• Small Business Person of the Year Award

    2017 Small Business Person of the Year, Sara Vallandingham

    Sara Vallandingham, owner of Sara’s House, is the 2017 Small Business Person of the Year.  In 2012, Sara was faced with an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning her own shop, she opened Sara's House in Bridgewater Falls.  With very little retail experience, Sara took what she calls the "leap of a lifetime." Sometime in 2013 she met Sherry Armstead from Art On Symmes.  Sherry shared with her the great things happening in Hamilton, telling her she had to meet Mike Dingeldein.  The rest is history.  In May 2014, Sara's House moved from Bridgewater Falls to the newly renovated store front of 254 High Street, a space that had been occupied by a bail bondsman just a few months prior.  Sara says that she and husband Dave felt an immediate draw to their building, even though it was covered in blue metal siding with virtually no appeal.  "We just knew we were meant to live there...even if people thought we were crazy.  Within a year of Sara's House moving to High Street, Dave and Sara began the process of purchasing the building from the Core Fund.  After much demolition and renovation, they sold their house in the suburbs, bought the building and moved their family to the urban loft above their store.  Sara says, "we couldn't love it more, especially as Hamilton continues to transform.   It's also convenient for the occasional run from the shop to the kitchen for a brownie!"  Since opening Sara's House in Hamilton, Sara has been very active in the community.  She is one of the founding members of Alive After 5.  She also serves on the executive board of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Special Improvement District's board.


    Past Recipients:

    2017 - Sara Vallandingham
    2016 - Eric Pohlman
    2015 - Sherry Armstead
    2014 - Jane Johnson
    2013 - Mindy Mueller
    2012 - George F. Schmidt
    2011 – Dennis & Robin Kurlas
    2010 - Sanders Family
    2009 - Edward D. Larkin
    2008 - Jeff Pohlman
    2007 - Bob Robinson, Sr.
    2006 - Bill Boehm
    2005 - H. Wayne Ferguson
    2004 - Craig Wilks
    2003 - Dave Lippert
    2002 - Mel “Moody” Baker
    2001 - Paul & Joellyn Goos
    2000 - Karen Underwood Kramer & Gayl Underwood
    1999 - Peter A. Towne
    1998 - Frank Pfirman
    1997 - Neil Cohen, Henry Sester & Ron Smith
    1987 - Bob Lippert
    1986 - Harold McMullen
    1985 - Bill Wilks
    1984 - Jay & Carolyn Antenen
    1983 - Jack Horn
    1982 - Joe Williams

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