Catalyst Awards

Every year, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC honors the visionary, dynamic leaders and organizations creating change in the Harrisburg region at the annual Catalyst Awards. These awards are presented to those making a difference in our communities, creating more opportunities for businesses and building a brighter future for our region. Award recipients are judged by a panel of local business and community representatives, and recipients are chosen by their impact and facilitation of change of our area.

Learn more about the Awards & Committee

Award Categories


Athena Award Nominees must:

  • Demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession

  • Provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.

  • Assist women in reaching their full leadership potential.

Past Athena Award Recipients
2020 – Sharon Ryan
2019 – Claudia Williams
2018 – Kristal Turner-Childs
2017 – Janice Black
2016 – Christine Sears
2015 – Jewel Cooper
2014 – Jeannine Peterson
2013 – Karen Snider
2012 – Kim Phipps
2011 – Sue Yenchko
2010 – Ann Moffitt


A Business Diversity & Inclusion Champion is someone who works in their community and/or organization to promote diversity and inclusion in business. This individual(s) or organization has shown exemplary leadership in ensuring that all individuals are included, represented and served. They have supported or pioneered projects or programs involving the advancement of diversity and inclusion.

Nominees may be an individual, group of individuals, company, non-profit or community organization. Business Diversity & Inclusion Champions may be found at every level and within any size of an organization and how they champion business diversity may vary considerably.

Past Business Diversity Champion of the Year Award Recipients

2020 – George Fernandez
2019 – Todd Snovel
2018 – Hamilton Health Center
2017 – Dr. Craig Hillemeier
2016 – Homeland Center
2015 – Patricia Husic
2014 – Maria Thiaw
2013 – Highmark Blue Shield
2012 – Barbara Terry
2011 – Deborah Vereen
2010 – Bonnie Pyett

Catalyst AWARD

The most prestigious award given by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC is the Catalyst Award.

The Catalyst Award honors an individual or group of individuals whose leadership, business or governmental activities and community service have best exemplified the organization’s goal of being a Catalyst for our region in making it a better place to live, work and play. In short, it is special recognition for a person, group or organization who has made a difference over the past year or perhaps over a lifetime of service to the region.

Past Catalyst Award Recipients
2020 – Joe Arthur, Central PA Food Bank
2019 – Dr. Eric Darr, Harrisburg University of Science & Technology
2018 – TheBurg

2017 – The Joshua Group
2016 – Harristown Development Corporation
2015 – Capital Region Water Board of Directors
2014 – Stuart Malina
2013 – Harrisburg Young Professionals
2012 – Russell Ford
2011 – Jeannine Peterson
2010 – Kendall Hanna

Corporate Citizen of the Year AWARD

The Corporate Citizen of the Year Award is given to a company who has demonstrated strong values in corporate social responsibility in our region.

Past Corporate Citizen of the Year Award Recipients
2020 – Highmark Blue Shield
2019 – UGI Utilities, Inc.
2018 – Capital BlueCross
2017 – McNees
2015 – Highmark Blue Shield
2014 – Susquehanna Bank
2013 – PinnacleHealth System

Entrepreneur of the Year AWARD

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award honors an entrepreneur(s) who has taken a risk and demonstrated creativity, self-motivation and strong vision.

Past Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipients
2020 – Todd Phillips, True Legends Barbershop
2018 – Jason Klock, Klock Entertainment
2017 – Dr. David White & Dr. Richard Rayner
2016 – Russ DiGilio
2015 – Joshua Kesler
2014 – Jennifer Delaye
2013 – Gary Nalbandian
2012 – J. Alex Hartzler
2011 – Ryan Keith
2010 – WebpageFX, Inc.

Small Business of the Year AWARD

The Small Business of the Year Award honors a small business that demonstrates staying power, innovation and has a strong commitment to the community.

Past Small Business of the Year Award Recipients
2020 – Viscul Creative
2019 – Triscari Video|Web|Marketing
2018 – Mountz Jewelers
2017 – Classic Drycleaners & Laundromats
2016 – Premiere #1 Limousine Service
2015 – PPO&S
2014 – Boyer & Ritter, LLC
2013 – LeTort Trust
2012 – Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz (BSSF)
2011 – Gunn Mowery, LLC
2010 – Enginuity, LLC

Volunteer of the Year AWARD

The Volunteer of the Year award is awarded by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC to an individual who has demonstrated above and beyond dedication to improving the Harrisburg region by serving the Chamber & CREDC in different ways. These individuals donate their time and energy to improvethe region by serving on board, participating in committees and acting as a Champion for the Chamber and other organizations in our area. 

Past Volunteer of the Year Award Recipients
2019 – Sylvia Hepler
2018 – Lynda Morris
2017 – Devon DiBiase
2016 – Brenna Kernan
2015 – Sheilah Borne

Judging and Winner Selection Process