The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to  announce its annual small business and Entrepreneurial spirit award recipients today:


  • Directive, a family-oriented company headquartered in Oneonta, is the recipient of the Key Bank, NA 19th Annual Small Business of the Year Award. This award is given to an Otsego County business that has made a sustained and substantial impact in the community.  Directive and their team of talent is celebrating 25 years in business this year and are being recognized for their local impact of working with a variety of small to medium-sized businesses, non-profits, schools, government agencies, and other organizations, providing IT, web development, and marketing agency solutions.  Directive not only serves clients locally but has an international impact serving clients in 11 countries. They have completed 1250+ websites, 1500+ monthly newsletters produced and sent, 5200+ Blogs written and 250+ videos created and has a culture of a family atmosphere and provides a healthy, positive and safe workplace. Fun weekly events include Puppy Tuesday, CrockPot Thursday and even Feline Fridays! Every Team members’ birthday and anniversaries are celebrated! The office always has a steady supply of assorted breakfast items, snacks, and a variety of beverages that are provided for free.  Directive also supports and sponsors manly local organizations, community events and programs. Directive is a 1% company, donating at least 1% of their profits to charitable organizations with their Giving Directive Program.


  • The Otsego ReUse Center, a project of The Arc Otsego, is the recipient of the Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Breakthrough Business of the Year. This award is a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit and is given to a business or individual in Otsego County that has shown innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and growth potential.  The Otsego County ReUse Center focuses on the reuse of building materials as an increasingly user-friendly process and as a standard component of a construction job. The Otsego County ReUse Center provides affordable, gently used materials to the general public while keeping materials out of the waste stream. The Center began as the brainchild of Karen Sullivan, Otsego County Planning Department Director and Patricia Knuth, Executive Director , The Arc Otsego.  The driver of the success has been Bill Hardy, the Reuse Center Manager,  for his passion for reusing materials and knowledge about the construction trades brings people and keeps them coming back for materials, donations and advice. Since the inception of this project in 2017, over 170,000 pounds of materials have been diverted from the waste stream to become reusable materials.  This projects was initiated to accomplish four main objectives; to earn sufficient profit to provide financial assistance to The Arc Otsego services and supports that are unfunded or underfunded; to provide a work environment for those individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities who are seeking to develop their skills in a retail environment as well as a volunteer site for the community members wishing to make an impact on our environment;  to be a partner with Otsego County in preventing usable materials from entering the waste stream, making our county more eco-friendly; and to assist local contractors and other construction professionals by offering a cost-effective method of disposal for usable waste and materials.

For our Intern of the Year Awards sponsored by NBT Insurance Agency, we are thrilled to recognize the contributions of two students. Both young people exemplify the hands-on work, training and skill building that will make them highly successful employees as they prepare to enter the workforce. We hope to recruit and retain this talent locally.

  • Kelsey Prest is the recipient of the Hartwick College 2018 Intern of the Year Award. Nominated by Christy Houck, Associate Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties.  During her role in making a difference, Kelsey Prest was responsible for preparing document and forms to go with the Standards of Excellent for New York State Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. She helped the Child Care Support Services Program to prepare for the Summer Food Service Program by shopping for and delivering food, and putting together weekend food backpacks.  Through Ms. Prest her integral efforts in projects contributed to the Standards of Excellence Work Catholic Charities provides for high quality services meeting the expectations of New York State.


  • Emily Ahlqvist is the recipient of the SUNY Oneonta 2018 Intern of the Year Award. She was nominated by Nate Getman Principal Court Attorney for Otsego County Courts. During this summer internship, Ms. Ahlqvist performed every task ( which ranged from research and writing to review of case files in busy courts to court observations) with precision, professionalism and discretion. In addition she was given numerous writing assignments, but was tasked specifically with researching and writing about the use of social media prior to mass shootings. Her findings helped change the manner in which pistol license applications are reviewed in court.  Ms. Ahlqvist elevated the expectations for interns who serve in the Court System, both interns of the quality of work and quality of interaction with other professionals from numerous agencies.

The award winners will be honored at the Chamber’s Small Business Banquet that will be held on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at The Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown. Cocktail reception with cash bar begins at 5:45 p.m. with live music. Guests will enjoy a harvest of culinary delights at 7:00p.m. including turkey and all the trimmings in keeping with the theme “Harvesting Success in Otsego County”.


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