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SBC names Business Person of the Year finalists

Rochester Business Journal
August 8, 2014

Thirteen executives from 11 businesses are finalists for this year’s Business Person of the Year Award, presented by the Small Business Council of Rochester.

The annual awards, presented for more than three decades, honor individuals who have contributed to the growth of their companies, excel at leadership and give back to the community. Awards are presented in two categories: small firms with fewer than 50 employees and large firms with 50 or more employees.

The winners are to be announced at a luncheon Oct. 15 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Lauren Dixon, CEO of Dixon Schwabl Inc., is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.

The finalists among leaders of firms with fewer than 50 employees: Michael Fowler and Sitima Fowler, Capstone Information Technologies Inc.; Kenneth Tomaszewski, KJT Group Inc., Falls View Academy LLC and Genesee Property Group; Russell Herman, Pet$aver Healthy Pet Superstore; Michelle Ashby, Tipping Point Communications LLC; and Michael West, West Fire Systems Inc.

The finalists in the category for leaders of firms with 50 or more employees: Cyndi Weis, Breathe Yoga & Juice Bar Inc; Sue Butler and Tracy Till, Butler/Till; Ken Rosenfeld, eHealth Technologies; Anthony D’Agostino, Inspire Crayon Campus; Robert Healy, LaBella Associates DPC; David Pastore, Upstate Roofing & Painting Inc.

Lynn Hartrick, a member of the SBC board of directors and chairman of the selection committee, said candidates for the Business Person of the Year Award are nominated by their peers in the spring. It is then up to a seven-member committee to select the winners. The committee includes SBC representatives, owners of small and large businesses and members from academia.

Roughly 45 applications were received this year, Hartrick said.

While choosing the winners is always hard, he said, the committee views it as a serious process, noting that winning not only brings public attention to the businesses but also has a halo effect that extends to the firm’s employees, customers and vendors.

“I’ve had prize winners tell me it has changed their businesses,” he said. “There are some truly wonderful stories that come out of this from some companies you may not have even known existed.”

Last year, the awards recipients were Amy Castronova, president of Novatek Communications Inc., and Mark Davitt, president of Continental Service Group Inc. Castronova won among businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and Davitt won in the large-company category.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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