Chamber Presents Business Award Winners at Annual Meeting

Jul 18, 2008

At it’s Annual Meeting, the Chamber presented certificates of recognition to four area businesses recognizing the major contributions they have each made to the economic vitality and quality of life of Wyoming County.  The Chamber’s criteria for selecting winners is based on actions such as expansion projects, capital investments, job growth, community involvement or for their contributions that strengthen their industry sector.  According to James Pierce, Executive Director of the, Wyoming County Chamber, “there were a number of strong candidates that received consideration in each of these categories and the Chamber is proud to announce our 2008 award recipients”: 

Blue Seal Feeds of Arcade was recognized as “Outstanding Manufacturer”

Western New York Crop Management of Perry was recognized as “Outstanding Agribusiness”

Byrncliff Resort and Conference Center of Varysburg was recognized as “Outstanding Retail/Service Business”

Perry New York LLC of Perry was recognized as “Most Promising New Business”

According to Chamber President, Mark Balling, “these four businesses have done amazing things for the business climate of Wyoming County, and are all well deserving of this honor.”

Blue Seal Feeds - Outstanding Manufacturer 2008
Blue Seal Feeds, a leading manufacturer and distributor of a wide line of animal feeds and products for lawn and garden care.  The company was first established in 1868 by Henry K. Webster when Mr. Webster rented a small grist mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  The company, known as H.K. Webster Company, grew from its meager beginnings into what is known today as Blue Seal Feeds, a subsidiary of Muscatine Foods Corporation and one of the largest feed manufacturing companies in the Northeast.

Blue Seal Feeds established themselves in Wyoming County’s Village of Arcade in 1981 and have been a good community citizen as well as creating a number of well compensated jobs.  Employment numbers today have surpassed 100. 

For a number of recent years the company has been experiencing a warehouse space “crisis.”  It was utilizing an off-site storage building that was five miles away and a number of on-site containers/tractor trailers.  This led to increased cost and inefficiencies, doubling their lease cost, double handling, frequent change-overs as well as added stress. 

Blue Seal Feeds recently completed and are currently occupying a new 60,000 sq. ft. warehouse next to the company’s existing facility in Arcade.  The project is expected to create an additional 25 good paying jobs over the next three years and retain 45 existing jobs that would have been lost if this expansion went elsewhere.  At the grand opening ceremony of the new warehouse, President Randy Schwalke stated that “our business is growing and we searched several different locations for this investment.  In the end, between the outstanding workforce in Arcade and the incentives provided through the Wyoming County Economic Development team, the choice became clear where the expansion should take place here.” 

“The Chamber of Commerce recognizes Blue Seal Feeds dedication and recognition of the importance of their workforce and company’s commitment and investment in Wyoming County.  Blue Seal Feeds is well deserving of the recognition as Outstanding Manufacturer of the year for 2008,” stated Chamber Executive Director, Jim Pierce.

Western New York Crop Management - Outstanding Agribusiness 2008
WNY Crop Management of Perry is a grower owned crop service, incorporated as a nonprofit organization.  As a cooperative, an elected board of directors of farm members oversees the activities of a manager and technical staff charged with carrying out the services hired by their membership and contractual clients.  Services include consulting, crop scouting, soil sampling, CAFO planning, nutrient management plans and conservation planning.

WNY Crop Management started out in 1987 as a pilot project of Cornell University which wanted to establish an independent crop monitoring program.  The outreach office was first located in Ellicottville and then moved to East Aurora and then to Perry where the Manager Dave DeGolyer ran the business out of his home for a year.  Dave moved the office to Main Street store front for a few years before settling in to their current location at 137 North Center Street in Perry. 

Over the last 11 years since moving into Perry, WNY Crop Management has continued to grow in terms of farms and acreage serviced and jobs created.  WNY Crop Management serves over 350 farms monitoring over 210,000 acres throughout 19 counties in New York State. Today WNY Crop Management has 21 employees working out of the Perry office with two more satellite offices established in Angelica and Randolph, New York that employ 6 collectively.  WNY Crop Management continues to provide a vital service to crop health of the agricultural industry and their mission to be good stewards of the land and water. 

Jim Pierce stated “WNY Crop Management is one of those overlooked but vitally important ag support businesses that makes agriculture in Wyoming County such a success.  They have also grown to be a sizable employer in Wyoming County.  On behalf of the Wyoming County Chamber I want to congratulate WNY Crop Management as being recognized as “Outstanding Agribusiness in 2008.”
Byrncliff Resort and Conference Center - Outstanding Retail/Service Business 2008
Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center of Varysburg is a year round resort offering one of WNY’s premier championship 18-hole golf course experiences.  Byrncliff also offers casual dining in a full-service restaurant, swimming, miniature golf, motel rooms, banquet facilities and in more recent years cross country skiing and they have become a snowmobile hub and destination.

Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center started in 1964 under the name of Big Tree Development.  Construction began in the spring of 1965 and in 1966 opened its clubhouse, restaurant, and nine-hole course. The complete 18-hole layout opened in the summer of 1967 and Big Tree Development changed its name to Byrncliff Country Club.  Over the years, Byrncliff has made a continuous effort to upgrade the facility and grounds.  Byrncliff is a popular and notable year-round stay and play resort with many activities for guests to experience.  Along with outdoor recreation activities, Byrncliff provides indoor entertainment as well.  Entertainers from around the Western NY region provide both music and theater performances throughout the year.  Many of Byrncliff’s customers come from Western NY, New York State, Canada, and the surrounding states.  In the future, Byrncliff looks to become the premier resort destination and conference center in region.

For many years Byrncliff has provided an important place for recreational entertainment and a convenient place for meetings.  Jim Pierce said that “because of their ability to cater to larger groups and the outstanding service they provide, it has, and continues to be the go to place.  The Meidenbauer family, the owners of Bryncliff, are very generous and committed to the growth and success of the Wyoming County business community and over the years have been a very active part of the Wyoming County Chamber.  Congratulations to Byrncliff for being recognized as Outstanding Retail/Service Business for 2008, a designation that is long overdue.”

Perry New York LLC - Most Promising New Business
Perry NY LLC is a community development corporation, a private, yet community driven entity that is working to encourage business development in downtown Perry.  The for-profit entity led by Managing Members has attracted 20 private investors and has leveraged public funding and programs including in-kind contributions to redevelop a 12,000 sq. ft.  building on Main Street in Perry.  The Perry LLC raised $250,000 in cash and in-kind services/materials towards the $500,000 total cost of purchase and rehab.  Perry LLC’s investors now have a ““stake” in the downtown’s future and the success of the businesses in the building, which is nearly finished in terms of its renovation. They are now downtown’s biggest advocates - helping to find tenants, patronizing the business tenants and generally putting their money where their house is.

This building now houses artists on the third floor, professional offices and a massage therapist on the second floor, retail and a restaurant on the
first floor.  The project is cash flowing while the Perry LLC is paying off their loans. After that, the investors should see a reasonable profit while the real estate grows in value as an asset over time.  The Managing Members and investors say that the project is not a get-rich scheme, rather it reflects a new paradigm that recognizes that the participants all have a stake in their own downtown’s success that is qualitative. As a community, they can spread the risk and agree to be in it for the long term.

According to Jim Pierce, “the Perry LLC is a roll up your sleeves, let’s get to work entity with some key participants who are passionate about seeing their own downtown revitalized.  This private/public project is something that needs to be showcased and replicated in other villages in Wyoming County.  Congratulations to the Perry LLC as being award the Chamber’s Most Promising New Business.  Everyone involved with this project needs to be commended.”

These four businesses received their award at the Wyoming County Chamber’s Annual Meeting on June 11, 2008 at the American Legion Hall in Warsaw’s Village Park.

The following businesses were sponsors of the event:
Gold Sponsors                                      
American Classic Outfitters, Attica Auto & Hardware, The Bank of Castile, Bliss Machine, Bovis Lend Lease, Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center, Castile Ag Service, LLC, Clark Patterson Lee, Complete Payroll Processing, Creative Food Ingredients, Don Beck, Inc., Ed Hulme, Inc., Five Star Bank, Freed, Maxick & Battaglia, GenTech Scientific, Hilec, Inc., Koike Aronson, McCormick Farms, Morton Salt, Pioneer Credit Recovery, Prestolite Electric, Smoke Free Now, Tompkins Insurance Agency, Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning, Upstate Auto Group, Upstate Door, and Wyoming County IDA

Silver Sponsor
Broughton Diversified Farming, LLC and National Fuel Resources

Bronze Sponsors
Silver Lake Marine, Senator Dale M. Volker, Emerling Farms, LLC, Livingston-Wyoming ARC, Wyoming County Farm Bureau, Washington Street Partners, Rehabilitation Today, RW Enterprise, LLC, GCC- Warsaw and Arcade Campus, Ironwood Golf Course, Jeffres Ag Service, Drasgow, Inc., and Appearances Design and Print