MAHOPAC, N.Y.— When you make an impact on the community it is remembered by your peers. Thomas O’Leary, owner of The UPS Store in Mahopac, Michael Bothe and William Fitzgerald, co-owners of Mahopac Flower Shop, and Robert DeLucia, owner of Local Boys Junk Removal, were honored by The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce at its annual Business Person of the Year Dinner, held on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at Putnam County Golf Course.
O’Leary, who opened The UPS Store 11 years ago, was recognized as the 2016 Business Person of the Year. He was humbled by the introduction given by Marj Cuicci, owner of MAC Creative Plan Solutions, who was the 2013 Business Person of the Year recipient. She described him as “dedicated, conscientious and hard working.”
The Business Person of the Year is selected by a committee of past honorees who consider four criteria in determining who deserves the recognition. First, the person’s company must be in business for at least three years. Second, the person must be reputable and successful. Third, the person must be held in the highest regard by industry peers. Finally, the person must have made a positive impact on the community by being a role model of involvement, sponsorship and activities in the Mahopac-Carmel community.
“I have a lot of respect for this chamber and for all the people who have selected me to be this year’s Business Person of the Year,” said O’Leary. “I really appreciate the honor because it comes from people I deeply respect, honor and consider friends.”
When presenting the 2016 Business People Meritorious Award to Bothe and Fitzgerald, Joseph J. Tock of the Law Offices of Joseph J. Tock recited the dictionary definition of the word meritorious because it fit the description of the Mahopac Flower Shop partners.
“Admirable, deserving, esteemed, exemplary, honorable, exceptional, well thought of, worthy of,” said Tock, who was the recipient of the 2006 Business Person of the Year. “What Michael and Billy have epitomized in this town is that you can run a business, you can work hard, you can give back without asking for credit, you can be successful, you can be kind and professional and have a first-rate product.”
Business Person Meritorious, which is also chosen by the Business Person of the Year committee, is a person whose business is reputable and successful. The person must have previously made a positive impact on the community by being a role model of involvement, sponsorship and activities in the Mahopac-Carmel community.
DeLucia had the distinction of being the first person named as the Emerging Professional of the Year. Decided on by the Chamber board of directors, the Emerging Professional Award is given to an individual, who has been a member of The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce for three years or less, who is an active volunteer in the Chamber and who has made a positive impact on the community.
“At 27 years old, Rob owns a business and consistently volunteers his time and his company’s services to the Chamber for all of its events,” said board member John Malzone, owner of Custom Interior Remodeling. “His loyalty and work ethic are steadfast.”
Over 100 people attended the dinner, including: NYS Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, Carmel Town Supervisor Ken Schmitt, Town council members Suzi McDonough and Frank Lombardi as well as Thomas Morley, regional director of the NYS Small Business Development Center.