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Fab5 Awards Celebrate Ithaca’s Most Passionate Citizens

From left to right, Mayor Svante Myrick, Cheyenne Gorton, Dr. Michael Berlin, Jessie White, Tam-Marion Warren and Sarah Barden, Winners of the Fab5 Awards. Photo by Mila Phelps-Friedl.

Fab5 Award Winners at 2019 Event
From left to right, Mayor Svante Myrick, Cheyenne Gorton, Dr. Michael Berlin, Jessie White,  Tam-Marion Warren and Sarah Barden, Winners of the Fab5 Awards. Photo by Mila Phelps-Friedl.

When Tam-Marion Warren found out that she’d won the “Business Leader of the Year” award, she decided to wait to surprise her family. A few days later Warren went to her family’s local restaurant, Saigon Kitchen, intending to tell them the good news. Instead, she was met with shouts of congratulations, the entire restaurant waving copies of the Ithaca Times that announced Warren as one of the Fab5 Award Winners.

Warren’s family came from Vietnam, settling in Ithaca, where was born and raised. She’s worked at her family’s real estate company for the past 12 years, currently as Vice President of Operations.

Warren was one of five community members honored for their contributions to the Ithaca area. Warren was chosen for her involvement not only in expanding Warren Real Estate, but also for her community engagement as president of the Friends of Ithaca College Committee, which works to foster the relationship between Ithaca College and the city, and for her work with Love Living at Home, an organization that helps senior individuals to stay in their homes

In her pre-taped acceptance speech, Warren explained how much the award meant to her.

 “I actually read something the other day that said ‘one day there will be no more female leaders, only leaders,’ so I’m very proud to carry the name of Business Leader of the Year.”

This year’s awards ceremony, which took place Feb. 25 in downtown Ithaca, honored the following individuals:

There was also a sixth award, “Recipient of Awesomeness,” given to Mayor Svante Myrick at the end of the ceremony.

The presentation of "Volunteer of the Year Award." Fab5 2019 Ceremony.
The presentation of “Volunteer of the Year Award.” Photo by Mila Phelps-Friedl.

Three out of five winners were born and raised in the area. Ithaca natives Cheyenne Gorton, “Rookie of the Year,” and Sarah Barden, “Entrepreneur of the Year,” expressed their deep appreciation to the community for having a ceremony that recognizes young professionals.

Gorton was honored for her work at Tompkins Cortland Community College. Growing up in Dryden, and attending TC3, Gorton went on to earn her master’s degree in student affairs. She is now the college’s Interim Assistant Director of Student Activities.

Sarah Barden started the Instagram account @Ithacaisfoodies, which explores local restaurants and delicacies around the Ithaca area. Barden explained that she gives back to the community that supports her by highlighting her favorite foods and special places to lucky visitors.

Barden said this award is especially meaningful to her because she never received a college degree. She took a chance by creating @Ithacaisfoodies. The fact that the community she so appreciates is recognizing the success of of her entrepreneurship is an absolute honor, noted Barden.

“I really appreciate winning this award because I’m an entrepreneur, and sometimes that’s a lonely position to hold… it’s particularly meaningful because of that.”

Featured photo courtesy of Tompkins Trust and

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