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Catskill Mountain News 2013 Best Service Award Profiles in Excellence

Each year, the Catskill Mountain News profiles a number of winners in its Best Service Awards Contest. The stories below, written by Jay Braman Jr. with photos by Dick Sanford, provide a glimpse into the business philosophies and customer service offerings that have earned these enterprises the support of loyal customers. An entire list of this year's winners can be found in our News section. Don't forget to congratulate your friends and colleagues, and winners — give yourself a well-earned pat on the back.


Best Service Winner: Steve Yaekel, Margaretville Liquor Store

By Jay Braman, Jr.
Lots of things have happened since 1960.
The times certainly changed as things like a presidential assassination occurred, a man walked on the moon, disco music was actually popular, the Soviet Union fell, something called a personal computer appeared and the list goes on.
But what hasn’t changed is the fact that the Margaretville Liquor Store is run by the Yaekel family.
Steve Yaekel, Margaretville Liquor StoreSteve Yaekel, Margaretville Liquor Store


Best Service Winner: Gary Rosa, Attorney

Attorney Gary Rosa hung his shingle out on Main Street in Margaretville in 1987. Since then he has provided all types of legal service for folks from all over the region, especially, he says, those from Andes, Bovina, and Roxbury.
Andes, Bovina and Roxbury. He has no idea why that is, but he is certainly not complaining.
“They’ve always been good to me,” he said. “I like to think it’s because they like the service.”
Gary Rosa, AttorneyGary Rosa, Attorney


Best Service Winner: Heidi Condon, New Kingston

By Jay Braman, Jr.
New Kingston, for the uninitiated, is pretty small.
I found it for the first time one summer day when I went up Margaretville Mountain Road, leaving from the village and going over the hill past the Margaretville Mountain Inn and down the other side to where it spills off onto Route 6.
In the few miles between there and New Kingston, I was amazed at the scenery, thinking Lord of the Rings fans that stumbled onto this territory would believe they had actually found the Shire.


Best Service Winner: Brookside Hardware for Auto Sales & Repair and Hardware & Building Supplies

By Jay Braman, Jr.
In the music world these days, it’s what’s known as a mash up.
It’s when you take a couple of popular songs that have nothing to do with one another and combine them into one. The results are often spectacular and memorable.
But long before musicians were doing it, Will Finch at Brookside Hardware came up with another sort of mash up when the entrepreneur in him recognized an opportunity for a local business.
Will Finch, Brookside Hardware & Auto SalesWill Finch, Brookside Hardware & Auto Sales


Best Service Winner: Kyle Holden, Teacher

By Jay Braman, Jr.
When Kyle Holden got home the other day and switched on his answering machine he couldn’t believe his ears.
A message from the Catskill Mountain News informed the local Head Start teacher that he had been voted best teacher in the paper’s annual Best Service Awards contest.
The down-to-earth Holden, who also coaches the girls’ basketball and softball teams at Margaretville Central School, was shocked.
Kyle Holden, Arkville Head Start teacherKyle Holden, Arkville Head Start teacher


Best Service Winner: NBT Bank

By Jay Braman Jr.
Old-timers around Margaretville might remember People’s National Bank, on the corner of Main and Bridge streets, but for most, it was and always has been the NBT Bank.
NBT, a company doing business since before the Civil War, bought People’s National Bank decades ago and it has been a Main Street mainstay ever since.
You Can Bank on It: Finch enjoys her job as NBT Bank branch manager and it shows. She's been there since 1973 and most of her six other colleagues have been there for more than 15 years.You Can Bank on It: Finch enjoys her job as NBT Bank branch manager and it shows. She's been there since 1973 and most of her six other colleagues have been there for more than 15 years.


Best Service Winner: Fred Miller, Pharmacy

By Jay Braman Jr.
Fred Miller, the proprietor of Miller’s Drug Store on Main Street in Margaretville, speaks with pride in his voice when he talks about his business’s unusual distinction.
“We’re the only independent pharmacy left in Delaware County,” he said. “All the other ones are the chains.”Fred Miller, owner of Miller's Drug StoreFred Miller, owner of Miller's Drug Store


"Deep Water" documentary to be screened at Blue Deer Center

The 45-minute documentary “Deep Water,” which celebrates the history of the Catskill Water System, with rare archival film footage and historic photographs, will be shown at the Blue Deer Center on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.


Martha Graham dancers lead an evening of dance at Roxbury Arts Group March 8

The Roxbury Arts Group and The Byrdcliffe Performing Arts Organization have joined together to present “An Evening of Contemporary Dance,” featuring three principal dancers from the Martha Graham Company on Saturday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in the Roxbury Arts Center, located at 5025 Vega Mountain Road.
The American people have ferverently renewed their love affair with dance; it’s popularity recently heightened and brought back into vogue through television shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With the Stars.”


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