The annual Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce award winners for the past year were presented at the organization's Spring Banquet at Hamilton's Bitterroot River Inn on May 21.

Taking the top honor for "Business of the Year" was the Ravalli Fun Center, owned by Dasha and Knut Holestad. They've taken the bowling alley on Skeels Avenue into a new realm of entertainment, both inside and outside the building with activities for the whole family.

"Business Person of the Year" was John Bishop, who has been CEO of Bitterroot Health since 2018. Bishop has overseen a rebranding of Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital and associated clinics throughout the valley to an inclusive "Bitterroot Health" name.

Other Bitterroot Chamber Awards

Businesses, organizations and people who've made a difference:

  • New Business of the Year - Seppi's European Deli & Market, at the north end of Hamilton.
  • Community Asset - Bitterroot CASA - The valley's Court Appointed Special Advocates, helping children in the court system.
  • Economic Development - Bitterroot Building Industry Association. The BBIA has been working to unify and improve the valley's building industry.
  • Unsung Heroes - A tie between two people who work "behind the scenes" to help the community. Winners were Hannah Farrenkopf (Hamilton Mayor Dominic's wife) and Michele Craig, who can often be found at the Bitter Root Humane Association.
  • Volunteer of the Year - Ronda Land of Alpine Realty, helping the Darby School District and the BR chamber.
  • Spark Plug Award - Liz Cook of A2Z Personnel, who has added her energy to events such as Stevensville Heritage Days.
  • The Laurel Award
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    This was the 116th Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Awards Ceremony, hosted by Executive Director Al Mitchell. The chamber, which has 450 members from Sula to Florence, is now in preparation for its hugely popular Bitterroot Brewfest this summer, which will be held again at the Daly Mansion grounds on the same weekend as Hamilton's Daly Days.

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