Port organization chooses outgoing Main Street director, restaurant for annual citizen, business awards
Sara Grover, the outgoing executive director of Port Washington Main Street Inc., is the Citizen of the Year, the city’s Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday.
The Chamber is honoring NewPort Shores as the Business of the Year, and Coal Dock Park as the city beautification project.
The Main Street Design Committee is receiving the distinguished service award, while the city’s Parks and Recreation and Street departments are receiving the special recognition award.
Grover, who has been Port Main Street’s director since the organization was formed five years ago, was selected for the honor based on her years of service to the city, Chamber Executive Director Lisa Crivello said.
“She’s gone above and beyond,” Crivello said. “You look at the criteria for the award and that is Sara in a nutshell. We could not think of a more deserving person.”
The award is given to someone who has contributed to the city through community-oriented projects, providing professional expertise and personal talents and engaging in civic and community activities that promote the city.
“That person has stepped outside of her paid job/position to embark upon an effort for the greater good using her own time, talents and personal fortitude,” the criteria reads.
Grover, who served as executive director of the Port Washington Business Improvement District before becoming the Main Street director, last week was fired by the Main Street board effective at the end of the year. While saying it wanted to “transition to new leadership” to make the organization more sustainable, the board credited Grover’s leadership and outreach with bringing a new vibrancy to downtown.
Crivello said NewPort Shores was selected as Business of the Year because of the support owner John Weinrich offers the Chamber.
“He’s always willing to help in the things we do,” she said. “He’s just been a great asset to the Chamber.”
It was hard to look past Coal Dock Park when selecting the beautification award, Crivello said.
“We just have gotten so many compliments on how beautiful it is, what an asset it is to the city,” she said. “It’s just going to get better and better as the years go by.”
The work done by the city’s Parks and Recreation and Street departments is also hard to ignore, but it’s work largely done outside the public view, Crivello said.
“They all give of their time and talent for events and for projects around the city,” she said. “They do a lot of stuff behind the scenes that people don’t know about.”
The Main Street Design Committee also has done a lot of volunteer work, putting in its time and talent to make the downtown a more attractive place to be, Crivello said.
Among their key projects are facade and design work with businesses and upcoming improvements to downtown parking lots behind Duluth Trading Co. and Port Washington State Bank, she said.
The awards will be presented during the annual Chamber awards banquet, which is set for Nov. 20 at Memories Ballroom in the Town of Port Washington.
A cocktail hour is set for 5:15 p.m., followed by a 6:30 p.m. buffet dinner and the awards presentation.
The cost is $35 per person, and reservations may be made by calling the Chamber office at 284-0900.