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Community Advocates Recognized at WCCCC Dinner

Oct 16, 2023 | Coatesville

Various community advocates were recognized at the WCCCC Annual Dinner last week. “Tonight, I pledge to keep giving back my energy and my time to our community to achieve higher highs, to infuse new ideas, and to always use fresh thinking.” John H. Lymberis said, as he stood at the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner. John H. Lymberis is the owner of Harry’s the Neighborhood Place, Athena’s Kafenio, and ZING Sushi. John has been integral in the development in Sadsburyville. Some of his completed development projects include Quarry Ridge, Sadsbury Self Storage, and Lafayette Square Apartments. “Most importantly, I always want to cherish the history, the legacy, and the memory of the people who got us here, like Mr. Filoromo and like my father. I want to aspire to be like them one day and to have my children watch what we do and have them do it, just as we all have.”

The Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce honored John H. Lymberis with the Joseph G. Filoromo, Jr. Community Service Award on Thursday night at the Gardens at Applecross. Every year, the Joseph G. Filoromo, Jr. Community Service Award is bestowed upon a group or individual who has shown great commitment to their community service in western Chester County.

Both Alissa Steele-Griffith, of Quik-Stop Pharmacy and Greg Vietri, of G.A. Vietri had the honor of presenting John H. Lymberis with the award. Greg Vietri spoke about the history of Joseph G. Filoromo. “The Joseph G. Filoromo Community Service Award was established in 1979 by the Western Chester County Chamber to honor Mr. Filoromo, who was a legend in the community.” The Filoromo family history spans back eight decades in the western Chester County community. “Mr. Filoromo had his finger on the pulse in the City of Coatesville. He was a Board member and Past President of the Western Chester County Chamber, a lifetime honorary Senator of the Coatesville JC’s, a member of the Sons of Italy LGM, a member of Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church, and a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus.”

Alissa Steele-Griffith spoke about John H. Lymberis’ impact in the community. “The story of John H. Lymberis is one of family and community.” John’s mother, Athena, emigrated to the United States from Greece, brought over by relatives. Her husband, Harry, came over shortly after, in 1967. Athena and Harry purchased the property now known as Harry’s the Neighborhood Place. John, after finishing a college degree in architecture, came back home and helped to remodel and rebrand Harry’s. After John’s renovations, he made Harry’s a destination in the community. “John not only provided dining opportunities to the area but is also responsible for the infrastructure. He was integral in the streetscapes and sidewalks in Sadsburyville.” Alissa said.

Through John’s work, he helped created a small-town community in Sadsbuyville, where people can walk the neighborhood and feel truly at home. John gives back to his community in so many ways. He was a key factor in the revitalization of the Western Chester County Chamber. When Harry’s celebrated their 50th anniversary in May, the whole month was dedicated to different non-profits in the area, giving back proceeds to help these organizations thrive.

Second Award Granted for Volunteerism and Dedication

Following the presentation of the Community Service Award, Rachel Cathell, Executive Director of the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce, presented the Elliot R. Jones Award to Michael Guyer of Mid-Penn Bank. This award is given each year to an individual that has enlisted dedication and volunteerism that has uplifted and strengthened the Chamber of Commerce and the businesses within.

Rachel said, “He’s always the one in the room to see what others do not. He’s always the one to ask why something is this way and pose the challenge of doing it better. He’s a major player in the growth of our organization.”

What Michael has given to this Chamber is time; so much time. While Michael is seen often at many Chamber events, what people don’t see is all of the behind-the-scenes volunteer support he does to help the Chamber of Commerce thrive. He spent his Board Presidency focusing on adding value to membership by offering intentional programs and being receptive to member’s needs. He was a front-runner in creating the Chester County Home Show, brought on the first Titanium partner, First Resource Bank, assisted in the debut of the Western Chester County Life magazine, lead a 20% increase in membership, and helped grow the Chamber staff.

Rachel added, “Michael has served as the Treasurer of our Chamber for the last five years. His methods are strategic; he knows exactly when to hold and exactly when to fold. Michael’s razor-sharp financial insight has given us capabilities we didn’t think possible ten years ago.” With Michael’s guidance, the Chamber has created their first opportunity fund, strengthened their financial core to record health, and hired a third employee.

 Both State Representative Dan Williams and Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell were in attendance and presented both John H. Lymberis and Michael Guyer with citations for their hard work and contribution to the community.

The Annual Dinner, with presenting sponsor Presence Bank, was led by Brenda McNeil, the 2023 Board President of the Chamber. She spoke about the progress the Chamber has made this year and the accomplishments the Chamber’s continuing to reach for. “The Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce, or ChescoWest, is a truly special place to be. We are collaborative, supportive, and dedicated to all of those who live and work here.” Upon looking forward to the Chamber’s future, she said, “We’re rolling out a Small Business Growth Grant in 2024. This Chamber is in a place where we can give back to our businesses, who we support and who have supported us right back.”

Visit the Western Chester County Chamber website of Commerce for the full press release by Ashley Pierce. For more event and ribbon-cutting information visit the Coatesville Events section of 19320GO!

Posted by Monica Ferguson

Monica is a senior at West Chester University studying Digital Marketing. She is excited about moving to Chester County and eventually starting her career there after graduation.

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