By Susan Larson.

Capital Ale House was named Business of the Year during the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet and gala on January 29, 2016.

“Business of the Year is presented to a company that balances business success with a dedication to improving our community’s quality of life,” said Chamber President and CEO Susan Spears. Four beer enthusiasts — Matt Simmons, Mike Jones, Linda Jones and Chris Holder — started the business in Richmond in 2008. They now own five locally-owned and operated, full-service restaurants. These are in Fredericksburg, downtown Richmond, Richmond Music Hall, Midlothian and Harrisonburg.

Foundation Companies, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Joe Grzeika were also honored.

Entrepreneur of the Year
Foundation Companies owners Jeremy McCommons and Mark Doherty won Entrepreneur of the Year. The award recognizes a person who successfully plans and executes a business proposal to fill a regional economic niche. “The real estate investment company started in 2007, among challenges in the real estate market,” Spears said. “Their management and unique leadership approach has created a cohesive group of businesses working together toward a common goal of providing real estate solutions.”

Community Impact Award
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) received the Community Impact Award. The recognition honors a business or organization that benefits the Fredericksburg Region on a daily basis. REC participates in more than 200 community events, provides 16 scholarships for high school seniors, distributes grants to local emergency services organizations and non-profits, and donates to more than 150 charitable organizations, Spears said.

Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award
Joe Grzeika received the Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual who has provided a lifetime of service and commitment to the Fredericksburg Region. Grzeika has served on many committees and boards, including five terms — 20 years — on the King George County Board of Supervisors, the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance Board of Directors, the UMW Board of Visitors, and the Rappahannock United Way Board of Directors and as Chairman/Vice Chairman of the chamber’s Military Affairs Council.

“Joe has been an extraordinary leader who has made exceptional commitments to our success,” Spears said. “He challenges us, listens to us, sees the big picture and leads us. He understands and believes in our region and the absolute need for regional cooperation.”

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