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YBPA officers take their oaths for 2024. (YBPA photo).
YBPA officers take their oaths for 2024. (YBPA photo).

YBPA plans for 2024: New officers sworn-in; Kudel looks ahead

by jmaloni
Fri, May 3rd 2024 01:15 pm

By Terry Duffy


The Youngstown Business and Professional Association held an upbeat spring meeting last month, with nearly 80 members in attendance at the new Griffon Brewery and Gastropub.

Included was the installation of YBPA officers for 2024-25, with new faces representing the River Region business community sworn in by Porter Town Justice Dave Truesdale. Melissa Kudel of Bandana’s Bar & Grill took over as president from Cheryl Butera. Cheryl and her husband, Mark, stepped down last fall from the business association following 13 years as officers.

Others sworn in were Dotty Riordan as vice president; Steve Kennedy as treasurer; and Lew Bean and Mark Butera installed as board members. Continuing their terms on the board are Stephanie Cattarin of the Upward Niagara Chamber, Steve Zastrow and Cheryl Butera. YBPA said the secretary seat would remain vacant, with Kudel expected to assume many of the responsibilities.

“My new mission is bringing everyone together, promoting Youngstown, the Town of Porter, the village – all working together,” Kudel said. “We have a lot of businesses here, lot of different members, different leaders, so we’re just trying to put that together.”

Kudel spoke highly of the village’s recent St. Patrick’s Day parade: “There were tons of people out here to celebrate – families, kids. Youngstown felt young; it’s starting to feel very young again.”

YBPA parade winners were the McKenzie Highlanders in the adult category, and the First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown kazoo band in the children’s category. Others were Youngstown businesses This Must Be the Place B&B and The Village Diner, receiving awards from Niagara County Legislator Irene Myers.

Kudel said YBPA is again applying for the William G. Mayne Jr. Business Community Enhancement Grant, with funding sought to cover the annual business brochure, website updates, plus new benches and beautification projects. Other funding is being explored with the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. Kudel said she welcomes member ideas.

Looking ahead, YBPA’s 14th annual “Beginning of Summer” Street Dance and Car Cruise is set for 6-9 p.m. Thursday, June 20, on the Main Street strip. As in previous years, the popular community event will again feature a car show of antiques and collectibles; the Thurman Brothers band on stage; a kids’ corner; pony rides and activities by Lakeside Quarterhorses; and plenty of street vendors.

YBPA will present its Business of the Year and Community Service recognition award program Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Niagara Frontier County Club. Honorees include the Youngstown Marketside as Business of the Year, and photographer Wayne Peters with YBPA’s Community Service recognition award.

For more information on the YBPA and its 2024 programs, visit www.youngstownnewyork.com, www.youngstownny.com, and on Facebook. Kudel can be contacted at 716-345-2043 or via email at [email protected].

Youngstown Mayor Rob Reisman updates visitors on village news. (YBPA photo)

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