Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce holds annual meeting and awards banquet

Submitted Photo Award recipients during the 2019 Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet were (L-R) David “Duper” Winchell; Marissa Griffis and Hannah Storer from Aloe Vera’s Eatery; Don Steger, Town of Pomfret Supervisor; Michael Lokietek and Scott Wise of Fredonia Family Church; and Jen and Mark Mackey, Spirit of Fredonia Award.

The Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce recognized a number of local businesses and individuals during its Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, which was held Monday, Jan. 28 at Manning’s Fireside Manor.

David Dengler, President of the Board of Directors, welcomed the members to the banquet and stressed the importance of community involvement to support local businesses. “One of the main goals of the Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce is to increase foot traffic into local businesses, especially downtown Fredonia. Some examples of that are our work around Small Business Saturday and the Miracle on Main Christmas Holiday promotion,” Dengler said.

Mayor Athanasia Landis, of the Village of Fredonia, swore in the 2019 Board of Directors, and also addressed the crowd. Mayor Landis thanked everyone for attending and working together with the Chamber of Commerce. She also invited the members to her State of Fredonia address on Feb. 6 at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House.

Don Steger, Town of Pomfret Supervisor, welcomed the Board and its membership and talked about the North County Water District and its future importance. Don was presented with the Community Service Award from the Chamber for his continuing efforts to bring the North County Water District to completion. Don spoke about tenacity, perseverance and drive instilled in him by his father, who recently passed away. Don accepted the award in memory of his father.

The Business Person of the Year Award was presented to David “Duper” Winchell, owner of Super Duper Catering. The entrepreneur has given back to the community through many sponsorships and volunteer hours. He spoke of his wish to have more than 24 hours a day to give back and said he enjoys the challenges of everyday business.

The Spirit of Fredonia Award was presented to Mark and Jen Mackey. The couple is involved in many events and volunteering for community functions. Mark spoke of not having enough time in a day to do all he wants to do, and also wished for more time to contribute to the community.

The Business of the Year Award was presented to Aloe Vera’s Eatery. Owner Marissa Griffis, spoke of the teamwork by her employees and the support of her family in her quest to provide good food and service. She thanked her staff, customer base and family for attending and helping make Aloe Vera’s Eatery a success.

The Fredonia Community Chamber also presented a “From the Ashes” Award to Fredonia Family Church. The award was accepted by Rev. Michael Lokietek and Pastor Scott Wise. It was given in recognition of the church’s efforts to rebuild after a devastating fire destroyed the clock tower. The community came together to help support the church and its members.

Board members sworn into office for 2019 are: President, David Dengler, Larson-Timko Funeral Home; Vice President, Ann Eckman, Town of Pomfret; Treasurer, Larry Fiorella, HBKS Wealth Advisors; Secretary, Dan Siracuse, DFT Communications; Roger Britz, Bargain Monkey; Kara Christina, Village of Fredonia; Michelle Joy, Til You Drop Shoppe; Greg Krauza, AFLAC, Linda Liedke, SUNY Fredonia; Joanne Mansfield, WeatherHill Farm, and Melissa Sorci-Taft, Feather Your Nest.

Todd Tranum, President of the Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce emphasized the importance of foot traffic to communities and the networking opportunities that exist for businesses countywide. He noted the Shoptauqua Gift Card program helps to keep shopping local and provides a way for shoppers to reinvest in Chautauqua County. He noted that upcoming events include the Chamber’s 2019 Federal Congressional Lunch on Friday, Feb. 1 at Webb’s Captains Table in Mayville, and Business After Hours at EBC West in Fredonia on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Greg Krauza of the Fredonia Chamber Board served as Master of Ceremonies. Numerous local merchants contributed prizes which were raffled off throughout the evening. Board members Ann Eckman, Larry Fiorella, and Dan Siracuse all helped to gather donations for the event. Sponsors were Bargain Monkey, DFT Communications, Lake Shore Savings Bank, and Larson-Timko Funeral Home.

For information on Chamber of Commerce membership, or to enroll in any activity sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, go to www.chautauquachamber .org. You may phone the Chamber of Commerce office at 366-6200.