Rewarding Business

AMSTERDAM – The Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce recognized thriving businesses and individuals in both counties on Friday night at its Annual?Awards Dinner.

This was the first awards dinner held by the chamber since the former chambers in Fulton and Montgomery counties – which used to give out their awards separately – merged last year.

The chamber honored some member businesses Friday at St. Mary’s Institute for their dedication and commitment to the chamber and the growth of the local area, chamber officials said.

The Centennial Award was given to the Sarah Jane Sanford Adult Home, which has been in business for more than 100 years, for its active participation in chamber programs, a news release said.

The chamber also awarded Dolci bakery with the Small Business Award for showing dedicated investment in the chamber and the community, as well as tremendous participation in chamber programs, the release said.

Members of the community, business officials, and state and local government officials were among those in attendance.

“The turnout was absolutely superb,” chamber?President Mark Kilmer said. “We had over 400 people come tonight and it was a fabulous program.”

Guests at the event received VIP treatment, with valet parking and cocktail hour entertainment. There also was a silent auction that featured themed gift baskets including trips, dinners, and certificates courtesy of chamber members and businesses in the surrounding community.

“Every recipient deserved their award and moment tonight,” Kilmer said. “Every member of the chamber deserves one, but it was a tough decision to come up with the winners. Every nominee was worthy of an award.”

This year’s other award winners included:

Business of the Year Award – Hummingbird Hills Winery.

The winery received the award for making a positive contribution to the economic growth and well-being of the region, the release said. The Winery started in 2008 and is located on 26 acres in Fultonville.

Barbara V. Spraker Tourism Partner Award – Amsterdam Mohawks.

The baseball team nabbed the award for bringing visitors to the region while promoting the positive aspects of the community, the release said. Brian Spagnola, President of the Amsterdam Mohawks since 2003, and a lifelong Amsterdam resident, has dedicated himself to making Shuttleworth Park one of the top places to play summer baseball in America.

Chamber Family Award – The Vahaviolos family, of Sam’s Seafood Steakhouse and Romana’s Pizzeria.

Sam Vahaviolos employs 75 employees in the two restaurants and celebrates 38 years in business. Romana’s continues to stay strong under the management of Sam’s sons, Dino and Tryfonos Vahaviolos, and his wife, Antonia, the release said.

Edward L. Wilkinson Industry of the Year Award – Euphrates Inc.

Euphrates, a feta cheese manufacturing company in Johnstown with more than 100 employees, took the award for its contribution to the economic growth and well-being of the region, the release said.

Thomas B. Constantino Entrepreneurial Award?- SW Skincare & Cosmetics.

The business received the award for embodying the entrepreneurial spirit by organizing, managing and assuming the risks of building a business then persevering to see those efforts come to fruition.

In the two and a half years it has been in business, owner Sherry Wieszchowski has gone from a 150-square foot treatment room to a 1,500-square foot Day Spa that offers a variety of esthetic, massage and nail services in several rooms.

Young Professional of the Year Award – Dr. David Kwiat of Kwiat Eye & Laser Surgery.

Kwiat garnered the award for being a member under age 40, the release said, and displaying commitment, enthusiasm and positive energy that have helped the region.

Dr. Kwiat has steadily grown his practice to become the largest ophthalmic practice in a six-county area, the release said.

There also were two other awards handed out during the dinner.

Workforce Solutions System presented its 2012 Business Partners of the Year awards to Electro-Metrics Corp. of Fulton County and Kwiat Eye & Laser Surgery of Montgomery County.

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