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Chamber Honors Community Champions

November 16, 2018

DRACUT -- When a person’s life impacts the lives of so many others, they should be celebrated, Michelle Silveira announced during Wednesday night’s Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce annual Membership Meeting.

“Steve Jones was one of those people,” Silva added while addressing the few hundred Chamber members and guests who gathered for the event inside Lenzi’s in Dracut.

Jones, who passed away suddenly in September 2016, worked at Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union for more than 20 years. He was heavily involved in the community, serving on many boards and committees for various nonprofit agenies.

“Steve was the thread that linked Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union to the Greater Lowell community,” said Silva, who worked with Jones at the credit union. “His passion, enthusiasm and willingness to help everyone and anyone made him anything but common.”

At the end of the many meetings he attended, Jones was known to say, “Go forth and serve,” Silva said. A pin with this motto was given to those honored in Jones’ memory on Wednesday night.

The Steve Jones Community Champion award winners are selected based on nominations provided to the Chamber by city and town managers throughout Greater Lowell. Those chosen for the honor should encapsulate Jones’ spirit through their role in community service and their involvement in economic development.

The champions honored Wednesday night were Tony Lucacio, who operates Merrimack Valley Insurance Agency in Billerica; Art Sutcliffe, of Lowell, chairman of the Lowell Festival Foundation; Alison Page, the Tyngsboro Parks and Recreation Director; Gulshan and Rashmi Kumar, of Rangoli Grill in Westford; Gay and Bob Corey, who operate Dracut Access TV (DATV); and Stephanie Southworth and Jeff Rzepka, of Wamesit Lanes in Tewksbury.

Also selected was Bill Gilet, of Chelmsford, who chaired the committee to develop a master plan for Vinal Square and is now leading the efforts to implement the plan.

Gilet, along with Lucacio and Sutcliffe, were close friends with Jones.

“I don’t think you can count how many boards or committees Steve was on,” said Gilet, after the awards were distributed. “When they say go forward and serve, truly he exemplified that whole thing.”

“It was an honor to get this award in Steve’s memory,” Sutcliffe added. “Not only was he a fellow board member, he was a personal friend.”

Also during Wednesday night’s event, Greater Lowell Health Alliance, Lowell Community Health Center, Mill City Grows and UTEC were named the Chamber’s “Members of the Year.”

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis

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