Skip to content

BIA wins award in memory of longtime Thorold business owner

Thorold BIA was looking for way to celebrate and honour Nick Dell’Omo, a BIA board member who died in January

The Thorold BIA was looking for a way to celebrate and honour Nick Dell’Omo, longtime resident, business owner and BIA board member after his sudden passing in January of this year.

“We were looking over the categories for this year’s OBIAA (Ontario Business Improvement Area Association) Awards and came across the Jan Hawley Memorial Pinnacle Award (Legacy Award) and thought it was the perfect fit to honour Nick’s legacy. We put together an application and were thrilled to learn that we won,” said Amy Schanbacher, TBIA coordinator.

The Jan Hawley Award recognizes individuals who are accomplished leaders and have demonstrated skills in advocacy, innovation, and community building at their own organizations, OBIAA and or within the BIA movement at large. 

On Monday, OBIAA held the 2024 BIA Awards.

The theme for the gala dinner was 'We Are The Champions' to celebrate Ontario’s BIAs, as they are the champions of their communities. This year's almost 30 submissions were awarded based on the BIAs’ ability to meet the judging criteria.

Previous award recipients have inspired communities across Ontario and willingly shared their programs and projects through the network of BIAs and their respective municipalities. 


Laurie-Anne Lamothe, vice-chair, Thorold BIA: “I was new to Thorold when I heard about Nick. I often frequented Riganelli’s Bakery. It was a special place to shop. It was a pillar to the downtown core. I opened a business in the BIA. He was a fixture at meetings for the BIA and the Niagara Board of Trade and Commerce. Nick always had a smile on his face. He was always helping out in the BIA – even picking up garbage. Nick exemplifies what it's like to be of service in the BIA. He didn’t do it for recognition. He did it for the community.”

Serge Carpino, chair, Thorold BIA: “I was shocked and greatly saddened on the passing of longtime friend, Nick Dell’Omo. I had the privilege of having him serve as my former vice chair of the BIA and co-chair of the BIA Car Show. Nick ran and owned Riganelli’s Bakery for many years, as well as Biscotti’s Café on Front Street, was on the board of the GTBC and then NBOTAC supporter. Nick was also president of Club Capri for the past seven years. He is greatly missed by all that knew him. Rest in peace my friend.”

Mal Woodhouse, former mayor of the City of Thorold and current president of the Thorold Museum Board: “A guy like Nick doesn’t come along often and we as a city were lucky to have him. He cared deeply for his employees, his customers and his fellow small business owners. He led by example and always donated meeting space and food and beverages for small committees, which brought a lot of people to the BIA district. His leadership in the Thorold BIA car show was instrumental in not only organizing a fun, ongoing event-it helped in bringing a whole new demographic of people to our downtown area in large numbers. He provided and facilitated the promotion of our BIA area every week for years through the car show.”