ITHACA, NY: On Thursday, January 26, 2006, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce marked its 120th year with its Annual Meeting and Dinner at the Statler Hotel.

The Kitchen Theatre Company was recognized and received the "Small Business of the Year Award". This marks the first time the Tompkins Chamber of Commerce has honored a not-for-profit business with this award. Artistic Director Rachel Lampert, also named on the award, accepted on behalf of the board and the staff of the Kitchen Theatre Company.

The David R. Strong Memorial "Small Business of the Year Award" recognizes a Tompkins County Business with fewer than 50 employees that has achieved significant accomplishments during the year. The nominee's success or accomplishments may include growth in sales or number of employees, innovative products or services, involvement in community organizations, contributions to Chamber programs, creative solutions to business challenges. Recipient must be a business of at least 5 years, and a current member of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce.

The award acknowledges the 15 years that the Kitchen has provided Ithaca with an eclectic mix of regional and world-premiere plays and musicals in its intimate 73-seat theatre. Its bold approach spotlights emerging artists, engages younger audiences, embraces alternative views, and brings lesser-known works to the public eye. It enhances the cultural life of the area and provides downtown with an anchor of year-round theater. "This small business looms large as one of the community's greatest assets", stated a Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce press release.

Over 275 business and civic leaders attended the event to honor the achievement of businesses and business people countywide.