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Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 2:10 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, 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 3:31 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 10:24 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 10:38 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 3:25 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 8:06 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 12:52 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 11:03 am

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Vendors will star in reinvigorated Genesee County Home Show

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

The revamped and reinvigorated Genesee County Home Show is just about ready for your visit this weekend.

More than 60 vendors will have their wares on display and Chamber of Commerce President Tom Turnbull said those local and regional business owners will be the stars of the show.

"We decided the businesses should be the celebrities," Turnbull said. "We want people to come in and see what they have and that will be their entertainment for the day. We'll have some other vendors, such as Darien Lake, Terry Hills, Batavia Downs and Adventure Calls, but for the most part, it's all about homes, fixing your home, or building a new home or adding on to your home."

The home show, which fell on some rough times in recent years, has moved back to the Falleti Ice Area (sans ice, of course) and the Chamber invested in new booth partitions and upgraded electric.

At least 1,500 and maybe as many as 2,500 people are expected to visit the home show this weekend.

After a long, cold winter, on a weekend when temps will be in the 40s and 50s, Turnbull thinks the home show comes at just the right time for people to get out and start looking forward to spring and summer and those special projects around their homes.

"It's going to be good weather for a home show," Turnbull said.

The home show came about, Turnbull said, because local business owners, most notably Eric Biscaro of Armour Building Supply, came forward and asked the Chamber to take on the event.

"They came to the chamber and said we need a home show in this town and you guys should be running it," Turnbull said. "It made perfect sense for the chamber to run it because that's what we do is promote business."

With all vendor spaces sold out for the weekend, the home show does seem like the place to be for homeowners and would-be homeowners this weekend.

Doors open at 5 p.m., Friday. It runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $3 per adult. Children under 12 are admitted free. 

Alex's Place will have a food booth set up in the refreshment stand/skate rental room.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Chamber of Commerce holds it first Home Show beginning Friday at Falleti Ice Arena

post by Billie Owens in chamber of commerce

Press release:

An all-new Home Show featuring the products and services of 57 area businesses starts this Friday at Falleti Ice Area.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event which runs throughout the weekend, March 28-30.

Get the latest home improvement tips and suggestions on a face-to-face basis!

"The response from the business community has been incredible," said Chamber President Tom Turnbull. "We have sold out all of the 81 booths that were available."

The Home Show will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The ice arena is located at 22 Evans St. in the City of Batavia.

Admission is $3. Children 12 and under are 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 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 at 3 p.m. on Sunday. 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.

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