MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce held its 2019 Business Person of the Year banquet on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Four Brothers Restaurant in Mahopac to honor its 2019 award-winners, including Business Person Meritorious, Emerging Professional and, of course, the Business Person of the Year.

Chamber Board of Trustees Chairman John Malzone emceed the event, which saw Vincent D’Ambroso (Government Employees Federal Credit Union) named Business Person of the Year, James Pfeifer (M&T Bank) named Business Person Meritorious and Christine Picone (William Raveis Real Estate) honored as Emerging Professional.

Here are profiles of the three honorees:

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Business Person of the Year: Vincent D’Ambroso

Born in the Bronx, Vincent D’Ambroso attended Cardinal Hayes High School. After graduation, his family moved to Yonkers where he commuted to New York City to attend New York University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.  

Shortly after graduation, he married his childhood sweetheart, Marie. The couple moved to the Woodlawn section of the Bronx where they bought a house and where both of their children were born—son, Steven, and daughter, Stacy. They will mark their 42nd anniversary on April 22, 2020, and will soon become grandparents, Son Steven and his wife, Mayra, are having a baby.  

Upon graduation from NYU, he accepted a position with the General Foods Federal Credit Union. He then began his pursuit of an MBA in accounting by attending Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. 

In 1992 the couple moved to Thornwood, N.Y., where they still live.

That same year, he accepted a position with Banco Popular, N.A. as a senior analyst. He worked with them until December 2002, leaving one year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, saying he always will have horrible memories of that awful day. As a result of the attacks, his division had to relocate, and he was given responsibility for the relocation. The relocation was done promptly and efficiently, allowing financial operations to be up and running within one week. D’Ambroso was recognized for the safe evacuation of the employees and for the prompt and efficient relocation and setup of the office operations.   

In December 2002, he became the chief financial officer of the Putnam Federal Credit Union and was reunited with Salvatore Gambino, who was his boss at the General Foods Federal Credit Union.

D’Ambroso’s association with Sal Gambino had begun at the General Foods Federal Credit Union that. That relationship grew strong and was responsible for his ultimately joining the Putnam County community.

He began his career as a business development professional in July 2010. The Putnam Federal Credit Union was taken over by the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union. Being responsible for the expansion of existing business relationships and the development of new business, he developed an extensive network of business, community, and political leaders and became extremely involved within the communities that were served.

Fortunately, his current employer, the Educational and Governmental Employees Federal Credit Union, supports and encourages community involvement.  

A seasoned financial and business development professional with more than 40 years’ experience in the financial services industry, D’Ambroso has extensive experience in establishing and strengthening new and current business relationships. He has experience as a board or committee member for various organizations that represent multiple business sectors—private (for-profit), public (education) and not-for-profit. He has also been an advocate for school districts and education, not only in Westchester and Putnam counties but on a state level as well, dealing with political leaders on local, county, state and federal levels.

This year’s honoree has served as a board or committee member of many organizations within the county, including the Brewster Chamber of Commerce, CoveCare Center, Friends of the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, Putnam Service Dogs and the United Way of Westchester and Putnam, and is a former board member of the American Heart Association Putnam County Regional Board, the United Way Regional Board of Putnam County and the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association.

D’Ambroso is also a member of many chambers of commerce throughout the Lower Hudson Valley, including the Greater Mahopac Carmel Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the Mahopac Carmel Chamber of Commerce board for six years, including serving as its chairperson for three terms.  

He is an active volunteer for many organizations and events in Putnam County.  He served as the treasurer for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County’s 4-H Fair and as chair of the 4-H Fair Treasury Committee and chair of the Brewster Chamber of Commerce’s Scholarship Committee. He served as the American Heart Association’s 2011 Heart Walk Campaign chair and continues to be an active volunteer for both the Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.

“As someone who believes in serving the communities in which I live and work, I am honored to have been considered for this award,” D’Ambroso said. “You can image how much being named the 2019 Business Person of the Year means to me.”

Business Person Meritorious: James Pfeifer

James Pfeifer has been with M&T Bank for seven years and is currently the Business Banking Regional Team Leader in Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties. He leads a team of dedicated business banking professionals who understand what is important to local business owners and provide customized solutions through a local community approach.

Pfeifer is also the owner of Pozzitiv Productions disc jockey entertainment, located in Mahopac since 2002. An emcee/disc jockey for 27 years, he runs a company of professionals providing music and entertainment at all types of events, including weddings, mitzvahs, sweet 16s, birthday parties and corporate gatherings.

Pfeifer has lived in Mahopac for 27 years with wife, Regina, and their four children, Alexandra, Anthony, Ashley and Andrew.

He has been a member of the Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce since 1998 and served on its board of directors from 2014-17.

Pfeifer has also served on various Chamber committees, including Street Fairs, Night at the Races, the Scholarship Committee and the Business Expo.

He also volunteers for the Mahopac Special Education PTO and the Fulmar Road Elementary PTO. He is a past volunteer for the Westchester Arts grant program, S.C.O.R.E 2004-2009, and the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department from 1993-98.

Emerging Professional: Christine Picone

Christine Picone has been an active member of the Mahopac community for almost 20 years. She is an active full-time real estate agent with William Raveis Real Estate.

She began her career as an office administrator for a local real estate office while she went to school to obtain her real estate license. She then went on to become an office manager for eight years in the real estate industry. In time, she realized her true passion was assisting clients in finding their dream home.

In addition to her professional responsibilities, Picone is dedicated to the Mahopac community.  Since being elected a board member of The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce more than two years ago, she has sat on the Marketing Committee and chaired three Mahopac Street Festivals and two Carmel Spring Fairs. As a committee member for Holiday in the Park for the past three years, her jobs have ranged from decorating the park to taking pictures of children with Santa.

Besides her participation in the community and with the board and the Chamber, she has volunteered for Community Cares, Drink for Pink and Little Black Dress events for the past several years, as well as having delivered meals and donated raffle prizes for those events.

In her free time, she enjoys walking/running on the Putnam Bike Trail. Picone lives in Mahopac with her husband, Vinny, and their two children. Daughter Gillian and son Vinny both attend Mahopac schools.

Article provided by Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce