The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County (CSSC) highlighted achievements and presented awards at its annual dinner on March 31 at the Hall of Springs at Gideon Putnam Resort, attended by 326 people.
“I’m honored to be the chairman this year,” said Josh Spain of Momentive Performance Materials. “With our great staff, dedicated volunteers and a diverse membership, it’s easy to see why this chamber is accomplishing so much.”
Pete Bardunias, celebrating five years as president and CEO, said, “We’ve made many things happen together as a community and what’s fueled our growth has been the generous financial support of our major partners and sponsors as well as the dedicated and active involvement of every member of this chamber.”
Bardunias said the past five years have seen membership jump 15 percent, from 927 members to 1066, making it the third largest chamber of commerce in the Capital Region and among the largest in New York state. During that time span, the chamber’s revenue has grown 25 percent, reversing negative trends and reeling off a four-year streak of finishing “in the black.”
He said the money has been reinvested, allowing for projects such as maintaining historic Lock 19 in Vischer Ferry, work at the Brookside Museum, the creation of the three Community Business Alliances and more.”
Eight awards were given out to members.
The Endurance Award went to the Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs, which has been a member of the CSSC since 1983. General Manager Cindy Hollowood accepted the award.
Mother Teresa Academy won the Inspiration Award, in recognition of the faith, family values, and dedication of Joyce Maddalone and her team. The Entrepreneurial Success Award went to Chuck and Darlene Curtiss of Willow Marsh Farm, a multigenerational, family-owned farm business.
The Strong Community Award went to CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services, with Sue Malinowski-Catroppa and Tom Savino accepting on behalf of the organization, which is dedicated to assisting many of the area’s young people. Applied Robotics of Glenville won the Education & Business Partnership Award after being nominated by the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District.
This year’s Chamber Angels Award went to DeCrescente Distributing Co. in Mechanicville for its many years of supporting the holiday gift-giving charity. Four family members–Carmine Sr., C.J., Carmine and Matt–representing three generations of the DeCrescente family, accepted the award. Founded in 1948 by Angelo DeCrescente, DeCrescente Distributing Co. has been involved in many charitable efforts across the Capital Region.
Sandra Hassfurter of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Saratoga is the 2016 Ambassador of the Year. She has been very active with the Chamber volunteer ambassador team, which is often asked to do challenging things in order to get that special photo for the ribbon cutting.
A Service Excellence award was given to Fern Hurley, chair of the Education and Business Partnership Committee, for building that committee into a leading force in Tech Valley workforce development as well as spearheading the Community Development Program. Hurley is director of community outreach at CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services.