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Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 7:44 pm

"Think Spring" at the Home Show

post by Steve Ognibene in business, chamber of commerce, Home Show

Pictured above are Batavia Chamber of Commerce members Kelly Bermingham, director of membership and special events, and Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber, sitting in a garden landscaped by Ehrmentraut Landscape, Le Roy, who partnered with Cedar Street Rentals in their booth.

Think Spring is the theme for the second annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Home Show. The event kicks off from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Falleti Ice Arena. Discount tickets can be purchased from local businesses or at the Chamber of Commerce before Friday evening. Tickets at the door are $3 each and children 12 years and younger are free. More than 2,000 people attended last year.

More than 60 vendors and 80 booths will be on display. Get a jump on spring projects during the weekend event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 10:46 am

Home show this weekend at Falleti Ice Arena

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce, Home Show

Press release:

The second annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Home show takes place this weekend March 27-29 at the Falleti Ice Arena.

Sixty-three area businesses will be displaying their products and services at the Home Show and offering home improvement tips and suggestions on a face-to-face basis to the general public that attends.

“Our first Home Show last year was a tremendous success and we have just continued to build on that success this year,” said Chamber President Tom Turnbull. “We have sold out all of the 88 booths that were available.”   

The Home Show will be open Friday, March 27 from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission to the event to $3 with children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Discount $1-off-admission coupons are available at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce office, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, or at any of the participating businesses.

There will also be a drawing for a $500 gift certificate that can be used at any of the participating Home Show businesses. The drawing will take place on Sunday at 3 p.m. The winner need not be present.

Food concessions will be provided by the award-winning restaurant Alex’s Place.
A complete list of participating businesses and a map of the booth layout is available at:  www.geneseeny.com/homeshow

For more information call the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce at 585-343-7440.

Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Photos: 2014 Chamber of Commerce Awards Ceremony

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce held a gala at the Clarion Hotel last evening to honor its 2014 award winners.

(Pictured above L to R) 2nd row -- "Business of the Year" Applied Business Systems, Lisa Ormsbee, Connie DiSalvo, Jim DiSalvo, Jason DiSalvo, Steve Samis;  "Geneseean of the Year" Margaret "Peggy" Lamb; "Industry of the Year" Muller Quaker Dairy, Karen Banker, Kevin Williams. "Geneseean of the Year" William "Bill" Schutt.

(Pictured above L to R) 1st row -- "Innovative Community Contribution of the Year" Merrill Lynch, Steve Tufts, Joshua Dent, John Riter; "Agricultural Business of the Year" Corcoran Custom Services, Stacy Corcoran, Bill Corcoran. "Special Service Recognition of the Year" Genesee Cancer Assistance, Inc., Dr. Kevin Mudd.

To purchase and view pictures contact: https://www.facebook.com/SteveOgnibenePhotography

Steve Samis - Applied Busniess Systems

Kevin Williams - Muller Quaker Dairy

Bill & Stacy Corcoran - Corcoran Custom Services

Steve Tufts, John Riter, Joshua Dent - Merrill Lynch

Joe Gerace, Carol Grasso, Toni Funke, Paul Figlow, Dr. Kevin Mudd, Ellen Bachorski together pictured for Genesee Cancer Assistance

Jay Gsell with Margaret "Peggy" Lamb - Geneseean of the Year

William "Bill" Schutt - Geneseean of the Year

More pictures on Steve Ognibene Photography's Facebook page.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Peggy Lamb selected as Geneseean of the Year after nearly a half century of local volunteerism

This is the seventh and last profile of the 2014 Chamber of Commerce Award winners. The awards will be presented at a dinner at the Clarion Hotel tonight.

Thousands of senior citizens in Genesee County have gratefully enjoyed nutritious food prepared and delivered to their door because Margaret "Peggy" Lamb was key in launching Meals on Wheels here in 1974. Showcasing local farms beginning in 1989 with the annual Decision Makers' Agricultural Tour, underscoring the sector's economic impact, was her brainchild.

Although these two accomplishments are among her proudest achievements, she has helped out on many fronts.

Named one of two Geneseeans of the Year for 2014 by the Chamber of Commerce, she is all about serving the community. (The other Geneseean of the Year 2014 is William "Bill" Schutt.)

Her record of volunteerism spans 46 years, and the beneficiaries include: the United Memorial Medical Center Foundation; the YWCA Board of Directors; Oakfield Methodist Church, where she is trustee and has served in several leadership roles over the years; CASA for Children (Court Appointed Special Advocates); the Genesee Symphony Orchestra Board; the Muriel H. Marshall Fund Planning and Advisory Team; the Chamber of Commerce; Oakfield Betterment Committee; and the recently formed Richmond Memorial Library Foundation.

As the saying goes, "If want something done, ask a busy person." She stays active and gets things done.

And those who know her well, like Elba resident Lucine Kauffman, who nominated her, not only vouch for that, they also appreciate her honesty, wit, generosity, intellectual curiosity and just plain hard work.

Peggy and her husband, Gordon, live in Oakfield and have three grown sons, Craig, a veterinarian, and Jonathan and Matthew, who work in the family business -- Lamb Farms. It operates in three locations, mostly as a dairy farm, but they grow some vegetables, too. They have more than 100 employees.

She knew nothing about farming when she married in 1968, two years after earning a degree in Christian education at Keuka College. She grew up in Hamburg and her dad worked for a state utility company -- 8 to 5 -- and was "always home on weekends."

Not so with farming. The long hours were "a shock" she says, requiring a great adjustment. She, obviously, managed to balance things -- her duties on the farm, including being the bookkeeper, raising the boys, and giving her time and talent to worthy causes.

She keeps on giving.

As a court advocate for children with CASA, for example, she's had to learn the intricacies of the legal system and the mix of resources that are available or required to handle the caseload and assist families.

"It was a real eye-opener," Peggy said. "It's not for the weak of heart. I don't think the average person in Genesee County realizes all what happens. There's a whole group of people with needs -- that we had no idea there were so many of them or how extensive their needs were."

But helping them has been rewarding, she said.

"I'm working very one-on-one with the children and learning all about their backgrounds so I can give my best advice to the judge on what I think should happen to these children."

With age has come the realization that she can't volunteer to the degree that she once did.

"I feel I'm glad to help when I can," she said. "I'm glad to be doing what I'm doing now."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 11:24 pm

Muller Quaker, Business of the Year - boosts economy, aids community, fosters optimism

This is the third in our series of profiles of the 2014 Chamber of Commerce Award winners. The awards will be presented at a dinner at the Clarion Hotel on Saturday.

When a manufacturer impacts a region economically like Muller Quaker Dairy has, that’s a big boost for the area. When that manufacturer also turns out to be an outstanding corporate citizen, then it should be recognized. And it has been. The Genesee Chamber of Commerce named Muller Quaker Business of the Year for 2014.

Muller Quaker Diary is the biggest dairy manufacturing plant to open in Genesee County in 55 years. It’s provided a huge boost economically to the region. It pumps as much as $150 million annually into the local dairy and fruit farms. That’s on top of the $206 million capital investment Muller Quaker made to build the giant production plant in the Ag Park location. Plus, Muller Quaker sources all milk for its yogurt locally.

Muller Quaker Boosts Local Economy

The facility also provided about 160 new jobs — all of which are at the computerized facility. With a new production line starting in the fall, Muller Quaker expects to add as many as 20 to 30 additional jobs to the plant’s payroll. This is in addition many jobs the facility has created in the community’s agriculture, hospitality, and business services sector.

“We have much more room to expand the plant,” says Kevin Williams (pictured), supply chain vice president, who has been with the company about three years. “We built facility so it could grow with our business. And we continue to innovate new and delicious products so we can do just that." 

The facility sits on 82 acres of land in the Ag Park and has three production lines that can produce more than 120,000 cups of yogurt per hour. It can accommodate up to eight production lines with room for future expansion. The Muller Quaker Dairy plant is the largest LEED-certified dairy manufacturing plant in the world.

Makes Impact in Community

In addition to stimulating the area's economy, Muller Quaker makes an impact in the community. Employees invest hundreds of hours annually in community activities, like participating in food drives and supporting the Salvation Army at Christmastime. Muller Quaker also supports local educational projects and gives facility tours for kids and residents.

“We’re involved in numerous community projects,” says Williams. “In fact, we encourage employees to go out into the community and contribute. Put simply, we get involved. And it’s our absolute pleasure to do so. It’s the way we like to operate.”

From a marketing standpoint, the production facility helps Muller Quaker compete in the $6.2 billion U.S. yogurt marketplace. It serves as the national production and distribution center for the Muller brand, which launched in select regional markets in 2012. Its products include Muller Corner®, Muller Greek Corner®, and Muller FruitUp™ varieties. 

The facility’s yogurt helps satisfy the increased demand for value-added dairy products in America, where per capita consumption of yogurt is generally less than half that of Europe. Per capita consumption in the United States has more than doubled in the past decade, according to an article in Food Business News. Retail sales in the United States are expected to approach $9.3 billion by 2017.

Joins Two Powerhouses

The Muller Quaker Dairy joins the complementary strengths of two powerhouse global companies. The Quaker Oats Company, a subdivision of PepsiCo, is among the world’s most recognized and trusted brands. The Theo Muller Group is one of Germany’s largest privately held dairy businesses. It’s also among Europe’s top yogurt producers, making yogurt and other products for more than 100 years.

The Muller Quaker Dairy stands poised to help its parent company dominate the growing yogurt market in the States. By boosting the region’s economy and helping out in the community, it’s increased the region’s optimism -- ample reason to name Muller Quaker the Business of the Year for 2014.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 11:38 am

Chamber announces series of small business workshops

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has announced a series of business workshops for 2015 in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration. 

The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced business professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

“We’re excited to introduce this series of workshops this year,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.  “The Chamber’s mission has always been to create an environment for business success and we believe these workshops fit right in with our mission.  Each workshop will give business owners and their employees valuable insights on a specific business subject.”

The 20l5 workshop schedule is as follows:

  • February 11 “Marketing Your Small Business”
  • March 11 “Financing Your Venture”
  • April 8  “Home-Based Business Strategies For Success”
  • May 13 “Selling and Succession Planning”
  • June 10 “Women-Owned Small Business Workshop”
  • September 9 “Holiday Campaigning For Your Small Business”
  • October 14 “Profit Improvement Strategies – Increasing Your Cash Flow Now”
  • November 18 “Customer Service That Wins Sales”

All workshops will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 210 East Main St., Batavia.  The sessions will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Businesses may attend any one or all of the workshops.  Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee.  Chamber members may attend all sessions free of charge but must make reservations to insure space for their employees. 
To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at  [email protected]

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Chamber announces annual award winners

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 43rd Annual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Clarion Hotel, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for achievements in business, community service and volunteerism. Tickets are $50 per person or a table of 10 for $450.

The evening begins at 5:30 with hors d’oeuvres, entrée tables & cash bar (no formal sit-down dinner is to be served). The Award Program starts at 7 where dessert and coffee will be served. 

This year’s honorees are: 

  • Business of the Year -- Applied Business Systems, Inc.  
  • Industry of the Year -- Müller Quaker Dairy
  • Agricultural Business of the Year -- Corcoran Combining & Trucking  
  • Innovative Community Contribution of the Year -- Merrill Lynch
  • Special Service Recognition of the Year -- Genesee Cancer Assistance, Inc.
  • Geneseeans of the Year, “Peggy” Margaret Lamb, of Oakfield, and William “Bill” Schutt, of Basom
Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Chamber introduces 2015 board at annual meeting

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce unveiled its 2015 Board of Directors at the Chamber’s Annual Membership Meeting at Bohn’s Restaurant Thursday.  

Serving on the Board in 2015 are Steven Beardsley, Bank Of Castile; Tim Call, Empire Tractor; Keith Conway, Z&M Ag and Turf; Dan Harvey, Graham Corporation; Dennis Kohl, Darien Lake Amusement Park; Steve Krna, Genesee Patrons Cooperative Insurance Company; Hiedi Librock, Town of Batavia; Jonathon Mager, Arctic Refrigeration Company of Batavia, Inc.;

Chan Patel, Clarion Hotel; Steve Pies, Max Pies Furniture; Michael R. Rivers, Rybak, Metzler & Grasso, PLLC; Chris Suozzi, Genesee County Economic Development Center; Joseph Teresi, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc.; Eric Wies, Clark Patterson Lee; and Jennifer Zambito, GCASA.

Keynote speaker at the luncheon was Vinnie Esposito, executive director of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Council. Esposito praised Genesee County for being a leader in economic development and predicted a bright future for the county’s business community.

Chamber President Tom Turnbull gave an overview of the past year at the Chamber and outlined plans for 2015 initiatives. According to Turnbull, the Chamber will continue to fulfill its mission to create an environment for business success and improve the quality of life for all citizens of Genesee County.    

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Chamber of Commerce accepting nominations for 2014 awards, deadline is Nov. 7

post by Billie Owens in business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Committee has announced the 2014 Annual Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at the Clarion Hotel, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism.

Please note that a brief write up will qualify your nominee for consideration. Nominations are now being accepted for Business of the Year, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year, Agricultural Business of the Year, Innovative Enterprise of the Year, Special Service Recognition & Geneseeans of the Year.

Business Nominees must be a Chamber Member (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify).

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, and can also be down loaded from the Chamber Web site at www.geneseeny.com

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY November 7, 2014 to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call Kelly J. Bermingham, director of Membership & Special Events at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 26.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Photos: Chamber conducts annual ag tour

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, chamber of commerce, Oakfield

The Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual ag tour this morning, starting with a visit to BCA Ag Technologies in Oakfield (that visit was co-hosted by Z&M Ag and Turf).

During the first visit, tour participants learned about all the high-tech ways farmers more precisely and efficiently put seeds in the ground, using GPS and computer-programed seeding mechanisms.

After BCA, the group moved onto the Cargill facility in Batavia, which produces nutrients for dairy cattle throughout the Northeast, and finally they visited M&M Meats to learn about beef processing.

"For those of who are involved in it, it's pretty easy to lose track of and forget how big ag is and the fact that it is the number-one industry in the county, so it's great to get the folks who make decisions and impact what we do to understand what we do," said Keith Conway, chairman of the chamber's ag committee and store manager for Z&M in Oakfield.

Benjamin Flansburg, BCA.

Keith Conway

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