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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Denise Lucas of Move the Animal Shelter, right, with award presenter Angie Reese.
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.
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:
Suffolk Primary Health
Stony Brook University
Skydive Long Island
Suffolk County National Bank
Email News-Review business reporter Rachel Young at email@example.com.