HAWLEY, PA: The Chamber of the Northern Poconos is dedicated to seeing our region prosper whether through helping our member businesses succeed; fostering new business development; or providing educational opportunities that help to groom future leaders. Annual recognition of our outstanding business leaders is our way to salute and thank them for enhancing this region as a great place to live and work. The Chamber is thrilled to announce its upcoming annual Community Awards Banquet. The banquet will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2022, at the Inn at Woodloch Pines beginning at 5:30 PM with a social hour cash bar. The buffet dinner will follow at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $80 per individual.
The Chamber will be honoring Mark Crouthamel, Sculpted Ice Works and Pocono Axe Works, as 2022 Business Person of the Year. Mark Crouthamel wears many hats. He is the founder of Sculpted Ice Works, Inc. (and the former Crystal Cabin Fever), Pocono Axe Works, LLC, The Ice House Barn (Event Venue), and has operated Buehler’s Idlewild Inn for the last two decades. Mark is originally trained and educated as a chef, business manager and educator. Since college, he has taught himself the
art of ice sculpting and is most well known in the area for the business he founded Sculpted Ice Works, Inc. His dream for Pocono Axe Works, LLC started in 2019, and it came to reality as a Covid ‘Pivot” Project in 2020 with his partners (Daughter Alex and Son Gabe). To finally see it come to life is almost as thrilling as the sport itself!
Buehler’s Idlewild Inn was established as a guest house, taking borders since 1885, in Paupack, PA. by the Buehler family. It is a seasonal, full-service, all-inclusive resort that has provided meals, lodging and many recreational outdoor activities for its, mostly, regular-returning guests. Mark and his wife Mary took over the management and all operations in 2021 when Ice Works had started to take ground. Many days/years Mark would work all day (approx. 14 hours) at the resort and after dinner was cleaned up, he would go to his ice shop in Paupack and carve ice into the night. He quotes “sometimes you do the best you can, but success means you do whatever it takes!”
Mark has also served the community on the Advisory Council board for the Food Service Program at Wallenpaupack High School, National Ski Patrol volunteer 1985-2005, Leadership Team member at the Paupack UM Church, Member of Freemasons, Paupack Fish and Game Club member as well as current member and supporter of The Chamber of the Northern Poconos, PMVB, Greater Honesdale Partnership, Downtown Hawley Partnership, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and the (ABPA) Abington Business and Professional Association.
Mark prides himself on identifying as a “CHEF” as the traits it takes to make it in the hospitality and service industries takes that kind of work ethic. Today he balances the three main businesses with the help of many great staff and managers and is still pivoting from Management and Leadership on a daily basis. Blessed with a loving family, wife Mary, Daughters Alexandria Buente (29), Olivia (24), and son Gabriel (22) and granddaughter Ruby (20 mo.). He resides between a Cabin at Buehler’s Inn, Paupack from Spring to Fall and then to a house in Tafton for the colder months.
Our communities are shaped by the people who live in them, and especially by contributions of extraordinary individuals, groups and organizations. The Community Achievement Award celebrates those who have made a significant contribution through a unique achievement or outstanding service in any area that provides a benefit to the community. They have devoted time and energy to making Wayne or Pike County more caring, dynamic, beautiful, healthy and unique. They inspire by their example. The Chamber will honor Gary Brown of White Mills, chosen for the Community Achievement Award. Gary Russell Brown is this year’s recipient of the Community Achievement Award. Gary was born in the old Wayne Memorial Hospital on Court Street, Honesdale, and raised in White Mills. He is a 1962 Wallenpaupack High School graduate. He continued his education at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia, where he played varsity baseball for the Mountain Lions. Following graduation with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, he taught 5th grade in Seaford, Delaware for 4 years. Following the death of his father Russell Brown, he returned to the area and accepted a position with the Wallenpaupack School District where he served for 37 years. While at Wallenpaupack he was always involved with youth and sports, coaching baseball, football and basketball at various levels.
He was very influenced by his parents, Russell and Genie Westgate Brown and their volunteer efforts. They were very active in the White Mills community, volunteering with various organizations such as the White Mills Fire Company, White Mills Methodist Church and with various school functions. Gary says the people of White Mills have always been a volunteering community. Everyone helps others in time of need and wants to see all children succeed. White Mills is a wonderful community to raise a family.
Back in the 1970’s Gary was instrumental in the formation of the Honesdale Stingers Program. Gary credits many such as Dick Osborne, Jim Clift, Elmer Becker, Leon Kovatch, Clyde Gustin, Phil Schuler, Lynn Ebert, Phil Cordaro, JoJo Hessling, Jim Kingston , John Firmstone and others for their efforts also.
Active with the Hawley A’s, Gary helped raise money for the Hawley A’s in support of youth sports. He also organized teams and officiated as a referee at Wallenpaupack Biddy Basketball. He was a volunteer Little League coach for the White Mills Watson Bros. Braves for many years. He also umpired Honesdale Little League.
For over 35 years he served as a Hunter Education Safety Instructor. During this time over 1200 youth received certification in safe hunting techniques and were exposed to enjoyment of the outdoors.
Over the years he volunteered and continues to volunteer for the White Mills Fire Company through many events such as the sportsman fest, the annual chicken barbecue, clam bake and turkey raffle. He was also active at many St. Joseph Parish fund raisers.
Gary lives on the Long Ridge Road in While Mills. He is the proud father of Jim (Jessica) and Joe (Sarah) Brown and grandfather of Bryce, Russell, Isaiah and Ashlynn. He was married 50 years to Patricia Lescinski Brown before her passing in 2021.
Gary humbly thanks The Chamber of the Northern Poconos for honoring him as this year’s Community Achievement recipient. As they say, “It takes a village” and it is through the efforts of so many people that our local communities thrive!
A commemorative booklet is being prepared for the evening and ad space is available. Space will be
available for those wishing to advertise in the commemorative booklet in recognition of the honorees. This event is sponsored by The Chamber Chairman’s Circle and Woodloch! Deadline for ads and reservations to the banquet is October 14, 2022. The awards banquet and advertising are open to the public. Please register and submit payment online. If you need assistance, please contact The Chamber at 570-226-3191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.