The Clovis Chamber of Commerce honored Peg Bos, Greg Sassano, Scott Dority and Robert Cozzi at its annual Salute to Business Luncheon Jan. 30 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Greg Newman began the luncheon by thanking key community members, including Clovis City Council members and renowned business owners.
“This is a way for us to all come together and celebrate the best of Clovis and the best of the people that make Clovis such a wonderful community,” Newman said.
He added that what makes Clovis special were the people in attendance who work together to “make great things happen.”
Outgoing Board Chair Mathew Grundy and incoming Board Chair Ryan Indart gave remarks. They thanked those in attendance, saying the hard work of the Chamber members led to the business success of the last year.
“This year we added 95 new members to this Chamber family and had 35 ribbon cuttings,” Grundy said. “We’ve had over 40 networking functions, including coffee connects and lunch connects and holiday mixers. We’ve had over 1,000 volunteer hours from our ambassadors support our key events, including Big Hat Days and ClovisFest.”
Cozzi received the Ambassador of the Year Award. Cozzi served as a Chamber ambassador for 14 years. He became a managing director at Principal Financial Group in 2016, though he worked for the company since 2004.
“One of the things that my father tried to teach me was whenever you borrow something, always make sure to return it just as good if not better than when you took it,” Cozzi said. “That is where we are today. How are we making Clovis… just a little bit better.”
The Chamber recognized Dority of DiBuduo & Defendis Insurance with the Professional Business Person of the Year Award.
Dority attended CSU Fresno before opening his own farmers insurance agency. Dority led his company to grow into one of the largest farmers insurance companies in the Central Valley. His agency recently merged with DiBuduo & Defendis, where he currently heads the company’s Old Town Clovis location.
“It’s humbling,” Dority said of winning the recognition, “I’m so grateful for it though. What the Chamber does in our community I think is amazing. It’s amazing to be recognized by them. To know and count the people here at the tables, the sponsors, the members of the chamber, to know them and count them as friends, how fortunate is Scott Dority.”
Sassano’s Men’s Wear, a Clovis legacy business, won the Business of the Year award.
Sassano’s great grandfather, who immigrated to the United States from Italy, founded the business now known as Sassano’s Men’s Wear in 1907. Sassano left PG&E to continue his family’s legacy fulltime in 2016, joining Bob Parks, a loyal employee of 56 years. Besides running the shop, Sassano continues to serve an active role in the community through his work with BOOT.
“I’m just happy that my great grandfather parked his buggy out here in 1907. My grandfather, my dad, and now myself and my son are going to keep it going. There will be another generation after me. I’m thrilled to be a part of Clovis and the people here are unbelievable. It is the greatest community. I’m not going anywhere,” Sassano said.
Peg Bos, President of the Clovis Museum, received the Einar Cook Leadership Award.
Bos spent her entire life overcoming boundaries. She was the first woman to be elected to the Clovis City Council, the first woman to serve as mayor, the first woman to serve on the planning commission and the first woman to receive the Citizen of the Year award from the Clovis Hall of Fame. She is also a major advocate of the Clovis Roundup Newspaper, where she contributes stories on Clovis history to each issue.
“My life has been enriched by living in Clovis because of the Clovis Way of life,” Bos said. “I want to thank the members of the Chamber for their promoting and maintaining the Clovis Way of Life. I leave you with this basic truth, when good people get together, good things happen, especially in Clovis.”