By SHERIDAN ROY
The Plainville Chamber of Commerce celebrated several businesses and individuals at their 111th annual awards dinner and annual meeting on April 23.
“Working and supporting the business community in Plainville, as well as honoring the many award winners every year since 1908, is quite an achievement,” said chamber board chair Jeff DiCosimo. “We are here to help our members and support a strong economic climate in Plainville. We want to see membership grow and for all to be successful in their businesses.”
The 2019 beautification award recognized the new, state of the art Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut (CTABC) and Construction Education Center (CEC) collaboration, offering leadership, safety and OSHA training and continuing education for trades. The 8,000 square-foot facility was built on formerly vacant land on Robert Jackson Way.
Tony and Melissa Sheffy, owners of Six Mile Holdings, LLC were the visionaries behind it.
“Melissa had a vision and made it happen,” said local business owner Jane Carney. “It’s a beautiful building, in a beautiful location, and a state of the art building with many employees and students who contribute to our town.”
Plainville Funeral Home director Andrea Wasley was honored with the distinguished women in business award. Chamber member Shirley Osle said Wasley is “committed to making Plainville a better place” and has assisted families in need for over 20 years.
As the funeral home nears its one year anniversary, Wasley reflected on the work that went into it.
“I had no idea what I was doing. I made some bad choices, some costly choices, but I put a lot of work into it and it has made me a stronger person and a better business person,” said Wasley. “The steadfast support from the community has been overwhelming.”
The distinguished family in business award honored Justin and Jim Manafort Jr. of Manafort Brothers, Inc. Founded by James Manafort in 1946, the company is a recognized leader in the construction and demolition services industry, and for that reason, was called on shortly after Sept. 11, 2001 at ground zero in New York City to assist in demolition and removal of the World Trade Center buildings.
Four generations, going on five, have managed Manafort Bros., Inc. Jim Manafort, Jr., said the Chamber “has been a great partner, and the business is happy to be able to give back to the community.”
Mangiafico’s Inc. bakery and pastry shoppe, located in the center of Plainville, has been an institution in town for 23 years. The business earned this year’s community volunteer award, having continuously donated baked goods to events that support the Chamber, Plainville Food Pantry, Wheeler Regional Family YMCA and more.
“This town has always been welcoming, supportive, and has shown me much love,” said owner Sal Mangiafico. “I hope to be here for much longer.”
Town Manager Rob Lee was honored with the distinguished community leadership award. Known as “the general,” his colleague Kathy Pugliese said Lee is “widely regarded across the state and brings back the best for Plainville.”
“His leadership makes a world of difference,” she said.
Lee deflected the honors back to Plainville’s elected leaders and town staff.
“I have been fortunate to have elected leaders who are apolitical and represent the town, and to have people who give me direction,” said Lee. “It’s a team effort.”
The Plainville Community Food Pantry was recognized with the nonprofit of the year award. An institution in town since the 1960s, Chamber member Linda Coveney said staff and volunteers work tirelessly to fill a need in Plainville, and are a voice for the people they serve.
“Plainville is such a caring community and its citizens always step up,” said PCFP board president Maggie Carlin. “It has always been our goal to go out of business and have no one hungry in Plainville, but that is an unrealistic goal.”
Loureiro Engineering was honored with the final award of the evening, business of the year. The employee-owned company extends its values to the communities in which they work, giving back to them in tangible, effective and meaningful ways. They have built playgrounds and classrooms, renovated group homes, cleaned up rivers and constructed memorials.
Each award winner was honored with a proclamation from the state of Connecticut, presented by Rep. Bill Petit (R-22) and Sen. Henri Martin (R-31).
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.
Other award winners
Photos by JANELLE MORELLI