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Discover Fauquier December 2018
~ Nancy Griffin-Bonnaire
In recognition of
its 96th year in
existence, the
Fauquier Chamber
of Commerce held
its 32nd Annual
Meeting and
Awards Gala at
Stoneridge Center
on November 3. The
delicious food and
festive atmosphere
delighted guests
as they recognized
o u t s t a n d i n g
members of the business community, including
Washington, who of four nominees was named the
Business Person of the Year.
A general practitioner attorney in Old Town
Warrenton, Marie's range of legal expertise
runs the gamut from criminal and civil law to
collections, estate planning, and beyond. She
launched the Law Office of Marie Washington
in 2011, having known from an early age
that she wanted to be an attorney.
Marie recalls watching The Andy Griffith Show with her
grandfather and loved his involvement in the community.
"I like to have an impact on the community too," says
Marie, who is always seen at 1st Friday events, holiday
parades (her favorite), and much more. "It's nice to
know the community that you work in."
"My goal is to get the word out that attorneys are people
too," Marie adds. "We can help anyone understand the
legal process. It's not as scary as they think, and we
really do want to help people."
The Chamber presented several additional awards
throughout the evening. Three businesses were
nominated for the
Business of the Year award,
which went to
Insurance & Financial
Services and was accepted by
Jennifer Puffenbarger.
The business was founded in
1989 by Jennifer's father Keith,
who wanted to take care of
clients while giving back to the
community. It has since grown
from a single employee to a
22-person team that services
clients in six states and
Washington, DC. The company
provides various insurance products and financial
services, but perhaps most important is the company's
desire to educate their clients. Their ongoing goal is to
leave their customers better off than they found them
by providing expert services for their insurance and
financial needs.
In addition, three
businesses were
nominated for the
Small Business of
the Year award, which
was accepted by
Harper, publisher of
our own
Kathy and Bill launched
the business 27 years
ago at the request of local
businesses seeking an
venue. "Growing your business is our
business" is Discovery Publications'
tagline and remains its primary focus.
However, over the years, it has also
become known as the "good news
newspaper," connecting the community
by sharing stories that paint a picture of
situations, organizations, and issues that
impact all of us. "I don't have a Board of Directors to
make happy," Kathy says. "But I have a community to
make happy and businesses to help."
Of three worthy nominees,
Mental Health
Association of Fauquier
County was recognized as
the 2018
Not-for-Profit of
the Year, and the award was
accepted by Sallie Morgan,
the organization's executive
One of the association's
primary goals is to change the
conversation about mental
health and substance abuse
in the community. Sallie
points out that 50% of all
people experience a mental health challenge sometime
during their lifetime, and one in five has a diagnosable
condition. But because of the stigma associated with
mental health and substance abuse/addiction, many
are hesitant to share their problem or seek help. To
that end, the association has focused on mental health
first aid, a program that has trained nearly 1,400 local
people to date. "We continue to embrace those who are
struggling to ensure they know that they can get help
when they need it," Sallie says.
The Fauquier Chamber of Commerce and Discovery
Publications salute all of these individuals and
businesses for their outstanding accomplishments!
Fauquier Chamber of Commerce
2018 Business Person of the Year
Marie Washington
Kathy Harper
Sallie Morgan
John Myhre, Owner
of American
Truck & Trailer
On November 1, 2018, business owner
John Myhre passed away suddenly at
the age of 54. John is survived by his
wife and business partner, Cindy, and his
two grown children, Johnny and Jenna.
John and Cindy shared 28 wonderful
years together. The couple epitomized
the American Dream by starting a truck
accessories and trailer repair business
called American Truck and Trailer, which
has thrived for the past 25 years. As you
may have read in past articles about John
and Cindy, it was grit, ingenuity, and humor
that got their business to the other side
of the Great Recession. John lived a life
of selfless giving, and was known for his
tireless devotion to his customers and his
deep, abiding love for his family.
Cindy says that her favorite time with
John was "all the time," whether he was
checking in on her at work or making her
laugh on their nightly walks through the
neighborhood. "John made me laugh all
day, every day," Cindy says. She shares
that he had a nickname for everyone--
hers was "Dear," but when he'd toss her
a York Peppermint Pattie at work, it was
a friendly, `Here you go, Kid.'"
John's love for his children showed in
the way he made time for them. His son
Johnny and his friends loved to play cards
with John--probably because he was easy
to laugh with. Some of those friends even
came to work for John at American Truck
and Trailer. His daughter Jenna always kept
different kinds of animals as a child, and
John would build houses for her rabbits,
who loved to multiply despite his efforts
to separate them with ever more "bunny
condos" (we can imagine lots of laughter
in the Myhre house over that story).
John's life is a reminder that practicing
love and humor ensures our loved ones
are left with joyful memories. If you would
like to honor John's memory, please
consider making a donation in his name
to the Fauquier SPCA or to Warrenton
Methodist Church.
~ Caitlin Scott
jar 1218
Discover Fauquier