Annual Chamber Award Recipients Named – Parsons Advocate


The Tucker County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the recipients for the 42nd Annual Chamber Awards.  The Chamber has solicited nominations for six different categories, the secret committee has met and the results are in!  Since we are unable to hold a banquet this year, we invite all recipients to attend next year’s banquet.

  • Educator of the Year:  Melissa Tauscher

Tucker County Gifted Students grades 3rd – 8th, Youth Teacher
Mountain Hospice is the proud sponsor of this award.

One colleague wrote, “As a teacher of gifted students, Ms. Tauscher must spend a considerable portion of her time writing individual lesson plans for each of her 40 students; she often works late in the evenings and on weekends creating plans that will enhance, challenge and encourage their learning.  When Covid-19 caused schools to close, Mc. Tauscher stepped up to the challenge of remote education by jumping into every Zoom class that she could, often several times a day.  She continued to create plans for each of her students, contacted them several times during the week, and spent many hours completing required paperwork.”

Another mentioned, “Ms. Tauscher spear-headed a fundraiser to pay for her students to visit Washington, D.C., where they visited museums, the Capitol and Senator Joe Manchin’s office.  She also raised funds to travel with some of her students to the Science Center in Pittsburgh.”

  • Student of the Year:  The Senior Class of 2020

Sirianni’s Café is the proud sponsor of this award.

                        This was a unique nomination for this year’s Student of the Year.   A nomination came in expressing how the whole Senior Class of 2020 was deserving of this award.  “…because of Covid-19 and how the school year had to change, everyone did their best to adjust and achieve everything they could with no notice of how the school year would change and end.  This year has been strange and difficult for so many, I cannot think of a better year to award this award to everyone!”  The Secret Committee meet and couldn’t have agreed more.

  • Employee of the Year:  Amber Hinkle
    General Manager, Parsons’ McDonalds

Blackwater Falls State Park is the proud sponsor of this award

            One fellow employee said, “She goes above and beyond to make our store run smoothly.  If you have an emergency she works with you to cover your shift and she also works with us if we need days off.  I’ve know her to work 80-85 hours a week because that is just what she does to make everything run smoothly.”

            “When Covid-19 hit it was a strange and new way to do things at our store.  But Amber helped all of us quickly adapt.”

  • Business of the Year:  Stumptown Ales – Cindy and Jon Robeson

Best of Canaan is the proud sponsor of this award

A nomination said, “Cindy and her husband Jon opened Stumptown Ales nearly five years ago, and it has become a “Cheers” for the locals and a “must-visit” for tourists.  Stumptown’s beautiful bar, intimate atmosphere, great beer, and occasional food offerings draw people from far and wide to Davis.  ”

“As a member of Davis City Council and with her (Cindy) experience as a bar owner, former B&B owner, and a former business teacher, Cindy has a “leg up” in understanding town concerns and issues.  Jon provides law services to the community, dealing mostly in real estate law.  They contribute to various charities in our county, have sponsored sports teams, and provide support to our schools with money and time.”

  • Community Service Award:  Canaan Valley Public Service District Board of Directors

Mon. General Heath Systems is the proud sponsor of this award

Nomination for this award wrote, “The Canaan Valley Public Service District (CVPSD) Board of Directors includes; Diane Beall, Robert Metzger and Robert Gilcrest.  These residents and many other property owners are to be commended for working long and hard hours to make a positive impact in Tucker County.  After many months of inaction, Timberline Utilities failed to become compliant with West Virginia Code and the CVPSD was awarded receivership by the Courts on March 13, 2019.  That is when the monumental task of correcting the mismanagement issues of the Timberline Utility Company began and continues.”

  • Humanitarian and Friend:  Amy Owens

The nomination said, “This lady goes out of her way to help others in need.  In 2002 my trailer burnt down and this was the first time I met Amy. We had lost everything, by the time darkness fell she had found my 2 kids and I a place to live completely furnished.”  “The next time she helped me was June 2019…she found a toddler bed clothes and bought diapers out of her own pocket, when I had temporary custody of my grandson.”

“I am only one of hundreds in Tucker County that she has helped.”

  • Tuckineer:  Saundra Goss

Citizens Bank of West Virginia is the sponsor of this prestigious award.

            Nominations mentioned, “Owner of the family-run Italian restaurant Sirianni’s for over two decades, Saundra exemplifies the attributes of a mentor, business woman, and community leader in Tucker County.”

            Another says, “I met Saundra when I was a 17-year-old high school student who was just starting to spread my wings into the world.  I saw a quote recently encouraging women to ‘be the person you needed when you were younger.’  I think the person I needed when I was younger was Saundra.  Saundra is a true role model for me.”

            One nomination says, “I really hadn’t known Saundra’s generosity until my son started to work there in 2015.  She has hired many at the High School to allow the teens to have responsibility and extra spending money.  This is where I have seen Saundra donate so many pizza towards the high school for sports activities and even the teacher’s strike.  I was not aware of all the donations she had made silently-not wanting credit.”

                A former employee writes, “Saundra not only creates a family-like environment at Sirianni’s, but instills a great work ethic in the youth of Tucker County she employs.  I’ve witnessed her go above and beyond on multiple occasions, doing things like, taking employees on trips to New York City (who may not otherwise ever get to go) ensuring those she employs have a chance to be exposed to different cultures.”
Her son writes, “She has always been an advocate for Tucker County and the people who live in Tucker County.  Her mother and father lived in Tucker County and built their home in Tucker County.  Saundra lives in the first house her parents built.  Like her physical home she has chosen to build Tucker County and work to make it a better place for all.”
Finally another wrote, “Saundra’s hard work and independence truly inspire.  I feel lucky to know her.  While Saundra’s contributions might be invisible to those who immediately affected, they nonetheless contribute to Tucker County as a whole.  As such, Saundra’s selfless acts should be rewarded.”