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Weather doesn’t dampen spirits at Good ‘Burger Awards

Mark Parker



Despite a tropical storm warning, several hundred people still filled the Jannus Live courtyard for the 2022 Good 'Burger Awards. Photo by Mark Parker.

A tropical storm warning didn’t stop hundreds of people from celebrating the businesses and individuals who positively impact the local community.

Wednesday night marked the 10th anniversary of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Good ‘Burger Awards ceremony. Held in the outdoor Jannus Live courtyard, the event featured live music, break-dancers, a T-shirt cannon, food, drinks and civic camaraderie.

Light rain and a breeze from Tropical Storm Nicole’s outer bands greeted attendees at the onset of the ceremony. However, as Chamber president Chris Steinocher predicted, the skies cleared, and the night ended without any soggy ‘Burgers.

After the event, he told the Catalyst he was “blown away” by the turnout despite the weather reports. He called it “the St. Pete way.”

“People care about each other here,” said Steinocher. “And people really wanted to support, celebrate and show their appreciation for all the great businesses in our community.”

According to its website, the Chamber named the awards in honor of a former mayor who referred to his constituents as “Burgers,” short for “St. Petersburgers.” The community voted on finalists in categories like Arts & Culture, Community Conscious and Makers & Creators. The top honor is the MVB – the most valuable ‘Burger.

New for 2022 was The Sunshine Award, which recognizes the people and organizations that serve as champions for change and help advance diversity, inclusion and equality in the city.

Before the awards presentation, the ceremony also recognized 20 recent graduates from St. Pete Greenhouse’s Entrepreneurial Academy. Steinocher referred to them as future Good ‘Burgers.

He added that those aspiring business leaders now realize that beyond the Chamber, they also have hundreds of people cheering their success.

“We get to see people when they’re just getting started, and we get to hand them beautiful awards when everybody loves them,” said Steinocher. “So, to me, it was like a full circle.”

While Steinocher was unsure of the attendance numbers, he said 600 people registered for the event. The upstairs VIP section held 200, and he figures at least that many watched from the courtyard. So, his best guess is about 400 community members braved the weather to cheer on the finalists.

Steinocher said the night was proof that the city he first fell in love with 20 to 30 years ago, and before Covid, remains a welcoming place for all.

“If you didn’t walk out of that place more in love with St. Pete,” he said. “Then your heart is not beating.”

Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, addresses the crowd at Jannus Live. Photo by Mark Parker.

 Here are the 2022 Good ‘Burger Award winners: 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Carl Lavender

    November 10, 2022at6:19 pm

    Foundation For A Healthy St Petersburg is grateful to be the recipient of the inaugural Sunshine Award. Our work and our mission is necessary so that the sun shines on all who call St Petersburg home. Many thanks. Peace.

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