From left, co-owner Jason Koler, Maison Benitez, COO Annie Briening and Cecil Mderede accept the 2021 Newcomer Award for Overseas Media Group

The Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce has announced the 2021 winners of the Chamber Business Awards. Nominated from the community by the chamber board, the eventual winners were chosen by votes from chamber members. “These awards represent the best of the best,” said chamber CEO Daniel Samess. The following businesses have set an exemplary standard in Marathon with their unique contributions to our community. Keys Weekly will feature four of the eight winners this week, with the rest included in next week’s issue. 

Customer Service Award:

Dr. Mike Dunn and Keys Animal Hospital take home 2021’s Customer Service Award.

This award is presented to a business that consistently goes above and beyond regarding customer service. 2021’s award goes to Keys Animal Hospital, taking home the win over fellow nominees Fishermen’s Community Hospital, Food 4 Thought, Dolphin Research Center and Suburban Propane. “I’m thrilled to receive the award because it shows that all the hard work and care that my staff strives to provide for the community has been noticed,” said Dr. Mike Dunn. “We will continue to always maintain a high level of customer service for years to come.”

Business Beautification Award:

CEO Charlotte Quinn, left, and board member Lynn Voit accept 2021’s Business Beautification Award on behalf of Crane Point Hammock & Nature Center.

This award goes to a business that is dedicated to continuously improving their property, making our U.S. 1 corridor and community look that much better. Crane Point Hammock & Nature Center takes home the 2021 award, edging nominees Fishermen’s Community Hospital, Marathon Plaza, and Fairfield-Marriott Inn & Suites. “This award means the world to all involved with Crane Point,” said CEO Charlotte Quinn. “To win two years in a row … wow. Votes from chamber members and businesses are especially rewarding.”

Tourist Attractor Award:

Owner Ben Daughtry’s Aquarium Encounters wins the 2021 Tourist Attractor Award.

The Tourist Attractor Award is given to a business that provides high quality activities for our visitors while helping to put Marathon and the Middle Keys on the map as a premier destination. 2021’s winner is Aquarium Encounters, taking home the award over other nominees Dolphin Research Center, the Turtle Hospital and the 7 Mile Bridge Run. “I just want to thank all the chamber members for making us the top tourist attractor again this year,” said owner Ben Daughtry. “We really value being a part of the chamber and knowing we’re an important part of this town.”

Newcomer Award:

From left, co-owner Jason Koler, Maison Benitez, COO Annie Briening and Cecil Mderede accept the 2021 Newcomer Award for Overseas Media Group

The Newcomer Award recognizes a new business that came in and didn’t miss a beat in providing amazing service and high quality products, as well as being community minded and involved. 2021’s award goes to Overseas Media Group (OMG), a digital marketing company offering website design, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and content creation. “Thank you to the Marathon Chamber Board of Directors, Daniel Samess and the membership for voting for OMG,” said COO Annie Briening. “We are extremely grateful to be working with the businesses and locals of the Marathon community and to be recognized with the Newcomer Award. We are so proud of our team and what we have accomplished over the past 12 months. We look forward to working with you all in the future!”

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