Whether it’s for a lifelong devotion to the area, innovative business practices or dedicated community service, the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce has announced the local businesspeople that will be honored at its upcoming awards dinner.
The 25th annual Silver Awards Dinner will be held Thursday, Mach 25, at Normanside Country Club. There, Delmar Florist owner Barbara Ostroff and Glenmont Car Wash owner Dennis O’Shaughnessy, Sr. will be honored as Business Persons of the Year; Keith Bennett, owner of Security Supply Corp., will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; and Lois Vadney will be recognized with the Citizen of the Year Award.
At our annual dinner, we proudly recognize the people in our community who go above and beyond what is expected, said Chamber President Marty DeLaney, who is also celebrating her 25th year in her post, in a statement. `They are people who don’t want or expect recognition. They know that donating time and expertise is part of being a good neighbor, friend and business person.`
Additional awards will be given during the event. The chamber recognizes commitment and service to the business community and community as a whole.
O’Shaughnessy, who has owned and operated Glenmont Car Wash for the past 36 years, said he makes giving something back to his customers a top priority.
`It took me a few years to realize that you’ve got to give back, and giving back to your community is very important,` he said.
His business is known amongst the local sports community for participation in fundraising efforts. He gives car wash passes to local teams, who keep half the cost for themselves when they’re sold. Those who buy the passes get their money’s worth with a normal priced car wash.
Helping out sports teams is valuable to O’Shaughnessy because he will likely see some of the athletes again as employees.
`I’m just helping to develop future employees,` he said. `My employees are very important to me and always will be treated fairly, because without an employee, I would be nothing.`
The facilities at Glenmont Car Wash are undergoing an upgrade to accept credit, debit and gift cards, and O’Shaughnessy plans to roll out an unlimited wash plan soon.
Delmar Florist is in its third year of business, and employs five young workers. Ostroff said being a small business owner along with her husband, Jeff, has been challenging, but rewarding.
`It’s not easy, but at the end of each day, we are grateful to have the business,` she said. `So to be recognized is very special.`
Delmar Florist has already carved out its own tradition with `Good Neighbor Day.` On the second Wednesday in September, the business gives away roses by the dozen on the condition you keep one for yourself and give away the other 11 to spread goodwill and cheer. Donations are collected for a local group. Last year, over $2,000 was collected for Bethlehem Senior Services.
Ostroff said she’s looking forward to building her business in the coming year with the installation of grow lights for tropical plants.
Bennett was recently honored with the Bethlehem YMCA’s President Award. Security Supply Corp., a wholesale plumbing and heating distributor with locations throughout the Hudson Valley, is celebrating its 76th year in business. Despite a decline in business in 2009, the company upgraded its Albany showroom and added a new location in Middletown, said Bennett.
`We’re continuing to grow and put things in place to make it happen,` he said.
Bennett, a lifelong area resident, has served as chairman of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and on the Bethlehem 20/20 Committee and Route 9W Corridor Study Committee. He’s also the first vice president of the Albany County Historical Association.
Vadney has also been involved in town government over the years. She is a longtime volunteer for Bethlehem Senior Services and a former Town Hall employee. She also volunteers at the First United Methodist Church Harvest Fair and for the Tri-Village Directory.
The awards dinner is open to the public, though reservations are required. Tickets are $55. For more information or to make a reservation, contact the chamber at www.bethlehemchamber.com or 439-0512.