Salute To The Finest

Outstanding individuals and businesses in the community have been publicly recognized.

The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce celebrated the 12th annual Salute to the Finest event on Monday at the Shawbucks Press Room.

Centered on honoring the individuals and businesses that are making positive impacts in the area community, the event included complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, dinner and live entertainment performed by Susan Waite and Tom Swanson of Red Letter Blues.

Honors began with Russ Dietrich and Jim Roselle presenting the Community Service Award to Terry Frank and Dennis Webster.

Roselle, a 61-year radio station veteran who currently works alongside the award recipients at Media One Group, noted that both Frank and Webster have been at the station for roughly three decades each.

“I sincerely thank you for this honor and privilege to present this award to my colleagues,” he said. “These two gentleman go way beyond the call of duty for their job … and have a dedicated commitment to their community.”

“Local radio is a dying profession, but not at WJTN. These two gentleman are the greatest we have,” Roselle said.

During their speeches, Frank added that his passion for broadcasting came from his mother and Webster noted that the radio station provides him a unique perspective of the community.

Craig Colburn, director of member development at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, presented the Service to Humanity Award to the Chautauqua County Health Network. Ann Morse Abdella, executive director, accepted the award on behalf of the network.

“We are fortunate to work with an incredible and dedicated team in Jamestown,” Abdella said.

The Chautauqua County Health Network is focused on strengthening the local health and wellness delivery system in the county.

The Pride of Jamestown Award was presented by Lisa Lynde, program officer for the Community Foundation, to Chautauqua Striders. Ben Lindquist, executive director of Chautauqua Striders, accepted the award.

“This award may not have a lot to do with me, but I will continue to try to live up to it,” he said, noting the importance of Striders to the community.

Lee Harkness, Jamestown Gateway Train Station general manager, presented the Retailer of the Year Award to Steve Columbare, owner of Everdays True Value.

“You couldn’t go to a better place for better service,” Harkness said about the business. Harkness added that recently he had begun to visit the store more frequently and sincerely appreciates Columbare’s attention to customer service.

“For the last 22 years I have been blessed, having my business in Jamestown,” Columbare said. “We’re here to help people solve problems they are having in their homes.”

The Business of the Year Award was presented by Ann Mason, of Time Warner Cable Business Class, to David Conklin, president of Jamestown Business College.

“How lucky are we to have the luxury of two colleges in the city?” Mason noted.

After thanking Shawbucks for the venue and dinner, Conklin expressed his appreciation for the award.

“I’m proud and honored to receive this award from the community we love,” he said. “We are so successful at educating students because of our dedicated staff.”

Greg Lindquist, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation executive director, presented the New Business of the Year award to VIE for Fitness. Owner Carolyn Wilcox accepted the award.

“VIE for Fitness is rapidly becoming known as Jamestown’s leading women’s fitness studio,” Lindquist said. “VIE is about an ongoing, healthier way of life – it’s not about counting calories or what you weigh on a scale – it’s a lifestyle.”

“Thank you so much to Jamestown for making us feel so welcomed,” Wilcox said.

“The energy and positive attitude is what makes them completely different,” Justin Hanft, Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce coordinator said of the fitness studio.

VIE is an acronym for vitality, inspiration and energy.

Hanft also presented Manufacturer of the Year Award to Artone LLC. Sally Donisi, controller at Artone LLC, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

“We are very grateful to all of the people here – I have seen many faces tonight that I recognize – for all of their support,” Donisi said.

In closing remarks, Lindquist explained that there are plans in the coming year for new and continued partnerships and collaborations to better the business environment in the city.

“Great accomplishments are occurring,” he said.

Among the future projects Lindquist mentioned, he specified that the farmers’ market in the city will be changing locations and extending hours, to be more accessible for individuals that work downtown.

“What is the future of Jamestown? United, we are the future,” Lindquist said in closing.

The event concluded with a basket raffle, dessert and continued celebration.