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.
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 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.
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.
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, Häagen-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.