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Chamber News Release

Yawman, DiTucci Win 40th Annual Business Person of the Year Awards Presented by Small Business Council of Rochester, a Greater Rochester Chamber affiliate

July 26, 2023

ROCHESTER, NY (July 26, 2023) – The Small Business Council of Rochester, a Greater Rochester Chamber affiliate, announce that Phil Yawman, President, Cooley Group Inc, and Anthony DiTucci, President & COO, Livingston Associates, Inc. have been awarded the 40th annual Business Person of the Year Awards. The awards were presented at a ceremony on Wednesday, July 26th at Nazareth University’s Callahan Theater.

This prestigious Business Person of the Year Award, 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.

Yawman was presented the award in the “50 Employees and Under” category. Cooley Group is a nationally recognized branding services provider. Under his leadership, the company has earned several awards, including the “Best Companies to Work For” designation. In 2022, the employee-owned company achieved its highest revenue and net income in its 78-year history. Yawman's expertise includes strategic planning, executive leadership coaching, start-up management, marketing, and business development. Additionally, Yawman serves as Vice Chair of the St. John Fisher University Board of Trustees and sits on the boards of Monroe Community College Foundation and Constellation Brands Performing Arts Center (CMAC). He was part of the Executive Committee of the 2023 PGA Championship, which brought significant economic benefits to Rochester.

DiTucci was presented the award in the “Over 50 Employees” category. His executive leadership skills enable successful identification and analysis of challenges and opportunities in dynamic organizations and complex projects, focusing on efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability. Under his tenure, Livingston Associates experienced significant growth and was recognized as one of Rochester’s “Top Workplaces” in 2022 and 2023. DiTucci actively serves on the Executive Board for the Builders Exchange of Rochester, chairs their Workforce Development committee, and participates in other organizations such as Camp Hard Hat, The Margaret Home, St. John Bosco Schools, Catholic Charities, and the Boy Scouts of America.

Sarah Compter, President, Small Business Council said, “Congratulations to Phil, Anthony, and all of our finalists! Your extraordinary achievements have inspired us all. A special thank you to our event attendees and sponsors for supporting small businesses. As we look back on 40 years of the Business Person of the Year award and reflect on the progress our region has made, it is exciting to consider the growth to come in our community with these leaders at the forefront. Together, we build a brighter future!”

Bob Duffy, President & CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber said, “Small businesses play a crucial role in our local economy, contributing to job growth, fostering innovation, and shaping our unique region. Greater Rochester Chamber is proud to work every day to support the small business community, with over 90% of our members being small businesses. The Business Person of the Year Awards recognize those who have made noteworthy contributions to our business community, inspiring others along the way. We extend our thanks to the Small Business Council for organizing this 40th annual celebration, highlighting the resilience and energy of our local small business owners.”

A complete list of 2023 finalists is below:
50 Employees and Under category:

  • Ahmon Bryant, Owner, Sharp Edgez Barber Institute
  • Paul Cypher, President & CEO, CypherWorx, Inc.
  • Richard A. Dougherty, Managing Partner, Naviter Wealth
  • Anthony Valerio, Owner, Four Winds Chimney
  • Phil Yawman, President, Cooley Group Inc

Over 50 Employees category:

  • Jason Aymerich, President, JN White
  • Jason Barrett, Founder & President, Black Button Distilling
  • Anthony DiTucci, President & COO, Livingston Associates, Inc.
  • Sameer Penakalapati, Founder & CEO, Indotronix Avani Group
  • Timothy J. Pope, CEO, Ironwood Heavy Highway LLC & Terry Tree Service, LLC

For more information about all of the finalists, please see the 40th Annual Business Person of the Year Awards Magazine.


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