Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce honors 2024 award winners

Jun 5 / Press

Jodie Wagner | Palm Beach Daily News | Published 5:06 a.m. ET June 5, 2024

The Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce honored its 2024 award winners Monday during a dinner event at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach.

Honorees were a longtime executive with The Breakers, a Palm Beach clothing store, a certified public accounting firm, a financial services professional, a nonprofit theater company, an interior designer, and a rising young professional.

All were recognized for excellence in their field and for their commitment to the Chamber, the community, and the regional economy, Chamber CEO Doug Evans told the Daily News.

Each award winner received a handblown glass sculpture created by Lake Worth Beach-based Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts.

The Chairman’s Award was the first presentation of the evening. It went to Darren Hirsowitz, who serves as senior vice president and chief financial officer of The Breakers.

The award recognizes an individual or organization for their outstanding contribution of expertise and time to the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce.

The Non-Profit of the Year Award went to Palm Beach Dramaworks, a West Palm Beach theater company that engages, entertains and educates audiences with “provocative and timeless productions” that personally impact each individual, according to its website.

“This organization believes in the transformative power of live theatre, and is committed to producing classic, contemporary, and world premiere plays that entertain, enlighten, stimulate discussion, and illuminate our shared humanity,” Bill Shepherd, the Chamber’s board chair, said in presenting the award. “We are equally dedicated to creating new works and cultivating new audiences, upholding the original objectives of the regional theater movement. We recognize and value the power of education, offering inspiring, life-changing programs for students, and thought-provoking initiatives for adults.”

STAUD, a Los Angeles-based lifestyle brand that opened its first Florida location last fall at The Royal Poinciana Plaza, received the Chamber’s New Business of the Year Award.

Founded in 2015 by Sarah “Staud” Staudinger and George Augusto, the store offers apparel, handbags, shoes, accessories, swimwear, and other pieces designed to empower women but also be accessible to them, according to the company.

In addition to its Palm Beach location, STAUD also operates stores in Los Angeles and New York as well as a pop-up location in Dallas.

“With Palm Beach being a luxury retail destination, it’s no wonder that this company is being honored as New Business of the Year,” Shepherd said.

Lyman Phillips, founder and CEO of Palm Beach-based Golden Lion Capital, was named Young Professional of the Year. The award recognizes emerging business leaders under the age of 40.

Phillips, Shepherd said, has held senior positions within well-established financial consulting and recovery organizations and has led large teams of professionals throughout his career.

“He has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs across North America in providing essential business development consulting, sales and growth strategies,” Shepherd said.

Phillips also serves on the executive board of directors for Tafer Hospitality and ResortCom International, and is an honorary member-elect of the Palm Beach County League of Cities.

Gil Walsh, founder and principal of West Palm Beach-based Gil Walsh Interiors, won the Women’s Leadership Award.

Walsh has been involved in the interior design industry for more than three decades, Shepherd noted, and she is considered a “pioneer” in her field.

“Her approach is a marriage of classic design principles and risk-taking execution,” he said. “It’s the intuition to know which rules to break and when and where to add color that only comes from over 30 years of experience. It’s where traditional and contemporary meet to create an original work of perfection.”

Also Monday, the Chamber recognized Michael Koppy, executive vice president of Financial Recovery Strategies, Inc., as its Entrepreneur of the Year; and FUOCO Group, a certified public accounting and financial advisory firm, as its Business of the Year.

For more information on the Chamber, visit