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2012 Chamber Gala: Chairman's Award goes to First Niagara Bank Lewiston

by jmaloni
Sat, May 26th 2012 07:00 am
At right, Lewiston Branch Manager Gloria Baker, with First Niagara staffers.
At right, Lewiston Branch Manager Gloria Baker, with First Niagara staffers.

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 Chairman's Award

First Niagara Bank, Lewiston branch, was chosen for the 2012 Chairman's Award by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce board of directors and chairman of the board, George Osborne.

It is clear why Osborne chose First Niagara Lewiston as the recipient of the Chairman's Award. "From its beginning as Lockport Savings Bank to its dramatic ascension to the largest bank in Western New York, First Niagara has been and remains an outstanding customer and community service-oriented institution, and since opening its branch in Lewiston it has played a major role in supporting the many and varied activities in the Niagara River Region. First Niagara is most deserving of this prestigious award."

First Niagara's presence in Lewiston started with a temporary location at 790 Center St., on July 18, 2005, which was the same day ground was broken for construction of their present location at 500 Center St. Employees Lisa Sweeney (now with the Amherst branch), Audrey Woodworth, Noelle Lepine and branch manager Gloria Baker opened the temporary office and transitioned into the new location at 500 Center St., corner of North Fifth Street, in the very heart of the village on March 6, 2006.

The location captures the village charm and community spirit of Lewiston - built in 1845 by Dr. Edward Smith, who lived and practiced there his entire life. Likewise, Dr. H. Selzer used the building for his home/office until his death in 1995. The building went through several renovations, however it still retains historical significance. The original carriage steps are still located in front of the bank.

Community involvement is a priority for First Niagara Lewiston according to Baker, and is key to their success here. Involvement in local board of director positions, committees, sponsorships and volunteering in community initiatives has helped make the Lewiston branch an important part of the area as they contribute to the quality of life in the community. First Niagara's philanthropic mission is to support and empower not-for-profit organizations with financial backing, employee volunteers and board representation. They believe that it is their responsibility to give resources, expertise, and helping hands to the communities where they do business. A thriving community is critical to the success of their branches.

First Niagara is a major sponsor of Artpark's "Tuesday in the Park" summer concert series, the Lewiston Jazz Festival and a number of other community programs in the Niagara River Region. They feel privileged to be able to support hundreds of charitable organizations across their footprint, providing millions of dollars, thousands of volunteer hours and professional expertise to community partners.

At present, the Lewiston branch has four full-time and four part-time employees. Upon completion of the HSBC acquisition on May 21, two more full-time positions were added. The Lewiston branch is open Monday through Friday, and also has Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to noon.

The chairman and the board of directors of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulate First Niagara's Lewiston branch for the service and dedication they have to the Niagara River Region.

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