Chamber recognizes residents: Awards presented to area businesses, individuals
Awards presented to area businesses, individuals
JOHNSTOWN — Local businesses and individuals were honored Friday night at the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Annual Celebration and Cocktail Party at the Johnstown Holiday Inn.
The event honored local businesses and chamber members for their work in 2016.
The theme of the night — “Winter Wonderland” — featured cocktails, a selfie booth and themed raffles and silent auction prizes. Speakers also presented to awards to the winners.
The winners include:
∫ Small Business: Ricmar Design and Print Shop
∫ Centennial Business Award: Fonda Fair
∫ Barbara V. Spraker Tourism Partner Award: Fort Plain Museum
∫ Young Professional of the Year Award: Dayton King, mayor of the city of Gloversville
∫ Thomas B. Constantino Entrepreneurial Award: Barbara Madonna, Gloversville Public Library
∫ Agricultural Business of the Year: Randall Implements Co., Inc.
∫ Edward L. Wilkinson Industry of the Year: Lexington, Chapter of NYSAR, Inc. and Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts
∫ Chamber Family Award: The Keller Family/Keymark Corporation/Kasson & Keller
Other awards of the evening included:
∫ Fulton County 2016 Business Partner of the Year: Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market, Inc.
∫ Montgomery County 2016 Business Partner of the Year: Home Helpers and Direct Link of Amsterdam.
Both awards were presented by the Fulton-Montgomery-Schoharie Workforce Solutions Center.
Small Business Award
Ricmar Design and Print Shop has been serving and providing customers quality products for more than 40 years. The shop is located at 101 Edson Street in Amsterdam and the small business prides itself “keeping it real and keeping it local.” The shop also aims to deliver what their customers need, regardless if it’s a graphic design, marketing or print projects. Krissy Gillmore, owner of Ricmar, accepted the award.
“It’s exciting, I’ve never expected it but we are extremely humbled and honored,” Gillmore said.
Gillmore became owner of the print shop in 2013 and has since had the goal of providing customers with quality products on time and at a reasonable price. She has worked in the region for over 20 years, and started her career at Anderson Instrument Co., Inc. after graduating from Cazenovia College.
At Anderson, Gillmore worked in marketing and design, and later moved on to work at four different companies including Amsterdam Printing and the Grandoe Corporation in Gloversville, according to the chamber.
Gillmore said she is very grateful for every experience she has had through her employers. She said she has taken away knowledge and great experiences from each, according to information from the chamber.
“2017 looks like a brand new year,” Gillmore said. “We are just going to keep doing what we do and just focus on our customers and make sure that they are happy.”
When Gillmore took over the 40-year-old established printing and design business, she didn’t think the business was as well known as she would have liked. She used her past experiences to share the story of the business and create a new business that was more involved with the community.
Gillmore and her team at Ricmar pride themselves on flexibility and their ability to really work with clients by being so involved with the community. Gillmore also spends her time on the Board of Trustees for the Amsterdam Free Library, Board of Directors of the Fulton County Museum and Historical Association and is also on the Advisory Board for the Montgomery County Office of Aging.
For the Chamber, Gillmore was recognized as having served for two years on the Ambassador Committee, where her work includes helping to mentor new businesses and Chamber members and attending ribbon cutting events.
“The best part is that my friends, family and customers all become one big family and that’s my most favorite, to be able to pull something off that they never expected to happen,” Gillmore said.
Along with office and sales Manager, Sheila Wiley and production Manager Sean McGillin, three students from the Amsterdam High School serve as interns, spending six hours a week at the shop.
Centennial Business Award
The Fonda Fair celebrated it’s 175th anniversary in 2016, and fair President Richard Kennedy said he looks forward to many more. The main purpose it serves is to promote agriculture of the counties.
“It’s very humbling to be honored and recognized for the countless volunteer hours that goes into making the fair happen each year,” Kennedy said.
The fair celebrates the two counties agricultural roots, hosting exhibits of vegetables, fruit and flowers as well as judging competitions of poultry, cattle and horses. The fair also hosts varying carnival rides and shows such as demolition derbies and tractor and truck pulls. An annual Miss Fonda Fair competition is held as well as a baby contest.
By hosting a variety of events and venues, the Fonda Fair aims to preserve how life used to be for the two counties. Kennedy said he believes it’s the fair’s responsibility to continue to educate the community about the importance of agriculture to the community, and keep it at the forefront of the event, according to the chamber.
Kennedy said the 2016 fair season stood out for multiple reasons, including perfect weather to celebrate a milestone.
Barbara V. Spraker Award
The Fort Plain Museum was founded in 1961 by Robert Lord, created to tell the story about Fort Plain during the Revolutionary War. Since Lord created the museum, other storylines have been added: the Erie Canal, Colonial and Native American history.
The museum features the history of the Mohawk Valley during the 18th and 19th century, having the slogan “America’s First Frontier.” The museum is now led by two volunteers, Norm Bollen and Brian Mack, and the chamber recognized both for working closely with the tourism department to improve tourism in Montgomery County.
“It feels great, we are excited to receive the award. A lot of hard work went into the conference that we put together and I think receiving this award it just a sign of things to come for Montgomery County as we want to expand more,” Bollen said.
The first annual American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley Conference was held in 2015 as their mission to promote tourism. The conference featured war experts from around the county and included a bus tour to related historic sites of Montgomery County, according to the chamber.
In 2016, the war conference expanded to include Fulton-Montgomery Community College and Fulton County historic sites. Attendance also grew, as the first year saw 150 and the second saw 200, with 30 percent of attendees from outside of New York State.
A marketing campaign called “Mohawk Country” was created to bring visitors to visit historic sites focusing on the Revolutionary War along with other secondary sites.
The chamber honored Bollen and Mack as being the driving forces behind the Mohawk Valley Conference. They are already working on the event for 2017.
“If you put the history to work for you, you have an economic incentive to make the whole thing work, with jobs and more. History is destination tourism and we continue to build on that approach,” Bollen told the chamber.
The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce recognized city of Gloversville Mayor Dayton King with the award for all that he has achieved during his tenure as mayor.
“I’m certainly honored for the people that nominated me and then the chamber committee for selecting me as young professional of the year,” King said. “I’m also certainly grateful to my family, who have made a lot of sacrifices over the last several years.”
King was nominated for the award by three people; Steve Serge, CEO of the Fulton County YMCA, Attorney Anthony Casale and Gloversville Chief of Police Marc Porter. King’s duties as a mayor include functioning as the CEO of a municipal budget of over $19 million, including responsibility for 125 full time employees. During his tenure, city revenues have grown by over 20 percent while expenses have increased less than 10 percent, according to information from the chamber.
“Anyone who has had more than one conversation with Dayton King has heard him say ‘we are moving forward,’ or ‘let’s move forward,'” Casale wrote in his nomination. “At the age of 38, just finishing his seventh year in office as the Mayor of the City of Gloversville … Dayton has distinguished himself as a progressive thinker and leader with a keen ability to be able to see the big picture and a keen focus on moving the city forward …”
King first took office in 2010 when he developed the slogan “keep moving forward.” He said over the last 7 years, a great team was created between the department heads, the council and the business community.
“I really think that what I consider ‘the winning’ is just the beginning,” King said.
King says he leads by example and tried to always do the right thing for the city and it’s residents. He attributes his success to his personal drive to be successful and prides himself on building positive relationships as the mayor.
He said his award will hang in city hall because he believes the award was won through a team effort.
“This is certainly an honor and something that I appreciate,” King said.
Thomas B. Constantino Entrepreneurial Award
Barbara Madonna, director of the Gloversville Public Library, was honored with the Thomas B. Constantino Entrepreneurial Award.
The award is presented to a member of the Chamber of Commerce who embodies the entrepreneurial spirit by organizing, managing, and assuming the risks of building a business, according to the Chamber’s criteria. Madonna was recognized as a community member who has exhibited leadership skills, determination, creativity and vision.
“I’m surprised,” Madonna said. “I consider everything that we do at the library to be a team effort so being called out to be individually recognized it was just surprising. I really appreciation the recognition and it’s a labor of love that we are doing there.”
Madonna has worked at the library for 19 years, spending 11 1/2 of those years as its director.
In 2013, she worked with the Library Foundation, library trustees and a committed project committee to begin a capital campaign to modernize and expand the library. The campaign has since raised nearly $9 million, including four New York Consolidated Funding Applications awards worth more than $2 million.
In addition, former Sen. Hugh Farley secured more than $2 million in State and Municipality Facilities Program grants, administered by the state Dormitory Authority.
“The total amount raised is over $8 million,” Madonna said.
Randall Implements is located in the village of Fultonville and was founded in 1966 by Robert Freeman. The company has grown from a small, single-line dealer to one of the area’s largest and most trusted multi-line dealerships, serving a wide range of customers from Syracuse to Vermont.
The company now works with Case International Harvester as the official dealer of the brand, and saw current owner Wes Ostrander join the business in 1990 as a sales manager.
“To me its very humbling to be honored this night and I’m so glad that the chamber has not forgotten that agriculture and agricultural business is a major part of this area,” Ostrander said.
In 2005, Ostrander became general manager and a year later became owner of the business. The company now has 18 full-time and 2 part-time employees, some of which have been with the company for 25 years. The technicians are certified and trained in the newest technologies available.
Since Ostrander signed onto the business, the company saw expansion by adding Kubota Tractors and Claas Hay Tools. The building, located on Route 5S, also saw expansion itself as a new building was created to use for cold storage of larger parts, and the showroom expanded with new offices and a conference room.
Juanita Handy, from Crum Creek CSA and a member of the Chamber Board of Directors, told the chamber about Randall.
“Randall Implements is an important part of the agricultural community in the Mohawk Valley. Without them here, we would have to travel to Sangerfield to purchase Case IH tractors and parts. They also have a full-service shop to fulfill customers’ needs. Wes strives to meet their needs by carrying a full line of equipment from large farms down to small home owners. We appreciate that he continues to do business in our region,” Handy said.
Edward L. Wilkinson Award
Fulton County Chapter of NYSAR, Inc. is an agency founded by parents who wanted something different for their children who had developmental disabilities.
For the past 60 years, Lexington has grown to become one of the largest employers in Fulton County, according to information from the chamber. The center currently employees more than 1,700 full and part-time positions.
“We are just very thankful to the chamber and the community for accepting us, welcoming us and making it a great place for people with disabilities,” said Shaloni Winston, executive director at Lexington.
In 2015, Lexington opened the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts and Transitions in Mayfield. The arts center created a new program that helps young adults with autism and other learning disabilities become successful and independent community members.
In the 2017 year, Winston said they plan to grow out the art center.
“We want to have more of the community in it,” Winston said. “We are very fortunate to have the center, but it’s wonderful to see people we support take part in the classes and programs. We both help each other and it’s wonderful to see that.”
Chamber Family Award
The Keller Family was honored as the Chamber Family Award and praised for their Keymark Corporation and Kasson & Keller, both located in Fonda.
“It feels great to be honored,” Bill Keller, president and CEO of the company said. “To think about my grandfather and my father and the whole generation and how we’ve come so far.”
Keymark Corporation has been in business since 1965 in two locations; Fonda and Lakeland, Fla. The company is a premier full service aluminum extrusion company, manufacturing custom and stock extrusions/profiles for the automotive, building and construction, consumer durables, distribution, electrical, machinery & equipment, and transportation markets.
Kasson & Keller is a company that manufactures storm windows. The company aims to serve various markets and does so by making windows under three brands; EcoShield, Modernview and Smarter Window Systems.
The Keller family started their first business in 1946, when Austin Kasson and William L. Keller Sr. started a business selling blown-in-insulation for homes. In 1947, they added a line of storm windows and doors. The two then opened a factory in 1951, Gloversville to assemble parts used in storm windows and doors for other companies who manufactured the finished product, moving on to manufacture their own exclusive line of aluminum products under the “Kasson & Keller” brand in 1956. Keymark Corporation was created soon after through the support of county and municipal bonds, according to information from the chamber.
The Keller family is now on their fourth generation of ownership. The chamber praised the family for their purchase of over $50 million in Chamber Checks for their employees last year to support local businesses.
Fulton Business Partner
Known for their goal of helping local farmers and producers, Mohawk Harvest started in 2009 and has since expanded to provide food products from over 60 local and regional farmers and producers.
Manager Chris Curro said that the co-op is excited.
“It feels really special to be noted as working with the youth in Fulton and Montgomery counties because they deserve the best training and there are many of them that want to get to work right away, so we are proud to be receiving this award,” Curro said.
The company has placed several youth at their business each summer through a Workforce Solutions Summer Youth Program. They provide a great opportunity for the youth to gain valuable work skills and develop a professional reference for future use.
Montgomery Business Partner
Home Helpers and Direct Link of Amsterdam was opened in May 2011, operating out of a home office with three employees. Since their start, Home Helpers has frown to expand out to take over the former YMCA building in Hagaman.
After working and living in the local home care industry the company began to see how many families in the community could benefit from a helping hand.
“We didn’t expect to be here today five and a half years ago,” Ramon Rodriguez, CEO of Home Helpers said. “It definitely was a surprise for us the way the business took off but it hasn’t come easy. There are a lot of hours … but anything is possible with support of other people, we couldn’t do it alone.”