Richard Retzlaff honored as Distinguished Citizen
Members and guests of the Alden Chamber of Commerce enjoyed dinner and an evening together at the Whistle Stop Inn on Tuesday, May 15, for the Chamber’s Annual Spring Membership and Election Dinner. Among the guests were family and friends of Richard Retzlaff, recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Citizen of the Year award. A beautiful plaque, from Laser Ace Custom Engraving, was presented to Richard by Chamber President Christopher Gust.
President Christopher Gust presenting the Distinguished Citizen Award to Richard Retzlaff
Richard, upon accepting the award and thanking his wife, Jerilynn, and family, humbly recounted to the audience the story of how he was involved in a serious car accident many years ago and was genuinely touched by the outpouring of community help and support as he made his long recovery. He decided then to volunteer his time and efforts back to the community as a way of saying “thank you”. Richard also shared some of his recent efforts to create the latest version of the Alden Lions Club “Sight Saver” Directory, which is being delivered to Alden households this month.
After a delicious dinner and the award presentation, during which proclamations from Erie County Legislator Terry McCracken, New York Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, and New York Senator Patrick Galivan were given to Richard, the crowd attentively listened to Alden Economic Development Director Fred Heinle, who gave an “Update and Look Ahead” for Alden and promoted the introduction of shopping bags to be sold with the “Alden-Alive & Growing” theme. Chamber Director Susanne Galbraith introduced Conrad Borucki, noted local artist and history buff, and assisted him as he presented an Alden Trivia Game, which had lively participation.
Speaker Conrad Borucki
Next, President Gust spoke of the Chamber’s accomplishments during the past year and outlined current and future activities, including the upcoming 1st Annual Chamber Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament on July 27. He then thanked retiring Directors Christopher Dowd, J. Michael Druding, Susanne Galbraith, Earl Gillen and Thomas Steffan, Esq. for their years of service on the Board of Directors.
Chamber Vice President Brooks Bowman then presented Christopher with a gift of appreciation for his year of service as Chamber president.
Vice President Brooks Bowman presenting the President's Award to Christopher Gust
Brooks then introduced the nominees for a new three year term on the Chamber Board. The nominees were: Christopher Dowd, The Buffalo Group; J. Michael Druding, Greatbatch Medical; Susanne Galbraith, Village of Alden; Earl Gillen, Gillen’s Expert Auto; and Aurora Perry Esq., Cooke & Steffan Attorneys. The vote in favor was unanimous and the dinner drew to a close with a welcome to the new Directors. The Chamber’s reorganization meeting was held Thursday, May 17 to elect new officers.
Co-sponsors assisting in making this event a success were: Alden Pools & Play, Alden State Bank, Carbone’s Pizzeria, Cooke & Steffan Attorneys, Doritex Corp., Elwood-Jordans Agency, Greatbatch Medical, Neill & Strong Attorneys, and Zee’s Property Services, Inc. The Chamber would like to extend their sincere appreciation for the support from these sponsors.
Alden State Bank
Cooke & Steffan
Elwood Jordans Insurance Agency
Neill & Strong, Attorneys