Linzi Biesinger said she is living the American dream.
The owner of the Altoona Beauty School, Biesinger was honored Friday as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Blair County Chamber of Commerce at its annual meeting at The Casino at Lakemont Park.
Biesinger, the daughter of Andy and Susan Cameron, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and moved to the United States when she was a child.
After graduating from Hollidaysburg Area High School, she graduated from the Altoona Beauty School in 1986. She later taught at the school and purchased the business in 2004 and moved it into a new 6,750-square-foot facility at 1528 Valley View Blvd.
"She has created a facility that is the envy of the entire region. She is a highly respected ambassador to the industry," said Pat Labriola, a branch manager for Altoona First Savings Bank, which sponsors the award.
Biesinger said the award left her speechless.
"I was really very proud to be considered for the award. There are so many great small businesses in Blair County. I am very honored and shocked," Biesinger said.
"I can't accept this personally, I have a great team. I share this with our educators at Altoona Beauty School."
The recipient of the first Donna D. Gority Servant Leadership Award, given to a person in the community who makes a difference by choosing to serve first and then lead, was Booker Moore, president of L.R. Webber Associates.
Moore was instrumental in not only helping to promote fundraising efforts aimed at eradicating pancreatic cancer, but he also helped to set up the Greg and Cathy Griffith Foundation that has the potential to raise funds internationally.
Greg Griffith, a close friend, died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 26.
Moore was out of town on business and his wife, Janet, accepted the award on behalf of her husband.
"Booker is honored beyond belief that you have honored him for this award," Janet Moore said.
"Booker Moore has been hustling non-stop for God, and something good is going to happen. We are going to see the end of cancer," Cathy Griffith said.
The George Award for volunteerism was presented to Robert A. Good of Altoona for his exemplary volunteer efforts for the community.
Good, a retired carpenter and dairy farmer - who holds the unofficial title "King of The Funnel Cakes," - said he was embarrassed to receive the award.
"What I do I like doing, I enjoy every moment. I don't know what I am here for anyway," Good said.
The GRYP Impact Award, which stands for Inspire, Motivate, Participate, Active, Compassionate and Talent and recognizes a young professional with these qualities, was presented to Derek Miller, general manager of Advantage Resource Group.
"I don't do things to get awards or get recognized. I do things because it is the right thing to do and to make a difference for others," Miller said.
Others honored at the event include:
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.