Best deal in Alexandria

Scott Eshom, Senior Director of The Critical Mass LLC, accepts the Rising Star Business Award.

Scott Eshom, Senior Director of The Critical Mass LLC, accepts the Rising Star Business Award.

The stars of business walked the red carpet on October 27 as the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce celebrated the Best in Business awards at the Westin Old Town Alexandria Hotel.

Presented by Burke and Herbert Bank, awards were presented in multiple categories, with land use advocate Cathy Puskar being recognized as 2022 Business Leader of the Year by Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh.

Chadwick’s owner Trae Lemond, second from left, and restaurant staff celebrate the Best Overall Business award.

“Cathy is the quarterback that brings the entire real estate project team together,” said Laura Mechanic, who presented Puskar with her award. “The property owner, the developer, the anchor tenant, the architect, town planning and neighborhood associations, Cathy plays the strategist, lobbyist and advisor to all of these stakeholders as she tries to balance everyone’s needs.”

More than 350 attendees celebrated the companies in Alexandria, with awards presented in multiple categories.

In addition to Puskar, other award winners included: Overall Business of the Year – Chadwick’s Restaurant; Small Business of the Year – Everly Wheatley Funeral Home; Medium Company of the Year – Marks-Woods Construction Services; Big Company of the Year – Kearney & Company, PC; Non-Profit Organization/Association of the Year – Goodwin Living; Emerging Company of the Year – The Critical Mass, LLC.

“Chadwick’s is very proud of this achievement,” said owner Trae Lamond. “We’ve been popular for decades, but we don’t usually receive awards and accolades. It feels great to be recognized for our good work.”

The Business Awards are selected by an anonymous committee of previous winners. This committee evaluates applications based on business overview, marketing and collaboration, charitable contributions and excellence.

“I’m proud of every employee at Everly-Wheatley,” said Managing Partner Jim Zalewski. “They are caring, compassionate and committed. Our funeral home is deeply committed to the families we serve and makes a positive impact on the community. We are all truly honored to receive this award.”

Joe Collum of Burke & Herbert Bank acted as Events Director catering to 13 Alexandria restaurants including 1799 Prime, Bastille, Buzz Bakery, Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant & Bar, Evening Star, Hard Times Café, Pork Barrel BBQ, Rustico, Tequila & Taco, Theismann’s, Trademark, Wegman’s Carlyle and Whiskey & Oyster.

The Business Leader of the Year is selected by The Chamber ALX Executive Committee based on individual and business activities within the community, professional achievement, charitable involvement and contributions, reputation and commitment to the Chamber.

Mechanic of Puskar added, “Cathy truly helped shape the landscape of Alexandria and Northern Virginia for generations to come.”


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