2018 Annual Award Winners


FAIRHOPE, Ala. (March 1, 2018) - The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce was pleased to announce the 2018 Annual Award winners during the March Business After Hours Event at the Fairhope Airport.


Small Business of the Year – Fairhope Brewing Company

Fairhope Brewing Company opened their doors in 2013 with only two beers on tap and a limited draft distribution in Mobile and Baldwin Counties but has grown exponentially over the last five years. In 2015, they expanded their facilities to include bottling, and Fairhope’s hometown beer can now be found throughout Alabama and along the coast of Mississippi and Florida panhandle. Their team has grown from three full-time employees to 17. The brewery just celebrated another major milestone, installing their new grain silo which holds 60,000 pounds of malted barley. That is more barley than they used in their entire first 18 months of operation but is now less than 90 days’ worth.

The growth has continued in 2018 with the release of their 5th year-round beer in bottles, "Cheap Sunglasses,” which will be available throughout Alabama and the Gulf Coast.

Fairhope Brewing Company is an incredible ambassador for the Eastern Shore with imaginative products & local names for their beers such as "Take the Causeway IPA” and "Tarts & Crafts” released for the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival last Spring.

Fairhope Brewing Company supports other local businesses by sourcing local ingredients and recycling leftover grains to local farmers to use to feed livestock. The brewery is also a constant community partner, supporting numerous charities by hosting events and making donations to fundraisers. Over the past five years, Fairhope Brewing Company has donated more than $75,000 in goods and services and helped facilitate tens of thousands more by donating the use of their venue for fundraisers and community events.

Fairhope Brewing Company has also been an incredible partner to the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, hosting the Young Professionals’ Pencils & Glue for Bingo & Brews event, participating in and winning the Annual Cornhole Tournament to raise money for the Spanish Fort Public Library, hosting committee meetings and generously sponsoring Chamber events such as the Annual Meeting, Golf Tournament, the Arts & Crafts Festival Artists Dinner and the Jubilee Festival.


Community Leader – Daniel Meshad, Anchor Cross Cancer Foundation

Daniel Meshad has built his career on service. At the Anchor Cross Cancer Foundation, he assists cancer patients to navigate complex insurance issues and assists with financial aid throughout their treatments. He displays a marked amount of compassion for each individual patient’s situation and comes up with creative solutions to ease the financial burden.

On top of Meshad’s role raising funds to support the Foundation’s mission, he has also held an extremely active role with the Chamber’s Young Professionals as well as being a volunteer Chamber Ambassador.


Environmental Award – Weeks Bay Foundation


The Weeks Bay Foundation is working year-round to highlight the importance of land conservation and clean water. They host several annual events that focus on the sensitive wetlands that surround our waterways such as the Bald Eagle Bash that promotes fresh local shrimp and the Pelican Paddle that gets people out on the water to see the marshes up close. The Weeks Bay Photo Contest showcases people enjoying nature on Alabama’s coast. They also get locals involved with picking up trash and debris during the Fish River/Weeks Bay Clean-up Day.

In 2017 the Weeks Bay Foundation partnered with Thompson Engineering to implement a new rigid plastics recycling program and collected 2,000 pounds of plastics that will be made into toiletry products by Proctor & Gamble. The Foundation also coordinated all the Coastal Cleanup recycling activities for 2017.

The Weeks Bay Foundation is using their quarterly magazine and monthly e-newsletter to educate the public about restoration and conservation efforts in and around the Weeks Bay Watershed.


Service Award – Ben & Cindy Bloom

This year’s Service Award goes to a couple who has made an incredible impact at each of their respective businesses and have also been an asset to the Chamber, willing to pitch in wherever needed.

Cindy Bloom spends her days with Feeding the Gulf Coast, sourcing fresh produce to supply food pantries throughout the Gulf Coast. Ben Bloom is spurring local tourism while promoting the environment at 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center.

As a team, they are always willing to volunteer with a host of Chamber initiatives such as the Young Professionals, events and most recently the new Explore Eastern Shore Tourism Society.


Ambassador of the Year – Sally Wagner, Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore

Sally Wagner of Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore has been a strong supporter and valuable volunteer for the Chamber for years. She never misses an opportunity to welcome a new business at a ribbon cutting or greeting guests at Business After Hours. She has played an integral role on the Jubilee Festival & Annual Meeting Committees and is a past Chamber Board Member. She and other team members at Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore have made a point to consistently support the Chamber  through committee involvement, participation, sponsorships and hosting events.

Young Professional of the Year - Nina Rockwell, Farmers Insurance - Ginger Poling Agency

The Young Professional of the Year award signifies the ambition and dedication that the Chamber values from the future business leaders of our community. The Young Professionals Board has selected the 2018 recipient from the Young Professional membership.

Nina Rockwell is energetic and compassionate, constantly asking how she can help. She never misses an event and is always willing to participate in fundraisers and volunteer however needed.

The Young Professional of the Year award is sponsored by Dale Carnegie Training of the Emerald Coast.


More Questions?

Didn't find what you are looking for? Contact us for more information.