One weekend in 1995, Chuck Hayback went for a "Sunday drive" through Cape Ann and wound up in Manchester.
For Hayback, it was a case of serendipity at first sight.
The young, professional art framer had spent years honing his craft working for other people. Now he wanted to work for himself, and that meant starting his own business. The question was, where? The answer, he decided that Sunday in 1995, was Manchester.
With its long, rich tradition of art appreciation and patronage, this quintessential New England coastal town seemed to Hayback, a graduate of Boston University's School of Fine Arts and grandson of master carpenter Giocchino Spaniazini, like the kind of place that would appreciate his kind of fine-crafted framing.
That October, Chuck Hayback opened Nor'east Frameworks at 40 Beach St., and on Wednesday night, at a reception at The Landing at 7 Central, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce honored him as Manchester's Small Business Award Winner of the year.
"I started a business in a town I didn't even know," Hayback recalls, "but the people of Manchester welcomed me, this stranger, with open arms, and have trusted me with their most precious items. I am humbled by the support I get from this community. I try to give my loyal clients the very best products and the very best of me too. And, I try to give back every opportunity I can."
Hayback does give back, and continues to give back.
In 2007, he founded the Manchester Arts Festival, a townwide midsummer event that draws scores of artists and artisans to show their work throughout this quaint coastal town. Incorporating both local businesses and community groups, the Manchester Arts Festival has become an annual event, attracting visitors from far and wide, becoming a major commercial success, and a source of civic and community pride.
As a board member of the Cape Ann Chamber, and now through a new group, The Manchester Business Collaborative, Hayback hopes to help Manchester businesses "communicate more effectively, to let our citizens know what wonderful resources they have right in their backyard."
Hayback is one artist who's mastered the fine art of business, too.
"The world of commerce has changed," he says, "and we need to work together to survive. I am hopeful, but know business won't just happen without good planning."
At Wednesday night's gathering at The Landing at 7, Chuck Hayback was joined by friends, family and members of the Manchester community. In a statement released by the Chamber, he said he was "honored and humbled" by the recognition and support.
It was the fourth and last of four evening receptions held this week in honor of Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce's small business winners of 2012.
All four honorees will also be toasted at the 32nd Annual Cape Ann Small Business Week luncheon on Monday, June 11, at 11:30 a.m. at the Bass Rocks Golf Club, 34 Beach Road, Gloucester, where the keynote speaker will be Robert Nelson, director of the Small Business Administration's Massachusetts district office.
The focus of his address will be "the importance of small business in leading the economic recovery."
Tickets are available to members for $30 in advance, or $35 week/day of and $45 for future members. For more information or to RSVP, contact Tim Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Chamber at 978-283-1601.
Joann Mackenzie can be reached at 978-2830-000, x3457, or at email@example.com.