Clothier Steven Valenti honored by Downtown Pittsfield Inc.
PITTSFIELD — Steven Valenti considered the late Robert K. "Bob" Quattrochi to be both a mentor and a friend.
Valenti said it was hard to keep it together on Thursday when he was selected as the second person to receive the 2016 Robert K. Quattrochi Award as Downtown Pittsfield Inc.'s Person of the Year.
"Very emotional," Valenti said after receiving the award at the group's annual meeting at the Beacon Cinema. "I tried to get through a speech and I teared up twice."
Quattrochi, who died in November 2014 at age 87, owned Pete's Motors and was a member of numerous community boards and organizations. Downtown Pittsfield Inc. named its Person of the Year Award after Quattrochi last year to honor his memory.
Valenti, who owns Steven Valenti Clothing for Men on North Street, first met Quattrochi when he started his business some 30 years ago.
"He was at every meeting, every function," Valenti said. "He was a doer. When you're in business, when you meet people at the beginning of your journey they leave a great impression on you.
"I feel honored to get this award in Bob's memory," he said.
Outgoing Downtown Pittsfield Inc. President Kate Maguire said Valenti was a fitting recipient.
"When you think of downtown, you think of him," she said. "Impeccably dressed and stopping in to welcome a new business owner to the neighborhood in between trips to the dry cleaner or tailor."
Two other awards were announced at Thursday's meeting. Chin Lee and Sabrina Tan, owners of Flavours of Malaysia restaurant on North Street, and Berkshire Carousel each were honored with Community Awards. Hotel on North, which opened last May, received the President's Award.
Maguire was also presented with a basket full of gift cards to commemorate her tenure as president.
"The way I got to know this community was by serving on this board," said Maguire, who is CEO and artistic director of Berkshire Theatre Group. "It was an honor to work with all of you."
Maguire is being replaced as president by attorney Jesse Cook-Dubin of the Pittsfield law firm Cohen, Kinne, Valicenti & Cook. He was one of 11 officers that were elected Thursday.
The other new officers include: Chris Mills of General Dynamics, vice president; Scott Kirchner of Mad Macs, vice president of administration; David Irwin of Adelson & Co., treasurer; and John Valente of the Beacon and Triplex Cinemas, clerk. Bart Raser of Carr Hardware and downtown resident Elie Hammerling were elected as at-large members.
The organization also elected chairpersons for the four strategies contained in its new five-year strategic plan for Downtown Pittsfield Inc., which was briefly discussed at Thursday's meeting.
Maguire was elected chairperson of Strategy 1; Kate Stinchcomb of the Berkshire Theatre Group will chair Strategy 2; Gary Levante of Berkshire Bank will head Strategy 3; and Bill Mulholland of Berkshire Community College is heading Strategy 4.
The Eagle will publish more details of the plan next week after meeting with Downtown Pittsfield officials.
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