizes, and to Jennifer Seay Campbell of Jen Seay Photography for her donation of professional services. (All photos by Jen Seay Photography) Photos are available at 50% off from 11/20-12/2 with promo code “thanks” at https://www.jenseay.com/Proofs/Events/MCE/

MCE Award Winners on stage at Salisbury University