News & Updates

The 2022 Celebration of Excellence Award Winners Announced

Posted on August 1st, 2022 at 2:35 PM
The 2022 Celebration of Excellence Award Winners Announced

Today the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership (ERCGP) announced its annual Celebration of Excellence award recipients. This year's event continues the tradition of honoring businesses that demonstrate a commitment to progress and acknowledge businesses and leaders who excel at what they do, going above and beyond for coworkers, employers, and the community.  
"This event is about celebrating those who are steadfast partners in Erie's ongoing evolution to be a vibrant, sustainable, thriving community of choice with a strong economy," said James Grunke, president and CEO of the Erie Regional Chamber. "The opportunity for this community is exponential and will be determined by the businesses and individuals like those honored tonight. I'd encourage anyone who wants to be part of its success to join us in creating a community of excellence."  

The award winners will be honored on August 10th from 5:30pm – 8pm at the Erie Yacht Club and include: 

  • Linda Stevenson, Louis J. Tullio Lifetime Achievement Award recipient: A longtime banker, now retired, Linda has made her biggest impact on the community through her work as the founder and longtime chair of the ATHENA program in Erie. At the center of that program is ATHENA PowerLink, which links female business owners with teams of business owners who serve as mentors. She has undoubtedly strengthened and elevated women in business as well as emerging women leaders in the community. 
  • Carl Nicolia, Forward Award recipient: Workplace culture is the most important thing to Carl and it's evident by the culture at PSNERGY, LLC. Employees are encouraged to "fail fast", are trusted, and enjoy modern benefits like flexible hours and work from home options. Everyone, even the engineers and sales team are expected to spend some time on a furnace at least once a year ensuring every employee understands the business from multiple angles which fosters better collaboration and understanding between teammates. Carl believes in the importance of connection as a factor for “stickiness” in keeping and attracting young professionals; he regularly encourages and facilitates opportunities for employees to meet and mingle with other "tech" workers and industry professionals. Not only is he dedicated to the success of his employees, Carl also mentors and collaborates with fellow business owners. As a participant in the FIRE Accelerator program, Carl mentored and facilitated connections for his fellow cohort participants, increasing their engagement with the Erie business community and opening opportunities for cohort participants to pursue to get the most out of their time in Erie.  
  • Missy Hitz, Small Business of the Year Award: Missy has been a successful business owner in the community since 2013. She also participated in the 2022 Erie Ambassador's program. When hiring new employees this year, diversity, equity, and inclusion was at the forefront of her mind to build a diverse practice in the community. Outside of running one of the largest private massage therapy businesses in Erie, she also serves as a mentor and program facilitator for the Thrive in Erie program. She’s a fantastic partner to the chamber and continues to elevate her practice and fellow business owners. 
  • Amanda Duncan, Young Professional of the Year Award:, Amanda has worked tirelessly to create diverse, equitable, and inclusive opportunities for young professionals to engage in Erie’s renaissance since becoming chair of the program. Her ongoing commitment to identifying and meeting needs of underrepresented individuals through her leadership position in YEP is commendable and appreciated. Throughout the pandemic, Amanda led the YEP committee to explore virtual opportunities for young professionals to stay connected. She has been the driving force to elevate young professionals within the chamber and has an incredible passion and desire for Erie and its young residents to thrive.  

About the Awards 

The Louis. J. Tullio Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon an individual or organization with a legacy of commitment to going above and beyond on behalf of the Erie community.  It recognizes those who have a demonstrated legacy of outstanding service using their abilities, resources, and energies to sustain the Erie community’s values, build on its needs, and promote its defined goals and visions. 
The Small Business Award recognizes a breakout new business or existing small business champion committed to collaboration and mentorship within the small business community.  The recipient contributes to the economic health of the community through exceptional business practices and customer service, demonstrates a high level of community involvement through participation in civic, community, and Chamber projects, and demonstrates a consistent record of strong employee relations and dedication to developing their company culture. 
The Forward Award honors the achievements of local businesses making a practice of building a world-class workforce by recognizing best practices in workplace flexibility, recruiting, retention and development.  Recipients demonstrate an attitude of excellence and outstanding achievement through creative solutions and excel in supporting and reinforcing the values of their company.   
The Young Professional of the Year Award recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of a highly motivated, emerging leader from Young Erie Professional's membership that shows excellence, creativity, and initiative within their profession. They engage in service to others and act as role models to their peers. 
Additionally, ATHENA Powerlink will recognize the ATHENA Powerlink Panel Recipients for 2022. This  year’s recipients include : Vicke Marz, Victoria’s Inn Bed and Breakfast; Holly McMaster, The Juice Jar; Allison Price, Nutrition and Healing Center; and Gisele Littrell, Tipsy Bean.  
About the Erie Regional Chamber 
The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership is committed to leads Erie’s economic evolution through awareness, advocacy, and access to people, education, and information businesses need to grow. ERCGP acts as a collective voice for the business community, representing over 650 businesses and 44,000 employees throughout the region. To learn more or to become a member, visit the Erie Regional Chamber online: