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Business Milestones

Madison Main Street Program
presents inaugural awards

(February 2017) – A. Dattilo Fruit Co. at 211 W. Main St. in Madison, Ind., was founded in 1929 by Anthony Dattilo Sr. His constant attention to customer satisfaction has been the backbone of the family business success over the past 80 years, according to the business’s website.
Today, the business is run by his son, Anthony Dattilo Jr. The business has grown into a regional professional produce distribution leader, providing exotic, organic and even home grown fruit and vegetables.

Whitney Wyatt

A. Dattilo Fruit Co. was recognized Jan. 11 by the Madison Main Street Program, which presented Anthony Dattilo Jr. with its Legacy Award. It was one of four inaugural awards presented at the second annual wine and cheese fundraising party, held at Old Market on Main and attracting about 70 people. A cake auction was held during the event to raise money for the program. This year’s auction generated more than $1,000, according to Whitney Wyatt, executive director of the Madison Main Street Program. Linda Davis’ cake won the auction’s highest bid with her carrot cake.
“Dattilo Fruit Co.’s presence of its fruit market on Main Street adds character to our downtown,” said Deb Fine in presenting the award.
Village Lights Bookstore, located at 110 E. Main St. and owned by Nathan Montoya and Anne Vestuto, received the Business Excellence Award. The business was recognized for its longstanding tradition of providing excellent customer service, seven days a week and open until 7 p.m. on most evenings, and offering readings, live music and an annual poetry event.
Dave Adams was presented the Tribute Award for his work leading the Madison Farmers Market. He retired in December after 20 years of heading the market, hanging flags and setting up cones each Saturday morning. “We cannot thank him enough for his tireless work to support the market and the city of Madison,” said Larry Newhouse, a Main Street board member who presented the award.
Adams was also recognized in December by the Madison City Council for his work with the Farmers Market and other citywide committees.
Adams underwent knee surgery that day and could not be present to receive the award.
A Business Innovation Award went to Rockin’ Thunder Jet Boat Rides for adding a fun, thrill-seeking attraction to Madison. Founded in 2013 by owners Paul Nicholson and Janet Harding, the colorful yellow speed boats can be seen running up and down the Ohio River in summer months. They offer 15-mile, 40-mile and 90-mile rides. They also offer a 155-mile, two-day overnight trip through four locks to Frankfort, Ky. In 2017, they are adding a 75-mile lunch excursion on Wednesdays. Last year, they bought a new boat to accommodate 20 people and hired a new captain to operate it. This new boat will begin operations this year.
Nicholson and Harding s were not available to receive their award.
Prior to the awards presentation, Valecia Crisafulli explained to the crowd some changes for 2017, including a name change for her former Business Recruitment Committee to the Local Business Growth Committee.
“We are making this change for two reasons,” she said.
The first reason is to address some “key first-floor vacancies on Main Street as we move into 2017. It is hard to, if not impossible, to recruit new businesses unless the existing business climate is healthy and businesses are doing well.”
She said the second reason is “that helping locally owned businesses survive, thrive and grow in downtown Madison can be a transformational strategy that drives the local economy, provides opportunities for young people and entrepreneurs, and creates an exciting environment for tourists and visitors. This is important work, and our committee is in it for the long haul.”
Crisafulli said others are welcome to attend the committee’s monthly meetings, which are held at 8:30 a.m. at Gallery 115, located at 115 E. Main St.
The Madison Main Street Program is an arm of Indiana Main Street and a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center, and is one of more than 1,200 Main Street communities across the country united with the common goal of preserving America’s historic downtowns as economically vibrant parts of the community.
The Madison Main Street Program boasts 72 members in 2016, plus two major donors and 17 sponsors, Wyatt said. The nonprofit organization plans many events throughout the year to help generate traffic for local business owners.  Primary among these is its annual summer free concert series at the Broadway Fountain.
To keep up with these events, visit the program’s website at www.MadisonMainStreet.com or its Facebook page.

Wyatt resigns post

In late January, Wyatt announced she was retiring as executive director, effective Jan. 28 after serving in the position the past 41/2 years. Wyatt has agreed to work through a transition period until a new director is selected.

“She will be missed,” said Board President Sandy Palmer. “I and the entire Main Street Executive Board appreciate all she has done to move our program forward, to support Madison merchants and residents, and to help build a strong organization.”

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