Weekly Feature



2010-11-24 / Local News

Business Association celebrates 25th anniversary

by KATE MOCKLER Reporter

Maria MacPeek of the Irishman Pub, left, Dick Rich, WBA president, Joan Ess, WBA vice president and Trey Measer of the Bee Newspapers celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Williamsville Business Association. Maria MacPeek of the Irishman Pub, left, Dick Rich, WBA president, Joan Ess, WBA vice president and Trey Measer of the Bee Newspapers celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Williamsville Business Association. During a dinner at the Eagle House in December 1985, Williamsville business leaders Dick Rich, Dan Chase, Jack and Debbie Hanny and Trey Measer started a discussion about the lack of parking in the village. From that conversation, they decided to form a business association.

Two previous attempts at developing a business association had failed, but last week, the Williamsville Business Association celebrated its 25th anniversary with a party at the Irishman.

The WBA boasts nearly 150 members who operate businesses located on or near Main Street between Youngs Road and the I-290 interchange. Their primary purpose is to promote member businesses.

They were the driving force behind many of the events that have become village mainstays, including the Taste of Williamsville, the summer garden walk and the holiday decorations.

“We ’re really proud of what we’ve done over the past 25 years,” said Dick Rich, president of the WBA. Rich has agreed to serve another term as president for 2011.

He says that some of the WBA’s goals are to make better use of Glen Park and of the Village Meeting House. They have already started some endeavors in both locations: the summer’s mini-art festival at Glen Park was a WBA event.

This month, the WBA is co-sponsoring a movie night at the Meeting House, with dinner at the Irishman.

 

The WBA is also hoping to expand the Thursdays in the Village Music on Main event. 2010 was its first year, and the event featured one or two bands in different locations on Main. Next summer, Rich is hoping to have multiple bands each Thursday, with regular trolley service.

“It’s brought a liveliness to the Evenings in the Village,” said Deb Steinbruckner, past president of the WBA and chair of Music on Main. “It’s exposed many people to the shops and restaurants.”

Rich’s ultimate vision is to make Williamsville a destination for the region.

“I’d love to see us mentioned in the same breath as the Elmwood Village. I see no reason why not,” Rich said.

To learn more about the Williamsville Business Association, visit their website at www.willvill.com. The group also has a Facebook page.

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