MASSENA - A new initiative is recognizing business owners that keep their properties looking inviting.
The first four PIMA (Proudly Improving Massena Area) certificates were awarded Thursday during the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerces annual luncheon.
Recognized were Todd McGee, Stichs Upholstery Inc., 157 Center St.; David and Patrick Frary, Phillips Memorial Home, 64 Andrews St.; Real and Thelma Coupal for their work on the Tarpinian Building, 252 East Orvis St.; and JAC Tower, 38 East Orvis St.
The certificates were awarded for their efforts as a Massena business who works diligently at sustaining or improving their establishment, thereby making our community a better place to live and work.
Thomas Sullivan, executive director of the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena, said the recognition falls in line with their efforts toward downtown revitalization.
He noted that the BDC contracted with inSite: Architecture and was able to procure a Main Street Grant.
Through that process, we created the Downtown Coalition, he said.
The Downtown Coalition consists of approximately 70 volunteers, who are members of various committees tackling specific areas of interest, according to Mr. Sullivan.
Theres a number of activities going on with the Downtown Coalition, he said.
But one thing was missing in the Downtown Coalition effort, he said - a public relations effort. That effort has now been started, led by Kathleen Kelly-Ori from Stellar Marketing Services. The committee also includes Curt Wood from Cappiones, John Schneider from Triple A Building Center, retired Trinity Catholic School Principal Joan Rufa and Ben Labrie.
Kathy Kelly-Ori was gracious enough to say she would help us, Mr. Sullivan said.
The Public Relations Committee came up with the recognition plan, he noted.
The Public Relations Committee thought we should try to recognize folks in different areas of the community for different reasons, he said.
We would like to recognize people who do care for their businesses, Ms. Kelly-Ori said, noting they want to recognize both large and small businesses who are working to make their properties look wonderful.
We had a field of 11 potential candidates (this year), she said, noting they plan to make the PIMA recognition an annual event.