PERU - The Champlain Valley Business and Professional Women's Club has named its honorees for Employer of the Year and Business Woman of the Year.
High Peaks Dental and Julie A. Kramer were given the recognition, respectively, during a ceremony at Cricket's Restaurant Oct. 27.
High Peaks Dental, with practices in Lake Placid and Plattsburgh, was nominated by Madeline R. Morrissey, Westport, who serves as office manager. Morrissey credited Drs. Michael T. O'Connor, William P. Caldon, and Donnon "D.J." O'Neill for being responsive to her needs as an employee. She particularly referred to her experience after suffering a stroke in April 2003, which resulted in her being hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass.
"The support I received from the doctors was overwhelming," Morrissey wrote in her nomination letter. "They were flexible with my schedule and they went above and beyond to accommodate my needs. I truly feel the obstacles that they helped me overcome helped me in my recovery."
The doctors also emphasize the importance of continuing education and encourage their employs to do so when possible, she added. Morrissey had a General Educational Development (GED) certificate when she started at High Peaks Dental, but, with help from the doctors, she went back to high school and received her diploma and has begun attending continuing education courses and attended business and professional training.
The dedication to their employees also extends to their patients, Morrissey continued. The doctors continue to strive for being on the cutting edge of dentistry to provide better service for them, she noted. Their commitment also led to the founding of Dentistry from the Heart NY, an organization which has provided $40,000 in free dental care to adults in need in the North Country. The practice also goes to local schools and health fairs emphasizing the importance of dental health.
"I strongly believe that High Peaks Dental exemplifies the traits that BPW recognizes as outstanding in an employer," wrote Morrissey.
Caldon said he and his colleagues were honored to learn High Peaks Dental was selected as Employer of the Year.
"It was very moving. We were extremely flattered," said Caldon. "We're thrilled we've been recognized for taking care of the people who work for us. I guess a lot of times you don't know the impact that you have on people."
"This is really an inspiration to do even more for the people who work for us," he added. "It was really nice to be recognized."
Kramer, who serves as vice president of Nine Platt Hospitality Group - owners of the Best Western hotel in Plattsburgh and Ground Round restaurants in Plattsburgh and Burlington, Vt.- was surprised with her recognition as Business Woman of the Year.
She was in attendance for the dinner under the impression the award was to be given to her friend, Faith M. Osborne Long, regional director of the American Heart Association. As the letters of nomination were read, Kramer was still under that impression until the nominations - which are traditionally read using "this person" or "the nominee" in place of the person's actual name - mentioned her service in the Army Reserves.
"I realized then they weren't talking about Faith," said Kramer, laughing.
Kramer's name was announced and her husband, Rocky, and son, Dalton, emerged from a separate room with more of Kramer's family and friends.
"It was a surprise," said Kramer. "I was shocked. They really got me pretty good."
One of the nominations read during the dinner was actually written by Osborne Long, who credited Kramer for being "a role model for women who, through her example and leadership, makes both the business where she works and the North County community a better place for all of us."
Osborne Long also credited Kramer for her support of organizations such as the United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties and the Make-A-Wish Foundation and causes such as the Plattsburgh Heart Walk and Go Red for Women. Kramer has also been able to motivate Nine Platt Hospitality Group's more than 100 employees on both sides of Lake Champlain to get involved in their communities as well.
"I enjoy giving back to the community and, most of all, I enjoy engaging our employees to assist me in that," said Kramer, who serves as the 2009 Go Red for Women chairperson. "It's nice, because through organizations like Go Red for Women, the Heart Walk, the United Way, they can give back to the community and it makes them feel good."
"Julie Kramer manages to fit more into her day than often seems humanly possible for one woman, but if you ask her to do something she will get it done, and often before deadline," Osborne Long wrote, adding Kramer is "a personal role model for me of what a business woman, mother, friend and community member should be."
What's Kramer's secret to getting everything done?
"I've always pushed myself. It's just the way I grew up," she said. "I don't look for this type of recognition. I do what I do every day because it's a natural thing for me. It's just something that came from my family."