November 26, 2014
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Chamber to honor local businesses Nov. 9
Nick Cantor

The Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce will be recognizing its annual winners for their achievements on the part of local businesses and their leaders at the Rising Above the Rest Awards Breakfast. The ceremony will take place Nov. 9 at the Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

“It gives us great pleasure to honor these outstanding business leaders,” Lauren Slocum, Chamber President/CEO said in a statement. “We hope the community will join us on Friday morning as we celebrate the accomplishments these individuals, companies and advocates have made.”

This year’s winner of The Al Andrews Community Achievement Award, the highest award given out, is Stephen Hinger, of Drum Rock Products.

Started in 1950 by the McCabe family, Drum Rock Products is a Warwick-based company responsible for manufacturing batter/breader, fritter and clam cake mixes. Their name derives from a three-ton stone believed to have been put in place by Narragansett Indians hundreds of years ago, which they claimed had the ability to “send signals.” In 1984 George Pesce and Arnie Brier of Commercial Realty formally donated the Drum Rock to the city of Warwick.

By 1993, Hinger took the reigns, becoming president and owner of Drum Rock Products. His investment in new “state of the art blending and packaging equipment” helped expand Drum Rock’s customer base significantly, with many successful chain restaurants across the country keeping Drum Rock products in stock as well.

While he is certainly an influential and successful businessman, Hinger is equally involved in the community, donating his time and resources to nonprofit organizations, often anonymously. He’s earned himself the reputation as someone more concerned with supporting the mission of the programs than receiving personal attention for his generosity.

“He is always giving back to the community,” Slocum said. “It seems like every week there is some organization he is giving to.”

Hinger is also an active member in the Boy Scouts of America Association, as well as the Rotary Club of Warwick. It is fitting given his quiet, unselfish demeanor, that he was not available for comment regarding his upcoming award.

Other award recipients will include Dancin’ Feelin’ Ltd. For Business of the Year; Geoff Schoos of the RI Center for Law and Public Policy for Not-For-Profit Business Person of the Year; Coastway Community Bank for Volunteer of the Year; and more.

Those who are interested in purchasing tickets or have additional questions should call 732-1100 or visit www.centralrichamber.com.


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