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Logo courtesy of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
Logo courtesy of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Gala to honor Margaret Toohey, Be OK Studio, Laura Capizzi - State Farm Insurance

Fri, Nov 4th 2022 09:45 am

Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce to celebrate award honorees Nov. 10

Submitted by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the community at the annual awards dinner Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Niagara Falls Country Club. The board of directors will present awards to member businesses from 2020 and 2022.

Festivities will begin with a cocktail hour followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. Silent and basket auctions will take place throughout the evening.

Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce office (895 Center St., Lewiston) for $125 per person.

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor businesses and individuals in the following categories:

•2020 Community Partner – Fittante Architecture P.C.

•2020 Award of Excellence – Chéri Amour

•2020 Member of the Year – Everything Youngstown

•2022 Community Partner – Youngstown Lions Club

•2022 Award of Excellence – The Rose Hanger

•2022 Emerging Business – Be OK Studio

•2022 Chairman’s Award – Historical Association of Lewiston

•2022 Distinguished Service – Margaret Toohey

•2022 Member of the Year – Laura Capizzi State Farm Insurance

President Jennifer Pauly said the awards are given based on leadership, dedication and achievement in the community. “Those chosen have contributed significantly to the success of the region and their profession.” The honorees are nominated by Chamber of Commerce members and selected by the membership committee.

The awards dinner is open to the public to attend. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available through by calling 716-754-9500 or online at www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com.

2022 Distinguished Service: Margaret Toohey

At the end of this year, Margy Toohey will conclude decades of service to the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce – and we sincerely appreciate her devotion of time, effort and leadership to the organization. Margy has made significant and lasting contributions to the community, and we are grateful for her involvement throughout the years.

In 1995, Margy was instrumental in hiring the first paid employee for the Lewiston Business Association (also known as Greater Lewiston Business and Professional Association), serving in a president position. This organization led into the formation of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce. Margy hired Suzanne Raby, the current director of finance, as the sole original office employee, finding office space in a community member’s attic. She was instrumental in starting the health insurance program offered to local businesses through the organization.

Margy Toohey has been a pillar in the business community for decades, as founder of The Lewiston Insurance Agency. She has served as a volunteer for many nonprofit organizations, including the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center board of trustees for the past 15 years, and the Lewiston Jazz Festival Inc. since 2001. In her retirement from The Lewiston Insurance Agency, Margy also spends time volunteering for Meals on Wheels of Niagara Falls and HART. The list of organizations Margy has served in Western New York is a mile long, and we are lucky to have her as a champion for the Chamber.

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulates Margy Toohey for her Distinguished Service to the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and community.

2022 Emerging Business: Be OK Studio

If you are looking for a fitness class full of vibrant energy, where the instructor’s excitement and positivity spread like wildfire, then Be OK Studio is the place! Owner Bobbi Stokes has created a space where her fitness community thrives, confidence is built, and her business ideas continue to grow.

Bobbi received her group fitness training and barre certification in 2018, followed by her 200 hours of yoga and Buti yoga certification in 2019. Be OK Studio began in September of 2019 when Bobbi took over the Riverview Fitness location in Youngstown. Throughout the years, she has grown her class offerings and moved her studio to Portage Road in Lewiston, sharing space with another local business, Kelly’s Beauty Bar.

Bobbi teaches the majority of the classes offered at Be OK Studio, along with several specialty instructors. Be OK Studio offers classes at the studio in yoga, Buti yoga, circuit training and spin. Bobbi has recently added in a Silver Sneakers program at Messiah Lutheran Church, and yoga on Sunday mornings throughout November at The Griffon Brewery & Gastropub.

During the summer, Be OK Studio offered donation-based yoga at Academy Park, with proceeds to benefit the Village of Lewiston inclusive playground. Collaboration with other businesses for special yoga event nights have taken place throughout the year with Boss Braids at The Lewiston Stone House, Youngstown Yacht Club and Niagara Falls Hyatt. This past summer, a new line of cold press juices was created. Bobbi has plans for an expanding clothing line, smoothies, and quick meals as next steps for her business.

Be OK Studio made it through a challenging season for businesses through perseverance and expanding classes and programs that the community wanted. The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulates Be OK Studio as the recipient of the 2022 Emerging Business Award.

2022 Member of the Year: Laura Capizzi – State Farm Insurance

Laura Capizzi Insurance Agency Inc. with State Farm Insurance is more than just an insurance business that helps you protect your family, cars, home and future. While insurance is what they do, owner Laura Capizzi has made service and giving back a priority, and sets the example for her staff.

Community leadership is important to Laura and her team. Laura has been a long-time member of the Lewiston-Porter Academy of Business and Finance advisory board. While on the board, Laura has participated in mock interviews, volunteered at many fundraisers, contributed funds to assist with expenditures, and most notably taken many student interns at her State Farm offices. Laura has provided experiences through internships that have elevated students’ readiness to be contributing members of society. Overall, Laura is a critical component of the success of the business academy program at Lewiston-Porter.

Additional community programs such as the Niagara Wheatfield Kiwanis Club, Salvation Army’s food pantry, Unity Day, Niagara Falls Firefighters Toy Fund and other local organizations have benefited from Laura and her team, raising funds and securing donated items. Many local businesses have seen Laura and her “Jake from State Farm” cutout, promoting small businesses.

Laura has been affiliated with State Farm for 22 years and a local State Farm agent for 10 years. Having successfully opened two office locations in Niagara County, Laura also hosts, trains and educates new agents in hopes that they open their own agency. She has sponsored and spoken at first-time homebuyers programs to help those looking to purchase their first home become knowledgeable on home insurance and mortgages.

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulates Laura Capizzi – State Farm Insurance as the 2022 Member of the Year.

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