Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County gala celebrates the best in business

Almost 500 people gathered Wednesday night for the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County’s annual Awards Gala to celebrate local businesses and the people who lead them.

CBICC events coordinator, Hannah Benton said this was the first year the gala was held as a “red carpet event” presented by the State College Spikes at the State Theatre and hosted by B94.5’s P.J. Mullen and Dana Griffin.

The awards ceremony followed an almost two-hour “signature chef and mixology premiere” at Indigo on East College Avenue that featured food and drinks from Gigi’s Restaurant, Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering, Mount Nittany Inn, Carnegie Inn & Spa, and a casual buffet from the Allen Street Grill.

Late last year, members of the CBICC submitted nominations for the eight awards and by the beginning of this year, the nominees were voted as the selected winner.

“We’re celebrating the success of businesses and entrepreneurs in Centre County,” Benton said. “They do so much for this area and we want to show them recognition and appreciation.”

Among Wednesday night’s winners included Edie Binkley of the Clothes Mentor; Otto’s Pub & Brewery, Dave Krauth and Mike Hughes, co-owners of Rotelli’s; Mount Nittany Health System; David Wells; Food Bank of State College Area, Inc., the Bicycle Shop; Mount Nittany Inn for both best dish and best paired food and drink, and Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering for best drink, and Fran Stevenson who was CBICC’s Ambassador of the Year who has been with the chamber for four years.

“Working for the Spikes allows me to show my spirit,” said Wells, who helps run the team’s public relations department and won the CBICC Spirit Award. “I’m doing what I love, interacting with the public and helping in the community.”

For other award winners, their recognition was both humbling and something they’re proud of.

Erik Scott, owner of the Bicycle Shop, said he walked into the store more than two decades ago and never thought that he would one day be the owner.

And for Binkley, who opened The Clothes Mentor on Rolling Ridge Drive almost two years ago, she said she’s able to live her dream every day. Her store offers clothing people can buy and sell.

“For me, I’m living the dream of helping people,” Binkley said.