MAHOPAC, N.Y.-The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce will recognize four local business leaders whose business and volunteering efforts have made a positive impact in the Mahopac-Carmel area at its Business Person of the Year awards dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 30.
“With people having to focus more time on their business or their career than in the past, it takes a special kind of person to work all day and then contribute to the community as well,” said Chamber CEO Michael Celestino. “The people who are being honored have selflessly given of themselves to make the Mahopac-Carmel community better.”
Business Person of the Year
At the ceremony, William “Bill” and Donna Pope, owners of Spotless Cleaning Systems in Carmel, will be the recipients of the 2017 Business Person of the Year award. High school sweethearts who graduated from Mahopac High School, the two wed in 1982. Bill Pope started the business in 1985 and Donna joined the company in 1989.
While raising their sons, Will and Dan, the Popes were active in the school scene—volunteering for various school functions. Bill Pope even coached his sons’ basketball and baseball teams.
The Popes became chamber members in 2006 and began actively volunteering in 2009. They assisted with such events as the Mahopac Street Festival, Carmel Spring Fair, Business Expo and Holiday in the Park. Their passion, though, is in providing scholarship money for graduating high school seniors. After serving as members of the Casino Night committee for several years, Bill Pope spearheaded the Night at the Races event, which, like Casino Night, raised funds for the scholarships.
Bill Pope was a chamber board member from 2012 to 2016. He served one year as secretary and one year as vice chairman.
The Popes live in LaGrangeville.
The Business Person of the Year is selected by a committee of past honorees who consider five 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. Fourth, the person must have served on the board of directors of The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce at some point. 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.
Business Person Meritorious
Susan Nunziata, a senior customer service representative for the Mahopac branch of Tompkins Mahopac Bank, will be honored as the 2017 Business Person Meritorious.
Nunziata joined the chamber in 2002 while she worked at Sound Federal Savings Bank. In 2007, she left Sound Federal for Mahopac Bank and continued serving the chamber.
Through the years, Nunziata has been a committee member for finance, marketing, the Mahopac Street Festival, as well as the Tree and Menorah Lighting. She also chaired the scholarship committee.
Nunziata served on the chamber board of directors from 2006 to 2012. She was the secretary for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, and the vice chairperson for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
In addition to her efforts with the chamber, Nunziata volunteers for the American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Nunziata lives in Mahopac with her husband, John, and their three dogs. She is the mother of Kim and Paul, stepmother to Erica and grandmother to Mia.
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.
Stephen Apap of George Apap Painting will be honored with the Emerging Professional Award.
Raised in Pawling, Apap is a third-generation painter. His grandfather became a painter after emigrating from Malta to the United States. His father started George Apap Painting and in 2004, Stephen’s older brother, George, bought the business. Stephen Apap has been painting for the family business since he was 12 years old. After graduating from SUNY Oneonta with a BA in business, he became a project manager and estimator for the Patterson-based company.
In 2016, Apap became an active member of The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce. When George Apap Painting launched Shine Holiday Lighting that same year, Stephen Apap approached the chamber about donating the company’s services to assist in decorating Mahopac Chamber Park for the holiday season. Since then, he has continued to donate the lights and labor of decorating the gazebo and tree before the Holiday in the Park festivities.
Apap lives in Brewster with his wife, Jessica, and daughter, Daniella.
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.
The Business Person of the Year awards dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Putnam County Golf Course, which is located at 187 Hill St. in Mahopac. Tickets are $40 per person.
For more information, contact The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce at 845-628-5553.