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At its monthly luncheon, held at the Triangle Sportsplex in Hillsborough on Wednesday, December 21, the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of its Business of the Year, Business Person of the Year and Helping Hand Awards.

The Business of the Year Award recipient is PHE, Inc. What began as a master's thesis in 1969 - selling condoms by mail - quickly evolved into a $90 million empire known today as Adam & Eve. Founded by Phil Harvey and Dr. Tim Black, the company became a leader in promoting birth control services through non-medical channels. Adam & Eve maintains a high level of customer service satisfaction and stocks a broad range of quality, sex-positive materials, available discreetly by mail. The company reaches nearly five million customers annually through its catalog and website, and remains the nation's leading adult mail order retailer. Founder Phil Harvey divides his time between Adam & Eve and DKT International, a not-for-profit organization located in Washington, DC. DKT International provides family planning, health care and sex education materials to eight third world countries in Asia, Africa and South America.

The company employs nearly 375 people, making it one of Orange County's largest employers. It has been in Orange County for 35 years, and in Hillsborough for more than 11 years. In addition to being one of the Chamber's Foundation Club sponsors, PHE also contributes to and supports many local and national non-profit efforts, including Hillsborough's Turnip Patch Park, Special Olympics of NC, Orange High School, the Hillsborough Rotary Club, Orange County Recreation and Parks, Friends of the Orange County Senior Center, Habitat for Humanity, the Orange County Rescue Squad, Relay for Life, the Hillsborough Firefighters Association, Duke Health Community Care, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and St. Jude's Children's Hospital, to name a few. In addition, employees and the company's matching donations raised over $11,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina, donating the funds to the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity International and the Animal Protection Society of the US.

“The Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce is honored to have PHE, Inc. as a foundation club member and to have this opportunity to recognize PHE for its good corporate citizenship and generous support of so many worthy causes in Orange County," said Margaret Wood Cannell, Chamber Executive Director.

The Chamber's Business Person of the Year award goes to Dennis Canter, Area Manager with Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Roxboro. “The Roxboro Pepsi plant covers Orange County to I-40," said Cannell said, “and thank goodness we fall into Dennis' territory. Each year, the Chamber purchases beverages from Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Roxboro for resale at Hog Day, and almost no one works harder on that day than Dennis. He is everywhere at once, making deliveries and keeping people happy."

In addition to working hard to represent his company and the Chamber at Hog Day, Dennis also provides the same service for many of the events sponsored by the Orange County Recreation and Parks Department. He can always be counted on to provide goods and services for functions and is a valuable asset to Pepsi.

The 2005 Helping Hand Award recipient is the Daniel Boone Merchants Association. A non-profit organization made up of the owners and operators of businesses within the Shops at Daniel Boone, the DBMA and its members provide support for many other non-profits throughout the year. In 2005, their contribution was definitely outstanding. “The members of the Daniel Boone Merchants Association responded to the needs of the people of Pass Christian, MS in a big way, sponsoring a drive to gather much-needed supplies, food, clothing, toys, hygiene items, and anything else they could think of to be sent to Mississippi," Cannell said. “Their community wide effort filled a tractor-trailer truck with just under the weight limit of supplies for the devastated town." In addition to the initial run, the DBMA has continued to collect items for the Pass and will continue the effort for as long as there is a need. In addition, the members of DBMA founded a Hillsborough Leads group that meets the second and fourth Thursdays of each month and also helped to charter a local Civitan group.

“The Board received several worthy nominations for each of the categories, but decided that PHE, Inc., Dennis Canter, and the DBMA should be award recipients this year," said Cannell. “We are fortunate in Orange County to have companies, individuals, and organizations that are willing to be involved in the community and be good corporate citizens. The Chamber is pleased to have an opportunity to recognize these fine folks."


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