Island business awards announced

CORTEZ – It was a bittersweet honor for John Horne on Friday night at the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Ceremony and Board of Directors Installation at the Seafood Shack.

Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island co-directors Judy Rup and Dennis Schuermann awarded the Rotary Club’s Businessperson of the Year award to the Anna Maria Oyster Bar owner.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar owner John Horne, center, with Judy Rup and Dennis Schuermann of the Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island after they presented him the Businessperson of the Year award. – Tom Vaught | Sun

Horne was overwhelmed with emotion when he said he was receiving the award a week after the passing of his mother. He said it was also his parents’ 61st anniversary, noting his father was in the audience. He thanked the Rotary Club for the honor.

The Chamber announced the winners of the businesses of the year in four categories, adding a new category – Non Profit of the Year – to the small, medium and large business categories.

Dennis Schuermann displays the Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island’s award – the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Non Profit of the Year. – Tom Vaught | Sun

The first winner of the new Non Profit of the Year award is the Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island. Rotary co-directors Judy Rup and Dennis Schuermann accepted the award.

The Large Business of the Year award went to Duncan Real Estate.

Large Business of the Year
Karen LaPensee, left, presented Darcie Duncan, owner of Duncan Real Estate, the Large Business of the Year award. – Tom Vaught | Sun

Owner Darcie Duncan remarked about how all the businesses pulled together during the red tide event this summer and fall, saying she is proud to be a part of the Island business community.

In the Medium Business of the Year award, from five to 14 employees, the winner was Happy Paddler Kayak Tours.

Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Board Member Karen LaPensee with Shane Catts, owner of Happy Paddler Kayak Tours, the winner of the Medium Business of the Year award. – Tom Vaught | Sun

“It all began with a couple of kayaks and a credit card,” owner Shane Catts said as he accepted his plaque.

The winner of the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year award for businesses up to four employees was Scott’s Deli. Scott Mason and his wife, Jane, accepted the award.

From left to right, Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Board Member Karen LaPensee with Jane and Scott Mason, of Scott’s Deli, winners of the Small Business of the Year award. – Tom Vaught | Sun

The awards ceremony drew 127 people. John Rinnell provided the musical entertainment.