Rochester Chamber presents Business Person of the Year awards

COURTESY OF GREATER ROCHESTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Small Business Council affiliate presented the 2020 Business Person of the Year Award to Jill Knittel, founder and president of JK Executive Strategies, and Jay McHarg, CEO of Aerosafe Global. 

This honor, first awarded in 1983, recognizes for-profit business leaders in Greater Rochester that demonstrated outstanding success, growth, leadership and service in civic and professional areas. 

JK Executive Strategies assists companies in executive and leadership search, professional search and project services. Knittel has more than 20 years of experience, and holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in accounting from St. John Fisher College. She is a member of the National Women’s President’s Organization and Global Entrepreneurs’ Organization, an honorary member of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center board of directors and vice chair of the Hillside Family of Agencies board of governors. 

Jill Knittel.

Knittel won in the category for businesses with up to 50 employees. Other finalists were John Allen, president of Allen Associates Inc.; Jason Barrett, president of Black Button Distilling; Aaron Gordon, founder and CEO of Optic Sky Productions LLC; and Nannette Nocon, a private wealth adviser with Nocon & Associates.  

AeroSafe Global is a provider of biopharma cold chain services. McHarg has over 20 years of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in civil engineering and a Master of Arts degree from McGill University, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Babson College. He is involved with the National Technology Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology foundation board, Endeavor Western New York Global Entrepreneur network and Upstate Venture Connect UNY50.  

Jay McHarg.

McHarg won in the category for business with over 50 employees. Other finalists were Michael Hess, founder, president and CEO of Waste Harmonics; Bill Pollock, president and CEO of Optimation Technology Inc.; Timothy Pope, CEO and owner of Ironwood Heavy Highway LLC/Terry Tree Service LLC; and David Scalen, executive vice president and co-founder of Regional Distributors Inc.