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Ontario Chamber Annual Awards Banquet — Sept. 20, 2018

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner:  Joan Stark

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Joan Stark

Business of the Year Award: Exelon, R.E. Ginna Nuclear Plant (Bill Carsky, Plant V.P.)

Business of the Year Award: Exelon, R.E. Ginna Nuclear Plant (Bill Carsky, Plant V.P.)

Volunteer of the Year Award:  Linda Wyse with Ontario Walworth Rotary Club Members

Volunteer of the Year Award: Linda Wyse with Ontario Walworth Rotary Club Members

Business Improvement Award:  Joseph Huss with family members

Business Improvement Award: Joseph Huss with family members

Ontario – Sept. 20, 2018.  The Ontario Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Awards & Recognition Banquet at The Ontario Country Club, 2101 Country Club Lane, Ontario. Town officials, residents, chamber members along with family and business owners gathered together to honor individuals and recognize their contributions to the Town of Ontario.

First on the evening’s agenda was the election of one Board of Director position and four Officer’s positions.  Sue Yantch, owner of Sue’s Hair Trends, 2015 Ridge Rd., was elected to the Board of Directors’ position for a three-year term (2018-2021).  The following Officers were each elected for a two-year term (2018-2020): Donna Burolla, President; Sherry Verstraete, Vice President; Cheryl Legg, Secretary; and Jim Switzer, Treasurer.

After a delicious buffet meal was served by the courteous staff of the Ontario Country Club, the following Awards were presented:

Business of the Year  – Exelon, R.E. Ginna Nuclear Plant.  This is a jointly sponsored award between the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario-Walworth Rotary Club.Ginna has been a part of the Ontario community for more than 40 years and provides hundreds of well-paying jobs and millions of dollars in economic support. Exelon’s employees contribute to the community through many volunteer hours to local organizations that include The Pines of Peace Comfort Care Home, The Town of Ontario Historical & Landmark Preservation Society, Ontario Fire Dept., Ambulance Corp., and the Ontario Food Pantry with donations and delivery.

Volunteer of the Year – Linda Wyse.  Linda is a member of the Ontario-Walworth Rotary Club and has served as President and currently is Secretary.  She has earned the awards of Rotarian of the Year, Paul Harris Fellow and Rotary Foundation Benefactor.  She is a lifetime member of the Ontario Firemen’s Ladies Auxiliary, hosted many foreign exchange students, and has volunteered with the musicals and events at the Wayne Central Performing Arts Center. She has also donated hours of volunteer time working with the Ontario Food Pantry,

Business Improvement Award – Joseph Huss.  Joe is the owner of Johus Properties & Development, Inc. and has restored, revitalized, and renovated local historic structures (commercial, residential, and multi-family) making them useable for business operations.  The most recent being the former bowling alley located at 2090 Ridge Rd., Ontario. Through his efforts, economic opportunities for business expansion have been increased.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Joan Stark.  Joan has been a community volunteer in many areas.  She has been involved with the Neighborhood Acting Company; Friends of the Ontario Public Library, Ontario Primary-Elementary PTA and an animal rescue advocate.  With the Ontario Volunteer Emergency Squad (OVES) she has been a first aid instructor, emergency services’ trainer, ambulance corps driver, paramedic, EMT, lab director, officer, project leader, mentor and volunteer in the Town of Ontario and has been recognized for her expertise in advanced life support and emergency medical services.

Other recognitions included highlighting our 12 Businesses of the Month; Edward Jones Investments for coordinating and delivering our Welcome Packages to new residents; Jennifer Merida-Nudd, PhotoChica Photography for taking the photos of our Business of the Month and Joellen Simone, Nature’s Way Floral & Garden for writing the articles; and the Sun & Record Wayne County Mail for publishing the Business of the Month articles.

Free door prizes were offered as well as the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for some high-end items including a 50-inch Smart T.V. that was donated by the Brian Natale Farmers Insurance Agency and an eight-foot, single person kayak donated by Bellinger Packaging, a new business in Ontario.  Shari Switzer won the T.V. and Kathy King won the kayak.

Nominations for the above awards for 2019 are accepted from the public throughout the year. If you would like to make a nomination, please call the chamber office (315) 524-5886 or email, Donna Burolla, (

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