When it comes to choosing who to honor each year for Citizen of the Year, Distinguished Service, and Community Commitment, it always becomes clear how rich the Mashpee Community is in altruism. It’s a difficult decision to make, especially in the wake of such an unusual year.
So I spoke with many of our former Citizen of the Year recipients and town leaders. Out of the dozens of nominations we received, the following were the individuals and the organization that best met the criteria for each, and we felt were most deserving in both the best of times and the hardest of times alike:
Citizen of the Year is awarded to a business person whose leadership, performance, and influence enhances the growth and visibility of business in Mashpee. They should be someone who has made a lasting impact on the community, and distinguish themselves through volunteerism that is done above and beyond their paid profession. Needless to say, they should also be a member of the Mashpee Chamber of Commerce.
This year’s winner is someone who fits the criteria so well that most people seem to think that they’ve already received the award.
We checked. They haven’t. Until now!
The 2021 Mashpee Chamber Citizen of the Year is John Miller, of J. Miller Pictureframers and Gallery.
Amongst his many accolades, John is on the Mashpee Finance Committee, was president of the Cahoon Museum of American Art, President of the Barnstable Land Trust, on the board of directors of Cotuit Center for the Arts, a member of the Mashpee Conservation Commission, and a Mashpee Chamber of Commerce board member.
John advocates for small businesses on Cape Cod through his involvement on committees like these, through volunteerism at events like the Mashpee Chamber Christmas Parade and our Candidates Forums, through his participation at local events, his personal investment in local issues, and all with an even and cool disposition.
And all this while running his own business for over 20 years.
Join us at La Tavola on August 27th to honor John as our 2020/2021 Mashpee Chamber Citizen of the Year.
For distinguished service, we were so grateful to see so many nominations. One in particular stood out, though. The Mashpee Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award goes to an individual who deserves recognition for a significant contribution of time, energy, and knowledge that enhances the community.
Few have the legacy of doing just that, as our distinguished service award recipient, Chief Flying Eagle, Earl H. Mills Sr.
Chief Flying Eagle is, as Sam Houghton wrote in a 2019 piece for the Mashpee Enterprise, “a legend in Mashpee”. He was one of the first to be awarded the Mashpee Historical Commission Preservation Award in 2019. His role in Mashpee Preservation includes preserving the Parsonage building, which is believed to have been built circa 1849!
Chief Flying Eagle owned and operated the Flume restaurant from 1972 to 2004.
He authored “The Cape Cod Wampanoag Cookbook” and co-authored his memoir “Son of Mashpee”. Both books naturally lend themselves to preserving vital aspects of Mashpee Culture.
Finally, our Community Commitment Award goes to an organization that has made substantial contributions through support of activities in the Mashpee Community.
This year, we’re honoring the 99 Restaurant & Pub for their philanthropy and community involvement. Any fund raising organization in Mashpee will nod in agreement on this one.
The 99 give to Pine Street Inn, Dana Farber, the Boys & Girls Club, Cape Cod Baseball League, Special Olympics, Cape Cod Children’s Museum, Mashpee Public Library, Mashpee Middle/High School, Mashpee Boosters Club, and the Mashpee Chamber, just to name a few!
All of our award winners will be in attendance at La Tavola on August 27th. You’re invited to join us in recognizing these incredible individuals and organization at La Tavola. Tickets are on sale now.