Haverhill Chamber Names Bethany Communities Business of the Year; Basiliere to Receive Ratka Award

Merrimack Place, developed by Bethany Community Services on Water Street, offers 48 affordable apartments. (WHAV News photograph.)

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Bethany Communities, currently constructing 48 affordable senior apartments in downtown Haverhill, is taking home the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year Award.

The honor will be presented during the 33rd Annual Business Awards Breakfast next month.

“Bethany not only is making a tremendous impact in the city with the community they serve and the addition of Merrimack Place, but their team is outstanding. They are passionate both about Bethany Communities, but you can always find them stepping up and giving back to other organizations,” the Chamber said in a statement.

This year’s keynote Speaker is Kate Fox, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

Ralph T. Basiliere. (WHAV News photograph.)

Among other major honorees are Ward 1 City Councilor Ralph T. Basiliere, who is accepting the John E. Ratka Award. Ratka served 26 years in the U.S. Navy and was executive director of the Veteran Northeast Outreach Center who passed away Jan. 12, 2019. Basiliere, a former U.S. Marine, served as chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Ad Hoc Memorial Committee and was instrumental in the relocation of the memorial to Mill Brook Park. He also was named two years ago as interim veterans’ services officer.

Other award winners are Arts and Culture, Historic New England; Education, YMCA Freight Farm; Family-Owned Business, MTM Insurance; Health, The Movement Strength and Conditioning’ Manufacturing Champion, John A. Michitson; Pioneer Award, HC Media; Community Partner Award, Barewolf Brewing; Pay it Forward Award, Nunan’s Florist; Rising Star, Crusttown Eats and Drinks; Rookie of the Year, Drop Café; Change Agent, Community Action; Small Business, Roasted Coffee Bar; Technology, Uncommon Catalyst; Volunteer, Stem team; and Woman in Business, Lindsay Paris.

In addition, Business of the Month winners in 2023 will be recognized. They are January, Craft Haverhill; February, UMass Lowell iHub; March, Eammon’s Heart; April, Barrio; May, The Movement Strength & Conditioning; June, WHAV; July, Renaissance Golf; August, AutoFair Ford; September, Kimberly Jones Photography; October, Rhythm and Ride Indoor Cycle; November, Sullivan Bille; and December, Burke & Sons Plumbing and Heating.

“We are incredibly proud to honor these outstanding local businesses and organizations this year,” said Chamber President and CEO Alex Eberhardt. “All of them have positively impacted the greater Haverhill region in so many unsung ways, that we are excited to share those impacts for them and celebrate that success.”

The Greater Haverhill Chamber’s 33rd Annual Business Awards Breakfast, in partnership with presenting sponsor Haverhill Bank, takes place Friday, Feb. 9, from 7:30-9:30 a.m., at Atkinson Resort & Country Club, 85 Country Club Drive, Atkinson, N.H. Tickets begin at $60 each and may be reserved online at HaverhillChamber.com.

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