Busi­ness Recog­ni­tion Awards cer­e­mony set

12th an­nual Busi­ness Recog­ni­tion Awards cer­e­mony to honor lo­cal lead­ers

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ariél Zangla azangla@free­manon­line.com ArielAtFree­man on Twit­ter

KINGSTON >> The 12th an­nual Busi­ness Recog­ni­tion Awards — which will be pre­sented at an event Thurs­day — high­light the out­stand­ing ef­forts of mem­bers of the Ul­ster County busi­ness com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing the owner of a whole­sale dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in in­dus­trial rig­ging sup­plies.

The awards, pre­sented jointly by the Ul­ster County Re­gional Cham­ber of Com­merce and the Ul­ster County Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Al­liance, rec­og­nize en­trepreneurs and busi­nesses that are lead­ers in their in­dus­tries, have achieved out­stand­ing re­sults, or who have shown ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment to fur­ther­ing busi­ness and the qual­ity of life in the area.

This year, Kevin Pit­cock, owner of Peak Trad­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, was named Busi­ness Per­son of the Year by the Cham­ber.

Also be­ing hon­ored are: Cen­tral Hud­son Gas & Elec­tric Corp., Busi­ness of the Year; J&A Roof­ing, Small Busi­ness of the Year; Kelder’s Farm, Tourism Busi­ness of the Year; and the Bruder­hof re­li­gious com­mu­nity, for Com­mit­ment to the Com­mu­nity. Ad­di­tion­ally, Kingston city His­to­rian Ed­win Ford will re­ceive the Heart of Ul­ster County Award.

“The Cham­ber would like to con­grat­u­late the re­cip­i­ents and to of­fer spe­cial thanks to those who pro­vided the nom­i­na­tions and the in­de­pen­dent panel for the fi­nal selections,” Ul­ster County Re­gional Cham­ber of Com­merce Pres­i­dent Ward Todd said in a press re­lease. “These Best of Ul­ster County awards are peer-driven and an ex­cel­lent way for the busi­ness com­mu­nity to rec­og­nize out­stand­ing ef­forts.”

The awards din­ner — which is open to the pub­lic — is to take place at The Chateau in the city of Kingston, be­gin­ning with cock­tails at 5:30 p.m. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit w w w.ul­ster­cham­ber.org.

Busi­ness Per­son of the Year: Kevin Pit­cock

Peak Trad­ing is a whole­sale dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany that spe­cial­izes in in­dus­trial rig­ging sup­plies that are used to lift heavy ob­jects, owner Kevin Pit­cock said re­cently.

He said he be­gan his busi­ness in West Hur­ley in 1997, but re­cently moved the com­pany to Tom­sons Road in Sauger­ties af­ter ac­quir­ing a large piece of com­mer­cial real es­tate.

In ad­di­tion to his own com­pany’s move, the complex is also now home to Sun­wize Tech­nolo­gies and SK Ar­chiv­ing Re­trieval. A third busi­ness is in the process of sign­ing a con­tract for space there.

Pit­cock said he be­lieves his com­pany’s move to the for­mer Ver­tis Com­mu­ni­ca­tions prop­erty might be one of the rea­sons he re­ceived the Busi­ness Per­son of the Year award from the cham­ber.

Pit­cock said he closed on the new prop­erty in Au­gust 2015 and moved the pri­mary part of the busi­ness in Novem­ber 2015. He said the com­pany also has a di­vi­sion called Con­struc­tion Tool Ware­house, which is a store­front there.

“We had been look­ing for quite some time,” Pit­cock said of the new prop­erty. “Years.” He said Peak Trad­ing out­grew its old space five years ago, but there was not a lot of large ware­house space avail­able in Ul­ster County.

And now that the com­pany has a new, larger lo­ca­tion, Pit­cock said he has plans to ex­pand fur­ther.

“The ac­qui­si­tion of the build­ing was kind of the miss­ing piece for us,” Pit­cock said. “We have the po­ten­tial to scale quite a bit from where we are. I’m ab­so­lutely plan­ning on grow­ing sub­stan­tially over the next five years.”

Pit­cock added that he puts a fo­cus on cre­at­ing good jobs, which may also be a rea­son be­hind his award.

“I’d like to think we’re a good com­pany,” Pit­cock said. “We’re a good or­ga­ni­za­tion.” He said the staff are all treated well and earn a de­cent wage. Pit­cock said he has ap­prox­i­mately 30 em­ploy­ees, all of whom work full-time.

As for the award, Pit­cock said he was hon­ored. He said it is nice to be rec­og­nized, but he does not con­sider him­self spe­cial. Pit­cock said he and his staff just work hard.

Busi­ness of the Year: Cen­tral Hud­son Gas & Elec­tric Corp.

Cen­tral Hud­son Gas & Elec­tric Corp. pro­vides util­ity ser­vices to ap­prox­i­mately 300,000 elec­tric cus­tomers and 79,000 nat­u­ral gas cus­tomers in the Mid-Hud­son Val­ley.

Beyond pro­vid­ing those util­ity ser­vices, though, the com­pany has also pro­vided grants and in­cen­tives to pro­mote the econ­omy of the re­gion. Ac­cord­ing to the firm, re­cent and pend­ing grants to sup­port ini­tia­tives in Ul­ster County to­tal nearly $1.3 mil­lion and Cen­tral Hud­son works closely with eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions lo­cally.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Cen­tral Hud­son of­fers pro­grams to help cus­tomers man­age their en­ergy use and con­ducts a re­cy­cling op­er­a­tion at its sup­ply cen­ter in the town of Lloyd. The Re­source Re­cov­ery Pro­gram has re­cy­cled or reused more than 6,000 tons of pa­per, ca­ble, wire and other ma­te­ri­als since its in­cep­tion more than 20 years.

“We’re hon­ored to be se­lected as the 2016 Busi­ness of the Year by the Ul­ster County Re­gional Cham­ber of Com­merce, and to be rec­og­nized for our con­tri­bu­tions to the com­mu­ni­ties of Ul­ster County,” Cen­tral Hud­son Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Michael L. Mosher said in a state­ment. “We view lo­cal busi­nesses and gov­ern­ment as our part­ners in pro­mot­ing the re­gion and in the de­vel­op­ment of a ro­bust, clean and ef­fi­cient en­ergy sys­tem. We strive to provide our cus­tomers with ex­cel­lent ser­vice, of­fer pro­grams to help busi­nesses and res­i­dents man­age their en­ergy use and pro­mote eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and job cre­ation in the re­gion; and we’re also proud of our em­ploy­ees’ vol­un­teerism in sup­port of ser­vice agen­cies.”

Com­mu­nity sup­port has been a long-stand­ing tra­di­tion at the com­pany. Both the com­pany and em­ploy­ees sup­port a va­ri­ety of com­mu­nity and busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tions through vol­un­teerism, lead­er­ship and fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions, and have con­trib­uted more than $7.7 mil­lion to agen­cies and or­ga­ni­za­tions in the last decade.

“We’re truly grat­i­fied for this recog­ni­tion and will con­tinue to work to earn the sup­port of our cus­tomers,” Mosher said.

Small Busi­ness of the Year: J&A Roof­ing

J&A Roof­ing does all phases of roof­ing, ac­cord­ing to Nate Horowitz, who owns the busi­ness with his fa­ther, Ian, and un­cle, Fred. He said the fam­ily-owned and -op­er­ated busi­ness be­gan in 1938 in Brook­lyn with his great-grand­fa­ther, Jake, and great-un­cle, Al. They were the orig­i­nal J and A, Horowitz said.

When his grand­fa­ther, Joe, got out of the Navy, he and his wife, Ann, ex­panded the busi­ness up to the Hud­son Val­ley, Horowitz said. He said his fa­ther later took over the busi­ness and has been go­ing strong ever since.

Horowitz, who had been around the busi­ness his whole life, came back to it full-time af­ter grad­u­at­ing from col­lege in 2006, he said. Horowitz said his sis­ter, Amelia Braden, also works for the com­pany.

Horowitz said J&A Roof­ing cur­rently has about 30 em­ploy­ees, most of whom work full-time. He said the com­pany op­er­ates mostly in Ul­ster and Dutchess coun­ties, but has done work in Greene and Columbia coun­ties, amongst oth­ers in the area.

“We try to treat peo­ple the way we want to be treated,” Horowitz said. “I think that’s one of the rea­sons we’ve been around for so long.” He added that be­ing named the top small busi­ness in the county is “great.”

“It’s a very hum­bling and pres­ti­gious award,” Horowitz said.

Tourism Busi­ness of the Year: Kelder’s Farm

Chris Kelder and his fam­ily have been farm­ing in the Ron­d­out Val­ley for more than 100 years. And while they have done many dif­fer­ent types of farm­ing over the years, they’ve shifted into di­rectly mar­ket­ing to the pub­lic, Kelder said. He said the farm is all about ac­tiv­ity and about un­plug­ging from the In­ter­net and be­ing out­side en­joy­ing hands-on farm­ing.

“Our hope is that peo­ple can come here, re­lax, en­joy the out­doors, en­joy our beau­ti­ful view and our wide open space and kind of get back to where their food comes from and na­ture,” Kelder said. He said the fam­ily farms ap­prox­i­mately 250 acres on its land in Ac­cord.

Vis­i­tors to the farm can take part in a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing vis­it­ing the 100 acres of pick-your-own fruits and veg­eta­bles, Kelder said. He said there is also a minia­ture golf course, a “jump­ing pil­low,” a pet­ting farm, corn maze and hayrides, amongst other ac­tiv­i­ties. Kelder said the farm also has its own mar­ket, where it sells the pro­duce and the chicken and beef it raises.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Kelder’s hosts school groups and birth­day par­ties.

On a busy day, the farm can get hun­dreds of vis­i­tors, Kelder said. He said the farm, which has up to 15 em­ploy­ees sea­son­ally, is open to the pub­lic in the spring, sum­mer and fall.

“We’re very hon­ored and hum­bled by get­ting this honor,” Kelder said. “And we sin­cerely ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate what we do.” He said he hoped peo­ple will leave Kelder’s with a last­ing mem­ory of their time at the farm and with their fam­ily.

Com­mit­ment to the Com­mu­nity Award: The Bruder­hof

The Bruder­hof is a world-wide Chris­tian com­mu­nity move­ment of sev­eral thou­sand peo­ple liv­ing in 23 set­tle­ments on four con­ti­nents. They are a fel­low­ship of fam­i­lies and sin­gles, liv­ing a life of ser­vice to God, each other, and the world, ac­cord­ing to pro­vided in­for­ma­tion.

Ul­ster County is home to four Bruder­hof com­mu­ni­ties lo­cated in Rifton, Ul­ster Park, Eso­pus and the Ron­d­out Com­mu­nity in Kingston. The com­mu­ni­ties reg­u­larly con­nect with their com­mu­ni­ties, wel­com­ing friends and neigh­bors for com­mu­nal din­ner on Satur­day evenings and host­ing pub­lic events through­out the year. They work closely with lo­cal non-prof­its and find ways to help re­store the wider com­mu­nity. In Ul­ster County, the Bruder­hof pro­vides jail min­istry, vol­un­teer fire fight­ers, and works with char­i­ta­ble part­ners such as Catholic Char­i­ties, Fam­ily of Wood­stock, Sal­va­tion Army, United Way and Peo­ple’s Place.

Johnny Scott, pas­tor of the Ron­d­out Com­mu­nity, said there are quite a num­ber of other Ul­ster County or­ga­ni­za­tions that are, in his mind, equally or more de­serv­ing of the cham­ber award.

“This time around, my wife, Heidi, and I will ac­cept the recog­ni­tion on be­half of all the other ac­tive vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions, as well as on be­half of the Bruder­hof’s com­mit­ment to ser­vice,” Scott said. “May this award be used to give God, the glory. Af­ter all, in the Bi­ble, Je­sus teaches that we ought to love and serve our neigh­bors.”

Scott added that re­ceiv­ing such an award “is an honor and re­minder that there is a great deal that needs to be done.” As an ex­am­ple, he pointed out an event Kingston Mayor Steve No­ble is plan­ning for April 29 that he said needs the sup­port of the busi­ness com­mu­nity. Scott said the event would hope­fully take place at a park planned for the new Broad­way Com­mons prop­erty at 615 Broad­way in Mid­town.

“As you can see when you drive or walk by that space, the city, the busi­ness com­mu­nity and vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions will need to rally to get that park de­vel­oped,” Scott said. “The event will hope­fully be a cel­e­bra­tion of the work that will have hap­pened by April 29, 2017. The un­der­ly­ing theme for that event is a call for in­creased unity within the Kingston com­mu­nity.”

Len Cane Heart of Ul­ster County Award: Ed Ford

Ed Ford moved to the city of Kingston in 1928 when he was just 10 years old. And, now, at 98, he has served as its his­to­rian for more than three decades.

Ford at­tended grade school and high school in Kingston and then went to New Paltz Teach­ers Col­lege. He also served in the U.S. Army Air Forces dur­ing World War II, re­turn­ing to Kingston in 1949. Ford has lived in Kingston ever since, with the past 60 years spent in the same home he shared with this late wife, Ruth.

Early on, Ford said, he and his wife would go around to lo­cal yard and li­brary sales, pick­ing up lo­cal his­tory books.

“I have a bad habit,” Ford said re­cently. “If I don’t know some­thing, I can’t stand it and I have to look it up.” He said he does a lot of re­search and has a large card cat­a­log of notes about the area. That re­search has al­lowed Ford to write two books and to give sev­eral lec­tures over the years. And he said that is how he got into lo­cal his­tory.

Ford said he also has a con­tin­ual need to be as much help for peo­ple as he can.

For 50 years, Ford was part of the Friends of His­toric Kingston group, serv­ing as its pres­i­dent 15 dif­fer­ent times. He also serves on the city’s Her­itage Area Com­mis­sion, which goes along with his role of city his­to­rian.

Ford, who has a son, two grand­sons and a great-grand­daugh­ter, said he hopes he is wor­thy of re­ceiv­ing the Heart of Ul­ster County Award.

“I feel very hon­ored of course,” Ford said. “I think it’s won­der­ful. I never would have ex­pected it.”

Ford said that, when he ac­cepts his award, he plans to share 10 good rea­sons for peo­ple to be ap­pre­cia­tive of Kingston’s his­tory. That in­cludes the fact Kingston was the first cap­i­tal of New York state and has some in­ter­est­ing ar­chi­tec­ture, like the Ul­ster County Court­house and the Se­nate House.


Kevin Pit­cock, owner and CEO/Pres­i­dent of Peak Trad­ing in Sauger­ties will re­ceive the Busi­ness Per­son of the Year Award.


Cen­tral Hud­son on U.S. Route 9W in Lake Ka­trine was named Busi­ness of the Year.


J&A Roof­ing will re­ceive the Small Busi­ness of the Year Award.


Kelder Farm will re­ceive the Tourism Busi­ness of the Year Award.


Kingston His­to­rian Ed Ford will be hon­ored with the Len Cane Heart of Ul­ster County Award.


The Bruder­hof mem­bers Lorna Good­win, Mau­reen Ebong and Mar­i­anne Blough help clean up a home af­ter Hur­ri­cane Sandy. The Bruder­hof will re­ceive the Com­mit­ment to the Com­mu­nity Award.

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