PLATTSBURGH — As Hope Coryer was listening to St. Patrick's Day breakfast Master of Ceremonies Kevin Killeen describe this year's winner of the coveted Irishman of the Year award, she was interrupted by chatter.
"My son (David) was talking to me, and I couldn't hear who it was," an elated Coryer said Friday.
"As Kevin was talking, I was thinking it would be another person. I never thought I would be me.
"This is great."
Coryer soon realized that it was indeed she who had become the 54th Irishman of the Year, as the crowd of about 400 at the Angell Center ballroom on the Plattsburgh State campus saluted her with loud applause.
PATS ON THE BACK
The owner of ETS Inc., a temporary employment service in Plattsburgh, Coryer started her business in the basement of her home when she and her husband, Robert, moved here in 1982. Over the years, they have placed hundreds of people in jobs around the North Country.
"When we came to the area, we thought about doing something that wasn't here, and there were no employment agencies," she said.
"Like a bull in a China shop, we went right into it."
Placing people at work has been fulfilling, Coryer said, amidst pats on the back and hugs from well-wishers.
"We make everybody happy when we place somebody in a job," she said.
"People are happy they get a job, and our clients are happy. What could be better than that?"
Her son and daughter, Debbie Cleary, work with Coryer in the family business, which is now located on the U.S. Oval on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.
Coryer has been a longtime active member of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, serving on numerous committees and getting involved in many area organizations and events.