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North Country Chamber of Commerce Celebrated Excellence at its 112th Annual Awards Dinner

By Kristy Kennedy • Photos Supplied

The North Country Chamber of Commerce recently rolled out the red carpet for its highly anticipated

112th Annual Awards Dinner, held on January 26th at the West Side Ballroom in Plattsburgh. The evening, themed “Viva Las Vegas,” welcomed nearly 400 esteemed guests, members and community leaders who came together to honor the North County’s top businesses and individuals.

With tickets selling out in record time, the event was a testament to the community’s enthusiasm and support for recognizing outstanding achievements in business, while supporting the work of the North Country Chamber. Attendees embraced the theme with gusto, donning their finest sequins, glitter, and casino-inspired attire, adding an extra dash of glamour to the affair.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of awards, which included the prestigious titles of Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Businessperson of the Year, and the Trailblazer Award. Additionally, the Chamber expressed its gratitude to Alex Barie, the 2023 Chairperson, for her exemplary leadership and dedication.

The Chamber was also honored to have several officials in attendance including Tom Clark, Consul General of Canada in New York, Assemblymen Billy Jones and Matt Simpson, as well as several Chamber board past chairs.

Stewart’s Shops Crowned Business of the Year

Taking home the coveted title of Business of the Year was Stewart’s Shops, a beloved fixture in the North Country community. Established in 1945, Stewart’s Shops has grown from humble beginnings to over 350 locations across New York and southern Vermont. Led by Chairman Bill Dake and President Gary Dake, the company’s commitment to employee ownership and community engagement has made it a cornerstone of the regional economy.

In recognition of Stewart’s Shops’ outstanding contributions, Chamber President Garry Douglas remarked, “Stewart’s is an incredible upstate success story, playing a huge and positive role in the daily needs and lives of communities across the North Country.”

Black Brook General Store

Honored as Small Business of the Year

Robbie and Michelle Timmons, owners of the Black Brook General Store, were celebrated as the Small Business of the Year for their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication. Located in the heart of the Adirondacks, the store offers an array of culinary delights and essential goods, all housed within a historic church building-turned-deli.

Garry Douglas praised the Timmons for their resilience and vision, stating, “Their commitment and determination have made the Black Brook General Store an instant landmark as well as an exemplary small business success story.”

Matt Boire Recognized as Businessperson of the Year

Matt Boire, Broker/President/Owner of CDC Real Estate, received the esteemed title of Businessperson of the Year for his outstanding leadership and impact on the region’s economic development. With over 30 years of experience, Boire has played a pivotal role in facilitating U.S. expansion for Canadian companies, showcasing his global influence and dedication to growth.

Garry Douglas commended Boire, “Matt continues to be an indispensable figure in our area’s connection with Quebec and all of our economic development endeavors. Not to forget his great performance as the new lead in our annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. He’s a model business leader and it’s a pleasure to recognize him.”

Alissa Momot Received Trailblazer Award

Alissa Momot of Twinstate Technologies was honored with the Trailblazer Award for her innovative approach to digital marketing and her commitment to fostering joy in the workplace. As a dynamic third-generation team member, Momot’s enthusiasm and dedication have made her a standout in the business community.

Kristy Kennedy, Vice President of Marketing & Business Development for the North Country Chamber, praised Momot, “Alissa brings a fresh perspective, challenges norms, and refuses to accept the status quo—all done with a quiet confidence. It’s not easy to carve out a distinctive path while following in someone else’s footsteps, but Alissa has taken the reins and is making things happen in her own unique way.”

In addition to the individual awards, the Chamber recognized Alex Barie with the 2023 Chairman’s Award for her exceptional leadership and contributions to the organization. Douglas stated, “I have genuinely enjoyed the leadership and collaboration of many great Chairs in my 31 years with the Chamber, and Alex is definitely one of the most committed and supportive. And the first of the new generation of area business leaders to follow those who were the leaders when I began, her father Mark having been my second Chair back in 1993. We are indebted to her not only for her year as Chair but for all her past and ongoing commitments to the Chamber’s work.”

As the event ended, the spirit of celebration and camaraderie served as a testament to the strength and resilience of the region’s business landscape.

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