SPRINGVILLE – Area businesses, organizations and individuals were honored for their contributions to bettering the Springville area at the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards gala. Honored this year were Joe Emerling, community service individual; MacKenzie Engel, Student of the Year; Kara Kane, citizen of the year; LJ Grand Livery Stables, community service business; Concord Historical Society, nonprofit of the year; Encorus Group, entrepreneurial spirit; Fiesta Bamba, small business of the year; Emerling Dealerships, business of the year and Reed Braman, Melissa Frank, Scott Kearns and Jessica Curry Schuster four under forty.
“We’ve introduced several new awards categories this year, and that was by design,” Chamber President Bill Gugino said. “So much is happening in our community, and we wanted to create and establish a way to acknowledge the people and businesses who are contributing to our growth.”
Emerling, owner of Main Street Pizzeria and Cafe, was honored for his dedication to the renaissance of the village center. Springville Mayor William Krebs introduced Emerling, noting his “steady devotion to his family and Springville are a testament to his character and integrity.
In addition to his Main Street business, Emerling is a member of the Main Street Merchants Committee and Planning Board. He redeveloped 56 E. Main St., 21 E. Main St. and the Waite Building.
“His stature as a businessman, restauranter, property developer, youth services supporter and planning board member sets an extraordinary example to the next generation of business leaders,” Krebs said.
The community service individual award is sponsored by Emerling Dealerships.
Engel was nominated by the Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District. She is an aspiring artist who has donated part of her summer break to paint the high school cafeteria hallway. She participated in the village seal development program and anticipates pursuing an art education degree.
“It’s refreshing to see a young woman who has the respect for the history of our community and the desire to preserve it in her own, small way,” said Nils Wikman, economics teacher at S-GI.
The Springville Times sponsors the student of the year award.
Wikman, who was awarded the citizen of the year award in 2017, introduced this year’s honoree, Kane.
Kane, the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital community relations coordinator, helped secure an $11.3 million grant for the hospital. A member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors since 2015, Kane is a member of the Hulbert Library of the Town of Concord Board of Trustees and Healthy Community Alliance board. She served on the S-GI Board of Education and the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation.
Along with her commitment to organizations in the community, Kane is on the administration team for the Be Neighborly Springville and Buy Nothing Project Facebook pages. The two groups have amassed more than 5,000 followers who share happenings in Springville and offer free items to neighbors. A member of the Springville Elementary School PTA and Green Springville, Kane also maintains multiple Little Free Libraries in the area, which she helped introduce.
Frank, Braman, Curry Schuster and Kearns are the inaugural honorees of the four under forty.
“We wanted to acknowledge people in our area who by virtue of their age have has only a limited amount of time to make a mark in Springville,” Kane said while introducing the group. “But, by all measures will continue to be the type of leaders and volunteers on which our community relies.”
Braman is the co-founder of Green Springville, which works to bring sustainability to the area. He has brought the Speaker Series to the area, focusing on ways for residents to join the sustainability movement. Frank is a lifetime Springville resident, she is the president of the PTA and helps run Metro Kirsch Real Estate with her mother. She recently joined SYI and also helps maintain Be Neighborly Springville.
Curry Schuster is a member of the S-GI Board of Education, she volunteers for Springville baseball as a T-ball coach and team parent. She serves as communications director for The Summer Institute for Human Rights, is on the board of the SGCEF, the SES PTA and the Concord Democratic Committee. Kearns works at the Haddad Agency and is a past president of the SGCEF, which has helped raise fund for many local organizations. Kearns has worked with the S-GI football boosters and Football Fanatics to ensure student-athletes have the needed equipment.
Honored for their commitment to preserve the history of the Concord area, the Concord Historical Society has expanded to include the Heritage Building, built with donations. The organization maintains the Concord Mercantile, Pop Warner Museum and the Lucy Bensley Center.
“The Concord Historical Society combines entertainment, education, economic benefits,” Krebs said. “They have created something truly special at their Mercantile and Heritage Building.”
Sponsored by Emerling Dealerships, the community service business honor was awarded to LJ Grand Livery Stables. Lauralee Sibiga and Jay Andrews have opened their Main Street ranch to people who need a lift-me-up. From a photo location to high school seniors and wedding parties, to dressing up as Santa and Mrs. Claus for Very Merry Main Street, the two have helped spread joy. Most recently, LJ Grand has started Make a Moment, which offers a day with the animals to people with illnesses.
Fiesta Bamba was named small business of the year for their efforts in bringing authentic Mexican food to the area. Owners Paulino and Elionai opened the Springville location in 2013 and expanded to Chaffee in 2016. The family-run restaurant has since become a staple in the area.
Encorus Group, formerly RJR Engineering, was honored with the entrepreneurial spirit award. Gugino introduced the business as one turned into a career for owner Joe Lowry.
“[Encorus has] expanded from 15 to 50 employees, renovated its Springville location exterior, rebranded itself as Encorus and has been recognized as a Fast Track company by Buffalo Business First in 2016 and 2017,” Gugino said.
Sponsored by Sheret Jewelers, the business of the year awarded honored Emerling Dealerships. Led by Carl Emerling, the company has invested money into its dealerships creating more jobs in the area. With a newly renovated Ford dealership and a Dodge dealership set to open later this year, Emerlings’ contribution to the area has been immeasurable.