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Chamber of Commerce News Web Page 2011
Grand Island, NY, Chamber of Commerce Website

President Eric Fiebelkorn
First Vice President Jim Sharpe
Secretary - Dr. Sherry Bradford
Second Vice President Robert Ratajczak
Treasurer Michael Trachimowicz

Click for "DIRECTORS 2010"


Previous News

Chamber Office: 2257 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY 14072
Phone: (716)773-3651 Fax: (716)773-3316

This Chamber is organized for the purpose of advancing the economic, industrial, professional, cultural and civic welfare of Grand Island; to encourage the growth of existing industries and business, while giving all proper asssistance to any new firms or individuals seeking to locate in Grand Island; to support all these activities believed to be beneficial to the community and area, and in general to promote the welfare of all area citizens following always those policies intended to accomplish the greatest good for the greatest number of people.


Brochures, Maps, Videos and Post Cards (viewed on opening page of website) available through the Chamber Office. Feel free to email us and we will forward your request to the Chamber Office or call (716)773-3651.
Thank you for your interest in Grand Island.






Business, Community Contributes to Youth Ambassador Program - Dec 2010

   As one of the many Grand Island Chamber of Commerce community programs, the Youth Ambassador Scholarship Program is a wonderful opportunity to help promote interaction and goodwill between the business community and the high school students. Each year this program brings to the area youth an awareness of the economic development on Grand Island. The Youth Ambassador Committee picks two Grand Island residents from 10th, 11th or 12th grade to help at all of the community events that the Chamber sponsors. In return, these students receive a unique experience and a $750 scholarship to help further their education. This program has been a success for the past fourteen years because of the generosity of the area businesses and community members.
   Thank you to the following sponsors for their generosity to the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Youth Ambassador Scholarship Program!
    Gold Sponsors: Cannon Design, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Christmann, Dr. Laurence Wright, D.D.S. and Mrs. Pat Shaw
    Silver Sponsor: Dr. Lepenven of Island Dental
   Bronze Sponsor: Pritchard and Kennedy
   The Chamber is hoping to receive a few more sponsorships for the Youth Ambassador Program. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Chamber Office at 773-3651 for more information on how you can help give back to your community.





Ribbon Cutting At Island Pet Lodge - September 2011


(Front left) Gary Roesch, Chamber President Eric Fiebelkorn, Owner Mike Ludwig, Trainer Amanda Lunney, Owner Kim Ludwig, Peter McMahon and Pattie Frentzel.
(back) Derek Ostrom, Liz Zwack, Sandy Preston, Pet Groomer Jan Symon, Scott Ludwig, Marie Long, Dr. Sherry Bradford, Mary Cooke, Colleen Rebman, John Bonora and Ray Billica.
Click photo for larger view.

   The Island Pet Lodge, located at 2120 Alvin Rd., opened its doors on June 29, 2011. Owners Mike and Kim Ludwig offer doggie daycare, grooming and brand new kennels for overnight lodging with heated flooring and doggie doors leading to a play yard. Animal photos, obedience and gun dog training classes are also available. The Island Pet Lodge welcomes unannounced tours and is excited to show you the new facility. The hours of business are Monday through Friday, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday 8:00 am – 12:00. Call 774-PAWS for more information on discounted packages.





Chamber of Commerce News - August 2011


2010-2011 Youth Ambassadors Sydney Dudish (left) and Kathleen Rustowicz
   Area business members had a chance to say thank you and goodbye to this year’s outgoing Youth Ambassadors, Sydney Dudish and Kathleen Rustowicz at the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors summer outing held on the Grand Lady Cruise Ship. Sydney will be returning to Grand Island High School for her senior year and Kathleen Rustowicz will be attending Canisius College this Fall.
   Selection for the 2011-2012 Youth Ambassador is now in progress. This program is set up to promote interaction and goodwill between local students and our business community. The program is designed to recognize the youth of this area, and to select two Youth Ambassadors who will represent Grand Island at Chamber and school functions as well as community and business events. The two chosen Youth Ambassadors will each receive a $750 scholarship. Now in its 15th year, the program is open to all Grand Island residents attending grades 10, 11 & 12 in high school on or off the island, for the 2011- 2012 school year.
   If you would like to sponsor this program, the cost ranges from: Platinum Sponsor $200.00, Gold Sponsor $100.00, Silver Sponsor $50.00 and Bronze Sponsor $25.00. "Please don’t hesitate to contact the Chamber Office about any donations," a Chamber spokesman said.
   The scholarship applications are available at all area schools' Guidance Office and the Chamber of Commerce Office located at 2257 Grand Island Blvd, 773-3651. All completed applications must be submitted to the Chamber Office by Friday, October 7, 2011.





Ribbon Cutting At Eddie's Art Shoppe- July 2011


From left front: Peter McMahon, Gary Roesch, Bonnie Sciuk, Eddie's new owner Linda Feldman, Chamber President Eric Fiebelkorn, Teresa Costello and John Bonora
Back: Derek Ostrom, Ray Billica, Dick Crawford, Skip Mazenauer and Mary Cooke
Click photo for larger view

   The Chamber of Commerce gathered at Eddie's Art Shoppe, 2305 Grand Island Blvd., on Tuesday, July 12th for a ribbon cutting ceremony. New owner Linda Feldman has worked for Eddie's for 25 years and recently took over ownership. Eddie's has a fine reputation for custom framing, design consultation and specialty projects including framing your flat screen tv.




Island Happenings Huge Success - June 2011

The 15th Annual Island Happenings/Kid Biz/Business Expo hosted by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, June 25th outside of Town Hall was a success for everyone involved. KidBiz Slide Show by Mary Stewart.




Ribbon Cutting At Theodore's Red Hots- June 2011


From left: Skip Mazenauer, John L. Bonora, Robert M. Ratajczak, Jr., Liz Wilbert, Bonnie Sciuk, Theodore's GM Chuck Spalla, owners Teddy & Beth Liaros, VP Richard Mobarek, Pattie Frentzel and Chamber President Eric Fiebelkorn. Back: Sam Aceti, Gary Roesch, Ray Billica, Randy Maqurkiewicz
Click photo for larger view

   The Chamber of Commerce gathered at Theodore's Red Hots, 1752 Grand Island Blvd., on Tuesday, June 21st for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Theodore's has only been open a short time but is already a favorite spot for lunch or dinner.





Island Happenings/Kid Biz/Business Expo. - June 2010

    The 15th Annual Island Happenings/Kid Biz/Business Expo hosted by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is being held on Saturday, June 25th outside of Town Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event gives Grand Island businesses a chance to network and promote their business while the Kid Biz sidewalk sale program shows students in grades two through eighth just what it takes to run a business. The kids come up with their own ideas for a product to market, sale and even sign a loan agreement with their parents to cover start up costs. They do it all and then on Saturday, June 25th, rain or shine, they will be open for business manning their tables and waiting for you – the customer!
    "This event would not be as successful if it were not for the local business leaders in our community who have faith in our future businessmen and women," a spokesman for the event said this week.
   The Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous investment in our community!
Fuccillo Chevrolet Manager
M&T Bank
KeyBank
Holiday Inn





Chamber of Commerce To Host Annual KidBiz Sidewalk Sale - June 2011


   The 15th annual KidBiz Sidewalk Sale will be held Saturday, June 25th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Training for KidBiz will be Monday, June 13th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Connor Middle School Little Theatre. Young entrepreneurs will learn various aspects of running a business. Topics such as pricing, marketing and customer service are covered at the training event.
    KidBiz, developed by the Small Business Development Center at Buffalo State College and Forever Elmwood, was launched in 1996. It was designed to give children in the third through eighth grade the experience and excitement of running their own business.
   KidBiz made its debut on Grand Island in 1997 as part of the “Plaza Happening”. Last year Jim Sharpe, Beverly Kinney and Mike Heftka coordinated the event with over 110 children selling their products in Marion Klingel Town Commons in the center of town. Articles sold included old books, toys, crafts, baked goods, and a whole lot more. The young business owners particularly got a sense of running a business as they had to pay a fifty cent rental space fee and received a “license” to sell at the site after the rent was paid.
    KidBiz is an excellent opportunity for children to engage in a real-life business experience. For more information contact the Chamber office at 773-3651.





Citizen of the Year Banquet - April 2011


Awardees from left to right are: Todd and Danielle St. Onge of the Island Deli & Meat Market - Business of the Year; Jeff Stone of the St. Stephen’s Parish Players - Organization of the Year; Lynn Ortiz, Educator of the Year; Pat Shaw, Community Service Person of the Year; Dr. Sherry Bradford, Civic Person of the Year; and Tom Kanaley, Business person of the year. See Chamber Appreciation

Beverly Kinney and Chamber President, Eric Fiebelkorn
   See Beverly Kinney





Chamber to Honor Pat Shaw - Community Service Person of the Year - April 2011


    Pat Shaw and her family have been residents of Grand Island for 50 years having moved here from Wisconsin in the fall of 1961. They have two children, Sherry (John) Watkins, and Scott (Patty) Shaw. Three grandchildren, Jennifer Watkins and Evan and Ben Shaw complete her family. Her husband, George, passed away six years ago. Pat was active in Brownies and Girl Scouts as well as the PTA in her early years on Grand Island. She and George took and active role in programs for families in a small town in the southern tier where they have a cabin. Many loads of clothing, gently used toys, and games came from the Senior Citizens Center on the Island for the many children in Hume and Short Track, NY at Christmas time. They also collected and donated jackets to high school students whom had none. Pat, along with a very strong church family, Trinity United Methodist, took on the task of making school bags for the first graders at Hume Elementary School and filling them with school supplies.
    The largest project and her greatest passion are the returning lady veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. The donation of special female friendly “Welcome Bags” by the Lady’s of Trinity Church helps welcome women Veterans coming for surgical procedures or admissions.
   "We at Trinity meet once a month to put together our “Pink Love Bags” for lady vets," a spokesman for her group said. These bright pink bags are decorated on the front with flowers according to the season, and then filled with personal items the hospital doesn’t provide. Each bag contains 8 to 10 items. Nearly 400 bags have been made and filled for our returning Vets. Many homeless Vets were helped by the families, friends and church family, by supplying warm coats, sweaters, hats, gloves, socks and blankets.
    The group also works with a project called “Military Morale.” It has been and continues to be supported by Trinity. Many remote sites in both Iraq and Afghanistan have limited supplies and thus there are those who go without personal hygiene items. Those who request items do so for their squad and share what is sent with all. Pat and her group send two boxes per month to both regions.
   The Citizen of the Year dinner will be held at the Grand Island Holiday Inn on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 6 p.m. (cocktail hour), with dinner served at 7 p.m. Anyone wishing to purchase tickets or for those who would like to place a Congratulations ad in the Citizen of the Year program booklet for the dinner, are asked to call the Chamber office at 773-3651 where Administrator Director Carolyn will be happy to help you.





Chamber to Honor St. Stephen’s Parish Players
Organization of the Year - April 2011


Shown from left are Parish Players 2010 Board of Directors: Eileen Niland, Debbie Mucci, Maura Rustowicz, Linda Burkhart, Bob Priest, and Jeane Suski. Missing from the photo are Karen Conboy, Sharon Priest, and Jeff Stone. Click photo for larger view     In the fall of 1990 Fr. Mark Illig and Elizabeth Beach master minded the idea of producing a stage play at St. Stephen featuring performers from the parish and local community. (Fr. Mark was re-assigned to another parish before the first show was actually staged.)
   The first production, directed by Mrs. Beach was the British melodrama, East Lynne. Islanders, Karen Lunsford (Conboy), Dawn Marcolini-Newton, Fran Newton, Dick Dietrich, Jack Gorman, Marilyn Johnson and Dan Applegate were some of the featured performers. MaryLou Lunsford assisted with costumes. John Polizzi oversaw the stage construction. Barb Anderson and volunteers catered an amazing lasagna dinner. The Knights of Columbus provided bartenders. The show met with tremendous success and sold out for both the Friday and Saturday performances.
   Over the next nine years, Elizabeth assembled a dedicated group of new and seasoned theatre enthusiasts to produce and stage a range of musicals and comedies including: Brigadoon, The King and I, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Tea House of the August Moon, See How They Run, You Can't Take it with You and Cheaper by the Dozen.
   About five years into the shows the group decided it was time to formalize their efforts and create the St. Stephen's Parish Players. A Board of Directors was born.
   In 2000, Elizabeth Beach asked Karen Conboy and Linda Burkhart to expand the Parish Players theatrical presence in the community by adding an all youth production to that year's shows. The first production was the musical version of Alice in Wonderland.
   The St. Stephen's Parish Players are a performing arts ministry centered in the St. Stephen Church/School community. Founded in 1991 by the late Elizabeth Beach, they are celebrating their 21st year of “home grown” theatre productions here on Grand Island. Each year this all volunteer group constructs a stage, recruits performers, stage hands and technicians to bring live theatre to the Grand Island Community. So far, they have presented 32 productions, eleven of which have been cast entirely with young people.
    Each year the cast members are drawn from St. Stephen's Parish and the Grand Island Community. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a performance knows they are an enthusiastic and talented group made up of seasoned performers as well as "first-timers." Recent productions have included Annie Get Your Gun, 12 Angry Jurors and sell out performances of Annie, the Musical and Grease. All performances are staged at St. Stephen’s on a stage build especially for this purpose
   The Parish Players' is flourishing under the capable leadership of fellow Islanders Linda Burkhart, Jeff Stone, Jeanne Suski, Maura Rustowicz, Debbie Mucci, Bob and Sharon Priest, and Karen Cooney. On leave after 20 years of service is Karen Conboy, who is currently living in South Korea.
    The Parish Players wish to thank all the many individuals who have participated both on and off the stage to bring quality theatre to Grand Island. They extend a heartfelt invitation to the entire community to be a part of the excitement that live theatre offers!
   The Citizen of the Year dinner will be held at the Grand Island Holiday Inn on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 6 p.m. (cocktail hour), with dinner served at 7 p.m. Anyone wishing to purchase tickets or for those who would like to place a Congratulations ad in the Citizen of the Year program booklet for the dinner, are asked to call the Chamber office at 773-3651 where Administrator Director Carolyn will be happy to help you.





Chamber to Honor Lynn Ortiz – Chamber Educator of the Year - April 2011


    Lynn Ortiz is currently a kindergarten teacher at St. Stephen School. She resides on Grand Island with her husband of twenty-five years, William, and their three children. Lynn grew up in Buffalo and since elementary school wanted to become a teacher. While attending Canisius College working on her aspiration to become an English teacher, she worked as a Student Aide for the U.S. Customs Service. Upon graduation she took a job teaching at the former Diocesan Educational Campus in Buffalo. Within a year of accepting her first teaching position she was offered a full-time permanent position with the U.S. Customs Service. She accepted the position and began a seventeen-year career in law enforcement. In 1989, both Lynn and her husband, also a U.S. Customs Inspector, accepted positions in the Thousand Islands, stationed at Alexandria Bay, NY. While working in Alexandria Bay, Lynn rose quickly up the ladder of success having had a number of accomplishments under her belt. One of her major achievements was her design of a U.S. Customs User Fee Decal which was placed on all private aircraft, vessels, and commercial trucks entering the U.S.A. For this suggestion and design Lynn received an award from the Commissioner of Customs.
   In 1994, Lynn and her husband returned to the Buffalo area to be closer to her mom who was battling cancer. They chose Grand Island as their home because it was centrally located to all U.S./Canada border crossings on the Niagara Frontier. After three more years on the border Lynn decided to take a position as an Entry Officer which would allow her to work strictly day shifts because by this time there were two additions to the Ortiz Family. She spent three years in that position until 2000 when she decided to put her career on hold to raise her young family. During that time there was a third addition to the Ortiz family. In 2004, Lynn’s husband suffered a disabling injury ending his career as an inspector. At that time Lynn became a regular on the substitute teacher list at St. Stephen School. In 2005, she was offered the position of Kindergarten teacher and has been teaching there ever since. She is proud to work with dedicated colleagues in a school whose mission is to create life-long learners, empowered with a strong sense of Catholic values, who will become responsible, contributing citizens of our world, making it a better place for future generations.
   In addition to teaching Kindergarten Lynn has touched the lives of many Grand Island children as the Director of St. Stephen’s Summer Camp. In her position as camp director she is responsible for providing a safe and enjoyable environment for children. She oversees a staff of approximately fifteen and opens the camp doors to as many as 100 children. She is responsible for scheduling on-site field trips, sports camps, and all other activities of the camp.
   Outside of the classroom, Lynn likes to spend time with her family and friends. She enjoys gardening, reading, and writing. Lynn and William are very busy raising their three children; Gabriella, a St. Stephen’s alumni and currently a freshman at Canisius College, and Nicholas and Justin, both St. Stephen’s students. She continues to grow as a teacher attending staff workshops, and this past summer attended the 8th Annual Education Law Symposium in Louisville, Kentucky.
   The Citizen of the Year dinner will be held at the Grand Island Holiday Inn on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 6 p.m. (cocktail hour), with dinner served at 7 p.m. Anyone wishing to purchase tickets or for those who would like to place a Congratulations ad in the Citizen of the Year program booklet for the dinner, are asked to call the Chamber office at 773-3651 where Administrator Director Carolyn will be happy to help you.





Chamber to Honor Island Deli and Meat Market - Business of the Year – April 2011


   On March 23, 2011, the Island Deli and Meat Market celebrated its five year anniversary since opening for business. Danielle and Todd St. Onge’s family members noted there was no local alternative to a big chain market, and they saw the need for fresh cut-to-order meats and accompanying side dishes. They also wanted to offer a more personal shopping experience, as evidenced by Danielle’s personal greeting to many of their customers. The personal touch also includes homemade soups, and family recipes are often found in their menu choices.
   Their business has grown from retail counter service to now include a faxed menu service to over 40 Island businesses each day, who then call the Deli to have lunches ready for pick up by their employees. Business now totals over a half-million dollars in sales each year, providing employment to seven Grand Island resident-employees. The Island Deli is also noted for providing a retail outlet for other local businesses such as Bear-Man sauces, Costanzo breads, Chiavetta dressings, and others.
   Danielle and Todd have resisted pressures to expand and grow outside their current retail space because they value the intimate atmosphere currently enjoyed on both sides of the counter. They are recognized today as the Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year for 2011 for not only providing delicious food choices and personal service, but also for their generous support of many Island charities.
   The Citizen of the Year dinner will be held at the Grand Island Holiday Inn on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 6 p.m. (cocktail hour), with dinner served at 7 p.m. Anyone wishing to purchase tickets or for those who would like to place a Congratulations ad in the Citizen of the Year program booklet for the dinner, are asked to call the Chamber office at 773-3651 where Administrator Director Carolyn will be happy to help you.





Chamber to Honor Tom Kanaley – Business Person of the Year - March 2011


Tom Kanaley, General Manager of Fuccillo Chevrolet
   Tom has been with Billy Fuccillo since he opened the store on Whitehaven Road in 2000. This year Tom begins his 34th year in the automotive industry, a career that encompasses his first job as a service advisor at a local Volkswagen dealership in 1978. That led to an opportunity to become a Zone Operations Manager for World Wide Volkswagen, the distributor of Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi automobiles in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Sales management jobs in Syracuse and Buffalo with several manufactures including Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and of course Chevrolet. As the General Manager of Fuccillo Chevrolet being the highlight of his career, Tom has the opportunity to have full control of all operations for the 60-plus employee dealership.
   Tom grew up in the Town of Tonawanda, one of eight children (four boys and four girls) of Mike and Marcella Kanaley. His father was the Sports Editor of the Courier Express, his mother an Executive Assistant and full time mom.
    After attending St. John the Baptist grammar school in Kenmore, Tom followed the family footsteps to St. Joes where he graduated in 1975 and continued his education at Canisius College and Bryant and Stratton.
   During his career, Tom has received numerous achievement awards from several manufactures for exceeding sales and service goals. In October 2004, Fuccillo Chevrolet was honored by General Motors for being the top selling dealer in the entire United States, delivering nearly 1000 vehicles in 31 days.
   Being involved in this community, Tom is a past Director on the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored several events including Relay for Life, GISBA, Grand Island Shadow Day, Grand Island phone book, and Youth Ambassadors programs, Corporate Bowl, Ken-Ton Boces and Variety Kids Day. Tom also co-chaired several successful golf tournaments that raised thousands of dollars for deserving families here on Grand Island.
   Tom resides in Amherst with his fiancé' Gina Buckley. A September wedding is planned. Tom is the proud father of Tom Jr., Kerri Ann and Erin Marie Kanaley.
Scroll down for dinner information.





Chamber to Honor Sherry Bradford – Civic Award - March 2011


Sherry Bradford, PhD, FWCR, KCTJ
   Sherry is the very proud mother of John (Jennie) Fuhrman and Shannon (John) Olivier and grandchildren, Jacob and Jordan Furman. She is also the very proud sister of James (Kandy) Bradford, Vicki (AJ) Smith, Bruce (Eileen) Bradford, and twin sister of Patricia (George) Cameron.
   She attended undergraduate school as a single parent, while working full time at Roswell Park, and was awarded a full tuition scholarship to pursue her graduate degree from the University of Buffalo. Dr. Bradford has a PhD in Medical Biochemistry-Oncology from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Division of SUNY at Buffalo School of Medical and Biomedical Sciences. She decided to specialize in the field of cancer research and treatment, determined to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those faced with the disease.
   She is the founder of three companies: Advanced Cancer Theragnostics, LLC, Advanced Cancer Theragnostics, International, Advanced Research in Cancer, LLC and the inventor of the various patents and Trademarks that the companies hold. She is a member of many major professional cancer organizations including, ASCO, AACR and AAAS. As Chief Scientific Officer, she guides the day-to-day research directives as well as the clinical laboratory operations. “Guiding the testing, providing an individualized treatment regimen thus helping the cancer patient, provides and instills a profound sense of human compassion and humility.” Advanced Cancer Theragnostics, provides an Annual “Effective Leadership Award” to a woman who has “contributed outstanding support in the development of professional skills, personal-excellence, personal-wellness and leadership to women in our community.”
   She was awarded the “Award for Excellence in Research” from the American Federation for Clinical Research; “Award for Excellence in Research” – SUNY at Buffalo; and has authored many scientific papers and book chapters, and has also been an invited speaker at various international scientific meetings.
   She is a retired (2009) – Honorable Discharge – Major in the NYS Guard 209th Military and Civic Medical Unit and received a Knighthood at West Point for her contributions to the guard and science.
   In 2003 Erie Community College presented her with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
   In 2008 she was nominated for the Athena Award. This esteemed award recognizes outstanding women in business.
   Last year Business First named her one of the top ten “Who’s Who in Medicine” and later that year she was awarded their prestigious “Women of Influence” Award in the field of Innovation.
   Dr. Bradford also is an adjunct professor at ECC, UB and at Bryant and Stratton, teaching Anatomy and Physiology.
   Albeit, she enjoys the day-to-day business connections, she also enjoys getting involved in her community and giving back to the community. She does so on behalf of her family. She serves as an Executive Board member of “Hope For Two – Women Pregnant with Cancer.” This foundation provides support, strength, courage and hope throughout the world for women who are pregnant and undergoing chemotherapy.
   She is a member of the Grand Island Business and Professional Women’s Organization and has held the position of president for many years. The organization promotes and encourages the creation of a successful workplace that embraces and practices diversity, equity, and work-life balance. The GI chapter provides scholarships for GI high school scholars, clothing for women going back into the work force and donations to the GI Neighbors Foundation.
   She founded – The PROI Foundation which funds 1. research in cancer, 2. women who wish to attend medical school for an MD or medical PhD and also funds 3. who could otherwise not afford to have chemosensitivity and resistance testing.
   She currently proudly serves on the Executive Board of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce as secretary since 2009 and has been a director since 2003. She also serves as the chair on various committees for the board. Dr. Bradford notes that Grand Island has truly been and continues to be a “fine place to live”.
Scroll down for dinner information.





Chamber of Commerce Announces the 'Citizen of the Year' 2010 Recipients – March 2010

   The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce has announced the selection of those who will be honored with Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year awards. This year's recipients are:
• Business: Island Deli & Meat Market, owners, Todd & Danielle St. Onge
• Business Person: Thomas J. Kanaley, General Manager for Fuccillo Chevrolet
• Organization: St. Stephen's Parish Players, Community Theater Group
• Civic: Dr. Sherry Bradford
• Community Service: Pat Shaw
• Education: Lynn Ortiz
   Beverly Kinney, Event Chair said, "We would like to thank everyone who sent nomination letters in. Again, as in the past, the letters were truly inspiring. We have many special people in our small community and it was a very difficult job narrowing this year's list of more than 50 nominees down to our six Recipients for 2010. There were many deserving nominees and the letters from this year will be held over for consideration next year."
   The Citizen of the Year dinner will be held at the Grand Island Holiday Inn on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 6 p.m. (cocktail hour), with dinner served at 7 p.m. Anyone wishing to purchase tickets or for those who would like to place a Congratulations ad in the Citizen of the Year program booklet for the dinner, are asked to call the Chamber office at 773-3651 where Administrator Director Carolyn will be happy to help you.




Chamber Staff Changes - March 2011


   Carolyn Konopski was recently named the new ‘Administrative Director’ for the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce and Kim McMahon has been named the Chamber’s new ‘Benefits Administrator.’ Carolyn will have the responsibility of all operational duties of the Chamber, as well as working on and assisting the Chamber directors with all of the Chamber’s events and projects. Kim’s job will be administrating the Chamber members' health insurance and assisting the Administration with accounting and office tasks. The Chamber is please to welcome both of these very capable women and looks forward to a very productive year for the Chamber. Please feel free to drop in and introduce yourself and welcome Carolyn and Kim to the Chamber.
   Carolyn grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Clarion University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. She has several years experience working in college admissions and most recently worked as the Academic Assistant for the Department of Nursing at Niagara University. Carolyn is a member of the Kaegebein Community Playground Committee and also works with the Cub and Boy Scout Troops of St. Stephen Church as a parent volunteer. She and her husband, Michael, and their three boys, Daniel, Derek and Jake, have lived on Grand Island for the past 11 years.
   Kim McMahon is a 30-year resident of Grand Island. She attended Bryant & Stratton and obtained an associates degree in business and is currently perusing her Bachelor Degree in Accounting at Hilbert College. Kim completed a challenging internship at ABC Hardware in their accounting department. She has experience as the administrative assistant for two years at Hearts For The Homeless, a mobile soup kitchen traveling the streets of the City of Buffalo five nights a week. Hearts for the Homeless also runs a thrift shop to finance its work with the underserved. Kim ran an after school program for the children ranging from 5 to 12 years of age. In 2004, Kim joined her family business, ‘McMahon’s Restaurant” on Grand Island Blvd. She does a little of everything there, specializing in bookkeeping & financial reporting for the IRS.
   Some of Kim’s interests have been missionary work for two summers in Romanian, serving as a youth leader for Harbor Lights Fellowship, and is currently treasurer of The Miracle League organization, a not-for-profit organization that is raising $250,000.00 to build a baseball Field for the handicapped to play on in Veteran’s Park. She has a personal interest in the completion of the field and its operation, because she has siblings with disabilities and they would love to be able to play baseball.




Citizen Of Year Awards Master of Ceremonies MaryBeth Wrobel - February 2011


   The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is please to announce that Mary Beth Wrobel will be returning this year as their Master of Ceremonies for the 2010 ‘citizen of the Year Award Program. Mary Beth has been a certified on-air television and forensic meteorologist for more than 15 years and is currently on the weather staff at WGRZ-TV, Channel 2. She is back in her hometown of Buffalo after working as a meteorologist at top rated television stations in North Carolina, St Louis and Rochester.
   Mary Beth is most pleased to volunteer for charitable organizations, including Hospice and the Alzheimer foundation. Mary Beth enjoys meeting people and frequently participates in career and science fairs, school lectures, and numerous other community events. She gives Weather Merit Badges presentations to Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops to earn their weather merit badges.
   From Meteorology to music, Mary Beth Wrobel has passion. She’s a voice student at Eastman School of Music in Rochester and was awarded the Kennedy Vocal Scholarship at Eastman Community Music School. In addition to singing, she plays piano and flute.
   Mary Beth graduated Cum Laude from SUNY College at Brockport, and Magna cum Laude from SUNY College at Fredonia. Each year the Grand Island Chamber Commerce selects those businesses and individuals whose contributions have made Grand Island a better place to live, work or play. As volunteers in our community they have gone the extra mile, taken the extra step, above and beyond their day to day responsibilities and jobs.
   Volunteerism is the foundation of a good community. Our recipients are part of that foundation. Award recipients are nominated by letters from the community and selected by the chamber Citizen of the Year committee. Please join us in honoring this year’s awardees. Nominations can be obtained in the new Grand Island telephone book, being delivered soon, or the chamber office. Deadline for nomination forms is March 7, 2011.
   The Citizen of the Year Awards dinner will be taking place at the Holiday Inn Grand Island Resort & Conference Center on April 28, 2011, Cocktails 6pm – Dinner 7pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber office, 2257 Grand Island Blvd. 716-773-3651. The Chamber accepts Master, Visa, Discover & American Express.