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Cortland County Chamber of Commerce Holds Annual Awards Dinner
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Cortland County Chamber of Commerce Holds Annual Awards Dinner
The Cortland County Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards and recognition dinner last night. The event recognizes large and small companies, not for profits and community members who go above and beyond to improve the community.

The winner of the small business of the year award is Bailey Place Insurance in Cortland.  The Company has a 150 year history in the Cortland community. In 2009 current owner Steve Franco joined Place Insurance and purchased the business in 2011.  Then earlier this year Franco and Chuck Spalding who owned the George B. Bailey Insurance Agency with offices in Cortland and Dryden announced the two agencies would merge.
 
Franco says he is excited about the merger and the newly formed company is very successful, he attributed that success to the skilled staff.
 
The large business of the year award went to Albany International in Homer. The company dates back to the 1930’s, starting out at Newton line company manufacturing braided casting and fly fishing lines along with braided cords and rope.

In the 1960’s the company expanded to Newtown monofilament and built a new plant across the road on Route11. The company manufactured line for jet aircraft, fishing line, weed trimmer line, and of course monofilament, a high tech industrial fiber used for Machine Clothing.  They are the world's leading producer of custom-designed fabrics and belts essential to production in the paper, nonwovens, and other process industries.    
 
Currently Albany International employs 120 people, with plans to add more soon.
 
The Chamber Heritage Award is given to a long standing business in our community.  Often companies selected for the honor have multiple generations that have been involved in the business, this year’s winner Leach’s Custom Trash fits that description.
 
Company owner Greg Leach stared 40 years ago with a single pick-up truck, today his business includes eight trash trucks. Leach’s company on Route 13 in Cortlandville includes his wife and his children.
 
Leach says he is honored by the recognition and looks forward to the next 40 years serving residents of Cortland County.
 
The non-profit of the year award was given to the J-M Murray Center. The Murray center employs hundreds of people and provides support services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.  They provide contract services to various public and private organizations which, provides people with disabilities employment while teaching them skills, improving their self-esteem and their quality of life.
 
The Kathy Cotterill Chamber Community Service Award was given to Doug Bentley. Bentley was recognized for his tireless volunteerism. Which includes mentoring local youth , supporting the United Way, and working to improve the community overall.
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