SUNY Fredonia Business Club honors Gambinos

David and Polly Gambino, owners of Thruway Super Service in Dunkirk, were honored recently at the SUNY Fredonia Williams Center by the campus’ student-run Business Club with its 36th annual Business Persons of the Year Award. The event, which began in 1978, honors outstanding members of the Dunkirk-Fredonia business community. Recipients are chosen based on community involvement, business ethics, innovation, concern for employees, and contribution to the growth of local business.

The Gambinos have owned their business for 35 years and been lifelong members of the Dunkirk-Fredonia region. They were selected, according to student organizers, “due to their business success, as well as their community involvement and their tireless service and support for those in need.”

Thruway Super Service, located at 10798 Bennett Road, offers towing, roadside service and mechanical repairs in its facility of both light and heavy-duty trucks as well as automobiles. It employs three people.

David Gambino grew up in the business that his father, Jack, started in 1971. He and a partner leased the business and building from David’s father in 1977 and, in 1987, purchased the business and relocated to the current Bennett Road site. David bought out his partner in 1993. The husband-and-wife team diversified the business by adding used-car sales and U-Haul vehicle rentals.

Lifelong residents of the Dunkirk/Fredonia area, David and Polly are well-known in the community and are active members of the First United Methodist Church of Fredonia, where they serve with the Helping Hands Mission and are members of the hospitality and finance committees.

Mark W. Thomas, director of the Western District of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and a former two-term Chautauqua County Executive and Town of Pomfret Supervisor, delivered the keynote address. Appointed in 2007, he oversees the Niagara, Allegany and Genesee region of the state park system. Additional remarks were offered by Business Club President Andrea Fabbio, SUNY Fredonia Police Chief Ann Burns, and SUNY Fredonia President Virginia Horvath.