Instead of a big gala, Mayor Martin Walsh decided to bring the annual Main Streets Awards to the neighborhood.
On Saturday, Walsh honored the East Boston Business of the Year, Jendriel Collision Center on Prescott Street as well as the East Boston Main Streets Volunteer of the Year, Dan Bailey, during a ‘Mayor on Main’ Trolley Tour.
“I want to thank East Boston Main Streets for the great work they do,” said Walsh. “This is really a celebration of the small businesses. We use to these awards at the Strand Theater but we thought it was important to bring this event out to the community so we could encourage people to shop in the Main Streets Districts. Main Streets is largely a volunteer based organization so a lot of the work that gets done gets done by volunteers. In East Boston, we are here to spread the word and tell people to not forget your Main Street District. A majority of our Main Streets businesses are small, family owned businesses that made an investment in the community to employ people locally and put food not only on their table but on the table of their employees’ families.”
Walsh then presented the Business of the Year Award to Hector Guerrero, longtime owner of Jendriel Collision Center on Prescott Street.
According to Walsh, Guerrero opened Jendriel Collision Center 25 years ago, the same year his child was born and named the shop after his son, Jendriel. The Mayor said Guerrero believes in excellent customer service and always prioritizing the best interest of his clientele. His business is based on honesty, transparency, and highest quality work at an affordable price.
After he was presented with the award Guerrero thanked the Eastie community for their two decades of support and said he was grateful to the City of Boston for helping him grow and succeed.
“I’m so excited right now,” said Guerrero. “I thank God for everything he did for me. I love my neighbors, I love our customers and most of all I love my family. I thank them for everything they do for me, especially my mom and wife. I love the City of Boston, this my city.”
Next, Walsh presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Eastie’s Dan Bailey.
Walsh said Bailey is a very effective community leader continuing the proud Eastie tradition of citizen engagement. “What makes Main Streets so successful are the volunteers,” said Walsh.
“It’s the people like Dan Bailey that make out Main Streets Districts so successful. Today we want to recognize Dan, a strong leader in the East Boston preservation movement. Dan has the ability to bring people together and get them involved in the community. Dan consistently guides and focuses the energy of the community, brings people together for specific, well- defined, and tangible causes. Mr. Bailey is an accomplished researcher, has created numerous important historical documents relevant to East Boston and is the consistent, calm voice of reason asking hard questions and proposing reasonable alternatives.”
Of Bailey, City Councilor Lydia Edwards commented that the history of a neighborhood is its character and balancing the old with the new.
“It’s something we continue to fight to maintain while developing a vibrant new future for Boston,” said Edwards. “It’s been the conversation that Dan and I have had that have helped me understand the best way to love and respect our neighborhood’s history and character.”
Bailey thanked Main Street Director Max Gruner and the board and said he looks forward to continuing to work on preservation efforts in Eastie.
“I lived in the neighborhood for six years now and I’ve really fallen in love with it,” said Bailey. “I think a lot of what is important in the community is actually the ‘built environment’ like our walkable streets, our historic building and our wonderful business community. I look forward to working with Max, Main Streets and people in the community to make sure the character of our neighborhood survives into the future.”