Chamber of Commerce names award winners


The Mid County Chamber of Commerce recently named their 2018 Annual Award recipients. The awards will be presented at their 32nd Annual Dinner Auction, Superheroes and Villains, on Friday, October 12.

Event details can be found on the event website. Discounted tickets are being offered through September 21st.

Business Person of the Year- Richmond Heights

Kay Basta, Barb Summers Real Estate

Selling the communities of Maplewood and Richmond Heights as the best place to live, work, and play,  is a family tradition for Kay Basta. Barb Summers Real Estate, originally founded by Kay’s mother and now operated by Kay, has been in Richmond Heights for over 50 years. Kay’s roots in both Maplewood and Richmond Heights go back to childhood, growing up here and graduating from Maplewood High School.

Over the span of decades, Kay served as Board Member on the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce and the Richmond Heights Chamber of Commerce. She was instrumental in advocating for the merge of both Chambers for what is now known as the Mid County Chamber of Commerce.

For years, she chaired the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee, working tirelessly to grow and strengthen the business community and Chamber into the organization it is today. She also served on the Auction committee and Nominating committee for many years.

Kay, and Barb Summers Real Estate, have generously given to the community, both in time and resources including sponsoring the Concert Series, Taste Of Maplewood, and countless other community oriented events. Kay was also part of a joint initiative in Maplewood and Richmond Heights to provide awareness and education to the senior population, for whom she takes a special interest in.

Business Person of the Year- Maplewood

Anita von Ballmoos, Vom Fass

Anita von Ballmoos is a generous contributor to the community, both in time and resources! Since 2013, Anita has served as a Commissioner on the Special Business District and has been a long time member, and supporter of the Mid County Chamber of Commerce. Anita believes in shopping locally, and applies that same concept to community support, giving to countless local charities and causes.

Beyond her community engagement, Anita proven herself to be a savvy and brilliant business leader since opening the doors of Vom Fass in 2009. The Maplewood store is one of the top producing franchises in the nation. Within a few short years of opening, Vom Fass was named “Business of the Year” by the Chamber, and Anita was recognized as “Ambassador of the Year” by Vom Fass USA. Vom Fass is a regular nominee and frequent winner of the various “Readers Choice”, “A-Lists”, and “Best Of” polls put out by St. Louis media.

Anita makes a strong effort to work in collaboration with her fellow shop owners for the benefit of the downtown area.  She participates in every event from the Let Them Eat Art to Taste of Maplewood. During the Christmas Tree Walk, the lines are always out the door.

 Citizen of the Year- Richmond Heights

Bill Kelly

Bill Kelly has lived in Richmond Height nearly all of his life, raising five children with his wife, Jeanne (who is also a life-long citizen of Richmond Heights) and been an active member the community since he was a young man at Dolan Realtors.

Bill established Wm. F. Kelly Real Estate in 1950’s, making it one of the oldest businesses in Richmond Heights.  He was a founding member of the Richmond Heights Chamber of Commerce.  Beyond his many contributions to the business community, Bill has been a longtime parishioner, supporter and actively involved at Little Flower Catholic Parish and the Knights of Columbus.

Perhaps Bill’s greatest impact on the community is his quiet and humble way of performing good deeds to help neighbors, friends, and strangers struggling during hard times. Whether it was giving a ride, or helping out financially, his way was to do so without letting others know.

Citizen of the Year-Maplewood

Karen Wood

A lifelong resident of Maplewood, nobody loves their hometown more than Karen Wood. After graduating from Maplewood High School in 1963, she married her husband Bill, and raised three daughters who are also graduates of the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District.

For decades, Karen has been serving her beloved community. Most notably, she has served as a City Councilwoman since 2003 and Deputy Mayor since 2005. Before becoming an elected official, Karen served as a member of the Maplewood Board of Adjustment, Library Board, Traffic Committee and MetroLink Commission.

She is also an active member of the Maplewood Baptist Church where she has taught Sunday school and vacation bible school for many years.  Karen enjoys cooking and baking for her family, friends, and especially for the Maplewood Police and Maplewood Fire Departments!

Karen is an avid promoter of the City of Maplewood residential and business communities and a supporter of the Mid County Chamber of Commerce, attending nearly every ribbon cutting and special event that promotes the City of Maplewood. Karen retired from Allied Behavioral Consultants after 40 years of dedicated service.

For more information on the award recipients or to inquire about attending the Superheroes and Villains event on October 12th, visit the event website or contact the Mid County Chamber of Commerce at 314.781.8588.



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