2018 Family Business of the Year
SLR Contracting & Service Company, Inc.
SLR Contracting & Service Company, Inc. is a full service General Construction and Construction Management Company. Established in 1996, by President and CEO Sundra L. Ryce. SLR specializes in all aspects of General Construction, Construction Management and Development. On the leading edge of environmental awareness, SLR Contracting & Service Company puts a tremendous emphasis on using energy wisely. Well known for its integrity, SLR Contracting exemplifies diversity in every facet of its business. With a team of more than 30 full time employees, SLR Contracting continues to grow, both internally and externally while fortifying its position in the industry.
2017 Family Business of the Year
As a family-operated business, the Kraft family had a vision of putting to use their decades of experience in the storage and material handling industry to create Kraftwerks. Today, Kraftwerks’ state-of-the art facility boasts in-house fabrication, cutting, welding and painting services, along with a complete installation, prevention and maintenance department. Kraftwerks is a certified WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) by New York State and the County of Erie, New York State. Additionally, Kraftwerks is SBA, WOSB and EDWOSB certified.
2016 Family Business of the Year
West Herr Automotive Group
The West Herr Automotive Group opened their doors in 1950. It was Joseph Herr, Jr. and his brother law, Harold West who set up shop selling Ford vehicles in Hamburg, New York. Through the direction and leadership of Brad Haefner and Scott Bieler both of whom started as salesmen, West Herr experienced phenomenal growth and success. The West Herr Automotive Group is now the largest dealer group in New York State and the 20th largest in the nation. Its 25 dealerships supplied its customers with 69,354 vehicles in 2015. The West Herr Automotive Group has become a role model for community involvement in WNY for their philanthropic efforts to support many community organizations, some of which include: Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Hospice, Kids Escaping Drugs, and Child & Family Services.
“Your success is our success!” This quote from the Niagara Small Business Development Center’s website is the guiding principle that has led it and its advisors to be nationally recognized for excellence. The Niagara SBDC has made a major impact in our community by helping businesses meet the entrepreneurial challenges of owning and operating a business while continuing to promote economic growth and stability throughout Western New York.
Established in 1984, the expert advisors of the Niagara SBDC have counselled over 15,000 clients, logging over 134,000 hours of counselling. They helped 711 clients to create an economic impact in the area's economy totaling over $427 Million. Those projects also created or saved over 10,000 jobs. In addition, the Niagara SBDC has provided numerous training seminars that have reached over 28,000 attendees.
The Niagara Small Business Development Center is part of a network of statewide assistance centers supported in part by the Small Business Administration. Some highlights of the Center include an International Trade Resource Center, which provides one-on-one counselling services, electronic database linkages, coordination with federal and state agencies, and a series of seminars designed to assist small businesses in expanding their markets internationally.
For its commitment to excellence over the past 30 years, and for its commitment to strengthening local businesses and growing Western New York’s economy, the Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to recognize and honor the Niagara Small Business Development Center with our Community Service Award.
The National Association of Women Business Owners Buffalo-Niagara Chapter has been helping women entrepreneurs thrive since it was established in 1994. It is the the premier organization for Buffalo-Niagara’s diverse range of women-owned businesses; fostering a network of women entrepreneurs, a strong voice on important advocacy issues, and providing high quality educational programs for a dynamic and diverse group of women business owners and chapter partners.
Over the past twenty years, NAWBO Buffalo-Niagara has demonstrated its commitment to leadership and making a difference for the 20,000 women-owned businesses of Western New York. Some of its major initiatives include:
- The first-ever survey of Buffalo-Niagara women business owners and its report published in the Report of the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women and by local media in March 1995.
- In 1997, the chapter spearheaded construction of Buffalo Habitat for Humanity's 50th house. "A Woman's Place" was the first Buffalo-Niagara Habitat house to be built by an all-woman team, and remains a tribute to the 300 dedicated female volunteers. Through NAWBO’s efforts, a low-income family — headed by a woman — obtained the home they could not have afforded through conventional means.
- In 1998, under the auspices of the Federal Reserve Bank, the National Women's Council, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), steering committees were formed to identify solutions that would increase women business owners' access to capital. The Buffalo-Niagara Chapter was asked to spearhead the Buffalo/Rochester steering committee, one of only eleven nationwide.
The chapter provides women with a voice on public policy issues by providing a platform for the power of women entrepreneurs through their lobbying efforts on the key issues that affect business. The Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to recognize and honor NAWBO Buffalo Niagara and its members for their extraordinary vision, leadership, and service with our Vision Award.
In 2014, SCORE celebrated its 50th anniversary as America’s premier small business counseling organization. It also reached another milestone; SCORE has provided counseling assistance to ten million people serving its mission to help businesses and entrepreneurs achieve their goals. The Buffalo Niagara SCORE, which serves the eight counties of Western New York, is fully serviced with over sixty knowledgeable and trained executive volunteers offering their many decades of real-world business experiences to mentor entrepreneurs and small businesses to start, grow and enhance their business. Buffalo Niagara SCORE has attracted volunteer executive advisors from a wide variety of industries and fields of expertise. Utilizing its vast national network of over 11,000 SCORE experienced mentors, they are able to provide general business advice on every aspect of business planning, start-up, management and growth. These dedicated volunteers represent over 3,000 years of experience across 62 industries. In addition to its face to face consulting, SCORE also offers advice by phone and through emails. In conjunction with the SBA, SCORE Buffalo Niagara, co-sponsors Straight Talk each January and EXPO/Matchmaker each May, both highly successful programs and numerous workshops throughout the year.
For all that Buffalo Niagara SCORE has done for the Western New York community by counseling, strengthening, and growing businesses, providing job growth, and contributing to a stronger local economy, the Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to recognize and honor the Buffalo Niagara SCORE and its sixty plus dedicated and experienced volunteer business mentors with our Leadership Award.
Successful entrepreneurs not only see opportunities that others only see as dreams, but are willing to sacrifice a secure lifestyle to pursue it. In the early 1920’s, J. Ward Reid, who worked as a machinist at the Sterling Marine Engine plant in Buffalo, New York, left his secure career to pursue his passion of working on motorcycles and automobiles. He took advantage of an entrepreneurial opportunity at the start of the automobile era and opened a one-pump gasoline service station at Lake Avenue and Clinton Street in Lockport, NY.
Much has changed since J. Ward Reid gave up his job as a machinist to start this new venture, but the fundamental values he lived by have endured and shaped the company over the many decades since. An entrepreneur at heart, he soon added more service stations and entered the heating oil business. With the inclusion of his sons, J. Ward, Jr., and Jack, the gas business added new full-service dealers, and the heating oil business added service and furnace installations. By the 1960s, guided by J. Ward Reid, Jr., the Company formed Reid Petroleum Corp. to operate its 16 service stations.
In 1972, Reid opened its first self-service convenience store and fueling outlet – a novel idea at the time – with Mesmer Dairy. By the end of the decade, Reid expanded to 40 locations and serviced all seven Western New York counties. In the 1990s, the company launched its wholesale motor fuels business and expanded its service to 150 locations. Reid added Crosby Dairy Mart in 2004, further expanding its footprint in Southwest New York and Northwest Pennsylvania. Reid Stores now proudly serves thousands of customers each day under the “Crosby’s” banner.
Today, the Reid Group, under the leadership of grandson, Paul Reid, CEO, continues to live by its founding values: honesty, trustworthiness, customer focus, team spirit, cost-consciousness, and entrepreneurialism. For its commitment to its founding values, its employees, customers, and to the success of the communities in which it serves, the Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to honor the Reid Group and the Reid Family as the 2015 Family Business of the Year.
Sahlen Packing Co., Inc.
Family Business of the Year 2014
Niagara University was only 13 years old in 1869, the year that Joseph Sahlen founded the Sahlen Packing Co. on the east side of Buffalo, New York. And while only 5% of family businesses survive beyond the 3rd generation, Sahlen’s is now a fifth generation family business 145 years after its founding. Mr. Sahlen’s great grandson Joseph E., along with his great-great grandson, Joseph L., operates the business which was incorporated in 1946. Sahlen’s commitment to product quality, consistency and food safety combined with a competitive nature has made Sahlen’s famous for its Hot Dogs, “Old Fashioned” Smokehouse Ham, Turkey Breast, and other meat products.
However, the Sahlen’s brand is not restricted to meat products. In 1998, Sahlen’s opened the Sahlen’s Sports Park in Elma, New York. Alexandra Sahlen, a 2004 graduate of Niagara University and Mr. Sahlen’s great-great granddaughter, serves as the president of the 185,000 sq. ft. facility. She, along with her husband Aaran Lines, manages the complex which specializes in soccer training from youth to the highest level. Joseph E. Sahlen’s youngest son, William, is active in both Sahlen’s Packing as well as Sahlen’s Sports Park.
Sahlen’s Sports Park is the training facility for the Western New York Flash, a professional Women’s Soccer team that competes in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The Flash, with Aaran as GM and Head Coach, and Alex playing as defender, won three consecutive championships in three different leagues form 2011-13. The Flash plays its home games in the 13,000 seat Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.
The marketing of the Sahlen’s Brand also extends into auto racing. Sahlen’s has been the sponsor of the Six Hours of Watkins Glen sports car race. Together with the Nonnamaker family of Canton, Ohio, Team Sahlen has fielded two cars in a variety of classes in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) under the Sahlen’s banner.
For its commitment to excellence over the past 145 years, in all of its endeavors, and for its commitment to the Western New York community, the Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to honor the Sahlen’s Packing Co., Inc. and the Sahlen Family as the 2014 Family Business of the Year.
Bison Bag Co., Inc. was founded in 1968 by Jim Streicher and David Kruse producing mainly industrial liners in Jim’s basement. In 2000, the Zgoda family purchased Kruse’s interest in the business. A lot has changed over the years. Four location changes and two additions later, Bison Bag now resides in a 55,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Lockport, New York.
Under the leadership of the Zgoda and Streicher families, Bison Bag has grown into a high-end packaging operation, serving all customers, large and small, with the highest degree of service and quality. Bison Bag’s 60 employees produced over 200 million packages in 2013 which generated in excess of $15 million dollars in sales revenues.
Through their extraordinary leadership, Bison Bag has created its own market within the packaging industry. Their motto is "Our Customer's Success is our Success", and they go the extra mile to make sure each and every customer succeeds. By producing different products, such as zipper lock bags for the tortilla industry (among other products), printed vegetable bags for supermarket chains such as Wegmans, private label packaging for snack foods and ice cream products, and printed shaped packaging for locally owned Rich Products, Bison Bag has become a leader in the industry. Over 70% of Bison Bag's work goes into bags for the food industry.
By investing in state of the art equipment Bison Bag can focus on customer service to set them apart from their competitors. They are committed to finding the best solution to meet each customer’s need. At Bison Bag it’s all about getting customers the bag they want, the way they want it, at the right price, and providing orders quicker than their competitors. This sets them apart from everyone else. Bison bag is able to produce quantities of bags from an order of 5,000 up to a large order into the millions. They also use a 'make and hold' procedure, where economical runs of bags are produced and stored at the company, ready to meet times of high demand rapidly through their warehousing and distribution services.
Under their extraordinary leadership, Bison Bag Co., Inc. has become an industry leader. The Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to honor and recognize their accomplishment by presenting Bison Bag Co. Inc. and the Zgoda and Streicher families with our 2014 Leadership Award.
Jack Welch once said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.” Today we honor Skip and Judy Mazenauer, founders of Niagara Frontier Publications for doing just that. Under their leadership, their four papers: the Grand Island PennySaver, the Island Dispatch, the Niagara Wheatfield Tribune, the Lewiston Porter Sentinel and a progressive website www.wnypapers.com have thrived at a time when local and national publication groups have not.
In 1950, Skip’s parents, Art and Dorothy Mazenauer, launched their dream of creating one of the first Pennysavers in Western New York, competing with the Island Dispatch which was founded six years earlier. Little did they expect that their son Skip, along with his wife Judy, would eventually purchase and operate both. While it is not uncommon for a company to buy out a competitor, it takes a visionary to develop a successful plan to operate two competing papers and create three more. Today, their staff of twenty employees, several freelance contributors, and more than 40 carriers publish and distribute their four weekly papers and the online edition.
Great newspapers are ones that are read. The Mazenauer’ vision was to be the eyes and ears of the community, the champion of local causes, and the torch bearer of student accomplishments in sports, school, and their community. Working with the Grand Island Chamber, they created and promoted the Grand Island Citizen of the Year and Property Improvement Awards and have been equally instrumental with the Niagara River Region Chamber in Lewiston.
Always community minded, Niagara Frontier Publications continues to work with surrounding towns and villages to support local events, such as Lewiston’s Harvest Festival, Christmas Walk, the Peach Festival, and events at Artpark and Old Fort Niagara by co-sponsoring their marketing. Recognized for their outstanding work, Niagara Frontier Publications has received numerous awards from the New York Press Association for its editorial and marketing creativity. In addition, they have been named the official newspaper of the Towns they serve and the County of Erie.
Skip is also a great community asset serving on the Boards of Artpark and the Niagara Falls Aquarium. As Chairman of the Board of the Lewiston Business Association, Skip was instrumental in transforming it into an expanded Niagara River Region Chamber. Recently, the New York Press Association appointed Skip to its Board of Directors. Skip is also a great resource to other newspaper owners who are trying to replicate this successful business model in their own communities.
Family owned businesses, such as the Maid of the Mist, are the backbone of the American economy. The Niagara University Family Business center is proud to honor a family that has shared its successes to positively impact the Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. In 1971, James Glynn became the President of the Maid of the Mist Corporation. Under his leadership as Chairman & CEO - and under the current leadership that includes his son, Christopher Glynn as President - the Maid of the Mist has grown exponentially, and serves more than 2.5 million passengers annually. Thanks to Glynn’s effective worldwide marketing, the Maid of the Mist is now an iconic name recognized worldwide. Millions of tourists are drawn to Niagara Falls to ride the Maid of the Mist, resulting in a major economic boost on both sides of the border.
Over the past 42 years, the Glynn family has demonstrated its commitment to the well-being of the region. The Glynn family has been a major supporter of Niagara University and Niagara College in Canada. Thanks to the Glynn’s ongoing generosity, both have been able to expand, impacting thousands of students. Glynn’s contribution helped establish a scholarship program to assist Niagara College students wishing to complete their bachelor’s degree at Niagara University. The entire Glynn family has generously donated their time and skills serving on many not-for-profits boards including the Artpark, Buffalo/Niagara Partnership, Heart, Love and Soul, Leadership Niagara, Niagara Beautification, Niagara University, Niagara USA Chamber, and Stella Niagara Educational Park.
Their many philanthropic gifts include: vans for Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, a school bus for Niagara Catholic, sponsorship and support for Opportunities Unlimited, the Foundation of Roman Catholic Diocese, the Francis Center’s reading and after school program, St. Vincent de Paul’s summer camp, Family & Children’s Service of Niagara new building campaign, creation of the “Nor-Loc” playground on North Avenue in Niagara Falls, and many endeavors for the Health Association of Niagara County. The Glynn family helped the Sisters of Saint Francis buy a building for their food pantry and the Daughters of Charity buy a house to operate the Center for Joy’s programs to help improve student study skills.
Their philanthropic contributions in Canada are equally impressive. In addition to providing assistance to Niagara College, the Glynn family has contributed to Greater Niagara General Hospital Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Niagara Falls Ontario, Project SHARE soup kitchen in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and the Hospital for Sick Children, Canada's most research-intensive hospital and the largest dedicated to improving children's health in Canada.
For your commitment to ethics, morals and social responsibility in making a difference in our Western New York and Southern Ontario community, the Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to honor the Glynn family and the Maid of the Mist with our 2013 Family Business of the Year Award.
The Basil Family of Dealerships
Joseph Basil Sr. bought a car dealership with a business partner in 1967. He never imagined owning Holiday Olds in Lancaster would be the start of a tradition for his children. "What was on my mind was that they learned how to work hard and had a good work ethic." He certainly succeeded. Six separate dealerships owned at one time by six brothers may be unprecedented, anywhere. Today, five of his six sons are all still in the automotive business running competing dealerships in Western New York. What is unique is the closeness of the six sons who get together for one day each month to discuss business strategy for each of their dealerships and to collaborate where possible for cost effectiveness.
Jim has been in practice more than 35 years. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Niagara University and Chartered Financial Consultant, Chartered Life Underwriter and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER degrees from the American College. He is an Investment advisory representative of MML Investors Services, LLC and he specializes in estate and financial planning for privately held businesses and individual clients.
He is a 30+ year member of the Million Dollar Roundtable and chaired it's international marketing committee and ethics committee. Jim is past president of the Buffalo chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and past Regional Vice President of the New York State association. Jim received it's highest award for lifetime service to the industry and Buffalo community. He is also a past president of the Estate Analysts of WNY.
Jim is on the Niagara University School of Business Advisory Board and is a founding sponsor of the NU Family Business Center and he is among the Business First Who's Who in Insurance and Banking and Finance.
He has lectured and authored articles on retirement and estate planning, employee benefits and business ethics. Jim is also a certified continuing education instructor for Certified Public Accountants (CPA), Chartered Life Underwriters (CLU), and Certified Financial Planners (CFP® ) in Florida and New York.
Necessity is the mother of invention. No one knows this better than Joe Calato, who revolutionized the drumstick industry in 1958. Prior to that time only wood tip sticks were available. Although the sound was great, many drummers were frustrated when their wood tips wore out too quickly. That's when professional drummer and woodworker, Joe Calato, stepped in. He decided to try to make a stick that would last longer and would offer a new, cutting edge sound.
After much experimenting, Joe perfected the idea. A drumstick with a nylon tip that stayed on, didn't shatter and produced a sound pleasing to the ear. In fact, the sound was so pleasing it helped define the musical styles of the day with its signature clarity on the drumheads and ride cymbals. His contribution to the percussion industry was recognized by the Percussive Arts Society when the organization inducted Joe into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Joe Calato's invention signaled a revolution in percussion manufacturing and design that continues today. Joe took it as his mission to upgrade the lowly drumstick, beginning with the quality of the wood; the drying of the wood; the famous Regal Tip finish; inspection for straightness of grain; weight, knots, warp; and finally the matching and pairing of sticks. To this day the drum world credits Joe Calato with establishing modern standards in drumstick design and crafting.
The creativeness and innovation of Regal Tip continues today. At the PAS convention in 2003, Regal Tip introduced Joe's revolutionary new nylon tip drumstick, the "E-Series". For years Joe had been determined to invent a nylon tip stick which would offer a darker, warmer sound on a cymbal, a wood tip sound. Just as the original nylon tip drumstick was the significant drumstick development in the 20th century, our new "E-Series" just may prove the same for the 21st century.
Regal was the first of today's major drumstick companies to have always manufactured its own products. All manufacturing takes place on our premises in Niagara Falls. This allows us to control quality, innovate new products in our state-of-the-art machine shop, and design and build machinery to ensure consistency.
This is but the beginning of a long history of innovation. The company has secured numerous patents and, as we speak, there are patents pending and numerous new ideas on the drafting table. The Regal Tip line has grown over the last 50 years to include the world's most popular line of drum brushes, timpani mallets, practice pads and the most impressive line of specialty sticks on the market today.
Most recently Regal Tip was honored with m.i.p.a.'s "Best Drumsticks" award for its X-Series sticks. This international recognition was the decision of 55 magazines from 40 countries around the world.
Riverside Chemical was founded in 1906 by A. C. Rasch. The business started running out of the basement of a grocery store at the corner of Oliver Street and Porter Avenue in North Tonawanda, NY. In those beginning years, the company focused on household supplies such as ammonia, bluing, vanilla extract and other extracts. Mr. Rasch founded the company on the simple principle of providing a good product, for a good price, with special attention to customer service and community involvement.
Later Mr. Rasch began manufacturing products to serve the needs of horse drawn wagons and industrial machines. The company produced axle grease and other grease for machinery, as well as leather oils, harness preservatives and hoof dressing.
When the automobile age began, Mr. Rasch developed a non-chatter oil for Model T cars which launched the company into a new era.
In 1929 the company moved their facility to the current location on River Road in North Tonawanda, NY.
During the 1940's and 1950's the company was managed by A. C. Rasch's sons, George A. Rasch and Dr. Carl H. Rasch.
In 1959 Dr. Carl H. Rasch was appointed as President of the company. Dr Rasch had worked at Riverside since the early 1930's, and had also earned Ph.D. Degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Buffalo and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Rasch was responsible for another large growth period in the company as he expanded the business product lines to include high purity chemicals and food grade additives as well as dramatically increasing their industrial product lines. Dr. Rasch remained President until he passed away in 1980.
The Moses Insurance Group was founded by Charles “Herky” Moses in 1955. Herky was always a huge community service advocate. He joined the US Marines during WWII, served as a volunteer firefighter, coach and mentor to our community youth, served as councilman of the Town of Amherst where he was an advocate for senior citizens and youth programs and recreation. He was an active member of several service organizations such as Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Chamber of Commerce, George Lamm Post, VFW just to name only a few. Now his children are following in his foot steps.
Our current agency owners are members of or volunteers with: Independent Insurance Agents Association, Trusted Choice Agents, Chamber of Commerce, Williamsville Business Association, WNY Food Shuttle, Lions Club, Amherst Senior Citizens Foundation, several committees at St. Leo the Great, St. Gregory the Great churches, Sacred Heart Academy High School, American Heart Association Walk-a-thon, Cancer Society Diamond Ball.
In 1960 Herky Moses & fellow insurance agent Neil Frank together purchase the Tatu Agency at 5475 Main Street, Williamsville, NY and became the Tatu, Frank & Moses Agency. In the 80’s Neil Frank sold his share of the business to another agency (Naylon) and we became the Charles W. Moses Agency. Over the years we have purchased many small agencies and merged them into the Moses Group: The Eugene O’Neill Agency & Helen Zapfel Agency (1970’s), the Jack Purcell Agency, Richard Brown Agency & Milt Kader Agency (1980’s). In 1988 we incorporated as Moses Group Inc. Peter Shanley Agency & the Tavano-Bill O’Farrell Agency were added in the 1990’s, Esther Everett Kratzer Agency (02), Cochrane, Flynn & LoTempio Agency (04), and Kusch & Koehler Agency (06).
In 1977 Herky’s son Robert Moses, CIC (president) joined the firm and in 1979 his son Ken Moses (Vice President) joined the firm followed by his son Douglas in 1984 who now works in Florida as a computer network specialist. In 1988 Herky’s daughter Carole Holler joined the group & serves as the bookkeeper and HR department and son Charles Jr. works part-time as a producer. Ken & Bob have four children between them, Jeffery, Amanda, Jessica & Monica. We will see what the future brings. Jeffery Moses did receive his p&c insurance brokers’ license in 2008.
As you can see, we are still a growing family owned and operated insurance agency. We are very active in the Amherst and WNY community. We specialize in writing personal auto, home & life insurance as-well-as small to medium business insurance. We have a program set up to write volunteer fire companies, long term care, disability, group insurance & employee benefits. We can place almost any kind of business insurance or personal insurance. Our firm now has 11 hard working employees that care about our clients and strive to maintain the family friendly personal touch we have always had.
Delaware North Companies is a global leader in hospitality and food service that is grounded in a foundation of family ownership. Under the leadership of Jeremy Jacobs and his three sons, Jerry, Lou and Charlie, we are one of the most admired family-owned hospitality management and food service companies in the world. With more than $2 billion in annual revenue and 55,000 talented and creative associates, we are one of the largest privately owned companies as well.
Delaware North is celebrating its 95th anniversary (80 years in Major League Baseball). The seven operating divisions that make up the Delaware North family of companies are leaders in their respective industries. That notwithstanding, all of them share the philosophy of "One company. One brand. One vision." Believing that enables us to deliver consistent world-class service to our clients. In addition, the company pays close attention to its more than half a billion consumers through GuestPath® and marketing/branding efforts that help us ensure that every guest is treated like our only one.
Few hospitality management companies and food service management companies can match Delaware North's legacy and reputation.
Carmel Catalano and Chris Iraci
Beginning with an investment of $157 in Parker O-rings, and the ideals of starting a "small business that would employ a few good people and make some money," Terry Galanis, Sr. launched Sealing Devices Inc. from his Alden, NY home in July of 1963. The elder Galanis started the company with a vision of providing customers with quality parts, reliable service and fair prices. The company was a family affair from the beginning with his wife Marian answering the phone, and the children (including current President Terry, Jr.) involved in counting and bagging O-rings in their home.
The company grew quickly. In 1966, when the Galanis household was no longer able to contain the expanding business volume, Sealing Devices moved to an old battery manufacturing plant on Neoga Street in Depew, NY. The plant was without adequate heating in the winter and had no air-conditioning in the summer. There was also a pickle storage facility in the building, and there was always a strong pickle smell in the office. Throughout this period, Terry, Sr. sold products during the day, and worked on quotes and paperwork at night. Marian also became adept at many office functions, teaching herself to type, generate invoices and billing materials, and later returning to school to enhance her knowledge and abilities. During this early part of the company's foundation, Terry, Sr.'s vision of integrity, honesty and character were repeatedly stressed as new employees were brought into the business. Early on, Terry, Sr. determined that one of the best ways to acquire and keep good people was to let them share in the profits of the company.
A motivational profit sharing plan was established to reward employees for good performance, while creating security for their futures.
The continuously growing Sealing Devices moved to Lancaster in 1968, occupying a 7,500 sq. ft. building at 4375 Walden Ave., and Terry, Sr. wondered out loud what SD would do with "all the space." Within a few years, the company needed to expand again, and when sales topped the $1,000,000 plateau in 1972, 5000 sq. ft. of additional space was added to the plant.
Another milestone occurred in 1972 when present-day President Terry Galanis, Jr. joined the company. He was promptly assigned a sales territory, and set off to open the Syracuse sales office shortly afterward. The family expanded the geographical scope of the business when branch sales locations were established in Erie, PA (1970), Syracuse, NY (1973), and Rochester, NY (1980) to service an ever-increasing list of satisfied customers.
By 1977, Sealing Devices attained sales of $3,500,000, and grew out of its existing space. The Galanis family purchased six acres of land across the street, which is now the site of the corporate headquarters at 4400 Walden Ave. The new $1,300,000 building included 34,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and office space, and provided Sealing Devices with a state-of-the-art fabrication and distribution center.
Terry, Jr. was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer in 1983. In 1986 after sales climbed to $12,000,000, the plant at 4375 Walden was refurbished, and half of the staff moved back into the original building. In 1992 when sales surpassed $17,000,000, a 28,000 sq. ft. addition was made to the 4400 Walden location, at which point the employees were united under one roof in the present corporate headquarters.
Fast forward to 2000. A rapidly growing customer base in the Industrial, Aerospace, Automotive and Telecommunication markets helped company sales exceed $36,500,000. Sealing Devices was in need of additional space to support the growth. The adjacent five acre property at 4380 Walden was purchased, and an ambitious 32,000 sq. ft. expansion of combined office, meeting and manufacturing areas was completed in 2002.
Technology has always played an important role at Sealing Devices. Management is always looking to invest in technology to provide better customer service, control costs and improve operating efficiencies. In late 2002, a new Oracle e-business suite was implemented in order to improve internal communications, and offer customers enhanced capabilities and better service.
In 2008, Sealing Devices reached 45 years in business. Employees and customers continue to be the primary focus and driver of the company's growth.
Today, Sealing Devices has its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Lancaster, NY, and sales offices in Erie, Pa, Rochester, NY, and Syracuse, NY. There are direct Sales Professionals throughout New York, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, with Representative Groups in strategic locations along the East Coast. While many customers are still located in New York and Pennsylvania, SD has grown to provide products to customers in such internationally diverse locales as Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and any place within reach of the Internet.
The same ideals that Terry Galanis, Sr. passed on to Terry, Jr. and his immediate family in 1963, and to the extended Sealing Devices family since then are as visible today as ever.
They will continue to be critical factors in our future success.
If you ask ROAR Logistics founder Bob Rich III what differentiates ROAR Logistics from its competition, he will answer with one word: “People.” He will then tell you how the associates at ROAR Logistics have made ROAR what it is today: a leader in the global logistics industry.
In 2003, Rich founded ROAR Logistics as an Intermodal Marketing Company (IMC) approaching an old industry with a new attitude and outlook. Rich’s vision for ROAR Logistics was that ROAR would view transportation services provision more from the perspective of a shipper, rather than that of a transportation service provider.
Rich believed that by focusing on the distinct logistics needs of each of its customers and by placing customer service at the forefront of the company’s mission, ROAR would find success in a transportation industry sector that many shippers had written off.
Today, ROAR Logistics is a leading third party logistics provider (3PL) and international ocean freight forwarder. True to it’s name, ROAR continues to deliver Rail, Ocean, Air, and Road (Truck) transportation and logistics solutions to a diverse clientele with an unwavering commitment to “World Class” customer service. It is through this commitment to its customers that ROAR has raised the bar for other transportation service providers and received widespread recognition in the industry.
Whether your freight is moving around the block or around the world, the team at ROAR Logistics has decades of logistics and supply chain management expertise. We invite you to take a closer look at ROAR Logistics and appreciate your visiting our website.
Rodale is the authoritative source for trusted content in health, fitness, and wellness around the world. Rodale reaches more than 70 million people around the world through its category-leading media properties, trade books, subscription online properties and integrated marketing solutions. The company is also a leader in direct response marketing and has more than 26 million active customers in its database. Rodale publishes some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle magazines, including Men’s Health, Prevention, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Running Times, and Organic Gardening.
Rodale also publishes highly acclaimed books on health, fitness, cooking, gardening, spirituality, nature, the environment and more. Recent Rodale bestsellers include The Flat Belly Diet, Eat This Not That by Men’s Health Editor-in-Chief David Zinczenko, and The South Beach Diet Supercharged by Arthur Agatston, MD. A broad range of successful interactive media products such as BiggestLoserClub.com, special interest publications, and integrated marketing solutions are among the assets that round out the company’s portfolio of innovative, mission-based brands and properties. Rodale reaches consumers through retail and direct response channels, and its products span multiple media formats and platforms, including print, video and the Internet.
In 1969 Eugene “Gene” Wach began EGW Personnel Staffing, offering temporary staffing solutions to area businesses. It instantly became a family business with the inclusion of his wife, Nancy. This union created more than just a successful business, but also a great family with sons Thomas, Jeffry, Donald, and Timothy.
Today, EGW Personnel Staffing continues to provide its clients qualified personnel on a direct, temporary or contract basis with multiple offices and operations in New York under the direction and leadership of Thomas, president/CEO and Jeffry, its chief operating officer. This year marks its fortieth anniversary.
EGW was built on a basis of honesty, integrity and hard work and a lot of 3x5 cards. Back then the staffing industry was in its infancy and few understood the impact that such firms would have on many of America”™s fastest growing companies who relied on their services to help them grow.
Providing opportunities for individuals to find meaningful employment and the opportunity for financial self sufficiency is rewarding in and of itself, but “how it is done” is what distinguished EGW from others. The first point of EGW”™s 10 point Family Creed says it all. “Mission. As a family, we are committed to first serving God, each other and our community.”
While a lot has changed since its humble beginnings, especially in the area of technology, the firm”™s overriding beliefs of “honesty, integrity, and hard work” have not. Founder Gene always stressed that trust is earned through their interaction with customers and candidates. That is why, for example, non-family employees are given the same opportunities as family members to grow in their job. EGW is committed to removing barriers that hinder employees”™ and candidates”™ ability to do their best job and is proactive by providing employee, candidate, and client education. EGW generously contributes to the community in company time and profits. The Wach family has been actively involved in Junior Achievement, the Alzheimer”™s Association and the Buffalo Area Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM).
The Niagara University Family Business Center is honored to recognize the spirit in which EGW Personnel Services operates in our community, and for the assistance they have given to thousands of individuals to find the right job and to their clients, the employers, who are the foundation of our community. We are pleased to present EGW Personnel Staffing with our Vincentian Award. Accepting the award is Thomas Wach, President and CEO.
2009 Vision Award - William S. Hein & Co. Inc.The founder of Pleasant Company, Pleasant Rowland said, “You can spend your life looking over your shoulder, or you can spend your life looking ahead.” Looking ahead is exactly what the Hein family has been doing for over 80 years.
In the 1920”™s Fred O. Dennis, the great uncle of William S. Hein, Jr., began his business selling law books and legal forms. In 1934, at the tender age of 16, William S. Hein joined his uncle in a company that was developing into a major law library supplier. Dennis secured rights to supply out-of-print Government Printing Office documents and soon afterwards secured the publishing rights to the first 25 volumes of Yale Law Journal and many other legal periodicals and legal classics. After 27 years as an apprentice to his uncle, William Hein and his wife Ilene were ready to service the legal industry and formed the current company, William S. Hein & Co., Inc. Their goal was “to provide the best customer service in our industry.” With a solid vision in place, the company excelled. Within just a few years Hein became one of the major law book reprinters in the United States and soon expanded into original publications.
Adapting to the changing needs of customers is essential for business success. In 1974 Hein began diversifying the business with the creation of a microform division to meet the needs of libraries and their shrinking budgets. In addition, the company expanded into other law library services, including legal periodical distribution, subscription services, and continuations services.
On the death of William S. Hein, Sr. in 1976, his son William S. Hein Jr. joined the dedicated staff to lead the company into the electronic age. The firm acquired Nebrich Bookbindery to give the company total quality control over all of its book productions. The 1980”™s brought an international focus to the company with expansion into Australia, Japan, Western Europe, South America, and Israel. In 1983, the original Dennis Company was acquired and Hein became the world”™s largest distributor of legal periodicals in both hard copy and micro format.
Continuous improvement has always been the benchmark at Hein. The 1990”™s brought the company to digital imaging and the ability to deliver high-quality reprint titles. Hein is recognized as a leader in the preservation of retrospective legal materials.
Today William S. Hein & Co. owns more than 700 hardcopy legal periodical titles, has archived over 9 million law review images on microform or digitally, and has more than 65 million images of monographs and government documents.
For its commitment to providing the best and for always looking ahead, the Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to present to the William S. Hein Co., Inc our Vision Award. We thank you for the opportunity to honor you and your employees. Accepting the award tonight is Shannon Hein, Vice President of Sales.
2008 Family Business of the Year - Perry's Ice CreamMaking life”™s moments better. It”™s more than a motto for the Perry family. It”™s the way they”™ve been doing business for close to a century.
Now in its fourth generation, Perry”™s Ice Cream continues the tradition of excellence that started in 1918, when broom maker Morton Perry purchased a small dairy in Akron, N.Y. There, he and his son Marlo made small batches of ice cream on the kitchen stove and delivered them in horse-drawn wagons. Today, the ice cream manufacturer continues to make its product a batch at a time, but its production facilities, still located in Akron, are one of the most modern in the country, and its distribution area covers New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New England and Virginia. The company also offers distribution services for Ben & Jerry”™s, M&M Masterfood, HÃ¤agen-Dazs and Nestlé. Through its quality products, Perry”™s makes life”™s moments better for its many dedicated customers.
Perry”™s Ice Cream is also committed to making life better for the community. Under the leadership of Brian Perry, Morton”™s great grandson, the company sponsors charitable teams, supports nonprofit agencies and donates products to community organizations throughout Western New York. Brian Perry exemplifies this commitment to service as well, and volunteers his time to a number of organizations including the Akron Lions Club, the Village of Akron Planning Board, Junior Achievement of Western New York, and WNY Wellness Works. Most recently, he helped establish an industrial refrigeration curriculum at Erie Community College to meet the new federal guidelines for ammonia system safety and operations.
Tonight, we are happy to honor the Perry family members for their dedication to making life”™s moments better with the Niagara University Family Business-of-the-Year Award. Accepting the award tonight is Brian Perry, executive vice president and vice chairman.
2007 Leadership Award - Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, CM - PresidentRev. Joseph Levesque is the 25th of Niagara University. He started his presidency with his “President”™s vision statement” ”“ 15 personal goals to be achieved during his tenure at Niagara. It started with “I wish to see that our students receive a world-class education.” Another goal, or I should say, passion is: “To use the resources of NU to Revitalize Niagara Falls. In just six short years he has transformed Niagara into a premier academic institution. In 2006, Niagara University Seniors in a nationwide study, ranked NU higher than the national average on four of five benchmark areas and equal in the fifth.
In 2007 NU was cited as one of the best places to work in western New York.
Niagara continues its commitment to provide its faculty, staff, and resources towards the revitalization of Niagara Falls.
This year we were reaccredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education with rave reviews by the visiting team. In their final report they wrote:
The appointment of Fr. Joseph Levesque, C.M., as the twenty-fifth president of Niagara University has tapped into deep pockets of vitality and creativity that have been trapped in the recesses of the rocky foundation of the institution. Talent, vision, and collaborative energies have been unleashed within a restless faculty and an eager staff. They are being empowered to create a new style of learning that has transformative powers of its own.
Fr. Levesque, you a truly a great leader that has transformed a University into excellence and for this we give you our leadership award and thank you for this opportunity to honor you.
2006 Family Business of the Year - Lincoln Moving & Storage, Inc.In 1914, when John Palisano, the grandfather of our honoree, was operating a local grocery store, his son victor “Jimmy” Palisano saw an opportunity to diversify using a horseless carriage and enter into the moving and cartage business. In 1925, this new venture was named Lincoln Moving and Cartage and actively engaged John and his six children. This entrepreneurial spirit eventually led the Palisano family to operate nine different companies with one special common thread “dedication to excellence in service to its customers.”
On Jan. 1, 1977, the year of the blizzard, our honoree John Palisano, the grandson, bought Lincoln Moving & Storage of Buffalo, Inc. from his father and his uncles. An entrepreneur in his own right, John saw an opportunity to expand by joining the Atlas Van Line as an agent owner. In addition, with the help of his five sons Lincoln Moving & Storage diversified into household goods warehousing, public warehousing, an archival record storage facility, a document shredding company, specialty office and industrial moving, and operation of the Western New York Foreign Trade Zone in Lackawanna, New York.
Committed to Western New York these businesses have created quality jobs. In addition, the Foreign Trade Zone provides opportunities for companies to locate in Western New York and take advantage of government sponsored tax breaks while employing Western New Yorkers.
While most family businesses are lucky to survive a single transfer to a son or daughter, the Palisano”™s are now working on their fourth transfer to John”™s five children ”“ great grandchildren of the founder. Not surprisingly, instilled in each is the drive to provide value and excellence in service to its customers. That commitment has helped the Palisanos to remain a leader in their industry. For example, while other companies were looking to find short cuts or implementing cost cutting measures the Palisanos introduced GPS tracking on its shipments. Adapting to a change in times, their document shredding trucks tackle customer needs on-site providing assurance to their customers that the “work has been done properly and effectively.”
While the equipment has changed considerably over the nearly 100 years since John Palisano started his business, the vision that launched the company has not.
The Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to honor Lincoln Moving & Storage of Buffalo, Inc., John Palisano and his five sons as the Niagara University”™s Family Business of the Year.
2006 Leadership Award - Jack Conners, Publisher - Business First of BuffaloIn 2003 Niagara University College of Business created the FamilyBusinessCenter to serve the needs of family owned businesses in Western New York. Family owned businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and especially so in our community. The Center is committed to providing our members with practical “family advice” as well as “best business practices.”
Today we honor a company and its leader who has been doing that each week for more than twenty years: Business First of Buffalo and Jack Connors, Publisher and President.
The idea of publishing Business Journals began in the 1970”™s and by the 1980”™s every major city with a skyline had one. Business First of Buffalo began operations in October 1984. To succeed in business person must stay one step ahead of every one else, or at least stay in step. Newspapers devote two whole pages to business news. That is just about right to list who has been promoted at firms. National business news is too general to be valuable. Business Journals developed to fill that void. What are your competitors up to? Articles about up coming firms as well as established firms help promote growth.
Business First of Buffalo through its dedicated staff and the leadership of Jack Connors has developed a grassroots editorial relationship with local businesses providing local businesses the opportunity to research business opportunities, tack competitors, and identify trends before they are reported elsewhere.
Business First of Buffalo has been a leader among the 41 papers owned by American City Business Journals. It leads the group in longevity of its management and staff tenure. That should come as no surprise. Jack Connors is a well respected leader among his staff and the community, a tribute to his great character and leadership. He is gives passionately of his time to the Library Board, the YMCA, and Heritage Oak. Under his leadership Western New York family businesses have been able to compete and grow.
The NiagaraUniversityFamilyBusinessCenter is pleased to honor Business First of Buffalo and Jack Connors, Publisher and President for the Leadership they have provided to the Western New York business community.
2005 Family Business of the Year - Wegmans Farm MarketsIn 1950, when Robert Wegman assumed the presidency of the supermarket chain his father and uncle started in 1916, he had a plan in mind. He was determined to make it a great place to work.
Year after year, he has succeeded in reaching that goal. This year, for the eighth consecutive year, Wegmans was named to Fortune magazine”™s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. It not only made the list, it was ranked at the very top. Fortune has also named Wegmans to its Hall of Fame, as one of 22 companies that have been on the list since its inception.
There are many reasons why Wegmans is a great place to work, but the main one is Bob Wegman. One of his first steps after becoming president of the family-owned business was to raise all salaries. Within a couple of years, he implemented fully paid health care. Later, the company added a defined contribution retirement plan, a 401K plan and an employee scholarship program, which has given nearly $54 million in tuition assistance to 17,000 employees since it began in 1984.
In 1976, Bob”™s son, Danny, was named president. “We have tried to create an environment where our people”™s ideas are listened to,” said Danny Wegman, “and where they feel empowered to make decisions that impact their work.” In 2004, Danny”™s daughter Colleen Wegman assumed the presidency. She represents the fourth generation of leadership.
Today, Wegmans is a 68-store supermarket chain with 32,000 full- and part-time employees in stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia.
“We always believed that the path to great customer service begins with treating our own employees as family. If our people feel valued and supported, they will give the best to our customers,” says Bob Wegman.
As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the College of Business Administration, we are pleased to note that Bob Wegman was one of our early graduates, having attended Niagara”™s Rochester extension.
To recognize the manner in which Wegmans has directed the exceptional growth and development of the family business and to applaud them for the manner in which Wegmans has truly made its employees like family, the Niagara University Family Business Center is pleased to present the 2005 Family Business of the Year Award to the Wegman family and all its employees.
Accepting the award is Ann McCarthy, Wegmans Consumer Affairs Manager.
Vincentian Award - Robert SandersonEssayist Francis Bacon wrote several centuries ago that an encounter with adversity is sometimes the way to discover one”™s inner strengths. “Adversity doth best discover virtue,” is the way he phrased it.
Last November, Robert Sanderson demonstrated both the truth and wisdom of Bacon”™s observation after a devastating 16-alarm fire destroyed Kitchen World”™s 40,000-square-foot showroom and warehouse in Lockport. The future of the 30-year-old company and its 35 employees hung in the balance, and as president of the company, Bob Sanderson knew he had a decision to make. He didn”™t hesitate. Bob had seen the company come too far and achieve too much success to allow an arsonist to end it all.
Founded in 1974 with just two employees and a 15-foot-wide showroom, Kitchen World had undergone three major expansions over the years and grown to be one of the largest kitchen showrooms in the nation. The success of that company led to creation of another when, in 1990, Bob partnered with John Yakich to create Candlelight Cabinetry in Lockport. They watched it grow into a major manufacturing company, with a workforce of 200 and Kitchen Word as its major customer. The two companies combined to make Lockport and Niagara County major players in the kitchen-cabinet industry.
With so much at stake, Bob said it never crossed his mind not to start over. Five days after the fire, Kitchen World was again open for business. Today, its new showroom on Transit Road is 85 percent complete and bigger and better than before, featuring 49 fully decorated displays, plus many new concepts in kitchen design and products.
Bob has been a longtime member of the Niagara County Builders Association and has served on the board of the Buffalo Niagara Builders Association. He is also a member of the national Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing Association. We are also pleased to note that he was a founding member of the Family Business Center of Niagara University”™s College of Business Administration.
On the occasion of the Family Business Center”™s second anniversary, we are delighted to recognize Bob for his contributions in helping to develop the center as a resource for family-owned businesses. At the same time, we want to compliment him for the dynamic leadership he has displayed in rebuilding Kitchen World, thereby ensuring the existence of 235 jobs and the continuation of two companies that are helping to strengthen our community. We honor him by presenting him with the Family Business Center”™s Vincentian Award.
Dean's Recognition Award - Ed Kilgore, WRGZ, Sports DirectorWith more than 30 years of service at WGRZ-TV, sports director Ed Kilgore is something of an institution in Buffalo television. Equally impressive as that longevity, however, is the work Ed has done outside the studio, and that service is what we recognize today.
In 1987, the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services Foundation, commonly known as the Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign, was created to raise funds for the construction and support of adolescent treatment facilities. Ed has been a vital part of Kids Escaping Drugs since its inception, both through WGRZ”™s telethon, held for the 18th time this past April, and as co-chairman of K-E-D”™s capital campaign. Because of this work, Ed is a member of its Hall of Fame.
Stacy Roeder, community/media relations director of the Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign, and a good friend of Ed”™s, recently said, “Ed has never said no to any request, large or small. He”™s willing to share himself and his talents to help others, asking for nothing in return.” Stacey added, “His payback, he”™s often told me, is the feeling he gets when he talks to the kids while on the campus, seeing how they progress and then catching up with them after graduation, and knowing they”™ve been given a second chance, something Ed truly believes every child deserves.”
Kids Escaping Drugs is not the only charity for which Ed finds time. He has also served on the corporate finance committee for the American Heart Association of Western New York and emcees the “Heart Ball” fund-raiser every year. Even with his sports-anchor duties, Ed still makes time to give back to the community.
Tonight, we honor a man who helps to give kids, and people, a second chance. Ed is truly a Western New York institution. The Niagara University Family Business Center is proud to give the Dean”™s Recognition Award to Ed Kilgore for his outstanding community service.