Chamber of Commerce News Web Page 2003 Grand Island, NY, Chamber of Commerce Website
President James R. Sharpe, First Vice President Bev Kinney, Second Vice President Joanne Kud, Treasurer Judy Schmidt, Secretary Diane Thompson
2002 News 2001 News
Chamber Office: 1980 Whitehaven Road, 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.
Chamber Of Commerce Elects Officers - 2004
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce re-elected two incumbents to the Board of Directors and three newly elected directors at its December 16, 2003 Christmas Party. Incumbent Dorothy Bitner, Traffic Safety Promotions and Incumbent Dawn Bonora, Mary Kay Independent Sales Consultant were re-elected. Allan Glessner of Cozy Landscaping, Tom Kanaley of Fuccillo Chevrolet and Steve Morgan were elected as new board directors. Officers remained the same. They are President James Sharpe of Sharpe Associates, First Vice President Bev Kinney of Carol Ann Hair Fashions; Second Vice President Joanne Kud of Holiday Inn, Treasurer Judy Schmidt of Thermo Mechanical Services, and Secretary Diane Thompson of Control Techniques.
Other directors include John Bonora, Advantage Capital; Dr. Sherry Bradford, Oncology Research Therapeutics; Dolly D’Orazio, Weekenders USA; Fran Davis, Tops Markets; Granson Geis, PLS; Skip Mazenauer, Niagara Frontier Publications; Richard Milkas, The Copy Cat Print; and Dick Piechowiak, First Niagara Bank.
The Chamber looks forward to another productive year. Board meetings are open to all members and the general public at the Holiday Inn Grand Island at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month. "Please attend some of these meetings and show your support for the business community. We welcome all to assist our committees with various events we sponsor," a spokesman for the Chamber said this week. The Chamber office is open 8-4 p.m. daily, 773-3651.
Chamber Of Commerce Announces Citizen of the Year Dinner
Letters Of Nominations Being Accepted
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce has announced the date for its annual Citizen of the Year Dinner. The event that recognizes individuals, businesses and organizations who have gone above and beyond for the community will be held Thursday, April 1, 2004 in the Holiday Inn, Grand Island.
The Chamber's Citizen of the Year Committee is asking the community to submit nominations for individuals, businesses and organizations deserving of the Chamber's annual Citizen of the Year award. Categories for consideration include but are not limited to business, business person, corporation, civic, community service, education and senior citizen. Residents are encouraged to forward letters of nomination to the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, 1980 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.
Tickets for this year's April 1, 2004 Awards Banquet are $35 each. Click 38th Annual Awards Banquet for information on sponsorship, ads and dinner reservations.
The Chamber of Commerce will feature Erika Bason as this year’s Master of Ceremonies. Erika currently anchors "Weekend Wake-Up" on Saturday and Sunday, while doing general assignment reporting during the week.
Chamber Offers Health Insurance Enrollment Meeting - 2003
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce will hold a Health Insurance Open Enrollment Meeting at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, December 2, 2003 in the Holiday Inn Regency Room, Grand Island. Representatives from Community Blue, Independent Health and Univera will be on hand to make presentations and answer questions.
Items being presented:
Rate Increases for the New Year
Detailed information regarding current packages and possible new packages
Sole proprietor information
Carrier representatives will answer questions in reference to enrollment procedures, referrals, tier groups and new booklets and applications will be available.
Contact Kathy at the Chamber office, 773-3651, to register.
Photo #1 from left (front) Vice Youth Ambassador Kelly Knab and Youth Ambassador Carly Jo Hudson; (back) Youth Ambassador Chairperson/2nd VP Joanne Kud and Chamber President Jim Sharpe; Photo #2 (left front) Chamber 1st Vice President Bev Kinney, Chamber Secretary Diane Thompson, Youth Ambassador Chairperson/2nd VP Joanne Kud; (top) Youth Ambassador Finalists Corrine Stolzenburg, Carly Jo Hudson, Casey Dahlstrom, Kelly Knab and Alissa Pioli
Carly Jo Hudson, who previously served as the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Vice Youth Ambassador, was selected as the 2003-2004 Youth Ambassador. Kelly Knab was selected as Vice Youth Ambassador. Both girls will represent the Chamber and the Grand Island community at various events and functions throughout the coming year. The students will be presented with awards at the Chamber Christmas party in December.
Chamber members would like to thank all of the finalist for their outstanding essays and participation in the program. "We encourage them and all Grand Island high school students to apply for next year's program," a Chamber spokesman said this week. "The Youth Ambassador Program is a wonderful learning experience for high school students and promotes goodwill and interaction between the students and business community," she said. For more information about this program, contact the Chamber at 773-3651.
Youth Ambassador Program Sponsors - 2003 Click each photo for a larger view.
Pictured above are the 2003-2004 Youth Ambassador program sponsors. Pictures from left - Photo #1 Platinum: Vic Nole-Gibco-Invitrogen, Joanne Kud-Holiday
Inn, Chamber President Jim Sharpe (missing: Fujisawa Healthcare) - #2 Gold: Bev Kinney-Carol-Ann Hair Fashions, Dick
Crawford-Island Healthcare Devices, Michelle Wormus-M&T Bank, Mike
Samland-HSBC Bank USA, Chamber President Jim Sharpe - #3 Gold (top left) Dr. Douglas Wright, Susan
Pitruzella-Charter One Bank, Joanne Kud-YA Chair/2nd VP, Josh
McDonald-Charter One Bank, Chamber President Jim Sharpe - #4 Silver: Chamber 1st Vice President Bev Kinney, Corrine Simon-Super
Gas.Sunoco, Joanne Kud-YA Chairperson/2nd VP, Dick Piechowiak-First
Niagara Bank, Chamber President Jim Sharpe. Missing: Sterling Fluid
Systems; Nova Healthcare Administrators; Assemblyman Sam Hoyt - #5 Chamber President Jim Sharpe with Gold Sponsor Grand Island Supervisor Peter McMahon, Silver sponsor Grand Island Highway Superintendent Ray Dlugokinski and Silver sponsor Grand Island Councilwoman Mary Cooke. A sixth photo is shown in the article below.
The Youth Ambassador program is designed to recognize the youth of
Grand Island and to select a Youth Ambassador and Vice-Youth Ambassador
who will represent the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce at town,
school, community and business functions throughout the upcoming year.
The selection process is underway to select the next Youth
Ambassadors. The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce thanks all of those who have contributed to help make
this program an exceptional one for the youth of the community.
Bronze Sponsors who contributed to the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Youth Ambassador
Program are shown with Chamber of Commerce representatives: (left) Erie County Legislator Chuck Swanick, Chamber Board Secretary Diane Thompson, VFW Quartermaster Dan McMahon, Chamber Youth Ambassador Chairperson and 2nd Vice President
Joanne Kud and Moose Lodge Governor
Ed Hope. Missing from the photo are Grand Island Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ramming, Fran Davis of Tops Markets and Grand Island Highway Superintendent Ray Dlugokinski.
Chamber President James Sharpe is shown with Kevin R. Brennan (left) of Summit Associates and Philip D. Joyce (right) of AmCan Solutions.
The following recently became newest members of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.
Kevin R. Brennan has been serving the steel treating industry for over twenty years. He started Summit Associates, a consulting firm in 2000, to provide new and used (atmosphere and vacuum) heat treating furnaces to steel and aluminum manufacturers. “Our customers manufacture everything from turbine engines, automotive gears, and military ordinances to metal stampings, cutting tools, bearings and fasteners," Brennan explained. "We also provide water chillers and water cooling systems for temperature control and furnace quenching applications. Basically, if you want to heat it or cool it, we can help,” he said. Summit Associates covers New York, Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Ontario.
AmCan Solutions, Ltd. is an on-site training company offering customized, comprehensive operator training programs for fork lifts, overhead crane and material handling, pedestrian awareness and work place safety evaluations aimed at increasing safety awareness and compliance. A recently established Western NY company, AmCan believes that safety awareness is paramount to the well being of employee and employer alike. AmCan specialists can provide FREE evaluations of a company’s Safety Awareness requirements.
Grand Island Chamber of Commerce officials have announced that Christian Dommell was selected as this year’s recipient of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Annual Scholarship Award which was presented at the Chamber’s Board of Directors Meeting on July 15, 2003 at the Holiday Inn Grand Island. Christian’s parents, Susan Houser and William Dommell were present along with his grandmother, sister and brother. Christian was selected for his academic achievement, leadership and community involvement. He is enrolling at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY with a dual major in Aeronautical & Mechanical Engineering. He has received a Rensselaeer Alumni Scholarship as well as an Award for Excellence in Math, Science and English from the Ceramics Society of NY at Alfred State University. Christian, who is active in community event and programs, is president of the National Honor Society and active in the Gifted Math Program at the University of Buffalo. Besides these awards and accomplishments, he is active in school and community programs as well.
Youth Ambassadors Carly Jo Hudson and Robert Kujawa expressed their appreciation this week to representatives of Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc. and M&T Bank for their generous contributions to the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Youth Ambassador Program. The left photos shows Vice Youth Ambassador Carly Jo Hudson with Scott Alladeen, Director Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc. and Youth Ambassador Robert Kujawa. The photo on the right shows Youth Ambassador Robert Kujawa, M&T Bank Manager Michelle Wormus and Vice Youth Ambassador Carly Jo Hudson.
(Left) Sue Hillock Photo - (right) Fred Claus Photo - Alyssa
Accardo, a Connor Middle School student in the fall, is shown at her KidBiz booth, "Ally's Alley."
Over 60 young entrepreneurs set up booths on the grounds of Tops Friendly Market for the 7th annual KidBiz Sale Saturday, June 28, 2003. Pictured with KidBiz Trainer Mike Heftka (left) and Erie County Legislator Chuck Swanick (right) are 2003 KidBiz participants Amir and Isam Abdellatif, Reem Abdellatif, Alyssa Accardo, Lee and Shannon Becker, Casey, Connor, Elaina and Emily Bolles, Kristina Burley, Paul Capone, Krystal and Kaitlyn Chapin, Christopher Colan, Joe Collins, James and Jane Cooke, Aaron D’Angelo, Meghan and Michael Dollard, Marwa Eltagouri, Hillary Figler, Craig Fusco, Kate and Sean Garten, Jonathan Grenda, Amy Grenke, Susan Head, Alex Howard, Toni, Taylor and Jordan Kaufman, Lauren Kissel, Taylor Kozlowski, Brian and Nathan Kulak, Charlie Lavallee, Allison Leszczak, John and Lindsay Morano, Alexandra Morell, Andrea Nicolia, Samantha Oriani, Jacob Paszkiewicz, Michael Phillips, Alexzander Prine, Bree Rafferty, Jennifer Schaber, Jeff Semrau, Kayleigh Shepard, Glen Skelly, Jessica Spiesz, Andrew Stange, Katherine Studley, Erica and Rachel Surdi, Jameela Syed, Maria Todaro, Megan Rose Wagner and Robbie Wakefield.
Youth Ambassador Hot Dog Sale
A Youth Ambassador Hot Dog Sale will be held at Tops Plaza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 28, 2003 in conjunction with Island Happenings and KidBiz. A $2 donation provides a hot dog and beverage. Each purchase will be automatically entered in the Youth Ambassador raffle with all proceeds going towards the Youth Ambassador Scholarship program. Winning tickets will be drawn at the end of the day. The winner does not have to be present to win.
Mike Heftka of the Small Business Development Center held a training session at the Grand Island Memorial Library where young entrepreneurs learned various aspects of running a business. June 2003 . . .The 7th annual KidBiz Sidewalk Sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 28, 2003 in the Tops Market parking lot as part of the many activities planned for the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce “Island Happening”.
KidBiz was developed by the Small Business Development Center and designed to give children in the third through sixth grade the experience and excitement of running their own business. Over 50 booths are expected at this year's event where kids will sell books, toys, crafts, baked goods, and a whole lot more. KidBiz is an excellent opportunity for children to engage in a real-life business experience.
The day will feature food, entertainment, raffles, bounce house and more. "Join us for a day of fun."
For more information call the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce office at 773-3651.
Photos (left) Lee Becker, Treasurer Men's Auxiliary Bruce Wojick Sr., Commander Mike Cutini, Quartermaster Bill Shickluna, Conductress Ladies Auxiliary Mary Becker, President Men's Auxiliary Mark Gollwitzer, Youth Ambassadors Carly Jo Hudson and Robert Kujawa. (center) Carly Jo Hudson, Dr. Douglas Wright, DDS, MSD and Robert Kujawa. (right) Carly Jo Hudson, Dick Piechowiak of First Niagara Bank and Robert Kujawa.
Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Photos June 5, 2003 . . .The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce 2002-03 Youth Ambassadors, Carly Jo Hudson and Robert Kujawa, recently stopped by to say “thank you” to those who generously contributed to the Chamber'sYouth Ambassador Program. Sponsors are being solicited for this year’s Youth Ambassador program. Those interested are asked to call the Chamber at 773-3651 for more information.
The Youth Ambassadors are currently selling tickets for the Hot Dog Sale they are having on June 28, 2003 in conjunction with Island Happenings/KidBiz. For more information, contact the Chamber (773-3651).
“Community Happening” Saturday, June 28, 2003!
“Community Happening,” the newest event sponsored by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce and scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, 2003 will be staged at the Tops Market plaza. “Community Happening” is an opportunity for businesses, clubs and organizations to
showcase their products and services. Spaces are available at $25 per 15'
space by calling Chairperson Dawn Bonora at 773-7559 or the Chamber office, 773-3651. For information on the Chamber of Commerce KidBiz event, also being held as part of the "Community Happening," call Chairperson Sue Hillock, 773-6723.
KidBiz Training To Be Held May 29 - 2003
Training for KidBiz will be held at the Grand Island Memorial Library from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 29, 2003. 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, was designed to give children in the third through sixth grade the experience and excitement of running their own business.
The 7th annual KidBiz Sidewalk Sale will be held Saturday, June 28, 2003 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and located in the Tops Market parking lot as part of the many activities planned for the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce “Island Happening.”
KidBiz is an excellent opportunity for children to engage in a real-life business experience. For more information, call Sue Hillock at 773-6723 or Mike Heftka at the Small Business Development Center at 878-4030.
KidBiz is sponsored by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber To Hold “Community Happening” June 28 - 2003
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce will hold its “Community Happening” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, 2003 in front of the Tops Plaza as part of the many activities planned for a fun filled weekend.
Everyone is welcome to participate. Businesses will have an opportunity to showcase their products or services and organizations and service groups can spend the day educating the public about their work, soliciting membership, and raising funds. Cost of a booth is $25.
The Chamber's annual KidBiz Sidewalk Sale will also be held on Saturday along with a two-day outdoor craft sale - “Grand Crafts on the Island,” a separate entity sponsored by the Sesquicentennial craft show committee. The Chamber of Commerce will be providing food, entertainment, raffles, bounce house and more.
For more information call the Chamber office at 773-3651.
KidBiz to be held June 28 - 2003
The annual KidBiz Sidewalk Sale will be held Saturday, June 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Tops Plaza as part of the many activities planned for the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce “Community Happening.”
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 sixth 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.” Mike Heftka and Sue Hillock coordinated the event with over 30 children selling their products along the sidewalks under the canopy of the Grand Island Plaza. 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.
Training for KidBiz will be held at the Grand Island Memorial Library on Thursday, May 29, 2003 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. 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 is an excellent opportunity for children to engage in a real-life business experience. For more information, call Sue Hillock at 773-6723 or Mike Heftka at the Small Business Development Center at 878-4030.
KidBiz is sponsored by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.
Shown from left are Citizen of the Year recipients Karen Conboy, Deborah Croft Beis, Gene and Christine Ryshkus, John Harbison Jr., Michael H. Schneider, and Dan Gilliland.
Fred Claus Photo April 2003 . . .The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is to be commended on a job well done. The Chamber's Citizens Of The Year Banquet on April 3, 2003 honoring Grand Island's best in 2002 was held in the Holiday Inn Grand Island Resort and Conference Center, filled to capacity despite an unseasonal ice storm. Jacquie Walker from NEWS 4, who introduced the recipients, spoke from the heart and obviously has a special place in hers for the Town of Grand Island. Patriotism was at its best as the evening began with the impressive Color Guard of the Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249. Sherm Lyke and the Grand Island High School Jazz Quartet entertained during the cocktail hour and Connor Middle School music teacher Annalea Masiello directed the school's select choir, the ‘Singcopations,’ in several songs before the presentation of awards began. A highlight of the evening was high school senior and former Chamber Youth Ambassador Malcolm Merriweather's vocal solo, "Some Enchanted Evening."
Chamber Of Commerce Extends Appreciation By Dinner Chairperson Bev Kinney and Co-Chairperson Sue Hillock
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the 240 people who braved the ice storm on Thursday night (Apr. 3, 2003) to be present at the ‘Citizen of the Year’ awards dinner at the Holiday Inn Grand Island Resort and Conference Center to recognize and honor our award recipients for 2002.
We would like to thank:
Jacquie Walker from NEWS 4 for returning as our awards presenter, again making the event a ‘memorable one’ for our awards recipients.
The Holiday Inn and its staff did another outstanding job!
The Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249 Color Guard.
Mr. Sherman Lyke and The Grand Island High School Jazz Quartet.
Mrs. Annalea Masiello and the Connor Middle School Select choir The ‘Singcopations’.
The Chamber’s former Youth Ambassador, Malcolm Merriweather for his wonderful solo.
Youth Ambassadors Robert Kujawa and Vice-Youth Ambassador Carly Jo Hudson for pitching in where ever we needed them.
Joanne Kud, Chamber Youth Programs Chair for all her hard work on the Chamber Scholarship Raffle.
Tops manager Fran Davis for donating the cake for our Cake and Coffee hour, flowers for the tables and the wonderful Awards display.
Jim Sharpe donated many hours for layout and graphics for the program booklet, posters and certificates. We appreciate his expertise and his time.
A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS FOR MAKING THIS SPECIAL EVENT POSSIBLE.
The Citizen of the Year Committee is responsible for every detail of this event.
The most difficult part of our committee’s job is selecting the award recipients. We received over 70 letters from Grand Islanders nominating businesses and individuals who have volunteered their time and efforts. Selecting this year’s recipients was not an easy task. Every letter was read, every person considered. We just wish we could have selected them all. Grand Island may be a small community, but is full of talented and caring people.
We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to my committee for all of their hard work. The quality of this event would not have happened without these dedicated and talented people: Dolly D’Orazio, Judy Schmidt, Jennifer Perisi, Fran Davis, Phil Buchanan, Andy Chambers, Sherry Bradford and Kathy Pytel.
Finally, on behalf of the whole committee we would like to thank all of the award recipients for allowing us to have a glimpse into your lives through the letters of your friends, family and co-workers. It was a privilege to get to know you. It was our privilege to honor you for your contributions to this community.
The 37th annual Citizens of the Year Award Banquet, sponsored and hosted by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce will be held on Thursday, April 3, 2003 at the Holiday Inn Grand Island. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Dinner tickets at $35 each available by calling the Chamber office, 773-3651.
March 2003 . . .
Karen Conboy is a life-long resident of Grand Island and throughout her years has come to exemplify the true meaning of the word “volunteer.” Her volunteerism spans numerous civic and religious activities.
Karen is presently Production Manager of St. Stephen’s Parish Players Theatre Group. She is Co-Coordinator of the Family Readiness Group - U. S. Army Reserves, 1st Battalion, 390th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, and 98th Division, while also volunteering as Lector and Co-Chairman of St. Stephen’s Lenten Fish Fry and Golf Challenge.
She has previously coached the Varsity Girls Volleyball team at Holy Angels Academy, Grand Island Little League Tee-Ball, Varsity Girls Basketball and Softball at St. Stephen School, was Assistant Coach in the Grand Island Soccer League, President of St. Stephen Home School Association, Coordinator of Women’s World Day of Prayer, Contributions Coordinator of St. Stephen Playground Committee, and Producer, Writer, Manager, Actress of the Grand Island Sesquicentennial Historical Pageant.
Karen is a Magna Cum Laude Graduate of Buffalo State with a Bachelor of Science degree. She is currently employed part-time at M & T Bank as a Supervisor and Research Specialist in the Consumer Lending Accounting and Reports department.
She has participated in the Grand Island Recreational Softball program for 23 years and the Volleyball program for 15 years and is a golf enthusiast. Karen received the St. Stephen’s Holy Name Society Woman of the Year Award in 1997.
Karen is married to David Conboy and is the mother of Sarah Elizabeth, a junior at the University of Notre Dame, and David James, a third grader at St. Stephen School.
Karen is grateful to have been surrounded by incredibly talented and hardworking people throughout her life who taught her getting the most out of life is directly related to what you are willing to give to others.
March 2003 . . .The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is honoring the Grand Island Sesquicentennial Committee at the 37th annual Citizen of the Year Award Banquet to be held on Thursday, April 3 at the Holiday Inn Grand Island Resort and Conference Center.
Spearheading the celebration of Grand Island’s 150th birthday, was the Sesquicentennial Committee Executive Board comprised of Chairman Michael H. Schneider, Honorary Chairman Peter McMahon, Vice Chairman James R. Sharpe, Treasurer Charles S. Lawrence III, Secretary Karen J. Vanthoff, Reg M. Schopp (Marketing), Town Historian Teddy Linenfelser, Director of Communications Margaret V. McNulty, and Parliamentarian Thomas R. Gilmore.
This group successfully pulled together all of Grand Island’s organizations, associations, businesses, churches, and citizens to put on a yearlong celebration. Events included the St. Stephen’s Lawn Fete, River Lea Quilters Guild Show, Veteran’s Park Tree Planting, Fourth of July celebration, Grand Prix re-enactment, Classic, Corvette, and European Car Show and Cruise, Bikes n’ Blues, Fishing Derby, and Time Capsule burial.
Others who will be recognized for their contributions at the annual dinner include Business: Holiday Inn Grand Island Resort and Conference Center; Civic: John Harbison Jr.; Education: Deborah Beis; Business Persons: Gene and Christine Ryshkus of the Grand Island Garden Center and Service to Youth: Karen Lynn Conboy. Call the Chamber office at 773-3651 for ticket information.
March 2003 . . .The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is honoring John Harbison Jr. for his many contributions to the Grand Island community. A native of Buffalo, and the son of a first generation immigrant, John has lived on Grand Island since 1970. John and his wife, Linda, a teacher at Sidway School, have three sons.
John received degrees in engineering and business from Michigan State University. He had had a varied career as an Engineer at General Electric and Westinghouse in procurement, systems engineering, and sales. He was also a land developer, homebuilder, real estate broker, consultant, and sales representative.
His volunteer efforts over the years have concentrated on serving Trinity United Methodist Church, Journey’s End Refugee Settlement, and Rotary.
As a member of Trinity United Methodist Church he chaired the building committee for the Education Wing. He was instrumental in raising funds to preserve Historic Trinity, which has hosted many community events, as well as provided a sports center for youth and adults.
Currently as Board Chairman for Journey’s End Resettlement Services, John has been advocating for refugees by speaking at local churches. He has raised awareness of the needs of these refugees to Grand Islanders and to others throughout Western New York. Settlement operations by Journey’s End have expanded from approximately 50 refugees to 400 refugees assisted per year.
Through Grand Island Rotary and Rotary International, John has made significant contributions to the world. He initiated a project in Bolivia, South America that raised money to renovate a school of 300 students, and provided education to 400 farmers to raise their productivity 200% within two years. His second project was also in Bolivia to fight Chagas Disease, which is the third highest cause of death in Central and South America. John wrote and received a $300,000 grant to build 222 houses for rural peasants to reduce the transmission of this disease. The project included the electrification of each home as well as bringing clean running water to ten rural communities. This effort included education of 50,000 people in how to avoid this disease.
Presently John is engaged in raising awareness and encouraging fortification of basic food, such as flour, salt, and sugar, to eliminate malnutrition because of nutrient deficiency like vitamin A, iron and iodine.
John’s goal is to encourage people to volunteer to assist others that are less fortunate. He feels that ordinary citizens of the United States can make a significant difference in our world. He feels that it is time for action and that volunteerism is the way to go.
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce has selected Gene and Christine Ryshkus of the Grand Island Garden Center as Business Persons of the Year and will honor them at the 37th annual Citizen of the Year Award Banquet on Thursday, April 3, 2003.
Gene and Christine operate the Grand Island Garden Center and Gift Shop located on Alvin Road and made their home on Grand Island in 1997 after relocating from the Chicago area. The friendly, full service garden center offers landscape, deck and pond design and installation, a large nursery selection, a boutique filled with unique gifts, and the “Critter Corner.” They provide part time employment for area teens, instilling a strong work ethnic along with teaching employees landscape design and horticulture.
Both Gene and Christine have served the Grand Island community through various organizations and are members of many local groups including the Grand Island Rotary, Journey’s End Refugee Settlement, River Lea Quilters, Grand Island Zonta, Women’s Book Club, and Niagara River Anglers Assoc. Christine is a past director of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce and has served as chairperson of the Phone Book Committee.
They have assisted in the tree plantings at Veteran’s Park and the beautification of the Boulevard through the daffodil planting program.
Gene is a Vietnam veteran with an honorable discharge from the U. S. Air force. He has a degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design as well as 30 years experience. Christine is a graduate practical nurse, gemologist, and porcelain artist. Gene and Christine recently celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. They are the proud parents of a daughter, Tricia, and a son, Aaron. They also have a grandson, Sasha.
Others who will be recognized for their contributions at the annual event include Business: Holiday Inn Grand Island Resort and Conference Center; Civic: John Harbison Jr.; Education: Deborah Beis; Community Service: Grand Island Sesquicentennial Committee; and Service to Youth: Karen Conboy. Call the chamber office at 773-3651 for ticket information.
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is honoring Huth Road Elementary School Teacher Deborah Croft Beis for her contributions in the area of education. The 37th annual Citizen of the Year Award Banquet will be held on Thursday, April 3, 2003 at the Grand Island Holiday Inn Resort and Conference Center.
Deborah Beis has been a teacher in the Grand Island School District since 1972. She is well known and highly regarded within the educational and civic community here. Her dedication to the teaching profession and the needs of the learners placed in her charge is unparalleled. Her fourth grade classroom is rich in literature and her students are avid readers. Conversations about classic fiction and informational text abound and are encouraged.
She was a member of the executive board of the Grand Island Teachers Association, Huth Road PTA, and the Grand Island Credit Union. For the past ten years she has organized Bouquets for Hospice campaigning within the school. She has also coordinated UNICEF, Grand Island Neighbors Foundation and Hospice collections at Huth Road School.
Deborah places a high value on continued professional growth. She avails herself to the many programs, workshops, and graduate courses offered by area colleges and universities. Since 1996 she has been a fellow of the Western New York Writing Program, an affiliate of the National Writing Project. Every summer she spends the month of July as co-director of The Summer Institute held at Canisius College, presenting many workshops for her colleagues.
Others who will be recognized for their contributions at the annual event include Business: Holiday Inn Grand Island Resort and Conference Center; Business Persons: Gene and Christine Ryshkus-Grand Island Garden Center & Gift Shop; Civic: John Harbison; Community Service: The Grand Island Sesquicentennial Committee; and Service to Youth: Karen Conboy. Tickets are available through the Chamber office, 773-3651.
Citizen of the Year 2002 -
Holiday Inn Grand Island Resort and Conference Center Business of the Year
Click photo for a larger view. Seated from left: Joanne Kud, Karen Phillips, Lori Walton, Deanna Arraiz; (2nd row) Ron Kowalski, Meghan Van Alstine, Tiffany Anderson, Chris Fiorella, Paul Anderson, Dale Van Alstine, General Manager Dan Gilliland, Debbie Jarosz, Kelly Kline, Rick Arnold. 3rd row: Marcia Malizie, Jill Schmitz.
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce has selected the Holiday Inn Grand Island Resort and Conference Center as Business of the Year and will honor them at the 37th annual Citizen of the Year Award Banquet on Thursday, April 3, 2003.
The Holiday Inn is being recognized as a “fine business and wonderful corporate citizen” that employs residents, draws visitors from afar, attracts business professionals and trade shows, and has been a long time supporter of all island businesses, organizations and groups.
The enthusiasm of the management and staff has contributed to the success of the business that has played a very active part in this small community. Quality service and customer satisfaction are synonymous with Holiday Inn Grand Island, known as one of the finest resort attractions in the area.
The Holiday Inn sponsors a wide variety of educational programs for local students such Job Search, Shadow Day, Corporate Bowl, Youth Ambassador, and Scholarship Raffle. Holiday Inn Grand Island has donated to many local events such as the Island Expo, Island Treasures, Isledegrande Baby Contest, Reflections of Light, Sesquicentennial Classic Car Show, and the Independence Day Race. Holiday Inn has also supported benefits, charities, and fundraisers including the Variety Club, Give the Kids the World, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, American Diabetes Foundation, The David Fund, Research for Childhood Cancer, American Heart Association, Victims of Domestic Violence, Kevin Guest House, Benedict House American Cancer Society, and the Lupus Foundation of WNY.
Others who will be recognized at the annual event for their contributions include Business Persons: Gene and Christine Ryshkus-Grand Island Garden Center & Gift Shop; Civic: John Harbison; Education: Deborah Beis; Community Service: The Grand Island Sesquicentennial Committee; and Service to Youth: Karen Conboy. Ticket information is available by calling the chamber office at 773-3651.
Chamber Announces Citizen of the Year Award Winners - 2003
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce will host the 37th annual Citizen of the Year Award Dinner on Thursday, April 3, 2003 at the Grand Island Holiday Inn.
News 4 Anchor Jacquie Walker will be the Master of Ceremonies and entertainment will be provided by the Grand Island Middle School Choir, Grand Island High School Jazz Quarter, and former Youth Ambassador Malcolm Merriweather. The Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249 will also play a special part in this community event.
Chamber Vice President and Citizen of the Year Chair Beverly Kinney is proud to announce the winners of this prestigious award that honors Grand Island’s best.
Grand Island Holiday Inn Resort and Conference Center Business Persons
Gene and Christine Ryshkus-Grand Island Garden Center & Gift Shop Education
Deborah Beis Civic
John Harbison Community Service
The Grand Island Sesquicentennial Committee Service to Youth
Sponsors of this year’s event include Platinum Sponsors: Grand Island Holiday Inn, Fuccillo Chevrolet, Fujisawa Healthcare Inc.; Gold Sponsor: HSBC Bank USA; Silver Sponsor: AJ’s Heating and Air Conditioning, Metro Real Estate Place; Bronze Sponsors: Carol Ann’s Hair Fashions, Super Gas/Sunoco, Rose Liquor, Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249, American Pharmaceutical Partners, Tops Market, M & T Bank, First Niagara Bank, CIR Electric, Realty USA, Invitrogen Corporation, and Buffalo Financial Associates.
For more information about the dinner or to purchase tickets, call the Chamber office at 773-3651.
Chamber Requests Letters Of Nomination For Citizens of the Year Awards 2003
The Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Committee is asking the community for nominations of individuals and businesses deserving of the Chamber's annual Citizen of the Year recognition. Categories for consideration include but are not limited to business, business person, corporation, civic, community service, education and senior citizen. Residents are encouraged to forward letters of nomination by February 14, 2003 to the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, 1980 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.
Tickets for this year's Citizens of the Year Award Banquet being held April 3, 2003 at the Holiday Inn Grand Island are $35 each. Click 37th Annual Awards Banquet for more information on sponsorship, ads and dinner reservations.
Grand Island Chamber of Commerce board member Granson Geis (left) welcomes new member William R. Torchia, owner of Travelers Hospitality Services located at 2940 Bedell Road (773-2480).
James Rotterman (left), new owner of Gelose Art in Flowers, 2377 Grand Island Blvd. (773-7556) is welcomed into the Chamber of Commerce by board member Kathleen Graves.
Chamber President James Sharpe (right) welcomes Chateau Motor Lodge owner Parmpreet S. Chhokar, 1810 Grand Island Blvd. (773-2868).
Brian C. Toth (left), owner of BCT Construction, 765 Alt Blvd. (812-7307/773-1312) is welcomed by Chamber President James Sharpe.
Board members Beverly Kinney (left) and Kathleen Graves welcome Vincent DiSanto, owner of J. D. Floor, 2396 Stony Point (733-2637; fax: 774-8726).
Wayne M. West (left), owner of West WB, 1623 Military Rd. #337, Niagara Falls (773-2634; fax: 773-2635) is welcomed to the Chamber by President James Sharpe. West is a consultant in real estate, for first time buyers, etc.
Chamber Offers Ad Space In Citizen Of Year Booklet 2003
Members of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce are putting together the program booklet for the 37th annual Citizen of the Year Awards dinner that will be distributed at the April 3rd event. The booklet is an opportunity to advertise at a relatively low cost. Deadline for ads is March 11, 2003. Call the Chamber office, 773-3651, for complete information.
Installation Of Officers 2003
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Installation of 2003 officers and Directors will be held January 21, 2003 in the Holiday Inn. For further information, call the Chamber office, 773-3651.
News 4 Anchor Jacquie Walker
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce has again invited Jacquie Walker of WIVB-TV to serve as Master of Ceremonies for its 37th annual Citizens of the Year Award Banquet on Thursday, April 3, 2003 at the Holiday Inn Grand Island. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Dinner tickets for the event are $35 each.
The Citizen of the Year Committee is now seeking nominations of those individuals and businesses deserving recognition. Categories for consideration include business/business person, senior citizen, civic/community service, recreation/sports, youth, education, and government. The community is encouraged to forward letters of nomination to the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, 1980 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.
The Citizen of the Year Award promotes and honors an individual, business or organization that has dedicated time and energy toward making Grand Island a better place to live, work and play. As volunteers in this community, they have gone the extra mile, taken the extra step, above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities.
The Awards dinner will be covered by Adelphia Cable, televised 4-6 times on various days and times and all sponsors will be listed in the credits at the end of the televised program. Sponsor Packages:
Platinum Sponsor - $2,000
Gold Sponsor - $1,000
Silver Sponsor - $500
Bronze Sponsor - $300
All sponsors of this event will be showcased on the "Citizen of the Year" page in the Chamber's yearly telephone book and will have their ad placed in the "Citizen of the Year" program booklet. The sponsors package also includes special recognitions, photos, etc. Program Book ad prices are $100 for a full page, $80 for a half (1/2) page, $60 for a quarter (1/4) page and $15 for patron (name & business name only).
Contact the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce at 773-3561 or just click
Chamber E-Mail for more information about sponsorship, ads and dinner reservations.
Chamber Leaders 2003 Announced
The Grand Island Chamber elected the following officers at its annual Christmas party on Dec. 16, 2002: President James R. Sharpe, First Vice President Bev Kinney, Second Vice President Joanne Kud, Treasurer Judy Schmidt and Secretary Diane Thompson. Directors elected are Skip Mazenauer (incumbent), John Bonora (newly elected), Fran Davis (newly elected), and Dick Piechowiak (newly elected). Rich Milkas will fill Joanne Kud's seat on the board.
If you are a member of this organization, we need your help. GIECOM.Net has partnered with the Connections program to help Grand Island as a community "Get it Together." Please visit our website G-I-Together.ORG and fill out our SURVEY. Every group on Grand Island will have its own FREE web page showing: meeting times and location, contact persons, your Mission Statement and a listing of events. We will also be linking your news events that appear in the local media and on IsledeGrande.Com, Grand Island's E-News Source, to your page, maintaining an archived journal of pictures and news. This is the perfect opportunity for your group to connect with potential new members and the community.