The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC today announced the six visionary leaders and businesses to be honored for creating positive change in the Harrisburg region at its annual Catalyst Awards celebration.
Catalyst Awards are presented to those who demonstrate a commitment to making a difference in their communities, creating more opportunities for business and building a brighter future in the Harrisburg region.
“In response to an incredibly unprecedented year, we are proud and grateful for the many ways we’ve seen businesses and individuals in the community step up to help others,” said David Black, President and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC. “There are countless organizations that deserve recognition for going above and beyond to support our region, and we hope to highlight some of those visionaries at our Catalyst Awards.”
The Chamber & CREDC is proud to honor the following businesses and individuals as recipients of the 2020 Catalyst Awards.
Athena Award Recipient
Sharon Ryan, Dasher Inc.
Sharon Ryan acquired Dasher, Inc., in 2009 with the goal to create a forward-thinking and community-focused business that helped people to live their best lives. Sharon transformed Dasher into a culture-driven customer contact services operation that helps people to feel connected, validated, and heard. Sharon brings authenticity, quality, reliability and empathy to her mentoring of women in all stages of their careers. Additionally, Sharon is the author of the Amazon best-selling book “The Talent Pool: How to Find and Keep Dedicated People While Making a Lasting Impact.”
Business Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Recipient
George Fernández, Latino Connection
Through his extraordinary passion for community service and extensive knowledge in the area of communication, George Fernández has fulfilled his dream of promoting a positive, profitable and sustainable relationship between various entities and the Latino community. In 2014, George founded Latino Connection, a strategic communications company, in order to help diverse organizations serve the Spanish-speaking community throughout Pennsylvania. His efforts have helped the Latino community thrive and have a place to gather and feel heard after many years without a place to feel welcome.
Catalyst Award Recipient
Joe Arthur, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
Joe Arthur has served as Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank since 2012. As the Food Bank’s principal ambassador, Joe presents regularly on the issue of hunger in Pennsylvania and nationally to community groups, legislative gatherings, government partners, prospective donor organizations, and other forums. Joe is a leader in anti-hunger work through his engagement as a Board Officer for the associations Feeding Pennsylvania, Hunger Free Pennsylvania, Hunger Free Lancaster County, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Produce Cooperative of food banks. Joe is also a national council representative at the Food Bank’s national affiliate, Feeding America, as well as a member on the Governor’s Food Security Partnership and Pennsylvania’s Emergency Food Assistance Advisory Committee.
Corporate Citizen of the Year Award Recipient
Highmark Blue Shield
Highmark Blue Shield proudly serves approximately 1.3 million health plan members through the company’s health care benefits business and employs about 4,000 people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Highmark has taken many proactive measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through coverage expansions, increased options to access to care, support for its communities, providers and customers, and by providing resources to access testing and information to ensure that its members, employees and communities can continue to prioritize wellness.
Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipient
Todd Phillips, True Legends Barbershop
Todd Phillips, owner of True Legends Barbershop, believes the Barbershop is more than just a hair cutting business. It’s a place to positively impact young men and women who may need a strong male role model and need to see Black Men thrive. The shop offers an apprenticeship program where young men and women can earn the hours needed and training to become barbers themselves. Todd also hosts events to bring awareness to anti-bullying and self-esteem, and helps kids by giving free back-to-school haircuts even if their parents can’t afford them.
Small Business of the Year Award Recipient
Viscul Creative, which stands for Vision and Culture, are creative experts in all things food and bevy. Since the first week of COVID, owners Jessica and Randall Hughes started producing content from their home, sharing recipes for home cooking, virtual happy hour drink inspirations, and meditative “soothe” videos that had viewers drooling for more. They also launched their Fork & Lens Podcast in July to reach marketers in the food and beverage industry by featuring guests and providing thought-leadership, giving viewers new and engaging content to enjoy in a now virtual world.
The Chamber & CREDC will host the Catalyst Awards virtual ceremony on Wednesday, December 9. The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are available at HarrisburgRegionalChamber.org.
ABOUT HARRISBURG REGIONAL CHAMBER & CREDC
Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC serves as a catalyst for promoting growth and quality of life in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties through bold leadership, visionary members and powerful results. The organization provides a unique blend of business, community/economic development and advocacy services under one roof to boost the economic vitality and livability across our region. The Chamber & CREDC has been accredited with five stars from the United States Chamber of Commerce—a distinction achieved by less than 2 percent of chambers across the nation.