2008-12-18 / Local & State

Black Named Business Person Of The Year In Franklin Co.


Dennis Black Dennis Black The Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce named Dennis E. Black the 2008 Business Person of the Year at the chamber's annual business breakfast on Thursday, Dec. 11.

Black is the owner, chief engineer and chief executive officer of Dennis E. Black Engineering Inc., which has offices at 2400 Philadelphia Ave. in Chambersburg and 222 N. Second St., Mc- Connellsburg.

Black was chosen because of his business and charitable contributions to the community.

Peggy Bosma LaMascus, the 2006 winner of the award and a member of this year's judging panel, said Black is "a role model in so many areas." He has excelled consistently and over time, she said.

"I know what he's done in the community," said Dr. Joe Padasak, superintendent of Chambersburg Area School District and a member of the judging panel. "I think he represents what Chambersburg is - he worked his way up."

"He's a good choice," added Eric Oyer, Chambersburg borough manager and also a member of the selection panel.

Black was surprised by the award, presented to him at Wilson College by chamber chair Steve Caldwell.

"I appreciate this very much," Black said. "I love this community and to be associated with all of the good people here."

After serving as the vice president of Arrowood Inc., a local civil engineering firm, Black acquired, rebranded and grew the company from five employees in 1987 to 31 today. In 1988, he purchased the assets of Dougal and McCans Inc., a Chambersburg surveying firm, and in 2004 acquired the assets of G&S Surveys of McConnellsburg. His company has had a hand in much of the economic growth and development of the greater Chambersburg area, including residential and commercial construction projects and the building of bridges and roads.

He and other business leaders recognized the importance of diversifying the local economy and were involved in the development of Progress Park, the Norland and Fifth Avenue Commercial Center, the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority, the Hamilton Township Municipal Authority sewer project, Penn National Estates, Scot-Greene Estates, S&A Homes, Menno Haven and many others.

Since 2004, he has served on the board of directors of the Chambersburg Area Development Corp., and he has contributed to numerous charities and causes over the years, including the Penn State Mont Alto Nursing Scholarship Program, the Pleasant Hall Fire Department and the American Heart Association, to name a few. In 2004, when the Chamber of Commerce solicited corporate sponsors for the clock at the newly constructed chamber building and Heritage Center, Black quietly stepped up as the sole contributor, making the purchase possible. Today the clock is seen by thousands of people.

Another example of his foresight is the fact that he was thinking "green" back in 2002 when he founded Chambersburg Environmental Inc. in an effort to protect and preserve the abundant natural resources of the region. And long before it was fashionable in the business world, Black established flexible work schedules so parents could meet their children's needs and continue to be productive employees.

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