The Wayne County Chamber has announced this year's winners for outstanding community achievement and for business.
The 2013 Community Achievement Award goes to John "Jack" Bishop.
Through the years, Jack has given freely of his time in service to others in the community. His contributions to local organizations and individuals are many. Having served his country honorably with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, Jack has long been involved with Veterans Service Organizations.
He has supported veterans through his work with Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion. Other organizations have benefited from Jack's involvement including the Honesdale Memorial Day Services and Parade Committee, Pocono Counties Workforce Investment Board, Wayne County School to Work Committee and the Carl Perkins Local Advisory Committee to Wayne Highlands and Wallenpaupack Area School Districts.
Jack was instrumental in launching the Communities that Care program and has been involved with the Honesdale Little League and St. John's Pre-Cana Team where he serves with his wife, Mary Jo. Jack served on Honesdale Borough Council for eight years.
In addition to his overall involvement with his community, Jack devoted much of his professional life to education.
He began his career as a Special Education teacher with NEIU#19 in the Wayne Highlands School District. He went on to become principal of the Lourdesmont School for children with emotional, social and/or behavioral concerns. After 31 years of working with our youth, Jack changed careers to work for another 12 years with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry as the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Representative.
He also worked as the Veterans Employment Representative and Employment Interviewer. Jack has clearly spent his lifetime serving others both professionally and personally.
Marie McDonnell, director of Wayne County Employment and Training, stated, "Working with the Veterans Service Organizations, Jack would find shelter for the homeless veterans and often times give that person a few dollars from his own pocket to buy a meal. Definitely, Jack is an inspiration to others and most deserving of this award."
Jack met his wife Mary Jo when he was home on leave and they have been married for 43 years.
Jack and Mary Jo have two children, Mary Jude or "MJ" who is married with two children and lives in New Jersey and Tony, who lives in Honesdale. Mary Jo is a nurse practitioner with Wayne Memorial Community Health Center and works at the Lake Como location.
Page 2 of 3 - Jack enjoys hunting and is a member of the Fox Ridge Hunting Club.
Having recently retired, he claims he is now working on all the projects that he has let go over the years and is trying to "get the hang" of having time off. Jack has recently found great joy by giving freely of his time once again, yet now much of that time is spent enjoying his grandchildren.
Michael Cavage has been named the 2013 Business Person of the Year. Cavage is president of Pioneer Construction Co., Inc.
Cavage started Pioneer Construction in 1996 after working several years for Linde Enterprises. He began by serving the local area with only 12 employees working alongside him.
Today, Pioneer Construction serves the tri-state area and employs up to 140 people.
"I'm very proud of Pioneer Construction Co., Inc. and its success," comments Cavage. "Thanks to my many dedicated employees we have kept up with the changing demands of this industry during these hard economic times and I compliment them on this success and appreciate their dedication and hard work."
To keep up with the changes and demands of the area, Pioneer Construction maintains a very diverse work focus. Some of the services they offer include: pipeline, structural and flat concrete work, rehab and new dam construction, flood control, site demolition, water and sewer treatment plants and much more.
Pioneer Construction is also PennDOT certified and boasts 120-plus OSHA certified skilled employees. Safety is a top priority for Cavage and it's shown by recognition from the National Utility & Excavation Contractors Association with the Safety Award in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for Large Category (greater than 150,000 man hours).
Born and raised on the family farm in Waymart, (where his parents still reside), Cavage attended Western Wayne School District.
He is a member of St. Mary's Church in Waymart where he is a part of the finance committee and also volunteers on the Wayne County Extension Office Board.
Cavage cares about our community and supports several non-profit organizations including: Cub Scouts of America, St. Jude Hospital, Wayne County Children's Christmas Bureau, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Habitat for Humanity, Homes for Troops, SEEDS, Salvation Army, Wayne Memorial Hospital and the American Cancer Society.
Additionally, a large community project that recently took place was the upgrade of the Honesdale Borough Pool. Cavage saw the need for this amenity for the youth of our area and did not hesitate to lend a hand.
Page 3 of 3 - Pioneer Construction was an instrumental part of this project by donating all electrical work and electrical parts needed to bring everything up to code.
"Being a successful business person requires more than just being average," commented Michele Stahl, Ameriprise Financial Advisor. "The person has to have enormous shoes and broad shoulders, they need to be courageous at making difficult decisions, to never forget to meet some of these decisions with laughter, creative in finding new opportunities, deliver quality work to maintain the business they have, have strong employees that support their efforts, care about the community they live in, and most importantly, to be the best spouse and loving father a man can be. That is Mike Cavage. Congratulations, Mike!"
In his spare time, Cavage enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his wife, Allyson, and their four children, Eric, Mariah, Dustin and Janine.
"Wayne County has been a great place to live and raise my family," notes Cavage. "It is a county that supports local businesses and the needs of its residents. I'm happy to be a part of and support this community."
Cavage and John Bishop will both be honored at the Chamber's annual Community Awards Banquet on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Lukan's Farm Resort in Hawley.
For tickets, congratulatory ads and additional information call the Chamber at (570) 253-1960.