Business of The Year:
Tompkins Bank of Castile
Tompkins celebrated its 150th Anniversary this past Spring. Fewer than 5% of the banks operating in the United States have been around that long. The longevity aside, Tompkins has always taken great pride in being a local community supporter and has consistently followed through on that goal.
“We believe in the power of the local people working together to help our communities grow and thrive,” said John McKenna, President and CEO. Since its beginnings Tompkins has valued its employees and invested in the communities they serve by volunteering and donating to charities, nonprofits and civic organizations.
The Genesee County Chamber commends Tompkins for its years of community service and are pleased to honor them as the 2019 Business of the Year.
Agricultural Business of The Year:
My-T Acres (Call Lands)
My-T Acres was established in 1922 and has developed into one of the largest vegetable growing farms in New York State. Now in its 3rd generation of ownership, the Call family has put its heart into their work and have been great community supporters throughout the business’ lifetime.
The family has made significant donations to the United Memorial Medical Center, Genesee Community College and the local YMCA. They are a family that is looked up to in this community and have developed a farm that is known nationally for their crops. In many ways they have put Genesee County and its Agricultural businesses on the map.
The Genesee County Chamber is pleased to honor the Call family and highlight the successes of My-T Acres by presenting them as the 2019 Ag Business of the Year.
Special Service Recognition:
Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship
Purple Pony serves a special needs population through therapeutic horsemanship. This is defined as equine activities that are organized and taught by knowledgeable and skilled instructors to people with disabilities or diverse needs. As students progress in equestrian skills, they improve their emotional, cognitive, social and behavioral skills.
Purple Pony could not operate without the dedication of caring volunteers. They are an integral part of providing this recreational therapy to people with disabilities. The program leads to beneficial equine therapy that enhances the quality of life of these individuals through educational recreation.
The Genesee County Chamber is proud to honor Purple Pony and its volunteers by formally recognizing them with the 2019 Special Service Recognition.
Geneseean of The Year:
Jeff Allen, Executive Director at Crossroads House
The following is taken from a submission by Diane Sia,
Director of Development, Crossroads House.
“You may have seen a drawing of a boss versus a leader. The boss is sitting behind his desk, ordering his employees out in front, stagecoach style, to pull harder to move him forward. Then there is an illustrated leader who is at the front of the line, pulling along with the crew, pulling everyone forward.
Jeff Allen is our leader at Crossroads House.” – Diane Sia
When Jeff retired after 25 years at the Dept of Corrections, he intended to work part time at Home Depot. After a very short time, his daughter encouraged him to apply for the Executive Director position at Crossroads House. She thought he was perfect for this position, and he was. His many years of experience as a trauma specialist prepared him to be the calm at the center of the storm. He accepted the challenge of comforting grief-stricken families and caring for those who have terminal illnesses at Crossroads House. However, Jeff is not just a person who accepts the responsibilities of his role, he far exceeds them. Crawling under an electronic bed to fix a problem, figuring out why a washer is leaking; but never being too busy to hold the hand of a person who is in their last moments of life.
He goes even further for the community with his wife Darla, as they volunteer for Care-A-Van Ministries, by packing bags of food for the needy. Jeff is usually the first to arrive for a fundraiser and the last to leave. Don’t ask Jeff how many hours a week he works, he won’t tell you. He lives his life as an example of what it is to sacrifice for others. There is no one better to model love in action at Crossroads House, where the sanctity of life and death go hand-in-hand. He is the leader at the front pulling the rest of us of forward.