Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce Announces
2020 Business Person & Citizen of the Year

Chincoteague, VA—October 6, 2020: The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce recognized the 2020 winners of the Leonard “Buddy” Burton Business Person of the Year and John White Shields Citizen of the Year at the regular monthly meeting of Chincoteague Town Council on Monday evening, October 5, 2020. Nominations were received in the chamber office and a committee appointed by the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors made the final selection. The committee consisted of chamber board members, Jeannie Rose and Elaine Stitcher, and Burton family member, Susie Cole.

Sue Johnson, owner/operator of Blue Crab Treasures on Main Street was selected as the 2020 Leonard "Buddy" Burton Business Person of the Year. Sue has been a Main Street merchant for over 5 years and is a staunch supporter of downtown businesses. She is a member of the Historic Main Street Merchants' Association and coordinates many of the organization's activities such as Search for the Shamrocks. Sue supports local artisans by offering their wares in her store, according to the nomination ballot received from a frequent customer, and is quick to inform customers of events and activities on the island to encourage participation and attendance. Sue is an avid horse lover and supports the fundraising efforts of the Chincoteague Legacy Group, The Feather Fund, and the Chincoteague Pony Rescue by selling their items in her shop. Councilwoman Denise Bowden commented on Sue's absolute love for her adopted home of Chincoteague Island and how she spreads that love to others.

Valerie Tolbert was honored with the 2020 John White Shields Citizen of the Year Award. While raising two very active boys, she and husband, Mike, built and operated a very successful family business named Sunrise Motor Inn. Now Valerie enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren while still remaining very active in the community. She has been actively involved with PTA in both Chincoteague Elementary and Chincoteague Combined Schools over the years. Storytelling at Chincoteague Elementary School, Chairman of the After Prom Committee, and numerous fundraising positions have kept her busy. Valerie has held positions on the Board of Trustees and Administrative Board of Christ United Methodist Church and has been a dedicated volunteer for Manna Café since its inception. She also brings cheer to nursing home residents with regular visits and gifts and helps at the polls on election day. "There are so many people she has touched on the island with her warm smile", according to her nomination ballot.

The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce is honored to present these awards to two very deserving people. You may view the awards presentation on the Town of Chincoteague Facebook page or YouTube channel.
Sue Johnson, 2020 Leonard "Buddy" Burton Business Person of the Year,
with Benjy Holloway, Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce President
Valerie Tolbert, 2020 John White Shields Citizen of the Year,
with Benjy Holloway, Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce President
Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce  6733 Maddox Boulevard  Chincoteague, VA 23336

About Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce & Certified Visitor Center
The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce is an organization whereby many different business interests have joined together in a combined manner to maximize their ability to attract and increase the number of visitors to Chincoteague Island. The ultimate goal of the organization is to communicate the message that Chincoteague, the “Beautiful Land Across the Water,” is the most desirable location to visit and/or vacation with family or friends.

Media Contact:
Name: Evelyn Shotwell
Title: Executive Director
Phone: 757-336-6161