WO Chamber of Commerce hands out annual awards

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The West Orange Chamber of Commerce recently held their Annual Awards Dinner honoring a local educator, firefighter, police officer and business.

“A year of challenges, growth, remarkable progress,” said Board Member Adam Wolf, who hosted the event. “Let us remember their achievements are what is possible.”

Tez Roro, president of the West Orange Chamber, thanked the people who put together the event that was held at the Essex County Country Club.

“This event took a lot of time and energy,” Roro said.

This year’s winners were:

Educator of the Year; West Orange High School Assistant Principal Annette Towson.

Business of the Year; GrowthPoint Consulting

Police Officer of the Year; Officer Bryan Louis

Firefighter of the Year; Deputy Fire Chief Philip Bussey

The Rev. Jose Erlito Ebron, pastor of St. Rafael Church in Livingston and St. Joseph Church in West Orange, offered a prayer before dinner.

“It is an honor to be here today,” Ebron said. “We owe everything to God. We ask he be with us today.”

Superintendent of West Orange Schools, Hayden Moore, offered congratulations to all recipients.

“Many I’ve known for a long time,” he said. He introduced Towson as someone he had worked with for 20 years.

“She helped bring in a whole new schedule for our students to work with. It is an absolute honor to celebrate a truly remarkable individual. You’ve always been a beacon of light and inspiration in my life. Thank you for being an extraordinary educator. Congratulations to my bestie.”

Towson thanked the chamber, those who nominated her, and other recipients.

“From the bottom of my heart I understand the importance of this recognition and I am eternally grateful,” she said.

West Orange Fire Department Chief Anthony Vecchio presented the award to Bussey, who he said, “moved quickly through the ranks.”

Louis, who received the Police Officer of the Year award, gave a special mention to his parents.

“My parents always wanted me to be a doctor. When I told them, ‘Doctor is not on the table anymore’ they embraced it. I want to thank them personally.”

Roro presented the award for Business of the Year to Arnon Amir, president of GrowthPoint Consulting.

Wolf returned to the podium to close out the evening.

“Your achievements set a high standard,” he said to the award recipients. “Let us continue to support one another, celebrate each other’s success.”

Ebron gave a heartfelt and humorous benediction.

“In today’s world, everybody wants to be a go getter,” he said. “We need more go givers. We saw that today. That’s the success of a community.”

To learn more about West Orange Chamber of Commerce, visit: westorangechamber.com.