12/05/13 8:53pm
12/05/2013 8:53 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The winners of the 2013 Riverhead Chamber of Commerce People of the Year awards.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The winners of the 2013 Riverhead Chamber of Commerce People of the Year awards.

The Riverhead Chamber of Commerce honored its 2013 “People of the Year” during its annual holiday party Thursday night. The event was held at the Suffolk Theater in downtown Riverhead.

Here’s what the chamber had to say about this year’s honorees and a remark from each of the winners:

Gold Key Award

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Lisa and Richard Isreal of Richmond Realty.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Lisa and Richard Israel of Richmond Realty.

Lisa and Richard Israel

Presenter Monique Gablenz: “All who know Richard know he is a very determined, straightforward, ‘Get it done’ kind of guy… and Lisa is a smart, personable, very hard-working woman with the same work ethic as Richard who happens to be married to him.”

Co-recipient Ike Israel: “I’ve been here for over 25 years. I’ve seen Riverhead grow to a great place, to where I think now we’ve become the center of commerce. I’ve met some great businesspeople all along the way who have always put their heart and soul into Riverhead.”

Business of the Year

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Timothy Stevens and Edward Harmes of Island International Industries with award presenter Tracy James.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Timothy Stevens and Edward Harms of Island International Industries with award presenter Tracy James.

Island International Industries

Presenter Tracy James: “In my position in the IDA and as president of the Chamber, I have a unique opportunity to get to know the many businesses in Riverhead in a more in-depth way. I’m proud to have these companies here putting Riverhead on the map across the world every day. Island Industries is one such company … we can only hope their continued success continues to put Riverhead on the map.”

Co-recipient Ed Harms: “We are thrilled to call the Town of Riverhead our partner. We’ve chosen to make you our partner. We feel that we actually truly do have one in the town of Riverhead. As such, we don’t plan on being shy on continuing to ask for continued support… we’re thrilled to be able to bring manufacturing back to Long Island, back to Calverton, and back to the Town of Riverhead where it once was and where Tim and I think it belongs.”

Co-recipient Timothy Stevens: “I think Ed summed it up pretty well but we are pretty grateful we found a lot here. What we have out here is every owner’s dream. Most of the large developers in the city were able to come out and actually witness their high-rise structures being fabricated in the Town of Riverhead and being locally shipped into the city and up north, to Boston.”

Persons of the Year

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Bob and Dianne Castaldi of the Suffolk Theatre.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Bob and Dianne Castaldi of the Suffolk Theatre.

Dianne and Bob Castaldi

Presenter Pat Snyder: “Dianne and Bob Castaldi, thank you for bringing this extraordinary venue to downtown Riverhead. You have given downtown Riverhead a point of pride.”

Recipients Bob & Dianne Castaldi: “It was August of 2004 when Dianne saw a small ad in the Suffolk Times that the Suffolk Theater was for sale. I would never imagine that we would be standing here today. That one small ad has changed our lives forever. Downtown Riverhead has become our neighborhood, our hometown and our future. Standing here today, we see so many familiar faces that we can now call friends.”

Agricultural Achievement Award

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Award presenter Robert Bugdin with John Condzella of Condzella Hops, right.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Award presenter Robert Bugdin with John Condzella of Condzella Hops, right.

Condzella Hops

Presenter Robert Bugdin: “I admire and respect John for having the fortitude to have started a venture like this. It’s interesting and satisfying to know that the whole craft beer process happens here on Long Island and, most importantly, in Riverhead.”

Recipient John Condzella: “I’d like to thank the Chamber of Commerce. There’s a lot of new and exciting things happening in agriculture here in Riverhead and I’m absolutely honored to have received this award. I’d like to thank my parents — my father for teaching me a lot about agriculture over the years. The brewing community out here has been extremely supportive of what I’ve been doing and I’m extremely happy to be part of that family now.”

Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Award presenter Janine Nebons with Stony Brook Incubator  assistant director Patrick Iacono and director Monique Gablenz.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Award presenter Janine Nebons with Stony Brook Incubator assistant director Patrick Iacono and director Monique Gablenz.

Stony Brook University Incubator at Calverton

Presenter Janine Nebons: “The Stony Brook Incubator is the hallmark of collaboration, and when businesses have an opportunity to participate and coordinating private and public partnership strategies their chance of long-term success is so greatly enhanced.”

Recipient Monique Gablenz: “Through the establishment of the Incubator with labs and equipment and now, most recently, the facilities and equipment for shared food processing, we are experiencing the birth and growth of many small businesses.”

Director of the Year

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Deb Schmitt with award presenter Carmela Di Talia.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Deb Schmitt with award presenter Carmela Di Talia.

Deb Schmitt

Presenter Carmela Ditalia: “While busy with her many roles as a farmer, educator and promoter, wife and mother, Debbie still found time to serve on the Board of Directors at the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce. Although soft spoken, she always offered her ideas and the board and the community benefited from those ideas.”

Recipient Deb Schmitt: “I would like to thank you for this award. It has been an honor being on the Chamber of Commerce and the people that worked with me and were on the board were exceptionally wonderful people. Like I said, it really was an honor to be a part of it and to learn.”

Community Appreciation

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Denise Lucas of Move the Animal Shelter, right, with award presenter Angie Reese.

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Denise Lucas of Move the Animal Shelter, right, with award presenter Angie Reese.

Denise Lucas

Presenter Angie Reese: “This year’s recipient started making a difference in 2011, when she started the organization ‘Riverhead, Move the Animal Shelter.’ She raised money with the goal of relocating the shelter from its current Youngs Avenue location. She has successfully and is still working toward establishing dog parks in Riverhead and in relocating the shelter.”

Recipient Denise Lucas: “Thank you everybody — my family, my friends, and the people that I roped into helping me… especially Fred McLaughlin, for the night I bothered you and knocked on your door and said ‘Would you please help me?’”

Spirit of Riverhead Award

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Denise Civiletti and Peter Blasl of Riverhead Local with  award presenter Tom Lennon.

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Denise Civiletti and Peter Blasl of Riverhead Local with award presenter Tom Lennon.

RiverheadLocal.com

Presenter Tom Lennon: “Several years ago, Denise and Peter went out on a big limb. They abandoned their professions and started what we now affectionately know as Riverhead Local with nothing more than an idea and a dream that they could bring out the best of Riverhead, whether it be with sports, news or photography. They have done a tremendous job doing that in three short years … they have shown what it means to bring out the best side of Riverhead.”

Recipient Denise Civiletti: “We talked about this before — how blessed are you when you can earn a living doing what you love? That’s what we’re doing and we want to say thank you very much for the kind words, thank you for the support, and thank you for the honor.”

The event was sponsored by:

Lead Sponsor

Riverhead News-Review

Supporting Sponsor

Suffolk Primary Health

Stony Brook University

Tanger Outlets

Contributing Sponsors

Skydive Long Island

Suffolk County National Bank

Email News-Review business reporter Rachel Young at ryoung@timesreview.com.

11/09/13 8:00am
11/09/2013 8:00 AM
Pickersgill's Robert James salon

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO| Downtown Riverhead looking west from the second floor above Robert James Salon.

The Riverhead Chamber of Commerce will recognize select businesses, individuals and organizations that have made a considerable impact and notable contribution to the community throughout the year at its annual awards dinner on Thursday, Dec. 5.

The public is invited to attend the dinner, which will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead. Tickets are $65 per person and can be obtained from Mary Hughes at (631) 727-7600 or by emailing info@riverheadchamber.com.

This year’s award recipients include:

• 2013 Persons of the Year: Dianne and Bob Castaldi of the Suffolk Theater
• 2013 Business of the Year: Island International Industries, Inc.
• 2013 Agricultural Achievement Award: John Condzella of Condzella Hops
• 2013 Gold Key Award: Lisa and Richard Israel of Richmond Realty
• 2013 Entrepreneurial Achievement Award: Stony Brook University’s Incubator at Calverton
• 2013 Spirit of Riverhead Award: Riverhead Local
• 2013 Community Appreciation Award: Denise Lucas of Riverhead Move the Animal Shelter
• 2013 Director of the Year: Debra Schmitt, member of the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

09/02/13 12:00pm
09/02/2013 12:00 PM

East End Arts will present ‘Art Means Business,’ a seminar and networking party, from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead. Business owners, artists, government officials, arts and nonprofit organizations and the public are invited to attend.

The keynote speaker is Michelle Isabelle-Stark, director of film and cultural affairs for the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development. She’ll talk about “Destination Downtown,” the county’s marketing campaign aimed at promoting small businesses, business districts and historic downtowns.

A panel discussion on ways for small businesses to partner with the arts will be moderated by Citibank business banker Jim Cairo. Panelists will include Baiting Hollow Vineyard owner Paula Geonie; Michael Mahon, owner of 73 Main in Riverhead; The Riverhead Project owner Dennis McDermott ; Ron Rothman, owner of Rothman’s Department Store in Southold; and Ann Vandenburgh, co-owner and art curator of Greenport Harbor Brewing Company.

Tickets are $25 in advance for East End Arts and Riverhead Chamber of Commerce members; $30 in advance for nonmembers; and $35 at the door.

12/06/12 10:41pm
12/06/2012 10:41 PM

The Riverhead Chamber of Commerce honored its 2012 “People of the Year” during its annual holiday party Thursday night. The event was held at Vineyard Caterers in Aquebogue.

Here’s what the chamber has to say about this year’s honorees:

Person of the Year

Ray Maynard, Skydive Long Island

“It’s not unusual for Ray to take a leap of faith,” said presenter Tracy Stark James of the Riverhead IDA, the chamber’s treasurer. “So he jumped into Riverhead … and off he flew.”

Business of the Year

Riverhead Raceway, Barbara and Jim Cromarty

“Their business helps drive business to the Town of Riverhead,” said presenter Robert Bugdin of American Tent Company, a chamber board member.

The Cromartys could not attend the dinner since they were traveling to a Nascar event. They did appear via Skype and announced the iconic Indian statue, damaged during Superstorm Sandy, “will be up by Christmas.”

Gold Key Award

Star Confectionery, The Meras Family

“They are a true reflection of the town,” said presenter Tom Lennon of Pine Barrens Printing, chamber director at large.

Brian Stark, who delivered a bit of a roast to the Meras’ said: “The nice thing about Papa Nicks is that you always feel like you’re at home.”

“My parents taught me … you take an interest in your customer,” said Anthony Meras, who then rattled off the regular breakfast, lunch and ice cream orders of a few of the guests at the event.

Agricultural Achievement Award

Long Island Cauliflower Association

“The officers, directors and management of the Long Island Cauliflower Association, some of whom are descendants of its founders, are still committed to the success of the Long Island Cauliflower association and to serving the growers of Long Island,” the Chamber wrote in its program. Chamber executive director Mary Hughes presented the award.

Director of the Year

Carmela DiTalia 

“While always the consummate professional, she always has a fun personality,” said presenter Robert Kern of 2XS Consulting, a chamber board member. Ms. DiTalia is an attorney with Esseks, Hefter & Angel LLP of Riverhead and the secretary of the chamber.

Spirit of Riverhead Award

2012 RHS Girls Basketball Team

“In 2012, we were dazzled by a group of smart and unstoppable girls,” said presenter Janine Nebons of Tanger Outlet Center, the chamber’s president. Accepting for the Blue Waves was coach Dave Spinella, and players Marta Czaplak, Jocelyn Zaneski and Katie McKillop.

Lifetime Service Award

Jesse Goodale, Sr.

“He has lived a life of honesty, integrity and community and it shows,” said presenter Pat Snyder, executive director of East End Arts, a chamber board member. “Riverhead Building Supply is a reflection of its founder.”

11/12/12 3:28pm
11/12/2012 3:28 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Skydive Long Island owner Ray Maynard in a 2007 News-Review photo.

The Riverhead Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of its annual awards for 2012, according to a statement from the chamber.

The chamber chose Skydive Long Island founder Ray Maynard as their Person of the Year. Mr. Maynard, a former U.S. National Parachute Team member and silver-medalist in the 2001 U.S. Nationals, established the Calverton business in 1986. He was named the Times Review’s Business Person of the Year in 2007.

The Spirit of Riverhead award will go to the 2012 Riverhead High School Girls Basketball Team, which won the county title last school year.

Riverhead Raceway will be awarded Business of the Year by the chamber, which will also give the Gold Key Award to the Meras Family who run the Star Confectionary on East Main Street.

The agriculture award will be given to the Long Island Cauliflower Association, according to the chamber. Carmen DiTalia will win the Director of the Year award, while the lifetime achievement award will go to Jesse Goodale Sr.

The awards will be presented at the chamber’s annual awards dinner at The Vineyards on Main Road in Aquebogue on Dec. 6. The event will last from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will cost $65 per person or $115 per couple.

12/10/11 11:36am
12/10/2011 11:36 AM
Hyatt Place East End

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Robert Bugdin presents Vincent "Governor" Golembeski with the Lifetime Service Award.

“Community” was the word of the night at Friday’s Riverhead Chamber of Commerce 2011 Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Place East End.

Nearly each and every awards recipient Friday said they do what they do to make Riverhead a better place, and they couldn’t do any of it without the support of the surrounding business community.

“It’s the people that make Riverhead work,” said Chamber president Janine Nebons.

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The following is a list of those honored Friday:

Person of the Year — Dennis McDermott

Dennis McDermott opened The Riverhead Project, his third restaurant and first in Riverhead, this spring to rave reviews from a long list of media outlets, which included the New York Times.

But it’s the way he opened his business — quickly and creatively — that caught the eye of Riverhead’s Chamber of Commerce.

“The chamber couldn’t help but notice how one man in five months took the corner of Maple and Main and brought it back to life,” said Tracy Stark-James, executive director of the Riverhead IDA and treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. McDermott, who recently sat down for a Q&A with our Long Island Wine Press, said Friday night that he was flattered to be recognized.

“When I first heard I was the person of the year I thought, ‘Why me?’” he said. “It’s not what I’m doing, it’s what Riverhead’s doing. I’m just happy to be a pretty face.”

Agritourism Award — Long Island Wine Council

Jamesport Vineyards owner and Wine Council president Ron Goerler remembers a time when there was just five grape growers producing wine on the North Fork.

Today we have a wine region here, with 49 wine producers belonging to the Long Island Wine Council. Over the past seven years, Long Island wine region tourism has grown from 500,000 visitors a year to 1.3 million.

No organization has helped grow Long Island Wine Country more than the Long Island Wine Council, which was founded in 1989.

But both Mr. Goerler and Wine Council executive director Steve Bate pointed out Friday that it’s the help wineries receive from other businesses in the area that means the most to them.

“What’s great about Riverhead is people coming together,” Mr. Goerler said. “It’s the vision of this community.”

Businesspersons of the Year — Matt and Gail Kar

If you live on the North Fork and you like food, it’s hard not to know who Matt and Gail Kar are. And it’s impossible to have never heard of their three businesses.

Want a great lunch on Route 25 in Jamesport? You likely go to the Jamesport Country Kitchen, which the Kars purchased nearly 25 years ago. Looking to class it up a bit at dinner time? Odds are you’ve seen the beautiful Jamesport Manor Inn. And most everyone recognizes the Kars’ Christopher Michael Catering as among the best the East End has to offer.

But it’s not just the quality of the Kars’ businesses that the chamber recognized Friday, but also the way the couple does its business.

“Matt and Gail clearly understand a business can do more for its community,” said East End Arts executive director Pat Snyder.

Like many of Friday night’s recipients, Mr. Kar acknowledged his surrounding businesses in his speech.

“It’s like Ron [Goerler] said, together as a team we can do better,” the longtime North Fork resident said.

Director of the Year — Robert Kern

When you belong to a Chamber of Commerce or any other community service group, it’s easy to butt heads from time to time with the other directors. You aren’t always going to see eye to eye, so sometimes it’s best to just speak your mind.

The CEO of the marketing company 2XS and the longtime general manager of Martha Clara Vineyards, Bob Kern has never had a problem speaking his mind at a Riverhead Chamber of Commerce meeting.

And that’s a big reason he was named Director of the Year Friday, members said.

“He hardly ever misses a meeting and he never holds back,” Ms. Nebons said.

Mr. Kern called the award and his service a “humbling experience.”

“I love the sense of community here,” he said in accepting his award. “Riverhead should be the model for other parts of Long Island. We are doing well in Riverhead.”

Gold Key Award — Riverhead Business Improvement District

The focus of many in Riverhead for years has been about the revitalization of downtown Riverhead.

One group charged with making this happen is the Riverhead BID’s 12-member board of directors, which oversees 322 parcels in the downtown district.

It’s not every year that the BID can look back in December and say the previous year has been a success. But in 2011, few would argue downtown Riverhead isn’t feeling a little more revitalized.

The chamber pointed to the BID’s efforts to host a Mardi Gras festival and its annual Cardboard Boat Race as creative ways the BID has brought consumers to downtown Riverhead.

For their efforts, the Riverhead BID was honored with the Gold Key Award Friday night.

Accepting the award was BID president Ray Pickersgill and directors Bill Allen and Tony Coates.

Mr. Coates told a story of being a bit scared of downtown Riverhead while visiting it as a kid, but how he’s grown to love his adopted hometown, which he’s seen make great strides in recent years.

“We ain’t where we want to be,” he said in his acceptance speech. “But we ain’t where we used to be either.”

Spirit of Riverhead Award — Riverhead NJROTC

For more than 35 years, the Riverhead High students who serve as NJROTC members have been doing good in the community.

The organization promotes leadership development, self discipline, physical fitness, teamwork and community service. It’s the latter that got it recognized by the Chamber of Commerce.

“These students manage to stop what they’re doing at any time, including the holidays, to attend events where they lead prayers and the pledge of allegiance,” said Ms. Nebons, who presented the NJROTC with its award.

Many of the members will go on to serve in the military, others said they have plans to attend four-year universities.

“The unit is really honored,” said commander Matthew Mulvaney, who will attend the University of Maine next year on what he hopes will be a Marine Corps. scholarship. “We take a lot of pride in our community service.”

Lifetime Service Award — Vincent ‘Governor’ Golembeski

Some people would be happy to live 67 years. For Vincent Golembeski, that’s just how long he’s served as a volunteer fireman.

The 86-year-old Polish Town resident has been awarded the department’s Top Responder award so many times, Friday night’s presenter and fellow firefighter Bobby Bugdin joked that other members of the department once took a hit out on his life.

Mr. Bugdin told a story of one time when Mr. Golembeski was responding to a call and his leg was run over by a fire truck.

“He didn’t say a word because he didn’t want to get in the way, knowing someone’s life could be on the line,” Mr. Bugdin said. So Mr. Golembeski hopped in the truck and went to the scene of the emergency.

But his injury would prevent him from winning the Top Responder award that year.

“It took him getting run over by a truck,” Mr. Bugdin joked.

When it came time to accept his award, Mr. Golembeski said just six words. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Said Mr. McDermott: “That was the best speech of the night.”

gparpan@timesreview.com

11/15/11 11:00am
11/15/2011 11:00 AM

CHAMBER COURTESY PHOTO | Front row, from left: Bob Kern, Janine Nebons, Matthew Mulvaney, Ashlyn Whyard, Michael Kujawski, Kim Moreno and Amanda Gallo, Gail Kar and Matt Kar. Back row, from left: Dennis McDermott, Lt. Col. Peter McCarthy, Jacob Phillips, Francis Basile, Patrick Kruszon-Oeffner, James McEntee, Brian Weinhardt, Ron Goerler, Steve Bate.

The Riverhead Chamber of Commerce announced its annual People of the Year winners Monday, with The Riverhead Project owner Dennis McDermott topping the list as “Person of the Year.”

The organization will host a celebration for this year’s winners on Friday, Dec. 9 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The SeaStar Ballroom at The Hyatt Hotel on East Main Street.

The following is the complete list of winners for this year:

Dennis McDermott of The Riverhead Project as 2011 Person of The Year

Matt and Gail Kar of Jamesport Country Kitchen, Jamesport Manor Inn, and Christopher Michael Catering as 2011 Businesspersons of The Year

Long Island Wine Council will receive 2011 Agritourism Award

Riverhead Business Improvement District will receive 2011 Gold Key Award

Riverhead High School NJROTC will receive 2011 Spirit of Riverhead Award

Vincent Golembeski, 50+ year volunteer member of Riverhead Fire Department will be honored with 2011 Lifetime Service Award

Robert Kern, member of the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will be recognized as its 2011 Director of the Year

Tickets for the awards celebration are $60 per person or $100 per couple.  Tickets and further information can be obtained by calling Mary Hughes at 631-727-7600 or emailing info@riverheadchamber.com.

04/07/11 3:58pm
04/07/2011 3:58 PM

‘Brookhaven National Laboratory: Long Island’s Innovation Engine’ is the topic of Riverhead Chamber of Commerce’s next ‘Eggs & Issues’ breakfast meeting. Dr. Walter Copan, BNL’s managing director of technology commercialization and partnerships, will speak at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 14, at The Hilton Garden Inn in Riverhead.

For reservations (members, $12; nonmembers, $15), call 727-7600 or visit riverheadchamber.com.