The Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce received four "Stars of the Carolinas" Excellence Awards this past Monday during the South Carolina/North Carolina Annual ShowFest Convention held in Greenville. The awards recognize the Chamber's annual Aiken's Makin' arts and crafts show and highlight several categories of excellence. One award in each category was presented for South Carolina and one for North Carolina. The Best Volunteer/Volunteer Group award recognizes the many dedicated volunteers who give of their time and talents to ensure a successful show. The Aiken Chamber received the award based on its ambassadors, a team of 40 business folks who staff the Aiken's Makin' hospitality booth during the two-day show. Some of these ambassadors, including two co-chairs and the finance committee chair, also volunteer throughout the year in preparation for the September show. The Sponsor of the Year award recognizes the business, civic or service organization whose outstanding financial and/or manpower support sets an example for others in the community to follow. This year's award honors Baker Concrete and Construction Inc. for their Gallery sponsorship of the 2010 Aiken's Makin'. Not only did the company provide financial support, it donated their sponsor booth to the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Aiken County. The center used the space to give children attending Aiken's Makin' the opportunity to paint a tile for an entrance mural at the CAC facility. The Director of the Year Award recognizes excellence in event management. The person must have demonstrated leadership, competence, achievement, ethical standards and a strong commitment to the festival industry. The award was presented to Dianne Phillips, director of Membership Development and Finance for the Aiken Chamber. Phillips has been spearheading the massive Aiken's Makin' project since 2007. The Chamber also received an excellence award for Best Print Media in the large category for the Aiken's Makin' insert in the Aiken Standard. "At this point in my career, I only want to lead a model chamber," said Chamber President and CEO J. David Jameson. "Five years ago we began to tweak Aiken's Makin' to ensure that we maintained a high quality arts and crafts show. These four excellence awards validate the hard work by lots and lots of volunteers, the City staff and the Chamber's professional staff. Aiken's Makin' is turning heads around the state."