The year 2013 has been a good one for the Strong family.
First came news in April that the family business, Strong’s Marine, purchased the former Matt-A-Mar Marina near the southern end of Mattituck Creek on Wickham Avenue. Strong’s Water Club & Marina is now operating on the 8.75-acre property and a new restaurant, Pace’s Dockside, is set to open on the property later this month.
Then came honors from Boating Industry Magazine and the Marine Retailers Association, which named Strong’s Marine among the top 10 boat dealers in North America.
Even with all the good news surrounding the nearly 50-year-old Mattituck family business, owner Jeff Strong said there was still something extra special about the latest honor bestowed on the family. Strong’s Marine has been named Business of the Year by the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce, which honored the family at a dinner held at Vineyard Caterers in Aquebogue Monday night.
“To be honored on the local level, that’s what’s nearest and dearest to our heart,” said Mr. Strong, who added that the Chamber was particularly helpful during challenging times for the company in the early 1990s.
Mr. Strong was joined by his wife, Re, his mom, Dotty, and sons, Jay and Ryan, in accepting the award. The Strong sons have joined the family business with Jay, 31, working as sales manager and Ryan, 29, serving as operations manager.
Mattituck Chamber of Commerce president Brooke Dailey said the Strong family’s decades-long involvement in the Chamber, including the 10 years Re Strong served as treasurer, helped make Strong’s Marine an easy choice for the award, and the purchase of the former Matta-A-Mar property and the business’ help restoring the Chamber sign at the corner of Sound and Wickham avenues made this the perfect year to honor the Strongs.
“Strong’s Marine has grown a lot,” Ms. Dailey said. “They’ve been great to the Chamber and we felt like this was a great time to honor them.”
Also honored Monday night was the Chamber’s immediate past president, Donielle Cardinale, who was named Person of the Year. A chamber member for two decades, Ms. Cardinale, a real estate Broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s, has for years helped organize the Little Mr. and Ms. Mattituck Contest and Santa Day at Rite Aid in the Mattituck Plaza.
“She’s done so much for our organization and we really wanted to honor her,” Ms. Dailey said.