WARRENSBURG About a year ago, brothers Lou and Dean Ackley took over a long-vacant Main St. storefront as a new location for their well-established Direct Deposit Redemption Center.
A dingy, deteriorating building got a facelift and its parking lot some fresh pavement.
But most of all, the premises was beautified with extensive floral displays, featuring bright colors and rich textures that change with the season.
Direct Deposit, located near the entrance of the Warrensburg hamlet, immediately perked up the downtown scene. Town residents and public officials appreciated the dramatic upgrade. The business gained the reputation as one of the most attractive redemption centers in the state.
This week, Lou and Dean Ackley received official recognition for their redevelopment and beautification efforts, as the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce named Direct Deposit Business of the Year.
The Ackleys will be presented with their award at a Chamber banquet set for Thursday May 23 at Lizzie Keays Restaurant on River St. in Warrensburg.
Such floral displays aren’t new to Dean Ackley, as he formerly was groundskeeper for Warren County for a half-dozen years, tending floral gardens and landscaping for both the county Municipal Center and the county Fish Hatchery up through 2005.
Dean Ackley said April 8 he enjoyed the landscaping and floral work.
“We believe that making your business look attractive doesn’t cost much but it attracts customers and makes the town look better,” he said. “All it takes is imagination and a little work.”
The landscaping initiatives aren’t the sole reason that Direct Deposit is being honored. Additionally, the Ackleys have reached out to community groups to assist them in their fundraising efforts. Sports teams, school organizations and charities have all benefitted from their coordinated efforts of channeling redemption donations to dozens of groups. These efforts by the Ackleys include collecting labels and box tops for the local schools, and pull-tabs for the Ronald McDonald House in Albany.
Warrensburg Chamber president Lynn Smith praised the Ackleys for their efforts.
“Their colorful displays serve as a wonderful welcome for both residents and visitors coming into town — and their charitable work helps so many people in the region,” she said.
Lou Ackley said he appreciated the Chamber’s Business of the Year award.
“It’s quite an honor to be recognized like this by your peers,” he said. “We’ll be keeping up our efforts.”