The Clovis Chamber Commerce’s new chairman of the board, Ryan Indart, addresses members and others attending Thursday’s 2020 Salute To Business Luncheon put on by the chamber. Photo by David Castellon
Written by David Castellon
A well-known insurance broker and Clovis’ oldest family-owned business were named on Thursday the Clovis Chamber of Commerce’s businessperson and business of the year.
“I am so incredibly blessed,” Scott Dority, the businessperson of the year, told the near capacity crowd attending the chamber’s 2020 Salute To Business Luncheon at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District building.
“When they’re reading the names of the dignitaries that are here or the sponsors or the advertisers – so many of you in this business community – not only am I familiar with you, but I can call you friends,” said Dority, who last year merged his independent insurance agency, Dority Insurance and Financial Services Inc., into the larger DiBuduo & DeFendis Insurance Brokers.
He noted the lessons he learned from his late father to give to the community, adding, “What I do to honor my dad, I also do to honor God, and I do it out of a gratefulness for what Clovis is.
“I don’t know if I am deservant to be the businessperson of the year,” he said. “If you want to choose somebody who loves Clovis, I’m that guy.”
The award for business of the year went to a more than 120-year-old business, Sassano’s Men’s Wear at 448 Pollasky Ave., where it has been located since the mid 1960s and operated out of other Clovis locations since 1907.
Greg Sassano, the fourth generation family member to own the store, accepted the award, telling the crowd in his brief remarks, “I’m grateful for my great grandfather parking his buggy here in 1907, cause otherwise it wouldn’t have happened.”
He also thanked family members, specifically citing his son Jason, who is working to take over the haberdashery as his father prepares to retire, and Jason’s son, who has an interest in being the sixth generation to be part of the family business.
Other recipients of awards from the chamber were Rob Cozzi Jr., a member of the board of directors, who was named the chamber’s ambassador of the year.
The Einar Cook Leadership Award went to Peg Bos, president of the Clovis Museum and the city’s former mayor — also the first woman in that position.
“Thank you for this special moment in my life. It’s just breathtaking,” she said.
“My life has been enriched by being in Clovis, because we have a Clovis way of life,” that began with pioneers – good people, good neighbors and good stewards of the land – arriving here in the 1850s, Bos said in her acceptance speech.
She praised the chamber for promoting the “Clovis way of life,” adding, “I know how challenging that is.”
Two members of the chamber board received the Director of the Year Award, Layla Forstedt and Shawn Miller, while the new chairman of the board for this year, farmer and sheep rancher Ryan Indart, was presented to the members.
Indart noted that among his family members at the luncheon was his 102-year-old grandmother, Doris.
He told the audience that Clovis was once a small farming town that has grown to a burgeoning metropolitan community, “and one of the most sought-after places to work and raise a family in California.”