Collis Awarded the Business of the Year

UTICA — Four Mohawk Valley businesses learned Thursday that they’d been honored as the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year.

Named at the chamber’s Business of the Year luncheon were:

Wilcor International Inc., for-profit with more than 50 employees. Fred F. Collis & Sons Inc., for-profit with 50 or fewer employees. Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare, not-for-profit with more than 50 employees.The Stanley Center for the Arts, not-for-profit business with 50 or fewer employees.

A Wilcor official said that the Mohawk Valley was exactly the right place for the business. “The Mohawk Valley has been the place we’ve wanted to be when the business started, and it’s still where we want to be,” said Shawn Corrigan, import purchasing agent for Wilcor Outdoors, an importer and wholesale distributor in Frankfort.

Ronald Thiele Jr., executive director of the Stanley Center for the Arts in Utica, said the group was thrilled to receive the recognition. “This organization is really all about people and people in the Mohawk Valley,” he said.

Paul Collis dedicated the chamber award to his grandparents, Fred F. Collis and Isabel, both deceased, who started the business in 1936.

Keith A. Fenstemacher, president and CEO of Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare, said the hospital and all that it stands for belongs to the community. “We sincerely thank you,” he said.

Thriving communities, strong assets and resolve are reasons businesses such as the honorees call the Mohawk Valley home, Dennis Mullen, president of Empire State Development, told the more than 250 people at the annual luncheon. “The glass that is in front of you, it is certainly not half empty, it is half full,” said Mullen, the former chairman, president and CEO of Birds Eye Foods.

Mullen cited some of the tough economic challenges that businesses face, but said New York would be successful in efforts to build, keep and maintain businesses in the state.


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