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Cherry Brook Health Named Business of the Year, Ann Gagnon, Mike D’Apice and Phil Worley Also Honored

October 31, 2016 Business, Community No Comments

By John Fitts

COLLINSVILLE – From a non-profit that embeds itself deeply into the community to a trailblazing leader who held the reins for more than a dozen years, the Canton Chamber of Commerce bestowed some special honors during its recent second annual “Stars of the Town” awards dinner.

Held at Bridge Street Live in Collinsville on Oct. 21, the organization spent an evening listening to music, enjoying quality food, honoring member accomplishments and, for some, dancing the night away. Most importantly the chamber handed out some special awards.

Garnering the organization’s Business of the Year Award was Cherry Brook Health Center.

The center, located at 102 Dyer Ave., is a 100-bed skilled nursing facility that offers offer Short Term Rehabilitation, Outpatient Rehabilitation and Long Term Care through inpatient and outpatient services.

Outgoing chamber board president Chuck Joseph Jr. told a story of how the center took amazing care of one of his ShopRite employees. Joseph, however, said it’s really Cherry Brook’s involvement in the community that sets them apart. Among the efforts the center is directly involved with are Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (S.A.L.T.), the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Focus on Canton and the Canton Senior Center.

“(Cherry Brook Health Care Center’s) compassion doesn’t stop at its door,” Joseph said. “It extends into the community. Rebecca (Stevenson) and her team are part of the fabric of what makes Canton great –  people who care deeply about their friends and neighbors.”

“We view them as a model business in our town and that’s why it gives us such great pleasure to award Cherry Brook Health Center with this year’s business of the year award,” Joseph added.

Stevenson, director of admissions and marketing at the facility, credited staff members for making the difference.

“We are so honored and so proud,” she said. Again this goes back to our amazing staff . . We are such a busy little building and I’m also thankful to be out there and be part of what going on in our community.”

Robert Maher, CEO of New Horizons Inc., said New Horizons Village in Unionville was established in 1986 to help the physically disabled. The company then founded Chery Brook in 1994 to continue the mission.

“Cherry Brook draws great people as employees, employees whose sole purpose and guiding principal is passion and care,” he said.

The chamber’s Service to the Community award went to Ann Gagnon, owner of ACG Design and a past president of the board. Gagnon founded Gifts for Canton, the chamber’s annual holiday give-back program, has led the organization’s advocacy committee and is a member of Focus on Canton, a non-profit that helps support the town’s needs such as the food and fuel banks.

“Ann is a consistent, compassionate contributor to the town of Canton in many ways,” Joseph said. “Ann’s good heart is always in action and she’s positively impacted so many people, many of whom she doesn’t even know. It’s an honor for me to present this award to Ann.”

Gagnon couldn’t attend the event but wrote a thank you for it that in part, stated, “I’m truly honored as a member of the chamber or almost 30 years. I understand the significance of the chamber not only to the Canton business community but also to the canton community as a whole.”

Michael D’Apice, owner of Money Mindfulness Insurance and Investment Solutions was one of two who received the Henry Bahre Service to the Chamber Award. D’Apice is past president of the chamber, a member of the membership committee and chair of the advocacy committee.

Joseph said he has been invaluable in shaping the organization’s future.

“To say he’s been an active participant of the chamber is a vast understatement,” Joseph said. “He’s a great guy, a great member and a great friend.”

A second Henry Bahre Service to the Chamber award went to Phil Worley.

Worley served 13 years as executive director of the chamber. Joseph said he was responsible for spinning the chamber from the Metro Hartford Alliance into its own organization and led with passion and enthusiasm.

Worley, who now works for Carr Hardware in Avon was also given the “ax,” a traditional parting gift to those who move on from Chamber service in one way or another.

Worley said little but was honored to accept the “hardware” and credited Dr. Arnold Goldman for the idea of establishing a separate chamber in Canton.

Below is a complete list of honorees.

Stars of the Town 2016 Awardees      

Business of the Year – Cherry Brook Health Care Center

Service to the Community – Ann Gagnon

Henry Bahre Service to the Chamber – Michael D’Apice and Phil Worley

Membership Awards

25 Years
Jennings Smith Associates, Inc.
Canton Auto Supply, Inc.

20 Years
MLQ Realty

Larsen Ace Hardware

Collinsville Canoe & Kayak

15 Years

Miner’s Inc.

Bowen Agency, LLC

Classic Home Design LLC

Trading Post/Eastern Accents

Ethan Allen, Inc.

The ARC of the Farmington Valley

10 Years

Vincent Funeral Homes, Inc.

State Farm Insurance

Antiques on the Farmington

Culver, Rick – Agent of Keller Williams Real Estate

Panera Bread

McDonald’s  of Canton

5 Years

Edward Jones of Avon

Reno’s Drive-In

Summit Restoration LLC

Valley Ballet@DanceFitness

Cohen, Burns, Hard & Paul

CrossFit Legitimus

Nardi Family Chiropractic

Pooch Palace Spa & Salon

ABC Office Support

Canton Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.

Focus Center for Autism, Inc.

Business After Hours Hosts

October, 2015  – The Underground Gallery

November,2015 – Canton Valley Dental

December, 2015 – Canton Historical Society (Holiday Party)

January, 2016 – Edward Jones of Canton

February, 2016 – Consignment Originals

March, 2016 – Ethan Allen, Inc.

April, 2016 – Webster Bank

May, 2016 – Reno’s Drive-In

June, 2016 – Gallery on the Green

July, 2016 – The North House

August, 2016 – Cherry Brook Health Care Center

September, 2016 – Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center

October. 2016 – Roaring Brook Nature Center


QuickHit Presenters

Anne Hunter –  Canton Economic Development Agency

Jane Williams – Northwestern CT Community College

Donna Smith – CT Department of Labor

Garth Swaby – CT Department of Labor


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