Studley's, Mary Henderson, Ron Goodwin, RMFA take top honors at GRCC banquet

Comment     Print
Related Articles
Studley Flower Garden owners Jeffrey Meulenbroek, left, and David Meulenbroek along with General Manager Molly Meulenbroek (Courtesy photos)

SOMERSWORTH - The Business of the Year award is one of the Chamber's most prestigious awards celebrating excellence in a business' industry and in their community. This award, sponsored by Newburyport Bank, recognizes a Chamber member who has demonstrated leadership and involvement for the betterment of the business community and the greater Rochester area. At the Chamber's Annual Awards Celebration held on Wednesday , at The Oaks Grandview Ballroom, the Chamber was pleased to present the 2024 Business of the Year award to Studley Flower Gardens.

Studley's is a family-owned florist, garden center and landscape company that has been located in downtown Rochester since 1928. Studley's is currently owned by brothers Jeffrey and David Meulenbroek with Molly Meulenbroek as General Manager, second generation owners. Since 2008, they have stewarded the business through many changes and challenges while remaining committed to their values of excellence and supporting their employees and community.

Studley Flower Gardens offers personalized service and customized solutions for every flower and garden lover's needs and interests. They create floral designs not found anywhere else and grow a unique selection of plants specially curated for your success. They are also committed to nurturing your landscape. Their landscape services are grounded in expert knowledge and decades of experience.

Giving back to their community is a belief of Studley Flower Gardens and THEY do so by supporting numerous organizations through involvement and contributions. They provide plantings at the entrances of the Rochester Opera House and at community events, they are a longtime supporter of the downtown beautification efforts through Rochester Main Street and the Adopt a Spot program, and host Rochester Main Street's Festival of Trees event. General Manager, Molly Meulenbroek is the longtime chair of the Rochester Historic District Commission. She is also a past board member of the NH Farm Museum and committee member of Rochester Main Street. Jeffrey Meulenbroek, a NH certified landscaper, is past president of the former NH Plant Growers Association. David Meulenbroek is a past president of Rochester Main Street. They also participate in the Society of American Florists Petal it Forward.

According to Felicia LaBranche of Magic Mirror Marketing, "with a 96-year legacy, they continue to uphold the tradition of civic pride and service. Their commitment extends beyond the realm of business as evidenced in their active involvement over the years in civic endeavors, philanthropic initiatives, and educational outreach programs".

In their industry, Studley's is a member of the Society of American Florists, the National Association of Landscape Professionals, and the New Hampshire Landscape Association. They have received numerous awards and recognitions including the NH Small Business Administration's Family-Owned Business of the Year in 2014 and were featured in the Google Economic Impact Report 2020 for the State of New Hampshire.

For these reasons, the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce was proud to name Studley Flower Gardens its 2024 Business of the Year.

On hand to present the award to Studley Flower Gardens, was last year's recipient, Marcus Weeks, president of Meredith Village Savings Bank.

Citizen of the Year

The Citizen of the Year award, presented by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, is one of the

Mary Henderson

Chamber's most prestigious awards. This award, sponsored by Eastern Propane & Oil, is bestowed upon
an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the community and has made significant contributions to the vibrancy and strength of the Greater Rochester area. At the Chamber's Annual Awards Celebration held on Wednesday evening, May 22, 2024 at The Oaks Grandview Ballroom, the Chamber announced the 2024 Citizen of the Year, Mary Henderson.

Mary Henderson grew up in Rochester and for many years has been a resident of Milton, NH. From a young child, Mary believed in giving back to her community. She started young as a candy striper, and then years later while raising her son, she became a "hockey mom."

When she began her banking career in the 1990's, Mary became involved with the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, she served on several committees, volunteered at many events, raised funds, and then served on the organization's board of directors from 2009-2014, also serving as Treasurer. Over the years, she volunteered her time and talents to several other organizations including C.O.R.E., the organization which later became Rochester Main Street. She served on the organization's board of directors where she contributed and volunteered at many of their events.

Mary also served on the board of directors for Zebra Crossings, a Dover non-profit dedicated to enriching the lives of children with chronic health conditions. She served eight years on their Board, four of which were as Treasurer from 2014 to 2022. She also volunteered time to the New Hampshire Farm Museum. In the past several years, Mary became involved on the committee that plans the Thank A Rochester Police Officer Day for Rochester Police Department staff and their families. In addition to her fund raising and promotional efforts, Mary brought the Red Hayes Community Policing award back to the department as it had fallen by the wayside in recent years. And this year, she has returned to the Chamber's board of directors. Mary does so much in the greater Rochester area that it is impossible to know the full extent of her tireless volunteerism.

According to James Glover, Retail Banking Regional Manager at Bank of New Hampshire, where Mary is employed, "Mary's diligent efforts on behalf of her peers and her outstanding leadership within her local community inspires others to give back to their community! Servant Leadership has been a lifelong endeavor for Mary, a labor of love! From Hockey-Mom to special events and parades in the city, to the Chamber's board of directors, Mary has done it all! And she does it all with great faith, perseverance, passion, and never-ending love for the Rochester community that she serves".

Last year's Citizen of the Year award recipient, Jackie Fitzpatrick, was at the event to present the award.

The Chamber is proud to name Mary Henderson as the 2024 Citizen of the Year and thank her for her tireless efforts, time, and dedicated service she has and continues to provide in and around Rochester.

Educator of the Year

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce recently presented its first annual Educator of the Year award. This award was conceived to recognize outstanding educators who embody the highest standards of teaching excellence and make a lasting impact on the lives of their students. The criteria for this prestigious award includes dedication to teaching, innovation in education, student-centered approach, leadership, and community involvement.

Ron Goodwin

At the Chamber's Annual Awards Celebration held on Wednesday evening at The Oaks Grandview Ballroom, the Chamber presented the 2024 Educator of the Year award to Ron Goodwin, Director of Music and Performing Arts at Spaulding High School.

Ron Goodwin has been a music teacher at Spaulding High School for nearly 14 years. Several years ago, the administration recognized his leadership skills and made him chair of the music department. He was also named the district department chair for all K-12 music teachers. In his role, he has been instrumental in securing thousands of dollars to repair and replace instruments for students in elementary, middle and high school music programs. He secured funding for curriculum materials, and he spearheaded a months-long effort to replace aging uniforms for the Spaulding High School band.

Colleagues of Ron Goodwin describe his dedication to his students as second to none, indicating that he spends countless extra hours at Spaulding to ensure students have the most positive experiences while in high school. His students appreciate and respect the time and effort he gives to them, resulting in high quality music and drama productions for the community.

According to Rochester School Board member, Matt Pappas, "my two daughters excelled in all academics in part due to the skills and aptitudes they learned in the music program. These lifelong skills and habits are very useful as they navigate through life".

When presented with the award, Lauren Jerr, Extended Learning Opportunities Director at Spaulding High School, stated that "Ron Goodwin has consistently demonstrated unparalleled dedication to his students' success and a deep commitment to our local community. His passion for education, tireless efforts, and positive impact on the community make him a true beacon of excellence in teaching".

As a band director for Spaulding High School, all of his students' work is regularly on display for thousands of area residents. Ron Goodwin continues the excellence that is expected of the band which results in happy spectators in area parades.

According to one of his students, Emily Buinicky, "when I walk across that stage in June, I will be grateful for all of the music he taught me, but I will be even more grateful for the life lessons he taught me.'

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize the efforts, programs, and dedication that are consistently provided to his students. We are delighted to present our first annual Educator of the Year award to Ron Goodwin.

Presenting the Educator of the Year award to Ron Goodwin was Lauren Jerr, Extended Learning Opportunities Director at Spaulding High School.

Nonprofit of the Year

The Nonprofit of the Year award presented by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is one of the Chamber's most prestigious business awards. This award, sponsored by Living Innovations, is bestowed upon a nonprofit that demonstrates excellence in their organization and in their community. It also recognizes a Chamber member that has provided a significant impact to the betterment of the greater Rochester area. At the Chamber's Annual Awards Celebration held on Wednesday evening at The Oaks Grandview Ballroom, the Chamber presented the 2024 Nonprofit of the Year to the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts.

Rochester Museum of Fine Arts

Founded in 2011, the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts is an all-volunteer, community art initiative, dedicated to making contemporary works accessible to people of all ages and socioeconomic levels. Through the presentation of fine arts, the RMFA enriches people's lives and celebrates talent and diversity. The museum's display is located at the James W. Foley Memorial Community Center - home of the Bernier Room, Pixel Room and permanent collection, and at the Rochester Public Library - home of the Carnegie Gallery and permanent collection.

The RMFA's permanent collection contains more than 200 multidisciplinary works donated by artists from around the world. It is one of the largest and most impressive free public art collections in New Hampshire. From painting and sculpture to printmaking and film, the collection represents an ever-evolving range of visual expression.

According to Rochester Mayor Paul Callaghan, "the museum has fostered a vibrant arts community and has enriched the lives of countless people. The museum is a valuable asset to the City of Rochester, and I believe it is a worthy recipient of this award".

The impact of the museum's permanent collection has helped to beautify public buildings in Rochester, providing a place for local artists to showcase their works of art.

Michael Scala, Director of Economic Development for the City of Rochester, states that "the RMFA has commissioned and installed numerous works of art in public spaces throughout the City. These installations have helped to attract visitors and new business to the area, increasing foot traffic and economic vitality".

RMFA has received numerous accolades, including the American Arts Award for Best Art Museum or Gallery in NH, and Top 20 Best Art Museums in the U.S.

They have remained faithful to their mission of making art accessible to everyone. By using public spaces to showcase art and engage with visitors, the RMFA is able to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of art, and create a more inclusive and vibrant community.

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize the efforts, initiatives, and business partnerships that are consistently provided to the community, and are pleased to present its 2024 Non-Profit of the Year award to the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts.

Last year's Non-Profit of the Year recipient, Kerry Norton of Hope on Haven Hill, presented this year's award.

Read more from:
Comment      Print
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: