Business Persons of the Year

The “Business Person of the Year” Award is given to one or more individuals who have shown exemplary service to the Chamber and/or community. The purpose of this award is to focus on those who are dedicated to improving and impacting the business climate of the Greater Utica Area. This year, the Chamber is proud to honor Steve DiMeo, president of Mohawk Valley EDGE and John Bartholomeo, owner of Mohawk Valley Wellness. The Chamber will host a cocktail reception in honor of the recipients on October 19th at Hart’s Hill Inn. This event features live entertainment, tribute videos for the honorees, food stations, and more.

Chamber Honoree


(c) 2016 Brimful Photography
Click here to learn more about Steve

The spirit and mission of Mohawk Valley EDGE is to strengthen and grow the economy of the Mohawk Valley. This is not only the mission of EDGE but the life mission of Steven J. DiMeo. Having a great idea is not enough. Real genius is the ability to carry a great idea through to fruition. Time after time, DiMeo brought to fruition economic projects for the benefit of the Mohawk Valley. Year after year, DiMeo leveraged resources, mastered companies’ needs, and coordinated key public and private partnerships to produce results.

A native of Utica, Steven DiMeo earned a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Albany and a Master’s Degree from Georgia State University. He spent the majority of his career growing and strengthening the economy of the Mohawk Valley. He has served as the Commissioner of the City of Utica’s Urban and Economic Development Department, helped create the Griffiss Local Development Corporation serving as its Executive Director, and then was tapped to head EDGE, Economic Development Growth Enterprises, his most intricate assignment, when it was created in 1997.

DiMeo more than believes in the long-term economic vitality of the region; he helps make it happen. Marcy Nanocenter at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and the semiconductor industry were identified in 1998 as a transformational economic development initiative. DiMeo has established a reputation in this industry, has traveled the globe to promote the Marcy Nanocenter site, and has mustered resources to complete all the preliminary site preparations that removed potential delays and roadblocks for end users.  This past year Governor Cuomo announced a $1 Billion public-private partnership with Cree to create the world’s largest Silicon Carbide device facility at Marcy Nanocenter. This investment also included a $30 million research and development commitment by Cree, with plans to create over 600 full-time highly-skilled technician and engineering positions at the Marcy Nanocenter on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus near Utica. In addition to the more than 600 direct jobs to be created within eight years, the project is estimated to generate approximately 570 indirect jobs and over $4.3 billion in total statewide economic impact over the next 20 years. Silicon carbide is at the core of helping to power high-growth markets, such as the move from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles (EVs) and the rollout of ultrafast 5G networks. The entrance of Cree into upstate New York will result in significant local and regional economic benefits, creating hundreds of new jobs, a Cree employee payroll that is expected to exceed $46 million per year, and an estimated $3.4 billion dollars in Mohawk Valley regional economic impact. The semiconductor industry is a major economic contributor both nationally and within New York State. A recent U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association analysis estimated that each direct semiconductor industry job enables 4.89 jobs in other sectors of the economy, with the U.S. semiconductor industry accounting for roughly a quarter of a million direct U.S. jobs and over a million additional indirect jobs.

Over the past nine years, DiMeo has help to guide the Mohawk Valley Regional Council as a board member and committee member. Because of his persistence, the six-counties of the MVREDC have partnered together in ways that were inconceivable nine-years ago. With DiMeo’s leadership and assistance the past nine rounds of the MVREDC were incredibly successful tapping into $298 million in NYS funds, creating and retaining more 14,000 jobs, and leveraging over $1.96 billion of private investment for 656 projects. This past year the MVREDC was named a “Top Performer” for the fifth year in a row.

Besides Steve’s work at Marcy, we has also dedicated himself to Griffiss Business and Technology Park which serves as a  regional employment asset substantially because of the partnership, trust, and guidance provided by Steve and the GLDC Board of Directors. The 3600-acre former Air Force Base was a monumental liability in 1994. Today it houses 72 companies that employ 5,886 individuals that hail from a 26-county area. DiMeo defended the region through two BRACs and in the 2005 round fought for the bolstering of DFAS and retention of AFRL, assets that together represent over 3,000 jobs. In 2019 Griffiss Business Park generated $3.6 million in taxes to local jurisdictions and since the park was created in 1995 over $700 million of private/public investment has occurred with an additional $95 million of investment slated for 2020. Because of Steve’s perseverance 2019 was an historic year of major announcements; Orgill announced its 225 person $71 million distribution center, ground was broken on Air City Lofts a $25 million mixed use housing complex – the first of its kind at Griffiss, and the ribbon cutting of NYSTEC’s new $13 million corporate headquarters which are a few amongst many other exciting projects.

Although much of DiMeo’s day-to-day work for EDGE remains confidential because private business information is involved, DiMeo’s record of accomplishments is lengthy. The trust he has earned in the business community and public sphere is deserved. Steven DiMeo has earned the accolade of Business Person of the Year.  His efforts have helped strengthen the economy of the Mohawk Valley and the many Chamber partners. The thriving Griffiss Business and Technology Park, the development of Marcy Nanocenter, the award of $82.7 million through the 2019 Regional Council – all have been supported by the Greater Utica Chamber through the full membership and the involvement of the committees. EDGE has outreach to over 200 businesses each year, many of which are chamber members.

Catalyst Honoree


Click here to learn more about John

John Bartholomeo is the Owner and Head Coach of Mohawk Valley Wellness, voted 2018’s and 2020’s Best of the Best Fitness Facility in Central NY.
John proudly served 4 years in the United States Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Sergeant, and his vision for starting his business began in 2010, as he was traveling to and from Iraq. Beginning as mere CrossFit classes coached out of his garage, Mohawk Valley Wellness has transformed into a premier training center offering a multitude of fitness programs and services for all age groups, demographics, and walks of life.
John’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication have resulted in an extraordinary growth trajectory for his business, transforming a mere 1000 square foot location with two coaches, into a 13,000 square foot establishment with a coaching staff of 16. John and his wife Jen recently began another business endeavor, Bartholomeo Property Holdings, which is a real estate acquisition and retention company that specializes in purchasing homes and buildings and making them beautiful again.
John enjoys all aspects of fitness and has recently taken up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Jen and son Benjamin.

$65:    Individual Ticket

$550:  Table Package 1: Reserved Table Seating for 8 with Company Recognition on Table

$650:  Table Package 2: Reserved Table Seating for 8 with Company Recognition on Table and “Congratulations” Message (logo sponsorship)

All guests will enjoy delicious food stations, a variety of wine and beer, live music, and a special presentation honoring the recipients


Show your support for our honorees by sponsoring this event!

Gold Sponsor
Includes: -Recognition on all marketing materials including print, digital, and social media -4 tickets -Visual and verbal recognition of your investment level at event


Silver Sponsor
Includes: -Recognition on all promotional print and digital marketing materials -2 Tickets -Visual and verbal recognition of your investment level at event


Bronze Sponsor
Includes: -Recognition on all print promotional marketing materials -1 Ticket -Visual recognition of your investment level at event


Logo Sponsor
visual recognition of investment level at event, in form of scrolling congrats message to play throughout evening


Thank you Sponsors!