The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor nine businesses and individuals at the annual Chamber Awards Gala on Friday, June 8, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston. The annual awards gala begins at 6 p.m. and includes 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 and awards program.
2012 Village of Youngstown Citizen of the Year
The Village of Youngstown has chosen to honor the late Mayor Neil C. Riordan as the Youngstown Citizen of the Year. His public service work throughout the years will not be forgotten, and many of the projects and initiatives that he started will have an impact on many generations to come.
For more than 30 years, public service was a big part of Riordan's life, serving as a Village of Youngstown trustee beginning in 1979, later as deputy mayor, and as mayor from 2001 until the time of his passing last fall. His service to the community was a full-time endeavor that helped contribute to a great quality of life for residents and business owners in the village. His "fingerprints" were on so many projects that benefited the village, from summer concerts and renovations of docks, to brochures to showcase events and businesses in Youngstown. Riordan sought out many grants and exhausted many financial avenues to make sure projects were funded and completed. Although many would think that the position of mayor was his full-time job, he held the position of vice president of sales and marketing for the Viatran Corporation where he worked full time.
Riordan's love for the village was clear to everyone. He fondly referred to the Village of Youngstown as "Mayberry," working non-stop to create a village that prospered. His attitude was that if he felt something needed to be done to better the village, he would find a way to make it happen, not focusing on the negative. He was a people person who connected with others on a level that made everyone feel comfortable. He liked to say that when he ran for mayor, he ran under the "Responsive" party line, meaning if you called him for something, he would respond. It was exactly that type of thinking that made Riordan a wonderful mayor who worked for the people.
This year will mark the 11th year of the summer concert series, which was a project that was initiated by Riordan. The concert series is a popular event held every Friday evening at Falkner Park. The 2012 concert series is made possible with the generous support of sponsors and those who contributed to his memorial fund.
There were many items on Riordan's wish list to be completed, some of which are now coming to fruition. The most recent that is near completion is the digital sign which will be placed outside of the Village Hall that will highlight village events and programs.
Neil was married to Dorothy (Dotty) for 45 years, with 32 of those years spent in public service. Working for the village became a family affair, and a big part of family life. Neil is also survived by his children and grandchildren: Christopher (Jodee) Riordan, Michael Riordan and Suzanne (Mark) Cammarata. His grandchildren include Sarah, Christopher, Nicholas and Michael.
The Village of Youngstown and the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce are proud to honor the memory of former Mayor Riordan as the 2012 Village of Youngstown Citizen of the Year for the legacy he has left.