Congratulations to our 2023 Building BC Award Winners
The Greater Binghamton Chamber is pleased to congratulate and recognize the Chamber’s 2023 Building BC Award Recipients:
2023 Innovative Award
Accepted By: Charlie Randall, President
This award recognizes a project, product or service that “thinks outside the box” and continues to stretch the boundaries and has proven to be a leader in innovation.
For over 70 years, McIntosh audio products have withstood the test of time and pushed the boundaries of luxury home audio. McIntosh has called Binghamton home for over seventy years, first opening its doors in 1951. During this time, the company has proudly created countless local jobs adding to the local economy and giving back to the community. Their commitment to Greater Binghamton is unwavering; despite selling their products across the United States and internationally in over 80 different countries, McIntosh makes all of their products right here in Binghamton, home to the only McIntosh factory in the world.
With a precise process from ideation to completion, the quality of McIntosh’s work is of no question. A new McIntosh model can take anywhere from months to even years to progress from initial concept to final product. Along the way, products are meticulously engineered and continuously refined until it meets McIntosh’s standards. Employees bring designs to life with their skilled handcraftsmanship combined with McIntosh’s vast manufacturing capabilities and have the satisfaction of knowing their products are being enjoyed around the world. For example, their iconic blue Watt output meter is globally recognized as a symbol of quality home audio.
While they have a global reach, what is arguably more impressive is McIntosh’s local impact. McIntosh views manufacturing as a vehicle to grow and sustain a higher standard of living. Every dollar spent in manufacturing creates another $1.45 for the local economy. The company has a proven track record of creating high quality jobs with competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits, and most importantly, a workplace culture that puts their employees and their success first. The hard work of their employees has led to the iconic brand being recognized as the number one audio-equipment manufacturer on the national and international stage.
McIntosh has long been driving innovation in Greater Binghamton and has grown into an international powerhouse setting the standards for performance, reliability, and service. Their longstanding commitment to thinking “outside-the-box” has certainly made them deserving of the Innovation Award.
2023 Restorative Award
Pritchard Development Corporation
Accepted By: Brett Pritchard, President
The Restorative Award recognizes a project that brings new life into an aging building.
Pritchard Property Development is not your typical developer. Though the incorporation date is listed as 2015, the firm originally finds its roots in the passion of founder Brett Pritchard. Completing his first project in 1993, his first residential home, Brett has successfully grown his business from a residential construction company into the commercial firm known today as Pritchard Property Development. Pritchard emphasizes a focus on community, teamwork, collaboration, and safety above all else, proudly serving seven counties in New York and areas of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
In the last year, Pritchard Property Development has greatly focused its efforts on the revitalization of the Broome County area. Most notably, Pritchard Property Development has worked tirelessly since 2020 to breathe new life into two historic buildings on Binghamton’s South Side.
Originally a firehouse and later more fondly remembered as the restaurant Number 5, the property at 33 South Washington Street is now home to several small businesses. Recognizing the storied history of the building and the memories it held for many residents, Pritchard strived to maintain the nostalgia through including the original exposed brick and firehouse doors in their design. In contrast, sitting behind the former Number 5 property is the new Mirabito Commons, a beautiful new construction offering a new bank on the South Side and a full-service gas station convenience store equipped with electric vehicle charging stations and a full café menu. Together the redevelopment and new construction make for an exciting destination for customers and clients. As part of the growing Number 5 Commons family, Pritchard Property Development has also been hard at work with the second phase of the revitalization of the former Latazza building at 39 South Washington Street.
The property, which has sat vacant since the 2011 flood, as part of the Number 5 Commons will serve to become a bustling corner of activity in the city. Foot traffic in the area has already increased, and with more updates to come and tenants to set up shop, Pritchard Property Development has successfully restored the property to a beautiful and modern space for community members and visitors alike.
2023 Transformative Award
Accepted By: Rob Dykema, North American Transit Accounts Director
This award recognizes a project that impacts the entire community and fosters growth of those around it.
For years, Broome County Transit has been powered by a fleet of hybrid-electric power buses, and soon, Battery Electric Buses will be moving the people of Binghamton with zero emissions all thanks to the groundbreaking work going on at BAE Systems. BAE Systems is innovating to move the world through delivering low and zero emission technology to our communities in an effort to create a better environment.
In the last five years, BAE has invested millions of dollars to revolutionize the transportation sector, be it land, sea, or air. Greenhouse gas emissions are of global concern, and at BAE Systems, they are focused on moving high integrity, harsh environment applications to zero emissions with their proven electric technologies. The development of BAE’s product lines through the combination of leveraging cutting-edge technology, state of the art energy solutions, and novel packaging has allowed BAE to deliver unparalleled results in solving the “weight vs power” conundrum and paving the way for the implementation of zero-emission battery electric transportation.
Locally, BAE will be providing BC Transit with 5 Battery Electric Buses from NovaBus, powered by BAE’s latest technology. Over 1,000 of these Battery Electric Buses have been sold, providing high tech manufacturing jobs and facilitating the growth of our community. BAE Systems employs over 400 individuals dedicated to electrification and their engineers diligently keep themselves apprised of advancements in the industry and improvements to technology to strive towards their goal of “Get to Zero.” The commitment to the people, the environment, and the community drives the resolve of BAE Systems to bring state of the art technology to market and help enable zero emission transportation.
BAE Systems has made significant investment into electrifying transportation which has led to major advancements in the field, will serve to fuel the local workforce, training more operators, technicians, and engineers, and will continue to transform not only Greater Binghamton but the way all communities move for years to come.
2023 Individual Award
David & Karen Sobotka
Owners of the Rumble Ponies
This award recognizes an individual whose investment positively impacts the quality of life and job growth to ensure the success of the region’s communities and economy.
For Karen & David, the Rumble Ponies is more than just a team, it serves as a unifying force for the entire area. The pair worked tirelessly during their first season to ensure all fans felt welcome at Mirabito Stadium, by not only enhancing the fan experience within the park but doing their part to facilitate community development efforts outside of the park.
The heart of baseball in the Southern Tier lies in the City of Binghamton. Not long ago, the future of the team faced uncertainty, especially as Major League Baseball began raising facility standards. Fortunately, thanks to the investment by the Sobotka family in 2021, with the support of the community, David & Karen as both brand new owners and residents jumped right into work making the necessary upgrades, to Mirabito Stadium for the team to remain in downtown Binghamton. The Rumble-Ponies successfully signed a 23-year lease agreement with the City, and fans can already visibly see the improvements brought on by the Sobotkas. Their hard work is clearly not going unnoticed, as Binghamton was recently ranked the third best small city for baseball in the U.S., largely due to the Rumble Ponies and incredible facilities at Mirabito Stadium.
Due to Binghamton’s central location, the team successfully brings in both local fans and fans from across the country to the Binghamton downtown sixty-nine times a year. Games offer a little bit for everyone with an exciting competition, family-fun, specialty themed jerseys & giveaways, evenings to honor local history, as well as the opportunity for local businesses and non-profits to set up at the stadium, and so much more! As one of the most attended venues in the area, the Sobotka’s have also decided to expand their entertainment offerings by hosting both international shows and local artists throughout the year.
David and Karen only aspire to strengthen their connection with the community, having also recently established the new Rumble Ponies Foundation. Both the team and the Foundation support a diverse set of not-for-profit organizations including the YWCA of Binghamton’s Emergency Shelter program, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), the Broome County Urban League, area schools, local Little Leagues, and many others. Looking into the future, the Sobotka’s hope to grow their philanthropic efforts to especially support our local youth.
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies are thriving under the leadership of David and Karen Sobotka. The two saw an opportunity to keep baseball alive in Binghamton and are now committed to making Mirabito Stadium a focal point of family, corporate, and not-for-profit organizations alike, and to make the Rumble Ponies a positive force within our community.