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Fulton-Montgomery Chamber honors businesses

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - Updated: 10:12 AM

By CAROLINE MURRAY

For the C-S-E

JOHNSTOWN -- On Friday evening, The Fulton-Montgomery Chamber of Commerce honored eight businesses for their contributions, hard work and commitment to their communities at its inaugural Celebration & Cocktail Party.

The event took place at the Johnstown-Gloversville Holiday Inn, where local business owners and their families had the opportunity to network, meet other merchants and mingle with government officials, including Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam.

“It is a great event, both counties coming together for the second year in a row,” said Chamber President Mark Kilmer. “Every award winner was deserving of their award tonight.”

Brothers Wayne and Gary Bovee were particularly surprised about receiving the Small Business Award for their Amsterdam operation Seely Conover Office Centre. 

They were both humbled about being selected over all the other small businesses in the area.

“We are very honored to be chosen,” said Wayne Bovee.

The Bovees originally started a typewriter business called Bovees’ Office Equipment in 1980. In 1984 the brothers landed the Xerox contract for Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton Counties, which greatly impacted the business. 

Soon after, they purchased Seely Conover from former owner and heir of the company, Robert Conover. The business has always been in Amsterdam, and 135 years later, the Bovees are still committed to the Rug City.

“It’s good to know that small businesses are viable in the area,” said Gary Bovee.

Another family business to receive an award at the celebration was the Alpin Haus. The Chamber Family Award was presented to the Heck Family who founded the operation in 1964.

 Bud Heck and John Daly began their operation as ski shop with one full-time employee and a handful of helpers.

Today, the business employs over 200 people across our four locations in the Capital District and in Port Jervis.

“We are celebrating our 50th anniversary, and there is no better way to start off the year,” said President Andy Heck.

Andy Heck runs the company with his brother Greg Heck, who is vice president of the company in charge of the boat division. Their sister Katie Osborn handles their marketing and advertising.

“We have had a great family business — we continue to adapt and grow and change over the years,” said Andy Heck.

The Leader-Herald of Gloversville and St. Mary’s Healthcare of Amsterdam shared the Centennial Award. 

“It’s very gratifying to receive a reward from the chamber,” said hospital President and CEO Vic Giulianelli.

In 1903, St. Mary’s Hospital opened for patient care. Throughout the 1990s and continuing today, the hospital significantly expanded its outpatient service network including, but not limited to, primary and specialty care, outpatient mental health and addiction services

“It’s especially pleasing to share it with another company that’s been around for 100 years,” said Giulianelli.

Accepting the Thomas B. Constantino Entrepreneurial Award was owner of CMK & Associates Real Estate, Christian Klueg.

Klueg owns four offices across both Fulton and Montgomery counties. He has a team of 26 agents and five staff members occupying his offices.

 Recently, he announced his 2013 sales figures of $47.8 million with 305 real estate transactions for the year.

Klueg was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. From a young age, his dream was to become a self-employed businessman.

“It’s an honor,” said Klueg. “The people who work for me make me look good, the agents and staff do a really good job at that.”

Chuck Torres, owner of Geek Pantology in Amsterdam, a computer service and repair shop, was not present to accept the Young Professional of the Year Award.

Torres is an Amsterdam native and currently resides there with his wife Christie. He began a computer business out of his parent’s home at the age of 14, and has been providing this service in both the private and public sectors ever since.  

He opened Geek Pantology in the spring of 2011, and with the support of the community, has been growing ever since.

Torres’ nominator Jeanne So, accepted the award on his behalf.

“I was impressed with a person from his generation giving back to him community,” said So.

In addition to running his store, Torres also donates his time to teaching computer classes at the Horace J. Inman Senior Center in Amsterdam, and for the Fulton-Montgomery Computer User’s Group in both Amsterdam and Johnstown.

“He’s a shining example of your generation,” said So.

Other recipients included:

-- Benjamin Moore & Co., Inc. won the Edward L. Wilkinson Industry of the Year Award.

-- Rogers Family Orchards, Inc. received the Agricultural Business of the Year Award. 

-- Peck’s Lake Protective Association was awarded the Barbara V. Spraker Tourism Partner Award.

The Peck’s Lake Protective Association was incorporated in 1973 “for the mutual advancement of the interest of its members owning property at or near Peck’s Lake” and “to preserve the original peace and tranquility of the lands surrounding Peck’s Lake and to maintain forever.”  These are goals that the current association takes just as seriously today. 

With those goals in mind, the PLPA created the Peck’s Lake Sprint Triathlon in 2010. Participation numbers have held strong as the triathlon enters its fifth year in 2014.

“We are elated,” said Event Coordinator Mick Brenno.

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Fulton-Montgomery County Chamber honors eight businesses
     

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