In-Law Brewing Company, Mike’s Trophies, SeaComm honored at SLC Chamber dinner in Potsdam
Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 9:27 am

SeaComm CEO Scott Wilson, right, addresses the approximately 250 attendees at the St. Lawrence County Chamber annual dinner, as key employees look on. From left, Myron Burns, chairman of the SeaComm board of directors, Michelle Patenaude, Tammy Harrigan, Vanessa Planty, Barb Bessette and Melissa Cree. North Country Now photo.

BY BILL SHUMWAY
North Country This Week

POTSDAM – Three St. Lawrence County businesses large and small were honored Wednesday night for their contributions to the community, quality products and good customer service.

Massena-based SeaComm Federal Credit Union, In-Law Brewing Company of Chase Mills and Mike’s Trophies of Canton were recognized at the annual county Chamber of Commerce dinner at The Stables at Windy Point.

SeaComm has grown to 46,000 members by “keeping customers top of mind” said Mike Besaw, chamber assistant director, in presenting the “Business of the Year” award. The award recognizes a business that has contributed to the growth of the county economy and brings pride to the business community.

With branches in Potsdam, Canton, Ogdensburg, Malone and Plattsburgh, the credit union has grown “275% in the last decade” to 88 employees in Massena and 140 elsewhere in the North Country, he said.

Started in 1963 by ten GM Chevrolet Aluminum Foundry employees each investing $5, SeaComm Scott Wilson said the organization has “grown to $558 million in assets” by staying true “to our humble beginnings.” The credit union is “not just about deposits and loans” and donated $175,000 last year to support worthy organizations and causes, he noted.

As a financial institution, SeaComm’s job “is to make sure we help people when they need help the most,” said Wilson.

Brothers-in-law Justin Tredo and Brent Bishop, owners of In-Law Brewing Company that opened in 2017 in Chase Mills, accepted the “Producer of the Year” award. The award recognizes their having developed the capacity for “creating and selling a product that is handmade, locally sourced or value added, raising awareness and pride for local products.”

Brothers-in-law Justin Tredo and Brent Bishop of In-Law Brewing Company, Chase Mills, accept the “Producer of the Year” award from Brooke Rouse, St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce executive director. North Country Now photo.

On Thursdays and Saturdays in Bishop’s barn, the pair serves customers more than a dozen beers on tap, including IPAs, porters, ales and stouts. Some, such as “Grandpa’s New Girlfriend,” a raspberry cream ale, have unusual names, noted April Grant, chamber board member.

Mike’s Trophy owners Mike Crosley and Anne Clarkson and manager Jennifer Middlemiss were recognized with the “Customer Service Excellence Award” for extraordinary service.

Following purchase of the business from Mike Saidel in 1997, the store on NYS Hwy. 11 has expanded product offerings and quality with laser engravers and full-color printing on items such as golf balls, pens and more.

In presenting the award, Lenore Vanderzee, chamber secretary, noted one customer said that “whether I need a product for personal or work-related reasons, Jen is always willing to help find a unique way to achieve my goals, and does so professionally and efficiently.”

Earlier, Brooke Rouse, chamber executive director, presented her “State of the Chamber” report. The chamber continues to provide training for chamber members, marketing and sales opportunities, and investment in the development of our “future leaders,” she said.

The chamber also continues to promote St. Lawrence County as a destination for tourists. “Tourism is an export” and brings “outside dollars in,” she said.

Despite some “limitations and challenges” in the county, “we all love this place,” she told the attendees.