Businesses, Citizen Honored at DuBois Chamber Bash

Pictured, from Reynolds Financial, are: Stacie Matson, Bob Javens, Jennifer Reynolds Hamilton, Charley Reynolds, Bill Cuba and Kirralee Mowrey. (Photo by Wendy Brion)

DUBOIS – The Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development held the annual Business Bash Saturday night and honored two businesses and one citizen with awards.

Those present were welcomed by Director Jodi August, who introduced her staff and thanked the board of directors for their vision for the future.

During his State of the Chamber address, former chairman Nick Suplizio added that the chamber is successful because of the members.

The first award was Small Business of the Year for 2017 and was presented to Reynolds Financial Advisers. The company has been in business since 1999 and, according to presenter PJ Reilly of Cooper Tire & Auto, one of the most important things about the company is the family atmosphere.

“Everyone greets you,” he noted, adding that every employee appreciates their clients. Reilly then presented citations from the state House and Senate.

Jennifer Reynolds Hamilton, daughter of founder Charley Reynolds, accepted the award and stated she and her family were honored and humbled, adding that there are many wonderful businesses that are just as deserving.

She also thanked the community and clients who have allowed the company to grow. Hamilton said she was especially proud of her dad and noted the many lessons he taught her: always do the right thing, put others first and integrity means doing the right thing even if no one else is looking.

Charley Reynolds also spoke and noted that he has worked with many different chambers over the years, and “there’s none better than DuBois for helping and promoting business.”

He said the success of the business is due to his family and wonderful employees and especially thanked his wife and children.

He added that he believes good human resources makes for a good business and that because of the employees, he looks forward to going to work. But a good work place also takes a good community, he said. “We live in a very special place,” he said, not only for business but also to raise a family.

“The Good Book says we should give of the good gifts we’ve been given,” he said, “and it’s true.”

Shown, in back, are: Wes Smith, Chad Stone, John Strong, Justin Hess, Brian West and Don Robertson. In front are: Mark Stevenson, Christie DuBois, Diana Evans and Brad Miller. (Photo by Wendy Brion)

The 2017 Community Cup Award was presented to DanoneWave (formerly WhiteWave) by Kip Jones of Domtar Paper Co., who also presented the company with citations from the House and Senate. He noted that while the company has been in business since 2014, and they have had a great impact on the community.

Chad Stone of DanoneWave added that it is good to be part of a town that gives back and it is an honor to both be nominated and chosen for the award. He said the company has been embraced by the community and they have a commitment to give back and support the community.

The company focuses on hunger and they have raised more than $6,000 for local food banks. The employees also donate their time to community events and recently held a successful blood drive.

Stone emphasized that everything the company has done to give back is due to the people of DuBois and in the end it is every employee reaching out and making DuBois a great place to work and live.

The final award was the DuBois Area Jaycees Distinguished Service Award presented by Randi Johnson, president of the Jaycees, to Ray Donati.

Johnson noted Donati has been deeply involved in organizations that benefit the community, beginning with Catholic Charities, the League on Social Services and now Goodwill Industries.

She noted that he was able to turn around a struggling business and make it a success, now employing more than 600 employees. At one time, he went to the bank and offered his car as collateral for a loan in order to make payroll.

Additionally he is involved in various community organizations, including the Penn Highlands Healthcare board of directors, the Christ the King Manor board of directors, United Way, Pentz Run, Knights of Columbus and more. He also loves to cook, travel and ride around in his Corvette.

Pictured are: Maria Purtuesi, Dr. Angelo Illuzzi, Matilda Illuzzi, Stephanie Donati, Ray Donati, Nick Donati, Nikeba Donati, Rich Tryzna and Rachel Baker. (Photo by Wendy Brion)

Donati began thanking the chamber by saying, “I guess I did more than I thought I did!” He added that God gives certain talents and responsibilities in life and while we don’t always know exactly what they may be, we need to use them. He said his own is helping people achieve what they can in their lives.

Donati added that he wouldn’t change anything in his life and that it has been a tremendous journey. He said one of the highlights was placing 26 babies for adoption in 1976. He also said that the people at Goodwill “mean the world to me” and they are special people.

The Business Bash also held drawings for lottery boards and a basket drawing, the proceeds of which benefit the chamber’s Student Scholarship Fund designated to Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week.

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