As the largest Rochester-area suburb, Greece not only boosts a diverse population of about 97,000 but also a vibrant business community that reflects its residents.
“Greece is roughly the size of Albany and twice the size of Binghamton,” said Sarah E. Lentini, president and CEO ofthe largest suburban Chamber of Commerce in the Rochester region. “We have thousands of businesses and really are representative of the United States as a whole.”
And it is time to celebrate the businesses and people that make the community so dynamic.
On Thursday, the Greece Chamber of Commerce — which has more than 800 members — will hold its 31st annual Community Awards at the Rochester Airport Marriott on West Ridge Road.
The award recipients come from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures, ages and different areas of interest,” Lentini said. “That’s what makes the event so fun; the whole community comes together.”
Young Professional of the Year
Among this year’s honorees is Shamila Craddock, CEO of Doc’s Facilities Solutions Inc.
Craddock, 26, opened Doc’s Facilities — a company that specializes in commercial cleaning, consulting and teaching for medical, educational and other facilities — three years ago with her husband, Joel Craddock.
“It’s not just a janitorial company,” said Shamila, explaining the specialized nature of the business. “We have our employees go through classroom training so they know how to clean for health, not appearance.”
Shamila Craddock grew up in Rochester’s 19th Ward and she still lives there. She attended the Harley School and Monroe Community College, where she studied culinary arts.
“Opening the business was definitely a leap of faith, but we feel very confident in the direction we’re going,” said Craddock. “We grew literally almost overnight.”
The Young Professional of the Year award was created last year. A selection committee chose Craddock, who “has already grown her business and is taking her profession to the next level,” says Lentini. “She’s mature, earnest, hardworking and has top-notch communication skills.”
Business Person of the Year
The selection committee, which is made up of chamber members and employees, chose Melissa Jordan as the 2016 Business Person of the Year.
“Melissa is the consummate professional who is not only very giving with her clients, but with her staff and the community,” Lentini said. “She gives a tremendous amount of herself as a volunteer.”
Jordan, a senior branch manager and vice president for M&T Bank, has managed M&T’s Latta Long Pond Branch for 12 years. She enjoys the long-term relationships she’s been able to build with her clients from Greece, and the surrounding areas.
“The biggest thing I love about my job is the impact I can have on people’s lives and businesses,” said Jordan, who graduated from Spencerport High School and The College at Brockport. “I help a lot of startups and people reinventing themselves. I help them make their dreams a reality.”
Jordan’s passion is working with youths and she is active in raising scholarship funds through the Greece Rotary Club, where she has held many leadership positions, including youth services chair. She also served as a Girl Scout leader for a decade.
Senior Citizen of the Year
Among this year’s other Greece Chamber of Commerce Community Award winners is Frederick Amato, who was named the William E. Selke Senior Citizen of the Year.
Amato, who served in the Monroe County Legislature for 22 years, has given countless hours as a volunteer member and leader to many organizations, including: Project Rachel, Northgate Neighbors (Dewey Avenue Corridor), Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society, Ontario Beach Park Program Committee, Charlotte Community Development Association, Monroe County Parks Advisory Board and Holy Cross Parish.
“It is very humbling to be asked to accept this award, which has been given to many of our wonderful volunteer Greece citizens,” says Amato. “I have known most of the past recipients for many years and feel that it is such a humbling feeling to be among them.”