Chamber of Commerce names 2020 award winners

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 November 2020 at 8:22 am

Orleans Community Health recognized as Business of the Year

File photos by Tom Rivers: Michelle Waters, owner and program director of The Tree House, runs preschool, parent child classes, special events and birthday parties at the site on the second floor of 116 North Main St. The Tree House was named New Business of the Year. On March 12, Waters held her first class at The Tree House, and then had to adapt to Covid restrictions, including having the site off limits to the public until July. This summer she offered several play camps and enrichment programs, with a focus on music, art and laughter.

The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce has announced its annual list of award winners, including Orleans Community Health as the Business of the Year.

“2020 has been a challenging year for businesses and communities everywhere,” said Darlene Hartway, the Chamber executive director. “Our board was inundated with nominations of businesses that have sacrificed, persevered, adapted and worked to meet the challenges of Covid to help our community stay safe. It was with great pride and pleasure that the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce announces this year’s award winners.

The full list includes:

  • Business of the Year: Orleans Community Health
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Fred Pilon, owner of Pilon Construction
  • New Business of the Year: The Tree House in Albion
  • Small Business of the Year: Sam’s Diner in Holley
  • Agricultural Business of the Year: Navarra’s Farm Market & Greenhouses in Albion
  • Phoenix Award: Holley Gardens (renovation of the old Holley High School into apartments and offices)
  • Business Persons of the Year: Brian and Larissa DeGraw, owners of 810 Meadworks in Medina
  • Community Service Award: Hospice of Orleans County
  • Hidden Gem: Ernst Lake Breeze Marina

The award winners will be recognized at the ceremony later in November. It won’t be a dinner event with a big crowd of people like in previous years.

Home Leasing in Rochester reopened the former Holley High School this year, following a $17 million transformation, turning the site into 41 apartments for senior citizens and the offices for  the Village of Holley. The main meeting room includes about 70 seats from the old auditorium that were refurbished. There are also about 40 seats up in the balcony but they are for display and aren’t available to the public. The building was last used as a school in 1975.

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