The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce will host its 53rd Annual Awards Banquet on Wednesday, June 27, at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on the third floor in the Skyline Terrace. Each year in winding up its activities, the Chamber pays special tribute to an industry that has shown leadership in promoting the expansion and prosperity of the area. This year, Uniwest has been chosen to receive the George E. Vickers Major Industry Award.
Uniwest was founded in May 1982 as a commercial/retail construction company operating in four states. In February 1986, Michael D. Collier and Norman R. Pozez acquired Uniwest and re-incorporated as Uniwest Construction, Inc. Business expanded and the company eventually grew into 4 divisions (Construction, Development, Commercial Realty and Hospitality).
All four divisions fall under the umbrella organization Uniwest Companies with corporate headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. Being locally owned and operated, Uniwest concentrates most of its development expertise from Baltimore to Richmond with a special focus on the DC metro area. However, Uniwest also has significant experience in the Philadelphia and West Virginia.
Locally within Jefferson County, Uniwest owns and manages the Jefferson Crossing Shopping Center in Charles Town and Ranson. Nationally known tenants include Martins grocery, CVS, IHOP, Applebee's and Auto Zone.
In July 2009, Uniwest's Hospitality division opened Charles Town Auto Wash and in January 2012 The Hampton Inn and Suites.
Upon being notified that Uniwest would be receiving the Jefferson County Chamber 2012 Major Industry Award, Mike Collier offered:
"It is a sincere honor for Uniwest to receive this recognition. We feel a true sense of community in Jefferson County, from being a long time developer and builder in the area, to more recently establishing operating businesses. Uniwest looks forward to continuing and expanding its presence in this dynamic market."
The keynote speaker for the evening will be Richard M. (Rick) Adams, Jr. He is President of United Bank, Inc., the lead banking franchise of United Bankshares, Inc., (UBSI). Adams is also Executive Vice President of United Bankshares, Inc. UBSI is an $8.6 Billion multi-state bank holding company with 128 locations in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Adams is also responsible for Wealth Management activities for all UBSI subsidiary banks and holds securities licenses 7, 24, and 66. In addition, he oversees all UBSI litigation matters.
Adams is a past Chairman of the WV Bankers Association and a past chairman of the WV Bankers Trust Division. He is a member of the American Bankers Association Grassroots Committee, the Young Presidents' Organization, the WV State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. He serves as a board member of Energy Services of America Corporation and WVU College of Business and Economics Advisory Board. He is an adjunct professor at West Virginia University-Parkersburg where he teaches Business Law. Rick also serves on several local charitable and community development boards in his hometown of Parkersburg.
Prior to joining UBSI, Adams practiced law with the firm of Bowles, Rice, McDavid, Graff, and Love. He performed his undergraduate studies at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. and he received his law degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia.
In addition to the award to Uniwest and the key note speaker, a number of other businesses will be recognized and several other presentations will be made, including the presentation of the Distinguished Citizen of Jefferson County Award.
Officers and directors for 2012-13 will be recognized at the banquet. The evening will begin with a social period (cash bar) at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Reservations are $28 per person and are available by calling the Chamber at (304) 725-2055 or by stopping by the Chamber office at 29 Keyes Ferry Road, Suite 200 (BB&T Building) in Charles Town. The public is cordially invited.