BERLIN — Former Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd, now a prosecutor in neighboring Wicomico, was announced this week the winner of the 46th Annual Berlin Award.
“This probably means more to me than any other award I’ve accomplished in life,” said Todd after learning of his victory Tuesday.
Todd was chosen as the honoree for his involvement in community organizations like the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, Diakonia and the Worcester County Child Advocacy Center (CRICKET) as well as his time as Worcester County State’s Attorney, a post he held from 1995 until 2010.
“He learned the value of a good argument at a young age,” joked Ellen Lang, a former Berlin councilmember and past recipient of the Berlin Award.
“His professional career has been outstanding,” added Lang.
Todd received praise from a number of community leaders during the award banquet, which was held at the Berlin Lions Club.
State Senator Jim Mathias, the speaker of honor, pointed to Todd’s work with the CRICKET Center in helping that organization become as prominent as it is today.
“You absolutely had the leadership and the strength to do it,” he told Todd.
Mathias also took a moment to speak about the town that lent its name to the award.
“Everything that’s right in America, we can find right here in Berlin, Md.,” he said.
Mathias reminisced briefly about how the town has grown and changed and about the bonds he and his family have developed with the area.
“It’s about family, it’s about memories, it’s about nostalgia,” Mathias said of Berlin.
Mathias also mentioned the progress being experienced by the town in a time when most of the country has halted or begun to slide backwards.
“We talk about creating jobs … it’s happening right here,” said Mathias, referencing new businesses in town like Burley Oak Brewery.
Mayor Gee Williams spoke in much the same vein and said that Berlin’s population has boomed within the last decade. He explained that, no matter how someone comes to Berlin, he believes the message they need to hear is that “you haven’t moved to a town, you’ve joined a family.”
Williams also congratulated Todd on the award and said it was, “obvious the spirit of Berlin is alive and well.”