Business Bites: Awards and elected officials

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Fab 5 awards
This past Monday, Feb. 25, the recipients of the Fab 5 awards celebrated with the community at a gala at Coltivare as they received their awards.

  • Non-Profit Leader of the Year - Dr. Michael Berlin, Cayuga Medical Center
  • Business Leader of the Year - Tam-Marion Warren, Warren Real Estate
  • Rookie of the Year - Cheyenne Gorton, Tompkins Cortland Community College
  • Entrepreneur of the Year - Sarah Barden, Ithaca is Foodies Culinary Tours
  • Volunteer of the Year - Jessie White, Cornell University
  • Recognition of Awesomeness - Mayor Svante Myrick, City of Ithaca

The awards are given out annually to members of the community who are nominated because they “have shown tremendous success and passion through their work within this community.” The awards “aim to highlight and celebrate the achievements of young professionals, aged 21 – 40, who are excelling in their respective fields and making an impact in Tompkins County,” according to a release from the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce. The awards are organized in collaboration between Tompkins Connect (a local young professional organization that was formed in 2010 and now has over 700 members), Tompkins Trust Company, and the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce. Tompkins Weekly would like to give a special shout-out to Sarah Barden, winner of Entrepreneur of the Year! Barden is the author of the monthly culinary column Food for Thought.


Upcoming business events:

“Small Biz Think Big” Chamber Workshop, March 14, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
From the Chamber: This highly interactive workshop offers both a framework and practical tools for leveraging the power of diverse teams, optimizing innovation, and strengthening organizational decision-making. It invites participants to become intentional and strategic about this work.
It is designed both for those who lead diverse teams and those who want to build their capacity to do so in the future. The content is applicable across a wide range of contexts.


Beyond the Box Reentry Job Fair, March 20, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Information: Organized by the Ultimate Reentry Initiative (URO) and community partners, this annual job fair aims to match job seekers with employers and service providers, and to encourage conversations about developing inclusive hiring practices for job seekers who face persistent stigmas, stereotypes, discrimination and challenges long after individuals have served their sentences or met the terms of their convictions. As part of the fair, URO will offer a free educational presentation for businesses on employing job seekers who may have criminal records or are currently under state supervision. Topics will include: effective ways to recruit, hire and retain workers, as well as what resources are available to support your business in working with this growing labor pool.

First Time Homebuyer Happy Hour, Feb. 28, 5 p.m.
Information: Hoping to buy your first home? Don’t know where to start? This event is for you! Learn about grant opportunities, home inspections, mortgage products, and the entire home-buying process in a casual atmosphere at Ithaca Beer Co., 122 Ithaca Beer Dr., Ithaca. Start your move today!

Cascadilla Solar Farm Groundbreaking, March 1, 4 p.m.
Information: The solar farms, at 136 Stevenson Road, are being built on a 125-acre property in Dryden that is owned by Cornell, will generate enough electricity to power about 3,000 homes. All NYSEG customers will receive the benefits of renewable energy production but only members of the farms will enjoy savings from the community solar program. Solar farms generate electricity that is allocated to homeowners and apartment renters without the need for rooftop panels. After the event guests are invited to attend an informal gathering sponsored by Solar Farms NY at nearby Hopshire Farm and Brewery on Dryden Road in Freeville.

Reed in Groton
Representative Tom Reed, Republican member of Congress representing the New York 23rd district, met with constituents in Groton on Saturday. The hour-long Town Hall style gathering started with Reed telling those in attendance what he and his team had been working on recently and what conversation he’s having back in Washington D.C. President Trump’s Emergency Declaration has been a hot topic for elected officials at all levels of the government, and Reed is no exception. As a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, Reed said he and other members needed to have a conversation about how to respond to the declaration. While he believes that the President does have the authority to make the declaration, he isn’t sure that he believes that the President, any President, should have such authority.


Many of the questions from constituents were about the Republican tax overhaul, how it could affect the federal deficit, and how it has affected them personally. Questions to the Congressman also covered border security, social security, and the federal minimum wage. Reed does not believe that a blanket minimum wage would allow for nuances at the local level.

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