Two well-known Hellertown businesses and their owners will be honored for their civic and economic contributions to the Saucon Valley at the Hellertown/Lower Saucon Chamber of Commerce’s 93rd annual banquet at Silver Creek Country Club on Thursday, March 26 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
In a news release Monday, the HLS chamber announced that Frey’s Better Foods and Heintzelman Funeral Home Inc. owner David Heintzelman have been selected as their honorees.
Frey’s Better Foods and its owners Bruce and Diane Haas will receive the Small Business Leadership Award, and David Heintzelman will receive the Community Commitment Award.
This year’s program will close with a speaking appearance by Laura McHugh, Executive Producer of local public television station PBS39.
The following information about the awards and this year’s recipients was provided by the chamber.
Small Business Leadership Award: Frey’s Better Foods
This honor is granted to a business that has demonstrated integrity in everyday management and in reaction to challenging circumstances: a business known for its character and ethics as much as for its duration of operation. They will be honored for displaying excellence that permeates the community infrastructure.
Howard and Harriet Frey opened Frey’s Better Foods in Hellertown in 1983, at what is now The Body Bank. They moved down Main Street to a second location that is now known as Revere Flooring, and the final move is where the business resides today–at 1575 Main Street. Diane and Bruce bought the business from Diane’s parents 17 years ago, in 1998. They are a third generation family business because Jeremy, their son, has started working there with them. In August of 2009, the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber honored Frey’s Better Foods and Harriet Frey at Community Day, for providing an exemplary small business model.
Frey’s is a quintessential representation of the importance of health and wellness–a constantly evolving lifestyle movement that the community has enthusiastically embraced in recent years. From the beginning with Howard and Harriet, to now with Bruce, Diane or Jeremy–a family member is always present at the store. They feel this allows them to be in touch with their customers and community. Their personal service and product knowledge, in addition to their fair and reasonable prices for high quality products, draws a market base that extends beyond the immediate community. By providing access to organic, natural and/or healthy products, they are bringing in shoppers that may otherwise have not frequented Hellertown, exposing them to other borough businesses.
The business participates with Via of the Lehigh Valley, a non-profit agency that provides services for children and adults with disabilities, by employing a young worker two times a week. They also support Judith’s Reading Room, a non-profit literacy organization that provides books to those that do not have access to them. Frey’s is especially proud to be a route sponsor for “Meals on Wheels.”
Bruce and Diane have also participated in chamber events that were health and wellness based, such as the “Pathway to Progress” event in association with Saucon Valley History Day and the recent “Health and Wellness Passport” event hosted by the Hellertown Borough Business Revitalization (BBRP) committee. Bruce has also been an annual participant in the popular “Small Business Saturday” national movement, and the local chamber’s cooperative efforts to consolidate the day’s discounts and special offers to distribute at the borough’s tree lighting. Frey’s is also an advocate of the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market, as well as one of its original sponsors.
Community Commitment Award: David J. Heintzelman
This recognition is granted to a business/group or individual who demonstrates excellence in connecting with the community for the betterment of its quality of life, and is recognized as being widely embraced and supported by residents and the business community.
David James Heintzelman is President and Supervisor of the Heintzelman Funeral Home Inc., Hellertown. The corporation has been owned by the Heintzelman family since 1984. David grew up and learned the profession at his father’s funeral home in Schnecksville. He earned an associate’s degree in Applied Science from Northampton County Area Community College, 1981.
He also serves as President and Co-Owner of Lehigh Valley Crematory Services Inc. and co-owner of the Forever Remembered Hearse Company, Hellertown. David previously served as Deputy Coroner for the County of Northampton, from 1986 to 2006. He was the First Elected President of the Funeral Service Education Association, 1980-1981 (NCACC, Bethlehem), is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, and is a past president (twice) of the Eastern Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.
David was previously the recipient of Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber’s Distinguished Service Award recognition in 2002.
David’s community involvement is not limited to any one specialty or sector. He was commissioned by Hellertown Borough to represent the municipality on the Northampton County Gaming Revenue and Economic Redevelopment Authority; a board on which he has served since 2012. David is well-known in our Saucon Valley community as the chairman of the annual Saucon Valley Spirit Parade (since 1993), and most recently as the chairman of Hellertown’s Dimmickfest celebration (since 2014), as well as executive chairman of the 250th Anniversary Celebration of Hellertown.
David is past president (twice) of the Hellertown Lions Club and past secretary and president-elect for 2015, as well as the recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award in 2010; charter board member of the Saucon Valley Fine Arts Corporation in 1999 and vice president, 2001-2002; and a board director of the VNA Hospice of St. Luke’s since 2014. He is also a member of the Packard Organization, as well as an honorary member of the Edward H. Ackerman American Legion Post 397 and a life member of both the Hellertown Historical Society and the Saucon Valley Veterans’ Memorial Committee. David is also the Executive Chairman of the Dewey Ambulance Building Fund.
He served on the Saucon Valley School District Accreditation for Growth (AFG) in 2001 and was recipient of the PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association) Saucon Valley Education Association’s Friend of Education Award for support of excellent communications between our schools and community, 2001. David also served as president of the Saucon Valley Music Connection from 2003 to 2006.
He is a member and past vice president of the Consistory of the First United Church of Christ, and a member of the First UCC Brass. He is a member of the National Harley Owners Group and the Professional Car Society Northeast Chapter. David has been married to Nancy Louise (Shay) Heintzelman since 1981, and has four daughters.
Guest Speaker: Laura McHugh, Executive Producer of PBS39
The evening will close this year with a speaking appearance by Laura McHugh, an Emmy-award winning journalist who hosts and executive produces Focus on PBS39. She joined the production team at PBS39 in 2008 as a reporter/producer. Laura has 10 years of reporting and producing experience in both commercial and public television news. She’s also produced or co-produced two PBS39 documentaries, Philly Firsts and IronPigs: Fan-tastic.
Laura received her degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Maryland. After college, an interest in state government brought her to Helena, Mont., where she reported from the state capitol for Montana’s seven CBS affiliates as a “one-man band,” shooting, writing and editing her stories. From 2005 to 2007, Laura lived in the Kansas City area, where she reported and anchored the nightly news for 6 News Lawrence and wrote for the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper.
Originally from the Philadelphia area, Laura loves Pennsylvania and spending time with her husband, son and golden retriever. On weekends, you can find them cheering on their favorite Philly sports teams and, of course, her Maryland Terps! She also enjoys hiking and always loves a good book or movie recommendation.
Background on the Banquet
H/LS Chamber banquets traditionally honor business and community leaders, and oftentimes close out with a local/regional celebrity speaker. They also begin with a brief chamber year in review and a look into the year to come. They offer an atmosphere appropriate for businesses to interact on a lighthearted level, while celebrating the community. They also offer an opportunity for local chamber members to share their past year’s successes.
The sale of business ads in the banquet program continue to fund the annual $1,000 Phyllis M. Schnaible Scholarship. The Board now presents this award to a graduated Saucon Valley senior at their Community Day event in August.
This year, the banquet features four sponsors: gold level B&B Pools, silver level Western Pest Services, dinner level National Penn Bank and cocktail level Schooley Mitchell.
Recent honorees have included Csencsits Auto, Lost River Caverns, Braveheart Highland Pub, Charlie Luthar (retired Hellertown borough manager and chamber board director), the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market, Saucon Valley School District (for their relief efforts during Hurricane Sandy) and Josh Popichak (formerly with the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Patch, now publisher of Saucon Source).
The H/LS Chamber encourages the community to share testimonials about their experiences with this year’s honorees, to help enhance and personalize the recognition for these two honorees.
The cost to attend the banquet, $40 per ticket, includes a buffet. Entrees include choice of chicken, roast beef or pasta accompanied by salad, vegetables, potatoes, assorted desserts and iced tea/coffee (cash bar available). Please reserve your seat by March 9.