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November 18. 2012 7:55PM

Mt. Washington Valley council honors chamber director Crawford for tourism work


Janice Crawford was awarded the Bob Morrell Award. Courtesy 

CONWAY - The Mount Washington Valley Economic Council recently honored Janice Crawford for her work in the valley's most critical economic sector, tourism.

The council awarded Crawford - the executive director of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce - the Bob Morrell Award. Created in honor of the founder of Story Land and Heritage-New Hampshire, the award is given to a person or organization that best reflects Morrell's values and actions.

"Janice embodies the very essence of entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, dedication, and follow through to make things happen, said Jac Cuddy, executive director of the council. "Her love of community and seeing businesses succeed has been the driving force to one of the state's most respected chambers of commerce. Janice's leadership has had a major impact on tourism in the Mount Washington Valley."

Crawford was not at the council meeting to accept the award in person. On Thursday, she was somewhere on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, and thanked the council via a video appearance. Her daughter, chamber staffer Jaimie Crawford, picked up the physical award for her mother, saying that when she was growing up she did not always appreciate her mother's absences due to chamber work, but now, seeing how that work has benefited so many, she does.

Crawford took over as executive director of the chamber in 1997 and has grown the membership to over 800, increasing the equity nearly 300 percent. She has assisted nonprofit boards in the valley, either by serving as a board member or lending her expertise to fundraising efforts.

"We originally thought of the Bob Morrell Award as a way to recognize entrepreneurs," Bob Morrell Award committee member Chuck Henderson said, "but Stoney (Bob Morrell's son) felt that Bob would like to consider nonprofit organizations as well. As a board-member of the chamber, I think Stoney would be pleased at the growth of the organization under Janice's leadership as well as her entrepreneurial resilience and sustained creativity."

In the council's annual report, council President Anthony Ruddy said, "The MWVEC was incorporated over 20 years ago and in that time we have seen many changes in the valley. The one thing that has not changed is the Economic Council's commitment to supporting businesses in our community."

The council administers a revolving loan fund, runs business workshops, and supports a SCORE chapter. The council also partners with the MWV Housing Coalition, Transportation Coalition, and FIRST Robotics. Over its 22 years, the council has aided in the creation of over 100 jobs, and the retention of over 450 jobs through its loans programs. The Tech Village includes the learning center, local home to Granite State College, a business resource center and technology business incubator. The second phase of the project is the village's business park, with several lots available with infrastructure in place.

syoungknox@newstote.com


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