New Fulton-Montgomery regional chamber to present awards
FULTON & MONTGOMERY COUNTIES The Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry will recognize noteworthy businesses and individuals in both counties for the first time since the two chambers merged last year during its Jan. 18 annual meeting and awards dinner.
The event will be held at St. Mary’s Institute, 10 Kopernik Blvd., Amsterdam, starting at 6 p.m.
“We want to honor businesses that have succeeded and shown dedication to the chamber of commerce,” said chamber interim President Mark Kilmer. “During the hard times, some of these businesses have grown and we try to recognize that in a quality business. It is a tough choice because we get so many nominations,” he said.
In the past, each chamber held separate events that recognized their respective members with distinctive awards. This year, the merged chamber will present all the awards, except for the tourism award, which was combined. “By adopting the awards, we want to show we are a regional chamber and that we do not have any regional divisions,” Kilmer said.
The memberships of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and Industry voted last April to merge. The state Attorney General’s Office has given its consent to the merger, although several more steps remain before it is formal. In the meantime, the two chambers are operating as one. Kilmer is serving as interim president until a permanent president is hired.
Here are the awards and their nominees. One will be selected for each award:
u Agricultural Business of the Year Award: Goderie’s Tree Farm; Hummingbird Hills Winery; Roger’s Family Orchards; Peaceful Valley Maple Farms. The award recognizes a member business or event that made a positive contribution to the economic growth and well-being of the region.
u Barbara V. Spraker Tourism Partner Award: Amsterdam Mohawks; Grandma Millie’s Bakery. This award is given to a chamber member that excelled in the past year in bringing visitors to the region while promoting the positives aspects of the community. The award’s namesake spearheaded initiatives such as the creation of the Canajoharie Information Booth and the bicycle path; she served on the board of the Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission.
u Centennial Award: The Leader Herald; Sarah Jane Sanford Adult Home; Nathan Littauer Hospital. The award is given to a member that has been an active participant in chamber programs and has been in business in the region for 100 or more years.
u Chamber Family Award: Vahaviolos family of Sam’s Seafood Steakhouse and Romana’s Pizzeria; Lanzi family. The award is given to a family whose members own, operate or are employees of a business that has shown extraordinary support and participation in chamber programs.
u Edward L. Wilkinson Industry of the Year Award: Amsterdam Mohawks; Euphrates Inc. The award recognizes a member business or industry that has made a positive contribution to the economic growth and well-being of the region, as well as has shown extraordinary support and participation in chamber programs. Its namesake was a prominent attorney and economic development leader.
u Small Business of the Year: SW Skincare and Cosmetics; Kwiat Eye & Laser Surgery; Dolci LLC; The Geek Pantology. This award is given to a chamber member who has shown a dedicated investment in the chamber and the community. To qualify, the business must employ 10 or fewer people.
u Thomas B. Constantino Entrepreneurial Award: Cassella & Co.; SW Skincare & Cosmetics; Euphrates Inc. This award recognizes a chamber member that embodies the entrepreneurial spirit by organizing, managing and assuming the risks of building a business, and then persevering toward success. Its namesake founded the Noteworthy Co. in Amsterdam.
u Young Professional of the Year Award: Patricia Greene of St. Mary’s Healthcare; Dr. David Kwiat of Kwiat Eye & Laser Surgery; Chuck Torres of The Geek Pantology; Lisa Miner of Euphrates Inc. The award recognizes a professional chamber member under the age of 40 whose commitment, enthusiasm and positive energy have contributed to the betterment of the region.
The event will also include presentation of the FMS Workforce Solutions System 2012 Business Partners of the Year Awards. Recognized will be Kwiat Eye & Laser Surgery as Montgomery County Business Partner; and Electro-Metrics Corp. as Fulton County Business Partner of the Year.