Congratulations to our 2018 Spring Award Winners
2018 Entrepreneur of the Year
Adam Sabol, Co-Founder
Key Branding Labs
Entrepreneur of the Year award is given to an individual who exemplifies leadership and entrepreneur skills, shows willingness to take risks, demonstrates exceptional vision that contributes to business success, and exhibits personal drive, focus, innovation, and business acumen.
Adam Sabol believes that to be successful as an entrepreneur you need to find something you love doing; find something you are really good at; and find something that others see value in. The key is to find that magical area where they all interact. That is exactly what he has done. He started his first company in 2011 with four friends right out of college, Binghamton University – CommuniKey – aimed at incentivizing college students to frequent local restaurants and businesses.
Then in January 2015, Key Branding Labs was launched after CommuniKey clients were asking for help in putting together a digital marketing strategy.
Adam has the ability to build lasting, meaningful relationships with others and that has been the driving force that has built Key Branding Labs growth. Entrepreneurs need to be flexible and ready to adapt their strategy to the market rather than expecting the market to adapt to them. As he says of he and his partners in creating Key Branding Labs, they dove in head first, failed a lot in the beginning, learned some painful lessons but never got down nor discouraged. They listened and learned and got better each day. In 2018, they added two full-time employees and moved into their new office in Gorgeous Washington Street and serve over 22 full-time clients!
Eric Cole, Vice President of Java Joe’s Roasting Company, Inc. says: “I cannot think of another individual that embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and passion more than Adam.”
Laura Holmes, Assistant Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Partnerships Binghamton University says “Adam has also been a great resource to student entrepreneurs, naturally mentoring them when he doesn’t even realize it. As a customer of his business, his level of service is a standard that many other vendors should aspire to.”
2018 Young Professional of the Year
Kyle Nedlik, Mechanical EIT
The individual selected for the Young Professional of the Year award has demonstrated excellence, creativity, and initiative as an emerging leader in their business or profession, serves as role model for his peers both personally and professionally, and provides a valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
Kyle Nedlik’s position with Stantec involves the design of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, cooling and refrigeration systems in commercial buildings and was chosen to participate in the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program for the company’s US East Division, a six-month program. With the skills learned, Kyle is emerging as a leader in the building engineering profession. He has been the Community Engagement Coordinator for his office; since 2016 a position he truly embraces.
His role is to organize and coordinate the office’s engagement in community events like Canstruction, Feed the Need and the Annual “Stantec in the Community Day.”
Kyle is the current president of STYP – Southern Tier Young Professionals, an organization whose mission it is to provide social and professional networking opportunities that are specifically geared towards local Young Professionals. He served as the Vice President and Civic Committee Chair from 2015 – 2017 which involved spearheading volunteer participation in the CHOW Garden, OurSpace in Recreation Park, Riverbank Clean-Up, staffing at Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and Spiedie Fest and a host of other events. These STYP volunteer efforts aim to improve the quality of life for Young Professionals in our area and to assist in retaining young talent here in our community.
A graduate of BU, he is also an active member of the BU Alumni Association where he has served a site leader for the Alumni Global Day of Service for all four years of the project. He is also an active member of the Young Professional Alliance of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce and the Young Professional Summit Committee, the planning arm of the full-day innovative conference for the Southern Tier’s Young Professionals. Having grown up here and graduated from Binghamton University, Kyle feels a deep sense of commitment to our local community.
Stuart Shrauger, Senior Associate at Stantec says this of Kyle: “Both inside and outside of work, Kyle maintains a strong engagement with the community. Kyle cares about his community and the people in it and works hard every day to make sure he is giving his best effort to make the community stronger.”
2018 Volunteer of the Year
Fred Simmons, Marketing/Management Specialist and Business Owner
Safeguard Business Systems
The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes the dedication of one of our many Chamber volunteers. The individual singled out for this award is an active and consistent supporter of the Greater Binghamton Chamber and its programs and services, as well as a role model for the community as a whole.
Fred Simmons is a fixture in our community. He joined the Greater Binghamton Chamber in 1985 and has been volunteering ever since. Fred is truly and “ambassador” for the organization and for greater Binghamton. He has been serving on the Membership Committee for most of his years with the Chamber.
In his role on the Committee, Fred attends Chamber events and ensures that new members feel welcomed and are introduced to others. He helps connect people to others that will need their services and products. Fred always steps up to volunteer for any task the Chamber asks—from delivering hundreds of “welcome packets” to Chamber members each and every year, to encouraging new Chamber members to join and showcasing the benefits of Chamber membership. He is a “cheerleader” for our community and our organization and always has a smile on his face.
Fred is an accomplished jazz musician; he plays saxophone. His band—the Fred Simmons Jazz Trio—can be seen and heard throughout the area performing at many events, including the cocktail reception for the Chamber’s 2018 Annual Dinner. Ask Fred about his music and you will see his face light up.
As Jim Trevitt says: “ I loved it when Fred stops by my office….always a grin on his face and a helpful, positive attitude.”
Sharon Sunness(a former co-worker) says: “Fred is the quintessential professional…he builds strong professional relationships. I have always admired his inexhaustible energy and positive demeanor.”
2018 Small Business Person of the Year
Mark Berghorn, President
Healthwear Rental, Inc.
The Small Business Person of the Year award is given to an individual whose business shows evidence of growth in the number of employees, growth in sales for the past three consecutive years, innovation of product or services, and who is active in community – oriented projects.
In 2005, Mark started Healthwear Rental, Inc. with himself, a driver/salesperson and two part-time production employees. Healthwear Rental provides medical linens – scrubs, lab coats, patient gowns, sheets, pillowcases, surgical linens, massage linens and walk-off mats – to medical and dental offices in the Southern Tier, Central New York and Northeast Pennsylvania.
In 2009, Mark expanded his facility on North Street in Endicott to double the production area. Healthwear Rental has seen significant growth in sales each and every year. At the end of the 2017, they had grown to 26 employees with sustained growth of 20% over 2016.
Healthwear Rental, Inc. only services private practices and surgical centers and thus, are able to use higher quality gowns and linens; their focus is to help strengthen the patient/provider experience with their customers. They are the only service provider in the area to focus solely on private medical practices; they focus on a single niche in the industry.
Mark is also very active in the community. He has been a Youth Sports Coach from 1997 – 2015. He has volunteered as the football announcer since 1997 and is an original member of the Binghamton Baseball Booster Club. He has served a s a Cub Scout leader and this past fall, Mark participated in the Real Men Wear Pink fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and exceeded his fundraising goal.
Robert Potoshiniak, Exit Reality Homeward Bound says: “To rise to the level of success that he (Mark) has is something many aspire to, but few achieve. But, more important than Mark’s business achievements are the traits he offers as a person.”