The Harford Award was bestowed Sept. 21 at the Richlin Ballroom, in Edgewood, with more than 350 business and community leaders attending the dinner event that recognized five Harford County business for their contributions to the community, the economy and their employees.
Since its inception, the dinner program has honored more than 88 Harford County companies and organizations. This year's theme was "Right Time, Right Place…Positioned for Success!" according to its organizers.
The 2011 Harford Award winners are: Bowhead, Celebree Learning Center, Johnson Family Pharmacy, Northeastern Supply Inc. and the Y of Central Maryland-Walter and Betty Ward Family Center. Each organization represents the best in each of the following respective business categories, respectively: technology, service, retail, industrial and non-profit.
Bowhead, in Belcamp, was awarded two government contracts in 2009 for working with the Army Research Laboratory both at the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Adelphi (College Park area) locations. The company is under the corporate structure of the Ukpeaġvik Iňupiat Corporation, which is part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The Iňupiat people of Barrow, Alaska, a town of 4,600 and the northernmost community in the United States, are served by the UIC and Bowhead companies.
Bowhead representatives are active in many organizations such as the Northeastern Maryland Technology Council, Association of the United States Army, and the Armed Forces Community and Electronic Association. Bowhead staff members also serve on the Work Investment Board on the Susquehanna Workforce Network. Through the years Bowhead has been actively involved in STEM Education in this community and funds STEM Scholarships at Harford Community College.
UIC and Bowhead have benefitted from the diligence, innovation and strong Alaskan native culture's appreciation for human relations and service that the people of Barrow possess.
Celebree Learning Centers Inc.
Celebree, headquartered in Forest Hill, is a leader in child care, with the mission to protect, educate and nurture children from ages six weeks through school age and is comprised of 20 community-based centers throughout Maryland and Delaware.
The company was established by Richard Huffman in 1994 with the goal of providing communities in need with high quality child care and preschool services. Celebree serves the families of more than 2,000 children and employs more than 600 teachers and support staff.
The company has expanded and grown in Harford County over the years.
Johnson Family Pharmacy
The Johnson Family opened a community pharmacy in 2005 serving residents of Aberdeen. The pharmacy provides pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical products, wound care and offers screening for blood pressure and diabetes.
This family business has grown from a successful plan that has spurred other redevelopment along Bel Air Avenue and Route 40 in Aberdeen. The company owners, Julie and Steve Johnson, worked with the property owner to make it an attractive location in downtown Aberdeen and took the old business model of a soda shop in a pharmacy and put a modern twist to it. A gourmet coffee bar with seating inside and outside creates a friendly gathering place in the downtown Aberdeen area.
The Johnsons' goal has been to support the residents of Aberdeen and Harford County.
Northeastern Supply Inc.
Founded in 1945 in converted row houses in downtown Baltimore, Northeastern Supply now operates three facilities in Harford County. Two branches are in Bel Air and Aberdeen and its state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot Central Distribution Center is in Edgewood. The company is owned by the Cook Family.
In 1971 there were 12 people working for Northeastern, and today morethan 300 people are employed at 33 locations. The central distribution center ensures residential and commercial plumbers in Harford County have the easiest and quickest access to supplies of any plumbers in the region.
In 2010, Northeastern Supply and the Cook Family were named "2010 Harford County Philanthropists of the Year."
Y of Central Maryland, Walter and Betty Ward Family Center
The Y of Central Maryland - Walter and Betty Ward Family Center is a charitable organization dedicated to developing the full potential of every person through programs that build health spirit, mind and body. The Y's program is infused with four positive character values: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
Since 1986, the Harford County Y has played a significant role in the community. In the beginning the Y provided school age before- and after-school care. In 1990 the Y opened the William Paca Preschool and in 1994 opened the Harford Campus Preschool Center. With the addition of the Walter and Betty Ward Family Center in June 2007, the Y has positioned itself as business leader in the community.
The Harford Awards program is produced by Harford County Government, the Office of Economic Development; Harford Community College; and the Harford County Chamber of Commerce.