HOT SHOTS: Gene Hall Community Service Award Winner at So Co Chamber Crab Feast
The Southern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce hosted the County Executive at their annual membership and election on Tuesday night. The event was held at Greenstreet Gardens in Lothian. The Gene Hall Community Service award was also presented to Frank Gouin, who also received commendations from County Executive Laura Neuman and State Sen. Ed Reilly.
Gouin was selected to receive the award because of his many, many community service projects. The award was established by the Southern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce in memory of Deale Electric Company owner Gene Hall, who was known for his sense of humor, generosity and commitment to the community.
Gouin was nominated by last year’s winner John Hiser. Apparently, they belong to a mutual admiration society because in 2012, Hiser won the award after being nominated by Gouin.
Dr. Gouin, a plant physiologist and professor who taught and conducted research at the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources for 33 years, is pretty famous for his professional work. His retirement 14 years ago didn’t slow him down. He said that he and his wife selected this area to move to in 1990.
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“We made it our home because of the people here,” Gouin said.
Gouin, owner and farmer at Upakrik Farm in Deale currently writes a regular column on the glories and benefits of composting. After moving here, he helped to revitalize the Lothian Ruritan Club and is a regular at their “burger burns.” He chairs the South County Concert Association and recently joined the board of the South County Assistance Network (SCAN) at St. James Church. He was a regular at the Farmer’s Market at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church. He also played an important role in the Maryland Christmas Tree Growers Association. He is involved with the Rotary Club, scholarships for students at Southern High School and more.
That is just scratching the surface of Gouin’s involvement in the community.
Sen. Ed Reilly, who presented Gouin with a Maryland State Senate Commendation said, “Gouin helped shape the face of the county, state and nation. When there was a need, Frank always stepped up.”
Also at the meeting, County Executive Neuman told the three dozen attendees that her administration was proud of its accomplishments, including hiring new chiefs for the police and fire department. She promised improvements to economic development, and Planning and Zoning.
“There are challenges. But we are improving. We have to look to the future and let go of the past,” Neuman said.
She said that she wanted to help the county, not by luring the biggest businesses.
“Let’s face it, Google isn’t moving to Anne Arundel County,” she said, adding that the county should focus on improving the business climate for businesses large and small.
She said that small business is primarily responsible for job growth, so it doesn’t always have to be about bringing the big businesses to town.