nyssbdc-agri-award2013Niagara County, NY – The New York State Small Business Development Center (NYSSBDC) has named Cynthia West-Chamberlain, winemaker and owner of Black Willow Winery, and member of the Niagara Wine Trail, as their Agricultural Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013. The NYSSBDC annually awards NYSSBDC clients that not only run successful small businesses, but also have a positive impact on their local community.

The award was presented to Cindy on April 29th at the NYSSBDC staff-training event held in Niagara Falls, NY, where she was also a featured speaker at the event. Cindy gave a presentation on what it takes to open a winery business, and she summarized her experience getting her wines placed in the NYSSBDC Wine Outlet in China. Black Willow Winery also hosted a delegation from China as part of the training.

Cindy first started working with Maureen Henderson of the Niagara SBDC when she opened Black Willow Winery in 2011, and continues to work with Maureen on her marketing and promotional efforts. Through a network of 24 regional centers, the NYSSBDC accomplishes its mission to deliver high quality business counseling and training to New Yorkers who want to start a business or improve the performance of an existing business, free of charge.

Cindy’s award may be viewed on Black Willow Winery’s website awards page. A video of the awards reception may be found online here. More information on the NYSSBDC may be found on their website www.nyssbdc.org.


Elizabeth Maute
Wine Trail Coordinator