2013 Citizen of the Year, Mary Jayne Ginnitti
The 2013 Citizen of the Year honoree has demonstrated unselfish service and excellence to our community. Mary Jayne grew up in the Town of Evans, raised a family here with her husband of 40 years, Jim, and makes important contributions to our residents and their families. After nearly 34 years as a teacher at Highland Elementary School, Mary Jayne Ginnitti continues to provide guidance, dedication, and professional development to the Town of Evans community. She sits on the board of directors of the Lake Shore Federal Credit Union and the Character Council of WNY. Mary Jayne is also the acting Secretary for the Evans Historical Society and active with the Town of Evans Boys and Girls Club. Throughout the year, she volunteers her time with a variety of activities including beach cleanups, highway cleanups, our local food pantry and many more annual community events too numerous to list. Mary Jayne is always the first to make a basket or two for a Chinese Auction or Benefit, provide delicious baked goods for various events and donated handmade quilts to help local organization’s in their fundraising efforts. Her daughter, Melissa Gleason, misses just popping into her mother’s house since Mary Jayne is never home. She told us that she is very grateful that her mother finally learned how to text.
Lifetime Achievement Award, Robert R. Catalino, Sr.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is meant to recognize an individual’s lifelong contribution to the community. Robert (Bobcat) Catalino has served the Evans community for over 55 years when he first began teaching and coaching at Lake Shore Central Schools. Bob had tremendous influence on thousands of students who learned life-long skills from him either in the Industrial Arts classroom or on the Football and Baseball fields. He also served the Town of Evans government as Recreation Director, Councilman and Supervisor. Area seniors still benefit from recreation and transportation programs that Bob founded for our Town’s senior citizens. All residents benefit from projects that he spearheaded, most notably the growth of both the residential and commercial base in the Town, Sturgeon Point Marina and Thruway Exit 57A just to name a few. Bob has also been a very active volunteer for many local and national organizations like the Jaycees, Volunteer Fireman, MPB Holy Name Society, Holy Cross Cemetery Association, American Cancer Society, United Way and American Heart Association. Bob graduated from Lake Shore Central School in 1953. He married Marlene Frawley, and they raised three children, Roman, Lisa, and Robert II. They were married from 1958 until her death in 1994. Bob retired in 1994 and in 2004 married Patricia Charles Catalino. They reside in the Town of Evans.
Humanitarian Award, Jill Gugino-Redman
If you live in or near the Town of Evans, chances are you have met or will eventually happen upon the Humanitarian Award recipient, Jill Gugino-Redman. Over the past few years Jill has given voice to those who would otherwise not be heard, cared for the sick and infirmed, raised money for local organizations, helped families devastated by tragedies, and volunteered with Madison McCarthy Cardiac Care Coalition for Children, the National Ski Patrol and Southtowns Catholic School. Jill, married to Brian Redman, is schooled in nursing but stays home to raise their children. Her support of the community is done without pay, fanfare or the desire for recognition and is a true example of friendship, family and love. From ensuring that the Town of Evans received 50 AED machines from a local foundation, to comforting a dying boy injured in a car accident and saving a live with her first aid skills, Jill’s contribution takes many forms. The citizens of the Town of Evans and surrounding communities will continue to benefit from Jill’s efforts as she wholeheartedly gives of herself to make others comfortable and safe during desperate times.
2013 Large Business of the Year, Evans Ace Hardware
Roger and Jennifer Andrews opened Evans Ace Hardware & Building Supplies, Inc. in 2006 to serve the Town of Evans and surrounding communities. A few years later, they erected a drive through lumber yard at the Evans location. In 2011 they purchased an existing hardware store in the Village of Medina expanding to two locations. Today, the Andrews’ employ 36 people throughout the year. Evans Ace Hardware is proud to serve the community by sponsoring several organizations and charities such as the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Club, Rotary Club, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and local youth baseball teams. They also partner with youth “farmers” Shawn and Sarah Schneider to sell pumpkins they grow to raise money for a different local charity each year.
2013 Small Business of the Year, Bella Terra Greenhouse
Since March of 1974, Bella Terra has been owned and operated by Caryl Ashley Youngers, and, in its tradition, brings the community an ever-widening range of plants and horticultural accessories that you would only expect to find in a “big city” garden center. Because of increasing business, Caryl built 5 additional greenhouses which more than tripled Bella Terra’s growing space.”Best use of space” planning enables them to produce five major crops for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Spring planting and Fall Planting. A feed warehouse was added in 1996 that supplies local farms, ranches and kennels with Blue Seal Feeds. Bella Terra employs 6 full-time management and staff, with 18 seasonal staff members for peak season.
2013 Not-for-Profit of the Year, Lake Shore Federal Credit Union
Lake Shore Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1967. It was originally chartered to serve Lake Shore Central School employees. In 2005 they obtained a community charter to service the communities in the Town of Evans and Brant. Anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or attends school in these communities is eligible to join. Lake Shore Federal Credit Union is a not-forprofit institution owned and controlled by its members. Lake Shore Federal Credit Union has been a strong supporter of the Evans-Brant community with funding and volunteer work for the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Shore, Camp Good Days and Special Times, Angola Public Library, and Lake Shore Central Schools, just to name a few.
2013 Emerging Business
Angola Games & Hobby
- Bob Biondi was elected to become President of the Evans Brant Chamber of Commerce in 2013. Bob is also the President of the Angola Pennysaver, having purchased it, along with his business partner, in February 2012. He is a native Southtowner, and has extensive experience in the print and online advertising industries, helping business owners of all sizes reach their target audiences. In addition, Bob is on the advisory board for the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Shore.
- One of the new Directors of the Evans Brant Chamber of Commerce, Nicole Manges, owner of Empire Realty Services Group, Inc. and Licensed Real Estate Broker, is also on the Zoning Board for the Town of Evans, the Lake Shore Central Academy of Business and Finance and Lake Shore Memorial Fund. Nicole’s primary focus of the Chamber is new membership enrollment and business to business outreach programs. These programs help new businesses become acquainted with what is available to them within the Town of Evans and also helps existing businesses expand their networking circles.
- Antoinette Forth has over 20 years of leadership experience in business process outsourcing (BPO) and customer relationship management (CRM). Throughout her career, she has acted as a trusted advisor helping clients deal with business issues such as competitive pressures, changes in consumer loyalty, entry of new communication channels, a stringent regulatory environment and process improvements/cost reduction. She was instrumental assisting clients explore offshore servicing options for their businesses. With deep experience, Antoinette is an excellent resource for business leaders who want to explore ways to achieve improvements in efficency and customer loyalty and profitability.
- Shirley Cowan is retired from M&T Mortgage Corporation where she worked for 11 years, Prior to that she was the manager of the Orchard Park Manpower Office for 10 years and prior to that she was a Assistant Vice President at both Embanque Captial Corporation and at Marine Midland Mortgage Corporation for 15 years. Shirley is also a Notary Public for Erie County since 1973 to present. She has owned and operated her own Interior Home Design Company. She has held Offices for the Mortgage Bankers Association of Western New York including President in 1988. She was a Director of The Evans Brant Chamber in the years 1993 through 1998 and of course in 2013 to present. She also held Offices for The Evans Business and Professional Women’s Club including President in 1988.
- Kim Heimburg is the Branch Manager of the Evans Office for Evans Bank. She is an Assistant Vice President and has been with Evans Bank for 20 years. Her major responsibilities include managing and growing the branches commercial portfolio, staff development and ensuring that all compliance/audit/operational procedures are being adhered to at all times. She also has her Life and Health license with NYS. Kim has been on the board and has served as President for the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Shore. Kim has also sat on the board for the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and was part of the Executive Committee.
- Michelle Ford was raised in the Town of Evans, graduating from Lake Shore in 1992. Since 1994, she has held various positions within the banking industry. Currently, she is the branch manager of the Angola KeyBank where she wears many hats. In addition to your every day banking, she is a licensed investment representative (life, health, 6&63) and specializes in small business development and lending.
- Andrea Herold, owner of Hands on Health Chiropractic, is proud to be a lifelong resident of Angola and a 2002 graduate of Lake Shore High School. Andrea graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2005 from St. John Fisher College where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. She went on to study chiropractic at D’Youville College. Andrea received her degree as Doctor of Chiropractic in 2012 and opened her own chiropractic practice in Angola the same year. Andrea has a strong sense of loyalty to the Village of Angola and hopes to help rebuild the business community through the Evans Brant Chamber of Commerce.
- Nancy Furey’s background has been in Credit Union work for the past 50 years. She worked as a consultant for 165 Credit Unions in 4 counties in WNY and managed Lake Shore Federal Credit Union for 18 years, retiring in 2012. She has always supported the local businesses and charitable organizations and events in the community. She has served on the board as Treasurer for the past 4 years.
- Noreen Ippolito, a graduate from Lake Shore High School, is the practice Manager of Lakeshore Family Medicine. She would like to see businesses come to our area that take advantage of our setting without sacrificing it. She believes that tourism and clean industries need to have access to our economy and bring tax dollars here without destroying it’s natural beauty. She would like to see the businesses of the Town of Evans flourish and from that success draw new businesses to the area.
Welcome everyone to our first newsletter of 2014- the February edition of Chamber Connection. Even though the long cold winter has taken it’s toll on many of us, things are warming up within the Evans Brant Chamber. At our organizational officers and directors meeting in January, the board welcomed the following new directors: Michelle Ford, Kim Heimburg, Andrea Herold and Noreen Ippolito. Each of these ladies brings to the Chamber a strong devotion and dedication to our community. We feel that their contributions, along with those of our other experienced directors, will assist in creating a team of leaders that will help our organization grow, become stronger, and accomplish more for the Evans Brant community. The following directors were appointed or re-appointed as officers for 2014: Robert Biondi: President, Kim Heimburg: Vice President, Andrea Herold: Secretary, Nancy Furey: Treasurer. With this being our kickoff 2014 newsletter, you will find a photo and bio for each director in the pages that follow. With Spring right around the corner ( cross your fingers !! ), we draw our attention to our annual Chamber Awards & Recognition Dinner. This year’s event will take place on Saturday March 8th at the Evans Center Fire Hall, 8298 Erie Rd, Angola, beginning at 6 PM ( you will find the invitation and sponsorship and advertising form in this newsletter, along with a short bio of each of the honorees ). We received a record number of nominations for this year’s prestigious Citizen of the Year award. Each of them were very deserving of the award and thus, our selection process was quite difficult. As a result, we set what is a precedent for this year by choosing 3 individuals. Those individuals being honored this year are as follows: Mary Jayne Ginnitti: Citizen of the Year, Robert Catalino Sr: Lifetime Achievement Award, and Jill Gugino- Redman: Humanitarian Award. Please join us in recognizing their significant contributions to our community, along with those of our businesses which are also being honored. Seating to this event is filling up quickly so please reserve your spot as soon as possible.
Our objective is to move the Evans Brant Chamber in a new positive direction and to act as a buffer to connect local businesses with the community. We are very serious in our passion to help businesses grow throughout Evans, Brant and the surrounding towns and villages. Our geographic landscape is rich in history, with a wealth of lakefront properties, scenic beaches, and family oriented parks and recreational facilities. In addition, it is the home to many long-established and successful businesses.
Our mission is to give our Chamber members a “better bang for your buck.” Throughout the year, we will be, among other things, spotlighting area businesses. In addition to our monthly directors meeting, we will be holding each month a “member hosted” meeting, where business owners and organizations can invite people to their place of business, tour their facility and give a presentation about what they do or what they have to offer. We can also do this to promote area events, celebrations, etc. The next such event will be held on March 14th. The new Pizza Hut, located in the Tops Plaza in Derby, will holding a Grand Opening / Ribbon Cutting ceremony at 11 AM. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend!
Let me know if there is anything that the Chamber can do to assist in helping your business to grow.
Respectfully,Robert Biondi President- Evans Brant Chamber of Commerce Robertbiondi @gmail.com 716-481-0186