Each year, the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce holds its annual awards dinner in June, honoring a Company of the Year and a Nonprofit of the Year. On June 21, the chamber proudly recognized ACBI Insurance as the 2018 Company of the Year, accepted by Daniel F. Keane, president and CEO, and the Center for Family Justice, accepted by president and CEO Debra A. Greenwood.

Recognition is very important on every level, both personal and professional. And the annual chamber awards are designed with that in mind … to acknowledge outstanding businesses and nonprofits within our community.

The Company of the Year Award recognizes high standards of excellence, best practices and industry achievements … all reflecting the hard work of ownership and staff, including their collective dedication to serve their customers and clients with the highest level of professionalism, and always providing exceptional service.

But, in addition to serving its own customer base, an important part of this award is to look at another component: community give-back. This is also where ACBI Insurance excels.

ACBI Insurance has earned its sterling reputation over the years for all of the right reasons, but what also makes it exceptional is its selfless community give-back. It’s not just about them. The company focuses on, and is very mindful of, the health and well-being of community as a whole. Its core culture includes volunteerism, sponsorships and direct support to a variety of nonprofits which provide services for disadvantaged families and children, health, arts and culture, to name a few. Community give-back, combined with exceptional business practices, are what make a great business … and that is exactly what ACBI Insurance stands for, under the leadership of Keane.

The Nonprofit of the Year Award recognizes an organization that is passionate about its mission, has measurable community impact for those in need, and availability of services. The chamber was very proud to honor the Center for Family Justice.

The Center for Family Justice provides free and confidential trauma-informed services and coordinates care for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and child abuse in six Fairfield County towns: Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.

Greenwood, who has led the center since 2007, has developed and expanded this organization, effectively serving more and more people each and every year. She, along with her dedicated staff, work tirelessly every day, to break the cycle of abuse and violence … while reinforcing that “everyone should be treated with respect and dignity.”

What’s really special about Fairfield’s business and nonprofit community is that they are somewhat interwoven, and align together. Our businesses understand that our nonprofits are very important, and solely exist to help and advocate for those people in need. Businesses that support our nonprofits, help create a stronger community foundation as a whole … and that’s what we proudly have in Fairfield!

Beverly A. Balaz is president of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.