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Chamber Awards

Chamber of Commerce accepting nominations for annual awards

By Press Release
Norm Argulsky 2022 Geneseean of the Year
Norm Argulsky accepting the Chamber of Commerce Geneseean of the Year during the chamber's annual awards ceremony at Batavia Downs in March.
Photo by Howard Owens.received

Press Release:

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Committee has announced the “2023” Annual Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Batavia Downs Gaming, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service, and volunteerism.

Please note that a brief write-up will qualify your nominee for consideration. Nominations are now being accepted for Business of the Year, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year, Agricultural Business of the Year, Innovative Enterprise of the Year, Special Service Recognition & Geneseeans of the Year. Business Nominees must be a Chamber Member (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify).

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia, and can also be downloaded from the Chamber Website at Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY December 29, to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call or email Kelly J. Bermingham, Director of Member Relations & Special Events at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 1026, [email protected].

Photos: Chamber honors the contributions to the community by people, organizations, and businesses

By Howard B. Owens


For the 51st time on Saturday, the Chamber of Commerce presented awards to the people and places that make Genesee County a great place to live, work, and play.

The awards ceremony was held at Batavia Downs.


Super volunteer Norm Argulsky was named, for the second time (he received the award in the 1990s), Geneseean of the Year.

See: Chamber of Commerce Award: Geneseean of the Year, Norm Argulsky


GO ART! received the Special Service Recognition Award.

See: Chamber of Commerce Award: Special Service Recognition, GO ART!


Empire Hemp was honored as the Innovative Enterprise of the Year.

See: Chamber of Commerce Award: Innovation Enterprise of the Year, Empire Hemp


The Agricultural Business of the Year is Fenton Produce.

See: Chamber Awards: Agricultural Business of the Year, Fenton's Produce


Max Pies furniture was honored as the Business of the Year.

See: Chamber of Commerce Award: Business of the Year, Max Pies Furniture


Every dinner table at the event was adorned with a life-size cut out of Phil Pies' face.

Photos by Howard Owens

Chamber of Commerce Award: Geneseean of the Year, Norm Argulsky

By Joanne Beck


A believer of community service, faith, gratitude and, for sure, in doing the heavy lifting.

That’s Norm Argulsky, a lifelong Batavian, retired school teacher, and volunteer about town.

Argulsky, on the cusp of turning 85, was surprised to learn he’d been selected as a recipient of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Geneseean of the Year. Certainly, there were others more worthy, he said. Well, apparently, the committee thought he was not only equally worthy but most deserving.

“I do what I do because I love doing it,” he said during an interview with The Batavian. “I’ve been very, very happy here, I love Batavia. It’s a wonderful community to live in. I just decided Batavia was my home, all the people that I know are here, so I might just as well stay.”

Stay, perhaps, but stay put? Hardly. He’s too busy for that. Argulsky was a teacher for fifth and sixth graders at Jackson school for 40 years and has been active with Batavia Players since 1995 when the late Wanda Frank recruited him to perform.  He also moved into the role of keeper of the costumes, which comes across quite clearly when he spoke about the new theater space that’s in progress.

“I’ll be spending lots of time there in May and June when moving my temporary place into my new place, the costume room,” he said. “Everything will be done on computer. I will be able to keep track of my costumes. If you want something, I’m the only one who knows where it is.”

According to one of the nomination forms, Argulsky keeps rather immaculate care of the costumes, which …

When they began to loan them out to high schools in Genesee and Monroe counties for their shows, the precious commodities didn’t always make it back. With some reluctance, a decision was made to charge a $2 rental fee per costume, and there hasn’t been a problem since. It all had to do with “giving something for free” that doesn’t work as well, he said.

Argulsky has also become the familiar voice to introduce shows and promise audience members that they’re going to love it, he said tongue in cheek, and he’s been on the Players board since 1996.

A man of faith, Argulsky attends daily mass and had a prior calling to become a priest.

“I believed in and enjoyed my Catholic faith. It got me through many things,” he said.


It was either that or become a teacher, and he unregrettably chose the latter. His classroom style was to not ever shout or send a child to the principal. Or put any of them on the spot.

“I was going to be a happy teacher … I was never going to confront a child in front of the class,” he said. “I’m as busy now as I was when teaching.”

Argulsky is co-chairman of the Super Mammoth Sale, a role he has owned for the last four years. He works with longtime Mammoth volunteer John Bowen, and they raised $30,000 last year for St. Joseph’s School. Is he satisfied with that?

“This year, we’re hoping for a little bit more,” Argulsky said.

He puts in 25 hours a week throughout the year, carrying, moving, lifting, cleaning, pricing, cleaning, sorting and organizing items alongside Bowen and other volunteers that pitch in to help.

“I find that physically I’m very, very good,” Argulsky said, contrasting that with a less glowing report on the cognitive side, which is “expected with aging.” That was certainly hard to verify, given his spot-on recollections.

Ready for more from this octogenarian? He has helped with the bereavement program at Resurrection Parish since 2003, serving meals for loved ones of the deceased after a funeral, and counts the church money on Mondays. For six years before the Mammoth began on Saturdays this year, he volunteered at Genesee County Park’s Interpretive Center, welcoming people, giving tours and guiding them to their destination on a map.

We’re not done. For the past four years, Argulsky has served as cashier for Crossroads House summer sale and has driven close friends to medical appointments, writing down the doctor’s words and prescriptions to read back to the friend later.

When does he sleep? “I only have to have six hours of sleep a night, and I am fine,” he said.

Any of his extra time is devoted to reading — four books, mostly fiction, at any given time — plus walking and running.

“I am extremely thankful, God has provided me with a very, very happy life,” he said. “Everything seems so negative now, I try to compliment people and be happy all the time … count your blessings. I have values, and I live by my values, I don’t compromise that. I know my life is different than other people's. I go to mass every day; it’s to thank God for everything.”

Has there been anything left on the proverbial bucket list at this point? Listen up, Pat Burk.

“I’d like to play Morrie (in ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’) one more time with Batavia Players on their brand new stage,” Argulsky said.

He was nominated for this award based on his 36 years of investment into young people as a teacher at Jackson School, and his dedicated community service as a volunteer for many organizations throughout Genesee County, least of not including lead roles as King Lear and Uncle Vanya for Batavia Players’ productions, his input and guidance have been significant in the development of the new theater in Batavia City Centre, lending costumes to community residents to dress them in authentic period clothing for local special events, such as the City's Centennial Celebration a few years ago. "We all benefit from his knowledge and expertise," a nomination states. 

The Richmond Memorial Library has been a focus for Argulsky, according to nomination forms, as he is currently serving in his ninth year on the Board of Trustees. He has served as vice president and then for four years as president of the board. "Norm continues to shape the future of young people by serving as president on the Board of Directors at St. Joseph's Regional School. His hands-on leadership style includes co-chairing the Mammoth Sale, as a leading volunteer for the annual sales event that benefits Crossroads House, a member of the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO-Art!) and other similar organizations," it states.

He has contributed to St. Joseph Regional School in many ways. He has served on the school board since 2018, acting as president for the last five years. He has been instrumental in assisting and overseeing the yearly budget; establishing tuition rates; overseeing expenses and income; and working to assist school leaders in making a smooth transition from a parish school to a regional school. "His educational advice has always been appreciated and valued as we prepare documents to submit to the NYS Education Department to validate our excellent educational programming and the services we provide to our students on a daily basis. 

"Norm Argulsky is a fine man, professional and caring. He truly cares for our organization as one of many that he is involved in. He also loves the Genesee County community and continues to volunteer and give to this day. His activities at the Richmond Memorial Library and St. Joseph's School are parallel to none. He has a constant presence at both organizations, and I am certain that, like Batavia Players, they would not be the same or as successful without his active involvement. He is truly a treasure in our community," yet another nomination form stated. 

The 51st annual Chamber Awards event is on Saturday at Batavia Downs Gaming.


Norm Argulsky in some rare moments at home when not out volunteering in the community. Photos by Howard Owens.

Chamber of Commerce Award: Business of the Year, Max Pies Furniture

By Joanne Beck


Squirrels, a dead-end street across from an elementary school, and the four seasons.

Those have been some of the challenges being situated in a fairly remote — and animal-friendly — section of the city in Western New York for Phil and Steve Pies over the years, Steve says.

Yet despite that and the typical ups and downs of retail business, Max Pies Furniture has endured 118 years since its settling into that comfy spot at the end of Jackson Street in 1905. Founder Max Pies and family built not only a small business but also their home, and the place was handed down to now Steve, the fourth generation of the Pies family.

No wonder they have earned the Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award. And there’s no other place they would have continued the tradition that began for furniture and flooring sales.

“As far as this structure and this business from this location, it’s the same location. Obviously, they added on to the store since 1905. But the original location and their house were in the parking lot you pulled into,” Steve Pies said. “They went all over the board from Rochester to Buffalo, and I think even close to Syracuse at one point in the 80s. Rochester Linoleum bought out all of the flooring aspects. But the furniture, even though we do flooring here as well, the original furniture store Max Pies name started right here.”

And they both must have just naturally fallen right in line with the business, yes?

"Well, not really,” Phil said. “I went to college, then I was in the Air Force. And then my uncle was here at the time, and my dad.”

Phil was married with two children, Steve and Natalie, and living in Sacramento, Calif. at the time. After his Uncle Jake died, he ended up returning to Batavia and worked alongside his dad, Sam. Business must have been good for longevity: his grandfather worked until he died at 93, and the same for his father until he was 83. Phil has been the friendly face of Max Pies for the last 53 years.

It was a similar crooked path for Steve, who didn’t immediately return from college to join the family business. He went off to pursue a business degree at Plattsburgh State College, and something drew his attention to working on a cruise ship — he had visions of “Love Boat” — and went aboard to work as a Blackjack dealer and then worked around Nevada in casinos building a career as a card dealer.

He eventually returned and decided to help his dad, who turns 80 in May. They thought back to what has changed over the years, and certainly, costs have been a big one.

“Freight rates have changed, insurance, overhead,” Phil said. “And styles, we sold a lot of colonial, and now we sell a lot more modern styles.”

Steve added that retro comes and goes, but a shift that has added time, labor and unexpected expenses has been how furniture arrives now versus years ago.

“It used to be all assembled,” Steve said. “Now it’s called KD, for knockdown. It's, take them off the truck, unpack them out of the box, set them up with screws and a drill and dispose of the garbage. It's a lot more tedious.”

While costs have shot up on their end, the waste management business is booming. The Pies have a 40-yard roll-off Dumpster that costs $800, and sometimes it gets filled three times a month with styrofoam and boxes, Steve said. For the most part, they depend on sales reps for advice and guidance on what’s trending, what’s hot, and what to buy throughout the year, Steve said.

“My dad has a good relationship with a lot of our reps. The reps know what’s out there,” he said. “But we try to have a variety as well because, you know, you’ve got 20-year-old couples, and you’ve got 70-year-old people and you’ve got in between, and there's such a different dynamic.”

A walk through the downstairs showroom features a painter’s pallet of gray hues — from charcoal and slate to lighter silvers. Grays are definitely in right now, the father-son team agreed, and other hot items include power recliners, sleeper sofas and sectionals. They will cater to people’s tastes, but with a focus on this locale, Steve said.

For example, unlike more eclectic geographical areas such as New York City, this region has a mixed appetite that includes a lot of rural country.

“We have hunters, they want the classic. They want a camouflage recliner, they want a rocking chair, and a certain bedroom set that looks like a plank cabin look,” Steve said, adding that there was a camouflage recliner in stock that day just waiting for an avid hunter.

For the approximately $2.5 million of sales volume they accomplish, the staff is small, Steve said: seven people, including Jimmy, Peggy, Eddie, Reggie and Hunter, plus subcontractors. Hours have been reduced over the years, especially when COVID hit, from a crazy 9 to 9 schedule to 9 to 7 and then 9 to 5 work day, Steve said.

“The biggest challenge for a store like ours in a town like this in a state like this is we deliver furniture winter, spring, summer and fall. We've gone through roofs, we've gone through windows, we take off doors, we go up and down. We unload trucks in blizzards. And we have a building that has, you know, leaky roofs. We have squirrels … so I would say, having an old building and four seasons,” he said. “And I would also say that if you look at our location, you could arguably say this is the worst location on planet Earth for a retail furniture store, dead-end residential neighborhood across from an elementary school. That's my long-winded answer to the challenges.

“ (Turning to his dad) But you’ve been here 53 years. So yeah, there was a time where my dad said, the accountants used to say, ‘you made too much money this year, you got to do something with it.’ And there's been other times where we can't pay our bills,” Steve said. “So it's a very cyclical business in the notion of, you just gotta keep grinding and keep going. It is what it is. So there still are heydays, and there still are lows, and there still are in between.”

Given it is a “cyclical business” that definitely still experiences those good times of Batavia’s yesteryear, what’s the secret? Max Pies motto, Steve said, giving a nod to his dad.

“Where customers send their friends,” he said.

The nomination committee selected Max Pies, partly due to Steve’s “tremendous” contributions for bringing the business “into the 2000s” via online ordering and a website, excellent customer service and marketing the business in many unique ways.

Photo of Steve and Phil Pies at Max Pies Furniture store at 400 S. Jackson St., Batavia. Photo by Howard Owens.

Chamber of Commerce Award: Special Service Recognition, GO ART!

By Joanne Beck


Sitting in the Batavia GO ART! building next to a white baby grand piano with walls of artwork and embracing a definite quiet, creative vibe, Gregory Hallock shares his journey since arriving seven years ago.

It really couldn’t have gotten much worse.

“Yes, we were in a 'save the organization mode.' We were doing really bad. We were in the red. So we were trying to get ourselves out of it. And I made the decision, with the support of my board, to spend money that we didn't have so that we could be seen in the community and start to do stuff so people would know what we do because people don't like to support a bleeding organization. We needed to show that we were doing more than just bleeding,” said Hallock, who was promoted to executive director two years later. “So we started doing classes and activities and a whole bunch of stuff so that people would start talking about us. And I started applying for a ton of grants. And we received a lot, but not a ton. Like 20 percent of the grants.”

Some of the new initiatives were children’s creative arts camp weekends, a Ramble Explore Art tent, regularly opening the kitchen and bar, and obtaining a liquor license at Tavern 2.0.1, which has worked handily for drawing more customers in and selling more art — nearly two dozen pieces for a record at a recent exhibit, Hallock said.

The nonprofit has also substantially increased grants it disperses to the community — going from $47,000 to $210,000 for artistic endeavors.

“I tell people that honestly, if you go to something artistic in Genesee or Orleans County, there's a really strong chance that we sponsored it, that we gave it funding to happen. We've been really working at letting people know they think of GO ART! as go ART!, as a cheer. And trying to show the GO stands for Genesee Orleans,” he said. “So we don't just do stuff in support. We now create stuff ourselves. Every single one of my employees is an artist, as well. We all have that background and want to be able to enjoy what we do at the same time. You know, we're good at the admin stuff. But we also love art. So we bring that in.”


GO ART!, the oft-used acronym for Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council, captures the two-county organization. However, Batavia has a bustling site with galleries, exhibits and receptions, a kitchen, bar, comedy shows, kids’ activities, bartender competition fundraisers, music, and other special events on a regular basis.

In the earlier days, upon Hallock’s arrival, there was one gallery and office space, he said. Now, in addition to those offerings above, there are seven galleries, a film studio, a podcast studio, library, stage, makeup studio, a culinary program, classes and demonstrations, and there’s no point in stopping now.

“We’re whole-heartedly looking at adding additional space here in Batavia and in Medina. We're currently working on these two spaces so that we can expand and offer a lot more programming. Because we're also looking into mental health. Where the community, the world, is in a big space for needing mental health stuff. So we're talking like we'd love to have music therapists, art therapists, and are trying to get it, so we have a lot more available,” Hallock said. “A bigger gallery, like on the level of competing with major galleries in Rochester and Buffalo, you know? We're trying to do a bigger coffee shop, artists and shop, little boutique clothing place. I mean, there are so many things that we want to add to it so that it's an immersive experience. And then if you're coming for one thing specific, hopefully, you'll see that there's so many other things happening. We really want to be arts -- we want to be a community arts and cultural center, not just an arts and cultural center. So that's where we're going.”

Except he wouldn’t disclose exactly where they’d be going.

“Everybody keeps saying, ‘well, we're halfway between Rochester and Buffalo.’ So I want this to be the reason that people come from Rochester and Buffalo to Batavia because we do amazing arts and cultural activities,” he said.

GO ART! supports the arts, cultural and wide-ranging diversity programs, he said, such as religious, LGBTQ, Black Lives, Just Kings, and various support group organizations.

“We will work with anybody,” he said. “What we do is for anyone, as long as they will work with anyone.”

He referred to a mural on the building’s backside, dotted with faces representing various ethnicities and cultures. Yet to be completed, he said, it is something he wanted as a way to let the public know “all are welcomed here.”

The organization more recently produced a printed calendar of GO ART! events and is mulling the idea of including additional arts organization events as well for a quarterly edition. The site has gaining speed through word of mouth, Hallock said, as he’s been getting phone calls and emails from folks who have heard about GO ART! and want to visit. The list of members has grown from about 150 to 200, as just the beginning.

“We’re hoping to get a marketing director in March,” he said, adding that one doesn’t need to be a member to participate in events, but it provides discounts on the myriad of year-round activities. New happenings have included a Peruvian dinner fundraiser, an RIT animation program, a murder mystery event with a charcuterie board and desserts.

Established in 1962 and quite active in the last few decades, Hallock finds it difficult to hear people say they’ve never heard of GO ART! Thankfully, many other organizations have stepped up to help out with cleaning the 7,000-square-foot site, including Arc GLOW, BOCES, and the Senior Center’s RSVP program.

“I had a lady just call today asking, ‘how can I help, what can I do?’” he said. “When I started, it was just me and a volunteer at 30 hours a week. We didn’t have funding to pay anyone else. Now we have four full-time staff and two part-time staff, and a full-time marketing director to be hired, and a GLOW folklorist.”

The nomination committee selected GO ART! for the dramatic change in perception and recognition of the organization in the past six years, a nomination form states.

“It has become an active, vital member of the community. For years it was a marginal part of the community, city. The acquisition of the old Batavia Club was a drain on the resources of the council,” it states. “The building has been transformed from an occasional glance by people to a place that is well known. With the organization's dream and vision, the building has grown from only using 30 percent of the space to now utilizing the entire building. While keeping the integrity of the historic structure, each room is now a space for the arts - visual, performing, media and culinary. Every time one visits, there is something new that excites. GO ART! is deserving of recognition for the tireless and "out of the box" vision of the arts and culture in our community.” 

Top Photo: GO ART! Executive Director Gregory Hallock takes a seat in the foyer of the nonprofit at 201 East Main St., Batavia, and the talented staff gathers for a pose from left, Angie Dickson, Gregory Hallock, Jodi Fisher and Mary Jo Whitman. Photos by Howard Owens.

Chamber of Commerce Award: Innovation Enterprise of the Year, Empire Hemp

By Joanne Beck


Sinus steamers, muscle mousse and scrubby bars may not seem to be your typical hemp and cannabis company products, but they’re exactly a reason why Empire Hemp Co. has become so popular in its field.

“We create a lot of unique products you wouldn’t find in other stores,” Chief Operating Officer Shelly Wolanske said. “In order to keep current, we’re constantly coming up with new ideas for products.”

The company, based on the first floor of 34 Swan St. and expanding into 23,000 square feet that includes the second floor for production and storage, with a retail store at 204 East Main St. in downtown Batavia, has been selected for the Chamber of Commerce Innovative Enterprise of the Year Award. While Chief Executive Officer Chris Van Dusen and Wolanske were surprised, they agree the type of business is all about being innovative.


“We’re the first cannabis business in Genesee County,” he said. “As far as what we’ve come from and where we’ve gone to, we ordered a lot of equipment and brought on a lot of investors to fund that expansion. We are so we have our whole line of adult-use cannabis products or THC products, and those include pre-rolled ‘cones,’ gummies and vape cartridges and flour. We needed the new equipment to do those products and locked down the gummy recipe. We just took our first orders for gummies to dispensaries in New York.

“As we’ve grown the business, we’ve had to learn each aspect of the business, start off with CBD, and we have to learn not only the regulations and the state compliances, but we also have to learn how does the machinery work? What's the most efficient way for them to work, train employees, and, there's all these different nuances around it, that's part of growing a business,” Van Dusen said.

There has been no blueprint to follow, Shelly added, no trailblazer ahead of them to follow. They’ve been the trailblazers, forging their way through the state regulations, certifications, inspections and protocols to ensure they’re doing things the right way.

“It’s been trial and error; we’ve figured this out; regulations and testing’s been a challenge,” Van Dusen said.

They’ve had to find out through trial and error how to do things as efficiently as possible, when it was time to recruit and hire more staff, and what products were hot or not. Making gummies, for example, might seem like an easy task, and yet it took one and a half years to perfect the recipe, Wolanske said. They worked with different preservatives and flavorings, and it came out either too mushy or too stiff and took a lot of adjustments to get it to the chewy, gummy consistency they wanted.

There have been other challenges, including a lawsuit right now in New York State that’s holding up deliveries from dispensaries.

“That’s a whole other challenge we’re working on,” Van Dusen said. “We’re constantly solving problems. It’s exciting but challenging at the same time.”

They raised “a substantial” amount of money to buy equipment for their production needs and hired five people in the last three months to work at the store. One goal is to educate people about their products while the field has dwindled in certain arenas, Wolanske said.

“It takes a certain attitude. There’s an ebb and flow,” she said. “There’s very few of us left from the CBD days.”


Despite all of the hurdles, Van Dusen sees that “the opportunity in front of us is really incredible.”

“We’re really excited about where we are going with the expansion. We're quadrupling our footprint. That's our next phase of focus, how we're going to build that out. And then we have to get it okayed by the state, and then we have to get it Good Manufacturing Practices certified before we can start production out there,” Van Dusen said. “So we have to clean it, we have to paint it. And we have to then have a consultant come in and make sure we have everything ready for our audits for both the state and from the third party auditor to make sure that we're in compliance.”

The plan is to fill up that upstairs space with an indoor growth facility and keep rolling together as a cohesive group.

“Any little step is a huge step for us,” Wolanske said. “Everybody we’ve hired so far is part of the team. They’re in.”

And so, too — obviously — have Van Dusen and Wolanske been in since the beginning, which began long before they founded Empire Hemp and planted their first site on Swan Street in 2019 and then opened the store in April 2020 downtown.

Their award nominations included articles about the early days of Wolanske, whose path to the hemp industry brought her by way of being a policy-maker in the alcohol and substance abuse and prevention field, and Van Dusen as an entrepreneur, furniture maker, contractor, bicycle mechanic, tour guide, and father of three, whose history with cannabis dated back to the nineties during his battle with cancer. It was the intense effects of chemotherapy, in particular, that pushed him to explore alternative methods of recovery from the side effects of Hodgkin's Lymphoma treatment. 

"During that time, California had just legalized medical marijuana for cancer and AIDS patients, and I was having a tough time with chemotherapy," he said. "It relieved nausea and the terrible feeling I had from the chemicals being pushed through my veins and allowed me to have a level of normalcy in my life. It was like night and day, and I could go back to work. I knew at that point there was something about this plant that had some serious healing. It was life-changing." 

Fast forward to 2020, when COVID hit, and the couple learned another form of survival during pandemic shutdowns. Nomination forms included yet other articles about the tenacity of Van Dusen and Wolanske to operate a walk-up window, followed by the opening of their store, which was a success. While some places have merely posted a sign, it’s not as easy — or legal — as that, Van Dusen has said, wanting to clarify and educate the truth for consumers to know in further articles, all used as part of the nomination process.


Top Photo: Chris Van Dusen, founder and Co-founder Shelly Wolanske at their Empire Hemp shop on East Main Street, Batavia, and several of their self-created products. Photos by Howard Owens.

Chamber Awards: Agricultural Business of the Year, Fenton's Produce

By Joanne Beck


When Paul and Gail Fenton met in Pembroke High School and were fellow 1981 graduates, she had a grand vision for her future: to be a news reporter, live in the big city and drive a red Corvette.

Marrying a lifelong farmer meant erasing a few of those high school girl daydreams, Gail says.

“I now live in the country, I farm and drive a red pickup. So it went complete opposite of what I was thinking,” she said. "So, in fact, I had a couple of jobs right after we got married. And I got pregnant with our oldest in ’87. And it was shortly after it was that summer that Paul was like, ‘You know what, I think we could make a run of the farm, you and I both working on the farm. And now that I live on a farm, I was like, You know what, I don't know if I would have enjoyed living in the city. I know it was nice with this occupation because I wasn't technically labeled a stay-at-home mom, but I had all the perks of a stay-at-home mom, I got to do all the field trips with the kids … not many families nowadays eat three meals a day together, but we were able to do that.”

What she and Paul got, instead of a life in the city, was a life of pursuing the family tradition, living off the land, meeting Mother Nature’s unexpected challenges, changing with the times, learning new technologies and methods, and making a real go of Fenton’s Produce.

The Batavia-based company, which operates three sites of 60 acres along Pratt Road, is the recipient of this year’s Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Business of the Year Award. When Gail took the phone call, she heard a man say he was a lawyer, and she thought ‘what have we done?’ It was tense few moments until he mentioned that she and Paul had won an award, she admitted.

They were surprised, but recognize that small certainly doesn’t mean bland or cookie-cutter.

“We’re just a tiny farm,” Gail said. “We grow all kinds of stuff. “Anything new coming out, we’ll try it.”

“We like being our own bosses. This type of farming, every day is different, by 8 a.m. you’re headed in a different direction. We never do the same thing all day,” Paul said. “It’s provided us with a decent income, our health, it’s a physical job that keeps us in shape, you get to see things that most people don’t get to see … a critter, the sunset, a sunrise. I’m carrying on my grandfather’s and uncles’ hard work.”

They sat in their home, circa 1830s and situated in the middle of the main farm. It is the original homestead of his uncles, surname Kiefer, who ran the establishment before selling it to Paul and Gail. They wanted to follow in the family's footsteps with a variety of cash crops, as Uncles Fred and Louis, and his grandparent’s blueberries on Route 5.

Look for the Fenton’s farmstand on Pratt Road during the warmer months, and produce also fills shelves at Tops in Batavia, Le Roy and East Aurora, and seasonally at the East Aurora Farmers Market. The couple is not afraid to try new produce — asparagus, five varieties of potatoes, peppers, brussels sprouts, broccolini, kale, beets, and new this season, hanging strawberry baskets and other vegetation.


“We start in the spring with transplants, and have slowly added other stuff,” Gail said. “We’ve had to adjust. We’re headed more towards broccolini and root crops and away from winter squash. People love whatever’s easy to make.”

Along with following trends and current demand, the Fentons have turned to the mechanics of farming to help reduce the need for labor, since finding it can be difficult, and they cannot do everything — or lift hefty weights — themselves.

“It wasn’t a big deal to get a group of teenagers out on the field, now … it’s a juggling act with our labor. We are seasonal, there’s just not that much work,” he said. “We’re surrounded by multiple-acre farms. We are the small family farm.  We’ve had to adjust what we can do, and get mechanical help.”

“I used to have a T-shirt -- it said, 'farming is not just a job; it's a lifestyle.' And that's true. Yeah, we live this job 24/7. If you look at our place, our house sits in the center of our farm. We don't get away from the farm. You don't walk in the house, you don't close the door, and you're done for the day. There's something that could come up at two o'clock in the morning that you're going to have to go turn to,” Paul said.

“Paul always jokes that he has Bontrager on speed dial,” Gail said.

Another saying that Gail joked about sheds some light on the sentimental aspect of the business that's near and dear to their hearts: We’ll expire before we retire.

Paul and Gail were nominated for bringing “a sharp business focus to their cropping approach, seeking out and adopting efficiency-improving equipment. They have an eye for innovation and understanding emerging trends.”

“Take, for instance, their early adoption of food safety practices and GAPS certification. Fentons also position themselves ahead of the curve when it comes to new production techniques - they are a key part of developing them! For decades they have been a generous host farm for Cornell research trials. In 2022 alone, they cared for two variety trials, tested a laser scarecrow, and hosted the regional sweet corn pest monitoring traps.”

Paul and Gail are extremely observant and thoughtful crop managers, Fenton's Produce has a reputation for fabulous product, whether that be flowers, blueberries, or vegetables, and they foster a fun, informative, laid-back, and personalized experience for their retail customers, the nomination states.

“Paul and Gail are extremely community oriented. They truly want to see everyone be successful as growers and open their farm up to share their knowledge with others. They've hosted many field days over the years. Paul often adds on his own after-meeting tour, often to check out his favorite cultivating equipment,” it states. “They are also frequent hosts for tours of their farm from Leadership Genesee to Decision Makers. Their passion for agriculture is evident when speaking to the public about their business.” 


Paul and Gail Fenton at their homestead farm on Pratt Road in Batavia, working in their greenhouse, and one of the five varieties of potatoes that they grow. Photos by Howard Owens.

50th Genesee County Chamber Awards event is golden celebration

By Joanne Beck


There were no mask requirements during this year’s Genesee County Chamber Awards dinner, however, one aspect of last year’s event was brought to the podium: those 2020 award recipients who had to be recognized virtually due to COVID a year ago.

Tammy Hathaway presented the Geneseean of the Year Award to fellow Geneseean Jay Lazarony, recipient of the 2021 honor. Hathaway was one of several people touting Lazarony’s worthiness during the awards event Saturday at Batavia Downs Gaming.

After accepting a tiara from Chamber President Eric Fix, because she is “the queen,” Hathaway began a tribute to the GLOW Work Force Development Board executive director for his 25 years of working with thousands of youngsters in various roles throughout Genesee County.

“Jay is a pretty amazing human being,” Hathaway said. 

Karyn Winters, director of Genesee County's Business Education Alliance, nominated him for being an "exemplary professional and volunteer," and embodying what's great about Genesee County," she said. He founded GLOW With Your Hands in 2019 and has been a "selfless, kind, motivating and fearless leader," she said.

"While his career alone warrants recognition, what truly makes Jay an admirable Geneseean is his infectious enthusiasm to mentor local youth," Winters said in her nomination.

Colleagues, staff, and program participants continued the trail of accolades via pre-recorded videos played on several screens throughout the banquet room. Jocelyn Sikorski has known Lazarony through the county’s Youth Bureau for more than 20 years, she said, and has witnessed his focus on “looking out for the best interests of youth and our families.”

“He’s a very caring and outgoing man,” she said. “I want to honor Jay and say great job, you are so deserving.”

When Lazarony applied for the executive director position seven years ago, the board made “a unanimous decision” to hire him, board member Norb Fuest said. 

“He just exceeded our expectations, to say the least,” Fuest said. “Our training numbers have been some of the best in the state, a lot of that because of Jay.”

Entrepreneur Jessica Pratt, co-owner of several businesses in Genesee County, including Whole Life Fitness in Batavia, knows first-hand about Lazarony’s impact, she said. He has helped her become “the person I am today,” she said.

Lazarony thanked and acknowledged his family, wife Donna and children Christina, Scott, and Nick and his grandchildren, several colleagues within Genesee County, and his staff from the GLOW regions of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties. 

He noted a group of counselors that, during the pandemic’s social distancing requirements, turned "traditional services into a virtual system and continued to provide unemployment opportunities during a very, very difficult time,” he said.

“What I was most impressed with was the time and understanding they gave to each and every customer case with massive layoffs,” he said.

He also took a few minutes to urge the audience of at least 200 people to “give youth a chance.” He shared a story of a young man named Justin, a program participant who wasn’t sure of his abilities to pursue a job in nursing. Lazarony made him a promise that if he did all of the work, Lazarony would find the funding to help him succeed on a career path. Justin became a nurse practitioner and worked at a facility where Lazarony’s father spent his last days until he died on December 28.

Justin called the family to notify them, and his demeanor was proof that he had absorbed his lessons well, Lazarony said.

“He provided the information with dignity and respect,” Lazarony said. "Take a chance on them."

Other award recipients included:

Valle Jewelers for Business of the Year, presented by Guy Pellegríno, who grew up next door to the Valle family, he said. 

“What a wonderful family,” he said. “I’m so proud to introduce you, you so earned this. I looked up to Mary and Dominic; I was so in awe.” 

Owners Stephen Valle and Carrie Lawrence, along with former owner and mom Mary Valle, accepted the award. In a pre-recorded video, Mary recounted the story of the store’s humble beginnings 70 years ago. It was founded by Grandpa Dominic, who arrived in New York City with $16 in his pocket. The physical location moved from Carey Mansion to Genesee Country Mall to its current spot at 21 Jackson St., all in Batavia. 

Her son Stephen added that over the years the jewelry business has changed, but “customer service has not.” He thanked the chamber, the store’s “fantastic staff” and one person who has been integral to the business’ success, his late father Dom.

“We’re missing one man,” Stephen said, taking an emotional breath. “But we know he’s smiling down on us.”

Theresa DeMars nominated Valle Jewelers for its customer service, engagement with and support of the community, steadfast participation in downtown events, and being a “fixture in our community for three generations,” DeMars said.

“Valle Jewelers is a community staple, a true family-run business, and one of our best-kept secrets,” she said in her nomination. 

Alleghany Farm Services for Agricultural Business of the Year, presented by last year’s recipient L&M Specialty Fabrication.

Their business protocols pushed the company into its sixth state and garnered the attention of Jeanna Clark of M&T Bank and Farm Credit East. Clark’s nomination cited several reasons, including how the company has:

  • Increased their fleet of tile plows from two to four, including a prohibitively expensive mini tile plow that fits the space constraints of vineyards and orchards 
  • Expanded company size and employees by 25 percent over the last two years
  • Thanked and gave back to customers with a yearly Field Day 
  • Focused on drainage education by working with local soil and water districts

Farm Credit East also cited the company’s impressive expansion statistics and lauded it for its remaining loyalty to Genesee County with headquarters in Basom.

Company partners Drew and his son Chad Klotzbach accepted the award. The business began in the 1980s with a landscaping focus, followed by Alleghany Farm Services, which was founded by Drew and his wife Dianne in 2001. 

The process is about much more than sticking a pipe in the ground to drain water from a field, Drew said. And Alleghany Farm Services has mastered that process to become one of the leaders of drainage issues in the Northeast. 

Business Operations Manager Christina Fetzer acknowledged those who helped make the company a success.

“We wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for the support of the ag community and our loyal customers. Every project that we do is unique and we take pride in being able to customize a solution that will benefit each farm,” she said. “Our goal is to build long-lasting relationships with each customer to provide ongoing education, maintenance, and guidance. A large portion of our growth has been through word of mouth from our existing customer base. And for that, we are very thankful.”

Drew thanked the Chamber, the company’s employees, and the ag community.

Batavia Muckdogs for Entrepreneurial Business of the Year. Dan Ireland, representing Rochester Regional Health, commended owners Robbie and Nellie Nichols and General Manager Marc Witt for their efforts to bring “baseball back to Batavia in 2021.”

“They didn’t just bring baseball back,” Ireland said. “You revitalized it. We want to say thank you for what you did.”

Their first year at Dwyer Stadium couldn’t have gone any better, Witt said.

“The community embraced everything we threw at them,” he said. “We’re already off to a great start. We can’t wait for the first pitch in June. We found zero challenges and accomplished all our goals. Thank you to the community.”

There was a dance competition, an Alzheimer’s Walk, a Dogs Trick or Treat Halloween event, and other public happenings at the Bank Street facility, plus participation in off-site activities including the Memorial Day parade, he said. Batavia Muckdogs drew the community support, he said, including from City Manager Rachael Tabelski who “was true to her word,” and the very first team sponsor, Bill Hayes of Turnbull Heating & Cooling. 

In his nomination of the Batavia Muckdogs for the award, lifelong Batavian Tom Turnbull said the city and county have been enriched because of Robbie and Nellie Nichols’ hard work and community spirit.

“While the Batavia Muckdogs may not seem like a new business due to the continuation of the name (from the former New York-Penn League), the new Batavia Muckdogs … are not only an incredible local business success story but have enhanced the quality of life for the residents of Genesee County,” Turnbull wrote.

Photos by Howard Owens. Top photo: Jay Lazarony reacts to words of tribute for him as 2021 Geneseean of the Year during Saturday's 50th Genesee County Chamber Awards dinner at Batavia Downs Gaming.


Tammy Hathaway, the 2020 Geneseean of the Year, received a tiara from Chamber President Eric Fix.


Lazarony acknowledged his GLOW Workforce Development Board staff during his acceptance speech. 

Carrie Lawrence, Stephen Valle, and Mary Valle say a few words of thanks and remembrance for Valle Jewelers' Business of the Year Award. 


Drew and Chad Klotzbach of Alleghany Farm Services accept their Agricultural Business of the Year Award.


Batavia Muckdogs General Manager Marc Witt and owner Robbie Nichols accept and say thank you for the Entrepreneurial Business of the Year Award.


The crowd watches speakers at the podium and on screens placed throughout the gold-adorned room at Batavia Downs. 

Chamber Award: Business success is all in the family at Alleghany Farm Services

By Joanne Beck


From Chad, 33, to Harriett, 92, the Klotzbach clan knows the meaning of running a family business. 

They each do their part to push Alleghany Farm Services into higher levels of success, from Chad’s role as managing partner with his dad Drew to his grandmother’s promotional skills.

“We send out mailers, and she sent out 6,000 of them. She puts labels and stamps on them, it keeps her busy,” her grandson said during an interview with The Batavian. “She calls to ask if we heard from anyone about the mailer. It’s a total family business.”

It’s that close-knit personal touch that has earned Alleghany Farm Services a nod of approval with the 2021 Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Business of the Year Award. The company was founded in 1983 by Drew Klotzbach, Chad’s father, and a company partner, and is comprised of multiple companies led by Alleghany Farm Services and Alleghany Construction as the two largest ones.

Although Chad has been literally out in the field since he was about 8 years old, he later wondered — “like every kid” — whether the local business world was for him.

“You leave and go off to college, and I wondered ‘do I want to stay with the family business? I always thought it as more of a challenge to stay than to leave,” he said. 

A native of Basom, he graduated from Oakfield-Alabama High School and went to Clarkson University for civil engineering, followed by obtaining a Master’s in Business Administration at Canisius College. He joined the family business in 2010 and has worked his way up to managing partner with an eye toward serving the community. He also has a seat on Genesee County Legislature.

His age has belied his experience at times, Chad said, and prompted some prospective customers to question his expertise.

“You know, I'm 33 years old. So a lot of times, I'll have customers see me pull up on-site, and they're like, oh, boy, who is this kid?” he said. “It's like, you know, I've been out here since you know, 8 or 10 years old doing this. So I may be young, but that's kind of what I grew up doing.”

Listening to him explain the complexity of field drainage and soil type, how much the industry has become data-driven, and how it’s a multi-year investment rather than a quick payoff, it seems clear he knows what he’s talking about. Still, it has made for “a tough elevator pitch,” he said.

Alleghany Farm Services has 30 employees and millions of dollars in specialized and computerized equipment. The company has installed 20 million feet of pipe over the past 10 years — up to four million feet a year now — and has more than doubled its size in the past five years.

Chad said it is the largest business of its kind in the Northeast and was the first to incorporate Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology in drainage design and installation in the same region. Primarily three machines are used for field drainage work — a tile plow, excavator, and a challenger tractor — and used together can install pipe in the ground using GPS to design it out ahead of time. It’s all about water management and configuring the pipe system to ensure maximum crop production, Chad said.

”You know, I think one of the things I said before is, it's way more complex than just putting pipe in the ground. You have to know the soil types, you have to know the correct pipe, the grades, the spacing, how the water flows through the soil,” he said. “I went to school for civil engineering. And even with that background, there's stuff that we see pretty much in every project that's unique. When you install subsurface drainage in a grid pattern, you’re controlling pretty much the water table, You’re dealing with surface saturation so you can get on the crops earlier in the spring and same thing in the fall.”

The process begins with the company’s sales team, he said, followed by data collection and extensive research “in order to create the proper design.” An average of 15,000 feet a day per machine can be installed, and “we stand by our work and remain in contact after projects are completed to make sure everything is performing correctly.”

Their business protocols have not only pushed the company into its sixth state but have garnered the attention of Jeanna Clark of M&T Bank and Farm Credit East. Clark’s nomination cited several reasons, including how the company has:

  • Increased their fleet of tile plows from two to four, including a prohibitively expensive mini tile plow that fits the space constraints of vineyards and orchards 
  • Expanded company size and employees by 25 percent over the last two years
  • Thanked customers with a yearly Field Day 
  • Focused on drainage education by working with local soil and water districts

Farm Credit East also cited the company’s impressive expansion statistics and lauded it for its remaining loyalty to Genesee County with headquarters in Basom.

With all of that pipe laid down, what lies ahead for Alleghany Farm Services? They have no plans to slow down now, Chad said.

“We’re right down the road from the STAMP project, and, you know, just seeing the community grow, we have new opportunities with that. We just want to continue with employing local people, keeping people interested in agriculture,” he said. "And we love supporting (initiatives such as) Cooperative Extension doing Ag in the Classroom stuff that’s coming up. It's all about that education. I do a lot of education, and I think that's the biggest thing that we want to try to bring to the community.”

Top photo: Chad Klotzbach, left, and father/partner Drew have no plans to slow down their ever-growing success with Alleghany Farm Services in Basom. The company earned a 2021 Agricultural Business of the Year Award, which is to be presented with other chamber awards this Saturday at Batavia Downs Gaming. Photo by Howard Owens.

This is the fourth of four articles highlighting the 50th Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards. The annual dinner is Saturday at Batavia Downs, with hor d’oeuvres at 5 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. For more information about the dinner, call the Genesee County Chamber at (585) 343-7440.

Chamber Awards: Recognition icing on the cake for Muckdogs owners after successful inaugural season

By Mike Pettinella


The Batavia Muckdogs’ selection as the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce “Entrepreneurial Business of the Year” is the icing on the cake, says team owner Robbie Nichols, who was the catalyst and driving force behind the rejuvenation of summer baseball at Dwyer Stadium in 2021.

Speaking on behalf of co-owner and wife, Nellie; son-in-law/general manager Marc Witt, and his staff, Nichols said he is “really thrilled that the county recognized our hard work and hard effort that we put into this season.”

“And we are just thrilled with the season -- the way the sponsors, the season ticket holders, and all the fans took to us – and we’re so extremely pleased with the way the year turned out. Getting an honor like this is just the cherry on top.”

It was January 2021 when Nichols, a longtime professional hockey player in the American Hockey League and hockey/baseball owner in Elmira, approached the Batavia City Council with the idea of fielding a team in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Negotiations between the two entities were fruitful, and baseball was back in Batavia after a one-year hiatus.

Attendance increased significantly from 2019 – Nichols said the per-game average exceeded 1,700 with more than 500 season tickets sold. Fans enjoyed the numerous promotions, which included the KMS dance crew, kids running the bases, and in-game host “Kin Dog" (Batavian John Kindig).

Outside of baseball, Nichols attracted dance competitions and clinics, PRIDE Festival, Challenger Baseball, GLOW Academy Youth Baseball and Battle of Badges, high school baseball, Alzheimer’s Walk, Muckdogs Monster Mash, among other events, to the stadium at the intersection of Bank and Denio streets.

Furthermore, the Muckdogs’ players always were available for community appearances and marched in the City’s Memorial Day Parade.

Nichols said he appreciates the way the fans responded to the team.

“It was just a fun season,” he said, “and it’s even crazier as we approach this season. Games already are close to being sold out for next year (2022). We’ll do even better this year. That’s what we're so excited about.”

When it was mentioned that the word “entrepreneurial” was in the title of the Chamber award, Nichols acknowledged that it fits him to a T.

“I think people have always said that (about me). If you look at my background, I guess that would be a pretty accurate word,” he said. “I was signed by the Detroit Red Wings and I was playing in the American Hockey League and I had a hockey card business on the side. And I made more money (with that) than I did for my NHL contract.”

He recalled that he made and sold T-shirts when his team was going to the championship game.

“People are leaving the doors and I'm out on the ice, selling T-shirts as people are walking out. We won the championship. So, I’ve always had that entrepreneur … trying to make it make a buck with a side hustle,” he said.

Nichols also mentioned “a rumor” that a show called The Flint Tropics was based on his seven years managing the Flint (Mich.) Generals.

“They said that they copied all of the crazy things that I did as far as promotions; a lot of stuff they did in that movie was stuff that I did on the ice,” he said. We will do any promotion – and we’ve got some crazy ones coming up this year.”

Although his permanent address is in Elmira, the 57-year-old Nichols said that Batavia has come his second home – literally.

“My wife and I have bought a home in Batavia now – right around the corner from the ballpark,” he said. “We’re really honored the way the City of Batavia has treated us. We can’t ask for better folks; they’re just like family.”

In his nomination of the Batavia Muckdogs for the award, lifelong Batavian Tom Turnbull said the city and county have been enriched because of Robbie and Nellie Nichols’ hard work and community spirit.

“While the Batavia Muckdogs may not seem like a new business due to the continuation of the name (from the former New York-Penn League), the new Batavia Muckdogs … are not only an incredible local business success story but have enhanced the quality of life for the residents of Genesee County,” Turnbull wrote.

Top photo: Robbie and Nellie Nichols on opening day 2021. Photo by Jim Burns.

Game photos below by Philip Casper

This is the first of four articles highlighting the 50th Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards. The annual dinner is Saturday at Batavia Downs, with hor d’oeuvres at 5 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. For more information about the dinner, call the Genesee County Chamber at (585) 343-7440.





LIVE: Chamber Award Winner Interviews, UMMC, Service Award

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
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This is the first in a series this week of interviews with this year's winners of awards from the Chamber of Commerce, starting with UMMC, winner of the Service Award for 2020. We'll be talking with President Dan Ireland.

Video: Jeff Allen, Geneseean of the Year

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
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Jeff Allen, director of Crossroads House in Batavia, will receive an award tonight from the Chamber of Commerce at the Geneseean of the Year. The awards dinner is at Quality Inn & Suites.

Video: Tompkins Bank of Castile, Business of the Year

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
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Tompkins Bank of Castile is Genesee County's Business of the Year. Tompkins will receive the award tonight during an awards dinner at Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

Video: Purple Pony receives Special Service award from Chamber of Commerce

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
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Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship has been named the Special Service Recognition of the Year award winner by the Chamber of Commerce. The volunteers of Purple Pony will receive the award at the Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner tonight Quality Inn & Suites.

Video: MY-T-Acres, Agriculture Business of the Year

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
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MY-T Acres, located off Lewiston Road in Batavia, is Genesee County's Agriculture Business of the Year. The Call family will receive the award at the Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner tonight Quality Inn & Suites.

Reminder: GC Chamber of Commerce Awards Program is March 7, tickets available

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrates its 48th Annual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 7, at the Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia.

This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism. Tickets are $50 per person or a table of 10 for $450.

The evening begins at 5:30 with hors d'oeuvres, entrée tables and cash bar (no formal sit-down dinner is to be served). The Award Program starts at 7 p.m. at which time dessert and coffee will be served.

Call Kelly J. Bermingham, at 343-7440, ext. 1026, to make your reservations.

This year’s honorees are:  

Business of the Year: Tompkins Bank of Castile       

Agricultural Business of the Year: Call Lands/My-T Acres   

Special Service Recognition of the Year: Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship                             

Geneseean of the Year: Jeff Allen

Photos: Chamber honors local businesses and community leaders at annual dinner

By Howard B. Owens


It was a celebratory evening at the Quality Inn and Suites on Saturday as the Chamber of Commerce honored local businesses and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community. 

For more on each award winner, click on the story links below:


Dan Fischer, emcee.


Jay Gsell, emcee, with the "Genesee Is Great Already" (GIGA) hat that he introduced at the event and gave to each honoree.


Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber of Commerce.


Bob Stocking and Penny Arnold.


Larry Webster and Mike Davis representing Upstate Niagara Cooperative.


The Harrower family, Genesee Lumber.



Jim McMullen and Sue Schuler representing the Rotary Club of Batavia.


Videos, produced by Paul Figlow, were used to introduce each award winner.


Bob Stocking's hat.

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