The Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia was bustling Thursday night as many area chamber of commerce members were awarded for their extensive services within Chautauqua County.
County Executive Greg Edwards received the Person of the Year award. Prior to his acceptance speech, President of the Chamber of Commerce Todd Tranum said Edwards has “always been definitive on where he stood,” and has been “a leader dedicated to keeping an eye on what’s best for Chautauqua County.”
Edwards said he was “shocked” and “honored that the chamber had selected him for the award.
He thanked his wife and children, mentioning that his son had scored his first soccer goal of the season Thursday night, to which the room applauded.
He also mentioned the recent announcement that Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving will close on Jan. 31 and thanked the hospitals board of directors as they have had to make “heart-wrenching decisions” regarding its closure.
However, Edwards said he wanted TLC to know, “This game is not over. We will band together to show our solidarity and find opportunities to help (TLC) persevere.”
Edwards is a native of Panama, NY, a graduate of Allegheny College and the University of Toledo College of Law. He is stepping down from his post as County Executive in November in order to begin his new position as CEO of the Gebbie Foundation in Jamestown.
In his speech, he mentioned that he and Dan Reininga were friends while attending Allegheny College, and congratulated Reininga, the president and chief financial officer of Lake Shore Savings Bank. Lake Shore received the Chamber’s Economic Development Award.
Reininga said, “As part of our mission, we’ve helped serve our communities since 1891 and helped our customers achieve their missions.”
He also congratulated Edwards on his award.
Several others were recognized for serving their communities.
Doug Fenton was given a service award for his years of involvement with the Dunkirk Chamber. He has been a member of the Chamber since 1990.
Timothy Eades, an attorney with Eades & Militello, was given the Chamber’s service award for his involvement with the Fredonia Chamber and numerous non-for-profit boards.
Matt Bogosian was given an award for his years of service to the Hanover Chamber and his involvement with several Hanover organizations.
Broadcasters Terry Frank and Dennis Webster of the Media One Group in Jamestown were presented with the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award.
Access Channel 5 was recognized for its Mayville Chamber involvement and efforts to “educate and inform the public about important local issues and local events.”
Nancy Hanks was recognized by the Westfield-Barcelona Community Chamber for her many years of active volunteer service.
Todd Tranum finished the ceremony by thanking SUNY Fredonia and its staff and said, “Many congrats to all award recipients.”