By: Ben Jacobs
October 26, 2018
Abby Reinhard of GP Flooring Solutions and Timothy Fournier of Conifer Realty won the Small Business Council of Rochester’s 2018 Business Person of the Year awards Thursday at a luncheon at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
Reinhard took ownership of GP Flooring Solutions, a full-service commercial flooring contractor, in January 2015. Since she purchased the company, it has more than tripled in revenue and number of employees.
“I didn’t plan this pun, but I’m floored,” Reinhard said in accepting the award in the Under 50 Employees category. “When I bought this company, I had no concrete evidence that I could be successful running a flooring business. … I didn’t know if I was going to fall on my face.
“But I believed in my ability to learn and I think that’s the secret to our success is we have an entire amazing team that’s willing to get outside of their comfort zone because that’s the only place where growth happens.”
The other finalists in the Under 50 Employees category were Lindsay McCutchen of Career Start, Justin Smith of Brite Computers, Michael Tandoi of Tandoi Asphalt & Sealcoating, and Christine Vargas of Vargas Associates.
Fournier joined Conifer Realty in 1986 as its vice president of finance. He became president and CEO in 2006. He co-founded the nationwide Affordable Housing Developer Council and he’s the chair of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. In 2017, Conifer received the International Award for Corporate and Social Responsibility from the Institute of Real Estate Management for its work on the House of Mercy’s new homeless shelter.
“I’m humbled and honored to be selected from the finalists that sit up here with me,” Fournier said. “But it’s not about me today. I’m part of a game-changing organization, quite frankly. The depth and breadth of this organization amazes me every day. We actually are blessed as an organization because what we do every day makes a positive impact on people’s lives. I’m grateful that I get to go to work every day and experience that.”
The other finalists in the 50-plus Employees category were Melissa Geska of US Ceiling Corp, Pete Giovenco of Bergmann, Richard Plympton and Michael Mandina of Optimax Systems, and Candace Walters of HR Works.