Annual awards gala is Friday
Chamber awardees show commitment to local community
Submitted by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will recognize 10 area individuals and businesses at its annual Chamber Awards Gala, Friday, May 17, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.
In addition to the tributes, the annual event will feature an evening of live music, a silent auction, table wines donated by local wineries and businesses, and hors d'oeuvres followed by a sit-down dinner.
Chairman's Award: Artpark & Company
Artpark & Company was chosen as the 2013 Chairman's Award by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce board of directors and Chairman Richard J. Haight.
The mission of Artpark & Company is to produce and present excellence in the performing and visual arts, and create unique cultural experiences in a casual, natural setting. Artistic talent is nurtured and allowed to flourish in an atmosphere that is entertaining, educational and interactive for Artpark visitors.
Lewiston has become a premier summertime destination for Western New York and Southern Ontario, and Artpark & Company is one of the main reasons people flock to the village. Thanks to diverse programming - ranging from classic rock music to "Big Band," children's activities to art installations, indie bands to Broadway musicals - Artpark has drawn large audiences since its inaugural 1974 season.
This year marks the celebration of Artpark's 40th anniversary, and the season promises to be one full of quality entertainment and excitement.
Since 1999, under the leadership of President George Osborne, Artpark has reinvented itself and become an elite performing and visual arts facility in the region.
When Osborne and board members arrived at Artpark, the venue had a substantial deficit. Osborne and the board of directors worked together to trim costs, eliminate waste and redundancy, and concentrate on developing programs that would be self-sustaining.
With attendance at the park at an all-time low, Osborne introduced the concept of a free concert series, exclusively using local bands and placing an emphasis on ethnic food themes. This concept eventually led to the exceptionally successful "Tuesday in the Park" concert series.
Broadway musicals, performances by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, adult contemporary concerts and occasional jazz, ballet and opera events provide the core programming for the Mainstage Theater.
In 2004, it became necessary for safety reasons to demolish the "Art El" wooden structure, which was the center of most visual arts and crafts, family activities and camps in the park. Now in the footprint of the old "Art El" stands the newly renovated Outdoor Amphitheater, a showcase for the "Tuesday in the Park" and Coors Light Wednesdays at Artpark" concerts.
A series of new buildings were erected last summer to offer increased access to refreshments and bathroom facilities. An additional structure to house the rapidly expanding visual arts and family programs is expected to be completed this summer.
Artpark's current strategic planning committee is exploring ways to bring even more people to the park by developing programs that will utilize every acre of land. This includes improvements in the woods, more historical signage, upgraded trails and landscaping, and better use of the gorge and its views. Extending the length of the season in the theater is also being considered as avenues for improved air movement are being explored.
Artpark is a driving economic force to the Village and Town of Lewiston, as well as the entire region. Event-related spending by the 220,000-plus patrons who attended the 2012 season generated an economic impact of $10.7 million. Patrons spend time in the village, before and after the programs, at local restaurants, retail businesses and accommodations.
Artpark spends $1.4 million in the local and regional area for services, equipment, supplies and advertising. It cooperates with many local organizations to enhance its offerings, including the BPO, University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College and Niagara University.
The busy Artpark season is supported by a dedicated team of more than 245 volunteers of all ages, who provide more than 7,800 hours of service. Volunteers are used inside the theater, as well as at outdoor concerts and Saturday family events. Ten full-time employees are part of the administrative staff, and the busy summer season results in up to 200 part-time and contracted personnel.
Through 2017, Artpark & Company Inc. is in a licensing agreement with New York to manage the programming at the state park. The property is owned by the New York Power Authority and leased to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation on a long-term basis. State Parks maintains the buildings and grounds.
The chairman and the board of directors of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulate Osborne and Artpark & Company for 40 years of service and dedication to the Niagara River Region. The NRRCC looks forward to another 40 years.
River Region Partnership Award: Tedesco Construction Services Inc.
Tedesco Construction Services Inc. has been chosen as the 2013 River Region Partnership Award recipient. The honor was created to recognize a business that supports the chamber's mission of business development, improving quality of life, and the history and culture of the region, while actively participating in chamber initiatives.
Jeff Tedesco, president of Tedesco Construction Services Inc., is the second generation of owners and management personnel of the former Frontier Metal Buildings Inc. of Niagara Falls (incorporated in 1973). His team, including son and Vice President Justin Tedesco (the third generation of management), specialize in the design and construction of pre-engineered metal building systems as well as all aspects of management for general construction projects.
Additional services include commercial and industrial general contracting, consulting, management, value engineering and design build capabilities.
With experience, knowledge, integrity, expertise, flexibility and more than 275 projects completed, Tedesco Construction Services is ranked among the top 75 metal building contractors in the country.
Tedesco Construction Services has built and managed structures for casinos, firehalls, churches and other non-residential local and national buildings with Varco Pruden buildings, spanning across the country. Current projects include work spread across five different states.
While expanding the footprint of the company is a constant goal, using local vendors and local businesses is a priority. Tedesco Construction Services employs a staff of six and uses local architects and engineers whenever possible.
Jeff and Justin are both involved in many business and community organizations. They provide support to local organizations that work to create a better community. This includes the Historic Lewiston Jazz Festival, Historical Association of Lewiston, the Chamber of Commerce, the J-Mill scholarship program, Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center, The Boys & Girls Club of Niagara, Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, Kiwanis Club of Lewiston (Peach Festival) and the Lewiston-Porter Alumni Association.
Jeff is also the announcer for all home modified, junior varsity and varsity Lew-Port football games, and Justin volunteers as an assistant varsity baseball coach at Lewiston-Porter High School.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulates Tedesco Construction Services, the 2013 River Region Partnership Award recipient, for service and dedication to the community.
Lewiston Business of the Year:
The Brickyard Pub & B.B.Q. and Tin Pan Alley
The Brickyard Pub & B.B.Q. and Tin Pan Alley have been chosen as the 2013 Lewiston Business of the Year by the Lewiston Advisory Committee. The restaurants, located within three blocks of one another in the Village of Lewiston, are owned and operated by Ken Bryan and Eric Matthews. The business partners run both locations seven days a week.
The two popular businesses were chosen as recipients of the Business of the Year Award in 2007, just two years after the owners opened The Brickyard. Fellow Lewiston businesses voted them as this year's recipient as their commitment to the community, quality service and dedication to arts, non-profit and civic organizations is well recognized and has grown immensely over the years.
Both The Brickyard and Tin Pan are highly recommended places to dine in Lewiston, and many residents and visitors come back time and again for the great food, atmosphere and service.
Both Bryan and Matthews graduated from Lewiston-Porter and Niagara University, and have been friends since college. Bryan first attended Niagara County Community College and focused his education on culinary arts, then transferred to NU. Matthews's area of study was management and marketing.
They are true supporters of local organizations and help out however they can to raise funds and cut costs for many. Opportunities Unlimited, the Lewiston Kiwanis Club, Niagara University, the Lewiston Council on the Arts, the Historical Association of Lewiston and Habitat for Humanity are just a few groups that appreciate all they have done. Their commitment to the community is proven by their involvement.
Between the two businesses, Bryan and Matthews employ more than 75 people. Some of their employees have been with them since day one.
Gloria Baker, branch manager of First Niagara Bank in Lewiston, nominated them to receive this award.
"First by opening Tin Pan Alley 18 years ago, and then again with the complete renovation and opening of The Brickyard 10 years later, Bryan and Matthews have worked tirelessly over the years to make both establishments highly successful. Having happy and loyal employees shows their work ethic, and it is one we should all strive to attain," she said.
The Brickyard, located at 432 Center St., has a menu focused on wood-fired cooking, with the highest quality ingredients. Its barbecue is slow smoked with a blend of hickory and fruitwoods for up to 14 hours in an authentic wood pit barbecue smoker.
The restaurant's outdoor patio has recently been expanded, and now features a second-story patio. The pub and restaurant is a popular place for both visitors and locals.
Tin Pan Alley, located at 775 Cayuga St., attracts a loyal customer base with an all-American menu. Bryan and Matthews have operated Tin Pan since 1994 and have kept a steady clientele year round.
Both locations also feature live music, banquet and catering options.
The Lewiston Advisory Committee and the Chamber of Commerce congratulate Ken and Eric with The Brickyard and Tin Pan Alley as the 2013 Lewiston Business of the Year.