Weekly Feature

2018-02-14 / Business

Bob Lenz to be honored as Chamber’s Lifetime Achiever

Bob Lenz Bob Lenz The Bee will profile each of the 2018 award recipients recognized by the Clarence Chamber of Commerce in successive issues. This is the fifth installment in the series.

The awards are given for “Citizen, Business, Organization and Lifetime Achiever” who reside, work or volunteer in the Town of Clarence.

The criterion for selection of the individuals and business is an unselfish devotion to improving the quality of life in the Clarence community.

The chamber’s annual awards dinner will be held this year on March 1 at Samuel’s Grande Manor.

The chamber will present the 2018 Lifetime Achiever award to the Robert “Bob” Lenz.

For more information about the Clarence Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 annual awards dinner, or to purchase tickets for the event, visit www.clarencechamber.org or call the office at 631-3888.

A Clarence resident since the fourth grade and a graduate of Clarence High School and Erie Community College’s culinary arts program, Lenz is now the innkeeper of the Asa Ransom House Country Inn.

At age 14, his first job in the restaurant business was for Art Zimmerman, who owned the Millroad House and catered the monthly Lions Club meetings at the Coachmen’s Inn.

During his ECC days, he continued to work at the Coachmen’s Inn, first as dishwasher, then bartender, waiter and eventually manager.

After two years in the Army, he returned to Clarence to manage the Red Mill Inn restaurant and in 1975 purchased the property at 10529 Main St. owned by his former employer, Art Zimmerman. and his wife, Fran.

Lenz then opened the Asa Ransom House restaurant.

Subsequently, he added on to the original house to create lodging as well.

A railroad activist and avid train traveler, Lenz has logged more than 20,000 miles a year for many years across the U.S.

He is past president of the Empire State Rail Passengers Association and a member of the National Association of Rail Passengers.

He is also past president of Select Registry — an organization of more than 300 historic and distinguished inns in the U.S. — Romantik Inns of Europe and U.S. and “Green” Hotels.

Lenz has also chaired the annual Jaycees’ antique show for 25 years, has been an important contributor to the Clarence Hollow Farmers Market and has served as a longtime board member of the Clarence Hollow Association. He has also chaired the flag program along Main Street and assisted in the design of Main Street in the Hollow and the sign program.

Lenz also promoted Clarence as a volunteer for Walk the Villages, Doors Open Niagara, “Art on Wheels,” and at the Buffalo Visitors Bureau events. At present, he is a “warden” for the Town of Clarence courts.

Lenz is married to Margarethe “Meg” and has two daughters, Abbey and Jenny, two stepsons and three grandchildren.

He and Meg are members of Eastern Hills Church where they both serve in the Connection Center.

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Clarence Special Events 2018
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