Seneca County Chamber of Commerce Holds Annual Dinner & Awards Ceremony

The Seneca County Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Dinner on January 24 at the Waterloo Seneca Falls Holiday Inn.  In addition to live entertainment, a year in review, presentations from incoming and outgoing board leadership and live and silent auctions, the evening featured
four award presentations.

2013 Business of the Year-Presented to: Generations Bank of Seneca Falls

Lifetime Achievement Award- Presented to: Bill Cram

Citizen of the Year Award- Presented to: Ellen Hughes   

2013 Rising Star Award- Presented to: Brad Clouston   

The Seneca County Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate all of the award winners and thank each of the attendees, volunteers, chamber and community members that supported the event. The Chamber would also like to thank Five Star Bank, key sponsor for the 2014 Annual Dinner. Additional sponsors included Lyons National Bank; ITT Goulds Pumps; Sessler Companies; Bill Cram Chevrolet; and The Bonadio Group.

Finger Lakes wine donations for the evening’s reception and dinner were made possible by Americana Vineyards, Cayuga Lake Wine Trail,  Hosmer Winery,
Knapp Winery and Vineyard Restaurant, Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars, Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Sheldrake Point Vineyard, Standing Stone Vineyards,
Swedish Hill and Goose Watch Wineries,  Toro Run Winery, and Wagner Vineyards.

Generations Bank and its wholly owned subsidiary- Generations Agency, offers personal and commercial financial and insurance services, including banking products, financial planning,  and asset management. Their collective mission is to be community-minded while providing financial services to its customers. Founded by a small group of Seneca Falls businessmen in 1870 to promote thrift under a NYS mutual charter, the Bank’s original building is the present home of the Women’s National Hall of Fame.

A long-time community staple, Generations Bank began its market expansion in 2000, with the opening of its first branch in Auburn.  Since then, the Company has increased total assets from approximately $80 million to $275 million, and has grown to a team of 91 employees through 9 retail offices inthe Finger Lakes Region- including branch locations in Seneca Falls, Waterloo, Auburn, Geneva, Union Springs and Phelps.  After undergoing a $5.2 million renovation in December of 2013, the Bank celebrated a Grand Opening of its newly constructed company headquarters- a modern and innovative building- located at 20 E Bayard Street in Seneca Falls (home of the former IGA / Super Duper Grocery Store.)

In addition to its various community branch locations with traditional banking services, Generations Bank has also remained current with changing technological advances in order to meet its customers’ evolving electronic banking needs. The Bank has built a strong network of offices centered on a state-of-the-art technology platform to keep pace with changes in e-commerce. Featured services include a mobile banking application, and an Interactive Teller Machine (“ITM”) with new technology allowing customers to transact business directly with a Personal Banker on live video feed. Future plans for Generations Bank include opening a 10th retail office in 2014, that will be located in Farmington, and introduced as the Bank’s first
“smart office” branch.

Remaining involved with its original hometown community, Generations Bank and Generations Agency support many community organizations and events. Over the years they have made many contributions and been involved with: Habitat for Humanity, Affordable Transportation Program, Transitional Homefor Women, National Women’s Hall of Fame, It’s a Wonderful Life Celebration, D.A.R.E, and the Mynderse Academy Music Program.

Beginning the Seneca County legacy in the early 1950’s, Bill Cram was stationed at Sampson US Air Force Base where he met his wife Phyllis. After a brief time spent overseas in Germany, Bill and Phyllis returned to the area where they co-founded and later sold Timberline Cash and Carry and Timberline Products to Wickes Lumber.

Looking towards a new business prospect, Bill purchased the Hallman Dealership in Seneca Falls in 1969, the current location of Avicolli’s Restaurant today. Later in 1972, Bill purchased property on the corner of Routes 414 and 5 & 20, where he remodeled and added on to the former Tri City Discount Store. Continuing his focus with the automotive industry, he then moved his dealership to that site, the current dealership location, but then naming it “Cram's Corner”.

With business thriving, in January 2012 Bill Cram Chevrolet expanded again when construction began on a brand new state of the art Chevrolet dealership. The $3 million project included demolition of the dealership’s former space, and construction of a new showroom, sales department, parts department, drive-through service line, business offices, as well as parking
and site improvements.

Bill has been a dedicated member of this community, serving a host of organizations, such as: Seneca County IDA, Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, Seneca Falls Rotary, Shriners, New York State Automobile Dealer’s Association, Presbyterian Church in Geneva. 

A Finger Lakes native, Ellen was born in Rochester and grew up in Waterloo. She graduated as Valedictorian from Waterloo High School in 1968 and then attended SUNY Oswego.  After spending her junior year at the University of Madrid in Spain, she received her B.A. degree in secondary education (Spanish).  She later attended Nazareth College, where she earned an Mastersdegree in Education.

Ellen was able to give back to the educational world, sharing her time and talent teaching at Waterloo High School, where she taught Spanish for 26 years. During that time, Ellen received numerous honors, including: being chosen by her peers as the 1997 Teacher of the Year, being nominated by her students as the first "Angel of Waterloo"  in 2004, and being selected by the Student Council in 2012, as Teacher of the Year. Prior to her time at Waterloo, Ellen also taught third grade at Border City School as well. Today she is a member of the New York State Retired Teachers' Association and remains involved with the Central Western Zone and the Seneca County Retired Teachers Associations.
An 18-year member of the Waterloo Rotary International, Ellen was elected District Governor for District 7120 in 2013 and has the distinction of being only the third woman to ever hold the position.

Ellen is also involved with the Celebrate/Commemorate Committee in Waterloo, and St. Francis and St. Clare Parish- where she remains active with roles on the Pastoral Council, Finance Committee and as Co-chair for the popular summer festival.

In her spare time, Ellen enjoys reading and traveling. She and her husband Jim reside in Waterloo. 

Born in Ocala, FL in 1988, and then raised in Seneca Falls, Brad graduated from Mynderse Academy, and moved to Rochester, where he attended St. John Fisher College and earned his Bachelors of Science degree in business management. After college, Brad completed an internship with Mutual of Omaha, and, later gained business and professional experience with positions held at Paychex (as a Health and Benefits Sales Representative), and Lyons
National Bank (working in Commercial Lending) where he currently is employed.

Brad is involved with various non-profit organizations and community activities, including: active member of the Finger Lakes Young Professionals, serving on the organization’s leadership committee, Membership Chair for the Waterloo Rotary Club, Board member for the Waterloo
Library and Historical Society, and is a member of Seneca County Ducks Unlimited.

When he is not working or volunteering his time, Brad enjoys a variety of sports and outdoor activities, including hunting, riding motorcycles, and snowmobiles during the winter months.  

He currently lives in Seneca Falls with his fiancée, Amanda. The couple is planning a wedding for August 2014.

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