Maryland Capital Enterprises is pleased to announce that Chris Eccleston, President of Delmarva Veteran Builders, is the recipient of the 2015 Palmer Gillis Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
The goal of the award has been to raise awareness about entrepreneurship and recognize the risk takers. This is the fourth year of the prestigious award named after Palmer Gillis, founder of local, general contracting firm, Gillis Gilkerson, which has been responsible for developing properties on the Lower Shore for over 30 years. Previous winners have included Peter Roskovich, owner of the successful Adam’s Ribs restaurants and Black Diamond Catering in Fruitland, Ryan Miller, owner of The Deli, Last Call Liquors, and other successful businesses in Wicomico County, and Dr. Kerry Palakanis, owner of the Crisfield Clinic.
“This year’s nominees were a diverse group of entrepreneurs who are all doing an amazing job in their respective careers,” said George Koste, Executive Director of MCE. “We had folks nominated from Easton down to Pocomoke and we are proud of every one of them.”
Chris Eccleston started Delmarva Veteran Builders just three years ago and its growth has exploded. A former Navy sailor, Eccleston said the concept for his business was “to create a company with a workforce of some of the best trained people in America – Our veterans.” He knows how well they are trained and how hard they work, and he’s thrilled to be able to offer veterans a career in construction. He has been able to maintain a workforce of 60-65% veterans throughout the business’ growth.
As a business owner and a new father, Eccleston also makes time to give back to his community. He serves on numerous Boards including the Chamber of Commerce, the Board of License Commissioners, the Workforce Investment Board, and Lower Shore Enterprises. He serves in the Sunrise Rotary Club, on the Winter Wonderland of Lights Committee, and formerly served on the Board of Habitat for Humanity and the Lions Club.
Honorable mentions were Lisa M. Brooks, pharmacist and owner of Clayton’s Pharmacy in Cambridge and Walter Moore, president and CEO of APPI Energy in Salisbury. Entrepreneurs were selected by a panel of judges comprised of Eastern Shore business professionals and civic leaders.
The first place was awarded $2,000 and the honorable mentions were awarded $500. The Eastern Shore Delegation was in attendance represented by Senators James Mathias and Adelaide Eckardt and Delegates Carl Anderton, Mary Beth Carozza, John Mautz and Chris Adams to present award citations.