The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County held its 50th annual awards celebration on April 26 in front of a packed house at the Hilton Garden Inn in Clifton Park, the community where the organization got its start in 1967.
For their signature event, the Chamber presented seven awards for excellence to its members, out of a record 30 nominees and 1,500 votes cast, said Pete Bardunias, Chamber president and CEO.
The Connors Agency of Mechanicville took the Endurance Award for longevity while CAP COM Federal Credit Union won the Inspiration Award.
Field Goods of Hudson received the Innovation Award for region-wide impact, and CDPHP took the Strong Community Award.
The 2016 Ambassador of the Year was Donna Connor of On The Go Concierge & Events, for her dedication as a volunteer of the organization.
Mike Russo of GlobalFoundries presented the Entrepreneurial Success Award to Louise McManus of Vischer Ferry General Store, the only business located in that hamlet, first erected in 1787.
A special Honorary Award was presented to Kathleen O’Neil of one of the Chamber’s founding members, Teal, Becker & Chiaramonte CPAs. She received the award in recognition of her status as a past treasurer of the chamber as well as her service as president of the Southern Saratoga County Chamber Angels and her years of dedication to the children and families of southern Saratoga County.
The original Clifton Park-Halfmoon Chamber of Commerce was organized by a group of local businesspeople including David Meager, now with Adirondack Trust Insurance. It was intended to accomplish, among other things, the replacement of a blinking traffic light at the intersection of Routes 9 and 146, and to attract hotels to a community that lacked even a single nationally-recognized chain.
“It has been a privilege to preside over this powerhouse chamber for the past six years,” said Bardunias. “Although I’ve only been here to see a relatively small portion of its existence, it is clear that the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County has made a significant impact on this community ever since its inception. Everywhere you go, you see something that was made possible through the involvement of the local business community and its chamber of commerce.”