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(L-R Back Row): Rebecca Voss (Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County), James Flannery (Deputy Sheriff), Matthew Wedd (The Conocochegue Institute), Assistant Chief Elizabeth Heller (Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Department EMS), Barry Statler (Russell Standard), Andrew Newman (Fort Loudoun Historical Society); (Front Row L-R): Dr. Lura Hanks (Greencastle-Antrim School District), Kacie Gelsinger (The Floor Trader Outlet) and Sam Worley.

Nearly 250 business leaders and community members of the Cumberland Valley Business Alliance (CVBA) gathered to honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievements at the CVBA Awards Breakfast, sponsored by M&T Bank, this morning.

We are honored to highlight the incredible work of our business and community leaders this morning,” said Chris Grimm, chair of the CVBA. “These individuals are dedicated to enhancing the well-being of our community, and we are honored to acknowledge their efforts.”

The sold-out event hosted at the Chambersburg Country Club included seven business awards and two new awards recognizing outstanding first responders. 

Dr. Lura Hanks, superintendent of the Greencastle-Antrim School District (GASD), accepted the International ATHENA Leadership Award, which was sponsored locally by Jennings Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and F&M Trust. The award honors an individual who exemplifies professional, community and personal leadership as well as someone who actively assists women in reaching their full leadership potential and/or personal and professional goals.

Dr. Hanks has dedicated herself to enhancing education in Greencastle, focusing on curriculum development, literacy improvement, and inclusive teaching methods. She secures funding for curriculum and literacy programs to ensure all students have access to support. Additionally, she fosters collaboration among stakeholders through initiatives like the GASD Advisory Council, shaping the district’s educational direction.

Beyond her professional contributions, Dr. Hanks engages in extensive community involvement through mentorship and serving on multiple boards such as Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation, Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, First Start Partnerships, Penn State Mont Alto’s President’s Advisory Council and others. She even provides kinship care for children in need, demonstrating her commitment to holistic child development.

Also presented during the ceremony were the following awards:

Spirit of the Community: Sam Worley

Sam Worley was recognized for his tireless and unselfish commitment to improving the quality of life in the Cumberland Valley. Sam is a World War II veteran and worked many years at the Valley Bank, which is now M&T Bank. He served eight years as a County Commissioner, over 20 years as a Fourth Ward representative on Chambersburg Borough Council and served as Mayor. He has been active in the United Way of Franklin County, Chambersburg Memorial YMCA, Chambersburg Kiwanis Club, American Legion Post 46 and is a past Master of Orrstown Lodge #262 serving in 1954. Sam, even with his age, is still active in the community. He attends mixers, speaking engagements to educate the youth and looks for ways to give back.

Innovator of the Year: Matthew Wedd, The Conococheague Institute

Matthew Wedd was honored as the Innovator of the Year for the pioneering practices of The Conococheague Institute. In 2023, he increased the site’s endowment from $40,000 to $945,000. The site now sees approx. 6,000 students per year, with many bringing back family members for free, year-round programming. One of the new innovative programs is the development of the Young Explorers Nature Nest Playground. Funded by the Franklin County Impact Grant, the space offers an interactive activity for families with toddlers.

Nonprofit of the Year: Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County

Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County was recognized as the Nonprofit of the Year for its innovations and community collaboration that has contributed to the prosperity of Franklin County. Their mission is to provide a safe, child-friendly location and atmosphere for children and their families to receive services that help to restore hope and provide healing from child abuse. Rebecca Voss, Executive Director, received the award on behalf of the organization.

Event of the Year: Fort Loudoun Market Fair

Fort Loudoun Market Fair, hosted by the Fort Loudoun Historical Society, received the 2023 Event of the Year award. During the event in July, the fort is transformed into a village with 50 of the best 18th Century artisan craftspeople of the eastern United States with an encampment, music, food and a variety of entertainment. Last year, the 3-day event drew over 5,000 visitors. The event is operated entirely by volunteers with visitors from multiple states attending and supporting local tourism. Andrew Newman accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

Employer of the Year: Russell Standard

The Employer of the Year award was given to Russell Standard for its culture of care, providing work/life balance and opportunities for personal and career growth. They offer a zero-premium healthcare plan, pet insurance, legal insurance, increased paid time off, increased work travel pay and more. Employees financial security is of the utmost importance and Russell Standard hosts annual compensation reviews and regularly increases employee pay rates according to market conditions. Another unique aspect is their Shoulder to Shoulder program to build community relations. Each winter, they participate in a Holiday Giving Campaign to raise funds that the company matches to donate to local children and family organizations. Barry Statler and Gavin Baer received the award on behalf of Russell Standard.

Emerging Business Leader: Kacie Gelsinger

Kacie Gelsinger was recognized as the Emerging Business Leader for her pursuit of career excellence while also making valuable community contributions. Kacie is part of the Sales and Design Team at The Floor Trader Outlet of Chambersburg with her family and is an active member of the Franklin County Therapeutic Riding Center, the Franklin County Builders Association, the Chambersburg Borough Parking, Traffic and Street Light Committee and serves on the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Board.

Bravery in Blue Award: James Flannery, Deputy Sheriff, K9 Deputy

James is on call 24/7 with the potential of responding to bomb threats up to three counties away; he also has daily assignments as a field division deputy. Every morning James conducts perimeter and interior sweeps of buildings and proactively searches for any threats. This alone puts him at risk for his personal safety as well as his K9 Ear-on. He does not have much personal time and is either training or responding to a bomb threat. James goes above and beyond in every aspect of his job, consistently provides back up for other agencies and is dedicated to his role as a K9 Handler.

Courageous Responder Award: Elizabeth Heller Paramedic & Assistant EMS Chief at Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Department

Elizabeth Heller has devoted her life to community EMS, going beyond her duties to implement prevention programs like car seat safety, expanded safety checks and CPR education. Her efforts have empowered community members to save lives and her initiatives promise a lasting impact on the community beyond her career.

Special thanks to this year’s CVBA Awards Breakfast sponsors:

  • Grand Sponsor: M&T Bank
  • ATHENA Leadership Award Sponsors: F&M Trust; Jennings Chevrolet, Buick, GMC
  • Table Sponsors: 1st Ed Credit Union; ACNB Bank; American Print Consultants; Corning Credit Union; F&M Trust; Franklin County Visitors Bureau; GDC IT Solutions; HRG; Keystone Health; Menno Haven; Negley’s Water; Patriot Federal Credit Union; Russell Standard and SEK, CPAs & Advisors
  • Patron Sponsors: Beauty & Grace Salon & Spa; Cumberland Valley School of Music; Decorating Den Interiors; Franklin County Area Development Corp.; Franklin County Free Press; Occupational Services, Inc.; Penn National Insurance; Mercy House of Chambersburg; Newcomer Associates architecture + engineering; Setas Mushrooms; SunnyHill Properties; The Conococheague Institute; The Tide; WHTM ABC27

The Cumberland Valley Business Alliance is a partnership between the Chambersburg and Greencastle-Antrim chambers of commerce. CVBA is the largest business advocacy organization in Franklin County with more than 850 members. It is committed to the prosperity of its members while enhancing the quality of life in the Cumberland Valley area. For more information, visit

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