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Knittel, McHarg Win 2020 Business Person of the Year Awards

June 24, 2021

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Council Recognize Outstanding Business Leaders

ROCHESTER, NY (June 24, 2021) Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Small Business Council affiliate announce that Jill Knittel of JK Executive Strategies (under 50 employees) and Jay McHarg of AeroSafe Global (more than 50 employees) have been chosen as the 2020 Business Person of the Year Award winners.

This prestigious honor, first awarded in 1983, recognizes for-profit business leaders in Greater Rochester who have demonstrated outstanding success, growth, leadership, and service in both in both civic and professional areas.

Jill Knittel is Founder & President of JK Executive Strategies, which assists companies across the country in executive and leadership search, professional search and project services. Founded in 2017, her team has expanded by more than 500% in just four years’ time. Jill has more than 20 years of experience and a M.B.A. and B.S. in Accounting from St. John Fisher College. She is an active member of the National Women’s President’s Organization and Global Entrepreneurs’ Organization, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Hillside Family of Agencies Board of Governors, and is an honorary member of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center Board of Directors.

Jay McHarg brings over 20 years of experience to his role as CEO of AeroSafe Global, a provider of biopharma cold chain services. Before joining AeroSafe Global, Jay was VP of Corporate Development at Boston Private Financial Holdings, and earlier in his career, was a structural engineer for Thornton Tomasetti. Jay holds both a B.A. degree in civil engineering and an M.A. degree in structural engineering from McGill University, and an M.B.A. from Babson College. Jay’s dedication to the Greater Rochester Community is evidenced by his involvement in community organizations such as the National Technology Institute for the Deaf at RIT Foundation Board, the Endeavor Western New York Global Entrepreneur network, and Upstate Venture Connect UNY50.

2020 Business Person of the Year finalists:

50 and Under Employees:

• John Allen, President, Allen Associates Inc.

• Jason Barrett, President, Black Button Distilling

• Aaron Gordon, Founder and CEO. Optic Sky Productions, LLC

• Jill Knittel, President, JK Executive Strategies, LLC

• Nannette Nocon, Private Wealth Advisor, Nocon & Associates

Over 50 Employees:

• Michael S. Hess, Founder, President and CEO, Waste Harmonics

• Jay McHarg, CEO, AeroSafe Global

• Bill Pollock, President and CEO, Optimation Technology, Inc.

• Timothy J. Pope, CEO and Owner, Ironwood Heavy Highway, LLC/ Terry Tree Service, LLC

• David C. Scalen, Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, Regional Distributors, Inc.


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