J.A. Lewis and his dove releases have become common place at events around east Hillsborough.
Lewis has worked with local schools to provide opportunities for students. This year, he provided a touching dove release ceremony at the Seffner Relay for Life, and he's known for lending respect with the doves at ceremonies for fallen heroes.
For those efforts, Lewis received the Sharon Carter Community Service Award on Tuesday at the Greater Seffner Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.
Carter was a lifelong contributor to the chamber, donating countless hours to the management and promotion of the organization. Chamber officials said her commitment was made more remarkable since she did not own a business.
Morningstar Electric, which has been honored with several recognitions for its customer service this year, was named the 2012 Business of the Year.
Stacey Efaw, Emergency Care Help Organization executive director, accepted the nonprofit of the year award. Since its inception in 1987, ECHO has served more than 150,000 area residents in need of emergency, short-term assistance.
Brian Spencer, president-elect, and Gwen Gideons, recording secretary, were named Chamber Members of the Year.
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The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce named the finalists for its 2012 Small Business of the Year Awards. The awards, which will be presented at a gala Oct. 18 at the Sheraton Tampa East Hotel, 10221 Princess Palm Ave., recognizes and honors small businesses within the Greater Brandon area that have demonstrated leadership, positive growth and development, creativity, integrity and a commitment to community services.
The finalists are (with owners in parentheses):
1-5 Employees: Ivey Carpet and Flooring (Rick Ivey), Mary and Martha House Inc./Second Hand Rose Boutique (Laurie Kepler) and Moon Law Group (Mark Moon).
6-15 Employees: Ace Heating & Cooling, Bivins & Hemenway, P.A. (Robert W. Bivins) and Cox Electric (Lawrence T. Cox).
16+ Employees: Beef 'O' Brady's "The Original" (Patrick Kinnell), Ed Morse Cadillac of Brandon (Peter Snelling) and the Rack-Sushi Bar & Billiards Lounge (Mike Hajeski).
Home-Based: Ion Apparel & Advertising Specialties (Sandy Cannington), Morningstar Electric (Tammy Morningstar) and Yard Guards on Doody (Cheresee Rehart).
Minority & Woman Owned: A Touch of Wellness (Scott Robinson), the Waiting Game Publication (Robert Parfitt) and Tutoring Club (Susan Prestridge).