Shenango Chamber Presents 15th Annual Phoenix Awards

SHARON, Pa. — The Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce honored 10 businesses Thursday that have made key investments in the community.

The awards honor the “best and the brightest in the Shenango Valley,” said Sherris Moriera, executive director of the chamber. “We hear every year how surprised people are by all the very cool things we have going on here. It creates a lot of pride.”

Recognized at the 15th Annual Phoenix Awards at The Corinthian Banquet Center were: Purpose The therapeutic Subscription Box, Hermitage; Anna Marie Mindicino of Do Good. Period., Sharon; Industrial Robotix, Greenville; American Cap Company LLC, Wheatland and Meadville; UPMC Horizon in Shenango Valley and Greenville; Tails of Hope, Hermitage; Chelsea Rowe Rescue Fund, Sharpsviile; Sharon Regional Medical Center, Sharon; Olive’s Place Boutique and Gift Shop, Sharon; and Sara Giordano, vice president of The Insite Group, Sharon.

Emcee for the event was Jen Krezeczowski, owner of LuLu Beans Café and Coffee House in Sharon. Her business received a Phoenix Award last year, but she said this year may be more special to her. Having been diagnosed with cancer since last year’s event, she felt she had come full circle by being asked to emcee. Her health struggle has been made easier because of the support system of not only family and friends, but from the strength she garnered from the energy and camaraderie in the community. “You all inspired me while I was running out of fumes,” she said.

Purpose The Therapeutic Subscription Box, Hermitage, Pa., was presented the New Business Startup Award. The business, based in the eCenter at LindenPointe in Hermitage, is operated by Holly Masters and Ali Rizzo, two Penn State University students and occupational therapy assistants. The business provides quarterly subscription boxes filled with items geared toward the older adult population. Family members can subscribe directly on the website and include personalized photos and messages. Boxes contain functional products that promote aging in place with a purpose to keep families connected.

Anna Marie Mindicino accepted the Entrepreneur Award for Do Good. Period., a Sharon business she started in November 2017. The nonprofit provides menstrual products to those in need, with the hope to uplift and promote dignity for women who can’t afford these products. Since its inception, Mindicino’s company has donated 100,000 tampons and pads to local women, “one period at a time.”

Receiving the Growth Small Manufacturing Award was Industrial Robotix, Greenville, which has produced industrial robot systems from its plant in the Reynolds Industrial Park since 2004. Among its products include industrial robot integrated systems, robot service, spare parts, installation, training, programming, and GreaseBots Automated Greasing Systems for industrial robots.

The Growth Large Manufacturing Award was presented to American Cap Co., Wheatland. The company was founded in 1988 to serve the compressed gas industry. Following the death of Philip Moroco Sr., the PTR Group, made up of Philip Moroco II, Todd Diehl, and Richard Moroco acquired American Cap. The PTR Group is a multi-company business group that makes components and subassemblies in metal and plastics for the automotive, compressed gas, electronic, energy and heavy equipment industries.

UPMC Horizon accepted the award for Growth Large Service. The health care delivery network has hospitals in Greenville and Farrell, and outpatient centers and physician offices across the region. UPMC Horizon-Greenville was founded in 1906 and UPMC Horizon-Shenango Valley followed in 1960. It employs nearly 3,000 in the Mercer-Lawrence county region and recently recruited 30 new physicians, said its president, Don Owrey.

Tails of Hope, Hermitage, received the Large Nonprofit/Service Organization Award for operating a low-cost pet spaying and neutering clinic. “Tails of Hope was born out of a love for animals and a love for the community,” said Diane O’Brien, vice president. “We are honored to receive this award of high distinction and proud to be a part of this community,” she said. Services are provided at The Thomas M. O’Brien Animal Clinic, in whose memory it is named.

Accepting the Small Non-Profit/Service Organization Award were Sara Cipriano, Emilee DeMuth and Cara Papay, who manage the Chelsea Rowe Rescue Fund in Sharpsville. The fund was established in 2016 following an automobile accident that claimed the life of their friend, Chelsea Rowe. Money raised through various fundraisers support training for first responders.

The Growth Large Business Award went to Sharon Regional Medical Center. The 220-bed acute-care facility has 21 satellite centers in the region.

Olive’s Place Boutique & Gift Shop, which operates inside in Sharon Regional Medical Center, took home the Innovation Award. Named after long-time hospital gift shop volunteer, Olive Thompson, who was an active volunteer until the age of 101, the gift shop is a collaborative between Whole Life Services and SRHS. The shop features locally-made gifts and merchandise, staffed by 14 volunteers who are supervised by a job coach from WLS. All proceeds benefit the mission of WLS, which is to provide people with support to create a meaningful and purposeful life, by making informed choices, and their own decisions. “The people we serve add value to life,” said Cindy Vogan, chief executive officer.

The Beautification Award was given to Sara Giordano of Insite Group for her hanging basket project in downtown Sharon. What started with 70 baskets in 2001 has grown to over 100 baskets planned in 2019. This project continues to be self-funded, at no cost to the city as every basket has a sponsor.

Awards were created and produced by Blissed Out Designs in Sharon. A video on every recipient was produced by Jerry Stigliano Videography. Special guests also included elected officials.

To close the ceremony, Shane Nugent, president of the SVCC Board of Directors and vice president of The Nugent Group, remarked about the great growth and success in Shenango Valley.

“What a fantastic community when we can come together to celebrate each other,” Nugent said. He also thanked Moriera for her tireless efforts on behalf of the valley. “There is nobody with more drive or energy,” he said. “When she represents us, she represents us well.”

Volunteers and board members for Tails of Hope receive the Large Non-Profit/Service Organization Award at Thursday’s Phoenix Awards ceremony.

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