Page 1

B June 2011

Y usIness

Jefferson Concrete project garners acclaim page 24

n The lost art of custom millwork Page 32 n 20 Questions with Jim Leven Page 42 Sara Matthews


Edward G. Olley Jr.

West Carthage branch manager, Northern Federal Credit Union

n Biz Tech n NNY Snapshot n Business Scene n Real Estate

Principal, GYMO Architecture, Engineering & Land Surveying

Dorothy Wolff

Facilities supervisor, Northern Federal Credit Union

North country goes green Region rides wave of sustainable building $2.95

Northern New York’s Premier Business Monthly Vol. 1 Issue 7 |


NNY Business | June 2011

>>> Inside JUNE 2011




26 34


well under way as sustainable building practices are employed in ways that may surprise you.



Ogdensburg woman, a series of setbacks have not spelled the end to her floral shop.




24 HOPE FLOATS Jefferson Concrete

poured its heart into a project that’s paid off.

26 GREEN INSIDE AND OUT One local credit union is turning heads in West Carthage.

30 SETTING PACE Pine Camp Contracting is raising the bar for building material recycling.

32 A LOST ART Custom millwork is a

fast-dying skill but for a handful of craftsmen.

38 RENTERS MARKET More homes 34 ACING THE TEST Converse Labs has in NNY are occupied by renters than owners. grown with the times to endure 30 years strong. 40 LIVING THE HIGH LIFE What’s it like 36 SUNNY SIDE UP Fourth Coast Inc. behind the doors of luxury living? Come inside for an exclusive look at a $2.7m home.

helps clients harness alternative energy.

June 2011 | NNY Business





John B. Johnson Jr. Harold B. Johnson II Donald C. Alexander is chief executive officer of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency. He outlines the region’s need for more marketrate housing. (p. 46)

Peter J. Whitmore is president and CEO of the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce. He writes about lobbying politicians to secure a better business climate. (p. 48)

Jay Matteson is the agricultural coordinator for the Jefferson County Agricultural Development Corp. He writes about the need to invest in the dairy industry. (p. 49)

Sarah O’Connell is an advisor for the New York State Small Business Development Center at Jefferson Community College. She offers advice for north country building contractors. (p. 51)

General Manager John B. Johnson

Executive Editor Bert Gault

Managing Editor Robert D. Gorman

Magazine Editor

Kenneth J. Eysaman

Editorial Assistant Kyle R. Hayes

Advertising Director Rande Richardson is executive director of the Northern New York Community Foundation. He writes about the investing in youth to build a brighter future. (p. 47)

Jill VanHoesen is the information security officer for Johnson Newspapers and a 25-year IT veteran. She offers advice on securing sensitive client data in the workplace. (p. 50)

Lance M. Evans is executive officer for the Jefferson-Lewis and St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors. He addresses the real value of home ownership. (p. 39)

Gabrielle Hovendon is a Johnson Newspapers staff writer. She writes about green building initiatives at NNY colleges and universities in St. Lawrence County. (p. 28)

Karen Romeo

Advertising Specialists

Clarissa Collins, Katie Nelson

Circulation Director Cindy Werner


Norm Johnston, Justin Sorensen, Jason Hunter, Melanie Kimbler-Lago, Amanda Morrison

Ad Graphics, Design

Rick Gaskin, Julia Keegan, Brian Mitchell, Heather O’Driscoll, Scott Smith, Todd Soules Nancy Madsen is a Johnson Newspapers staff writer. In this month’s cover story, she writes about what it means to be green. In separate stories, she visits Converse Labs and tours a $2.7m home in Lyme. (p. 16, 34, 40)

Norah Machia is a veteran Watertown Daily Times reporter who lives in Watertown. She visits with a pair of north country custom mill workers whose craft is fast becoming a lost art. (p. 32)

Andrea Pedrick is a freelance writer who lives in Dexter. She meets a Watertown construction contractor who is setting an impressive pace for recycling building materials. (p. 30)

Joleene DesRosiers is a freelance writer who lives in Sandy Creek. She writes about one of the north country’s most green building projects that also houses a whole lot of green. (p. 24)

MARKETPLACE A.G. Netto Realty…..................... 41 Allen’s Liquor and Wine ….......... 45 Antique Boat Museum …............ 12 Ameriprise Financial ….............. 19 Aubertine & Currier …................ 44 Bella’s Bistro …............................ 54 Bernier, Carr & Associates …..... 33 Black Horse Construction Group …................ 62 Carthage Federal Savings and Loan …................... 13 Cheney Tire …............................. 53 Christensen Realty ….................. 41 Clarence Henry Coach ….......... 56 Community Bank ….................... 25 Computer Doctor …................... 50 Condino Realty …....................... 41 CREG Systems Corp. ….............. 55 Curtis Furniture Co. ...............….. 23 D&D Power Sports .................….. 45 DANC/AUSA …............................ 29 Foy Agency Inc. …..................... 45 Fuller Insurance Agency ….......... 7 H&R Block ..............................….. 19


H.A.F.F. Charity Golf Tournament …..................... 14 Haylor, Freyer & Coon ..........….. 10 HighTower Advisors …................... 5 Howard Orthotics ….................... 47 Hyde-Stone Mechanical Contractors …............................. 23 Innovative Physical Therapy …. 48 Insulex …..….…..….…..…........... 33 Jefferson Concrete …................. 20 JCJDC ....................................….. 31 Johnny D’s Bistro 108 ….............. 58 Johnson Lumber …..................... 45 KC’s Paints …............................... 29 KeyBank ….................................... 2 Lake Ontario Realty …................ 41 LandPro …................................... 24 Lofink Ford Mercury …................ 59 Lori Gervera Realty ….................. 41 Lunman’s Furniture ................….. 12 Macars …..................................... 40 Manpower …............................... 64 McCabe’s Supply …................... 15 NASCO Awning …....................... 44

NNY Business | June 2011

NNY Business …............... 37, 61, 63 NNY Community Foundation ..... 36 North Country Storage Barns ..... 27 Northern Federal Credit Union …............................. 22 Pine Camp Contracting …......... 11 Regional Medical Management ….......................... 51 SeaComm Federal Credit Union …............................ 38 Silver Bench Jewelry ............….. 45 Slack Chemical Co. .............….. 49 St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union ..........................….. 46 Thousand Island Realty ….......... 41 Truesdell’s Furniture …................ 57 Upstate Doors …......................... 18 Watertown Daily Times …........... 35 Watertown Local Development Corp. ................... 39 Watertown Savings Bank …....... 18 Wells Communications ….......... 31 Westelcom ….............................. 61 T.F. Wright and Sons …................ 45

NNY Business (ISSN 2159-6115), formerly Absolutely Business magazine, is published monthly by Johnson Newspaper Corp., 260 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601. Copyright 2010, Johnson Newspaper Corp. All material submitted to NNY Business becomes property of Johnson Newspaper Corp., publishers of the Watertown Daily Times, and will not be returned.

Subscription Rates 12 issues are $15 a year for Watertown Daily Times and affiliate newspaper subscribers and $25 a year for non-subscribers. Call 315-782-1000 for delivery. Submissions Send all editorial correspondence to Advertising For advertising rates and information in Jefferson and Lewis counties, e-mail In St. Lawrence County, e-mail Printed with pride in U.S.A. at Vanguard Printing LLC, Ithaca, N.Y. Please recycle this magazine.


42 TUNED IN TO NNY In 2006, radio veteran

James L. Leven and business partner Bruce Mittman purchased a group of north country radio stations. Mr. Leven, president and CEO, reflects on the growth of Community Broadcasters after five years at the mic.














Sara Matthews, Northern Federal Credit Union West Carthage branch manager, Dorothy Wolff, credit union facilities supervisor, and Edward G. Olley Jr., principal, GYMO Architecture, Engineering & Land Surveying, in front of the West Carthage branch, which incorporates many green building features. {Amanda Morrison photo}





















June 2011 | NNY Business




ig or small, construction in the north country is more often than not a sign of progress and an indication that the gears in the economic engines that drive Northern New York are turning in good order. As you’ll read in the pages that follow, progress is plenty. We’ve turned the spotlight this month on an industry that literally lays the foundation for our future success year after year and in all kinds of weather. In this month’s cover story by business writer Nancy Madsen, you’ll learn about some steps many in the region’s architecture and construction industries are taking to maximize efficiencies through “green” design and sustainable building practices. Public- and private-sector projects are cropping up across the north country that incorporate design standards that not only make sense for the enviKen Eysaman ronment, but for our economy, as well. Businesses that make sound investments in facilities and infrastructure will in turn reduce costs and free up more money to invest in human capital. Now that’s at least one good reason why we should all care about what’s new in construction and building design. Ultimately, if businesses can build a little relief into their overhead, it will spell jobs for north country residents, which we can all agree is good news. From the green design of a Northern Federal Credit Union branch and several buildings at Northern New York’s colleges and universities to an awe-inspiring project Jefferson Concrete completed for the Port of Oswego, our building industry is full of activity worth more than a mention. And that’s just the beginning. The custom millwork that Jim Martin turns out at Croghan Island Mill and Jim Illingworth in his Adams mill is an art form. What’s more, Pine Camp Contracting in Watertown is setting a pace unmatched by others as they’ve recycled nearly 750,000 pounds of carpet, carpet padding and cardboard since they started keeping track a short time ago. And for those with an eye toward bolstering efficiencies in their homes or businesses, Fourth Coast Inc. in Clayton, where a team led by Robert J. Campany and Augusta Withington, can help you explore everything from renewable energy to efficiency and conservation. n


more than 20 different north country businesses and organizations. We joined North Country Library System at their Watertown headquarters for an evening of networking as they hosted May’s Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours. Thanks, too, to the United Group of Companies and Sam’s Club for sponsoring the event that included great food from Randy Jerome’s R.J.’s Catering in Adams Center and north country wine from Thousand Islands Winery. Later in the month, we spent some time at the Greater Watertown North Country Farm and Craft Market for the season’s first market. After a couple of hours walking Washington Street and getting to know some of the vendors, I can’t urge you enough to check it out for yourself. Rain or shine, the market takes place every Wednesday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. along Washington Street in Watertown from the Morgan Stanley Building to the Dulles State Office Building until the first Wednesday in October. Michelle Farrell, one of the hardest-working people I know at the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce, tells me this year’s market season will deliver some of the best our region has to offer. So come out and support north country agriculture and crafters. Who knows, you might find a little bit of everything you’re looking for. n



RISING STARS — This fall we plan to devote an entire issue of the magazine to the entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy of the north country’s young professionals. To best accomplish this, we are enlisting the help of readers to nominate a slate of men and women younger than 40 who are rising stars in their professions. We will profile the top 20 young professionals in a “20 Under 40” issue. Final selection will be made by a team of editors and staff at the magazine and the Watertown Daily Times. If anyone stands out in your mind as a candidate for nomination, simply drop me an e-mail at keysaman@ Include the person’s name, place of employment, job, civic and community involvement, professional achievements and a brief narrative telling us why your nominee should make the cut. Nominees should not have celebrated their 40th birthday before Dec. 31. You can also post your nomination on our Facebook page at We are looking forward to featuring some of the north country’s future leaders. Yours in business,


BUSINESS SCENE — In this month’s Scene section, which begins on page 54, you’ll find 37 faces from


NNY Business | June 2011

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Named board chairman

Richard F. Bennett has been elected chairman of the board of the Gouverneur Savings and Loan. He was elected for a two-year term ending in 2013 and succeeds Richard Jones. Mr. Bennett recently retired as president and CEO, ending a 45-year Bennett career in banking. He also serves on the board of E.J. Noble Hospital and River Hospital and is a trustee of St. James Church. He is also a member of the Gouverneur Area Development Committee. Mr. Bennett is a director of First Monetary Mutual Insurance Co., and while active at the bank, was a director of the Community Bankers Association.

Veterinarian joins staff

Dr. Rebecca Reynolds has joined the veterinary staff at Watertown Animal Hospital, 1445 Washington St. Dr. Reynolds graduated from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 and went into practice in Auburn. In January, Reynolds Dr. Reynolds and her husband, Cody, moved to the Watertown area with their two dogs and two cats. Dr. Reynolds is interested in all aspects of veterinary medicine and surgery.

Exit agents honored

Two agents with Watertown’s Exit More Real Estate received awards at the Exit

Upstate New York Conference held April 29 in Binghamton. Maxine Quigg was presented the Rising Star Award. The honor goes to one agent in the Exit Realty upstate New York region who has been in the business less than 18 months and has met or exceeded their own business plan production. The agent also has to have a written business plan and attended Exit company meetings and training, as well as Exit Realty events. Stacey Garrett was presented a production award at the conference. She was No. 3 in production in 2010 for the region and was recognized her for outstanding work in a challenging market. Exit More Real Estate can be reached at 782-9292. Its offices are at 18874 Route 11.

Got business milestones?

n Share your business milestones with NNY Business. E-mail news releases and photos (.jpg/300 dpi) to editor Ken Eysaman at The deadline for submissions is the 10th of the month for the following month’s issue. Photos that don’t appear in print may be posted on our Facebook page.

Peebles Realty Inc., Route 11, Adams, has earned the Certified Residential Specialist designation by the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors. Realtors who receive the CRS designation have Peebles completed advanced courses and have demonstrated expertise in the field of residential real estate. Fewer than 35,000 Realtors nationwide have earned the credential. Ms. Peebles, a Realtor for 12 years, also holds other designations. A member of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors since 1999, she has served as secretary, vice president and president-elect and was president of the board for two consecutive terms. Ms. Peebles serves on a number of committees for the New York State Association of Realtors and is a member of its board of directors. In addition to her local board leadership roles, she has been chairwoman of NYSAR’s annual Red Cross blood drive for four years and was honored as its Realtor of the Year in 2005. Peebles Realty can be reached at 2327355 or email

Agent wins award

Gwyn Monnat of Hunt Real Estate ERA, Carthage, was awarded a Beyond Excellence designation by ERA Franchise Systems LLC. This designation, conferred at the 2011 ERA International Business conference Monnat in Las Vegas, recognizes the ERA network’s top producers for excellence in real estate sales. Fewer than 10 percent of the sales professionals earn this designation to qualify for the Beyond Excellence designation and this year’s event, ERA sales associates or selling-brokers must have achieved 45 total closed units or $100,000 in adjusted gross commission in 2010.

Realtor earns credential

Please see People, page 15

Karen A. Peebles, broker/owner of

Offering 30 years of service to our neighbors

110 South School St., Carthage, NY Insurance for businesses, public entities and non-profits. Contact Aaron Fuller, Michael Gillette or Adam Fuller for your Business Insurance Needs

June 2011 | NNY Business





Economic indicators Average per-gallon milk price paid to N.Y. dairy farmers April ’11 $1.67 March ’11 $1.66 April ’10 $1.22


(Percent gains and losses are over 12 months)

Vehicles crossing the Thousand Islands, OgdensburgPrescott and Seaway International (Massena) bridges

Source: NYS Department of Agriculture

413,476 in April 2011 382,787 in March 2011 386,642 in April 2010

Average NNY price for gallon of regular unleaded gas

Source: T.I. Bridge Authority, Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority, Seaway International Bridge Corp.

April ’11 $3.94 March ’11 $3.70 April ’10 $2.97

U.S.-Canadian dollar exchange rate (Canadian dollars per U.S. dollar)


Average NNY price for gallon of home heating oil April ’11 $3.98 March ’11 $3.94 April ’10 $3.04


Average NNY price for gallon of residential propane April ’11 $3.29 March ’11 $3.72 April ’10 $3.05



$0.95 on April 31, 2011 $0.97 on March 28, 2011 $1.01 on April 31, 2010


Source: Federal Reserve Bank of N.Y.

Passengers at Watertown International Airport 528 in-bound and out-bound in April 2011 626 in-bound and out-bound in March 2011 441 in-bound and out-bound in April 2010


Source: NYS Energy Research and Development Authority

Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors single-family home sales 77, median price $117,000 in April 2011 59, median price $119,000 in March 2011 85, median price $125,000 in April 2010

9.4% Sales

6.4% Price

Source: Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors Inc.

Source: Jefferson County Board of Legislators

Nonagriculture jobs in the Jefferson-Lewis-St. Lawrence counties area, not including military positions 90,500 in April 2011 89,300 in March 2011 89,700 in April 2010


Source: NYS Department of Labor

Jefferson County unemployment April 11

Mar. 11

Feb. 11

Jan. 11

Dec. 10

9.9% 10.9% 11.6 % 10.3 % 9.9%

Nov. 10 Oct. 10


Sep. 10 Aug. 10 July 10 June 10 May 10

8.2% 7.9%

8.3% 8.1%


April 10



Source: New York State Department of Labor (Not seasonally adjusted)

Note: Due to updates in some “Econ. Snapshot” categories, numbers may differ from previously published prior month and year figures.

NNY NNY Business Business || June April2011 2011


Economic indicators St. Lawrence county unemployment rates

Lewis county unemployment rates

10.4% in April 2011 10.9% in March 2011 10.6% in April 2010

9.8% in April 2011 11.2% in March 2011 9.5% in April 2010



Percentage points

Percentage points

Source: NYS Department of Labor (Not seasonally adjusted)

Source: NYS Department of Labor (Not seasonally adjusted)

St. Lawrence Board of Realtors single-family home sales

Open welfare cases in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties

35, median price $67,500 in April 2011 30, median price $64,150 in March 2011 45, median price $74,900 in April 2010

1,923 in April 2011 1,943 in March 2011 1,707 in April 2010





Source: St. Lawrence Board of Realtors Inc.

Source: Social Service Depts. of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties

Real estate sales The following sales were recorded in the Jefferson County clerk’s office:

Watertown city sales May 11

n 0.296 acre, intersection Hycliff Drive and Coffeen Street, David C. Kolakowski Jr., Las Vegas, Nev., sold to Loren V. Allen and Rhonda Hall Allen, Chaumont $68,500

May 10

n 0.43 acre, 383 N. Colorado Ave., Aaron D. Schofield and Sarah M. Schofield, Watertown, sold to Anthony D. Hayner and Hannah Hayner, Evans Mills $117,500

May 9

n 312 Mullin St., Kevin J. Burke, Holtsville, sold to Laureen A. O’Toole, Selden $85,000

May 3

n Court Street, James Desormeau, Watertown, sold to Monika T. Harra, Watertown $70,000

Town of Watertown sales May 10

n 0.145 acre, Ridge Road, Daniel Hudson and Scharlette R. Hudson, Watertown, sold to William E. Wood and Velma J. Wood, Clayton $107,000

n Two parcels, 1.50 acres and 0.50 acre, no addresses given, Ann Kilburn, Watertown; Kathryn Holloway, Watertown; Elizabeth DiStefano, Copake Falls; and John Clark, Adams, sold to Adirondack LLC, Carthage $84,000

May 6

n 0.574 acre, 20504 Hadcock Road, Roma Miller II, aka Roma E. Miller II, Watertown, sold to Ryan A. Landis and Kaylee E. Landis, Mary Esther, Fla. $177,000

May 2

n 0.836 acre, U.S. Route 11 (foreclosure) Timothy Farley, Carthage, referee, Grenadier Construction Corp., sold to MAT Properties Inc., Buffalo $141,000

April 18

May 2

n Bellew Avenue, Frank A. Storino, Watertown; Philomena J. Bombard, Watertown; Joseph Storino, Houston, Texas; Victoria Williams, Liverpool; Rebecca Shonk, sole distributee of Rose M. Storino Gamble, Belle Center, Ohio; Patsy Storino, Adams; Mary A. Phillips, Parish; and Thomas M. Storino, Watertown, sold to Andrew J. Storino, Watertown $105,000

$446,000 City real estate sales recorded over 10-day period, May 2-11, 2011



n 1.765 acres, intersection Dry Hill and Ridgeview roads, John T. Cheney, aka John Cheney, Minneapolis, Minn., sold to Aaron P. Orsini and Chelsea M. Orsini, Watertown $51,000

n 5.469 acres, 24610 Crane Lane, Brian K. Lords and Brigita Lords, by Brian K. Lords, attorney in fact, Watertown, sold to Joseph R. Irwin, Evans Mills $194,500


Town of Watertown real estate sales recorded over 23-day period, April 18-May 10, 2011

June 2011 2011 || NNY NNY Business Business || 9 9 April

BUSINESS BRIEFCASE of the Industry Gala and Banquet on May 2, recognized the many community service activities the hotel does throughout the year, including: American Cancer Society Relay for Life, free Day Out with Santa community Christmas party, free Thanksgiving dinner for military service people, sponsoring several Rotary fundraisers and participating in walks for both breast cancer and multiple sclerosis awareness.

Business of the month Peter Dephtereos, chef, and Libby Wheeler, restaurant manager.

City restaurant honored

The Downtown Business Association and the state’s Small Business Development Center at Jefferson Community College honored the Crystal Restaurant as its Business of the Month for May. The Crystal Restaurant is a neighborhood business and the oldest licensed restaurant in Watertown, located at 87 Public Square. The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The Dephtereos family has been associated with business since 1928, when their grandfather worked as a chef. Crystal Restaurant was chosen based on participation, downtown spirit and business achievement.

Best Western earns state hospitality award

The New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association recently awarded the Best Western Carriage House Inn, Watertown, with a Stars of the Industry Award for its community service efforts. The award, presented at the 2011 Stars

10 |

NNY Business | June 2011

Watertown’s Downtown Business Association and the state’s Small Business Development Center at Jefferson Community College named Neighbors of Watertown the business of the month for April. Neighbors of Watertown is a nonprofit neighborhood presBeasley ervation company first funded in 1981 by the state’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal. It serves the city of Watertown under executive director Gary Beasley. Neighbors’ new projects include facelifts and upper-floor apartments for several buildings in the Public Square Historic District. Neighbors recently finished the Franklin Building renovation, which is ready for businesses to occupy the storefronts and interior rental spaces. Neighbors of Watertown was chosen as business of the month based on participation, downtown spirit and business achievement.

D.E.W. Builders lauded

Adams Center-based D.E.W. Builders Inc., an authorized Ceco Building Systems builder, was recognized for achiev-

ing $1 million in cumulative sales in 2008 at the recent Ceco 2011 National Business Meeting in Tampa, Fla. With a meeting theme of “Steel Strong,” Ceco builders from across the nation heard from Ceco parent company NCI leaders, including Mark Dobbins, executive vice president and COO, and Brad Robeson, NCI Building Systems division president. Ceco Building Systems designs and fabricates energy-efficient, function-oriented metal buildings. Ceco is known for its “nonstandard is standard” design philosophy, allowing each project to be designed and manufactured to meet specific space and function requirements. Visit www. to learn more.

Entrepreneurs honored

Lori Wells and Lisa Reed, owners of Café Mira in Adams, were named the New York State Small Business Development Center Female Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2011. They received their award on May 24 at the SBDC Client Awards Banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Lake Placid. F. Eric Constance, director of the Small Business Development Center at Jefferson Community College, said Café Mira was selected for the local award from a pool of about five other businesses. Each local SBDC chapter selects one of its own clients who have overcome a unique situation. A year ago in April, a fire caused extensive damage to the business, which reopened in November.

Roofing firm nets honors RSI Roofing Inc., Gouverneur, has been named an accredited quality contractor by Associated Builders and Contractors for its commitment to

BUSINESS BRIEFCASE quality, worker safety, benefits, training and community involvement. RSI Roofing was presented with a plaque by the Empire Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. This is RSI Roofing Inc.’s 18th consecutive year in receiving this award. Randy Bushaw is company president.

HR group earns award

The Society for Human Resource Management has awarded the North Country Human Resources Association Inc. the EXCEL Silver Award for 2010. The award recognizes the chapter’s accomplishments toward advancing the human resources profession and providing HR support to north country businesses and organizations. Kathleen Scheible is president of NCHRA. The organization has 100 members and serves as an HR support network for Jefferson and Lewis counties. NCHRA’s activities include monthly meetings with guest speakers, a monthly newsletter, an annual conference held each summer in Watertown and access to a HR professionals with diverse backgrounds.

NCHRA has provided services to the north country since 1998. This is the first year it has received the SHAPE Silver Award. SHAPE is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. It has more than 250,000 members in more than 140 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. Visit http://north to learn more.

Habitat donation

St. Lawrence Centre and St. Lawrence Centre Arena, Massena, raised $1,664 for the Raquette Valley Habitat for Humanity from its recent Music for Change Charity Fest, “Battle of the Bands.” From left, Lindsey Breitbeck, center marketing assistant, Ronald Patnode, center marketing manager, Norma LaPointe, Habitat board member, and Andrew Knowles, NBT Bank.

Museum donation

Firm of the month

Robert Freeman, right, owner of Clarence Henry Coach, recently presented a check for $5,000 to William Wood, executive director of Jefferson County Historical Society, to become the society’s newest Museum Partner business member.

The Tri-County New York Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors named the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors as its business of the month in April. The board has been a sponsor of the women’s council since the council’s in-

Pine Camp Contracting Setting the bar for construction based recycling in NNY

741,000 lbs. of Recycled Pad, Carpet & Cardboard to date. We accept any of these materials free of charge at our facility no matter what the quantity, large or small.

Women Owned, Women Operated Hub Zone Certified Small Business Specializing in Government, Commercial, Property Management & Residential Applications

Offering a Wide Variety of “Green” LEEDS Certified Products for your Next Project.

Colleen Bellnier, President

800 Starbuck Avenue • Watertown, NY 13601 Pine Camp 315-777-4766 Contracting Inc.

June 2011 | NNY Business

| 11

BIZ BRIEFCASE ception in 2008. Through Executive Officer Lance M. Evans, it represents more than 300 real estate licensees in Jefferson and Lewis counties, and serves as an advocate for both the consumer and the Realtors. The mission of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors is to advocate for its members by providing technology, education and resources to enhance Realtor professionalism and competency. Serving the Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence county areas, the Tri-County New York Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors is a network of successful Realtors and affiliated industries that empower women and men to exercise their potential as entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Contact Pat Wolf, sponsor committee chairman, at 788-4240 or to learn more.

Driving school celebrates 40 years in business A regional tractor-trailer driving school is celebrating its 40th anniversary. National Tractor Trailer School was founded by Harry Kowalchyk and William Mocarski in May 1971 in Newburgh. NTTS opened a Syracuse campus in 1972 and in 1977 moved to its present location in Liverpool. NTIS received its initial accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges in 1984 and its Commercial Drivers Course certification in 1998 from the Professional Truck Driver Institute. In 2010, NTIS signed a memorandum of understanding with Fort Drum to offer training to active duty military personnel and other qualified individuals, allowing participants to enhance their military service or transition to civilian careers with a marketable skill. Call NTTS at 1 (800) 243-9300 or visit to learn more.

Timeless Decor honored

Timeless Decor of Watertown was named one of the top 50 fastest growing women-owned or -led companies in North America. The company, led by CEO Lisa A. Weber, offers custom framing; partner company Timeless Frames creates frames sold through retailers, and Timeless Expressions allows users to store photos online and create custom gifts using photos.

Please see BRIEFCASE, page 14

12 |

NNY Business | June 2011

One of the area’s leading banks in mortgage lending. Home of totally free checking and three other checking accounts that pay you interest! Three Full Service Locations...

Carthage 493-3480

Watertown 779-9775 (below STREAM Call Center)

Clayton 686-4850

Member owned since 1888


June 2011 | NNY Business

| 13

BUSINESS BRIEFCASE Briefcase, from page 12

Got business news?

Timeless Decor, 22419 Fisher Road, was No. 42 on the list compiled by the Women Presidents’ Organization, a peer advisory group connecting women who own multimillion dollar companies, and American Express OPEN, the small-business division of American Express.

Macars honored

Macars was recently named a President’s Club Award winner for exceptional cabinetry sales by Showplace







n Share your business news with NNY Business. E-mail news releases and photos (.jpg/300 dpi) to editor Ken Eysaman at The deadline for submissions is the tenth of the month for the following month’s issue. Photos that don’t appear in print may be posted on our Facebook page.

Wood Products. This is the fourth year it has been recognized for this achievement, which places them among the top Showplace dealers nationwide. Macars is a family-owned and operated home im-











REGISTRATION 10AM • SHOT GUN START 11AM • $340 PER TEAM (includes: green fees, cart, food at the turn, dinner and contest prizes)



If You Are Interested In Joining Our Mailing List, Please Contact Us At: HAFF P.O. BOX 25 WATERTOWN, NY 13601 or Facebook at Heather A. Freeman Foundation 14 |

NNY Business | June 2011

provement store located at 161 Coleman Ave. that has been serving Watertown and Northern New York since 1984.

Stewarts BB-BS donation

Michelle L. Deline, center, manager of the Gifford Street Stewart’s Shop in Watertown, presents a check for $3,750 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Country (BBBSNC), to Karen Y. Richmond, left, executive director, and Lynn M. Pietroski, right, assistant director of the Children’s Home of Jefferson County. BBBSNC is an affiliated program of the Children’s Home. The money was awarded through Stewart’s 24th Annual Holiday Match program, in which Stewart’s matches, dollar for dollar, charitable donations made by its customers between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. This year, $1.28 million generated through the program is being awarded to support youth programs in communities throughout upstate New York and western Vermont.

Firms ranked statewide

Three north country businesses have ranked alongside several small companies in major metropolitan areas as some of the best companies to work for in the state. North Country Savings Bank, Canton, was ranked No. 1 out of 27 selected companies with 15 to 249 employees, as a part of a recent Best Companies Group application process. Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions Inc., Watertown, was ranked 23rd, and SeaComm Federal Credit Union, Massena, was ranked 26th. Best Companies is a Harrisburg, Pa.based survey group that, according to its website, identifies and recognizes “those companies in a defined geographical area or industry who have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence.” These Best Companies rankings are the first for all three north country companies.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Dance teacher hired

Rhonda’s FooteWorks, Watertown and Lowville, has hired Katie Holmes, Watertown, as a staff dance teacher, teaching preballet, tots tumbling, tots tap and baby hip- hop. Mrs. Holmes lives in Watertown with her husband, Christopher, and twin Holmes daughters, Kayla and Madelynne. She will also be available for private coaching for tumbling and acro for dancers. For more information about Rhonda’s FooteWorks, visit www.rhondasfoote

Mucenski recognized for service commitment

SUNY Potsdam recognized Potsdam resident Ed Mucenski with its 2011 Leadership Through Service Award, one of the college’s highest honors, during commencement weekend, May 21 and 22. SUNY Potsdam established the Leadership Through Service Awards to honor those outstanding individuals who have demonstrated a commitment of service to the Potsdam community. Each year, award recipients are acknowledged for demonstrating a special contribution to the betterment of the Potsdam region through dedicated service. Mr. Mucenski is a certified public account with years of community service. Mr. Mucenski is a partner in the accounting firm Pinto, Mucenski, Hooper, VanHouse, & Co., Certified Public Accountants, P.C., Potsdam. He has been a member of the CantonPotsdam Hospital Board of Directors for 24 years, and served as vice chairman for a number of years before being elected chairman in 2007. Mr. Mucenski also previously served as the chairman of the board of trustees at Mater Dei College, Ogdensburg. He joined the Rotary Club in 1987 and has served as club treasurer and treasurer for the 2005 Rotary District 7040 Conference. Mr. Mucenski is the 2006 recipient of the SUNY Canton College Council’s Distinguished Citizen Award. He has been involved with St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation Center, St. Mary’s Church and several other community institutions. He is a 1968 alumnus of SUNY Canton and 1971 graduate of Clarkson University, Potsdam. He lives in Potsdam with his wife of

36 years, Nancy. They have five children, Amy, Dennis, Patricia, Lynn and Caitlin.

master’s degree in business administration from Clarkson University, Potsdam. She has worked as a stockbroker and investment adviser, including 20 years with Tucker Anthony. She also served as vice president of Seaway Capital Partners. She launched a Scozzafava career in public office, serving for four years as Gouverneur village trustee, and then as mayor from 1993 through 1998. She was elected to serve the 112th New York State Assembly district in 1999. In 2010, she opted not to run for reelection to the Assembly. That came after she stepped out of the 2009 race for the 23rd Congressional District seat, which drew national attention. In January, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo tapped Ms. Scozzafava to serve as deputy secretary for local government in the Department of State, where she works to streamline municipal government. Ms. Scozzafava was honored for her contributions to the north country during SUNY Potsdam’s 177th Commencement celebrations on May 22.

Earns credential

Scott C. Shipley, owner of Northern Lights Energy, Canton, has earned designation as a certified solar electric system installer from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Solar electric installers must receive the designation by the organization for their customers to be eligible for New York State Energy Research and Development Authority incentive dollars.

Receives service award

SUNY Potsdam has named Dierdre Scozzafava as the recipient of its 2010 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given by the college. The annual recognition is bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated steadfast support for SUNY Potsdam and the region through their leadership, advocacy, stewardship and service. A Gouverneur native, Ms. Scozzafava earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University School of Management and a

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n Northern New York building industry blends traditional, modern with sustainable practices


By Nancy Madsen | NNY Business writer

In building design, green doesn’t mean just environmentally-friendly. It also means saving money. Though “green” LEED design and certification can mean more up-front cost, north country architects say it can be well worth it through savings over the lifetime of a building. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. “What I love about LEED is it encourages designers to be more innovative and to find solutions for buildings to be above the norm for construction in terms of human comfort, energy consumption, et cetera,” said Brian A. Jones, LEED-certified architect with Aubertine and Currier Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors, Watertown. “For the most part, buildings have been built the same way for the last 100 years. LEED has made architects think ‘maybe we can do better and improve in new ways.’“ LEED, which gives efficient buildings ratings as certified, silver, gold or platinum, is growing in popularity because federal, state and now many municipalities are making LEED certifi-

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cation part of the law for their buildings. For example, all of the new buildings on Fort Drum are at least LEED silver certified and the most recent ones are gold certified. “The more green things you do the more points you get,” Mr. Jones said. “More points are given for more aggressive design action. For example, a bike rack can be installed to encourage commuters and this accounts for 1 point. However, a rain catchment system installed and integrated with the building’s plumbing system can achieve as much as 6 points depending on how much water is saved and reused.” Mr. Jones designed the Land Port of Entry facility at Cannon Corners for the U.S. Department

From left, Margaret Z. Davis, 2011-2012 Clarkson University Student Association (CUSA) Senate President, Kurt W. Stimeling, dean of students, and Ian D. Hazen, university engineer, in front of Clarkson University’s student center. Completed in 2010, the center incorporates several green building features. JASON HUNTER | NNY BUSINESS

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COVER STORY of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, which is under construction this year, to silver certification standards. The new 7,800-square-foot, twofloor building will replace an existing 1,100-square-foot building. The first floor includes public and officer work areas, while the second floor contains support services for the officers, such as a fitness area, common living area, kitchen, bunk rooms and a full bathroom with shower. The building also contains a search room, interview room, two holding rooms and a secure storage room. The design team found the most energy-efficient options while balancing what the government entity wanted to see. “What the whole LEED process encourages is everyone gets around the table — the owner, contractor, and designer — and figure out what credits make sense to pursue,” Mr. Jones said. “Some don’t in our region of the country. There are certain materials you can’t find up here; as well as what is most cost-feasible and what makes sense for the building.” His main focus was on a well-insulated and efficient building itself to save heating costs. The key, Mr. Jones said, is to look at construction in terms of “integrated design,” in which costs of construction are weighed against savings over the life span of the building. “If you look at efficient windows, you can offset the cost of heating buildings, which means less heating load, which could mean the mechanical equipment doesn’t have to be as big,” Mr. Jones said. “So you could pay $10,000 extra for triple-pane windows, but save $50,000 over the life of the building.”

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COVER STORY But a rain reclamation system was a high priority for the federal government. The system catches rain that falls on the roof in gutters, filters it and uses it in toilets and laundry, not for drinking water. “Here in the Northeast, we usually don’t have a lack of water, but it is an overall goal for new border crossing stations,” Mr. Jones said. “It was something the government really pushed. Because we’re in New York state, we didn’t think it was a huge priority, but we did that for them.” Officials from LaFargeville Central School District and designers for Bernier, Carr and Associates, Watertown, went through a similar process. “Some of the committee members of the initial committee were familiar with LEED and some presentations had LEED in them,” LaFargeville district Superintendent Susan L. Whitney said. “We wanted pieces that would help us over the years to keep energy efficiencies.” Michael J. Harris, LEED certified architect with Bernier, Carr and Associates, Watertown, said, “The most important thing is to build a quality building that is efficient to run for 30,40 or 50 years.” The new gym has a band of windows and nine sky lights, but also features translucent panels to diffuse sunlight in the 20,000-sqaure-foot gymnasium. “Thirty percent of energy use in a building is lighting,” said Krysta S. Aten-Schell, LEED coordinator and designer for the firm. “With the translucent panels, on a sunny day, they shouldn’t need the lights at all.” Unlike the port-of-entry building, it also made sense to convert the sunlight into electricity for the school. The new building has a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic array and crews will soon erect a 10-kilowatt wind turbine. The solar panels should produce about 2.5 percent of the energy used by the building and the turbine add another 5 percent, Mr. Harris said. The district tracks the solar project’s production; the data is available through the district’s website. For districts considering building projects and making them green,

Students leave from the new addition at LaFargeville Central School at the end of the school day. The addition is LEED certified and incorporates solar panels on the back side. AMANDA MORRISON | NNY BUSINESS


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COVER STORY Ms. Whitney said, “Make sure you do your homework in terms of what you want to use and how much. We might have put a few more PV cells on the building if we had known.” With rising fuel prices, “sustainability is going to be an issue for all of us,” Ms. Whitney said. LaFargeville won’t be the last district to put in solar power cells. Thousand Islands Central School District and the Orleans town and Gouverneur village sewage plants are among possible sites for small turbines and solar cells. “We’ve kicked the ball a little bit and believe others are going to take it and run,” Ms. Whitney said. LEED encourages the use of local and recycled materials in projects, to reduce the carbon emissions a project requires in construction. “You can get credits for renewable materials, such as bamboo, but if it comes from China and is shipped across the world, it’s not very renewable,” Mr. Jones said. “There were two existing buildings on-site. Normally, you would knock it down and haul it away, but we were able to give away or

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NNY Business | June 2011


At Northern Federal Credit Union’s West Carthage branch, parking for customers who drive low-emission and other green vehicles is reserved. Features like this can add another green element to a building.

use 75 percent of the existing building. We broke up the foundation and used it

as the sub-base for the new site.” The LaFargeville project also


going green

Above, a green roof at LaFargeville Central School incorporates live plants. The roof is designed to reflect sunlight and to insulate the building. Left, LaFargeville Central School Superintendent Susan L. Whitney explains the paneling, seen on the left, on the track in the new addition to LaFargeville Central School. The panels are lightweight and help insulate the building through the use of air. Below, decorations adorn a wall in Northern Federal Credit Union’s West Carthage branch, including faux grass and phrases that encourage conservation.


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COVER STORY included 25 percent regional materials and 45 percent recycled materials in addition to recycling 75 percent of the former building. “The porcelain tile was recycled, we used recycled plastics for the toilet partitions in the restrooms and certified wood,” Ms. Aten-Schell said. The bleachers in the old gym were refinished to seat fans again in the new one and the old gym floor is now in the auditorium. “They pulled up the sidewalk and

recycled as much material as possible,” Ms. Whitney said. “We still have a bank of old blacktop that will eventually go on the nature trail, from there to the athletic fields.” The new building also affords the school an educational opportunity. Sixth grade science, eighth grade physical science and the high school elective environmental science can all use the building as a focus of the curriculum, a change which will occur in the next school year.

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NNY Business | June 2011

“We’re not restricting it to those grades alone, but that will be the highest area of use,” Ms. Whitney said. The district won three grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to aid with the project: one for the solar panels, one for the wind turbine and the third for the LEED certification process. The expansion will likely receive a silver certification after its commissioning in the next month. The certification process is the biggest hurdle because the paperwork requirements, work done by the designers and contractors, may add as much as 10 percent to the cost of the building. Projects can be designed as ready for certification, but the owners may not go through the process. Mr. Jones designed the hospice residence for Hospice of Jefferson County under construction on outer Gotham Street, but the nonprofit decided not to go through the process. It’s more important for larger projects, he said. “With today’s heating and cooling controls becoming more and more advanced they are often difficult to install per the design requirements,” Mr. Jones said. “We have found that 75 percent of the time the climate controls are incorrectly installed.” For the school district, it is important to ensure the large heating and cooling systems are working as designed. They were designed to be 25 percent more efficient than traditional systems because they use heat recovery and an economizers. Mechanical system efficiency is a main focus of the LEED system because buildings use over 40 percent of America’s energy consumption. Other government projects are green, but don’t necessarily earn LEED certifications. Edwards-Knox Central School has had its biomass boiler system in operation for a full year, saving the district $130,000. “It is the heating plant for the K to 12 facility and bus garage,” Mr. Harris said. “It has really reduced the cost of fuel by switching from fuel oil to wood chips.” Municipalities are looking for more efficient ways of performing its services, such as water and sewer service. Sackets Harbor, for example, is changing the operation of the sewage purification process in its new plant to save water. The sewage plant replacement

COVER STORY also includes replacing a large section of old sewer lines, which will lead to less leaking and a lower incline to overcome to get to the sewage plant. “Everything they do in the village from a protectionist standpoint is trying to preserve the water quality in Lake Ontario,” Mr. Dimmick said. “You can look at it through the prism of water conservation, water quality impact or energy savings.” The village will try several different water-saving techniques, including rain gardens, porous concrete at the new pump station and sewer plant. The plant itself will include solar cells, a heat recovery system to warm adjacent space to the process room, variablespeed drives and an energy-efficient process in the sewage plant. All of the village’s green attempts are spelled out in a walking tour guide. “Most municipalities are motivated on two fronts,” Mr. Dimmick said. “They want to do what’s right and control their rates — not just for this year, but down the road.” High-capital infrastructure projects don’t yet have a green rating system, but the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, Washington, D.C., is developing one called “envision.” While government has been leading the way, Mr. Jones believes LEED construction will soon become almost universal. For a cheaper residential program, the council developed a “LEED for Homes” program that costs about $1,500 for certification. “At a minimum, if a homeowner wants a green home, he or she needs to hire experts in green building,” he said. “An architect and contractor familiar with green technology and that have the owner’s best interest at heart is key.” He’s seen increasing interest in the last three or four years as he teaches a class on green building at Jefferson Community College, Watertown. “Definitely people want to know more about it and how to do things themselves,” he said. “They’re taking existing homes and retrofitting them so they’re more efficient in terms of insulation and heating costs.” n NANCY MADSEN is a staff writer for Johnson Newspapers. Contact her at nmadsen@wdt. net or 661-2358.








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Jefferson Concrete docks a winner n Port of Oswego project garners top award by peers in precast industry


NNY Business

efferson Concrete Corp. is riding a high like few others in its north country history. Earlier this year, the company was chosen by a panel of its peers as a first-place finisher in the National Precast Concrete Association’s (NPCA) annual Creative Use of Precast (CUP) Awards. The winning project, a 630foot dock for a section of Lake Ontario, was completed in conjunction with Finland-based Marinetek for the Port of Oswego Authority. The dock needed to be a stable platform for boaters and serve as a breakwater for the inner harbor. Marinetek’s system was chosen, but the company did not have a plant close enough to the harbor to efficiently serve the project. After a careful search, Marinetek chose Jefferson Concrete because it had the expertise to cast the project to its exacting specifications. Marinetek shipped a mold from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Watertown and provided training for the Jefferson Concrete Production Team led by Jim Motes. Doug Dickerson would also play a vital role as quality control manager for Jefferson Concrete, developing an acceptable mix design and doing


Above, Jefferson Concrete employees pour concrete and work on a precast section of dock for the Port of Oswego last May. Below, the finished dock after installation in Lake Ontario in September.

the final finish on each piece. Mr. Dickerson’s challenge was exceptional as achieving a consistent finish was one of the most formidable problems the crew dealt with. The dock sections were being built outdoors and the weather ranged from a wet 40 degree day to a dry and windy 80 degree day and everything in-between. The size and extremely tight tolerances of the project made it crucial to execute each step with absolute precision. If the pieces were cast even slightly off, it would cause the dock to sway in the water and be unstable. In addition, handling each piece required devising a cabling

system that could lift the massive pieces at no more than three degrees from vertical. Despite all the challenges, the 10 dock pieces performed

exactly as desired once in place on the lake. Every piece was level and floated 22 inches out of the water, exceeding the required 21 inches above water. “One who takes a stroll on these docks would not believe they are floating. They are stable platforms, very neat and attractive, expandable and low maintenance,” said Mark W. Thompson, vice president and an owner of the Watertown-based company. The company was awarded the top honor at The Precast Show 2011, the largest trade show for the precast concrete industry. “From my perspective, it’s particularly gratifying to get an honor like this, especially when it’s presented by your peers in the industry,” Mr. Thompson said. While no stranger to challenges like the 630-foot dock for a section of Lake Ontario, Mr. Thompson said it’s projects like this that have helped Jefferson Concrete grow as a top specialty provider of precast concrete. “We’ve always taken on an interesting variety of projects from jails to bridges that have allowed us to survive,” he said. “It’s our willingness and ability to look at certain work that helps us succeed.”

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NNY Business | June 2011



Architect firm nets regional award


project on the St. Lawrence River has won Aubertine and Currier Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors, Watertown, a regional award. The Nobby Island Entertainment Pavilion on Nobby Island near Alexandria Bay, where work is wrapping up, won First Niagara Bank’s “A Time To Build” award for historic preservation projects. The three-story structure was built on a rocky side of the island, where there was no bedrock. It took three months of drilling pipe piles to create a foundation to start the work. “That was our biggest challenge,” Aubertine and Currier partner Brian A. Jones said after the award luncheon last month in Syracuse. “Our other challenge was that everything had to look like it was built back in the 1880s. Everything was customized, from the


Nobby Island Entertainment Pavilion near Alexandria Bay.

handrails to the fireplace.” The owner, Dr. A. John Merola, wanted the pavilion to reflect the main house. The project, which started in 2007 or 2008, included a grand dining room and kitchen. The pavilion has unobstructed views of the water. “We matched the exterior materials of the existing house,” Mr. Jones said. “The stone arches in the picture resemble the same stonework on

the original part of the house.” The project did not disturb the historic integrity of the house. The architecture firm submitted the project for the award and it was selected as one of three finalists, along with Downtown Syracuse Architectural Lighting project and the renovation of the Franklin Building in Watertown. The “A Time To Build” awards are Central New York’s most com-

prehensive awards program in the areas of development, construction and real estate, a news release said. “The judging criteria for the award were based on overcoming challenging construction methods and innovative design,” Mr. Jones said. During construction, the contractor Premier Building Associates LLC, Alexandria Bay, used a floating barge as additional workspace. The contractor and architect carefully planned structural modifications and avoided disruption of the island’s natural habitat. Dr. Merola “wanted this to be done right and he wanted something to be used for generations,” Mr. Jones said. “Projects of this magnitude are not built very often on the river, so I am happy to have this opportunity.”

— Nancy Madsen

June 2011 | NNY Business

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From left, Sara Matthews, Northern Federal Credit Union West Carthage branch manager, Dorothy Wolff, NFCU facilities manager, and Edward G. Olley Jr., principal, GYMO Architecture, Engineering and Land Surveying, review construction plans for the branch.

Credit union ‘LEEDS’ in green Northern Federal’s West Carthage branch a model initiative he tiny village of West Carthage sits quietly next to the Black River, acting as a buffer between Watertown and Carthage. Roughly 2,000 residents populate the area, moving in and around Bridge Street, the main thoroughfare in this historic village. It is on this street where a brand new Northern Federal Credit Union stands — small in structure but big in green initiatives. “We wanted to do what was best for the community and go into this ‘green’ project with their best interests in mind,” bank facilities supervisor Dorothy Wolff said. The 1,200-square-foot building was originally designed by a firm in Utah with broad experience in helping financial institutions implement the latest in green technology and cutting edge building concepts. Once NFCU decided to go forward with the project, they retained GYMO Architecture in Watertown to assist with

site selection and facilitate the design and construction program. That’s where Edward G. Olley Jr. comes in. “I am a principal architect with GYMO and am in charge of implementing designs and construction administration with our projects,” Mr. Olley said. “Once GYMO was secured for the job, we recalculated the schematic plan from the firm in Utah and configured it to fit the site on Bridge Street. We had to consider design parameters required by NFCU in the line of LEED-based design methodology, such as parking, alternative energy systems and other essential interior layout considerations.” LEED is the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and NFCU wanted to make sure they met all requirements necessary to become LEED certified. For the financial institution, that meant they had to have certain green initiatives implemented throughout the building in order to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable

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NNY Business

NNY Business | June 2011

building design and construction. From the bike racks and low-emission vehicle parking spaces outside to the geothermal pump hidden underground, NFCU didn’t miss a beat. “We really did our due diligence and researched alternative heating sources. When it was all said and done, we decided to go with a geothermal ground source heat pump,” Mrs. Wolff said. “The contractors drilled wells that circulate water from the ground up into the system that heats and cools the building. It’s very economical and uses very little electricity to operate. Right now, the cost is anywhere between $2.50 and $5.60 per day to heat or cool. Our Adams branch, which is similar in square footage, costs roughly $15 dollars a day to heat or cool. So the savings are significant.” Photovoltaic solar panels are also a big part of the initiative at NFCU. The panels collect the sun and convert it directly into electricity. The panels are held by two solar poles, which are just off to the side in the front of the building. Add to

F E AT U R E S Going green / at-a-glance

An employee looks out the window of the NFCU in Carthage. Most of the building materials in the branch are made from recycled materials.

Northern Federal Credit Union’s West Carthage branch incorporates several green features. Among them are: n Photovoltaic solar panels n Geothermal ground source heat pumps n Designated carpool / low-emission vehicle parking spot n Bicycle racks n Underground water retention system (controls water runoff) n Low lights or no lights (large windows in front produce natural daylight) n Reduction of paper use n Reuse of office supplies

that the large windows across the entire front of the credit union, which allow natural light to brighten the inside of the building, and you have a structure that truly functions to reduce the amount of electricity it consumes. At the desks of the employees, Mrs. Wolff says technology plays a huge role in paper reduction. “We’re scanning instead of printing and saving documents electronically. It’s greatly reduced our paper usage in general. We also have online faxing. When a fax comes in it goes directly to


our computer,” she explained. For Mr. Olley, he says the building itself is a ‘green’ product and design that more and more clients are asking for as the world pays closer attention to sustaining the environment. But he says that environmental design has been part of their practice for more than 30 years in the north country. “Our essential design objective has always been to make every attempt to fit the building to the site rather than the

site to the building,” he said, “We work to integrate the natural outdoors with the building itself as much as possible.” The credit union opened to members in October 2010. The financial institution is still awaiting final approval from the Green Building Council for LEED certification. n JOLEENE DES ROSIERS is a freelance writer and public speaker who lives in Sandy Creek. She is a former television reporter for YNN, NBC 3 WSTM and NewsWatch 50 in Watertown. Contact her at

June 2011 | NNY Business

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North country colleges go green n St. Lawrence County institutions each boast LEED certifications for campus buildings By GABRIELLE HOVENDON

G NNY Business

reen architecture is a major aspect of universities’ environmental sustainability efforts in St. Lawrence County. SUNY Canton, SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson University in Potsdam and St. Lawrence University in Canton are seeking or have been awarded U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and EnviJASON HUNTER | NNY BUSINESS ronmental Design (LEED) certifications of Charlie Sharlow, Waddington, an employee of AAC Contracting, Rochester, stacks up old window beams silver or higher for campus buildings. last month outside Clarkson University’s Moore House in Potsdam. The dormitory renovations include a The facilities range in design and fourth-floor addition and incorporate many green building features. purpose, but each aims to improve the facility’s features. The college has also ments in the technology center include stewardship of resources in accordance recently added a combined heat and a rainwater collection system, a solarwith LEED standards, helping the four power facility to its existing heating plant, powered thermal system and an energycolleges reap the economic and environinstalling two 1.4-megawatt generators generating microturbine system. mental benefits of green architecture. that can provide approximately 50 percent Upcoming renovations to Clarkson’s “If sustainability is designed into your Moore House construction residence hall project, into and Woodthe archistock Village tecture and Apartments the faciliwill include ties of your high-efficiency campus, then boiler systems, the result is energy-saving a decreased — Anastasia C. Thomas, assistant facilities program coordinator, SUNY Potsdam lights and carbon footwater-saving print, a more of the campus’s electricity. plumbing fixtures. aware student body and a more informed General upgrades to heating, ventila Both SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson physical plant,” said Anastasia C. Thomwere included in the Princeton Review’s as, assistant facilities program coordinator tion and air conditioning monitoring systems in academic buildings at SUNY April 2011 Guide to 311 Green Colleges. for SUNY Potsdam. “We wind up reducPotsdam are also expected to pave the At SUNY Canton, the new Roos House ing our heating loads and our equipment way for better energy management on Athletic Center features a green roof made has fewer demands, so our energy bills campus. Renovations to the college’s of sedum plants that improve energy are coming in lower and we’re really able Bowman Residence Hall should allow the efficiency, help purify stormwater runoff to attain significant savings.” building to attain LEED silver certification and reduce noise infiltration. At SUNY Potsdam, a $41 million by 2013. Completed in May 2011, the athletic performing arts building begun in April Elsewhere in Potsdam, Clarkson Unicenter also utilizes large windows to 2011 is intended to achieve a minimum versity is seeking LEED silver certification minimize lighting costs, a water collection of LEED silver certification, with reduced for its student center and its Technology system that uses rainwater to flush toilets water usage and an energy expenditure Advancement Center. Key design eleand an energy-efficient ice rink. monitoring system included among the

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If sustainability is designed into your construction project, into the architecture and the facilities of your campus then the result is a decreased carbon footprint, a more aware student body and a more informed physical plant.

NNY Business | June 2011

F E AT U R E S On the Web n To learn more about about the colleges’ sustainability efforts, visit them online.





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Renovations to the college’s Nevaldine Technology Center, including new insulation and a new roof, will allow it to meet LEED silver standards. Although official certification will not be sought, the same standards will be followed for the athletic center and the Grasse River Housing Suites, which are slated to be completed in August. At nearby St. Lawrence University as well as at SUNY Canton, all new construction projects will be designed to meet LEED silver certification standards, although certification may not be sought at St. Lawrence. For example, the college’s uncertified Wachtmeister Field Station, completed in 2004, meets green building benchmarks with its solar design, in-floor heating and super-insulated windows and walls. “We may or may not seek the actual LEED certification, but all new construction that we have will be built to at least LEED silver standards,” said Macreena A. Doyle, a spokeswoman for the college. “Environmental consciousness really is part of the true fabric of St. Lawrence, and architecture is one aspect of that.” The college’s Johnson Hall of Science achieved LEED gold certification with its recyclable carpeting, manufactured stone masonry, high-efficiency air conditioning chillers and gravity-powered drainage systems. At the time of its completion in 2007, it was the only building on a New York State college campus to be goldcertified.

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n GABRIELLE HOVENDON is a Johnson Newspapers staff writer based in St. Lawrence County. Contact her at or 661-2517.

June 2011 | NNY Business

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Colleen A. Bellnier, president of Pine Camp Contracting, Watertown, sits on bales of carpet padding ready for recycling. Ms. Bellnier’s firm is leading the way in building material recycling with nearly 750,000 pounds of carpet and padding recycled to date.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Pine Camp Contracting leader in recycling north country building waste hen a family enters their new home at Fort Drum’s Monument Ridge, they might notice that the newly installed carpeting is plush, durable and stain resistant. What they may not realize is that the yarn in the carpet is made of recycled plastic soda bottles bought from the Coca-Cola Company. And it was installed by a team of professionals who work for the north country’s only contracting company that prides itself on using 100 percent recycled materials. Watertown’s Pine Camp Contracting, 800 Starbuck Ave., walks onto the job with green products and leaves the job without throwing any scraps or leftovers into a trash bin. Instead, leftover carpet

remnants, used padding, cardboard and metal transition strips are returned to the warehouse and prepared for recycling. “We had to do something to bring down costs,” said Colleen A. Bellnier, president of Pine Camp Contracting. “Trash trucks were coming to the warehouse two or three times a day and it was costing the company upwards of $4,000 a month in removal fees.” Ms. Bellnier and Amanda L. Johnson, vice president of operations, and others in the office started researching recycling. They ultimately made an investment in an industrial-sized baler. Here’s what happens to the remnants that are returned to the warehouse: The baler squeezes the air out of the used carpet padding and ties it into a fourby-three-by-three bale. The bales are loaded onto a tractor-trailer and sold as a commodity at a low price of six cents a

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NNY Business | June 2011

pound or sometimes a high of 30 cents per pound. Used carpeting is taken to Edison, N.J., and incinerated into energy to power its villages and heat its homes. Carpet is clean burning with no toxins or residue. The aluminum transition strips (that metal strip on the threshold between vinyl in your bathroom and the carpet in the hallway) are collected and taken to Perkins Scrap Metals about a quarter mile from Pine Camp’s warehouse. The strips recycle for 60 cents a pound. Cardboard is also put through an industrial baler and then shipped to a recycling company in Adams, which pays 10 cents a pound for baled cardboard. Ms. Bellnier’s firm also invested in an industrial sewing machine. Some carpet remnants are cut into five-inch strips and used as wall baseboard. Fort Drum doesn’t use this in their homes, but Ms. Bellnier has civilian clients who request this

F E AT U R E S To learn more PINE CAMP CONTRACTING INC. n Colleen A. Bellnier, president n Amanda L. Johnson, vice president, operations 800 Starbuck Ave., Suite 12, Watertown 777-4766

type of wall protection for rental homes. The post is certainly a lucrative business opportunity for Pine Camp, but they also have property maintenance clients off base. In either case, for Ms. Bellnier it’s one more piece that is recycled and not thrown into a Dumpster. Astonishingly, her company’s refuse bill is now just $389 a month. “Part of what I respect about Colleen is that she always has a vision,” Ms. Johnson said. “At the end of the day it is all well and good to say we created jobs and energy-efficient rebates for our contractors and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points but at the heart of it we are trying to help the environment.” Pine Camp also welcomes other contractors, including competitors, who want to drop off recyclable items. “Installers need to dispose of the excess stuff. They bring their old padding to me. No one else is doing it but us. We do baling for a local business owner in Evans Mills,” Ms. Bellnier said. “This is a family company. Our employees are proud of us.” To date, Pine Camp has collected 700,000 pounds of carpet and padding. They have a goal of collecting 750,000 pounds by next month. If they reach that goal, they plan to throw a party and celebrate. “I think their recycling efforts are admirable given the waste they are keeping from our landfills. Their efforts go a long way to helping us create a balance where we can reuse materials that were always previously discarded,” said Michael J. Caldararo, Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes service request manager. n ANDREA PEDRICK is a freelance writer and former television reporter who lives in Dexter. Contact her at

June 2011 | NNY Business

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Custom millwork keeps past alive Handful of specialty craftsmen in north country preserve history By NORAH MACHIA

A NNY Business

custom mill shop in Adams with machinery and tools dating back to the 1890s has been producing an increasing number of custom wood windows, doors and moldings for customers throughout the country. James J. Illingworth has operated his business on Wardwell Street in Adams since 1993, but the growth in nationwide sales started about 10 years ago “with the Internet,” said Mr. Illingworth. “That’s what really got us out there,” he said. The company’s website allows potential customers the opportunity to look at a variety of photographs featuring the custom woodwork produced at the mill shop. Wood products have been produced for historic homes and buildings, as well as new construction. Mr. Illingworth also creates custom wood columns, both exterior and interior, along with staircase parts. He operates the shop with his wife, Sun Y., and an employee, Harry Wilder, Carthage. Some recent projects include custom made wood windows for the French Culinary Institute and for Union Square, both in Manhattan. Mr. Illingworth has also produced traditional wood windows and doors for private homeowners in Georgia, Key West, Fla., Washington, D.C., and even the Virgin Islands. “The bulk of our work is shipped outside the area,” Mr. Illingworth said. “We’re also involved in many historic preservation projects.” Many of those projects

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James J. Illingworth has operated Jim Illingworth Millwork on Wardwell Street in Adams since 1993. The Internet has helped grow national sales.

have been funded through the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. But the company has also done work closer to home, including custom wood work for the Frederic Remington Museum, Ogdensburg, and the historic Jefferson County Courthouse building in Watertown. Although his company had been involved in many largescale projects over the years, “we still build and replace

NNY Business | June 2011

window sashes for people locally,” Mr. Illingworth said. Mr. Illingworth’s interest in woodwork started at a young age. “My dad had a woodshop in his basement,” he said. “I used to help him with a lot of stuff.” In the early 1990s, Mr. Illingworth purchased an 1892 line shaft machine from G.W. White’s Lumber, Watertown, to help get his business started. His company’s motto is “We Keep Old Traditions Alive in Modern Living.”

Another custom mill shop is the Croghan Island Mill Lumber Co., located on the Beaver River in Lewis County. That business is listed on the state and national registries of historic places. The company had been a water-powered operation until recently, when it was forced to switch to electric power after the bearings on the shaft of its water wheel broke following prolonged exposure to air. The Croghan Island Mill owners haven’t decided if they will undertake costly repairs to the water wheel because they are awaiting a decision by state officials on the stability of the Croghan dam. “The dam was condemned in the 1980s and some people are afraid it will tip over,” said John W. Martin, who operates the business. “But we don’t believe it’s that bad.” While the fate of the mill has been in the news recently, “we want people to know that we’re still in operation,” said Mr. Martin. The company continues to make custom wood windows and doors, along with other specialized items, and has a “mix of commercial and residential work,” Mr. Martin said. “We do a lot of restoration work,” he said. The company was started by his father, the late Melvin Martin, in 1969. Family members who have helped with the operation over the years include Mr. Martin’s mother, Delia Martin; his brother, James Martin; and sister, Mary Lou Roggie. Croghan Island Mill has worked on many local projects, along with others statewide, including work for building owners in Albany and New York City, Mr. Martin said.

F E AT U R E S The company is often asked to replicate standard as well as “oddball” size windows, he said. “We do a lot of work with special sizes,” both interior and exterior, Mr. Martin said. That also includes creating old-fashioned-style storm windows and screens, he said. Mr. Martin said he remains hopeful that a recent application by the Lewis County Development Corp. for $99,000 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program will be approved. The money is being requested to help complete a proposed engineering study of the dam. If approved, the grant money would be combined with nearly $50,000 in local funding that has been pledged for the study. The results of the study could determine the dam is structurally sound and not in need of demolition, or could recommend steps to be taken to ensure its safety. Also included in the list of north country custom wood shops is Curtis Woodworking Fine Furniture & Cabinetry Co., Evans Mills. The company, recently featured in an earlier issue of NNY Business, is familyowned and specializes in custom cabinetry and furniture for both residential and


John W. Martin operates a saw at his Croghan Island Mill Lumber Co., located on the Beaver River in Lewis County. Mr. Martin specializes in custom wood windows and doors, among other work.

commercial projects. Peter S. Curtis is the founder and owner, his son, Mark, supervises the woodworking shop and his daughter, Jessica Priestly, is a designer and sales

manager. This year marks the company’s 30th anniversary n NORAH MACHIA is a freelance writer who lives in Watertown. She is a 20-year veteran journalist. Contact her at

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June 2011 | NNY Business

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Louann I. Moser pours out distilled water used in testing procedures at Converse Laboratories in Watertown. The organization is celebrating its 30th year in business this month.


Passing the test of time

Converse Laboratories celebrates 30 years in business this month By NANCY MADSEN


NNY Business

mall businesses must stay nimble to survive, even those who have been in business for 30 years. Converse Laboratories Inc., Watertown, has reacted to changing market needs, adding different niche markets, to reach 30 years. David J. Converse, president, and Laboratory Director Donna K. Zang started testing at dairy farms in June 1981. Now they conduct a variety of tests for dairy production plants, food processors, municipal water and sewage system operators, public potable water sources and beaches. The partners bought the lab, then Watertown Dairy Lab, and thought it would be a part-time business for Mrs. Zang. “The previous owner told us, ‘It’s part-time and it will never be more than part-time,’” she said. “But by January, we had already grossed twice what he had grossed the entire year before.” The business moved from part of a house to a building on Route 283, before

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settling in 1997 at Suite B101 at the Watertown Center for Business and Industry, 800 Starbuck Ave. In 1985, the business received a municipal water testing accreditation through the state Department of Health. Then the business could test municipal water and wastewater and non-municipal public water supplies, such as those at restaurants. “Dairy is now 20 to 30 percent of our business at most,” Mrs. Zang said. “It’s a total flop of the focus of our business area.” And that is a sign of the fewer dairy farms in the region and the move by dairy cooperatives to open large labs to run the same tests in the state. “In the 80s, we tested on close to 3,000 farms,” Mr. Converse said. Mrs. Zang added, “Now that’s 200.” In the meantime, municipal water contracts and food and dairy plant testing have increased dramatically. “We get products from all over,” she said. “We’re one of the few labs in the state certified” by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. The lab responds to seemingly constant

changes in regulations from DOH and the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Council. As new standards go into effect, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state DOH frequently require different paperwork to report the same thing. “We’re a small lab and a small company and they treat us the same as a large lab,” Mr. Converse said. The lab doesn’t conduct radiological or metals testing, but “I have books and books of the regulations for those things we don’t do,” Mrs. Zang said. The lab offers those food-processing plants third-party independent testing, frequently required by purchasers, and separation from the pathogens the plants do not want on-site. Staff members produce many of the media that they grow cultures in. “The biggest thing we have to work on is always looking for quality material at good prices,” Mrs. Zang said. “We can’t pass on a 30 percent increase in one year.” Food tests run a wide range: eggs to gelatin, ice cream to sorbet. The lab

F E AT U R E S To learn more CONVERSE LABORATORIES n David J. Converse, president n Donna K. Zang, laboratory director 800 Starbuck Ave., Suite B101, Watertown 788-8388 1 (800) 427-5227

checks for pathogens and runs pasteurization tests on dairy products. “The adaptation comes in how we can grow samples,” Mrs. Zang said. “We have methods that we’ve developed through the years.” In environmental testing, the lab runs fecal chloroform tests and others to show the effectiveness of wastewater treatment plants. It tests for pathogens in municipal and potable water. It has run the bacterial contamination tests for Save the River, Fort Drum’s Remington Pond, Selkirk Shores and different pool waters. “We are busy — crazy all summer long,” Mrs. Zang said. “July, August, September are our busy months. We’re slow maybe February and March.” The business has been pretty stable


Donna K. Zang, Converse Labs director, and David J. Converse, president, outside their Watertown office.

with about nine on staff — seven are fulltime. A few extra hands are hired in the summer. “I never say no unless it’s an unusual test and for just once or twice a year, unless I determine I can build a market,”

she said. “We’re usually good at finding a place where clients can get the testing done if we can’t.” n NANCY MADSEN is a staff writer for Johnson Newspapers. Contact her at nmadsen@wdt. net or 661-2358.

June 2011 | NNY Business

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Fourth Coast goes sunny side up n Clayton firm aims to help clients ‘go green’ in ways large and small By KEN EYSAMAN


NNY Business editor

Robert J. Campany and Augusta Withington, owners of Clayton’s Fourth Coast Inc., stand on a construction lift overlooking a solar photovoltaic system their firm completed at the Town of Alexandria Bay municipal building.

oing green is a lifestyle that starts with consuming less. But for all the confusion over tax credits and rebates for energy efficiency, the path to a greener way of life is paved with red tape that one north country firm aims to help others cut through. “Our business began on the belief that we should make collective efforts to reduce our use of energy,” said Augusta Withington, co-owner of Forth Coast Inc. in Clayton. “But there is a lot of confusion out there about how people can make a difference individually.” In 2008, Ms. Withington teamed with Robert J. Campany, a colleague and longtime engineer who spent more than 20 years working for a local architecture and engineering firm. With her own background in finance and business, the two set out to help people answer many of the same questions they had been asking about renewable energy. The next big step was launching Fourth Coast, which came after the two realized they shared the same concern: How do we create a better environment for the current generation as well as for those to follow? Now in its third year and with a staff of eight, the company has taken on the task of recharging the north country by helping people employ greener technologies like solar and geothermal.

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To learn more FOURTH COAST INC. n Robert J. Campany, co-owner, 783-6384 n Augusta Withington, co-owner, 408-7443 17493 Blind Bay Road, Clayton

With a wide range of residential and commercial services for government, education and nonprofits, the firm begins every project analyzing ways to best implement energy-saving solutions. “We take a multi-tiered approach and look at all aspects of a person’s energy use before we recommend more efficient solutions,” Mr. Campany said. A common misconception among people interested in a greener lifestyle is that they have to do something big to be green, the pair said. “Just because you have solar doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve made the switch to living a green life,” Ms. Withington said. “We


try to help people make the best decisions they can and give them a range of options.” For many, taking steps like switching to energy-saving light bulbs or starting a recycling program are the best ways to start down a path of consuming less. Of all its services, solar photovoltaic has become the firm’s specialty. Drive through the north country and where there are solar panels atop businesses and government buildings, chances are Fourth Coast had a hand in the project. In less than three years, the company has worked on close to 30 solar projects ranging in size from single-family residential to LaFargevile Central School’s new addition and the Alexandria Bay Municipal Building. “It’s an important part of the future to try and figure out how to work with new technologies,” Mr. Campany said. “Energy prices are only going up.” n Ken Eysaman is editor of NNY Business. Contact him at or 661-2399.


Youmi Guilbert, owner of Absolutely Youmi’s flower shop, at her home office in Ogdensburg.


Florist arranges own odds Service, persistence keeps Ogdensburg woman going despite challenges By ELIZABETH LYONS


NNY Business

oumi Guilbert hopes to emerge smelling like a rose after two years of bad luck. The owner of Absolutely Youmi’s flower shop has struggled to stay in business against a tide of Internet florists and big-box store floral sections. She’s also battled a phone company that incorrectly listed her business phone number since she moved out of her Ford Street storefront to cut costs two years ago. When her phone stopped ringing, she knew she had a problem. “I don’t think it could be worse than it has for the last two years,” she said. “I depend on the holidays, and no one came. Business didn’t exist anymore.” Despite the odds, Ms. Guilbert is still in business. She operates her flower shop out of the basement of her 219 Montgomery St. home. She said she will stay in business for as long as she has loyal customers. “It’s because of my loyal customers that I’m still here,” she said. “I’m lucky they

continued to support me.” Ms. Guilbert said she can handle any orders that come her way, be they for funerals, weddings, prom, Valentine’s Day or just a gift for someone special. “I think weddings are the most fun,” she said. Since she does not have a storefront, Ms. Guilbert said, she is able to take orders 24 hours a day and arrange delivery when it’s convenient for customers. “Customer service is what sets flower shops apart from the grocery stores and

Internet florists,” she said. “If you just get flowers from a grocery store, you have to pick from what’s already there. I can give you exactly what you want.” Ms. Guilbert can be reached at 3947001. She also has set up a website where customers can view photos of her work. Absolutely Youmi’s accepts all major credit cards. Visit her online at www. n ELIZABETH LYONS is a Johnson Newspapers editor based in Ogdensburg. Contact her at or 393-0610.

June 2011 | NNY Business

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Rental properties more prevalent

Driven by Fort Drum, homeowners outnumber renters By NANCY MADSEN


NNY Business

he number of renters in Jefferson County continues to outpace the number of homeowners. Statistics from the 2010 census show that 41.8 percent of occupied units are rentals, up from 40.3 in 2000. Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties showed more units overall and the region has more seasonal units. “The Fort Drum community is a driving force through its economic impact,” said Donald R. Canfield, county planning department director. “It makes changes to our demographics, population makeup and it certainly is true that the impact has grown since 2000, because we’ve had 6,000 soldiers assigned to Fort Drum since that last census.” The state has a high proportion of rented properties: 46.7 percent. In the north country, St. Lawrence County had 29.2 percent of the houses as rentals, Lewis had 23 percent rentals and Jefferson had 41.8 percent of the properties as rentals. The number of housing units in Jefferson County increased from 54,070 to 57,966 and occupied rental units increased from 16,162 to 18,173. “This is consistent with the construction trends we’ve had over the last couple of years in terms of adding a couple of large rental projects,” Mr. Canfield said. The vacant rental units in 2010 numbered 1,445, with another 223 rented but unoccupied. Those numbers are down a

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Rental properties, like Palmer Street Apartments, above, dominate the housing market in Watertown, a trend that industry experts say is tied to Fort Drum’s transient population.

little from 2000, when there were 1,695 vacant rental units and 605 units rented or sold, but unoccupied. “The impact of Fort Drum is always tempered by the level of deployments,” he said. “We had 7,000 soldiers deployed during the census canvass period in April 2010, so the results don’t fully represent the impact of Fort Drum on the community if we had everyone here and not on deployments.” Mr. Canfield also pointed out that the noninstitutionalized group quarters population, which includes soldiers housed in barracks on post, decreased from 5,105 in 2000 to 3,974 in 2010. “That’s reflective of the level of deployments we had in 2010,” he said. All service members are counted from the state from which they enlisted, unless that is not available, a Defense Depart-

ment spokeswoman said. Some branches do not report that state. If that record is not available, the members’ legal residences, last known U.S. duty station and residence mailing address are used in order to determine where they will be counted. Dependents are counted at the residence mailing address in the department’s records. The additional 2,000 units in the last 10 years will not be enough to meet the needs of the military population. “Studies from the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization are still showing a deficit in multi-family housing needs,” Mr. Canfield said. “Once we do have everyone here home at once, the economic and influence on demographic character-

Please see RENTALS, page 45


Assessing the real value of home


omeownership isn’t for everyone, but for those ready to take on the responsibility the desire to buy a house goes much deeper than a dollarsand-cents analysis. Understandably, job security is top-of-mind for many Americans and renting provides relocation flexibility, but most people don’t want to uproot their families and disrupt established friendships by leaving the community they call home. In fact, the typical recent homebuyer moved only 19 miles from his or her previous home. According to the 2010 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 53 percent of first-time buyers were motivated by a desire to own a home of their own. Thirty-three percent of first-time buyers bought a home when they did because they thought it was the best time for home affordability given low mortgage rates, rising incomes and stable prices. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau reports that owners do not move as frequently as renters. In turn, involvement in community quality-of-life issues helps prevent crime, improve childhood education and support neighborhood upkeep. This is backed by a Harris Interactive survey, American Attitudes About Homeownership, which was conducted in October and commissioned by the National Association of Realtors. In it, a substantial majority of homeowners as well as renters agreed that owning a home is a smart long-term decision. In fact, 95 percent of owners and 72 percent of renters believed that over a period of several years, it made more sense to own a home. Of those homeowners surveyed, 93 percent are


happy with the decision to own and would buy again. More homeowners than renters describe their communities as safe and stable. Homeowners also report that they Lance Evans are more satisfied with their community and family life. While many factors contribute to a positive community environment, a large percentage of homeowners and renters believe a high rate of homeownership is one factor. Homeowners generally feel more connected to their communities, participate in community and civic activities more frequently, and are more likely to know their neighbors well. Homeowners are engaged in nearly all community activities more frequently than renters. For example, 86 percent of homeowners vote in national elections often or always compared with 68 percent of renters. They are more likely to read or listen to local and national news, vote in local elections, attend religious services and volunteer their time for a charitable organization. Homeownership is also correlated with a better self-assessment of health with 44 percent rating their health as excellent or very good compared with 29 percent of renters. Coupled with historically low interest rates, this may be the right time for someone to buy, especially if the person has been sitting on the fence waiting.

In February, I wrote about efforts to enact a property tax cap in New York. This has been proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and passed by the state Senate. It remains stalled in the Assembly. New York has a property tax rate that is nearly 80 percent above the national average and closing costs that are the highest in the country. First-time homebuyers, the elderly and the state’s businesses are among those suffering the most. Unpredictable property tax increases hamper New York’s businesses and impede job growth. In 2010 alone, New York’s businesses paid $21 billion in property taxes — the largest non-federal tax on private sector employers. According to an analysis by the Public Policy Institute, New Yorkers paid $2.3 billion more in property taxes in 2010 than they did in 2009 for a total of $48 billion in property tax. This increase came as our economy continues to struggle and New Yorkers can afford it the least. A tax cap alone is certainly not a silver bullet, but it will help bring costs under control and drive important reforms like the mandate relief our local governments and school districts desperately need. With less than a month remaining in the legislative session, the time for reform is now. You can go to and let our legislators know you support a tax cap. n LANCE M. EVANS is the executive officer of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors and the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors. He has lived in the north country since 1985. Contact him at His column appears monthly in NNY Business.

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June 2011 | NNY Business

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Luxury waterfront living in NNY Custom features top Three Mile Bay home for cool $2.7m By NANCY MADSEN


NNY Business

ustom finishing and inspiring locations are what set prime properties apart from the rest. One example is a 4,650-square-foot house off County Route 57 near Three Mile Bay. The arts-and-craftstyle home sits on a lot with 370 feet of water frontage on Point Peninsula. “The owners came upon it through their nephew-in-law, who is an avid duck hunter,” said Katherine R. Couch, licensed real estate agent with Exit More Real Estate. “It’s a perfect duck hunting and fishing location.” The property has 4.4 acres, including a sand beach, lawn and woods. Current owners Scott C. Discount and Sean A. Coffee used an open, two-floor house design from Architects Northwest Inc., Woodinville, Wash., and modified it a bit. Almost all of the rooms have a view of the water through one or several of the house’s 100 windows. “The property itself is key — it’s in a prime location for


This 4,650-square-foot house off County Route 57 near Three Mile Bay is on the market for $2.7 million, making it one of the most expensive homes presently for sale in the north country.

anyone interested in anything sporting at all,” Ms. Couch said. “It could be an unbelievable corporate retreat kind of home.” The privacy that a private road and the large lot provide, along with the view, put the property into a group of those valued above $1 million. The asking price for the home and property is $2,700,000. “It is a unique home,” Ms. Couch said. “It has an open living area but has no wasted space.” And the key design touches

and custom work add to the value of the home. Downstairs, the living rooms feature cathedral ceilings, an open floor plan and natural light through windows and a skylight. Fox Island takes up about half of the view from the 10-foot kitchen window, with Lake Ontario to the left. The living room and family rooms each feature two-story stone fireplaces. Peter S. Curtis of Curtis Furniture Co., Evans Mills, created tiger maple cabinets for the master bedroom

walk-in closet and quarter sawn white oak arts and crafts cabinetry for the kitchen. The kitchen also has two dishwashers, two sinks, a 48-inch range, a wine fridge, two islands and brushed absolute granite counters. A downstairs office and exercise room opens through French doors onto an outdoor patio with a fireplace. The property also has a hot tub pad, boat ramp, stone erosion wall, sand beach, wrap-around porch with cedar floorboards and a storage shed.

MACAR’S • Kitchens • Bathrooms • Flooring • Lighting

161 Coleman Avenue 40 |

NNY Business | June 2011

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Above, left, the master suite of a $2.7 million luxury home in Three Mile Bay overlooks Lake Ontario. Above, right, multiple levels are shown from the top

floor. The custom-built home was designed with entertaining in mind and every room has a view of Lake Ontario.

The exterior has spruce clapboard, cedar shake and stone. The garage fits three cars. The ground floor also has a mudroom, laundry room with a dog-cleaning sink and a full bathroom. Upstairs feature two more guest spa bathrooms and three bedrooms. The master suite is on a separate wing

conditioning system in three zones and radiant heat in six zones. A home automation system controls the entire house from climate to lighting, from televisions to 35 indoor and outdoor ceiling speakers and from security to wireless ports. “The design was built so

of the second floor. The master suite features an upstairs balcony, 8-foot-by-7-foot waterfall shower room and Jacuzzi tub. All of the rooms have 5 1/2-inch hickory hardwood, natural slate or ceramic tile floors. Several rooms have built-in television screens. The house has a high-velocity air

well for entertaining,” Ms. Couch said. “The floor plan is open and there is a nice spa bathroom for every guest room. And every room has a view of the water.” n NANCY MADSEN is a Johnson Newspapers staff writer. Contact her at or 661-2358.

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June 2011 | NNY Business

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Dialed in for SUCCESS


ive years ago, radio executive James L. Leven decided to go back to work and take on the challenges of an industry he has devoted his life to. Mr. Leven opens up about his decision to end an early retirement and move from the concrete confines of the Big Apple to Northern New York where he runs Community Broadcasters, a company that includes six FM and two AM radio stations.


NNYB: How long have you been in the radio business in Northern New York? LEVEN: [My business partner Bruce Mittman and I] bought the radio stations in July 2006, so just about five years. Before that I lived in New York City on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. I moved up here the day we closed and ended up buying a condominium in Sackets Harbor. Most weekends I meander back to the city. I like it there. To me, I feel very fortunate because I have the best of both worlds. By being in the north country during the week and often in NYC on the weekends I have an opportunity to do all kinds of different things and be with people in the north country, who are, to me, the most open, honest and hardworking people I’ve lived around. And I’ve lived all over the country.


NNYB: Was it a group when you bought it or did you add stations? LEVEN: I added one station to it. Bruce and I bought a frequency that wasn’t on-air, 94.1 FM, which was originally licensed to Old Forge. At the time, WOTT was called Rock 100.7, we moved ROCK 100.7 to the 94.1 frequency when we bought that. And of course WOTT is now 94 Rock WOTT and 100.7 the Fox, which is the greatest hits of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. We have a great mix. There’s eight stations altogether, five in Watertown and three covering St. Lawrence County out of studios in Ogdensburg.

n After five years, radio executive finds smooth skies in north country media mix

very few people. Here in this office we have the Border, Magic 103.1, the Fox, 94 Rock WOTT and AM1240 WATN. AM1240 is the station with my two favorite talk shows, Live at Five with Glen Curry and the Hotline with our mayor, Jeff Graham. They’re great radio shows and public forums for our community.


NNYB: What really attracted you to this kind of opportunity? LEVEN: I was retired in New York City. I owned a company called Pilot Communications before this and we grew to about 20 radio stations in six markets. Among them were four radio stations in Syracuse. I had 95X, 93Q and a couple other stations there. In 2000, a company called Citadel broadcasting offered far too much money for my investors and me to turn down, so we sold those radio stations and I thought I’d retire in 2000. I had been living in West Hartford, Conn., my hometown actually, and I moved to New York. I did a bunch of consulting jobs, started an Internet company that ultimately didn’t succeed because it couldn’t be monetized adequately. It involved radio and television on the Internet, before everyone else had done it. We had two music sites and 2 million unique folks joining us every week and we still couldn’t convince advertisers to buy advertising because it was too early. I also flew my airplane for a charity called Angel Flight.


NNYB: Were you in New York City on September 11?

the stars and stripes on the bottom and I knew we were going to be OK because our guys were here. I know that sounds really corny and it’s almost embarrassing to say, but it still gives me chills knowing our armed forces were there to protect us.


NNYB: What is it about radio, compared to other mediums? LEVEN: When I was 6 years old, I was interviewing stuffed animals in bed and there were really only two choices and that’s how I started doing this. As embarrassing as that sounds, there was always radio and there was television. I wanted to be Johnny Carson and I wanted to be Walter Cronkite when I was six years old. Radio is a fascinating business because radio is more in a way more like newspaper and books than it is television and film because when you listen to the radio and something is imparted to you. Whether it’s news or a joke or talking about the community, as a listener you have to imagine what’s being said and it becomes part of you in a very personal way.


NNYB: So five years ago you find out about this opportunity in Watertown and you decided to throw your hat back in the ring? Had you been up here? LEVEN: Yes, because I had the four stations in Syracuse. I had only been in Watertown once and it had to be 1992 or 1993 something like that. It was probably in the late afternoon or evening, we were on buses. I took the staff on an Uncle Sam’s boat tour and we stopped here, frankly, to use the bathroom. We obviously were either on Arsenal or Coffeen streets and there wasn’t a lot to see. I’d been retired and for the first six months or a year it was a lot of fun; I did a lot of traveling, I did a lot of playing, but after a while I was abjectly bored. I needed something to do where I could feel

LEVEN: Between 20 to 25 people. We have

LEVEN: I could see one of the Twin Towers come down from my terrace. It was terrifying. The best moment I had that day was watching a stealth bomber about 100 feet over my building. My terrace was on the 36th floor so it was pretty close to the top of the building on East 70th Street. And I felt this vibrating and heard this roar and here’s that Batman airplane with

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NNYB: With eight stations, how many people do you employ?

NNY Business | June 2011

20 QUESTIONS there was a reason to get up in the morning, other than to watch a rerun of “Combat.” I decided I had to start working again. I always seem to gravitate back toward radio because it’s just so much fun and powerful and I think it can do so much good for people.


NNYB: What has pleased you the most about this decision? LEVEN: The community. This community comes together unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. If there’s a person in need, the money is raised in a day. Children’s Miracle Network in Utica raises about half as much as we do. Hopefully Johnny [Spezzano] and the Border have something to do with it. But mostly it’s this huge heart the north country has. That and the fact that the economy is on fire here. Which, for a small business like ours, Bruce and I are tickled pink by the new stores and restaurants and hotels. By the wonderful contribution obviously of Fort Drum. I’m excited because we have as good a team, probably better team, than I‘ve worked with that work on our advertising, account managers and air talent to the managers who work here. I’ve never worked with a better group of people.


NNYB: What do you see in the future of radio in the north country, five years down the road? Any consolidations on the horizon? LEVEN: In this market? No consolidations on the horizon. For us, in five years our crew will have reached higher levels of success. I think radio is a vibrant business. There is talk about radio being passé in some circles. It just can’t be further from the truth. Statistically more people than ever in history in the U.S. are listening to commercial radio every single day. About 95 percent of Americans listen to the radio daily. That’s a number to those who are naysayers is very surprising. Certainly, there are more choices. The immediacy of radio and the fact that it’s local, and you bump into Lancer from 94 Rock or Joe Brosk from Magic or Glen Curry from Live at 5 or Johnny from the Border just wandering around town. The same day they either see something or hear something, they’re on the radio locally talking about it. That’s just never going to change.


NNYB: You’ve mentioned that you’re a pilot. As a pilot who is a frequent user of Watertown International, how important is it that the airport grows and develops in terms of service to the north country? LEVEN: I have a Beachcraft Baron, it’s a twin engine propeller plane. It’s a little thing, not very big. [The airport] is a huge asset. It’s where you develop commerce. It’s another way to attract business to a community by making it easier to come to and go from Watertown. If I had one of many wishes for the community, in terms of the airport, we need another 2,000 feet of runway on runways 7 and 2/5. We have two runways, which are numbered four ways, but the big runway where they have an instrument landing system approach, where you can land in 200-foot ceilings with a half-mile of visibility or more. If we were to add a couple thousand feet to the runway, you could es-


Jim Leven, president of Community Broadcasters, talks about his radio stations in his Watertown office on Wealtha Avenue. sentially fly any kind of jet liner into the airport. I’m happy to see that the potential of American Eagle to come here exists. I would rather not have an airline taking us to Chicago, not from a selfish perspective, if we have one place to choose, the center of business and commerce still is New York City. We ought to have a flight going back and forth to New York rather than Chicago. Given the alternative, I think Cape Air is a wonderful airline, but going to Albany doesn’t do a lot. Going to Chicago gets us to O’Hare and takes us anywhere in the world, which means business people from here, from everywhere from China to Europe, can come to Watertown and see what a wonderful place it is to start businesses. Airports are like that for every community and it’s very important to grow any kind of port.

The James L. Leven file AGE: 55 JOB: President and CEO, Community Broadcasters, LLC. HOMETOWN: West Hartford, Conn. EDUCATION: Northwestern Journalism School, Evanston, Ill., 1978; Northfield Mount Hermon, Mount Hermon, Mass., 1974; Kingswood Oxford, West Hartford, Conn. PROFESSIONAL: 33 years in the radio industry. Held nearly every job from disc jockey to sales and promotions manager to station manager and owner.


NNYB: If there was another ice storm, what could people expect from radio?

FAMILY: Divorced, no children. LAST BOOK READ: “Decision Points” by George W. Bush.

LEVEN: That we’d find a way to be on the air 24/7 if we needed to. Johnny Spezzano would tell you how he slept here for days and days in the last one. We would do it again. I only have generators at some of my radio stations, I would find them and we’d be on the air. I got an email from a friend of mine, Howard Price, who is the head of crisis management at ABC News, he and I went to Northwestern together. Literally, we were going back and forth with emails on this topic and going on about how proud we were about radios response to the tornadoes in the south. As terrifying as hearing about the stories either in the Watertown Daily Times or on our radio stations or on Channel 7 and 50 or on cable, it was just bone-chilling listening to the radio stations. There’s a guy on the air in, I think, Birmingham, Ala., who worked for Cox Communications who was live on the air when someone told him the tornado was approaching his home. He had no idea if his wife or kids were OK, and you know what he did? He stayed on the air and talked to the community and he asked that anyone with information about his family got in touch with him, but that he would be there. And that’s our job. That’s how we serve the community. Radio is at its

best when the chips are down. When there is a breaking news story. Radio is the audio form of the newspaper of record. That’s what a radio station is at its best.


NNYB: Much has been said about what the Internet means for newspapers, what has the Internet meant for the radio? LEVEN: It really hasn’t impacted us much at all. The fact that people may listen to something online doesn’t mean they listen to radio less. In fact, they listen to both more. It’s an odd phenomenon. It hasn’t done that as much in television and unfortunately not as much in print. I wish it would, because all of my professors in journalism school wanted me to go into print because they thought radio was a passing fad back in the 1970s. I think it has hurt newspaper more than radio. Reading is reading to a certain point. I think that people miss the point that local news reporters handling things intimately are in most cases better than bloggers or these aggregators of news on

June 2011 | NNY Business

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20 QUESTIONS the Internet. It hasn’t really hurt radio. Neither has satellite radio, it really hasn’t hurt. Even XM Sirius announced itself, and I’m not saying they’re lying, they say they have 20 million subscribers. What’s 95 percent of 330 million people? That’s how many people are listening to the radio versus 20 million to satellite. The Internet is just another choice. Radio is more robust I think.


NNYB: Can you get your stations online? LEVEN: We cannot, because of licensing. It goes back to the cost of paying for these silly licenses. It’s a lot of money per month per station. It’s based on how many people hear each song and you pay by that song times the number of ears hearing that song. It’s crazy. Very expensive.


NNYB: Is that something you would eventually like to do? LEVEN: We’d love to. There are a number of reasons why we don’t but most of it revolves around the cost or the expense. If we could monetize adequately, then of course we would do it. Eventually we will do this; for now, radio is a local entity. We talk to the north country. If somebody hears me in Los Angeles, that’s wonderful. More important is the people in our listening area can hear us, we supply them with news and weather and sports and music that we believe is the best for here. There are great hits you hear everywhere. There will be differences from town to town on the dial. That’s because we know our communities and this community is very different from New York City or from Hartford. Phish was a much bigger band in Hartford than I ever suspected it was in Watertown. There is a difference from town to town.


NNYB: You started Community Broadcasters at what was the start of the financial meltdown. We’re now, supposedly, on the upshot. How has the recession and the economy affected your business? LEVEN: It scared the crud out of me. But between the community and my sales staff, it was a Herculean task and they were Hercules. We weren’t hurt very much. One time revenues in the radio business were down 25 percent on year, I guess that would have been 2009. We didn’t have a problem. We’ve done better

virtually every year we’ve been here. Last year we did exceptionally well. We just have a great staff and our staff for the most part has been here a long time and they know everybody in town. When people advertise on the radio they want to do better and want to sell more goods and services or both. Our job is to find creative ways to help them do that. There is no one on our staff who doesn’t think more about the businesses for whom we advertise than for ourselves, within reason.


NNYB: Define innovation in the scope of your business. LEVEN: To me, innovation in small business in not just entrepreneurial, it’s intrepreneurial. We try to allow people to come up with great ideas on their own. An individual employee will have a great idea and will come to me or one of the other managers and we’ll take the ball and run with it. Instead of having everything fed from this office. It doesn’t work. Innovation is coming up with new ways to help people sell their products. Innovation is new products from our perspective. We’ve changed most of the radio stations here in the last five years. I’d like to think we’ve improved most if not all of them, product wise.


NNYB: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever followed? LEVEN: Fly the plane. When people start panicking when something goes wrong, keep yourself on track. If you’re flying an airplane and something goes wrong, there is a check list to follow. There’s always one item that you do before you even open the book to see what to do next. It’s called “Fly the airplane.” Once the airplane goes out of control, it’s going to crash and everyone is going to die anyway. I think that staying on track, staying calm, keeping your eye on the prize, in a little Martin Luther King-ism there. It’s the most important thing you can do. If you have experience and a little wisdom and a little intellect, everything else works from there.


NNYB: You seem like the kind of guy who wakes up without an alarm clock. What makes you excited to continue with such drive? LEVEN: I get to come to work with the guys. I love coming to work with our team. I have a great time here and if I’m not coming to work,

you’ll see me out and about in Sackets Harbor. I just love it there. I just like the energy and spirit of the north country, and this sounds disingenuous, I love the spirit of the north country. I hate the weather. I wish it didn’t snow as much, it wasn’t as cold or isn’t as cloudy all the time. Those are my only complaints about this area. If you want to go boating, you can go boating. If I want to go flying, the airport is small enough to where I’m not number 10 for departure. If I want to go to a concert I can go to Kingston or I can go to Syracuse or stay in town. The Watertown Wizards, the Red and Black, there’s so much to do. The zoo is such a gem. And being able to go to Canada, I love going to Canada. Kingston is just a great place. There’s good food, there’s culture and the people are open and honest there’s not a lot of bologna here.


NNYB: With a diverse portfolio of radio stations, different formats, different music, what’s on your iPhone? LEVEN: Truthfully, I listen to the radio. My business partner and I have a private joke about Jimi Hendrix, so I have a Jimi Hendrix song that, being the tech-savvy guy I am, I downloaded twice. And Frank Sinatra’s “Watertown.” And that’s it. I listen to the radio. When I’m in Watertown, I listen to my radio stations and monitor my competitors to see what’s going on. I’m very satisfied with the stations we have here because they sound darn good. Off and on I will listen to the Fox. My music is the greatest hits of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, with a little of the ‘90s.


NNYB: What do you think the biggest challenge for your industry is? LEVEN: Remaining local and remaining a personal medium. Remaining connected to the audience. But that’s the same challenge it’s been since 1919, when this whole thing started, roughly. Because radio is one-on-one communication and it’s very powerful because of that. It behooves us in the industry to live up to our responsibility that when you’re sitting on the couch listening to the radio the guy or woman you’re listening to is your best friend with their arm around you. That’s what radio is when it’s done right. — Interview by Ken Eysaman. Edited for length. Know someone who we should interview for 20 Questions? Contact NNY Business Editor Ken Eysaman at or 661-2399.

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20 Years Experience

R E A L E S TAT E Rentals, from page 38 istics will be even greater.” The increased number of units reflects a larger population, said Lance M. Evans, executive officer of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors and the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors. “Housing has clearly increased over the last 10 years: the number of units increased, the number of people owning a home has increased and the number of properties available for rent has increased,” he said. “Assuming that the 10th Mountain Division doesn’t go away, I think it’s going to continue.” Lewis County had a small drop in the number of total units in that county — from 15,134 units in 2000 to 15,112 in 2010. St. Lawrence County, like Jefferson, showed an increase from 49,721 in 2000 to 52,133 in 2010. All three counties had increases in the number of seasonal residents. Jefferson County had an increase from 9,939 units in 2000 to 10,814 in 2010, St. Lawrence County had an increase from 6,106 in 2000 to 7,574 in 2010 and Lewis County showed a smaller increase from 3,717 in

U.S. Census housing statistics 2010 Census 2000 Census JEFFERSON COUNTY Total housing units 57,966 54,070 Total occupied units 43,451 40,068 Owner-occupied units 25,278 23,906 Renter-occupied units 18,173 16,162 Percent renter occupied 41.8 40.3 Seasonal units 10,814 9,939 WATERTOWN Total housing units 12,562 12,450 Total occupied units 11,409 11,036 Owner-occupied units 4,723 4,740 Renter-occupied units 6,686 6,296 Percent renter occupied 58.6 57 Seasonal units 47 40 Source: U.S. Census Bureau

2000 to 3,811 in 2010. “They’ve expanded over Tennis Island,” said Lance M. Evans. “Some of that has to do with aging, as retired people will go south or west for much of the year. We’ve also got more things that have been constructed or turned seasonal.” As the trend holds true for the entire

region, it may not just be seasonal homes for the summer. “We’ve been discovered for people in the wintertime, who want to use property here for snowmobiling,” Mr. Evans said. n NANCY MADSEN is a Johnson Newspapers staff writer. Contact her at nmadsen@wdt. net or 661-2358.


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Market-rate housing a critical need


ately, there has been a significant amount of discussion about how to address a critical housing shortage in the community. More specifically, the nearly desperate need for market-rate rental housing targeted primarily at the military population at Fort Drum. You might ask, how is this issue related to economic development, well the answer is simple. Fort Drum is the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to the community’s economy. The recently released Drum Impact Statement points to the fact that the post and the division contributed a whopping $1.5 billion dollars to our regional economy last year alone. From that perspective, there is no more important economic driver — no bigger community asset — than Fort Drum. Therefore, the natural extension is that problems that Fort Drum faces are, in fact, community problems. Right now, the housing shortfall – said to be somewhere around 1,000 units – could negatively impact further expansion or even put at risk what we have. With that in mind, all of us, not just economic developers, must join together to help identify and participate in a solution. On the surface, it might seem like the solution is simple, we just need to build more market-rate rental units. However, like so many other things, the devil is in the details. Keep in mind that the housing we are discussing is being built by private developers, likely using a combination of their own resources and a long-term financial arrangement with a lending institution. There is no specific Army subsidy that would help to insure a viable long-term investment as there was during the 801 Housing program. The financial risk sits squarely on the developers shoulders.

From a developer’s point of view, his lenders are still uncomfortable with condition of the housing market across the County. The recent recession softened the market so much that some Don Alexander lenders have simply refused to consider housing at all. If lenders are willing to consider housing, they then must face the fact that the projects in Jefferson County are almost exclusively based on the military market, a market they consider volatile because of the number of deployments faced by our superb 10th Mountain Division. In other words, lenders see market-rate housing in Jefferson County as risky compared to an investment in a metropolitan area where the market is not military and therefore thought to be more predictable. If we accept the arguments made above, then our community mission must be to minimize a developer’s risk in any way that we can and it is on this point that discussions are taking place. How is it that we can say to a developer, ‘come to Jefferson County, build the housing we need and we will help shoulder the risk’ or, looking at it slightly differently, maximize his return on investment so he is willing to accept this perceived added risk? Project development, at the end of the day, is all about money. What is it going to take to induce a developer to build our housing? The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency uses typical induce-

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NNY Business | June 2011

ments to help close the above gaps but in this case, those typical incentives are not enough. We must do more to get the housing we need. No silver bullet has been found to date but this simply means we must redouble our efforts to find a way. The economic development agencies within our region understand the problem and we continue to work to find the solution but the gap appears large enough so that action by the economic development agencies will not be enough — it will take government, private sector, education all working together — contributing a piece of the solution to find the answers. In 1984 when Fort Drum began its amazing growth and long-term positive impact on our communities we had numerous gaps to fill. Housing was not the only issue that must be solved. Education, health care, zoning, infrastructure — nearly an endless list of must-solve problems. By working together we solved them. In fact today, our community is often held as an example by leaders in the nation’s capital as a can-do community. We will need that same spirit if we are to find the long-term solution to this problem. Keep in mind: the benefits of solving this short-term problem are far outweighed by the long-term community benefits. Fort Drum and all the folks associated with the 10th Mountain Division is an asset that deserves our undivided support and they will get it, if history is any guide. n DONALD C. ALEXANDER is chief executive officer of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, the Jefferson County Local Development Corp. and the Jefferson County Job Development Corp. He is a lifelong NNY resident and former broadcaster. Contact him at His column appears monthly in NNY Business.


Engage our youth for better future


ecently, I was invited to be a panel speaker at a discussion facilitated by the Jefferson County Youth Bureau. As often happens, I found it an opportunity to learn about the many ways the nonprofit sector is continually working diligently to provide services, leadership and hope for our community. The discussion centered on exploring various opportunities for youth to become engaged with nonprofit organizations in meaningful ways. Each of the organizations represented provided wonderful examples of how they integrate their work with the youngest members of our community. I was able to explain the philosophy behind the Community Foundation’s new Youth Philanthropy Council. In doing so, I made the point that, while teaching lessons of giving back was the initial premise, I soon realized it was more about helping to be a part of supplying the “leadership pipeline.” Also, it was somewhat of a fundamental shift in attitude by looking at young people as the problem solvers rather than the problems themselves. The key goals recently outlined by the Coalition of Community Foundations for youth outlined the benefits of a strong youth engagement program: n Promote positive youth development by engaging young people in meaningful activities that build their skills and capacity. n Build the interpersonal connections between youth from different backgrounds and experiences, and between

youth and adults. n Enhance the operation of community organizations in the human services, philanthropic, education and government Rande Richardson sectors by engaging a youth voice. n Help communities view young people in a more positive light overall. The mindset that I think will be important as we move forward will be to begin to see our youth as “full citizens,” who are current, not deferred, leaders. Will they bring with them all of the knowledge, skills and life experiences as an adult would? Certainly not. However, by involving them in meaningful, not symbolic, ways we stand a better chance of them having the abilities and confidence to pursue even greater opportunities as they mature. In the words of a member of the Youth Philanthropy Council, “being taught something will almost never be as beneficial as learning it for yourself.” Even at 40, I realize I do not have the wisdom of someone who is 50, 60, 70 or older and I shudder when I think of some of the decisions I made between 20 and 30. However, had I not been given the chance to serve in meaningful ways at a young age, I would not have been ready

to do my part to help supply the pipeline. How the nonprofit community handles the transition of leadership to a significantly different generation of citizens is a topic worthy of discussion and exploration. There are plenty of generational studies out there, but what we know for sure is the next generation has fundamentally different ways of looking at the world, communicating and has evolving opinions about how to best direct their resources, both human and capital, to address our community’s challenges. My sense is that they are going to demand a much higher level of involvement and say in how resources are allocated. Writing a check will not be enough. They are likely to expect to have a seat at the table. It is my hope that the nonprofit community will embrace ways to look to nurture that leadership pipeline. This is important for the youth of our community. At the same time, let us not overlook the benefit of pushing organizations, citizens and decision makers to change the way they perceive and interact with youth. Only time will tell if we as a community do this effectively. As these young citizens learn lessons that may never be taught in a classroom, we also gain a glimpse into what the nonprofit leadership landscape will look like a decade from now. That alone is reason enough to pay attention.

n RANDE S. RICHARDSON is executive director of the Northern New York Community Foundation. He is a lifelong Northern New York resident and former funeral director. Contact him at His column appears monthly in NNY Business.

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Chamber to lobby for business goals


am finally figuring out you don’t have to be a politician to be political. I am probably as jaded as the next guy regarding the political process and my involvement. We have had enough political fodder at all levels that there is some merit in our disenchantment. The Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce is still in the early stages of tossing its hat into the political arena, but I have to tell you the opposite seems to be happening; the more I look, the more I see people engaged and accountable. Let’s be honest, this isn’t a love fest and I am still cautious, but a trip to the state comptroller’s office last week was a good example. I traveled to Albany on the invitation of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and his senior staff. (The invite was to several New York State chambers of commerce; I remain just another nobody.) However, it was legitimate outreach by that office to educate our state chambers of commerce with the hope that we would help educate members on exactly what the comptroller does and does not do. They don’t approve the budget; they do figure out the mechanics of the budget, audit institutions and manage the thirdlargest pension fund in the country besides many other functions. What I observed was a group of people seemingly on the same page trying to run a transparent organization. You should take a look at their website,, and judge for yourself. We have also had favorable responses from local representatives. Congressman William L. Owens efforts to aid the Small Business Administration and supply burdensome regulation relief and Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell’s outreach to the Kingston, Ont., community to foster some

conversation, to name a few. There is a choice, head in the sand or heads up. I don’t advocate joining a party just for kicks, but spend a little time on what matters to you, whether it is big-picture Peter Whitmore health care or local recreational trails, it all matters. The chamber is trying to figure out what is relevant to members stay focused. We have no desire to become involved with social issues, our focus is business. We will try to stay as apolitical as possible; in the end the litmus test is simply what is good or bad for business. We hope to support representatives when they are on our side and hold them to task when they are not. Either way it needs to be a cordial and professional dialogue. You can help by letting us know what matters to you, and write or call your representative next time you have an issue. I am not running for office and never will. I don’t have the looks or the brains for that, but I am smart enough to know I can help politicians get elected (or not) and that they have a responsibility to their constituents. I am starting to believe they understand that, too. Please get involved on some level and stay focused. Our business future depends on our representatives making the right decisions. They need our input and I know they’re listening. n n n As many of you know, I have decided to resign my position at the chamber. I tried

to explain to membership in our newsletter as much as I could my reasons for leaving. It was a very difficult decision for me. I want to say something because I think it goes along with business and choices we make on our paths in life. I decided a long time ago coming from a relatively poor background, that if I could work hard and pay my bills, that would be a success. The reality is that my wife and I have worked hard like many of you. Early on we chose a path of fiscal responsibility and realized chasing the Joneses would be useless. There will always be someone taller, prettier and richer. I got caught up in it for a while and then through experiences had a reality check. The lesson for me was simple: Creating time became more valuable than creating money. We are not wealthy, but sometimes the answer is that it’s enough. I like my old boat, new would be nice, but more time on an old boat is better than a few days on a new one because I have to work that much more to pay for it. It has been difficult to keep that balance and it seems that scales simply tilted too far the other way. I love what I do at the chamber, but I love my family more. I challenge all of you to make a gut check and see if you are still sure what really matters. I’m not preaching, if money is what really matters, go for it. I’m not done contributing, but I am trying to find some more time. I shopped everywhere and no one was selling it, so I have to make my own. n PETER S. WHITMORE is president and CEO of the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce. He is a longtime small business owner and Jreck Subs franchisee who is also active with the Fort Drum chapter of the Association of the United States Army. Contact him at


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NNY Business | June 2011



Why is milk at the back of the store?


n June we celebrate our dairy industry across the United States. In Jefferson County, we’ve already held our Dairy Festival and Parade. A new Dairy Princess, Emily LaClair, and her court have been selected to spread the word to our children and communities about the benefits of a diet that includes dairy products. Dairy products are featured on a local news station in the morning. June is Dairy Month. But with all this celebration of “dairy” on the surface, why is milk at the back of the grocery store? Shouldn’t milk be in the most prominent place of the supermarket? Maybe golden floor tiles lay underneath the dairy coolers to highlight its place among the daily food and beverages we consume? Talk with any supermarket manager and they’ll tell you, most people buy dairy products when they come to the store. Put the dairy cooler at the back of the store and people have to walk by everything else to get there. It’s not the most sexy, highly promoted product on the store shelves. In fact, the dairy industry does a disservice to promoting its own product, packaging it in a bland container with very little appeal. How many ads do you see on television with the hottest stars and catchy tunes promoting milk? Dairy farms are analogous to our

shopping experiences in the supermarket for our rural economy. Dairies serve as a staple of business in their communities. Farms bring money into the community Jay Matteson from outside the area for the sale of their milk. They pay their workers who spend that money locally. The Dairy Farm Business Summary in 2009 showed

Watertown. A significant amount of that business has been from dairy farms. In a conversation with Don Alexander, chief executive officer for the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, he asked the question, “Why doesn’t New York State realize the impact dairy farming and agriculture have on our economy and invest in the industry more?” Mr. Alexander was absolutely correct. If New York State wants to grow jobs, then help agriculture, and especially the dairy industry, grow. Dairy farming does not deserve to be at the back of the supermarket when it comes to economic development. For many rural areas, and not just the economically challenged, but communities that are vibrant, dairy farming is the foundation of their economies. Further investment, and reducing barriers to farm growth, can and will help the farms, help the employees, the contractors, agribusinesses, the schools, and the overall well being of the people who live there. Take dairy farming off the back shelf and move it to the front of the store.

Talk with any supermarket manager and they’ll tell you, most people buy dairy products when they come to the store. Put the dairy cooler at the back of the store and people have to walk by everything else to get there. the average hourly rate paid to farm employees to be more than $13 per hour including benefits. Farms use local contractors to build or expand their barns. A recent conversation with a sales representative from a company that supplies lumber products to building contractors revealed that farm expansions were an important part of their business during the past 10 years. They sell $10 million in products annually in an area reaching from Pulaski to

n JAY M. MATTESON is agricultural coordinator for the Jefferson County Agricultural Development Corp. He is a lifelong Northern New York resident who lives in Lorraine. Contact him at His column appears monthly in NNY Business.


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June 2011 | NNY Business

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Safeguarding client info top priority


idewalks have been “rolleddown” along the river towns, tourists are in, kids are ready for summer vacation, and the calendar says June in the north country. For most of us summer brings an upswing of activity further fueling the north country economy. Not so fast north country, as the fallout continues from one of the latest security breaches, have you seen an increase in spam and junk mail; not only in your business email but also in your personal account? Any leak can be extremely damaging to your personal and professional financial well-being and has the potential to put your information in the wrong hands. As the aftermath unfolds, you should be diligently safeguarding your personal and professional cyber presence. As the consumer, you want the business you are dealing with to comply with the industry’s best security practices so you can feel secure in your transactions. As the business owner, the onus of many consumers is on your shoulders. What plans do you have in place to safeguard your customer’s information, as the world just continues to become further interconnected by information technology? What would happen to your reputation, should your business be the next victim of a security breach? Did you make your last purchase with cash? Or, like millions of Americans, did you hand over the plastic? If you did not use cash, you just handed over personal confidential information. Did you happen to ask yourself, “What sort of information security program does this business maintain? Can I trust them with my personal information”?

Millions of businesses, from the small mom and pop operation to the multimillion dollar enterprise, accept credit cards. I am sure your business is no exception. So, are you familiar Jill Van Hoesen with the PCI Standards and how they could affect your business? The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is managed by the PCI Security Council and is the standards that businesses worldwide are actively adopting as the twelve security standards by which to protect the personal data their customers entrust them with. It is becoming increasing important that numerous steps be undertaken by all companies to migrate the risks associated with information technology usage and those trying to exploit it. As the distinction between a technology-driven company and a non-tech company becomes less divergent, you owe it to yourself and your customers to position your business to be as safe and profitable as possible. The first step towards PCI compliance is to assess. However, technology only plays a part. An outsourced credit card processing solution can lower a business’s cardholder data environment (CDE) thus lessening the scope of compliance. Every company is responsible to address where the cardholder data resides; then develop the people and the processes to protect

it. In the assessment phase, be sure to include the identification of all information technology equipment that processes or stores cardholder data and any vulnerabilities that could expose cardholder data. The second step would be to remediate, which will encompass addressing any and all vulnerabilities to the 12 PCI-DSS standards and keeping cardholder data storage to a minimal. The last step is report, which entails submitting all compliance reports applicable to your validation type and merchant level. As appropriate to your type/level and the card brands your business accepts, this step could include undergoing onsite reviews by a qualified security assessor and quarterly network scans by a PCI SSCapproved scanning vendor (ASV). PCI compliance is still for the most part a self-regulatory process driven by the credit card brands your company chooses to accept for payments of goods and services. PCI Compliance in its simplest form is: If you don’t need the cardholder data — then don’t store it, if you store it, you must protect it. PCI compliance is not just a goal to be attained but processes that must be actively sustained to ensure the greatest protection of your customer’s cardholder data they have entrusted to you. Comprehensive compliance information on the PCI Security Standards can be obtained by visiting the PCI Security Standards Council website at www. n JILL VAN HOESEN is the information security officer for Johnson Newspapers and a 25-year IT veteran. Contact her at jvanhoesen@ Her column appears monthly in NNY Business.

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NNY Business | June 2011


Don’t forget hidden business costs


t’s been my experience that independent construction contractors enjoy paperwork just about as much as cats like water. Unfortunately, it is one of those fields that require a lot of work, paperwork or otherwise. Anyone who does business with the government is already familiar with getting into the Central Contractor Registry and completing the Online Representations and Certification Application process. Then, if you’re lucky enough to snag a federal contract, there are strict requirements on job reporting, payroll, safety issues and so on. Even if you aren’t interested in doing business with the government, there have been some new regulations coming down from the powers-thatbe that contractors need to know about. Take the small contractor who is going to do some residential remodeling, maybe put in some new windows or change out a door. If the house was built before 1978, the Environmental Protection Agency has released new requirements for lead abatement training if more than a certain square footage of the walls is being disturbed. This is called the “Renovation, Repair and Painting Program.” As of April 22, 2010, all renovation contractors doing this kind of work must be certified by an EPA-approved trainer. For more information, go to lead/pubs/toolkits.htm. We also know that contractors pay the highest rates when it comes to workers’

compensation for their employees. This has led to many business owners using the term “independent contractor” for their workers by having them set themselves Sarah O’Connell up as their own business even though they’re only working for you. Unfortunately, there can be serious consequences for the business owner if a worker gets injured on the job and it becomes apparent that he or she is actually

the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a directive requiring all contractors performing residential construction to comply with federal fall protection standards. The standards require that employees working six feet or more above the ground or a lower level must use guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems. You can find detailed information at doc/guidance.html, including a look at various arrest systems. Yes, it’s true that training, insuring and protecting workers costs money. However, the savvy contractor knows these costs can just be factored into bid estimates. Furthermore, if you do have the opportunity to subcontract for prime contractors, they are going to be looking at the smaller firms that already have the required training and safety measures implemented. Their insurance companies will insist on it. If you’re one of those prepared companies, you’ll have a jump on the competition. The NYS Small Business Development Center offers individual, confidential counseling at no cost for people with new or existing businesses, as well as other workshop opportunities. Contact us at 782-9262 or sbdc@sunyjef

Yes, it’s true that training, insuring and protecting workers costs money. However, the savvy contractor knows these costs can be factored into bid estimates. an employee and thus entitled to worker’s compensation. I call this the “They’re an independent contractor on the way up the ladder and an employee after they fall” syndrome. In 2010, the state Legislature passed the “New York State Construction Industry Fair Play Act.” Under this law, the worker is presumed to be an employee unless he can clearly prove that he is a separate business entity. If you, the employer, are found to be willfully misclassifying a worker, civil and criminal sanctions can be brought against you. Speaking of ladders, just this spring,

n SARAH O’CONNELL is a certified business advisor with the New York State Small Business Development Center at Jefferson Community College. She is a former small business owner and lifelong Northern New York resident. Contact her at Her column appears monthly in NNY Business.

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June 2011 | NNY Business

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n Strawberry Festival, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday, and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sixtown House, 33 E. Church St. Sponsored by South Jefferson Historical Association. Chicken barbecue, grilled food, strawberry desserts, silent auction, bake sale, craft, hobby and antique show. Information: Alan Reed, 767-1295.


n Pancake and Cheese Omelet Breakfast, 8 a.m. to noon, Sixtown House, 27 E. Church St. Sponsored by Adams Revitalization Committee and Adams Cheddar Cheese Festival.


n Cheddar Cheese Festival, throughout the village. Sponsored by Adams Revitalization Committee and South Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. Celebrating agriculture and cheese making in Jefferson County. Kid zone, inflatables, birds, animals, alpacas, storytelling, wineries, food, free music, arts, crafts, bicycle rally and 5K run. Information:



n Northern New York Firemen’s Association Convention, Copenhagen Volunteer Fire Department. Firematics: 9 a.m. Saturday. Parade: 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Information: Sandy Peck, 688-4103.


n Flag Day Celebration, 10 a.m., Gouverneur Village Park. Sponsored by Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce. Entertainment, vendors, food, games and parade at 3 p.m.


n Fifth Annual Thousand Islands River Run, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, throughout Alexandria Bay. Performance by the Vertical Outlaws motorcycle stunt group from Maine at the Alexandria Bay Fire Department. Music on James Street and a vendor area for vendors from the U.S. and Canada. Information: or Alexandria Bay Chamber of Commerce, 1 (800) 541-2110 or 482-9531.


n Fourth Annual Lewis County General Hospital Auxiliary Golf Tournament Fundraiser, 9 a.m., Brantingham Golf Club. Four-person captain and crew, men’s, women’s and co-ed flights. Cost: $240 per team, includes greens fees, a cart, skins, prize money, continental breakfast and steak buffet dinner. Guest dinner: $12. Contact: Brantingham Golf Club, 348-8861.



Best of Boonville, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., throughout the village. Sponsored by Boonville Chamber of Commerce. Craft, retail and food vendors in village square; children’s carnival rides at Masonic temple; music in the village gazebo; classic car, cycles and hot rod competition on Main Street. Chicken wing contest and village-wide yard sales. Information: www.boonville

CLAYTON n Sailing Seaway Clayton, based around Frink Park and Thousand Islands Regional Dock throughout the week. Sponsored by Lake Ontario Realty and Davidson Auto Group. America’s Privateer, the tall ship named Lynx, will arrive at noon Tuesday piloted by Captain Jamie Trost. Full schedule of events:

NNY Business | June 2011





n Great New York State Food and Wine Festival, 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Cerow Recreation Park Arena. Vendors, food tasting, farmers market and Made in New York products. Admission: 5; military with identification, $4; children, $3. Information:

n Arts Festival, noon to 8 p.m., the Evans House, 3938 State Highway 37. Sponsored by Artisans of the River Valley. Live music, 50-60 artisans, wine tasting and bottle sales, organic meats and produce, goats, alpacas, TAUNY, St. Lawrence County Arts Council and Fort La Presentation, demonstrations, food and drink. Free admission.


n Business After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m., Madison Barracks, 85 Worth Road. Prizes, networking , food and drink. Registration required by Wednesday, June 15. Register: or 788-4400. Cost: Members, $8; non-members, $12.


n Opening Concert on the Waterfront, 3 p.m., Battlefield Historic Site. Opening night of the 26th annual series with music by Frank Sacci. Information: www.sacketshar or Barb McKeever, 646-2321.


n Made in New York Festival, 11 a.m., Madison Barracks Polo Field. Sponsored by Lawler Realty and the Society for the Preservation of Madison Barracks. A combination of the 1812 Beer and Wine Festival and the Sackets Harbor Chamber’s Taste of New York event. Includes farm products, organic fruit and vegetables, arts, music, wine and crafted beers. Benefits Meals on Wheels of Watertown. Contact: Mike Campbell, 646-3374.


n Fourth of July Fireworks, 10 p.m., Battlefield Historic Site, W. Washington Street. Sponsored by Village of Sackets Harbor. Information: 646-3548 or 646-1700.


n Heritage Days, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Jefferson County Historical Society, 228 Washington St. Living history demonstration areas, activities and games, Highway Legends Classic Car Show with the 1910 Babcock vehicle, music, food, beer and wine. Admission: $5; children, $2; families, $10; road rally, $10 per car. Discount for historical society members, military and senior citizens. Information: JCHS, 782-3491.


n 95th annual Mount Carmel Feast, grounds open at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 850 Arsenal St. Spaghetti dinner: 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Grounds close nightly at 10 p.m. Rides, Italian food and entertainment. Religious procession, 5 p.m. Sunday. Raffle drawing and fireworks, 10 p.m.


n JCC 50th Anniversary Golf Outing, 8:30 a.m., Watertown Golf Club, 1 Thompson Park. Four-person captain and crew. Cost: $20 per person, includes nine holes of golf, cart and barbecue luncheon. Registration and payment due by Friday, June 17. Register: Pamela J. Dixon, 786-2392 or


Michelle Salisbury Memorial Golf Tournament, 9 a.m., Willowbrook Golf Club. Sponsored by Northern Federal Credit Union, benefits the Michelle Salisbury Scholarship Fund at Belleville Henderson Central School. Registration required by Friday, July 8. Cost: $65 per person or $260 per team, includes 18 holes of golf with cart, lunch at the pass, dinner buffet, door prizes, raffles and contests. Registration form available at Information: Nellie Mathous, 779-3149.

 GOT A BUSINESS EVENT or calendar

item? E-mail editor Ken Eysaman at Submission deadline is the 10th of each month for the following month’s issue. Visit us on Facebook at www.face for updates to our business events calendar.


7 Market St., Alexandria Bay, NY 13607; 482-9531,


122 Main St., P.O. Box 163, Boonville NY 13309; 942-6823,


175 N. James St., P.O. Box 482, Cape Vincent, NY 13618; 654-2481,


120 S. Mechanic St., Carthage, NY 13619; 493-3590,


572 S. Salina St., Syracuse, NY 13202; 470-1800,




1241 Coffeen St., Watertown, NY 13601; 788-4400,


214 E. Main St., Gouverneur, NY 13642; 287-0331,

 HENDERSON HARBOR P.O. Box 468, Henderson Harbor, NY 13651; 938-5568,



3140 Route 28, P.O. Box 68, Old Forge, NY 13420; 369-6983,


1 Market St., Potsdam, NY 13676; 274-9000,


3044 Route 13, P.O. Box 34, Pulaski, NY 13142; 298-2213,



7576 S. State St., Lowville, NY 13367; 376-2213,


50 Main St., Massena, NY 13662; 7693525,


304 W. Main St., P.O. Box 17, Sackets Harbor, NY 13685; 646-1700, www.


14 E. Church St., Adams, NY 13605; 232-4215,


101 Main St., 1st Floor, Canton, NY 13617; 386-4000,

P.O. Box 24, Three Mile Bay, NY 13693; 649-3404,

497 East Main St., Malone, NY 12953; 1(518) 483-3760,



1 Bridge Plaza, Ogdensburg, NY 13669;

907 Route 11 C, P.O. Box 297, Brasher Falls, NY 13613; 389-4800,





517 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY 13624;













839 State Street, Watertown


June 2011 | NNY Business

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BUSINESS SCENE GWNC Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at North Country Library System



Top, Tracey A. Bartholomew, left, owner, Renu’e Spa and Skincare Center, Watertown, Amber J. Rembowski, stylist, and Tasha J. Laverghetta, massage therapist. Above, Joyce M. Bradley and husband Stephen J., owners of Abbey Carpet, Watertown. North Country Library System hosted the May Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours May 18 sponsored by United Group of Companies and Sam’s Club, Watertown.

Top, Lisa A. Wash, left, Pioneer Services, Evans Mills, Kay M. Word, Pioneer Services, Evans Mills, and Carol Kemp, MVP Health Care manager of ancillary products, Syracuse. Above, Suzanne Raso and husband Randy, Raso Real Estate, Watertown.

Bella’s Clayton - 315-686-2341

Serving Breakfast & Lunch Daily 8am to 4pm

Fine Dining On The River Thursday-Monday 5pm to 9pm Web:

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NNY Business | June 2011


BUSINESS SCENE GWNC Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at North Country Library System



Top, Beth Augustus, Carthage Savings and Loan Association, left, senior mortgage officer, Watertown, Peggy Hinz, executive director, Jefferson County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Leo J. Spink, owner/carpenter, Leo J. Spink Carpentry. Above, Jana Minonoff, left, Thousand Islands Winery, and Ashley Bouchard, wholesale manager, Thousand Islands Winery, Alexandria Bay.

Top, Shannon D. Redden, left, property manager, United Group of Companies, Watertown, and Sherrita R. Taper, leasing consultant, United Group of Companies, Watertown. Above, Tracy L. Mead, property manager, United Group of Companies, Watertown, Brad Traynor, mill superintendent, Knowlton Technologies, Watertown, and Jennifer L. Scudera, leasing consultant, United Group of Companies, Watertown.

CREG SYSTEMS n VISIT NNY BUSINESS on Facebook at to view more than 160 additional Business Scene photos from events across the north country since we launched in December. Tag yourself, tag your friends and tag your friends’ friends. Like us on Facebook and be the first to see the front page before it hits newsstands, learn who we’re interviewing, what we’re covering and join in the discussion about business in Northern New York.

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June 2011 | NNY Business

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BUSINESS SCENE Greater Watertown North Country season-opening Farm and Craft Market


Top, Lorranie Pandolfi, left, and Terry Vidler, Vintage Creations. Above, Rhonda V. LaMont and Elaine H. Brouty, Back Woods Greenery, Glenfield. The Greater Watertown North Country Farm and Craft Market opened for the season on Wednesday, May 25, in front of the Dulles State Office Building and Watertown City Hall on Washington Street. The market is open Wednesdays from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. along Washington Street from the Morgan Stanley Building to the Dulles State Office Building until the first Wednesday of October.

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NNY Business | June 2011


Top, Heather L. Underwood, left, Ashley R. Crofoot, and Scott A. Smith, Scotty’s Hotdogs, Rome and Watertown. Above, Chad D. Neidl, left, Mr. Nutty Cinnamon-Roasted Nuts, Watertown, and Dale L. Clarke, Sunset Productions and Promotions, Watertown, and Downtown Business Association event marketing coordinator.

BUSINESS SCENE Greater Watertown North Country season-opening Farm and Craft Market


Top, Beka Steiner, left, and Forrest Steiner, Burrville Cider Mill, Burrville. Above, Susan Doxtater, left, and husband Brian M., owners of Doxtater’s Bakery, Pamelia.


Top, Robin G. Hannon, left, and Anna M. Lowe, Timmy Crack Corn Produce, Rodman. Above, Rosemary Miller, left, and husband Lonnie, Silver Spoon Jewlery & Crafts, Adams.

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June 2011 | NNY Business

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DINING GUIDE Café Mira 14 Main St., Adams (315) 232-4470

Fung Hing Chinese 225 State St., Watertown (315) 785-9689

Johnny D’s Bistro 108 108 Court St., Watertown (315) 755-2333

Cam’s Pizzeria 25 Public Square, Watertown (315) 779-8900

Gary’s Restaurant 5424 Shady Ave., Lowville (315) 376-6612

Karen & Jasper’s Bar & Bistro 1322 Washington St. Plaza, Watertown (315) 788-4110

Candlelight Restaurant and Lounge 380 S. Railroad St., Parish (315) 625-4005

G&F Italian Pizza and Restaurant 2972 E. Main St., Parish (315) 625-7177

King Star Food Oriental 22265 U.S. Route 11, Watertown (315) 786-0246

Cavallario’s Cucina 133 N. Massey St., Watertown (315) 788-9744

Gold Star Deli 343 Arsenal St., Watertown (315) 782-6155

Korean Grill 525 W. Main St., Watertown (315) 681-4226

Cherry Tree Inn 8541 State Route 3, Henderson (315) 938-7281

Goodfellos 202 W. Main St., Sackets Harbor (315) 646-3463

Lake Ontario Playhouse 103 W. Main St., Sackets Harbor (315) 646-2305

China City 1125 Arsenal St. Suite 2, Watertown (315) 788-8289

Gram’s Diner 13 Main St., Adams (315) 232-4881

Leanna’s at the Manor Store Route 11, Pierrepont Manor (315) 465-4400

Church Street Diner 107 Church St., Carthage (315) 493-0997

Great Wall Chinese 300 Arsenal St., Watertown (315) 788-7668

Limerick Hotel 16331 State Route 12E, Limerick (315) 639-6804

Coleman’s Corner 849 Lawrence St., Watertown (315) 782-6888

Harby’s Hots Outer Washington Street, Watertown (315) 788-2250

Lloyd’s of Lowville 7405 S. State St., Lowville (315) 376-7037

Crossroads Diner 22474 U.S. Route 11, Watertown (315) 782-9591

Herrings Inn 35802 State Route 3, Carthage (315) 493-9829

Lucia’s Italian Restaurant 11613 U.S. Route 11, Adams (315) 232-2223

Crystal Restaurant 87 Public Square, Watertown (315) 782-9938

Highland Meadows Country Club 24201 State Route 342, Watertown (315) 785-0108

Maggie’s on the River 500 Newell St., Watertown (315) 405-4239

Daily Buffet (Chinese) 1283 Arsenal St. Stop 8, Watertown (315) 786-8598

Home Deli Pizza & Subs 305 W. Main St., Watertown (315) 782-6340

Mariano’s Pizza 981 Waterman Drive, Watertown (315) 788-8088

Dano’s Pizzeria and Restaurant 24411 State Route 971V, Felts Mills (315) 773-3266

Hot Diggity Dogs Salmon Run Mall, Watertown (315) 788-4844

McCarthy’s Restaurant 5821 U.S. Route 11, Canton (315) 386-2564

Depot Café 13449 Depot St., Adams Center (315) 583-6555

India Palace 1196 Arsenal St., Watertown (315) 788-8457

Midway Ice Cream 891 Coffeen St., Watertown (315) 405-4996

Blue Heron 12050 Route 12E, Chaumont (315) 649-2240

Erin’s Isle Restaurant 928 State Route 11C, Brasher Falls (315) 389-4100

Ives Hill Restaurant 435 Flower Ave. W., Watertown (315) 775-4837

Mo’s Place 345 Factory St., Watertown (315) 782-5503

Boondocks Restaurant and Bar 3950 State Route 12, Lyons Falls (315) 348-4040

Fairground Inn 852 Coffeen St., Watertown (315) 782-7335

Jean’s Beans 259 Eastern Blvd., Watertown (315) 788-7460

Morgia’s Pasta 22560 Fisher Road, Watertown (315) 788-3509

Brookside Diner 1873 State St., Watertown (315) 782-9824

Fiesta Mexicana 566 State St., Watertown (315) 779-7577

Joey’s at the Thousand Island Club 21952 Club Road, Alexandria Bay (315) 482-9999

Mr. Sub Sandwich Shop Public Square & Mill St., Watertown (315) 782-1760

Brownville Diner 114 W. Main St., Brownville (315) 786-8554

Fireside at Partridge Berry Inn 26561 State Route 3, Watertown (315) 782-8401

Johnny D’s 1 Public Square, Watertown (315) 782-6108

NuPier 13212 State Route 3, Sackets Harbor (315) 646-3312

n A directory of independent coffee houses, bars and restaurants.

Full-service restaurants 1025 Ruyi Japanese Steak House 1025 Arsenal St., Watertown (315) 405-4501 1844 House “An American Bistro” 6885 U.S. Route 11, Potsdam (315) 268-1844 2000 Chinese Restaurant 22070 U.S. Route 11, Watertown (315) 788-2000 Adams Country Club 10700 U.S. Route 11, Adams (315) 232-4842 A & J’s Diner 455 Court St., Watertown (315) 777-4811 Andy’s Caribbean Cuisine 302 Court St., Watertown (315) 777-8658 Apollo Restaurant 1283 Arsenal St., Watertown (315) 788-3569 Art’s Jug 820 Huntington St., Watertown (315) 782-9764 Bella’s Bistro 602 Riverside Drive, Clayton (315) 686-2341 Bernardo’s Pizzeria 702 Coffeen St., Watertown (315) 782-9500 B J’s Grill 610 Mill St., Watertown (315) 782-8126 Black River Valley Club 131 Washington St., Watertown (315) 788-2300

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NNY Business | June 2011

108 Court Street Watertown, NY 13601

Ph. 315-755-2333 Fax. 315-755-2739

Live Music Tuesday to Saturday!!

DINING GUIDE Original Italian Pizza 222 N. Massey St., Watertown (315) 786-0000 Papa Tino’s Pizzeria 716 Mill St., Watertown (315) 782-7272 Pete’s Restaurant 111 Breen Ave., Watertown (315) 782-6640 Pizza Shack 12699 State Route 3, Sackets Harbor (315) 646-2267 Rainbow Shores Restaurant 186 Rainbow Shores Road, Pulaski (315) 298-5110 Rajit 262 Arsenal St., Watertown (315) 782-5513 Ramada Inn 21000 State Route 3, Watertown (315) 788-0700 Riccardo’s Market & Deli 710 Holcomb St., Watertown (315) 782-7810 Riverhouse 4818 Salina St., Pulaski (315)509-4281 Roberts Family Pizzeria 839 State St., Watertown (315) 786-2006 Roma Restaurant 19 Bridge St., Carthage (315) 493-0616 Romalato’s Gourmet Deli 450 Gaffney Drive, Watertown (315) 681-6653 Ryan’s Lookout 9290 State Route 3, Henderson (315) 938-5151 Sackets Harbor Brew Pub 212 W. Main St., Sackets Harbor (315) 646-2739 Sandy’s Luncheonette 5 Public Square, Watertown (315) 782-2935 Savory Café 1511 Washington St., Watertown (315) 785-6464 Sboro’s Restaurant 836 Coffeen St., Watertown (315) 788-1728

Read the reviews

 Log on to www.watertowndaily to read restaurant reviews by Watertown Daily Times restaurant critic Walter Siebel.

Get on the list

 Call NNY Business advertising specialist Clarissa Collins at (315) 661-2305 or e-mail to have your restaurant or bar listed in our monthly dining guide today. Shorty’s Place 1280 Coffeen St., Watertown (315) 782-7878 Shuler’s Steak & Seafood 802 Mill St., Watertown (315) 782-1429 Soluri’s Pizza 526 Factory St., Watertown (315) 782-2888 Sonora’s Authentic Mexican 300 Washington St., Watertown (315) 782-8000 Stonefence Resort 7191 State Route 37, Ogdensburg (315) 393-1545 Stone Jug Pizzeria 104 Bartlett Road, Sackets Harbor (315) 646-1008 Suk Hui Hi’s Korean 1301 State St., Watertown (315) 785-9740 Super Wok Chinese Restaurant 20991 State Route 3, Watertown (315) 788-5389 Teriyaki Experience 21852 Towne Center Drive, Watertown (315) 785-9254 Thailand Thai Restaurant 1857 State St., Watertown (315) 788-6688 The Place 1612 Ford St., Ogdensburg 315-393-3080 Tico’s Mex Mex Grill 65 Public Square, Watertown (315) 836-4778

Tilted Kilt 1050 Arsenal St., Watertown (315) 782-5458

Clueless 545 Arsenal St., Watertown (315) 782-9006

Tin Pan Galley 110 W. Main St., Sackets Harbor (315) 646-3812 United China Restaurant 144 Eastern Blvd., Watertown (315) 782-4432 Violi’s Restaurant 209 Center St., Massena (315) 764-0329

Crazy Legs Saloon 536 Arsenal St., Watertown (315) 777-8333 Edge of the River Pub 519 W. Main St., Watertown (315) 788-0695 Fat Boys 743 Huntington St., Watertown (315) 779-0087

Village Inn 8208 Main St., Harrisville (315) 543-9382

Fort Pearl Inc. 557 Pearl St., Watertown (315) 786-3333

VV’s Mexican Kitchen Noble Street, Evans Mills (315) 629-4652

Hitchin’ Post Tavern 404 Court St., Watertown (315) 782-9656

Walsh’s Pub & Grill 101 E. Main St., Brownville (315) 782-6065 Watertown Golf Club Grill and Bar 1 Thompson Park, Watertown (315) 782-5606 Willowbrook Golf Club 25075 State Route 37, Watertown (315) 782-8192 Wing Wagon 71 Public Square, Watertown (315) 836-3205

Coffee Houses Brew Ha Ha 468 Coffeen St., Watertown (315) 788-1175 Chrissy Beanz Bakery 105 W. Main St., Sackets Harbor (315) 646-2330 Coffee Shop Carbone Plaza, Watertown (315) 782-0450 Danny’s Coffee 21181 Salmon Run Mall, Watertown (315) 782-7057 Paddock Coffee House 4 Paddock Arcade, Watertown (315) 836-1508

Hometown Pizzeria 4 W. Church St., Adams (315) 232-3000 Joe’s Tavern 548 Coffeen St., Watertown (315) 782-9709 Kicker’s Lounge 498 Factory St., Watertown (315) 785-9392 Mick’s Place 204 Factory St., Watertown (315) 786-1992 Paddock Club 5 Paddock Arcade, Watertown (315) 786-6633 Pappy’s Bowlmor Lanes 227 E. Orvis St., Massena (315) 769-9877 Pewter Mug 1120 Gill St., Watertown (315) 782-0200 Seth’s Pub 558 State St., Watertown (315) 681-6645

Bars / drinking establishments

Shootie’s Bar 504 Pearl St., Watertown (315) 782-9724

Artie’s Tavern 329 High St., Watertown (315) 782-9616

Time Warp Tavern 302 State St., Watertown (315) 782-9784

June 2011 | NNY Business

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The Woodruff House Hotel on Public Square in Watertown, circa 1870.


An icon for the ages

Woodruff Hotel helped put Watertown, north country on map orris Woodruff was born Sept. 7, 1792, in the town of Litchfield, Conn., near Hartford. His father was a prosperous farmer who moved his family to Northern New York in order to take advantage of the region’s readily available and inexpensive land. The Woodruffs arrived in Jefferson County in 1803, settling on 1,000 acres in the town of LeRay. While the Woodruff Hotel would become Mr. Woodruff’s most lasting and memorable business venture, it was not his first. Mr. Woodruff’s business empire began in 1816 with approximately $100 in capital that he used to start a traveling mercantile store. He sold tinware,

ironware, hardware and stoves by cart and wagon to homes and farmsteads within the community and surrounding regions. He offered household essentials at attractive prices while still earning a small profit. As his business grew, more carts, wagons and sales routes were added. During a time when cash was hard to come by in Jefferson County, before local banks were solidly established, he often took other goods, produce or commodities in trade for his wares. He would then turn these bartered objects into new inventory. Mr. Woodruff’s wagons eventually traveled to Albany, western New York, parts of Ohio and even across the St. Lawrence River into Canada. As the business grew, Mr. Woodruff steadily began to acquire real estate. His

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Jefferson County Historical Society

NNY Business | June 2011

initial purchase was a small piece of land on Public Square where he opened his first stationary mercantile shop. He slowly bought up neighboring property until he owned approximately three-quarters of the northern side of Public Square. Land speculation was included among Mr. Woodruff’s other business interests. During his sales travels, he bought land throughout Northern New York and in other parts of the country including Wisconsin and Illinois. Many of these purchases proved to be profitable ventures. Eventually, his successful business and prospecting ventures earned him sufficient capital to invest heavily in the Rome, Watertown and Cape Vincent Railroad. Like his real estate purchases, his railroad investments did very

BUSINESS HISTORY On exhibit n The Jefferson County Historical Society, 228 Washington St., exhibits the stories and artifacts of many founding settlers and businesses of the north country. The newest JCHS exhibit, “Our Towns — The Originals,” highlights the 11 original towns of Jefferson County and some of the people and businesses from the 1800s. For museum hours and program updates and to learn more about the Jefferson County Historical Society, visit

the decline of the railroads put many local hotels out of business, the Woodruff continued to enjoy its role as one of Watertown’s social epicenters. In addition to Watertown’s everyday residents, its bar and restaurant hosted Pine Camp soldiers, convention visitors and political gatherings. Service clubs, civic, fraternal, religious, social, school and business organizations almost invariably met at the Hotel Woodruff. All told, the Woodruff enjoyed a 122year history in Watertown. The hotel remained a family-run business until

its final two years when a Detroit-based management company took over hotel operations. Although the hotel remained an active part of Watertown’s social scene, it began to experience financial difficulties in the 1960s that eventually translated into structural neglect. The hotel was closed in the fall of 1973 and soon after torn down as part of Watertown’s Urban Renewal. n Lenka P. Walldroff is curator of collections for the Jefferson County Historical Museum. She is a former museum specialist and conservator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

well. Mr. Woodruff also was an early stockholder and director of the Jefferson County Bank and in 1842 succeeded to the presidency of the bank, a position that he held until his death in 1857. So, it came to be that in 1851, with a large parcel of real estate on Public Square directly behind the railroad station, sufficient private capital and strong banking connections, Mr. Woodruff decided to build a hotel in downtown Watertown. Initially the idea of a grand hotel in Watertown was looked upon with uncertainty by the general public. At the time, Watertown was still a burgeoning community, full of promise, certainly, but not yet in the midst of the industrial and manufacturing boom that would eventually put the city on the map. There were doubts that the community would be able to support such a large hotel. Furthermore, the city was still recovering from the great fire of 1849 that left much of Public Square in ashes. As it turned out, a hotel located beside a railroad station was an excellent idea. As hotels and motels today thrive alongside interstate exits, so did 19th century lodging houses and hotels near train depots. Until the 1950s, the New York Central passenger terminal for Watertown stood directly behind the Woodruff Hotel and all passenger traffic leaving or entering Watertown had to go through the hotel’s lobby. Additionally, Watertown’s train station saw passenger trains arriving all hours of the day, including a number of night trains. When passengers were deposited in Watertown in the middle of the night they were immediately presented with the convenience of a hotel in the middle of the downtown area — no cab ride necessary. Subsequently, the hotel saw a good amount of business during the railroad era. A number of other entrepreneurs saw the success that the Woodruff enjoyed and sought to copy it. Consequently, by 1894 Watertown had a total of 18 hotels and guest houses. Even after the Great Depression and

June 2011 | NNY Business

| 61

W H AT ’ S H A P P E N I N G H E R E ? SUNY CANTON GRASSE RIVER SUITES STUDENT DORMITORY LOCATION: Route 68, Canton SIZE: Approximately 117,400 square feet with 83 suites and 305 beds. LEED Silver Certified. COMPLETION DATE: August 2011 LOCAL JOBS: Several dozen construction jobs. COST: $22 million ARCHITECT: Passero Associates, Rochester. CONSULTING ENGINEER: Robson and Woese Inc., Syracuse. CONTRACTORS: Northland Associates Inc., Syracuse, general contractor; C&S Companies, Syracuse, construction management services. — Compiled by Kyle R. Hayes


A construction crew nails down siding last month on the new SUNY Canton Grasse River Suites student dormitory on the Canton campus off Route 68. The $22 million project is LEED Silver Certified.

•Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) •LEED Certified Green Builder •Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) •NYS Minority & Women Owned Business (M/WBE)

•Certified HUB Zone Business •Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) 800 Starbuck Avenue, Suite C-101 Watertown, NY 13601 (315) 755-1213 / Fax (315) 681-5599

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n our July cover story, we examine the impact of Fort Drum on the region’s business community and how it contributes to north country businesses, nonprofits and government and civic organizations. Also coming next month: n GUEST ESSAY Fort Drum Garrison Commander Col. Noel T. Nicolle reflects on the value of Fort Drum in the north country. n EDUCATING OUR ARMY We also examine the impact that Fort Drum has had on north country’s higher education community. n 20 QUESTIONS WITH Dwight E. Davidson, co-owner of Davidson Auto Group. As Davidson begins an ambitious move to build three new dealerships in Watertown Center we sit down and talk with the coowner about the state of the auto industry in Northern New York. n PLUS: NNY Snapshot, Economically Speaking, Commerce Corner, Nonprofits Today, Business Tech Bytes, Small Business Success, Real Estate, Agri-Business, Business History, Business Scene and more. n FOLLOW US ON Twitter for daily updates at @NNYBusinessMag and visit us on Facebook at

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NNY Business June 2011  

June 2011 issue of NNY Business, a publication from the publishers of the Watertown Daily Times.

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