Joe Coyle, President
October 15th, 2019
Edison, NJ - On October 10th, 2019, the Edison Chamber of Commerce hosted their 20th Annual Awards Reception and Dinner, celebrating Edison’s finest individuals and organizations in business. The evening was a great success, with over 250 individuals coming together as part of Edison’s diverse business community. Key players were Joe Coyle (Edison Chamber of Commerce President), Art Cifelli (Chairman of the Board of Directors at the ECC), Jaime Weiss of Colonial Village Associates (Entrepreneur of the Year), Loucas Sofocli of LouCas Italian Seafood Restaurant (Restaurant of the Year), and Brian "Coach Cal" Calantoni of Edison Boys Baseball (Citizen of the Year). Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (who led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance) as well as former Congressman Herb Klein were also in attendance.
Held at the beautiful Pines Manor, the event began with a welcome address given by Edison Chamber of Commerce President, Joe Coyle. Coyle thanked his staff and those attending for their unwavering support in organizing and executing the event. Following Coyle’s address was the Chamber of Commerce’s annual business meeting presided over by Chairman, Art Cifelli. About the evening, Cifelli remarked, “I’m so honored to be surrounded by such meaningful people on such a meaningful night.” After the business meeting, the presentation of awards commenced, featuring speeches from those honored. Throughout the evening, attendees were able to enjoy a delicious dinner catered by the Pines Manor as well as music deejayed by Chris Higgins of Limitless Entertainment LLC (honored as Young Entrepreneur of the Year).
The big winner of the evening was Weiss Realty Co. Inc President, Jaime Weiss. Weiss’s leadership of the Weiss Realty Co. Inc has earned the company a sterling reputation for expertise, integrity, and business excellence. As a real estate professional, Weiss has worked with a plethora of prominent companies and organizations including Sony, North Fork Bank, Hartz Mountain Industries, and The Mack Company, etc. As manager of the Colonial Village Associates, Weiss has also worked with Restaurant of the Year recipient, Loucas Sofocli of LouCas Italian Seafood Restaurant. The marriage between Colonial Village Associates and LouCas began in 1992, after Sofocli signed on to open a restaurant in the Colonial Village Associates Plaza, convinced by Weiss of its prime location and value. The latter remarks “I remembered the first day I convinced him to come to Edison.” Both honorees have enjoyed tremendous business success working together and look forward to doing so in the future.
The highlight of the evening was Citizen of the Year, Brian "Coach Cal" Calantoni’s awards acceptance speech. Calantoni expressed his philosophy in managing the Edison Boys Baseball League as well as the Edison Jets Athletic Association, explaining what his players learn from the league and can use on and off the field: “The most important lessons are teamwork, dedication, respect, loyalty, pride, the thrill of victory and, even more importantly, the agony of defeat.” Calantoni credited his character and need to better his community to his mother, Gail Calantoni and her own sense of altruism, saying “Mom, you taught us the right way and I understand now what you meant when you told us “other people need help.” Calantoni ended his speech thanking his family and all those who’ve helped him to this point, including his own childhood coaches. He pledged to continue his work in the Edison community: “I promise to continue to work with the youth of our township because I know they are worth it and it works. I am living proof.”
The evening was rounded out by a closing address by President, Joe Coyle. Coyle remarked, “This evening is a great moment with the business community of Edison. Each honoree was chosen because of their commitment to going above and beyond in everything they do. I think the event is something everyone looks forward to and wholeheartedly enjoys. I'm grateful for all those who attend and make the evening as special as it is.” The Edison Chamber of Commerce would like to extend their most grateful thanks to all those that helped organize and execute the event, including their staff, volunteer Julianna Taverney for all her help in registration, their Board of Directors, and the staff at the Pines Manor. Now the Edison Chamber of Commerce looks forward to their next event, Horrorfest on October 26th, 2019.
Pictured above are Matthew Weiss, Loucas Sofocli, Jordan Weiss,
Jaime Weiss and Alex Charalambous (left to right)