In years past, this is the season when the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce begins finalizing details for our annual Art of Achievement Awards. One of the Chamber’s marquee events, capped off with an evening gala at the Flint Institute of Arts, honors business leaders, community champions and hospitality professionals who have achieved notable success and outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields of industry.
Like so much that has transpired in 2020, this year will be different but no less inspiring. In rising to meet an array of unprecedented challenges brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, there have been many uplifting stories of triumph, innovation and community fellowship that continue to underscore the spirit of Flint & Genesee.
We saw manufacturers retool to make ventilators and masks. We saw philanthropic and private organizations provide dollars to small businesses and residents. We saw residents push to buy local and get takeout to keep their neighborhood businesses afloat. We saw individuals support each other with school supplies and food distributions to their neighbors. We have seen community leaders and residents rally around inequities that need to be addressed.
And these are just some of the stories that we have heard or read about. I am certain that there are many more stories yet to be shared. We want to hear about them.
So, while the Chamber has postponed this year’s Art of Achievement Awards and gala until 2021 due the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the state mandates limiting the size of indoor gatherings, we will honor individuals and/or businesses who have made a unique and positive impact in Flint & Genesee in 2020.
Twenty in ’20 will honor 20 people and businesses for their exemplary contributions to the overall well-being of our community during this year. Nominations are open to any resident of, or business in, Genesee County, employees of a Genesee County business and students who attend a Genesee County school. In addition, you may also nominate yourself.
There are no categories to consider nor an entry fee. Just a few minutes or more of your time is all that we ask to tell us about someone who went over and above in helping the community in 2020.
Maybe he or she supported medical professionals, first responders or frontline workers in the food service industry. Maybe it was the generosity shown toward helping families in need. Maybe it was a business owner who made a difference in the lives of their employees or coworkers, or by adapting their business model to maintain operations. However, stories do not have to be related to the coronavirus pandemic to qualify.
The awardees will be featured in a special November/December print edition of the Chamber’s AND magazine and on the Chamber’s web site and shared across our social media platforms.
The deadline is Sept. 7 and nominations are submitted online at flintandgenesee.org/twenty-in-20.
In our view, the highlights of 2020 have been the stories about the ways in which the current climate has stirred positive change as well as those about people caring for others. It is humbling to see the good around us.
So, if you know of someone, including yourself, whose story deserves a wider audience, please consider submitting a nomination to Twenty in ’20. We want to celebrate the good around us.
Kristina Johnston is the COO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.