Cham­ber of Com­merce names hon­orees

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Jean Bon­chak

The Men­tor Area Cham­ber of Com­merce re­cently named the 2018 out­stand­ing lead­ers and busi­nesses.

The Men­tor Area Cham­ber of Com­merce re­cently named the 2018 out­stand­ing lead­ers and busi­nesses which have en­hanced the com­mu­nity through their achieve­ments and en­deav­ors.

Ac­knowl­edged as Ci­ti­zen of the Year was Kim Fraser, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Lake County Al­co­hol, Drug Ad­dic­tion, and Men­tal Health Ser­vices Board.

“Kim has been bring­ing in­creased aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing of men­tal and be­hav­ioral health to the Men­tor Com­mu­nity since 1994,” stated the cham­ber. “Kim has been work­ing tire­lessly try­ing to ed­u­cate ev­ery­one from schools, se­nior cen­ters, law en­force­ment, busi­nesses and the work­force on the opi­oid epi­demic in our com­mu­nity, a mat­ter she cares for deeply.”

Among sev­eral ini­tia­tives spear­headed by Fraser is Lake County’s Com­pass Line, a free ser­vice for res­i­dents de­signed to shorten the jour­ney be­tween seek­ing help and get­ting help.

“It’s re­ally one of a kind,” she said, and added that or­ga­ni­za­tions through­out Ohio have looked at Com­pass Line as an ex­em­plary op­tion for their own com­mu­ni­ties.

Un­der Fraser’s di­rec­tion, the ADAMHS Board along with Lead­er­ship Lake County and the Lake County Opi­ate Task Force work to­gether on Op­er­a­tion Re­solve to in­crease aware­ness of the opi­oid epi­demic.

The pro­gram al­lows her to talk to em­ploy­ees of lo­cal busi­nesses re­gard­ing drug safety and how to make the com­mu­nity health­ier.

“We work side by side with so­cial ser­vices to make ser­vices ac­ces­si­ble to any­one in the county re­gard­less of their abil­ity to pay,” she said.

The cham­ber chose Longo Restau­rants as the Busi­ness of the Year. Joe Longo and his sis­ter Tina Greci not only head up sev­eral suc­cess­ful eater­ies in the area but also work to serve Men­tor and Lake County through many com­mu­nity ef­forts.

“They have spon­sored youth ath­letic teams of every kind for over 40 years in­clud­ing pro­vid­ing meals and fundrais­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties not only in Men­tor but across Lake County,” ac­cord­ing to the cham­ber. “The Longo/Greci Fam­ily part­ners with or­ga­ni­za­tions such as Kops for Kids (Men­tor), Camp Sue Os­born, Friends of WomenSafe, Lake Hu­mane So­ci­ety, churches, schools and many more.”

The busi­ness was started by Joe and Tina’s par­ents in 1969.

“Prob­a­bly the best ad­vice I’ve ever got­ten from my fa­ther was to sup­port the com­mu­nity that sup­ports you,” Joe said. “The longer we’ve been in busi­ness has given us the op­por­tu­nity to do more…un­for­tu­nately there’s not enough of that in small busi­nesses.”

Joe noted that Men­tor is an ex­cel­lent place to do busi­ness be­cause city of­fi­cials and oth­ers are al­ways striv­ing to make it bet­ter.

“Peo­ple come here and stay here,” he said. “We’re serv­ing three generations.”

The cham­ber’s board of directors also rec­og­nized Skip Trom­betti, for­mer owner of Van’s Photo and Men­tor’s Photo Source, for his ser­vice to the cham­ber, specif­i­cally for his many years of pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy as­sis­tance at hun­dreds of cham­ber events.

Trom­betti of­fered his pho­tog­ra­phy ser­vices to the cham­ber in shooting grand open­ings, in­duc­tions and more.

“If they needed some­thing in a hurry I could do some­thing pretty quickly,” he said. “It was a pretty good re­la­tion­ship.”

Re­flect­ing on the changes taking place in re­tail busi­nesses, he said “It’s a shame that re­tail in gen­eral, that on­line busi­ness has taken a sig­nif­i­cant toll on the lo­cals. But Men­tor has been able to bounce back with other uses for their busi­nesses.”

He pointed to the trans­for­ma­tion of the for­mer par­tially un­used re­tail space at the Great Lakes Mall to the Round 1 en­ter­tain­ment com­plex.

The cham­ber will for­mally rec­og­nize their 2018 award win­ners at the Men­tor Area Cham­ber of Com­merce monthly mem­ber­ship lun­cheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Holiday Inn, 7701 Reynolds Road in Men­tor. For more in­for­ma­tion on the pro­gram, call 440-2551616 or email cwe­ber@ men­tor­cham­ber.org.

SUB­MIT­TED

Joe Longo and Tina Longo Greci are Lake County busi­ness own­ers, who were hon­ored.

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