The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce is honoring five people with its annual leadership awards.

“This year’s award recipients are unique in that they have all greatly enhanced their respective communities,” chamber CEO Quincy Hentzel said in a news release announcing the honorees. “This year’s award recipients are all keystones – if they weren’t as involved with their communities and organizations, the Greater Portland region wouldn’t be as vibrant as it is today.”

Award recipients are:

Leadership in the Private Sector: Melissa Smith, CEO, WEX Inc., who is overseeing the opening of the company’s new global headquarters in Portland.

Economic Development Leadership: Sigco, a glass and metal fabricator in Westbrook, which hired new Americans to fill its 250-strong workforce.

Public Sector Leadership: Brit Vitalius, of Vitalius Real Estate Group, and Heather Sanborn, of Rising Tide Brewing Co., for their work on Portland referendums 1 and 2. Vitalius worked to defeat a potentially harmful rent control referendum in Portland, and Sanborn worked with OnePortland to defeat Portland Question 2, which would have stifled economic development in the city.

Visionary Volunteer Leadership: Michelle Raber, State Farm Insurance. The award recognizes volunteer service that exceeds expectations. Raber served as the volunteer president of the Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce and volunteered countless hours on various chamber of commerce committees.

The award recipients will be honored at the chamber’s annual event and awards show, Imagine Portland, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Jan. 24 at Brick South on Thompson’s Point in Portland. The public is encouraged to attend.

More information is available at or by calling 207-772-2811.

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