BY JOE OLENICK email@example.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Upon finding out he was this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Lockport Business Association, Common Council President Joseph C. Kibler asked a question.
“How many recipients are still alive?” Kibler said Thursday at the LBA’s annual awards dinner. “I plan on being here for a few more years.”
LBA Board Member Pat Barrows said it wasn’t just Kibler’s seven terms on the city’s legislative body that led to his recognition. Kibler has been active in the community for years, coaching and umpiring local baseball for decades and working with a number of community groups.
Kibler, 80, was one of five award winners recognized at Thursday’s event, held at the Lockport Town & Country Club. Brian Costello, owner of Diversified Manufacturing Inc., was named Business Person of the Year, the Lockport Exchange Club as the Local Service Club award winner and Tim Arlington of Apex Consulting, was named year’s Community Support awardee.
Lake Effect Ice Cream was named Business of the Year. The artisan ice cream maker, expanded its Canal Street location in 2013 to now include a walk-in freezer, a production kitchen and a full-service ice cream parlor. The business is run by Lockport teachers Erik Bernardi and Jason Wulf, who started off making Lake Effect’s unusual flavors in 2008.
Active in community events, Lake Effect also provides ice cream for kids at Womens and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. A pair of self-proclaimed Lockport guys, Bernardi and Wulf thanked their families and the community for their support.
“It’s really important to us to be in Lockport,” Wulf said. “We like the idea of taking our ice cream out to Buffalo and bring people here.”
Guest speaker John Percy, the president and CEO of Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp., said tourism assists businesses, municipalities and taxpayers alike. In Niagara County, tourism is a $550 million industry, Percy said.
Calling Lockport a destination for travelers, Percy praised the recent development in the city, particularly those related to tourism. He spoke about the city’s Flight of Five locks restoration, a project which was kicked off in October with an event Percy was present for.
Having attractions like the Flight of Five and businesses like Lake Effect are vital when NTCC promotes Niagara County and the Lockport area, Percy said.
“It’s exciting to see the renaissance of this city,” Percy said. “It’s wonderful to see this city evolve.”Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.