5 February 2014 -‐ For immediate release
(Fredericton, N.B.) – The recipients of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Distinguished Citizens Awards have been announced. Receiving awards this year are Mike Ross, Peter Pacey and Kevin Pottle. The honorees will be recognized at a reception and dinner to be held at the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook Hotel on Monday, 16 March 2015.
“The Distinguished Citizen Awards is one of the most memorable nights on the chamber’s annual calendar,” said Joseph O’Donnell, chamber president. “It is always inspiring to hear about some of the most dedicated and energetic community builders in the city. As a chamber of commerce, it is important that we celebrate not only business success, but community success as well -‐ the two are inextricable.”
“It is very difficult to narrow the recipients down to three, but there is no question that our 2015 recipients deserve all the recognition we can give them,” said Chris Johnston, Past President of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Distinguished Citizen Awards Nominating Committee. “Many of the great things achieved by Peter, Mike and Kevin are no secret in the city, but when you sit down and go through their nomination packages, it is unbelievable how far and wide their efforts and impact have reached.”
A brief biography of each of this year’s Distinguished Citizen Award Recipients:
Mike Ross is the kind of community member that looks at a difficult situation and only sees an opportunity to make a difference. Whether as a volunteer, a professional, a member of his church, or his family, Mike has the tenacity, intelligence and empathy to consistently improve the lives of those around him. In the 1970s, Mike used his innovative nature to lead the Fredericton chamber through the greatest growth period in its history, shaping it into the organization that exists today. Mike ran three successful businesses, leveraging his success into supporting a number of causes and communities throughout North America. He has been a driving force behind the success of many cherished Fredericton institutions, including the Playhouse, UNB, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Rotary Clubs of Fredericton, and the YMCA. On multiple occasions, the passion he felt volunteering for organizations lead to him taking on an employment role in order to commit to those groups on a full-‐time basis, including OPAL Family Services and most recently Habitat for Humanity.
His friends and family believe that where Mike has had his greatest impact is with his personal relationships. Nowhere is this more evident that with the Ross Family’s 22-‐year relationship with Ryan -‐ a young boy and then young man with multiple challenges. The Ross’ provided respite care to Ryan, giving his parents a much-‐needed break on a regular basis. They became so close that Mike delivered Ryan’s eulogy when he passed at 27, where he spoke about the positive impact and the lessons learned from his young friend -‐ showing the value we received when we put “service above self.”
Throughout his life, Kevin Pottle has been making has been making a meaningful and lasting impact on Fredericton’s youth. For more than 35 years, Kevin has been a dedicated and respected educator, administrator and coach in the city. As a teacher and later the Principal of Leo Hayes High School until his retirement in 2012, his professional accomplishments are only matched by his work as a volunteer. Kevin has coached local hockey at all levels including the Fredericton Midget AAA Canadiens, Under 16 programs, twice with New Brunswick’s Canada Winter Games team, as an assistant on the UNB Varsity Reds and more. He has also passed his considerable knowledge down to the next generation of coaches, ensuring his legacy for many decades to come.
Kevin is a community builder in the purest sense -‐ with students, colleagues, his teams and even in his own home. Kevin has taken many players from outside the Fredericton area into his home and acted as their guardian in order to give them an opportunity to follow their dreams. These youth were treated as a member of the Pottle family, including all of the benefits and responsibility. Kevin’s classroom follows him wherever he goes -‐ he is always teaching whether at Leo Hayes, at the rink or at home.
It is hard to overstate Peter Pacey’s impact on his hometown of Fredericton -‐ the breadth of his accomplishments is only matched by the depth of passion and commitment he has embodied. His pride in his community led him to be a driving force in the city’s heritage preservation movement for more than 40 years. He purchased and restored a heritage home in the downtown area in 1973, helped establish the original heritage preservation precinct, was the president of the
Fredericton Heritage Trust and helped with the publication of multiple books on Fredericton’s history to just name a few. Peter was also a dedicated teacher, having a lasting impact on both his students and colleagues. He also used these skills to coach rugby at all levels from the time he was a university student until 15 years after retiring from the classroom.
Perhaps what Peter is best known for is his work in the theatre community, particularly as the founding producer of the Fredericton Outdoor Summer Theatre and the Calithumpians -‐ treasured staples of the Historic Garrison District. These programs have provided hundreds of young people in our community with employment, confidence and friendship. It is a wonder he finds the time to also be an accomplished watercolour artists, poet and writer.
Tickets for the awards reception and dinner can be purchased online at www.frederictonchamber.ca or by contacting the Stacey Murray, Events Manager at (506) 451-‐9741.
With more than 900 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest chambers of commerce. A dynamic and relevant business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.
P.O. Box 275, 364 York Street, Suite 200, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, E3B 4Y9
Tel: (506) 458-‐8006 Fax: (506) 451-‐1119