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Chamber Award Presented
Chamber awards have traditionally been held in the fall for the previous year. The group last year decided to move the ceremony to the spring, so no awards were presented in 2013. Those recipients were awarded along with the 2013 winners this year.
Earning the 2013 Business Person of the Year award was Gary Buchsen, owner of the Mill Stream Inn and other overnight accommodations in Potter County, who has most recently brought back to life one of the county’s tourist attractions of years goneby— the Coudersport Ice Mine.
Buchsen, whose resume also includes businesses such as storage units, car washes and contracting, started Patriot Weekend last year, a community event designed to help bolster tourism and
Empereon Marketing, a customer contact center in its sixth year in Coudersport, was awarded Business of the Year for 2013. The company, which employs more than 100 people, is a big supporter of community and chartiable events.
Linda Karija was presented with the 2013 Volunteer of the Year award for her selflfless and tireless devotion to the community with the Lions Club, Habitat For Humanity, Salvation Army, Christmas House and Rotary Club.
Paul Herzig, whose restaurant hosted the event, was recognized as the 2012 Business Person of the Year. In addition to successfully operating a motel and restaurant, Herzig hosts musical events and is co-chairman of the Maple Festival. He plays a critical role with Potter-McKean Players, Coudersport Rotary and the Coudersport Municipal Authority.
Endeavor Media, the parent company of this newspaper and of Copy Katz, a print and apparel store, was named 2012 Business of the Year.
Owned by Bob and Britta Hooftallen, the business celebrated its 11 year anniversary on the day of the awards ceremony. Both owners are active in their communities, serving on numerous volunteer boards and organizations.
Mark Benson, a familiar face in many different volunteer posts, was named 2012 Volunteer of the Year.
A lifelong Coudersport resident, Mark is a director at Potter County Human Services. His volunteer service includes dedication to Rotary, Lions Club, Christmas House, Salvation Army, as well as senior centers, youth groups and local festivals.
Before the awards ceremony, former U.S. Army Colonel Robert A. Benson gave a keynote address about leadership.
Benson, who is now employed in management at Buckler Transport, commanded the Tobyhanna (Pa.) Army Depot prior to leaving military service and returning to Coudersport.
A 1968 graduate of Coudersport Area High School, Col. Benson attended Virginia Military Institute and was commissioned as a second lieutenant, entering active duty in 1972. He held several command positions for the Army, both stateside and abroad.
Benson gave examples of different leaders who have impacted him through the years and noted “good leaders are always watching how their people act, but more importantly how they react.”
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