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Orleans County

Planners support Murray business expansion on Ridge Road

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2017 at 10:53 am

MURRAY – A company the creates and sells educational kits is doing a 9,225-square-foot warehouse expansion on Ridge Road in Murray.

Darren Coon, the company chief executive officer, founded the company in 2006. TeacherGeek currently works out of 6,500-square-foot facility at 16551 Ridge Rd. The company’s hands-on kits require students to use STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

The Orleans County Planning Board on Thursday backed the site plan for the expansion, which also includes a parking lot with 31 spaces.

For more on TeacherGeek, click here.

In other action, the Planning Board:

• Approved the site plan for James Bitsas and Marc Massaro to operate a pizzeria in Medina at 11360 Maple Ridge Rd.

Cusimano’s Pizzeria will be in an existing 3,300-square-foot building that has been vacant for several years. It was formerly a K & K Food Mart and gas station.

• Approved a six-month moratorium for the Town of Carlton on freestanding or ground-mounted solar energy systems. (The moratorium does not include roof-mounted solar systems.)

The town’s zoning ordinance only briefly addresses solar energy systems. The six months will give Carlton time to update its zoning ordinance for siting solar energy systems, county planners said.

• Supported the updates in the Town of Albion’s zoning ordinance for solar energy systems. (Albion is the seventh municipality in the county to update its solar regulations since 2016.

Albion would allow large-scale solar (up to 15 kilowatts) in all zoning districts. However, a minimum lot size of 10 acres in residential areas might eliminate the systems in those areas.

Solar farms, which exceed 15 kilowatts, also require a minimum lot size of 10 acres. The solar farms need a decommissioning plan, mechanical equipment enclosed by fencing, screening with a vegetative buffer, warning signage and one parking space.

Roof-mounted systems do not need site plan approval from the town as long as the energy is used onsite.

• Opposed the special use permit request for a Kendall resident to store boats outdoors in a residential/hamlet district.

David Oschmann wants to have outdoor storage of boats at a boat maintenance and repair business at his residence, 1893 Kendall Rd. Oschmann wouldn’t sell materials, goods or services at the site.

Having boats outside is against the Kendall zoning ordinance which states, “no outdoor storage or display of materials, goods, supplies, or equipment related to the operation of the home business” shall be permitted.

Oschmann can seek a use variance with the Town of Kendall.

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United Way sets $190K campaign goal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2017 at 8:34 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: David Cook, president of the United Way of Orleans County, thanks volunteers and supporters of the annual fundraising appeal for the organization. Jessica Downey, the United Way executive director, joins Cook at the campaign kick off on Thursday evening.

MEDINA – The United Way of Orleans County has set a $190,000 campaign goal for its annual fund-raising appeal to support 16 agencies in the county. The money supports programs that serve youth, senior citizens, people with disabilities and people in crisis.

United Way supporters and agency leaders met on Thursday to kick off the campaign at the Leonard Oakes Estate Winery.

David Cook, United Way president in Orleans County, said the county is fortunate to have several businesses and committed residents who give to the campaign. The funds are important for several agencies to fulfill their mission in the county.

Mary Lee Knights is president of OCALS Learning Services, which provides literacy programs in the county. She said United Way funding was essential for the agency to start and then expand its services in the county.

Jessica Downey, the United Way director, said the United Way is determined to raise funds for the agencies, so they can continue their important work in the community.

“United Way is an easy way to donate to touch many agencies in our community,” she said.

She urged businesses, organizations and residents to give to the campaign. She said several businesses have been steady contributors in recent years, including Baxter Healthcare, Takeform Architectural Graphics, Talis Equity, BMP America and CRFS.

The United Way has a website and people can give online. Click here for more information.

The agencies that receive funding from the United Way include:

• 4-H Youth – Cornell Cooperative Extension, Arc of Orleans County Camp Rainbow, Arc of Orleans County Meals on Wheels & Nutri-Fair, Boy Scouts of America – Iroquois Trail Council, Inc., Christ Church Community Kitchen

• Community Action – Main Street Store Employment Support Project, GCASA, Hospice of Orleans Martin-Linsin Residence, Orleans County Adult Learning Services, Regional Action Phone

• Pathstone – Women’s Issues Now (WIN) Domestic Violence Program, Senior Citizens of WNY, YMCA, Ministry of Concern, Just Friends, Ministry of Concern, Last Resort and Town of Yates, Summer Recreation Program.

The United Way in January also started volunteering at the Christ Church Community Kitchen in Albion the second Friday each month. Downey and the United Way cook and serve the meals. United Way board members, their children and family have all volunteered, as well as employees from local businesses that support the United Way.

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Office for the Aging in Orleans receives $25K grant

Posted 28 September 2017 at 6:01 pm

Press Release, Orleans County Office for the Aging

ALBION – Orleans County Office for the Aging is pleased to announce it has received a $25,000 grant from the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York.

Ten organizations have each received $25,000 grants to learn how to apply design thinking to reimagine how they might address the needs of older adults and caregivers in western and central New York. The funding is part of Aging by Design, a four-year initiative developed by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York to improve the health of older adults.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our office,” said Melissa Blanar, Director of the Orleans County Office for the Aging.  “We look forward to working with older adults in Orleans County to create solutions to everyday problems that many encounter”.

By using Design Thinking, Aging by Design uses an approach to problem solving that puts the needs of older adults and the problems they may be experiencing at the core. The process brings older adults, informal caregivers and community-based providers together to identify issues, generate ideas and implement solutions to address triggers of decline.

Triggers of decline precipitate a decline in physical, cognitive or mental health for otherwise healthy older adults living in the community. By using this person-centered approach, it ensures that older adults and caregivers are key partners and contributors in this initiative.

As part of the six-month Project Planning Phase, the 10 organizations will apply what they learned through intensive training in design thinking to convene a project design team consisting of staff, volunteers and members of the community they serve. This team will produce prototypes that respond to and address the needs identified by older adults and caregivers.

Grantees will present their prototypes in spring 2018 and the Foundation will select projects to move ahead into the implementation phase starting in July 2018.

To learn more about Aging by Design, click here.

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County Legislature backs Collins’ federal bill to repeal SAFE Act in NY

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 September 2017 at 11:32 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature stated its support for federal legislation proposed by Congressman Chris Collins that would repeal the SAFE Act, a gun control measure passed in New York State on Jan. 15, 2013.

The County Legislature on Feb. 13, 2013, unanimously passed a resolution opposing the SAFE Act and calling for its repeal.

Collins, R-Clarence, said the “Second Amendment Guarantee Act” would limit the authority of states and localities to regulate or impose penalties or taxes in relation to rifles or shotguns.

File photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from Sept. 8, 2014 shows a rally against the SAFE Act in Albion. About 200 people attended that rally outside the Albion Gun Shop on Hamilton Street.

The Collins’ bill would prevent local governments from enacting restrictions on any part of a rifle or shotgun, including any detachable magazine or ammunition feeding device and any type of grip or stock design.

“Any current or future laws enacted by a state or political subdivision that exceeds federal law for rifles and shotguns would be void, including the NY SAFE Act,” according to the county resolution approved on Wednesday.

In effect, Collins said SAGA would serve as a means to repeal the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act at the federal level. He said repealing the SAFE Act has been a priority for more than four years.

County Legislator Don Allport said Orleans County was the first county to go on the record as “100 percent opposed” to the SAFE Act. Orleans was recognized at a state SCOPE (Shooters Committee On Political Education) for its distinction having all county, town and village elected boards oppose the SAFE Act, Allport said.

Collins on July 30 said the SAFE Act is a “blatant encroachment of citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called the push by Collins “a blatant political ploy.”

“This disturbing bill puts New Yorkers in harm’s way – and to make it worse, there is no basis for it. None,” Cuomo said in a statement on July 31. “The courts have resoundingly upheld New York’s law as consistent with the Constitution. We understand that Washington is in turmoil right now – we just ask that they don’t do anything to set back the progress we’ve been able to make despite them.”

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County authorizes $10 million addition to Administration Building on Route 31

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 September 2017 at 10:53 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The County Administration Building on Route 31 will have an addition to make room for relocated county offices.

ALBION – The county is moving forward with a $10 million addition on the County Administration Building, an office building on Route 31 behind the nursing home.

The County Legislature on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing construction of the addition, which would be about 22,000 square feet.

The project will be bid with some options that could be added or removed depending on the cost, Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer, told legislators.

Construction of the addition is expected to start in March 2018, with the project complete in September 2019.

The county is pursuing the addition so it will have county-owned space for the public health department and Board of Elections. The Department of Social Services might also be relocated to the new space.

Public health and the Board of Elections use facilities that are owned by Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services LLC. Comprehensive acquired the nursing home and the neighboring public health building as part of the $7.8 million acquisition on Jan.1, 2015.

Public Health leases space next to the former Orleans County Nursing Home on Route 31 in Albion.

County officials pay an annual six-figure rent to Comprehensive for use of the space for the Health Department and for the wing in the nursing home used by the Board of Elections, Nesbitt said.

Using what the county currently pays in the lease to Comprehensive will help offset the debt for the addition. The county also has already been approved for a $3,682,748 grant towards the project and could receive more assistance. Nesbitt said the county has applied for a grant through State Sen. Robert Ortt’s office to help with the project.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in July that Orleans County would receive a $3,682,748 grant to “protect and transform” healthcare in Orleans County.

The funding would support primary care staff from Oak Orchard Health to work out of the county mental health department. The bulk of the funding would go towards an addition on the County Administration Building for the Health Department.

The Legislature on Wednesday authorizes a bond at a maximum $10,063,881. It will be paid back over 25 years.

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Orleans joins lawsuit against pharmaceuticals for fueling opioid crisis

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 September 2017 at 7:32 am

ALBION – Orleans County is joining a growing number of municipalities in a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for allegedly fueling an opioid crisis.

The Orleans County Legislature on Wednesday voted to retain Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, a Manhattan firm, in the lawsuit. The firm is paying any upfront costs for staffing and retaining expert witnesses, County Attorney David Schubel said.

He said about 40 counties have already joined the lawsuit, including Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Suffolk, Nassau and the State of Ohio. The cases in New York will handled in a uniform effort in Suffolk County, Schubel said.

The counties are contending the pharmaceutical manufacturers knew that opioids were effective for short-term or trauma-related pain, as well as palliative (end-of-life) care. However, the manufacturers also knew for years that opioids were addictive and subject to abuse, especially when used for more than three months.

The lawsuit contends that prescription painkillers, as well as heroin abuse, are the prime causes for an increase in overdose deaths. In 2014, there were 28,647 opioid overdose deaths nationwide, a 14 percent increase from the previous year.

In 2014, the heroin overdose deaths in New York reached 825, a jump of 23 percent from the previous year and 25 times the number a decade earlier, according to a resolution from the County Legislature on Wednesday.

Orleans and other municipalities in the lawsuit are seeking to recover damages that have contributed “to high costs to the taxpayers in the form of increased social services, policing, and other expenditures,” according to the county resolution.

Schubel said the law firm will bear the costs of the lawsuit and stands to receive 7.5 to 25 percent of any funds paid by the pharmaceutical companies.

Pharmaceutical companies have denied misleading the public about the addictive nature of painkillers, such as Oxycontin. The prescription painkillers are FDA approved and include warnings on the product label about possible risks, the companies have said.

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Survey seeks residents’ feedback on future of Parkway in Orleans County

Staff Reports Posted 26 September 2017 at 8:06 pm

Orleans County residents are being asked for their opinions on the long-term future of the Lake Ontario State Parkway, a four-lane divided highway the westernmost 12.7 miles of which run through Carlton and Kendall.

Responses in summary form will be incorporated into a study being undertaken by the Orleans County Department of Planning and Development, in partnership with the Genesee Transportation Council regarding feasible future options for the Parkway.

Among the alternatives include reducing the number of lanes, adding recreational trails, or simply leaving the Parkway the way it is. A transportation consultant has been chosen to develop recommendations and present them to the project committee.

As a part of the study, similar surveys are being distributed to Orleans County businesses and other important stakeholders to find out what they think of the parkway and how it might be improved.

An electronic version of the survey is available by clicking here. Paper copies are also available at the Orleans County Department of Planning and Development office at:

Orleans County Administration Building 14016 Route 31 West, Albion, NY 14411

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Canal will remove trees, vegetation along embankment from Medina to Rochester

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 September 2017 at 7:51 am

Photo courtesy of Canal Corporation:

This photo shows a clear embankment on the right side of the towpath, free of brush and trees. It shows the towpath and canal in Ridgeway over the Culvert, the only spot on the canal where cars can drive under the historic waterway.

The Canal Corp. in the next three months will be removing many trees, brush and vegetation on canal property from Medina to Fairport. The Canal Corp. won’t be touching any trees on privately owned land. The goal is to have canal lands look like the picture at top with a mowable slope, said Howard Goebel, deputy director for the Canal Corp.

He joined other Canal Corp. officials at a public meeting in Medina on Monday at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library to go over the plan. The Canal has hired Mohawk Valley Materials from Utica to remove vegetation on the Canal Corp. right of way.

The trees have roots that can burrow into the soil, going under the towpath and reaching the canal walls. That can make the canal vulnerable to leaks and weaken the walls, Canal Corp. officials said.

After brush, vegetation and some trees are removed, the land will be seeded and mowed. That will make it easier for Canal Corp. officials to do inspections of the embankments, to make sure there aren’t any leaks or problems, Goebel said.

The contractor will be busy in Orleans and Monroe counties this fall, working on about 140 acres.

“There is a lot of undergrowth here,” Goebel said.

Mohawk Valley will be working on the project for about three months. The Canal Corp. will also be holding public meetings in Brockport on Oct. 4 and in Pittsford on Oct. 26.

The red lines show spots on the canal in Albion where contractors will be removing vegetation, brush and trees from the canal embankment.

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Candidate for judge currently lives out of county but stresses her local roots

Photos by Tom Rivers: Tonia Ettinger, center, met with leaders of the Conservative and Democratic parties in Orleans County on Sunday at Hoag Library. Ettinger is pictured with Al Lofthouse, the Conservative Party chairman, and Jeanne Crane, the Democratic Party chairwoman.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 September 2017 at 12:01 pm

Tonia Ettinger was born in Albion and graduated from Medina

ALBION – Tonia Ettinger believes she has the résumé and experience to be the next Orleans County judge.

But she acknowledged to supporters on Sunday that she may not have the name recognition. Ettinger, in fact, currently doesn’t live in the county.

She and her fiancé Paul Fuller live in Farmington, Ontario County, with their 7-year-old son, Blake. Mr. Fuller ran for county judge in 2010 with the backing of the Conservative Party. He faced incumbent Jim Punch.

Punch was re-elected to a 10-year term, getting 78 percent of the vote versus Fuller. Punch retired on July 29, leaving about three years on his term.

The Republican Party is backing Sanford Church, an Albion attorney and the county’s public defender. He appeared to have no opposition for the job with near unanimous support from attorneys in the county.

The Conservative and Democratic parties, however, backed Ettinger just before the nominating deadline.

She met with leaders of the two parties on Sunday at Hoag Library. They discussed a plan for getting out yard signs with her name and promoting her campaign in other ways.

“I would certainly love the chance to move back home,” Ettinger told about a dozen people from the two parties. “This is where I spent the majority of my life.”

Tonia Ettinger listens to Al Capurso, a Democratic Party candidate for Orleans County legislator.

Ettinger, 39, was born at the former Arnold Gregory Memorial Hospital in Albion. She lived in Holley before moving to Medina, where she graduated. She earned a law degree at the University at Buffalo School of Law.

She worked in private practice, with most of her cases in Orleans, and was president of the Orleans County Bar Association from 2008 to 2010. She started her career working out of the Orleans County Child Support Collection Unit.

For the past eight years she has worked at the Legal Aid Society in Rochester in the Juvenile Justice Division. In her job with Legal Aid, Ettinger works with low-income clients from birth to age 21, representing them in various proceedings, including abuse, neglect, guardianship, paternity, custody, visitation, orders of protection, juvenile delinquencies, persons in need of supervision, and termination of parental rights.

She said her experience the past decade has given her exposure to State Supreme, Surrogate, Family and Criminal courts. Ettinger said some have questioned if she has done criminal cases. She has represented juvenile delinquents who have committed crimes.

“In my current job I get exposure to all the different types of law that a county court judge here would hear,” Ettinger told the Democratic and Conservative party leaders. “I think that makes me qualified for this job more so than if it would be if it just a county court position.”

Ettinger declined to discuss her positions on issues, saying a judge needs to be impartial and not prejudge a case.

“My passion is people,” she said. “A judge is a perfect role to serve.”

Al Lofthouse, chairman of the Conservative Party, and Jeanne Crane, chairwoman of the Democratic Party, both said they wanted Orleans County voters to have a choice on Nov. 7.

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Chamber honors businesses, dedicated residents for bettering community

Photos by Tom Rivers: Leonel Rosario, co-owner of Mariachi De Oro in Medina, accepts the award for Business of the Year on Friday night during the 19th annual Orleans County Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner. There were about 150 people at the awards program at the White Birch Golf Course.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 September 2017 at 2:18 pm

LYNDONVILLE – The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce presented its an annual to business owners and residents who have stepped up in big ways to improve the community.

Mariachi De Oro won the award for Business of the Year. The Rosario family opened the Mexican restaurant on Maple Ridge Road six years ago and has expanded the building, adding a bar and bathrooms. The Rosarios also put in an outdoor patio, expanded the parking lot and continue to tweak the menu. The restaurant draws many out-of-towners to Medina for authentic Mexican food and culture.

Leonel Rosario, co-owner of Mariachi and the head cook and manager, thanked Mariachi’s customers for embracing the restaurant.

“Thank you for letting us be part of the community,” Rosario told about 150 people at the annual awards dinner at the White Birch Golf Course. “Thank you for loving our food.”

He also thanked his wife Dolores for her dedication to Mariachi and his mother Lucha for her support and sacrifice in raising her 12 children.

Rosario said the village officials, including Code Enforcement Officer Marty Busch, have been helpful as the Rosarios worked to upgrade the property and overcome potential setbacks through the years.

Seeing customers have a good experience at Mariachi has been the biggest encouragement, Rosario said. “That fills my heart with more energy and passion,” he said.

Other award winners include:

Lifetime Achievement: Bruce Landis

Bruce Landis

The Albion photographer has been working locally since 1974. He has won numerous state, national and international awards, and is a past president of the Albion Rotary Club and Greater Rochester Professional Photographers. Gabrielle Barone, last year’s lifetime achievement winner, said Landis has distinguished himself with his professional career and community service.

Landis thanked his parents for instilling in him a work ethic, and for teaching him how to fix things and work with his hands. His brother also helped him set up his first darkroom, and launched Landis’s passion for pictures.

Landis also thanked his wife, Sue, and his family for their sacrifices while he often worked on weekends and weeknights.

Agricultural Business of the Year: Kludt Farms in Kendall

Rudy Kludt, with Mike Kludt, left, and Gary Kludt, in back said the family and employees work hard together.

Kludt Brothers Farm has shown the family and its employees work hard, take initiative and give back to the community the past century, said Robin Root, a Barre farmer and co-owner of the Root Brothers Farm.

Kludt Brothers has embraced new technology and updated field practices and production steps. The farm has been a backbone of the Kendall community for many years.

“They are a great family known for helping everyone in their community,” Root said.

Rudy Kludt said the farm works well together.

“We all put our heads together and we try,” he said.

Small Business of the Year: Canalside Tattoo in Medina

Shawn Ramsey

The Chamber recognized Shawn Ramsey for the growth in his business and for renovating the former Curvin’s News on Main Street.

Ramsey, 41, took a chance on his hometown in 2015. After two decades in Pittsburgh, he came home to open Canalside Tattoo Company on East Center Street. It proved popular. In March, he moved to a bigger location at the former Curvin’s News.

Ramsey said he went to Curvin’s as a kid to buy comic books. Reading those helped inspire a love of art.

Moving to Curvin’s increased Canalside Tattoo’s space from 750 to 2,500 square feet. Ramsey also added two tattoo artists: Tyler Vercruysse and Joshua Schutrum.

Ramsey has a degree from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He started his career with a sign company and then worked in web design and software development. For the past 12 years, he has also been a tattoo artist.

Tattoos have become more accepted by society. He works with customers who want tattoos to celebrate the birth of a child and other milestones. Many customers also are deep in grief and want a tattoo to honor a loved one.

“Our customers literally trust us with their bodies,” he said.

Business Person of the Year – Deborah London (Bloom’s Florist) in Albion

Debbie London accepts the award for Business Person of the Year from Barry Flansburg, who was representing State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Debbie London has kept Bloom’s Flower Shop going despite a disruptive road reconstruction on Main Street about a decade ago, the emergence of Walmart and Tops in Albion, the recession in 2008-09, and other challenges.

She has adapted to the changing marketplace, selling more flowers through her web site. London said customer service has stayed a priority for Bloom’s, which is now in its 82nd year. She is the fourth owner.

She was working in the banking industry when her job was eliminated about 17 1/2 years ago. She was friends with Gary and Lorraine Oakley. They were looking for a buyer for Bloom’s and London decided to go for it.

“When one door closes, another opens,” she said.

She does the bookkeeping and payroll for Bloom’s, and also for her husband Brian’s two businesses. Brian is an electrician and also a fly fishing guide.

Phoenix Award: Fitzgibbons in Medina

Amy Cifelli and Tony McMurtie accept the Phoenix Award for the radical transformation of the former Silver Dollar on Main Street in Medina.

It took eight years of painstaking renovations at the former Silver Dollar before Fitzgibbons Public House opened in January. The site has become a destination, a world-class place with an awesome atmosphere, the Chamber said.

Amy Cifelli and her husband Kevin bought the badly deteriorated site about a decade ago. They gutted and strengthened the building but didn’t want it to feel “new.” Mr. Cifelli, a software engineer, also is a woodworking artist and created the railings and other pieces that adorn the interior.

Tony McMurtie, owner of The Pillars in Albion, joined the effort and helped develop the Celtic menu with its range of beers.

Cifelli said she and her husband initially wanted to open a place where people could get “a beer and a burger.” Fitzgibbon’s became much more than that.

New Business of the Year: Orleans Millworks in Kendall

Karl Driesel

Karl Driesel last year opened Orleans Millworks in his hometown. Driesel had a woodworking business since 2009. He was working out of his home until committing to building a new 5,884-square-foot shop and showroom at 1750 Kendall Rd.

Diesel specializes in moulding. He enjoys taken a rough piece of lumber and turning it into railings, mouldings, hardwood floorings, and other useful purposes.


Driesel wanted the new building to blend in with the town. The building is green and tan, and inside the showroom features many different types of wood species. Driesel works with about 20 different types of wood.

Driesel works with customers mainly between Buffalo and Rochester, serving residential, commercial, and wholesale markets often working directly with homeowners and contractors.

The site in Kendall proved ideally located between the two major markets, and Driesel also wanted to be be close to his house and help his hometown.

Driesel graduated from Morrisville State College, earning degrees in wood products technology and business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship. For three years he was teaching at Morrisville, making a 2 ½-hour trip two to three times a week. He taught in the wood science department and showed students how to make cabinets.

Diesel in 2016 decided to focus solely on his own business. He purchased Medina Millworks from the Graber family – Jerome, Matthew, Stephen and Phillip. That acquisition has boosted Driesel’s business, expanding his customer base and giving him more access to modern woodworking equipment.

“There is a saying, ‘It takes a village or a city to raise a child,'” he told the crowd at the Chamber dinner. “I am the child and I thank you.”

Entrepreneurial Excellence: The Missing Peace in Medina

Anna Chichocki accepts the award for entrepreneurial excellence.

The Chamber recognized Anna Chichocki, owner of The Missing Peace, for entrepreneurial excellence for demonstrating a unique approach to business that has resulted in a strategic advantage in her business. Chichocki developed a team with many wellness programs under one roof.

Cichocki sells non-toxic personal care products at 510 Orient St., in a former Medina sandstone warehouse. The building has been repainted and decorated to facilitate feelings of calmness.

She wanted The Missing Peace to offer more holistic wellness options for the community and reached out to people with other skills and services.

Cichocki sells soy-scented candles, Shakeology by Beachbody (nutrition supplements), Richway BioMats, and Pure Haven Essentials – safe, non-toxic personal care products. She also does astrology card readings.

Sharon Houseknecht has been working in holistic health for three decades. She does nutritional consultations, Reiki, ear coning, foot spa detoxifications and energy balances. She also offers smoking cessation services to help people with their addiction to nicotine. She is certified as a natural health professional, Reiki master and as a herbalist.

Beth Joy is a personal trainer who runs pilates and PiYo classes. She offers nutrition advice and leads fitness classes. She is a personal trainer and Beachbody coach.

Katie Crooks is a licensed massage therapist who offers Swedish massage, medical massage, pregnancy massage, hot stone massage, and Young Living Essential Oils.

Cichocki became more interested in natural health after her youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism. Cichcocki said her daughter responded to a modified diet with a focus on healthy foods. Cleansing and detoxing, which removed heavy metals from her body, also have helped her daughter.

Community Service Award: Warren Kruger, Kendall Highway Superintendent

Warren Kruger

Warren Kruger has served as Kendall’s highway superintendent the past 28 years. He has put in miles and miles of drainage, waterline and paved numbers roads.

When Lake Ontario flooding many residents backyards and homes beginning in April, Kruger organized a sand bag distribution effort to help residents preserve their property.

Kruger also plays important roles in the town’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the scarecrow festival and Homegrown Days.

He plays in the Kendall Community Band and drives a classic car in the Kendall Firemen’s Carnival Parade.

Kruger thanked the highway employees for their dedication to the job. The employees and Kendall residents “are like extended family,” he said.

Community Service Award: Jackie Mowers-Sciarabba, Geneses-Orleans Ministry of Concern

Jackie Mowers-Sciarabba accepts the community service award.

Jackie Mowers-Sciarabba has played a critical role assisting many families facing shut-off notices and other emergencies in her role as a client advocate for the Geneses-Orleans Ministry of Concern.

She also manages the Just Friends E-3 youth mentoring program.

The Chamber wants to recognize individuals and organizations that “improve the fabric of the community” and Mowers-Sciarabba certainly has done that in her role with the Ministry of Concern, said Adam Tabelski, a board member for the Chamber.

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