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SILVER CREEK – The Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce’s business of the year announced at Thursday’s awards luncheon that it will be seeking 17 new employees this year.

Chris Lanski, president of Excelco/Newbrook in Silver Creek, accepted the award at the luncheon held at the Colony Restaurant.

Lanski said this year the company is looking for more full-time employees and it will mark the opening of a new office building.

Excelco was founded in 1947 in Silver Creek and soon the Newbrook Co. was added to provide support for projects that required welding and fabrication.

The combined companies have been producing specialty engineered projects and prototypes for the military and many prestigious companies.

They merged to create Excelco/Newbrook in 2011.

P.J. Azzarella, chief financial officer, was also on hand to accept the award from Kelly Borrello, president of the local Chamber.

The luncheon also included honors for the Lake Erie Regional Health System, which includes TLC Lake Shore Hospital in Irving, Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, Gowanda Medical Center and the Urgent Care Center in Gowanda.

The new satellite location in Forestville is also part of the system.

Scott Butler, vice president of community relations, accepted the award for the group.

A continued years of service award for a longtime Chamber member went to Benchley Contracting.

Brian Benchley, a third-generation member of the business, accepted the award.

His family has been actively involved in the Chamber for more than 25 years.

Luncheon speaker Todd Tranum of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce said there may be new development on 110 acres near the Thruway exit owned by Seneca Gaming.

He said the site is currently being considered for a retail establishment.

Tranum also said that Michelle Borrello, the owner of the Sunset Bay Inn Restaurant, is working on a project to bring a water park and restaurant to land on Routes 5 and 20 in Irving.

In the village of Silver Creek, the S. Howes Co. recently got approval for an 8,000-square-foot expansion that may also bring new jobs to the area, Tranum said.

Greg Krauza, director of membership development, encouraged membership in the local Chamber, which is now merged with the county organization.

He said the merger of the smaller local chambers into one countywide group has brought more services and the ability to help local businesses expand their customer base.

Services like health insurance also are available to Chamber members.

The next regular meeting will be April 16.