By Elyana Schosek
For those who have given so much of themselves to the community, the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce took a night to give some recognition in return.
The Chamber’s annual Awards Gala was held Saturday, April 6, honoring some of the influential community members in the Springville area with some good food and good company.
The event began at 5 p.m. with a social hour until 6, at which time there was a dinner catered by Julie’s Pizzeria & Restaurant. The awards ceremony began at 7 p.m. with opening remarks from Joseph Pillittere, chamber president.
Following opening remarks was a special guest, Harry Scull Jr., a Springville resident. Harry is a 1984 graduate of Springville-Griffith Institute. During his time at SGI, he participated in football, basketball and baseball.
After high school, Harry attended Buffalo State College majoring in criminal justice with a minor in photography. Beginning in 1985, he started his career in photojournalism at the college newspaper. In 1996, he joined the staff at the Buffalo News.
In 2016, he moved back to Springville and has continued to contribute within his community.
The first awards to be presented were the 40-Under-40 Awards. Recipients of this award were Evan Emerling, Jeremy Pyszczynski, Ashley Lowry and Joe Lowry.
Evan Emerling became the general manager of Emerling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in October 2018.
Jeremy Pyszczynski opened his Edward Jones office at 43 East Main St. in Springville in late November and has successfully filled a Main Street storefront with an active and promising business.
Ashley Lowry is an SGI graduate who attended the University at Buffalo where she earned both her undergraduate and law school degrees. She is also a founding member and the current vice president of Green Springville, the local sustainability non-profit, aspiring to become an influential, regionally recognized organization, with an engaged local membership and capability to undertake major community projects.
Joe Lowry is president and CEO of Encorus Group, the Springville based company formerly known as RJR Engineering.
The next award was the Community Service Award presented to the Lions Club of Springville. The Club’s mission statement is “To create and foster a spirit of understanding among all people for humanitarian needs by providing voluntary services through community involvement and international cooperation.”
The Club of Springville was the recipient of the Non-Profit of the Year Award. The mission of The Club of Springville is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens in our community.
The recipient of the Small Business of the Year Award was the 49 Coffee House and Eatery. It opened on West Main Street in March 2018 and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down after its one-year anniversary last month.
Kistner Concrete was awarded the Business of the Year Award. Kistner Concrete Products is committed to innovation in product design while employing the highest level of customer service and support.
The Citizen of the Year Award went to Bill Gugino. He has been serving Western New York in the construction/development business for 42 years, starting in Gowanda and relocating his business to Springville in 1997. His passion for growing the area has extended to being president of the Springville Boys and Girls Club, which has led to the merger of the Club and SYI. Gugino has served as the president of the chamber for the past six years and still remains on the board of directors.
Finally, the President’s Award was presented to Jeanne Ellis and Dawn Wible. They started the Oktoberfest event in Springville after Jeanne had lived in Germany and attended Oktoberfest in Munich five times.
Mayor Bill Krebs announced the winners of the silent auction. He thanked Julie’s Pizzeria & Restaurant for appetizers, dinner and dessert and 49 Coffee House & Eatery for the coffee.