OSWEGO — The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce (GOFCC) on Wednesday hosted its 2023 annual meeting, presented by Constellation, at the Lake Ontario Event & Conference Center in Oswego.
More than 200 people attended the meeting to hear GOFCC Executive Director Sara Broadwell outline new programs and projects that will launch in the coming year to support businesses and drive continued progress for the community.
Additionally, she talked about the progress being driven by the chamber’s members. In keeping with the event’s theme, Community First, the GOFCC recognized those businesses that are creating vibrancy in Oswego County.
“This event celebrates the companies, small businesses, institutions, organizations and local officials that make Oswego County a unique and welcoming place to live and work,” said Broadwell. “We know small businesses are our community’s economic drivers, and together with our large employers, they create an ecosystem that moves the community forward. Now, as we prepare for a bright future with exciting new opportunities on the horizon, we must lean into what makes Oswego County an exceptional place to continue our upward growth trajectory.”
The event featured keynote remarks from Kristi Eck, executive director of strategic initiatives, external partnerships and legislative affairs at SUNY Oswego.
Eck shared her perspective on the importance of embracing a “community first” mindset that focuses and informs as everyone works together to recognize the unique potential of the community, committing to a collective impact model in the years ahead.
“Collective impact and collective good drive momentum,” Eck said.
She cited progress made at SUNY Oswego and the impact that has been made with its community partnerships. Eck also pointed out many positive programs in the Oswego and Fulton areas that point to continued growth and a brighter future.
With the anticipated arrival of Micron in central New York, just 11 miles from Fulton, it’s an exciting time for the area, she said, adding that the region is in a renaissance, and it’s time for ideas and values to be put into action.
“We have done so much good, and we can do even better,” Eck said.
The GOFCC also presented four awards during the event. The award winners were announced by Andrew Fish, CenterState CEO senior vice president of member and business experience.
The Small Business Award was presented to Alison Canale Scanlon and Marissa Canale, owners of The Press Box restaurant in Oswego. This award recognizes small business owners for outstanding customer and employee relations, milestones, company growth, or for having made a notable impact through their dedication to Oswego County.
The Press Box, family owned and operated since 1984, recently invested in expansion. The business donates to many causes in the community, including supporting local athletics and youth activities for more than three decades. Fish said The Press Box embodies “what it means to put community first.”
The Impact Award, recognizing a nonprofit that demonstrates excellence and has driven significant impact to Oswego County, was presented to Oswego Industries.
Oswego Industries is a private not-for-profit agency in Fulton dedicated to the provision of services and support to people with disabilities since 1968. Its mission is to be a leader in the field of developmental disabilities, committed to meeting needs and individual growth, productivity, and independence in the various services it provides.
The Community Investor Award was presented to Eagle Beverage Company. This award goes to an individual or organization that has made a substantial investment in and commitment to the improvement of Oswego County’s communities. Eagle Beverage began in Oswego County and now serves five counties in the region.
The Nancy L. Premo Woman of Distinction Award was presented to Paloma Sarkar, first vice president, enterprise risk management and strategic planning, for Pathfinder Bank. This award celebrates a woman in business whose service has made a positive impact in the community, in honor of Nancy Premo, CenterState CEO’s late vice president of human resources.
Sarkar came to Oswego State from India to pursue her master’s degree. Among her activities, she serves on the advisory board of the SUNY Oswego School of Business, and as treasurer of the Safe Haven Museum and Education Center.
She is a board member of the Girl Scouts and Oswego Health.
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