Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce Announces Award Winners
WESTFIELD — The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce announced its “Of the Year” Awards for 2018. “I am so pleased with the choices our nominating committee selected this year,” said Kate Phelon, executive director. “It is never an easy decision, and I know they gave all the nominees careful consideration.”
The 2018 Business of the Year is Armbrook Village, a senior retirement community that offers, independent, assisted, and memory-care options and opened for business in 2013. Beth Cardillo, executive director at Armbrook, has been working with the senior population for more than 20 years in senior living communities.
“Beth has worked tirelessly over the past five years to make Armbrook known in the surrounding area, and it has been a joy working with her and her team,” Phelon said.
Cardillo implemented Armbrook Village’s initiative to make Westfield a dementia-friendly community, the first community on the East Coast with this distinction. Creating People Friendly Communities is its newest initiative, addressing the issue of senior bullying.
The 2018 Nonprofit of the Year is the Westfield Athenaeum, led by Dan Paquette, who became director in 2015. As a nonprofit and not funded 100% by the city, the facility must raise funds to cover gaps for overhead and operating costs. Since the Athenaeum owns the building, it is responsible for the upkeep and any upgrades.
With major renovations to the tune of $1.7 million to be completed this year, “what a great year for the Westfield Athenaeum not only to be nominated, but to be selected as the Nonprofit of the Year,” Phelon said. The renovations include the entire reference area, the Boys & Girls Library, a back entrance with a new ramp, two new bathrooms, and a new door for patrons to enter either the Boys & Girls Library or the adult library.
The 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Ann Lentini of Domus Inc., a nonprofit affordable-housing developer established in 1982. Since 1986, Lentini has dedicated her life to providing affordable housing and educational services to Westfield residents. Since its inception, Domus has developed 11 properties. Soon a 12th property will be added to the list with completion of the Mosely School Apartments, expected to open in August 2019.
Domus Inc. plays an important civic role by helping the city of Westfield meet its state-mandated quota of affordable housing. Its mission is to provide safe, affordable, decent, sanitary housing for the homeless, low- to moderate-income individuals, and people with special needs.
In addition to managing Domus Inc., Lentini, along with Kenneth White, also created the Westfield Community Education program in 2008. This program addresses adult basic-education needs to improve the lives of community members by providing GED and pre-GED preparation classes, along with individual and group tutoring programs. To date, the program has graduated more than 225 students.
The three award winners will be recognized at the Greater Westfield Chamber’s Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet on Wednesday, Nov, 21. There will be a cocktail hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. followed by a program from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event will be hosted by Tekoa Country Club, 458 Russell Road, Westfield. The event sponsor is Westfield Bank, and more details will be forthcoming. To pre-register or for more information, visit www.westfieldbiz.org or call the chamber office at (413) 568-1618.