Tag Archives: Webster Chamber of Commerce

Jerry Christopher recognized as Webster Chamber of Commerce 2023 Business Person of the Year

28 Jan

Congratulations to Jerry Christopher from State Farm Insurance for receiving this year’s Webster Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year award.

The presentation was made at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting and was presented by Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber of Commerce and Carolyn Montanaro, Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

The Businessperson of the Year is recognized as having set a standard of accomplishment in both business and the community. Nominations are from the Chamber’s business members who have made a significant impact on the role of business in the community. The nominee must be a member of the Chamber for at least 18 months. They must be an active member who is always willing to go above and beyond and be a leader that motivates others. They must have a level of community participation by contributing resources in the form of time, talent or money to our community via projects, clubs, churches and not-for-profits.

Jerry is an active member of the Webster Chamber of Commerce and the Webster community. He is a father, husband, business owner, volunteer and philanthropist. He sings often at church, local sporting events and Veterans Day ceremonies, and he led the National Anthem at the Chamber breakfast where he was honored. He is a regular attendee at Chamber events, a familiar face at breakfast meetings and sings his way through a multitude of community activities as a participant or supporter. 

Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber said, “Jerry always volunteers and never says no when asked. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and help with the heavy lifting. He has been a Webster Chamber member for 35 years, singing for us and the community for decades.” 

Jerry operates a State Farm Insurance agency located on Empire Blvd and has been helping Webster residents with their insurance needs since 1984.

Jerry’s singing gigs, in addition to church and the Chamber breakfast, include the Veteran’s Day ceremonies, Webster parades (including singing and marching with the Chamber in the 2022 Webster Parade of Lights), singing and bell ringing with a Salvation Army kettle, Webster Theatre Guild performances or a local ball game. If he isn’t singing, he’s supporting local theatre groups and Webster High School musicals.

Jerry is a member of the Penfield Rotary, where his service includes serving chicken barbecue to raise money for scholarships, bringing food to veterans at Nucor House and sharing the meal, judging singing contests for Rotary scholarships at Penfield High School, and working on the bike drive for R Community Bikes in the city of Rochester. Jerry also sponsors Wedge Wattle, raising money for St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, supports Boy Scout troops with their activities and award ceremonies, and is a regular blood donor.   

The Chamber presented Jerry with a plaque which read, “Businessperson of the Year presented by the Webster Chamber of Commerce to Jerry Christopher in recognition of your outstanding contributions to the Webster Chamber of Commerce and your commitment to the community – 2023.” The Chamber will also be making a contribution to a charitable organization selected by Jerry.

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(posted 1/28/2023)

Webster Union Cemetery named business of the month

28 Dec

I would be remiss to let any more days pass before congratulating Webster Union Cemetery on being named December’s Business of the Month by the Webster Chamber of Commerce.

You’ve been hearing a lot about Webster Union Cemetery recently in my blog. Just a few weeks ago, it played host to Webster’s very first Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 17, when hundreds of folks gathered to lay wreaths at the gravestone of every veteran who rests there.

It’s a beautiful cemetery, made even more so by the additional 650 wreaths which were placed that day. Hosting that ceremony might have been one of the reasons it was chosen as Business of the Month. But there were others as well.

The cemetery has a long and rich history, for starters.

Farmland was donated for the first known burial in 1817, when a Webster child needed a place to rest. It was originally called The Burial Ground, Lakeside, Union Cemetery of Webster. Since this caused some confusion between other areas near Webster, especially Union Hill Cemetery, the name was officially changed to Webster Union Cemetery in April 1954.

In 1859, Webster’s first settler, Abram Foster, was buried there at the age of 90. He was the first of many prominent families to come, including the Burnetts, Curtices, Fosters, Pelletts, Woodhulls, Whitings, and Wrights. Veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are buried there as well. Consequently, Webster Union Cemetery is one of the richest historical sites in Webster.

The cemetery is also stunningly beautiful. In 2008 it was awarded the Historic Landscape Award from the Landmark Society of Western New York, and was listed on the National List of Historic Places in 2022. In July 2022, Webster Union Cemetery hosted a ceremony where two Revolutionary War soldiers were honored with bronze plaques placed on boulders at their gravesite. First responders and our military members were also honored, and two World War II veterans received plaques.

Webster Union Cemetery has been an active burial ground for 198 years. In addition to being an active member in the Webster Chamber of Commerce, they support Wreaths Across America, work with Blue and Gold Star Families, support Boy and Girl Scout ventures, work with the Veteran Headstone Preservation Project, and many other community projects. 

Congratulations to Webster Union Cemetery President George Baker and his staff members for this well-deserved honor, and thank you for being such a valued part of our community.

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(posted 12/28/2022)

Chamber of Commerce gets a beautiful upgrade

22 Sep

I’m discovering that among the many benefits of my retirement has been having extra time to work on my blog — to track down more stories, meet more interesting people, and discover places in Webster I’ve not seen before. Basically, I now have more time to become better connected with my community.

I especially want to improve my connection with our local businesses. I took the first step in that direction last night when I attended an open house at the Webster Chamber of Commerce. Chamber president Barry Howard had invited members to the offices for drinks and hors d’oeuvres and to show off some recently completed renovations.

I was very kindly invited to attend by Steve Conger of Spectrum Business. Steve reached out to me a few weeks ago, hoping to lay the groundwork for a stronger relationship between the Chamber and my blog. I jumped at the opportunity.

Not surprisingly, I saw several familiar faces at the event (Webster is a small town, after all), but also met some business owners, handed out several business cards, and introduced people to Webster on the Web.

Basically, I started making those connections.

I always love meeting new people, but last night was doubly enjoyable because I got a good look at the Chamber of Commerce’s new digs. Well, they’re not new, actually. The office hasn’t moved from its current location at 1110 Crosspointe Lane, although that prospect was definitely in the cards. When it was clear that the Chamber needed more space, Howard said they started looking around town to see what was available. Even though they visited and rated 17 places, nothing checked all the boxes they needed.

So they took a closer look at redesigning the space they already had. “We’d like to stay here if we can afford it,” Howard told the architects, and they got to work.

The result is beautiful. Without increasing the actual square footage, somehow they managed to make the space bigger and brighter. Over a three-month period, workers eliminated storage closets, moved and added doors, installed new windows, updated the lighting and slapped on fresh paint. In the process, somehow they added a third office — which can be rented out to members for meetings and interviews — updated their technology, opened up the conference room, and created a much more accessible and welcoming atmosphere. (Check out some photos below.)

I’ll be attending more Webster Chamber events in the coming months. I look forward to getting to know its members better and sharing more business news with my readers.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 9/22/2022)

A busy Webster Saturday lies ahead

27 Apr

As I was looking through my “what am I going to blog about next?” notes, I noticed that there are no fewer than FOUR events coming up this weekend — well, Saturday Aril 30, specifically — which I thought I’d better remind you all about.

I’ve already told you about the first four:

Spring Barbecue

St. Martin’s Lutheran Church’s spring chicken BBQ is Saturday, from 4:30 p.m. until they’re sold out.

This is a drive-through event. Dinners will include a half chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw, roll and butter for $12. There will be no advance sales; cars can pay when they enter the parking lot, first come, first served. Signs will direct cars to the pay station, and then to the side entrance where you can pick up the boxed dinners.

Proceeds will support St. Martin’s Christmas Stocking Project which reaches more than 500 youth in Monroe and Wayne counties.

Cars Along the Creek

The Friends of Webster Trails will be leading a guided hike through Four Mile Creek Preserve on Saturday, and telling you all about the six abandoned cars you can see along the trails. Apparently the land on which the preserve is now located, at the corner of Phillips and Lake roads, used to be used by the local youth as a makeshift racetrack in the early 1960s. Among the cars you’ll see are:

* 1951 Chevrolet Styleine Deluxe Bel Air
* 1961 Ford 500 Galaxy Club Victoria
* 1959 Nash Rambler
* 1959 Chevy Bel Air
* 1954 Plymouth Belvedere Suburban
* 1949 Green Nash Airflyte

The two-hour hike will begin at 10 a.m. at the parking lot on Phillips Rd.

Drug Take-Back

Also on Saturday April 30, the Webster Health and Education Network is holding a Drug Take-Back Event in conjunction with Wegmans, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at both the Holt Rd. and Baytowne locations. No appointment is necessary. Just look for a drop-off location in the parking lot.

Only pills and patches will be accepted, no needles, liquids or sharps.

Shredding Event

The Webster Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Shredding Event on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Chamber of Commerce office, 1110 Crosspointe Lane. The event is open to everyone and there’s no quantity limits, but please remove all file folders, binders and plastic bags.

Harmony House concert to benefit Hope House

This last event is something I only learned about a few days ago but it sounds like a lot of fun AND it’s for a good cause.

Five live bands will be coming together at the Harmony House on Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m. for a family-friendly “Spring Harmony Unmasked” concert to benefit Hope House.

The bands — Group Therapy Country Grass Band, Gabrielle Owen, the BarnStrummers, Fragile Ego and Eli & Co. — will play a wide range of music including country, bluegrass, southern rock, pop and more.

Suggested donation at the door is only $5 for a whole afternoon and evening of music, and all proceeds will benefit Hope House of Webster. There will be a cash bar as well. For more information, including more about each band and when each band will be playing, click here.

The Harmony House is located at 58 E. Main Street in the Village of Webster.

And this just in…

I found out that a few local Girl Scout troops will be setting up shop Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in front of Barry’s Old School Irish to sell their leftover Girl Scout cookies.

This is a great opportunity to stock up again — and perhaps try a new variety — especially if you’re like me and somehow the freezer in the garage was not QUITE far enough away to keep you from eating all of your original batch of cookies.

Barry’s is located at 2 West Main Street in the Village of Webster, right at the village’s four corners.

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Chamber recognizes Denise Baller as Business Person of the Year

29 Jan

Congratulations to Denise Baller, the high-spirited, fun-loving owner/operator of Dancing With Denise, for receiving this year’s Webster Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year award.

Denise was honored at the recent Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting. The award recognized Dancing With Denise’s 37-year history in Webster, and Denise’s long-standing commitment to the Webster community. (The list of community service projects which she submitted as part of her nomination form filled a full two pages.)

I can personally attest to that commitment. I’ve featured Denise and her dancers several times in my blog, like when they’ve participated in community events, danced outside the windows at Maplewood Nursing Home, donated money to Bella’s Bumbas, and more.

True to her nature, Denise deflected much of the credit for the award to others in her life, including her husband Bill who found their building and turned it into a “castle”; her parents — “Miss Tina” and Frank — who taught her to work hard and persevere; and of course her dance families.

“I was also excited to use this as a teachable moment for my twins as well as all of my students,” she added, “to always reach for your star.”

Believe it or not, the day got even better for Denise. Immediately after the meeting, she headed over to Penfield Place Senior Living, where she shared the award with her former dance teacher, Joan Grabell Brown.

She wrote,

When the pandemic began, I used to go to see (Miss Joan) by doing window visits. I hadn’t see her since the fall, although I thought of her often. So today I decided to thank HER and show her what I had accomplished. …

It was so wonderful to see her in person and show her the honor I had received and to say thank you. I told her I wouldn’t be “Miss Denise” unless she was “Miss Joan”. I then proceeded to tell how she had inspired me through her own philosophy of teaching dance and that I was so grateful to be able to share this special moment with her. She has Alzheimer’s and every time I go to see her, I often wonder if she is going to remember me. But she does and today was super special because she was proud of me.

On a heartwarming side note, Denise met the facility’s activities director when she was there, who invited her to come back every week to teach a dance class with the residents.

“I am so happy to spread my love to them on a weekly basis, especially to ‘Miss Joan’, who I know is going to be my star student. The circle of life… it’s a beautiful thing.”

All in all, it was pretty much a perfect day.

… a special day I’ll always remember, because I received (the award) and circled it back to the person who instilled in me my love for dance and the ability to share the simplicity of creating an environment where (every dancer) feels like a prince or princess.

Dancing With Denise is located at 1077 Gravel Rd. in West Webster.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

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Diane McClure is Webster’s 2020 Business Person of the Year

14 Feb


Diane McClure receives her award from Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber of Commerce

Congratulations to Diane McClure, a partner at Edge Advertising Group, who was just named Webster’s 2020 Business Person of the Year by the Webster Chamber of Commerce.

The Business Person of the Year is someone who is recognized as having set a standard of accomplishment in both business and the community. Nominations come from the Chamber’s business members who have made a significant impact on the role of business in the community.

A nominee must be an active member of the Chamber who is always willing to go above and beyond, be a leader who motivates others, and show a commitment to community building by participating their time, talent or money to our community via projects, clubs, churches, and not-for-profits.

McClure is a founding partner in the Edge Advertising Group, based in Fairport. In their press release, the Chamber describes her as

a very active Chamber member, a wife, a mother, a business partner, an Angel Mom, a passionate mentor, full of energy and digitally charged. She is a familiar face at Chamber breakfast, active in the Webster business community.

The presentation was made at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting. Diane was presented with a plaque, and a contribution was made in her name to a charitable organization of her choice.

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Webster community mailbag

4 Feb


The Webster Chamber of Commerce recently honored Joseph A. Vitello (2nd from right) as their 2019 Business Person of the Year. Also pictured (l to r) are Joe’s mother and wife, Barry Howard, Webster Chamber President/CEO and Dawn Sargent, Webster Chamber Board Chair.

Congratulations to Joseph Vitello for recently being named Webster Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Business Person of the Year.

Vitello is a Senior Product Advisor for Heartland Payroll Solutions who has been an enthusiastic Chamber member for a number of years and is a familiar face at Chamber breakfasts. He’s been active in our Webster business community and many businesses know him as a leading sales professional in his company.

Vitello was recognized at the Chamber’s most recent Breakfast Before Business meeting, where was presented with a plaque by Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber of Commerce.

Kindergarten Orientation, Registration Set

Parents of incoming kindergarteners in the 2019-20 school year are reminded that the Webster School District’s Parent Orientation and Registration Night is Tuesday, February 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at your student’s school. Walk-in registration is available Wednesday through Friday, February 27 to March 1, during the school day, also at your children’s school. For more information, go to websterschools.org, then select Central Registration under the Departments tab.

February at the Library

Here’s a quick run-down of some of the fun things happening at the Webster Public Library this month:

* Wednesday Night Book Discussion

This month’s book discussion group is reading The Stranger in the Woods, the real-life adventure of Christopher Knight, who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years. The group’s next meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. All are welcome to come and no registration necessary.

Can’t make it this month? Stop by on March 6, when the group will be discussing The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict. You can pick up a copy at the circulation desk.

* The Wonders of Washington State

Lake Quinault, Quinault Rain Forest, Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Vancouver Island, North Cascades National Park, Seattle and San Juan Island … Is it possible to visit all of these breathtaking spots in 2 weeks? Yes, it is! Experience the beauty of Washington State in a travelogue presented Tuesday Feb. 12 from 2 to 3 p.m. in the community room.

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* Love Not Loving

Do you hate hearts and flowers? Do you think Cupid is stupid? If you don’t fall for this overrated Hallmark holiday, then you’re in luck! Bring your friends and join us in celebrating Anti-Valentine’s Day with fun activities and tasty treats! Grades 6 to 12 are welcome, and registration is required. Click here for more information.

* February Break activities

Looking ahead to February break, make sure to check the library schedule for all sorts of fun and educational activities for the kids. They can test their engineering skills with the Family Egg Drop Challenge, discover what’s inside a microwave in How it Works, use everyday household items in Building Mini Launchers, learn the beginnings of coding in Offline Coding for Beginners, or build a giant castle on Boxing Day!

Visit the Webster Public Library website for more information about all these programs.

The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s next Saturday Flapjack Breakfast is scheduled for February 16 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the church, 1862 Penfield Road.

For just $5 per person, you get all-you-can-eat pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and beverages. All are welcome, and the venue is handicapped accessible.

Proceeds this month will benefit the Resolve, an organization dedicated to intervening and preventing domestic and sexual violence against women

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email me at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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