The West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce honored some of thecounty's hardest-working employees and business people during its 30th Annual Meet Your Neighbor Dinner and Dance Sept. 28 at the BWI Holiday Inn.
Officer Richard Alban, from the Western District Police Station, was honored as Policeman of the Year. "Officer Alban is helping sell the new philosophy of the police department, which is to form a partnership with the community to help with the reduction of crime," police Chief Robert Russell said.
Alban is assigned to the Pioneer City-Meade Village area, where he spends most of his time on foot patrol getting to know the community, and more importantly, letting the community get to know him. He has been assigned the midnight shift since January 1991.
Over the past year, Alban has made more than 80 arrests for breaking and entering, assault and battery, prostitution, handgun violations, drunken driving, outstanding warrants, property damage and 21 drug arrests.
Russell added, "Officer Alban demonstrates on a daily basis his concern for the community and feels this involvement is the key to his success."
Ivan R. Demay was named Fireman of the Year.
Demay, a resident of Millersville, has been with the Odenton Volunteer Fire Department since November 1977. He serves on the board of directors and isrecording secretary.
He has attended the National Firefighters Academy and is state-certified. Last year, he was ninth in fire responses, with 213.
Chief Harry Wagner said Demay volunteers for extra shifts to drive the fire trucks. "There are six 24-hour shifts per month that are usually filled by paid fireman from other stations. Demayworks approximately three of these shifts, along with his other job,at no cost to the county.
"Ivan Demay truly deserves this award,"said Wagner.
Even when off duty, he will stop to help someone stranded on the side of the road. "I just love helping people. I can't turn anyone down," said Demay.
Arthur Smelkinson was honored as Teacher of the Year. Smelkinson, a speech and drama teacher at Old Mill High School, has been employed by the county school system since 1975.
Smelkinson received his bachelor's degree from Frostburg State College, a master's degree from the University of Maryland and a master of fine arts degree from George Washington University.
Smelkinson has assumed other leadership positions in his profession. He has served as a cooperating teacher for the University of Maryland, supervising the training of numerous student teachers placed in the county and has helped write the speech curriculum that is used by all speech teachers in the school systems.
The next award -- 1st Army Noncommissioned Officer of the Year -- was presented to Sgt. Tracey Rivard by Col. Kent Menser.
Rivard entered the Army in September 1987 and has been stationed at Fort Meade since December 1987. She is a legal specialist with the Staff Judge Advocate Office and an instructor with the Leadership Development Program. Rivard hopes to become a drill instructor.
Originally from Amery, Wis., Rivard lives in Laurel with her husband, Bruce, and their 18-month-old son, Hal.
The Business of the Year award went to ACI -- Auto Collision Inc.
ACI openedin 1971 and incorporated in 1974. In more than 20 years, ACI has grown from two employees to 22, and from 2,700 square feet on a two-acrelot to 20,000 square feet on four acres.
Two people behind this growing business are owners Carl and Frank Nanney.
Mark Anderson, president of the chamber, said, "These two individuals are very involved with the community and have definitely changed the course of this organization."
Also deserving credit are their wives. Carl Nanney's wife, Janice, has served on the board of directors of the Greater Odenton Improvement Association, and in 1986, created the Odenton VOICE, the GOIA's first newsletter. Janice Nanney was the publisher, editor, advertising contact and distribution manager. She was also the first vice president of the Odenton Heritage Society.
Frank Nanney'swife, Shin Ja, is an entrepreneur in her own right. She opened Shin Ja's Oriental Grocery Store in 1976, built it in to a profitable enterprise and sold it in 1979.
In 1983, she bought back the store, turned more profit and sold it again in 1988. Shin Ja was a prominent member of the Korean Society of Greater Baltimore and Greater Maryland.
"These individuals make this truely a business to celebrate," said Anderson.
Donna Salisbury, membership campaign chairwoman, announced the award for membership growth. The goal for this year was to increase membership by 33 percent. Last year there were 133 members, but by the end of the drive, the chamber had 187 members, a 42 percent increase.
The winning team was "Best of the West," led by Jerry Boyer. The individual winner was Mary Chewning, who brought in 18 newmembers.
West Meade Elementary will hold open house for the 1991-1992 school year at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Parents are encouraged to visit their child's classrooms.