For the first time ever, the Chester County Economic Development Council is providing free access for all businesses to virtually attend its annual Business Achievement Award Ceremony, which is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10 at 12 PM.
Businesses large and small can click here to enjoy one of the county’s top business events, as the co-founders of Victory Brewing Company are inducted into the Chester County Business Hall of Fame before a virtual audience of the region’s business leaders.
“This is our most high-profile business gathering of the year, and now more than ever, it is essential to provide opportunities for business leaders to interact, support one another, and share knowledge as we move into the yellow phase and beyond in Chester County,” said Gary Smith, the CCEDC’s President and CEO. “We are especially pleased in our 60th anniversary year to be able to share this experience with more businesses than ever.”
Livestreamed from Victory Brewing in Parkesburg, viewers will enjoy an intimate conversation with the Brewmasters of Victory Brewing Company, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet. The grade-school buddies were to be inducted into the Chester County Business Hall of Fame during an in-person ceremony in April, but it was postponed due to social-distancing restrictions. Pre-registrants will have received a link in advance and all others are invited to watch here.
Also in attendance at Wednesday’s livestream event will be Marian Moskowitz, Chair of the CCEDC and the Chester County Board of Commissioners, who will welcome business leaders and provide the latest update on COVID-19, as well as the phases of reopening. CCEDC will also outline the dramatic shift in services it has provided to the business community since the onset of COVID-19, as well as four key areas where businesses can continue to benefit from CCEDC guidance: finance, location, workforce development, and innovation.
Smith says Victory Brewing Company required two of those critical resources – location and financing – when CCEDC’s relationship began with them back in 1995. Through its network of location services, CCEDC was able to assist Victory Brewing with securing its iconic flagship brewery and restaurant in Downingtown, at the former site of Pepperidge Farm. CCEDC also facilitated a business loan to assist with equipment needs and help build the brewery into the craft beverage powerhouse it is today.
“CCEDC endeavors to promote a stable operating environment for businesses here in Chester County, which includes financing strategies for growth,” said Covaleski. “We are joining a fantastic group of business leaders with this award, and it is an overwhelming honor to be considered amongst this group. It puts real perspective on our big dreams and incredible team effort on the part of all Victory Brewing Company team members over these 24 years.”
“Gary Smith and his team at CCEDC have been with us at so many critical points,” said Barchet. “When we opened our doors in 1996 in Downingtown, Bill and I already understood that the key to our success would be acceptance by our local community. This CCEDC Hall of Fame Award is an acknowledgement of the importance of serving this incredible community. The business scene is vibrant, and equally important, it is a great location to raise a family. The open space, great schools, smart community planning, and proximity to Philadelphia made Chester County the obvious choice.”
Covaleski and Barchet trace their partnership back to 1973, when they met on a school bus as fifth-graders and became friends. They remained so, even as they grew up and went to college on opposite coasts. Beer would bring them together as adults during friendly home-brewing competitions that became so sophisticated that the two decided to leave their corporate careers to study with the best in the brewing industry in the U.S. and Germany. They brought that knowledge back home to Chester County to create Victory, which has employed more than 300 people in Pennsylvania, including in Downingtown, Parkesburg, and Kennett Square.
Victory’s success is also noteworthy in the communities it serves. The company organizes volunteer efforts throughout the year, including during last year’s Brandywine River Clean Up with the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance. Victory employees also plant crops at Pete’s Produce Farm to benefit the Chester County Food Bank, which operates the Fresh2You mobile market that brings fresh local produce to underserved communities in the area. In partnership with the Lord’s Pantry of Downingtown, Victory recently matched $3,500 in donations collected by its employees to provide gifts and gift cards for more than 30 children and their caregivers over the holidays.
“It’s truly a pleasure for CCEDC to recognize the legacy of a company that has excelled in growth and also given back,” said Smith.
Register here to attend CCEDC’s livestream of its Business Achievement Award Ceremony.