Wegmans’ Mary Ellen Burris Wins Inaugural New York State of Mind Chairman’s Award

The New York Wine & Culinary Center (NYWCC), which is dedicated to educating, engaging and exciting New Yorkers and the world about New York State produced wine and food, has announced the recipients of its first annual New York State of Mind Awards.

The five awards will be presented Saturday, September 28 at the NYWCC’s annual New York State of Mind wine and culinary celebration. The event features the finest food and wines from New York, with music, and a live auction. It is open to the public and tickets are on sale now at nywcc.com.

“We received a tremendous response to our call for nominations for these inaugural awards,” said Tom Wahl, Jr., Chairman of the NYWCC Philanthropic Advisory Board and NYWCC Board member. “It was not an easy task to choose from so many talented and innovative nominees. All demonstrated passion and creativity for promoting New York wine and agricultural products. With a growing demand for fresh and high quality local food and wine, New York State is fortunate to have an abundance of both. So with these awards we hope to shine a brighter light on all the hard working people who are bringing the best to consumers. We applaud their efforts, wish them continued success and encourage people to support all those who celebrate New York wine and food.”

Wegmans’ Senior Vice President of Consumer Affairs Mary Ellen Burris will receive the inaugural Chairman’s Award,  which honors an individual or organization that has shown extraordinary resolve and persistence in promoting NY State products through innovative selling and marketing.

Burris joined Wegmans in 1971 as the voice of the consumer and created a 100-person department responsible for consumer response and customer services, food safety and quality assurance, community relations, public relations and sustainability. She serves on the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the University of Rochester Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, on the Advisory Committee for the Center for Produce Safety, and on the NYWCC Education Committee. Burris has received numerous awards, including the Food Marketing Institute’s Esther Peterson award in 2000 for consumer service.

In addition to the Chairman’s Award, the Grow NY Award for best New York grower will be presented to Doug Mason of Mason Farms in Williamson. He’s the seventh generation to run Mason Farms, which has been in operation since 1811. Wegmans is proud to call Mason Farms a local grower partner since 1992, and sells Mason’s organic sweet corn, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant.

The Eat NY Award for best restaurateur or chef will be presented to 61 Local of Brooklyn, NY; the Drink NY Award for best New York winery, brewery or distiller will be presented to Brooklyn Winery; and the Love NY Award for best New York tourism organization will be presented to the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Each honoree will be presented with a unique handmade piece of glass donated by renowned New York glass artist Robin Lehman.

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