More than 135 people attended the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce's luncheon on Jan. 15 for the presentation of the ninth annual Community Business Awards.
The Chamber's Economic Development committee selects the award winners each year from both Stow and Munroe Falls.
Prior to the presentations, Larry Brimlow announced the Chamber had met a goal of 400 members in 2012, making it one of the largest in Summit County.
Besso Clinic of Chiropractic Inc. in Stow was awarded the SMFCC President's Award. Presenting the award was Chamber president Richard Sprungle.
Dr. Geoff Besso and his wife, Dr. Amy Besso, opened their practice seven years ago in Stow and recently expanded to their new location on Darrow Road. In accepting the award, Dr. Geoff Besso thanked the whole community for its support, saying they felt "blessed to be in Stow."
The Stow Mayor's Award, presented by Mayor Sara Drew, went to Evant Inc. Evant relocated from Cuyahoga Falls last year to its present Hudson Drive site in Stow. Its mission statement is "Listening to and supporting people with disabilities," offering residential services to its clients.
Executive director Sherry Gedeon accepted the award, while Bill Naples, president of Evant's board of trustees, commented that the agency was "welcomed into the community by the chamber and the city."
McDonald's of Stow and Munroe Falls was the recipient of the Munroe Falls Mayor's Award, presented by Mayor Frank Larson. Larson said the community has always appreciated McDonald's "continued support to the community."
Sal Baglieri, owner, accepted the award and credited patrons for his ability to be involved with the community.
"We are only able to do so because of the guests we serve at our restaurants," Baglieri said.
Larson accepted the Munroe Falls Commercial Improvement Award on behalf of the winner, AMM Properties LLC, who was unable to attend the presentation.
Larson noted the "considerable improvements" made by the new building and landscaping at the North Main Street site, which includes Cupcake Binge.
Rob Kurtz, planning director for the city of Stow, presented GOJO Industries Inc. with the Stow Industrial Improvement Award. Kurtz noted GOJO had "renovated significantly" its new location on Commerce Drive.
Greg Jensen, accepting the award for GOJO, said the company "was looking forward to growing in Stow."
Creekside Family Dentistry, with its new location on the corner of Darrow Road and Commerce Drive, was given the Stow Medical Renovation Award. In presenting the award, Alex Piteo said the practice had done extensive renovations to the former Key Bank building with room to grow.
Dr. Robert Brandhorst accepted the award, saying they found it "very easy to get things done in Stow" when contemplating a move to the city.
The Stow Industrial Improvement Award was presented to Walter Metals Inc. by Kiran Khaitan. Edward Busi accepted the award and also noted the city "was very instrumental in our moving to Stow" after outgrowing its Hudson location. Walter Metals Inc. is located on Commerce Drive.
Winning the Stow Commercial Improvement Award was F.W. Albrecht Grocery Co. Acme Fresh Market #17. Bill Flinta, while presenting the award, noted the $5 million renovation done to the store on Kent Road.
Steve Albrecht, who accepted the award, noted Acme has been a "longtime business partner" with Stow, adding "it's worth it."
In addition to plaques from the Chamber, all winners received proclamations from Gov. John Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and from Congressman David Joyce.
Economic Development committee members include Doris Stewart, executive director of the Chamber; Anne DiCola, economic development coordinator for the city of Munroe Falls; Rob Kurtz, planning director for the city of Stow; Bill Flinta, Valley Savings Bank and past president of SMFCC; Dale Gaydos, Visualizations Ltd.; Kiran Khaitan, Kiran's Kustom Jewelry; and Alex Piteo, M.O.M.S. (Miracle on Main Street).