Ocean City Chamber To Recognize 2022 Award Winners

OCEAN CITY – The Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce has announced the recipients of its 2022 Annual Awards.

On Friday, Feb. 25, the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce will hold its 2022 Annual Awards Celebration to honor five individuals and one nonprofit for their contributions to the community.

Nominations for this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Businessperson of the Year, Citizen of the Year, First Responder of the Year, Young Professional of the Year and Nonprofit of the Year were vetted by the Chamber’s awards committee, which selected one winner from each category.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Ruth Waters, corporate director of sales for Harrison Group Resort Hotels and Restaurants.

“This award recognizes an individual for a lifetime of consistent community leadership and philanthropic endeavors that have made a lasting impact on their community,” a news release from the Chamber reads. “Their actions, achievements and contributions evoke admiration and respect.”

In addition to her role at Harrison Group Hotels, Waters serves on the board of directors for the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce and is president of the Ocean City Chamber Foundation. She also serves on the Worcester County Tourism Commission and the American Bus Association Marketplace committee.  She has previously served on the boards of the Maryland Tourism Coalition, Art League of Ocean City and the American Red Cross.

“I’m certainly humbled and honored to receive such a prestigious award from the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce,” she said. “I’ve worked in this town for 37 years and have enjoyed my tenure with the Harrison Group immensely and working on projects to take our town to the next level.”

The Chamber has also named Walter “Buck” Mann of Mann Properties as its 2022 Businessperson of the Year.

“The nominee should exhibit business leadership and vision, displaying a significant commitment to the success of both business and the area,” the news release reads. “The honoree serves as a positive role model for others, demonstrates a commitment to their community and is widely recognized as a successful business manager or owner.”

In addition to founding Mann Properties, Inc. in 1973, Mann has served on the Ocean City Council and on the Ocean City Board of Zoning Appeals. He currently serves on the Ocean City Paramedic Foundation and on the board of directors for the Children’s House by the Sea. In addition, he has been president of the Delmarva Irish-American Club and has co-chaired the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade since its inception 39 years ago.

“It’s easy doing business in Ocean City,” he said. “It’s such a great town. I was part of generation that came here 40 years ago and started working. It’s an easy place to work, and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

The Chamber has also named Jonathan Bauer, vice president of information services at Atlantic General Hospital, as its Citizen of the Year award recipient for 2022. The honoree is being recognized for his heroism during a multi-vehicle accident last May. He jumped off the Route 90 bridge to save an infant who had been ejected from a car into the bay below.

The Chamber will recognize Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro as its 2022 First Responder of the Year. This award honors one first responder from the 21842-zip code for exemplary acts of valor, outstanding community service, as well as going above and beyond the call of duty.

“I am humbled by the nomination of First Responder of the Year,” Buzzuro said. “I look forward to accepting this award, not for myself but the entire Ocean City Police Department. All of us at the Ocean City Police Department dedicate ourselves to the community of Ocean City and it is a tremendous honor to serve as the Police Chief. This humbling recognition speaks volumes to the work we do here every day and the relationship we continue to build within our community.”

The 2022 Young Professional of the Year award goes to Allyson Knight of the Commander Hotel. This award recognizes a person between the ages of 21 and 39 who is employed by or owns a business that is a member of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.

“Assistant General Manager at the Commander Hotel, Allyson supports nonprofits in Ocean City and coordinates monthly volunteer events among her staff,” the Chamber reports. “She is an active member of the OC Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals and currently serves on the Events Committee.”

Lastly, the Chamber has announced Hudson Behavioral Health as its 2022 Nonprofit of the Year. Formed in 1980, the nonprofit brought the first residential addiction treatment program to the Eastern Shore.

The Awards Celebration will be held Feb. 25, from 6-10 p.m., at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel. Tickets are $95 per person, which includes cocktail hour, plated surf & turf dinner, professional photos by Kyle Hughes and Dana Marie Photography, and music by Full Circle Duo. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the Chamber’s website or contact Events Manager Heather LaFollette at 443-664-3268 or email [email protected]. Sponsorships are available.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.