ROBEX Q4 2020

Page 1


ROBEX Q4•2020

Section 3 Rules Impact your Business

The Writing's on the Wall


The Importance of Maintaining Your

Employee Handbook Financial Wellness at Work

Learn about

BOMA Rochester

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*FREDERICO Demolition is the first private demolition company in the USA to acquire the Brokk 800S. All Rights Reserved. Brokk 800S is a brand of Brokk AB.

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Quarter 4 • 2020



President Aaron Hilger

Executive Committee Chairman Robert Morgan Upstate Roofing & Painting

Vice President, Marketing & Operations Kim Gaylord Planroom Manager Robin Stewart Accounting Manager Taryn Deinhart Research & Communication Manager Mariel Fedde Assistant Director Government & Labor Relations Alex Winslow Membership & Business Development Coordinator Liz Mazzone Social Media & Marketing Coordinator Kaila Parsons Planroom Reporter Nicole Gissendanner

Vice Chairwoman Melissa Geska U.S. Ceiling Corporation Secretary Brian O’Shell Ajay Glass Treasurer Victor E. Salerno O’Connell Electric Company Immediate Past Chair Kevin Cannan A.A.C. Contracting.

Mark Mancuso Flower City Habitat for Humanity

Mike D’Hont Western New York Floor Co.

Kevin Peartree Ernstrom & Dreste LLP

Anthony DiTucci Livingston Associates

Erich Postler Postler & Jaeckle

John Greene Unified Electric

Timothy Pullis Brown & Brown of Rochester

Kevin Foy M&T Bank

Abby Reinhard GP Flooring

Brian Kelly Manning, Squires, Hennig Co. Inc.

Thomas Renauto Home Leasing

Ed Kurowski, Jr. The Pike Company Courtney Lafferty JBX Chairwoman LeChase Construction Mike Mallon LeChase Construction

Executive Assistant & Social Media Assistant Jasmine Gelsomino Builders Exchange of Rochester 180 Linden Oaks Suite 100 Rochester, NY 14625 P (585) 586-5460 F (585) 586-1580


Board Members David Cooper Rose & Kiernan

The Builders Exchange of Rochester was founded in 1888 by visionaries dedicated to Rochester, New York’s commercial development market. Today, the exchange has more than 600 members and affiliates, and serves the commercial, industrial and governmental construction industry in Western and Central New York. ROBEX © 2020 is distributed three times each year to all members on a complimentary basis.

S e W C





Mike Seaman Christa Construction


Randy Sickler SWBR Architects Alan Turner B&L Wholesale Greg Vangellow R.W. Dake

Publisher Fahy-Williams Publishing PO Box 1080, 171 Reed St. Geneva, NY 14456 P (800) 344-0559 F (315) 789-4263 To advertise contact Tim Braden at (800) 344-0559,

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A message from the PRESIDENT


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s the dust settles

from the November 3rd election, we have learned a number of things about voting. We reached voter turnout levels not seen since 1908 – when Builders Exchange was 20 years old. At the same time, conventional wisdom that higher turnout would lead to massive Democratic Party victories was proven false. This will upend years of political science research (imagine the papers that are being furiously written right now!) and the strategies for both parties. I continue to believe that the country really is not that far apart. Elections with only two choices bring a false sense of division. One has to wonder how many of the record number of voters would have picked a third or fourth choice, if those choices existed? We also learned that a blue wave based on progressive ideas – radical wealth distribution, defunding the police, and a green new deal, are not really that popular. The large Democratic losses in the House point directly to this as Democrat incumbents were put to rest on these issues. Republicans also appear to be on a path of holding the Senate. We may have to wait until January for two special elections in Georgia to finalize the result. Government’s primary job is the health and safety of its citizens. It would be wonderful if both parties took a breath and shoved the ideological positions to the side. As I write this a day after the election, it is likely that Joe Biden will be our next President. His only mandate is that he is not Donald Trump and will encourage people to wear masks. Biden will be able to take credit for the vaccine development under Trump and hopefully some of the hysteria about Covid-19 will come under control once the media is not fixated on Trump’s

tweets. Our reaction to COVID, not the virus, is the biggest current problem that we face. Biden’s plans are identical to Trump’s, apart from being more disciplined about masks (which does create a federalism issue if there is a national mask mandate). Time, especially the time needed to develop a vaccine, has always been the primary hurdle to containing the virus. Vulnerable populations quickly learned to take care of themselves after the disaster that occurred in New York, which has prevented spikes in hospitalizations and deaths. We need to have our economies open to the greatest extent possible and protect those most vulnerable. All the rhetoric in the world won’t save us if we go broke and kill off our grandparents. It is probably fair to say that Trump lost the election based on his personal conduct and lack of discipline. That Biden could only win with a very small margin shows the weakness of his candidacy. Down-ballot losses for the Democratic Party, in the House, in Maine, and in many state legislatures, will prompt a lot of soul searching. Republicans can also breathe a sigh of relief as Trump and all of his baggage will be safely at home in Mar-a-Lago, drinking scotch and pretending to golf well. Neither party has a mandate, and they should both be trying to work together. Hopefully the 2022 campaign for the House and Senate, which started November 4th, won’t get in the way of the real work that needs to be done today. We are more than a decade past due for an infrastructure bill, not to mention soaring deficits, ever expanding regulation, and COVID. It is also interesting to think about what a President says, compared to what they do – the policies they support or enact. The messaging of President Obama, his speaking, and ability to articulate issues were extraordinary. Yet the Obama administration’s policies (continued on page 24)


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Q4•2020 Features 16

Section 3: Rules and Changes


20 Financial The Importance of Financial Wellness at Work 26

Employee Spotlight

Meet Planroom Reporter Nicole Gissendanner

30 Company Profile The Writing’s on the Wall An interview with Magnatag’s CEO Christian Krapf 36

Legal Update The Importance of Maintaining Your Employee Handbook

40 Opinion What Happened to Being Civil and Debating Ideas? 46 BOMA Rochester The leading trade association for commercial real estate

professionals for more than 100 years.

50 Government Relations Albany Update


ROBEX Staff and Board of Directors


A Message from the President


A Letter from the Chairman

Project profile

10 Student Learning Center Direct-View Video Wall Project

SUNY Alfred


New Members


Index of Advertisers



Cover: Project Profile: SUNY Alfred Student Leadership Center (SLC).

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A letter from the CHAIRMAN


• General Contractor • 585-352-4410 Educational • Industrial • Recreational • Retail

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Marc R. Fischer

Managing Director, Wealth Management Institutional Consulting Director

Michael T. Valenti

ow that 2020 is behind us, I think it is a good time to look back and find out how our companies changed for the better. Certainly we should all have some takeaways that we can implement going forward. It’s not hard to find yourself in a rut with all of the negativity that surrounded 2020. COVID was bad enough; add in the social unrest and an election campaign that left most business owners on the edge of their seats. We should all be able to find some positives that will enhance our companies’ strengths for the future. My last article discussed a hope that we would be through this pandemic and able to start 2021 with a clean slate. Now, however, that does not seem very realistic. For Upstate Roofing & Painting, we are taking advantage of enhancing our training and on-boarding programs. We can complete more quality work with a well-trained team than we can with adding a bunch of new teammates. It also offers opportunities for our current teammates to advance their careers – a win-win for all. That leads me into my final comment. The Builders Exchange is consistently working on ways to provide training opportunities for its members. Thus far, the BX has received positive feedback and the desire to continue to provide new offerings. As a result, we are currently working on a new set of educational/training tools that will be provided to allow contractors to enhance the leadership skills of their foreman and rising young leadership talent. We are working with third-party educators to build a program that will entail all the necessary tools to create well-rounded leaders for our member companies. Stay tuned! Bob Morgan CEO, Upstate Roofing & Painting, Inc.


Senior Vice President Institutional Consultant


Chad Jacob

Vice President Institutional Consultant

Mark A. Caropreso

Senior Vice President Institutional Consultant

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300 Linden Oaks, Suite 200 Rochester, NY 14625 585-389-2271 the-fischer-group-at-graystone-consulting © 2020 Investments and services offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. Graystone Consulting is a business of Morgan Stanley. GSC003 CRC 2901314 01/20 CS 9782707 01/20


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Project Profile

SUNY Alfred – Alfred, NY Site of our Direct-View Video Wall project in Spring 2019


Solutionz, Inc. we deliver the most reliable, comprehensive, and best-in-class audio visual systems that transform the way you do business. We are integrators, technologists, engineers, experts, support technicians, designers and trusted friends all committed to helping you do business … better. Founded in 2002, Solutionz has been consistently providing end-toend A/V solutions for more than 18 years. As the industry has continued to evolve, so have our service offerings through a series of strategic acquisitions, including local AV Integrator “The Presentation Source” in 2018. Through these acquisitions we have a combined 62 years of experience and have expanded our portfolio, geographic footprint, and partnerships to better serve any organization, no matter the size or budget. As a top tier partner of the nation’s leading A/V manufacturers and through our specialized service offerings, we are able to successfully meet the needs of Fortune 500 companies, law offices, healthcare providers, government agencies, education institutions, and more. Solutionz is actively adding businesses to its portfolio to maintain our dominance within the industry and grow to be the #1 systems integrator.


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In spring 2019 Solutionz Inc staff, with the support of Digital Projection Inc., completed a Direct-View Video Wall installation in the Student Leadership Center (SLC).


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Project Profile

Our dedication to our customers and their success extends beyond office walls. From consultation to installation to technical support and post-installation service – we’re with you every step of the way. Each project is managed internally so our clients experience the best customer service 24/7, 365 days a year. We are committed to the proficiency and education of our team so we can continue to deliver the expertise our clients know and deserve. Many of our employees have AVIXA CTS, CTS-I and CTS-D certifications along with BICSI, OSHA, Crestron, DMC-D, DMC-E and DMC-T and Extron and more. Solutionz also offers an end-toend in-house service department, Prime Call Services. Many 12

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organizations have an IT staff without a skill set specific to audiovisual integration, videoconferencing, interoperability, or video infrastructure that is necessary to understand the crucial advantages of investing in managed services. With our extensive managed service offering, including onsite and remote support, a 24/7 help desk, and staff training, we are able to demonstrate the critical role managed services play in a communication strategy, as well as help organizations manage the solution moving forward. Solutionz was named Commercial Integrator’s “Integrator of the Year” and ranked sixth on SCN’s Top 50 Systems Integrators list for 2019 for our continued relevance and resilience in an industry defined by

constant change. Our core strengths include the following: • Audiovisual systems integration • Telecommunications • Infrastructure cabling • Premise security • Information technology services • Complete post-installation support and service • Cybersecurity We pride ourselves not only on our professionalism and high-quality deliverables, but also on our ability to work as a team with architects, consultants, owners’ representatives and all on-site trades. We support the most up-to-date technology standards and provide the expertise necessary for the complex requirements of modern communications architecture. One of today’s leading technology solutions includes Direct View LED displays. Popularity for this innovative digital signage technology has grown in recent years due to several advantages, including bezel-free panels which can be tiled together to form a completely seamless video wall. Additionally, Direct View LEDs are extremely bright, reliable, energyefficient, and have the best color accuracy and refresh rates of any display type available. These advantages make Direct View LED technology an excellent choice for large-scale digital signage and other applications that demand high-impact visuals. One of our most recent projects in Upstate New York, at the Student Leadership Center (SLC) at SUNY Alfred was a textbook environment for this type of deployment. In 2013, the SLC at SUNY Alfred was renovated and a large-scale central display was envisioned to instantly grab visitors’ attention. At that time, a 3x3 Matrix Video Wall using 55-inch LED monitors was specified and installed. This solution

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Above Left: This is the original 3x3 Matrix Video Wall, installed at SUNY Alfred in 2013. Maintenance costs, color calibration challenges and lack of replacement monitors justified the upgrade of this showcase display in the Student Leadership Center Middle: The original video wall was removed and this mounting frame was installed Right: The LED Modules were individually installed onto the mounting frame by a Solutionz technician under the supervision of Digital Projection, Inc.’s site support team. Below: Immediately after installing the final LED Module, our customer was able to display an image from the new Direct View Video Wall

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was the “state of the art.” However, maintenance of the video wall became a costly issue. The video image displayed on the individual monitors degraded over time and replacement monitors were no longer available. In early 2019, the AV/IT management at SUNY Alfred reached out to Solutionz, Inc. and our partner Digital Projection, Inc. to investigate the feasibility of upgrading to Direct View LED technology. As New York State OGS AV contract partners, Digital Projection, Inc. and Solutionz, Inc. were able to present a turnkey solution that included hardware and related engineering, installation and maintenance services. SUNY’s goal was to create a brighter, more color-rich and dynamic presentation display, uninhibited by ambient light and capable of delivering an ultra-high-resolution image. The modular Radiance LED solution also allowed SUNY Alfred to benefit from a totally seamless image across the video wall surface. Equally important was the simplified process to maintain the video wall. To achieve the desired resolution, and to ensure an

excellent viewing experience from every angle in the venue, the 1.9mm pixel-pitch Radiance LED Performance Series was selected. Designed to be maintained completely from the front and needing only a few inches of depth, the Radiance LED system required very little modification to the mounting-wall infrastructure. The actual LED display panels fit perfectly where the original LED monitor wall was previously installed. The result was a dynamic and immersive LED display, measuring 12 feet wide by 7 feet tall, installed to match an architecturally significant wall – which was important to the aesthetic of the atrium. In partnership with Solutionz, Inc., Digital Projection provided design engineering and installation of the video wall to ensure a successful deployment of the enormous, high-resolution display. This is the future of video display – from boardroom to training rooms to large-format display, both indoors and outdoors. The Rochester office of Solutionz, Inc. is ready to partner with local designers and architects to specify and integrate this emerging technology. Contact us today!

With the likelihood of an upcoming hardening surety market, it is imperative that you are with a bonding agent that has the relationships with markets to be able to act swiftly in order to secure the best bond program terms possible. With over 20 surety markets available and decades long relationships, we are able to produce the best possible terms for our clients. At Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc. we can provide: • Maintenance Bonds • Bid Bonds • Performance Bonds • Supply Bonds • Payment Bonds Trevor Hash, Director of Surety: Cynthia Bostley, Risk Management: 14

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Section 3:

Rules and Changes M

any contractors have bid on jobs that have compliance measures built in. These include a certain contractual amount to minority- and women-owned businesses, local labor hour requirements, minority and women labor hour requirements, and Section 3 requirements. The question is, where do these requirements come from? In general, when there are compliance requirements on a job they are directly attributable to a funding source. Most jobs have a complex capital stack to finance the project, so each project can have multiple requirements from multiple sources. There can be competing paperwork and requirements. It is often the contractors that get caught trying to figure it all out. In this article we are going to focus on one particular aspect of the reporting menagerie, Section 3 and its newly adopted requirements. Section 3 was an offshoot of

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the 1968 Civil Rights Act. It is meant to help foster local economic development, neighborhood economic improvement, and individual self-sufficiency. This is intended to be accomplished by driving the money that has been awarded to the project to the local neighborhood level. Prior to the newly adopted requirements, it was measured by the number of people hired in the neighborhood who meet the income guidelines. That has changed. First, it is important to know that the Section 3 program is income based. HUD publishes income guidelines for each metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the country. Therefore, it is complicated to know exactly who qualifies without gathering data. It is based on family size and income. It is impossible for an employer to know exactly the size and household income without gathering that information.

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Josh Solt – President Jonathan R. Perna -- Marketing Representative

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Let’s look at the changes and what it will mean for those of you who bid on jobs with Section 3 requirements. The biggest change is a shift from 30 percent of new hires to 30 percent of total labor hours. This means that on a job, 25 percent of the total labor hours must be performed by a Section 3 qualified individual, and an additional 5 percent performed by a Section 3 targeted resident. The most complex piece will be the gathering of the certification paperwork and tracking the hours. For those projects with an external monitor, that will most likely fall to them to gather the data. For those projects that are tracked in-house, it will mean creating a tracking system for this data. The bulleted list outlines the changes that will have the biggest impact on those who are bidding on projects with Section 3 requirements.

• Change from new hires to hours • 25 percent of hours must be performed by Section 3 qualified individuals, 5-percent Targeted Area • Income qualified based on HUD Income guidelines or working for a Section 3 business or a current Youthbuild participant • What is a Targeted Resident? - Employed by a Section 3 Business - Currently, or when hired, is a PHA (Public Housing Authority) resident or gets Section 8 assistance - Resident of a project managed by the PHA - Youthbuild Participant - Depending on the funding source, this can also mean those residents living within 1 mile, or a 5,000-person population catchment area • Section 3 certification good for five years from either date of hire or date of certification. We recommend date of certification. Renaissance has a form already developed for all employees on the job to fill out. • Must have time and attendance tracking. Renaissance currently tracks all hours and collects payrolls. Once individuals are on the job and the Section 3 form is completed, the hours for those individuals will be broken out and tracked

If you have any questions or require additional, help feel free to reach out to Sandy Paben. Call 518-441-5605 or email

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W a

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OUR PURPOSE IS TO EXCEED YOUR EXPECTATIONS. With the personal commitment and value you deserve.

Your Bonadio Construction Team works with numbers every day, but it’s our commitment to your success that really counts.

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The Importance of

Financial Wellness at Work




his year has been quite the challenge in many ways – especially due to changes in the way we live our lives. We are living in challenging financial times and the uncertainty with our economy can be very stressful on anyone. As people silently struggle to manage day-to-day expenses, it does not take much to become overwhelmed. The subject of money continues to be one of the largest concerns for individuals. It can make a big difference in their life when they have a trusted source to turn to for guidance. According to the report, “Financial Wellness at Work,” made public by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


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(, people could truly benefit from financial education at the workplace.

Here are some of its findings.

• Seven out of 10 American workers say financial stress is their most common cause of stress Almost half (48 percent) say they find dealing with their financial situation stressful. • According to the results of an employee wellness survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 24 percent of employees admit their personal finances have been a distraction at work

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Positively impacting lives through meaningful design.

Of those workers who are concerned about their finances, 39 percent spend at least three hours each week either thinking about or dealing with financial problems at work • 40 percent say that they want help in achieving financial security. • 81 percent of workers say financial problems have affected their productivity. Individuals make crucial financial decisions at work. It is where we earn our income and have been introduced to and taught to make decisions about retirement and health benefits.

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However, not everyone understands the importance of managing finances or even how to save money or prioritize expenses. Many employees have personal struggles that could lead to financial distress. These concerns are not limited by income – many higher-paid employees may be facing the same struggles. There are also employees who may be managing expenses well, but are looking to make major financial decisions like buying a home, which can be intimidating. According to consumerfinance. gov, financial wellness programs are those that assess and support an employee’s “complete financial picture” or the “overall financial health of an individual.” The end goal of a financial wellness program is to enhance the employee’s overall


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financial wellbeing. Offering financial wellness at the workplace can serve as a resource for many employees, and is a low-cost way to support employees during uncertain financial times – especially services such as financial counseling. This is a great way to help guide individuals who are feeling overwhelmed or employees looking to increase their knowledge before making important financial decisions. A less stressed employee could lead to reduced healthcare costs, a higher level of productivity, reduced turnover, and increased overall happiness in the workplace. Offering these programs at the workplace can be done in several ways. It could be simply making employees aware of reputable local resources that are there to assist them. There are many nonprofit

agencies that offer essential services to employees in need. Another option is offering ongoing financial workshops on topics like buying your first home; creating an effective spending plan, managing debts, and understanding your credit report and score. Finances are very private for individuals and employees who may feel a bit embarrassed to partake. However, offering a wide range of topics and encouraging participation could be a great way to get more people involved. Clearly, it is important to guide employees to be more financially fit, especially post-COVID-19. For more information, visit

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A Message from the President (continued from page 6)

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were job killing and produced anemic economic growth at best. President Trump was a mess in speaking, on social media, and personal conduct. He is a blowhard who has thin skin and demonstrates limited ability to speak on complex topics. He also enjoyed baiting the media, who always fell for it. A game more fit for a high school debate team than the President of the United States! Yet his administration’s policies – focused on deregulation and competitive taxation – led to extraordinary employment gains in all sectors and a humming economy before COVID. He achieved the lowest levels of minority unemployment in our history, which may end up being his most meaningful domestic policy success. Perhaps someday we will get a President that can do both. I feel like it has been a long time since I looked up to an American President and hope my kids find someone they can believe in, not just someone they can tolerate. All of this does not do much to help New York. With our economy on ice, the state is likely $20 to $30 billion in the red. Construction bidding is running between 50 and 60 percent of normal in the public sector. There are real questions about those projects being awarded. The private commercial sector, apart from multifamily, also does not look good. As we look into 2021, the market will be very tight by the second quarter. Our industry has weathered storms like this in the past and will do so again. I am encouraged that we have two new members of the Senate delegation in Jeremy Cooney and Samra Brouk. Both are dedicated to helping us fight for our fair share from Albany. As new members of the majority, their work will be essential for our community to get through this crisis. Assemblyman Harry Bronson also returns to Albany as the dean of our delegation. He is another tough advocate for our community. The Builders Exchange is here to serve you and your employees. Please don’t hesitate to ask if there is a program or service that you are interested in. As we move into 2021, our staff will be focused on Albany, and helping our community deal with budget issues. We will also continue to provide high quality educational program and networking events to the extent they are allowed. Thank you for being a member. Aaron Hilger President & CEO



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Full Service Electrical Contractor

Services we offer: Recent projects: Howard Hanna in Greece (left) Premier Properties Warehouse in Penn Yan (right)

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Employee Spotlight

Meet Planroom Reporter

Nicole Gissendanner


mother of three and grandmother of three, Nicole Gissendanner has worked at the Rochester Builders Exchange for 14 years. Here’s her story.

Fourteen years is a long time! You must know the organization well! What three words would you use to describe it? Innovative, engaging and family-oriented. Since I’ve been here, I’ve watched the Rochester Builders Exchange grow and improve. We do a good job keeping up with technology and different platforms.


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I’ve been able to grow professionally over the years. I’ve received training in several different areas, and my computer skills have improved. I work mostly with Microsoft Office, Excel, and Outlook. I’ve gained a good understanding of the construction industry in general, especially how it operates locally. At the same time, it offers me a good work-life balance so I can be accessible to my family’s needs. Tell us about you – your likes, dislikes … I consider myself a sports mom, and I like cooking and baking for my family. I don’t like horror movies, even though I used to love them as a kid. I love Brussels sprouts and I would like to learn how to knit and crochet. The most recent book I read was about Mae Jemison. She is a remarkable woman – a medical doctor, a chemical engineer, and a former astronaut. I know your family is important to you. Yes, I have been married for 17 years to my high school sweetheart. We have three children. My oldest, Cierra, is raising three children. My middle child, Frankie, Jr., is in college, and my youngest, Laila, is in first grade. She is three years younger than my oldest grandchild. What do you like best about your role here at BX? I enjoy helping members and meeting goals, especially when I obtain project information that is sometimes difficult to get. I’ve also enjoyed seeing the Rochester Builders Exchange grow – I hope that it continues and that our membership will grow beyond expectations, and that the construction industry in Rochester will flourish.


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Company Profile


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Writing's On the


An interview with company President and CEO Christian Krapf


agnatag is a manufacturer of visual display systems. Its scope of work includes manufacturing whiteboards, tack boards, dry-erase wall panels, sliding track cabinets, and task-specific whiteboard systems and calendars. “We’re known for our exceptional customer service and high-quality manufacturing process,” explains Christian Krapf, president and CEO. “When someone reaches out to us for a quote, our team of Visual Systems Specialists work to find the perfect visual display system for their needs in a matter of hours – not weeks. We recently caught up with Christian to find out how more about Magnatag and how it operates. Quarter 4 • 2020 — ROBEX

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How did the company get started? Magnatag Visible Systems was founded in 1967 by my father, Wallace “Wally” A. Krapf under the title, Krapf Business Systems Inc. Wally had served in U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and by founding a company devoted to visual display systems, he hoped to help people solve problems by making information accessible. Before Krapf Business Systems, Wally worked at a large Rochester-based stationery company. He began combining supplies and offering them to his customers as an organizational solution to their specific information display problems. He went on to invent a write-on shelf tag magnet, which he dubbed “Magnatag.” It came in a wide array of colors for color-coding and communicating information. In the 1980s, Wally began operating under the Magnatag brand. That was when the company began producing the organizational tracking systems we’re known for to this day. When did you come onboard? In 2009, I became company president after working in various positions throughout the company.

How’s business? It’s great. The best part about being a visual display manufacturer is the number of unique and varying industries we work with. There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t find new and innovative uses for our dry-erase surfaces. Whether we’re working with a school district to design a scheduling system for hybrid learning, an interior designer to upgrade a conference room, or a movie studio to provide a sense of realism to a film set, there are always new opportunities for us to adapt and learn from. Where are you located? Magnatag’s headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in Macedon, less than 20 miles from downtown Rochester. Every whiteboard we design is manufactured there, and can be shipped to order in as few as three business days to businesses and government agencies throughout the United States and Canada. Thanks to our in-house manufacturing team, we can custom print any of our display boards with custom logos, images, and layouts printed directly into the dry-erase surface. We currently employ a team of 47.

Proudly Serving Rochester’s Construction Industry Since 1934



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moves Google or Amazon feel like implementing that day.


What has been Magnatag’s biggest challenge over the years? ROOFING & SIDING MATER Cutting through all the noise to find the customers who 6296 LAKESIDE ROAD • ONTA really need us. (315) 524-9420 • (585) 265-3226 • F

What single factor is having the biggest impact on how you do business today? The constant need to change what we’re doing to appease the newest, spur-of-the-moment, monopolistic

What are your plans for the future? They’re simple: to continue to innovate when it comes to providing products and solutions to our customers. Throughout our history, Magnatag’s number-one goal has been to do just that. It remains true to this day. We put just as much attention into the backs of our whiteboards as we do to the fronts because we believe the details are what differentiate our products from other manufacturers on the market.



You'll find us quietly working behind the scenes for General, Electrical and Heavy Highway Contractors. We also provide Full Site Services for Commercial and Industrial Owners and Developers.


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Roo S 1902 (315)

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RTNERSHIP We are proud to carry Marvin window and door products. Lakeside is determined to be your best choice for all your building product needs, and are excited to be carrying this well-crafted product that is inspired by how you live. Marvin features three distinct collections, each defined by the degree of design detail, flexibility, and customization opportunities. Across these collections you will find the beautiful design, superior quality, and the thoughtful support you always get from Marvin and Lakeside.


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11/25/20 12:09 PM

Legal Update

The Importance of Maintaining Your


Hand book


well-written employee handbook can be an invaluable tool for employers – establishing uniformity regarding expectations for employee conduct, serving as a resource for employees, and in some instances, helping protect against costly litigation. At the same time, employers that fail to devote sufficient attention to their employee handbooks may create unnecessary headaches. Taking steps to ensure your employee handbook is properly maintained is one of the most important compliance practices you can adopt. As each year comes to a close, many employers 36

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complete an organizational review in preparation for the coming year. This can also serve as an excellent opportunity for HR professionals to review the employer’s existing employee handbook and identify any appropriate revisions. This is a critical process to ensure policies are current with respect to both changes in state and federal law, as well as organizational changes. An outdated employee handbook can cause confusion among employees and unnecessary employer liability. While each new year often includes significant changes in state and federal employment law, establishing

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new obligations and requirements for employers, many organizations fail to ensure these changes are reflected in their employee handbooks. For example, this past year saw a trend among cities and states in adopting pay equity, sick leave, and paid family leave laws. Many of these new laws require employers to provide written notice or to adopt policies regarding these changes to inform employees of their rights. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is another reason for all employers to conduct an employee handbook review before 2021. From the various state and federal

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paid sick leave and the emergency family leave laws, to the Governor’s travel protocols, many policy and procedure changes implemented by employers in response to the pandemic should be incorporated to existing employee handbooks. Additionally, with more employees working remotely, many employers have identified the need to modify existing telecommuting policies to reflect the current circumstances. Aside from failing to incorporate updates or changes in the law, the following are a few common mistakes that should be addressed through an annual employee handbook review. Quarter 4 • 2020 — ROBEX


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1. Using boilerplate language

A handbook should capture the tone and culture of your organization and be written based on your organizational needs and specifics. Your handbook introduces the employer’s background, culture and current expectations of employees, which can prevent later misunderstandings and issues.

2. Failing to include all company policies

Having policies in multiple locations can lead to confusion. If your organization deems an issue important enough to create a policy to address it, this information should be included in your employee handbook.

3. Weak or ineffective Anti-Harassment Policy A strong anti-harassment policy is one of the most critical aspects of an employee handbook, especially in New York. It is critical to ensure this policy is detailed, easy to understand, and updated regularly as necessary.

4. Including policies that are inconsistent with practice

The inconsistent application of policies can be problematic from both an employee satisfaction and legal compliance standpoint. __________________________________________________ With the end of the year approaching, now is a great time to revisit and assess your current employee handbook to ensure all new laws and trends are appropriately addressed for 2021.

A fu serv of t






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What Happened to Being

Civil and Debating Ideas?


very four years, we focus on a Presidential election. In between, party elites, the media and true believers on both sides spend all of their time trying to set up a win in the next election. They spend their time “resisting,” distorting the other side’s actions, calling each other mean names, ascribing motivations, and creating imaginary crises. Both sides also find ways to further divide and classify the electorate – as if all non-collegeeducated white males, Black female college graduates, and Latino males with graduate degrees (or whatever segment of the electorate) – thinks and votes the same way. All of this to try and win the 40 or so House and Senate seats that are in play every two years, and the big prize of the presidency every four. Elections


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were always tough, but they were also fun – full of ideas and promise. They have become simply opportunities to drive wedges in communities to create enough votes for one side or the other. The last decades have seen the death of civil discourse and the ability to disagree. The Cato Institute’s survey over the summer and issued in July is really telling ( The most extreme results are found in responses about employment. Fifty percent of strong liberals felt that firing Trump donors was acceptable, and 36 percent of strong conservatives felt the same about Biden supporters. Fully 32 percent of respondents said they fear getting fired or missing job opportunities because of their political views. We have come a long way down a dark path if people believe they should fire someone who backs the other candidate. Those actions make freedom of speech a hollow promise and are contrary to valuing diversity. Let’s hope no one reading this has a boss that thinks an employee’s political beliefs is a measure of their job performance. Just as chilling were responses about hiding political beliefs. Sixty-two percent of Americans said they were afraid to share their political views in the current climate. That included 52 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of Independents, 77 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of self-identified Moderates. Only liberal democrats felt comfortable sharing their beliefs or political positions.

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As education increased, 40 percent of Republicans with college degrees and 60 percent with graduate degrees believed their views would harm them at work, compared with Democrats at 24 and 25 percent. This is just not a problem for a single demographic group. Sixty-five percent of Latinos, 64 percent of whites and 49 percent of African Americans are afraid to share their views. This leads us to an understanding of why pollsters may have called the recent election incorrectly. Voters aren’t going to share with a stranger what they won’t share with a work colleague, friend or family member. Democracy survives in the light, with full discourse and the ability

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to argue about ideas and policies. Our founders had epic fights about the structure of government and the rights they wanted to protect. They got it done and moved forward. Why is it worse now? Perhaps it’s in language and our ability to enrage small groups. The stark terms in which we have described political issues and elections make everything a fight to the death. (If you are interested, Google “Senator Schumer” or “Senator McConnell” and read their statements about the election.) The other side is the enemy that must be defeated to save democracy. That justifies almost any response or any comment, because victory – keeping and holding political power – is the only thing

that matters. Victory means that evil is vanquished, and democracy lives another day. Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a good example of modern debate in America. Of course Black lives matter, as do the lives of all Americans and, more broadly, all citizens of the world. No one seriously thinks that black lives don’t matter, just as no one seriously thinks that the lives of other groups don’t matter. The simple phrase demands blind obedience – it can’t be challenged because it seems like part of a universal truth. However, BLM is more than just a phrase. BLM has many policy positions which a short review of its website illustrates. Its founders appear to be

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Marxists who desire what Marxists typically desire, based on their own statements freely available on the internet. Additionally, a review of the FBI database regarding police shootings could lead observers to come up with different conclusions. All of those items should be part of the discussion – which I have notably not taken a position on. Nor has the core message, that Black lives matter, been challenged in any way by those observations. Sadly, we have all been able to see the response that occurs when an idea or movement like BLM is challenged. Who wants to be called “racist,” accused of “white privilege” or “not caring about Black people?” Calling people names and imagining motivations does not make for good debate or foster understanding. Instead those practices shut down discussion and inhibit learning. We can find similar examples on hot button issues like abortion, immigration or even in the debate about charter schools. It should be no surprise then that people don’t like to be insulted and choose to disengage from discourse. Not engaging is safe and doesn’t expose you to retaliation – especially if one is afraid of losing their job. What I am most reminded of when I think about current discourse and debate in America is Eastern Europe during the Soviet Union. The USSR’s constitution promised, in clearer language than our constitution, the basic rights that we all hold dear. In practice though, only the official position was accepted, and any debate was ruthlessly crushed. People could be imprisoned or killed for their beliefs. They lost their jobs and family members were punished – all for not agreeing with the prevailing orthodoxy. We are a long way from Eastern Europe, yet 32 percent of us fear for our jobs if our political beliefs become known. What happens if that becomes 50 percent or 70 percent? Do we only employ people who think the right way? Do we scour their social media to make sure that 20 or 30 years ago, perhaps even as a young teenager, that our new hire did not make a “wrong” statement? Being civil is simply a choice as is engaging in democracy. We can choose to listen and learn from people we disagree with. We can stop ascribing motivations and calling our neighbors names. We can choose to make the great civil rights leaders – from Douglas and Du Bois to King and Kennedy – proud. Or we can let them simply be disgusted with our behavior. Maybe it is time to start learning from history, instead of rewriting it.

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he Building Owners & Managers Association International (BOMA) is a federation of U.S. local associations and global affiliates. They have been the leading trade association for commercial real estate professionals for more than 100 years. The membership is a mix of owners, managers, service providers, and other property professionals of all commercial building types, including office, industrial, medical, corporate, and mixed use. BOMA International is a primary source of information on building management and operations, development, leasing, building operating costs, energy consumption patterns, local and national building codes, legislation, occupancy statistics, technological developments, and other industry trends. BOMA – Rochester was established over 90 years ago. Our mission is to actively and responsibly represent the interests of the greater Rochester commercial real estate industry. Over the years our association has evolved to provide information, guidance and expertise in matters that truly matter to our community through the BOMA promise of: • Advocacy • Leadership • Networking • Connectivity • Education Advocacy BOMA is the premier real estate advocacy group, keeping members 46

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abreast of key legislative, regulatory, and codes and standards issues at the local, state, and national level. BOMA is the organization officials turn to for industry information. Leadership Making you a better leader through opportunities to serve on committees, task forces, and the board. Membership encourages and supports initiative, innovation, collaboration and decisionmaking and allows you to influence the profession through your ideas. Networking Networking opportunities are another key element of BOMA – Rochester membership. Whether it is at a monthly mixer, the annual Steak & Cigar smoker or the annual golf outing, you will gain as much value from networking with your peers as from the structured programs BOMA offers. Connectivity The bi-weekly BOMA Newsletter provides up-to-date industry news, a schedule of upcoming events and meetings, and other information to connect you and your company to BOMA. Education Your membership ensures being kept up-to-date on the vast array of issues affecting the commercial real estate industry through seminars, educational programs, and publications. BOMA – Rochester offers a mix of networking events, educational and informational offerings, buildings tours

and legislative meetings throughout the year. Our goal is to build excellence and camaraderie among commercial real estate professionals though our events. Each year, BOMA – Rochester chooses a local 501C3 Charity to donate our proceeds from events. These charities are small local charities that rely on the donations from groups like us to be successful. The charity is invited to attend our events, free of cost to educate our members about their mission. The charity of choice for 2020/2021 is the Patriot Guard Riders of New York. BOMA – Rochester is dedicated to providing our members with the most effective training courses and networking events available in the commercial real estate industry. Now more than ever, membership in BOMA is vital to your professional success and company’s economic well-being. As the industry’s numberone business solutions provider and support network, BOMA provides a tremendous return on your dues dollar investment. Each benefit impacts positively on your company’s bottom line and operating strategy There are a variety of membership options available to people or companies interested in becoming involved in BOMA – Rochester. By joining BOMA, you would be joining the premier network of more 17,000 commercial real estate professionals across the world. For more information, please visit Mike Necci, President BOMA Greater Rochester

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Meet Rober

Attended Brighton Has 20 years of experience Is an expert welder Engaged to his fiancé Fatima Is a role model for his three children First project was the new library downtown Donates his time to Bethany Spiritual Church of God

Robert is a proud member of Local 33 and happy to work for a union contractor that is a member of the Construction Industry Association of Rochester. When you hire a union contractor, you’re working with the industry’s most knowledgeable and highly skilled workforce that will deliver the highest level of quality workmanship, while ensuring your project will be completed on time and on budget. It all adds up to a contractor partner that is committed to providing the best return on your project investment. See what hiring a union contractor can do for your next project. Visit

Robert Hunter, BVR Construction Member Local 33

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new members ROBEX would like to welcome our newest members Art Parts Signs 100 Lincoln Parkway East Rochester, NY 14445 Dan Ewing (585) 381-2134

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Burns Bros Contractors 400 Leavenworth Avenue Syracuse, NY 13204 Matthew Lumia (315) 422-0261

Expert Environmental & Construction Group 620 Park Avenue Suite 135 Rochester, NY 14607 Steven Nardozzi (585) 509-3273

Milwaukee Tool 538 Erie Blvd W, Apt 205 Syracuse, NY 13204 Joseph Karl (978) 837-7958

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Lovell Safety Management Co., LLC 110 William Street New York, NY 10038-3935 212-709-8600 | 1-800-5-LOVELL

Finger Lakes EnviroTech, LLC 691 Addison Road Painted Post, NY 14870 Jay Burdin (607) 936-1222 Forkey Construction & Fabrication, Inc. 3690 Luker Road Cortland, NY 13045 Corey Bliss (607) 218-8730 Johnston Paper 2 Eagle Drive 736 Auburn, NY 13021 Thomas Lewis (315) 253-8435 JRG AiRFLOW P.O. Box 90535 Rochester, NY 14609 Jose Gonzalez (585) 471-3069 Kepner Equipment 2365 Firehall Road Canandaigua, NY 14424 Tom McWilliams (585) 396-1960

NY State Fence Company P.O. Box 60386 Rochester, NY 14606 Anthony Thomas (585) 303-1900 Ontario County Habitat for Humanity 3040 County Road 10 Canandaigua, NY 14424 Nash Bock (585) 396-3600 Peter J. Schiller Corporation 361 N Washington Street Rochester, NY 14625 Peter Schiller (585) 381-2550 Renaissance Educational Consultants (dba Renaissance Groups) 70 Sullivan Street Cazenovia, NY 13035 Sandy Paben (888) 539-0777

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Scorsone Concrete Construction 42 Moorland Road Rochester, NY 14612 Zach Scorsone (585) 326-4624


(continued on page 52)



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Dr. Walter Cooper Academy School No. 10

Rochester Schools Modernization Program Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board

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Government Relations


Albany Update


MAGNETIC DRY-ERASE WHITEBOARD SYSTEMS Visibly Plan, Schedule, and Communicate Information


he elections are now over in New York State. While some incumbents will not be returning to Albany or Washington, very little has changed. Democrats are still firmly in the majority in the state Assembly, Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and, as of now, the Republicans are still in charge of the U.S. Senate. Governor Cuomo remains in the Governor’s Mansion. COVID is still raging. Budget deficits are ballooning. The economy is not strong. Partisan rancor is ongoing. Then there is the presidency. Joe Biden was elected to lead our country. It was with the largest vote total in American history, but far from a landslide. Our nation, state, and local communities are painfully divided. However, our problems are real and they require genuine, strong, united leadership. The nation needs a COVID vaccine. Our state and local governments need a relief package. Everyone needs a stronger economy. Word that President-Elect Biden will focus on infrastructure is welcome news. We all know infrastructure improvements are needed, and there is no better way to jumpstart the economy than immediate construction projects. That is why we will be working with the new administration, our federal delegation, and our national trade groups to help bring funding for projects to


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HEAVY DUTY PARTS Parts for All Trucks and Trailers and more... • Cargo Control Products & Tarps • Chemicals & Lubricants • Batteries • Emergency and Warning Lights • Seasonal Items • Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Cleaning & Sales

Over 100 Brands

585-269-3100 • 800-391-5777 Rochester Distribution Center – 1465 Emerson Street

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Upstate New York as soon as possible. Also, while partisanship rages on in Albany and Washington, it does not for our organization. We have always worked well with both sides of the political aisle and will continue to do so. Our efforts have always been to unite our community around the issues of greatest importance. We will continue to do as such. Whether virtually or in-person, the state legislative session will kick off in early January. Congress will reconvene in late January. Prior to then, we look forward to hearing from you regarding the issues you believe should be included in our legislative agenda. As always, you can reach out with questions or concerns – Denise Murphy McGraw Hill, Gosdeck & McGraw

There’s only one way. The right way. Do the right thing, and you get the right results – for everyone. That’s our guiding principle. Every day, in our offices and on our job sites, you’ll find committed professionals who challenge themselves and the status quo to build enduring partnerships. The right thing isn’t just something we say – it’s everything we do.

205 Indigo Creek Drive | Rocheser, NY 14626 | P 585 254-3510 |

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Quarter 4 • 2020 — ROBEX


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new members (continued from page 48) Sessler Bridge 3956 Caledonia Avon Road Caledonia, NY 14423 Dan Welch

Experience the Profeta Painting Difference Profeta Painting has developed a strong reputation in Rochester N.Y for providing quality workmanship and outstanding customer service since 1970. We employ only trade craftsman to ensure your project stays on budget while meeting all deadlines.

SPECIALIZING IN: Office • Retail • Manufacturing • Industrial Commercial • Wall Coverings Floor Coatings • Maintenance • Medical Institutional • Hospitality @Profetapainting



Star Insulation, Inc. 706 Lake Shore Boulevard Rochester, NY 14617 Kevin Marlowe (585) 474-1025 Syracuse Glass Company, LLC 1 General Motors Dr P.O. Box 381 Syracuse, NY 13206 Joel Graham (315) 437-9971 Tele Data Com, Inc 90 Air Park Drive Rochester, NY 14624 Michael Grant (585) 527-0800

1270 Creek Street, Suite 10, Webster, NY 14580 (585)671-0010 |

Triton Mechanical 7 Upton Street Hilton, NY 14468 Jake Koch (585) 209-1600 Unlimited Technology, Inc. 130 Buell Road Rochester, NY 14624 Michael Vito (866) 545-8324 Upstate Dumpster Inc. 888 Long Pond Road Suite 4 Rochester, NY 14626 Jon Novitsky (585) 406-0816

Matthews & Fields is a Trus-Joist engineered wood stocking dealer, with an experienced in-house designer, extensive knowledge of code changes effecting floors and the know how to get the most value out of your next build! 52

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Wilcox Gravel & Excavating Inc. 5835 Smith Rd Canandaigua, NY 14424 Darryl Hanggi (585) 233-0486

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index of advertisers


We would like to thank our advertisers for supporting ROBEX Magazine. Please let our advertisers know you saw their ad in this issue. AAC

Lakeside Building Products............

Adams Leclair


Admar Supply Co Inc..........................................

Lovell Safety Management, BC

Altra Rental & Supply.............................................

Magnatag Visible Systems.....................................

B & L Wholesale 33

Matthews & Fields Lumber Company.....................

Bonadio &

Miller Brick

Brown & Brown Insurance of NY Inc..............

Nothnagle Drilling.........................................

C & A Pavement

O'Connell Electric

C.P. Ward.....................................................................


Christa Construction....................................................

Rochester Davis-Fetch Corp............................

Citygate Electric..............................................

Rochester Laborers Local #435.................................


DeCarolis Truck

Sessler Environmental

Deloka LLC - Powder Coating

SMART Local 46..........................................................



Emergent Safety Supply.........................................

The Fischer Group of Graystone Consulting.............................................8

Ernstrom & Fitch Construction / Rochester Skylights.... Five Star Equipment................................... Flower City Monitor Services......... Frederico Demolition................................ Haylor Freyer & Hojack Jaufmann & Centola.....................................................


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The Pike Upstate Roofing & US Ceiling Corp......................................................... Weckesser Western New York Floor Window Repair Systems...................... World Wide Bonding

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Laborers’ International Union of North America

Local 435 Daniel Kuntz / Business Manager & Secretary-Treasurer Carmen Serrett Jr. / President Eric Waters / Vice President Salvatore Victorious Jr / Recording Secretary Michael Gay / E-Board Member Yvonne Agosto-Washburn / E-Board Member

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LOV Robex Fall 2020 Ad.qxp_Layout 1 10/29/20 10:51 PM Page 1


COST-EFFECTIVE, RISK-FREE COVERAGE FROM THE EXPERTS WITH OVER 80 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. Join a Lovell Safety Group guaranteed cost program and share your group’s underwriting profits. As a member, you get:

Call Lovell today for a free, no-obligation quote on your Workers’ Comp Insurance.

• Cash-flow savings through high advance discounts • Substantial savings from consistent dividends • Improved experience ratings • Safety programs resulting in fewer accidents and higher productivity • Early medical intervention and return-to-work strategies

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Safety Pays Dividends Lovell Safety Management Co., LLC 110 William Street New York, NY 10038-3935 212-709-8600 1-800-5-LOVELL

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