Hooksett Community Aweard Winners for 2014

The Hooksett Kiwanis Foundation held its 2015 Community Leaders Recognition Program at the Derryfield Country Club on Monday April 6, 2015. The event was another huge success in that it provided much public recognition for many deserving individuals (see 2013 and 2014 tabs at left for summary of prior year events). There are seven award categories, plus a Community Impact Award.

Adult Volunteer of the Year: Kevin Lane

Kevin Lane is one of the most productive volunteers in our community. He is a valuable volunteer for the Hooksett’s Community Food pantry (HCFP), volunteering over 150 hours in 2014.  Kevin has a brilliant technical mind which has enabled him to create several operating procedures, and training aids and an operational manual for Food Pantry volunteers.

Other community efforts include coordinating construction of an expanded play area at Underhill school, helping with Kiwanis fund-raising, developing a splash pad proposal and assisting at the Kiwanis 5 K Race, doing volunteer work at the Hooksett Public Library establishing a Lego kit lending program, starting the Library’s Touch a truck event, and serving as a Cub Scout leader and PTA member.

Youth Volunteer of the Year: Hind Chiboub

Hind Chiboub is an energetic and very capable young woman. She is a very positive role model and motivates her peers by taking pride in her own work. Throughout her high school years, Hind clocked over 500 hours of volunteer service. This culminated in 2014 in her role as Key Club president. In 2014 her service included raking leaves for the elderly, tour guide for students and parents, volunteering at the HYAA Soccer Jamboree, Hooksett Old Home Day, and Bell Ringing for the Hooksett branch of the Salvation Army. She also was a broadcaster on the Central news channel, spent time with the Amnesty Club.

Her advisor commented “Get this girl some brass cuffs and a lasso of truth; we have our next wonder woman’! In whatever endeavor Hind sets out to do, she does so with every fiber of her being.

Municipal Employee of the Year: Joy Buzzell

As Family Service Director for the Town of Hooksett, Joy Buzzell has a huge impact on many individuals and families in Hooksett who are experiencing a crisis in their lives. Joy is the sole employee of the Family Services Department, running the entire department on her own.  Whether it is an older woman who has no heat, a mom who has just left an abusive situation and is striking out on her own with her children, or a dad who has lost his job and now his family is facing eviction, Joy treats everyone with respect and compassion while offering short-term help and long term guidance.

 Joy is also in charge of the Hooksett Holiday Assistance program (Adopt-A-Family), the Target Back to School Shopping Program, Thanksgiving food basket program, and Fun in the Sun scholarship program, and worked with the Hooksett Fire Department on a program to supply 70 winter coats for Hooksett children in need.

Educator of the Year: JoLynn Bonin JoLynn Bonin, who teaches sixth, seventh and eighth grade Health at Cawley Middle School, has dedicated the last nineteen years of her life to the students, parents and Hooksett Community.  JoLynn has made a profound impact on students, parents, colleagues and the Hooksett Community. She is a talented professional who is an expert in her content area, but more importantly an expert in communicating her knowledge of health to all students, educating them about difficult topics regarding their social, emotional and physical growth.  Her impact cannot be measured outwardly, as she works with students and parents behind the scenes dealing with the myriad of challenges that adolescents experience.  JoLynn is an educator who works well beyond her required contractual hours.  She has been a member of the Wellness Committee, Hooksett Education Association and is currently the school representative for the yearly incentive wellness program for all staff at Cawley Middle School.

Small Business of the Year: Auto-Re-Nu-it

Auto Re-Nu-It Auto Body is a small collision repair shop that has been doing business in Hooksett, NH since 1984.  With its strong family-type values, clean environment, and strong repeat customer base, it has become a well known business offering quality auto body repairs. Satisfied customers are the foundation of any successful business and this is demonstrated by its customers in the many positive comments received.

Auto Re-Nu-It believes in the youth of our community and the importance of helping them lead active and involved lives. It provides sponsorship to just about every Hooksett organization that has asked for help: HYAA baseball, softball, football and lacrosse, Cawley Middle School, Old Home Day, Santa Fund and the Kiwanis Golf sponsorship each year.

Large Business of the Year: PROCON, Inc

With over 200 Hooksett employees, PROCON is a fully integrated, design build firm offering architectural and construction management services for commercial projects throughout the Northeast. With a commitment to professionalism, customer service and quality, it completes over $200 million in design and construction annually. It is a firm that walks the talk. From concept to completion, its fully integrated team of architects, engineers, construction professionals and project managers collaborates with clients to make the client’s vision a reality. To PROCON, partnership is not a tag line; it’s how it does business.

The Stebbins family and PROCON’s management team have always placed a high priority on giving back to the local community and provide much support to regional organizations that help the citizens of Hooksett. These include Child and Family Services, Granite United Way, Easter Seals of NH, Boys and Girls Club, Granite YMCA, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, and the NH Food Bank.

Business Leader of the Year: Dan Lagueux

One could go on and on about the remarkable success of New England’s Tap House Grille.  The business has gone from nothing to a Hot Spot in an impressively short time and anybody who’s been there knows why.  To say it’s a unique place to try a new beer, relax with family or friends, no matter how well or casually attired, and enjoy some of the best food in the region, bar none, is something of an understatement. This new venture by Dan filled a real void in Hooksett. The Tap House replicates a place you would normally find in Boston or downtown Manchester.

Dan has actively helped the Hooksett Chamber of Commerce gain ground and be of better service to the business community and the town at large.  There is not an event he hasn’t attended or a major function he hasn’t hosted to help the Chamber.

Perhaps Dan’s most remarkable achievement was coming to the aid of the Carnucci family in Hooksett. Jamie Carnucci, wife and mother, suffered a severe injury diving into a swimming pool. The Lagueux didn’t sit by and say “Gee, that’s too bad, hope things work out.”  They swung into action to help the family by raising tens of thousands of dollars from individuals and organizations from across the region.

Community Impact Award: Hooksett Conservation Commission.

Each year, Hooksett Kiwanis selects a a Hooksett organization that has had a long-term positive impact on our community. Prior honorees are Boy Scout Troop 292 and the Hooksett Youth Athletic Association. This year's honoree is the Hooksett Conservation Commission. The Hooksett Conservation Commission is made up of resident volunteers who go above and beyond to protect the natural resources that make Hooksett special. Their charge by the Town is to research and catalog all open space, natural, ecological, wetland or aesthetic areas within the Town; develop a program to protect listed areas; and obtain land in the name of the Town through gift, purchase, grant, bequest or other legitimate means for continued preservation. Members Steve Couture (Chair), Cindy Robertson (Vice-Chair), JoCarol Woodburn, David Hess, Phil Fitanides, Frank Kotowski (Planning Board Rep.) and Todd Lizotte (Town Council Rep.) did just that in 2014. In the past year, they worked together to preserve 126 acres of land along the Merrimack Riverfront and 140 acres in the Clay Pond area. On a small Town budget of $1,250, they have efficiently utilized grants, state and federal monies, as well as trusts and private donations to preserve over 2,000 acres of land over the last six years at a cost of only $318 per acre to the public. Their next major project is to acquire funding for trails at the Merrimack Riverfront property and to continue to conserve open space for future generations to enjoy.