The Aiken Chamber of Commerce recently acknowledged two of its own at the Aiken Young Professionals (AYP) dinner gala for their contributions to the community and the group itself by presenting a pair of awards.
Derek Herron merited AYP’s Most Valuable Young Professional distinction, while Jonathan Larry earned the designation of Aiken’s Rising Star at the celebratory occasion.
Herron originated a new event called “Trucks N’ Tunes” for AYP featuring food trucks and musical entertainment. Herron created a planning team and oversaw fundraising and logistics.
Larry founded “Upliff,” an online platform using social media to effect global change by challenging negativity. Having won several previous awards for his work, he accepted the Rising Star award in recognition of “character, leadership and excellence” in his field.
Marking the annual event’s 10th anniversary, AYP Chair Elizabeth Cahill presented a welcome and offered a synopsis, while the chamber’s president and CEO J. David Jameson acted as keynote speaker.
Jameson lauded both award recipients for their work, commending Herron for meeting the challenges of leadership and responsibility; and Larry for “paying it forward” in his outreach efforts for the community.
Chamber spokespersons added that strengthening the younger population for Aiken is a desirable goal as the community previously reached out appealing to older individuals for retirement living publicity purposes.