Article Contributed by
Todd J. Tranum
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce
Board Chairman Brian Bugaj hit the nail on the head during the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet this past week. He noted that we call one another “neighbor” in our communities. “Neighbor helping neighbor” and the passion our people bring to their volunteerism leads to success stories all across Chautauqua County. The Chamber of Commerce was proud to recognize a diverse array of people and organizations that make an extraordinary impact on our county.
This year the Person of the Year Award was presented to Bruce Erickson of Lakewood. The Chairman Emeritus of Fancher Chair, Bruce has long been committed to the community through service to multiple business associations and non-profits. He has been involved with the Chautauqua Lake Association, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, United Way, and WCA Foundation, among others. He was instrumental in facilitating the operational partnership between the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier. We were delighted to present this award to Bruce.
The Chamber’s Economic Development Award was presented to Lakeside Precision, Inc. This Dunkirk-based company has stayed ahead of the competition by integrating highly skilled manual machining capabilities with the latest technological advances. Three generations of hard work, ingenuity, and talent have fostered growth at Lakeside Precision, which fabricates items for manufacturing, farm, and construction equipment with more than $3-million in sales for this year.
From hands-on work to organizing others, this year’s amazing group of Community Service Award recipients is inspiring to all.
The Dunkirk Community Chamber of Commerce posthumously recognized an entrepreneur who grew his family business while also dedicating himself to his community. The late John W. “Bill” Farrell started Farrell Roofing with his father in 1948, and the company has grown substantially over the next couple of generations. His love of sports helped to establish Little League in the Dunkirk area. As the company expanded he established precedents to provide service to the community in a variety of ways by supporting many local sports teams.
Larry Fiorella is a force in Fredonia, and the Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce honored him with its Community Service Award. Larry serves as treasurer for the Fredonia Community Chamber as well as president of Festivals Fredonia, treasurer for Partners in Kind, and adjutant, secretary, and finance manager for the American Legion. He has worked to promote the village year-round by helping to organize a variety of festivals and programs.
The Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce paid tribute to Sam Bova. The former owner of Sunset Bay Beach Club, he not only built a business dedicated to customer service, he also supported numerous local charities especially those that help the elderly, youth, and animals.
Lucy Miller has been a fixture for decades in Jamestown, playing piano for rehearsals and programs at Lucille Ball Little Theatre, Jamestown High School, and more. She is a member of the Jamestown Noon Rotary Club where she also plays piano, and also shares her time and talents at local retirement and nursing homes. The Jamestown Community Chamber was proud to present her with its Community Service Award.
A couple with a long history of participation in the Mayville Fire Department was presented with the Mayville-Chautauqua Chamber Community Service Award. Bob and Joyce Mathews have selflessly served the community since 2001; she as an Emergency Medical Technician and he as an Emergency Vehicle Driver. They freely give of their time to make sure that when a Mayville resident needs help that call is answered.
The Westfield-Barcelona Community Chamber honored Jean McCausland with its Community Service Award. The president of Westfield Community Kitchen, she schedules volunteers, chairs meetings, and oversees fundraisers. She also volunteers for the Hospital Auxiliary and is a volunteer for the food pantry at the Methodist Church, the Patterson Library, and the Lake Shore Center for the Arts.
Each year we are moved by the dedication of our award recipients and are grateful that we can recognize just a small portion of the inspiring work that makes Chautauqua County a great place to live, work, and play. Congratulations to all award recipients!