Seneca Co. “Shining Stars” Honored by Chamber

Two individuals and a business that are well recognized in Seneca County will be honored at the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Meeting in January. Molly Mahoney-Thurston, Assistant Vice President of First Niagara Bank, has been named Citizen of the Year. William “Bill” Velte, Jr., former owner of Nugent’s Hardware, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Sessler Companies have been selected as Business of the Year. The Chamber’s Annual Dinner, “A Tribute to the Shining Stars of Seneca County,” is sponsored by Five Star Bank and will be held Friday, January 23rd, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Waterloo/Seneca Falls Holiday Inn. Molly Mahoney-Thurston has been an active part of the Seneca County business community for many years. She actively serves on the Chamber board and many Chamber committees including Annual Dinner, Dues Task Force, Golf, Finance and Membership Committees, as well as the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry Board of Directors. An active member of the Seneca Falls Rotary Club, Molly has received two Paul Harris Fellows, recognizing her for her volunteerism and contributions to Rotary and the community. The Citizen of the Year award is being sponsored by Gay & Son Agency in Seneca Falls and The Becker McLean Company in Waterloo. William “Bill” Velte, Jr., former owner of Nugent Hardware for 56 years, and past Chamber member has been a lifelong resident of Waterloo, and has spent his life involved in many community organizations. Bill has been active in the American Legion, VFW, the Waterloo Merchant’s Association, now the Waterloo Business and Professional Association and is still an active member in Waterloo Rotary. Bill can be found volunteering his time throughout the county, including sweeping the streets of Waterloo, caring for the garden surrounding the welcome sign at the east end of the Village of Waterloo, and tending to the gardens and clubhouse of the Seneca Falls Country Club. IESI/Seneca Meadows is proud to sponsor the Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award.Sessler Wrecking was founded nearly fifty-one years ago by Vern and Barb Sessler with a single pink backhoe and the intent to provide outstanding workmanship. Beginning with the demolition of garages and houses, the company quickly advanced into to the demolition of commercial and industrial buildings. Through the years, Sessler Companies have expanded from its core business to invest in commercial and retail endeavors. The Sessler Companies have made a significant contribution to the economy in Seneca County through such accomplishments as: the Waterloo Main Street Shop Center; their partnership with the Thruway Travel Center, LLC to construct the Petro Stopping Center at exit 41; the recent sale of property to Lowes Home Improvement and their annual contribution to the Barbara Park Sessler Visitor Center at the Windmill. In addition, Sessler Companies continue the traditions set forth by Vern and Barb Sessler, to give back to their community by way of serving on a number of various boards and committees. To name only a few the Sesslers serve on the Chamber board, and volunteer their time on the Celebrate Commemorate Committee, Waterloo Rotary and with Waterloo Youth Sports, leading the company to become an integral organization within Seneca County. The Business of the Year is sponsored by Seneca County IDA.The Seneca County Chamber of Commerce joins the Gay & Son Agency and The Becker McLean Company, IESI/Seneca Meadows and the Seneca County IDA in congratulating this year’s award recipients.The Annual Dinner Meeting, sponsored by Five Star Bank, will begin at 6 p.m. with a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, and refreshments, followed by dinner, the awards presentations, and a live auction. State Senator Michael Nozzolio, Assemblyman Brian Kolb and Chuck Lafler, Chair of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to speak as well. Cost is $60 per person with limited seating available. Register by stopping by the Chamber office with payment at 2020 Routes 5 & 20 in Seneca Falls or by downloading the registration form at www.senecachamber.org.Established in 1968, the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce provides initiative and leadership to promote the economic interests of the County. The Chamber represents over 500 business and associate members. The organization offers benefits and programs to support and promote members while supporting initiatives to foster economic development and enhance the quality of life in Seneca County.

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