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The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce is honored to announce the recipient of the Chamber’s 2019 Citizen of the Year Award and Outstanding Business and Beautification Awards.  The awards will be presented at the Chamber’s dinner Tuesday, November 26rd at The Flanders Hotel.

This year, the Citizen of the Year Award will be presented to Carrie Merritt. Ms. Merritt is an active citizen in Ocean City and loves the Ocean City life. She is a 1st Grade teacher at Ocean City Primary School and has been an Ocean City Red Raider since 2006.

Ms. Merritt is the 2018-2019 Cape May County Teacher of the Year and a New Jersey State Teacher of the Year Finalist. In 2016, Carrie received the AtlantiCare Healthy Educator of the Year Award.  In August 2017, she had the opportunity to represent the USA at the ITU World Championships for Long Distance Triathlon.


Recently, Carrie was selected by Dr. Kathleen Taylor, Superintendent of the Ocean City School District, to serve on a Women’s Leadership Committee. This committee crafted the “We Rock” Ocean City Schools Initiative. The vision of this district wide initiative is to “Empower ourselves, empower our students and empower our community.” This initiative aims to build school and community pride, bridge cooperation and camaraderie between our three schools and the community and finally to help our students and employees realize they matter!

Carrie runs TLC Performance, a small personal training business on the island. While “torturing” her clients she also tries to instill the belief that fitness and wellness can be fun. Her trainees are more than clients…they become extended family.

Ms. Merritt also serves as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for many OCHS Girls sports teams. Her philosophy for training these young women is greater than their time “just spent on the field”. Her belief is to help model, then motivate that fitness and wellness are a tool to help foster a positive attitude, positive self-image, emotional and mental wellness, and how to challenge oneself to be successful.

When she’s not in her classroom, you can find her running down the boardwalk in costume—while sharing her love of fitness and the City of Ocean City, swimming in the bay or drinking her numerous cups of Barefoot coffee.  She serves on the OCNJ Half Marathon and Race Event Series committee. She takes pride in coordinating volunteers and social media for the OCNJ Race Events that help market Ocean City as “The Greatest Family Resort”. You will often find Ms. Merritt’s 1st grade students working on projects that are centered around Ocean City and volunteerism.  Carrie feels it is the responsibility of the teacher to nurture well rounded humans and grow productive, kind citizens.

Carrie is the proud wife of Lisa Rumer, and the proud mom to TJ.

The following businesses will also be receiving awards at the dinner:

The Business Renovation/Improvement Award, an award that is granted to a business that has taken an existing building and made physical and internal renovations to significantly improve its condition, will be presented to OC Escape Adventures, Bungalow Bowls (Boardwalk), and Bowfish Kids.

Hearth & Sole and Sifting Sands will be awarded the Outstanding Landscaping/Signage Award for their new signage.

Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Home Services, Tuckahoe Inn, Interiors by Joann, and Express Pizza will receive the Business New Construction Award.

The Outstanding New Business Award will be presented to Dry Island, Dead End Bake Shop, and Arnie’s Butcher Shop.

This year’s Outstanding Civic, Community, Non-Profit Organization Award will be presented to Ocean City Tabernacle’s Son Club.

We Make it Personal and Gillian’s Wonderland Pier will receive the Outstanding Use of Technology Award.  

The Outstanding Service to the Community Award will be presented to Cathy Finnegan and also to the Seagull Abatement Program.

Special Awards will be presented for milestone anniversaries. These businesses include: 

5th Anniversary – Yoga Ginger

10th Anniversary – Fractured Prune

10th Anniversary – Harbor Outfitters

10th Anniversary – OCNJ Half Marathon

10th Anniversary – Ocean City Magazine

20th Anniversary – Inn the Gardens Bed & Breakfast

25th Anniversary - Hobby Horse Ice Cream

35th Anniversary – Fox Real Estate

40th Anniversary – Halliday-Leonard Contractors

50th Anniversary - Oves

50th Anniversary – Varsity Inn

50th Anniversary – Sack O Subs

65th Anniversary – Night in Venice

75th Anniversary – Charlie’s

90th Anniversary – Gillian’s Wonderland Pier

95th Anniversary – Boyar’s Market

100th Anniversary – Board of Realtors

100th Anniversary – St. John’s Lutheran Church

140th Anniversary – Ocean City Tabernacle

For dinner reservations, $55 per person, or to congratulate the winners in the 2019 Program Book, please call the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce office at (609) 399-1412 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.