Thursday, September 16 2021

The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce prepares for the 25th Annual United Valley Business Banquet. The banquet will be held at the Best Western Grand Victorian Inn on September 22 starting at 5:00 p.m. The theme this year is “Treasures in the Sand, A Tribute to Our Members”.

The evening will begin with a Social Mixer from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Andrew Bartoli will entertain with music and is sponsored by The Grille at the station. Smith Photography will be taking group photos. Irene and Dave Radigan with Choice 102 will be the emcees.

The program will start at 6 p.m. with a mixed grill dinner served with Delmonico steak and chicken breast in a white wine cream sauce, salad, potatoes, vegetables, bread rolls and a strawberry shortcake. The Cash Bar will be available throughout the evening.

Throughout the evening, a silent auction with gift baskets and various items donated by chamber members will be held. The Athens and Waverly business associations will present their awards and the 2020 Great Valley Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award will be presented by 2019 laureate Jeff Paul. The vote for the businessman of the year will be accepted until September 1. All members of the House have the right to vote.

The Chamber will also present prizes to the winning companies of the “Community Connected” prize: “Small Business Hero” Prize: “Great Beginnings” and “Caring for our Community” Prize.

The nominees for the 2020 Businessman of the Year award are:

Dr. Eric Knolles, Waverly School District Superintendent:

Eric has been the Superintendent of the Waverly Central School District since 2018. Prior to that, he served in the United States Army and then became Deputy Sheriff of Bradford County. During this time, he wanted to have a bigger impact on his community, so he went back to school at Mansfield University. He then began teaching at the Spencer-Van Etten School District and, in 2002, received a NY Red Apple Award as the best regional teacher for his work as a professor of economics and government. Wanting to be closer to home, he accepted a position as a grade 7 teacher for the Sayre area school district and also earned his master’s degree in administration. He then became Deputy Principal of Towanda Secondary School before taking up the post of Principal of Spencer-Van Etten Middle School. In his tenure as principal, he worked tirelessly to connect schools to the community and to economic actors in the region. Working with the Waverly Central School District, his team focused on economic development. He serves on the Tioga County IDA Board of Directors, the Waverly Business Association, Tioga County Workforce Development, Waverly Rotary and Lions Club, as well as several associations. of State for Teachers and STEM Development. He completed his PhD in Educational Leadership and Economics in August 2020. Eric and his wife Melissa have a daughter, Abigail, who is a grade 11 student at Waverly High School.

Tim Phinney, The Enterprise Center:

Tim Phinney has been the Executive Director of Sayre Incubator, Inc. since 2000. The building is known locally as “Blue Swan” or “Sayre Lingerie”, and now as The Enterprise Center. Prior to working for The Enterprise Center, Tim was employed by Hunt Engineers at Corning as a project manager, before starting his own consulting firm in the late 1980s. Tim has helped communities and nonprofit organizations profit through the Twin Tiers to prepare grant applications and administer community development programs. Tim graduated from Mansfield University with a degree in political science. He is married to former Irene Cox, classmate at St. Agnes, class of 1966. Originally from Towanda, Tim and Irene have lived in the Valley area since 2004. Tim and Irene spend the winter in the Cabo Rojo area in Puerto Rico.

Lori Allen Unger, Futurescapes / Friends of Valley Playland:

Lori graduated from AAHS in 1996 and graduated from Bucknell University in 2000. She has been employed by The Hartford Insurance Group for the past 14 years as a sales representative for small commercial companies where she manages 250 independent insurance agents located in Georgia and Florida from home in Athens. In her spare time, Lori has a passion for volunteering and a deep love for her community. After the 2011 flood, she was part of a community steering committee that worked with FEMA on a long-term recovery plan. Transitioning to a 501c3 organization in 2012, Futurescapes serves as a coordinating entity between local and regional organizations to build partnerships and develop fundraising strategies that support the recovery of the entire community. Although the focus was originally on the flood recovery of the Athens district, the council maintains a vision of the entire valley community in its planning strategies. To date, Futurescapes has completed Phase 1 of the Diahoga Trail, achieved the city designation of Susquehanna Greenway River, and the recent reconstruction of Valley Playland. Lori was able to lead over 500 volunteers to complete the Valley Playland Project in just 6 days. She is president of Futurescapes, Friends of Valley Playland and IR Federal Credit Union. She currently lives in Athens with her husband Gabriel and their children, Stella and Ezekiel.

The cost per ticket is only $ 40 for GVCC members and $ 45 for non-members. The deadline for reservations is Wednesday September 15th. No ticket sales at the door. For more information, contact Eleanor Hill at (607) 249-6192 or email [email protected]


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