The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual Young Professionals Awards last night at the Garden Drive in Hunlock Creek.
Due to the ongoing safety measures, things looked a little different this year, but that didn’t stop the Chamber from putting together a fun, safe, and socially distanced event to celebrate some of the best and brightest in our community.
First, I want to congratulate the entire lineup of all-star nominees. I also want to recognize two of the winners, my friends Chris Bohinski and Mike McGinley.
I caught up with both of them today to congratulate them on their awards.
Chris, whom I recently met during his appearance on Episode 29 of the podcast, became an immediate friend.
Last night, he was the recipient of the Inspiration Award, and is totally deserving of it.
If you listen to his episode on the podcast, you’ll hear the story of the ups and downs of his life and how even throughout the most trying times, he finds a way to keep smiling and sending positive vibes out into the universe.
“Life is full of surprises and I was humbled to learn, which was a total surprise to me, that I was chosen as the 2020 Inspiration Award recipient,” Bohinski said. “I will continue to embrace life’s serendipity and smile all along the way.”
Mike on the other hand, I’ve known for over 15 years.
He and I met as teenagers working at Wegmans in Wilkes-Barre. We’ve remained friends over the years, and now serve on the Wilkes-Barre POWER! Board together, with Mike as our Vice President.
Mike took home the Influencer of the Year award. He is the Major Accounts Executive and Digital Manager at the Times Leader and also has a column in the Sunday paper titled, “Around Town.”
When I spoke with him today, he talked about his work with the paper and how he uses his platform in a positive way for the region.
“NEPA is filled with phenomenal leaders and amenities. I consider myself lucky to live here, and I’m thrilled to help promote the area weekly through my newspaper column, as well as to work with many non-profits that enrich the region,” Mike said. “My life has been enhanced by the organizations and groups I’ve gotten involved with here.”
Both Chris and Mike have many things in common, but the most important commonality of all is their commitment in helping move NEPA forward.
Complete list of award winners:
- Educator of the Year — Jonathan Kadjeski, Equus Workforce Solutions at the PA CareerLink Luzerne County at Wilkes-Barre
- Entrepreneur of the Year — Ashlee Martinelli, Every Little Thing LLC and The Grand Bank
- Cultural Ambassador of the Year — Samuel O’Connell, Coal Creative
- Intern of the Year — Desiree Scott, PCC Aerostructures
- Influencer of the Year — Mike McGinley, Times Leader Media Group
- Small Business Owner of the Year — Tyler Rice, AxelRad Screen Printing
- STEAM Professional of the Year — Danny Lykens and Mike Grobinski, Krypton Design
- Voluntary Leader of the Year — Harlan Tabron Jr., Mt. Zion Baptist Church
- Young Professional Development Award Winner — Community Bank
- Young Professional Counsel Award Leadership Recipients — Amy Feldman and Remington Sweeney
- Young Professional Inspiration Award — Chris Bohinski, WBRE