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McCartney is First City Employee to Receive Chamber Award

At the annual Rising Above the Rest Awards breakfast last Friday, the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce (CRICC) did something it has never done before – the prestigious Al Andrews Community Achievement Award went to a municipal official.

Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney was given the award in recognition of his significant achievements throughout his career, while selflessly making outstanding contributions to the community.

"I don't have to worry about any decision he makes," said Mayor Scott Avedisian. At his core, the mayor said, “McCartney believes that a police department operates as a part of the community."

McCartney was appointed Chief of Police for the city of Warwick in June of 1999 and served as the 2008 President of the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association.

The chief called the award, "a tremendous honor." McCartney believes that the business community is a "partner" with the police department and the department also has a good relationship with the community. The average "shelf-life" of a police chief is three and a half years and McCartney has been here for 11 and a half years, to which he credits the mayor and community leaders for making that happen.

“The Mayor is a first class professional and the city leaders are moral and honorable people,” said McCartney.

The chief began his law enforcement career in the Providence Police Department, serving in all three major divisions. During his 25 and half years with Providence, his assignments included tours of duty in the Patrol Bureau, director of the city’s first mounted unit, director of training from 1982 to 1985, Commanding Officer of the Neighbourhood Response Unit from 1985 to 1987, and an 11 year stint with the investigative division as a lieutenant and captain commanding the detective bureau.

Besides numerous commendations for outstanding police work, McCartney has been recognized for outstanding achievement by the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney, the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General, the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

"The only reason for my successes are the men and women of the department," said McCartney.

McCartney was not the only community member honored at the awards breakfast last Friday at the Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel.

This year’s Rising Above the Rest Humanitarian of the Year was awarded to Rhode Island Kitchen & Bath’s President Steve St. Onge.

“He understands what it takes to be successful, he understands the hard work and sacrifice required, and understands that giving back is a key element to success,” said CRICC President Lauren Slocum.

St. Onge’s leadership and support of his staff have enabled his company to give back to the community ten-fold.

In 2010 they matched a $500 college scholarship grant for a Warwick High School student who exemplifies high academic achievement while serving their community. On an annual basis, the company supports the Special Olympics and a number of other community organizations. They are the founding corporate sponsor of the Crowbar Regatta in Newport, an annual fundraiser that raised over $2000 this year for Habitat for Humanity.

“For many years they have supported the efforts of Habitat by donating tens of thousands of dollars in materials, design time and volunteer hours on several Habitat projects. Recently they designed and installed a new kitchen and updated the bathroom in a local home for a needy family,” said Slocum.

Rhode Island’s business owners and entrepreneurs can relate to an individual that has been through, or is going through the same challenges and experiences that they are, which is what makes Elizabeth Perry an ideal recipient for the Business Mentor of the Year Award.

“She began with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation in September 2008 helping small businesses see their maximum growth potential. She assists small businesses by putting them in contact with the right tools they need to foster their growth. The combination of personal assistance, educational opportunities and consultation are a recipe for success,” said Slocum.

The secret to Perry’s success lies in the fact that she too is a business owner. For over 11 years, Perry has been making all natural homemade dog treats called “Gracie’s Gourmet Goodies”. She personally understands the frustrations, and feeling of elation when it goes right and for the past two years was awarded one of the Top Dog honors for Best Bakery in The Animal Print Magazine.

“While her professional and community achievements are outstanding, it is how her clients and those around her describe her that give testament to the dedication she demonstrates in mentoring local businesses,” said Slocum.

The recipient of the Business and Education Advocate of the Year Award knows personally the importance of partnering business and education.

Lee Lewis runs a successful statewide territory as the youngest president of the Junior Achievement Worldwide organization. He serves on the Greater Rhode Island Workforce Investment Board – Youth Council and the RI Hospitality Education Foundation.

His philosophy is shared with his staff and colleagues, telling them that the educational system needs, and wants, partnerships with business to help students become better prepared to meet the unique challenges of this changing economy.

“It’s not a secret: a solid education, strong work ethic, guidance from mentors and passion for what I do has helped me get to where I am today,” Lewis said in a statement.

This year’s Young Entrepreneur Award winner decided he could leverage his leadership experience from over seven years on active duty as a Naval Surface Warfare Officer into a successful business owner. Chris Sanford knew that the secret to success lay in an organization’s people. So with offices nationwide, he decided to purchase a franchise and introduce Rhode Island to PuroClean.

“As the ‘Paramedics of Property Damage’ they respond and restore properties from fires, floods, mould and smoke losses. They provide a combination of exceptional property mitigation services delivered with an equal degree of compassion. They help rescue homes, put businesses back in operation, and help people get back to their lives,” said Slocum.

Sanford is a 2010 member of Leadership Rhode Island, a board member of the West Broadway Neighbourhood Association, a member of the Rotary Club of Warwick, and a Naval Reserve Officer.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to recognize these local leaders,” said Slocum.

The following people also received awards at the annual ceremony: Business Person of the Year (1-49 employees) StormTite Home Improvement, President and CEO, Ed Ladoceur; Not-For-Profit Business of the Year (company with 1-49 employees) Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service, CEO Leslie Taito accepting; Not-For-Profit Business of the Year (company with 50+ employees) Westbay Community Action, Executive Director Jeanne Gattegno accepting; Conquering Adversity, Warwick Mall, Co-managing Partner Aram Garabedian accepting; Volunteer of the Year, Brenda Juhnowski and Chamber Advocate of the Year, Beverly Levitt-Narciso.

Read more: Warwick Beacon – McCartney is first city employee to receive chamber award