Rotary Club Honors Economic Development STARs

The Rotary Club of Leesburg on Saturday presented its inaugural Rotary STAR awards in front of a crowd of community and business leaders in the ProJet hangar at Leesburg Executive Airport.

The Stanley F. Caulkins Tributes, Awards and Recognition or STAR program is a new fundraiser for the club and recognized leaders in three categories: Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development; Innovation in Economic Development; and Creative Use of Social Media in Economic Development. Caulkins, the long-time club member, World War II airman, and downtown business owner who died in January at the age of 92, provided the inspiration for the event, as well as the concept of awarding leaders in economic development, which he championed during his life.

This year’s award winners were Toth Financial, Joe T. May of EIT, and MELT.

Tom Toth Sr. and Toth Financial was presented with the Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development Award, for demonstrating consistent outstanding performance in its area of expertise over an extended period of time and benefiting a greater good than personal reward and financial success. The company was recognized for its support of area organizations with funds, donations, and setting up functions for leaders to discuss their goals and requested assistance. Also, Toth was cited for his efforts to raising funds for the annual Leesburg Airshow and his active work with the town government.

May was presented with the Innovation in Economic Development award. The founder of EIT Inc. is an inventor and patent holder who was cited for his workin medical, communications, industrial process control, analytical instrument and aerospace/defense fields.

MELT was given the award for Creative Use of Social Media in Economic Development. The popular East Market Street eatery was cited for itsinnovative use of social media across multiple platforms to gain a competitive edge and to support economic development in Leesburg. Specifically, the restaurant was lauded for landing the best burger and cheap eats accolades on TripAdvisor, exposing the business—and Leesburg—to a worldwide audience.

Proceeds from the event, which also included a silent auction and dancing, will be used to support the Rotary Club’s charitable outreach and scholarships.

Joe T. May accepts the Innovation in Economic Development award from master of ceremonies Hugh Forsthye during the Rotary Club of Leesburg’s STAR awards program Oct. 13.

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