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OSWEGO COUNTY

BUSINESS December 2017 / January 2018

OswegoCountyBusiness.com

First Job Out of College. Salary: $125,000 How some workers — like Del Allen Scrimger of Sunoco — are taking advantage of a Oswego native and SUNY Oswego grad variety of training programs in Central New Kouthoofd, 21, is moving York toAlexander get higher-paying jobs west in January to start his first real job after college. His starting salary: $125,000. Find out what recent college graduates are earning nowadays

INSIDE Poverty in Oswego County: WHAT’S BEING DONE TO ALLEVIATE IT Got a Great Business Idea? You Can Win $50,000 in New Business Competition Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018

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In addition Contact: Paula Whitehouse Contact: Paula Whitehouse a clinician and would like to work in houseclinician and would like to work in houseContact: Paula Whitehouse clinician and would like to work in houseWhether you are an RN, Whether you are an RN, o, New York. Our mission is provide New York. Our mission is provide always looking for the best Whether you are an RN, always looking for the best New Our mission is provide always looking for the best Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA –is adapt totheir their physical cognitive apt toYork. their physical and cognitive als toand join our team. apt to physical and cognitive sidents to our fourth floor! We have Whether you are an RN, Whether you are an RN, Morningstar Care Center Morningstar Care Center is pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com Whether you are an RN, Morningstar Care Center is and most qualified individuin early 2017! Stay tuned! you! in early 2017! Stay tuned! ean services and general support to help would love to meet you! in early 2017! Stay tuned! active comfortable environment active and comfortable environment active and comfortable environment operated skilled nursing and Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA –RN, Whether you are an Whether you are an RN, Whether you are an RN, New York. Our mission is to provide Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – competitive and comprehensive wage active and comfortable environment active and comfortable environment The Gardens islaundry, alaundry, family owned and operated Assisted Living ctive and comfortable environment keeping, activities or dietary. Ple keeping, activities or dietary. 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We ieve their individual best quality of life. would love to meet you! ve their individual best quality of life. Whether you are an RN, ctivities or dietary. Please give us a call. We ve their individual best quality of life. to their physical and cognitive st six months and greatly appreciate always looking for the best always looking for the best Morningstar is a family owned and Morningstar is a family owned and always looking for the best Morningstar is a family owned and als to join our team. iduality and independence. In addition uality and independence. In addition LPN or Certified Nurse LPN or Certified Nurse uality and independence. In addition LPN or Certified Nurse Morningstar is a family owned and Morningstar is a family owned and Morningstar is a family owned and active and comfortable environment LPN or Certified Nurse LPN or Certified Nurse LPN or Certified Nurse Contact: Paula Whitehouse Contact: Paula Whitehouse a clinician and would like to work in houseily owned and operated Assisted Living clinician and would like to work in housey owned and operated Assisted Living uality and independence. In addition and independence. In addition yality owned and operated Assisted Living lity and independence. In addition dapt to their physical and cognitive Residence in Oswego, NY. Our missionthat is to provide ourand residents apt to their physical and cognitive New York. Our mission is to provide iduality and independence. In addition uality and independence. In addition uality and independence. In addition Morningstar is aAide, family owned and operated rehabilitation center provides Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA –at PT, PTA, OT, COTA Morningstar is a family owned als to join our team. als to join our team. Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA ––you (315) 343-0880 or als to join our team. activities or dietary. Please give us aindividucall. We ieve their individual best quality ofto life. residents to our fourth floor! We have LPN or Certified Nurse to our fourth floor! We have pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com sidents to our fourth floor! We have pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com and most qualified individuand most qualified et you! you! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If or aThe loved one isaisaconsidering are services and general support help eality services and general support to help would love to meet you! would love to meet you! and most qualified individuyou! eesidents services and general support to help would love to meet you! Whether you are an RN, and benefit package, comfortable and family owned and operated skilled nursing and operated skilled nursing and and independence. In addition operated skilled nursing and Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – rehabilitation center that provides , New York. Our mission is to provide New York. Our mission is to provide Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – competitive and comprehensive wage New York. Our mission is to provide competitive and comprehensive wage Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – at (315) 343-0880 or rehabilitation center that provides Gardens a family owned and operated Assisted Living The Gardens is family owned and operated Assisted Living competitive and comprehensive wage activities or dietary. Please give us a call. We The Gardens is family owned and operated Assisted Living ieve their individual best quality of life. e services and general support to help services and general support to help active and comfortable environment ervices and general support to help at (315) 343-0880 or are services and general support to help eadapt services and general support to help or dietary. Please give us a in call. We ve individual best quality of life. general support to help mily owned and operated Assisted Living ly owned and operated Assisted Living with an active and comfortable environment thatand promotes yactivities owned and operated Assisted Living operated skilled nursing and operated skilled nursing operated skilled nursing and operated skilled nursing and operated skilled nursing and skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that Contact: Paula Whitehouse Contact: Paula Whitehouse residents to our fourth floor! We have ot atheir clinician and would like to work in houseaservices clinician and would like to work in housePaula Whitehouse pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com Whether you are an RN, Whether you are an RN, clinician and would like to work houseWhether you are an RN, et you! Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA –Contact: adapt to their physical and cognitive to their physical and cognitive first six months and greatly appreciate rst six months and greatly appreciate dapt to their physical and cognitive st six months and greatly appreciate Morningstar is acomprehensive family owned and als to join our team. als to join our team. ence we would love to meet you. als to join our team. LPN or Certified Nurse services general support to help competitive and wage The Gardens is a family owned and operated Assisted Living ed nursing and n active and comfortable environment active and comfortable environment active and comfortable environment operated skilled nursing and Contact: Paula Whitehouse Contact: Paula Whitehouse Contact: Paula Whitehouse residents to our fourth floor! We have ot a clinician and would like to work in housea clinician and would like to work in houseContact: Paula Whitehouse clinician and would like to work in houseContact: Paula Whitehouse pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com a clinician and would like to work in houseuality and independence. In addition clinician and would like to work in houseet you! adapt their physical and cognitive adapt to their physical and cognitive Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents apt to their physical and cognitive dapt to their physical and cognitive o, New York. Our mission is to provide Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents New York. Our mission is to provide apt to their physical and cognitive New York. Our mission is to provide sidents to our fourth floor! We have pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com Morningstar is a family owned and operated Morningstar is a family owned and operated Morningstar is a family owned and operated rehabilitation center that provides you! rehabilitation center that provides individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services rehabilitation center that provides first six months and greatly appreciate supportive team atmosphere and high competitive and comprehensive wage Morningstar is a family owned and Morningstar is a family owned and The Gardens is a family owned and operated Assisted Living at (315) 343-0880 or at (315) 343-0880 or Morningstar is a family owned and Morningstar OUTPATIENT PHYSICAL AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY! PLEASE CALL FOR INFORMATION at (315) 343-0880 or ry, activities or dietary. Please give us a call. We , activities or dietary. Please give us a call. We chieve their individual best quality of life. ieve their individual best quality of life. provides a competitive and comprehensive wage LPN or Certified Nurse LPN or Certified Nurse activities or dietary. Please give us a call. We ieve their individual best quality of life. LPN or Certified Nurse Contact: Paula Whitehouse adapt clinician and would like to work in houset! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or aloved loved one isconsidering considering Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a(315) one isOswego, Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or arehabilitation loved one is considering Whether you are an RN, Whether you are an RN, and benefit package, comfortable and and benefit package, comfortable and competitive and comprehensive wage to their physical and cognitive Whether you are an RN, and benefit package, comfortable and The Gardens is a family owned and operated Assisted Living Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – a family owned and family owned and family owned and duality and independence. In addition ality and independence. In addition ality and independence. In addition Residence in NY. 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We ieve their individual quality of life. ve their individual best quality of life. ctivities or dietary. Please give us aaacenter call. We ve their individual best quality of life. with an active and comfortable environment that promotes with anoperated active and comfortable environment that promotes with an active and comfortable environment that promotes st six months and greatly appreciate sted living community being developed in Oswego NY. We are accepting t! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or aMorningstar loved one isor considering and benefit package, comfortable and skilled nursing and rehabilitation that skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission isowned to provide our residents skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that gdence residents to our fourth floor! We have residents to our fourth floor! We have a family owned and and general support to help people overcome or adapt to their pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com to our fourth floor! We have rehabilitation center that provides pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com meet you! et you! Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA –atyou Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA et you! Morningstar is abest family owned and operated Aide, PT, PTA, OT, –– at (315) 343-0880 and benefit package, comfort and supportive team is a family owned and Morningstar is a family owned and activities or dietary. Please give us call. We eve their individual best quality of life. Morningstar is a family and we would love to meet you. ence we would love to meet you. ence we would love to meet you. LPN or Certified Nurse LPN or Certified Nurse LPN or Certified Nurse re services and general support to help services and general support to help Contact: Paula Whitehouse a clinician and would like to work in houseservices and general support to help Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents competitive and comprehensive wage competitive and comprehensive wage t! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If or a loved one is considering with an active and comfortable environment that promotes The Gardens is a family owned and operated Assisted Living The Gardens a family owned and operated Assisted Living lled nursing and ed nursing and competitive and comprehensive wage The Gardens is a family owned and operated Assisted Living ed nursing and dapt to their physical and cognitive and benefit package, comfortable and operated skilled nursing and operated skilled nursing and operated skilled nursing and gresidents residents to our fourth floor! We have to our fourth floor! We have Morningstar isand a family owned and operated a family owned skilled nursing and rehabilitation center pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com that pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com residents to our fourth floor! We have duality and independence. In addition uality and independence. In addition pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com meet you! uality and independence. In addition et you! omprehensive wage et you! quality care and service. residents to our fourth floor! We have esidents to our fourth floor! We have dence we would love to meet you. pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com sidents to our fourth floor! We have et you! you! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or aPaula loved one isisais considering individuality and We provide healthcare services individuality and We provide healthcare services you! ul first six months and greatly appreciate first six months and greatly appreciate individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services supportive team atmosphere and high competitive and comprehensive wage supportive atmosphere and high competitive and comprehensive wage and benefit package, comfortable and six months and greatly appreciate with anGardens active and comfortable environment that promotes The is aindependence. family owned and operated Assisted Living The Gardens aaindependence. family owned and operated Assisted Living supportive team atmosphere and high competitive and comprehensive wage lled nursing sed Practical Nurses, qualified home health aides and personal care aides. The Gardens ateam family owned and operated Assisted Living family owned and provides afourth competitive and comprehensive wage provides aand competitive and comprehensive wage provides anursing competitive and comprehensive wage and rehabilitation center that Contact: Paula Whitehouse Contact: Paula Whitehouse physical and cognitive limitations so as to achieve their individual esidents toindividual our floor! We have tdapt aservices clinician would like to work in houseafirst clinician and would like to work in houseContact: Whitehouse pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com clinician and would like to work in houseyou! rehabilitation center that provides competitive and comprehensive wage adapt to their physical and cognitive competitive and comprehensive wage toskilled their physical and cognitive The Gardens is family owned and operated Assisted Living The Gardens is a family owned and operated Assisted Living atmosphere and high quality care service. competitive and comprehensive wage dapt to their physical and cognitive Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – The Gardens is family owned and operated Assisted Living Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – at (315) 343-0880 or dence we would love to meet you. activities or dietary. Please give us a call. We eve their best of life. individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services Residence in Oswego, NY. 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We are accepting sted living community being developed in Oswego NY. We are accepting ort! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one is considering t! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one is considering st six months and greatly appreciate ted living community being developed in Oswego NY. We are accepting t! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! Ifteam you or arehabilitation loved one isor considering and benefit package, comfortable and and benefit package, comfortable and ence we would love to meet you. individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services and benefit package, comfortable and Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents Residence insupport Oswego, NY. Our mission to provide our residents enter that provides is a family owned and Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission isis to provide our residents a family owned and and general to help people overcome or adapt to their and general support to help people overcome or adapt to their supportive team atmosphere and high center that provides rehabilitation center that provides a family owned and and general support to help people overcome or adapt to their rehabilitation center that provides rst six months and greatly appreciate provides a competitive and comprehensive wage Morningstar is a family owned and operated Morningstar is a family owned and operated at (315) 343-0880 or at (315) 343-0880 or Morningstar is a family owned and operated ed nursing and and benefit package, comfort and supportive and benefit package, comfort and supportive team at (315) 343-0880 y, activities or dietary. Please give us a call. We activities or dietary. Please give us a call. We hieve their individual best quality of life. eve their individual best quality of life. and benefit package, comfort and supportive team activities or dietary. Please give us a call. We eve their individual best quality of life. sisted living community being developed in Oswego NY. We are accepting best quality of life. Contact: Paula Whitehouse Contact: Paula Whitehouse residents to our fourth floor! We have ot a clinician and would like to work in housea clinician and would like to work in houseContact: Paula Whitehouse pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com a clinician and would like to work in houseResidence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents and general support to help people overcome or adapt to their ort! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one is considering t! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one is considering with an active and comfortable environment that promotes with an active and comfortable environment that promotes Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents et you! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! Ifteam yousupportive or a NY. loved one isand considering with an active comfortable environment that promotes adapt to their physical and cognitive adapt to their physical and cognitive benefit package, comfortable and and benefit package, comfortable and dapt to their physical and cognitive and benefit package, comfortable and enter that provides Morningstar isand aand family owned and operated Morningstar isand aafamily family owned and operated and benefit package, comfort supportive s!Thank a family owned skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that a family owned skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that inis Oswego, NY. Our mission is tohealthcare provide our residents Morningstar is owned and operated a family owned and skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that individuality and independence. We provide services comprehensive wage omprehensive wage quality care and service. quality care and service. team atmosphere high mprehensive wage quality care and service. Morningstar isalove family owned and operated competitive and comprehensive wage provides anursing competitive and comprehensive wage Gardens is acare family owned and operated Assisted Living UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center iscenter working we would to meet you. idence we would love to meet you. isted living community being developed in Oswego We are accepting dence we would love to meet you. mosphere and high t! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or aloved loved one is considering Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! IfIf you or aand one is considering you Oswego Onondaga County! 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We dence we would love to meet you. their individual best of life. ieve their individual best of life. physical and cognitive limitations so as to achieve their individual individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services activities or dietary. Please give us a call. We eve their individual best quality of life. individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services supportive team atmosphere and high supportive team atmosphere and high with an active and comfortable environment that promotes supportive team atmosphere and high with an active and comfortable environment that promotes comprehensive wage quality care and with an active and comfortable environment that promotes killed nursing and lled nursing and atmosphere and high quality care service. competitive and comprehensive wage provides a competitive and comprehensive wage competitive and comprehensive wage provides a competitive and comprehensive wage with an active comfortable environment that promotes The Gardens aand family owned and operated Assisted Living The Gardens acare family owned and operated Assisted Living lled nursing and sted living community being developed inwage Oswego NY. We are accepting competitive comprehensive wage provides acommunity competitive and comprehensive The Gardens isiscognitive ais family owned and operated Living skilled nursing rehabilitation center that skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that The Gardens issupport now accepting residents to our fourth floor! We have had skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that and general to help people overcome or adapt to their age, comfortable and ge, comfortable Residence in Oswego, NY. 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We have best quality of life. a family owned and omprehensive wage pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com quality care and service. residents to our fourth floor! We have pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com and general support to help people overcome or adapt to their and general support to help people overcome or adapt to their eet you! et you! and general support to help people overcome or adapt to their t you! best quality of life. age, comfortable and n center that provides center that provides and benefit package, comfort and supportive team and benefit package, comfort and supportive team individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services in NY. Our mission is to provide our residents Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents enter that provides and benefit package, comfort and supportive team Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents supportive team atmosphere and high individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services a very successful first six months and greatly appreciate the community individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services supportive team atmosphere and high supportive team atmosphere and high provides a competitive and comprehensive wage Morningstar is a family owned and operated Morningstar is a family owned and operated supportive team atmosphere and high sed Practical Nurses, qualified home health aides and personal care aides. Morningstar is a family owned and operated competitive and comprehensive wage competitive and comprehensive wage provides a competitive and comprehensive wage with an active and comfortable environment that promotes provides a competitive and comprehensive wage The Gardens is a family owned and operated Assisted Living The Gardens is a family owned and operated Assisted Living UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working competitive and comprehensive wage provides a competitive and comprehensive wage The Gardens is a family owned and operated Assisted Living ssisted living community being developed in Oswego NY. We are accepting sisted living community being developed in Oswego NY. We are accepting Waterville Resdiential Care Center is a 92 bed, family owned UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working physical and cognitive limitations so as to achieve their individual isted living community being developed in Oswego NY. We are accepting Life in Balance atmosphere and high tmosphere and high UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working mosphere and high skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that and general support to help people overcome adapt to their and general support to help people overcome oror adapt to their atmosphere and high d comprehensive wage comprehensive wage quality care and service. quality care and service. general support to help people overcome or adapt to their atmosphere and high quality care service. rt! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or aloved loved one is considering !nter Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! Ifteam you orand abest one considering comprehensive wage in early 2017! Stay tuned! quality of life. quality care and service. Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! 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If you or a loved one is considering and benefit package, comfortable and and benefit package, comfortable and and benefit package, comfortable and enter that provides ssed a family owned and a family owned and comprehensive wage wage quality care and service. quality care and service. a family owned and mprehensive wage quality care and service. to open its community outpatient therapy service nsed Practical Nurses, qualified home health aides and personal aides. best quality of life. best quality of life. 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 re and service. best quality life. UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working ckage, comfortable and age, comfortable and is considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. Please a very successful physical and cognitive limitations so as to achieve their individual age, comfortable and and independence. We provide healthcare services individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services mosphere and high individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services supportive team atmosphere and high supportive team atmosphere and high first six months and greatly appreciate the community a very successful first six months and greatly appreciate the community isted living community being developed in Oswego NY. We are accepting team atmosphere high aphysical successful first six months andpeople greatly appreciate the community atmosphere and high quality care service. provides aand competitive and comprehensive wage provides a2017! competitive and comprehensive wage Waterville Resdiential Care Center is a92 92 nsed Practical Nurses, qualified home aides and personal care aides. 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Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a one support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one and general to help people or adapt to their www.morningstarcares.com support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one best quality of life. to open its community outpatient therapy service contact Paula Whitehouse at (315) 343-0880 or pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com nsed Practical Nurses, qualified home aides and personal care aides. and operated skilled nursing and rehabiltation facility located The Gardens is now accepting residents to our fourth floor! We have had The Gardens is now accepting residents to our fourth We have had and service. and benefit package, comfort and supportive team and benefit package, comfort and supportive team The Gardens is now accepting residents to our fourth floor! We have had and benefit package, comfort and supportive team physical and cognitive limitations soWe as to achieve their individual individuality and independence. provide healthcare services individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services individuality and independence. We provide healthcare services supportive team atmosphere and high supportive team atmosphere and high supportive team atmosphere and and operated skilled nursing andrehabiltation rehabiltation facility located and operated skilled nursing and rehabiltation facility located to open its community outpatient therapy service to open its community outpatient therapy service atmosphere and high quality care service. provides acommunity competitive and comprehensive wage provides awage competitive and comprehensive wage and operated skilled nursing and facility located to open its outpatient therapy service support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! Iffloor! you or a high loved one provides a competitive and comprehensive wage care and service. re and service. continuum based here in Central NY. Please contact Joe Murabito re and service. best quality of life. best quality of life. UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working best quality of life. tmosphere and high comprehensive wage omprehensive wage quality care and service. quality care and service. omprehensive quality care and service. 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 and operated skilled nursing and rehabiltation facility located The Gardens is now accepting residents to our fourth floor! We have had The Gardens is now accepting residents to our fourth We have had is considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. Please The Gardens is now accepting residents to our fourth floor! We have had age, comfortable and a very successful first six months and greatly appreciate the community n center that provides enter that provides enter that provides to open its community outpatient therapy service to open its community outpatient therapy service ensed Practical Nurses, qualified home health aides and personal care aides. nsed Practical Nurses, qualified home health aides and personal care aides. tar Residential Care Center. . . . to open its community outpatient therapy service sed Practical Nurses, qualified home health aides and personal care aides. 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 care and service. re and service. UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 is considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. Please is considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. 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The facility is part a92 health care provider comfortable and We accepting applications for Licensed Practical Nursed, www.morningstarcares.com contact Paula Whitehouse atmonths (315) 343-0880 or pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working Waterville Resdiential Center is a92 92 bed, family owned Waterville Resdiential Care Center abest bed, family owned support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! Iffloor! you or acommunity loved one Life in Life in Balance Waterville Resdiential Care Center isis a bed, family owned atmosphere and high d comprehensive wage comprehensive wage Life in Balance quality care and service. quality care and service. comprehensive wage quality care and service. The Gardens is now accepting residents to our fourth floor! We have had The Gardens is now accepting residents to our fourth We have had support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! Ifthe you or a had loved one support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! 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Please contact Joe Murabito atmosphere and high atmosphere and high tmosphere and high 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 and operated skilled nursing and rehabiltation facility located 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 and operated skilled nursing and rehabiltation facility located is considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. Please 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 and operated skilled nursing and rehabiltation facility located is considering an assisted living residence we would love meet you. Please to open its community outpatient therapy service is considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. Please home health aides and personal carePractical aides. isWe considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. 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Gardens now accepting residents our fourth We have had best quality of life. The isisfacility now accepting residents to our fourth floor! We have had very successful first six months and greatly appreciate the community (845)-750-4566 or Judy Harding (315) 525-4473 gstar Residential Care Center. . . (845)-750-4566 or Judy Harding (315) 525-4473 tar Residential Care Center. . (845)-750-4566 or Judy (315) 525-4473 to open its community outpatient therapy service to open its community outpatient therapy service (845)-750-4566 or Judy Harding (315) 525-4473 tar Residential Center. . . Waterville Resdiential is a 92 bed, family owned to open its community outpatient therapy service are and service. e and service. Life in Balance e service. We are accepting applications for Practical Nursed, in NY. facility is part of a health care provider in Waterville NY. The facility is part of a health care provider We We are accepting applications for Licensed Practical Nursed, in Waterville NY. The facility is part of a health care provider We are accepting applications for Licensed Practical Nursed, www.morningstarcares.com www.morningstarcares.com www.morningstarcares.com contact Paula Whitehouse at (315) 343-0880 or pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com contact Paula Whitehouse at (315) 343-0880 or pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com in early 2017! Stay tuned! UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working contact Paula Whitehouse at (315) 343-0880 or pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one m atmosphere and high atmosphere and high www.morningstarcares.com support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 atmosphere and high contact Paula Whitehouse at (315) 343-0880 or pwhitehouse@gardens-alf.com is considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. Please w.morningstarcares.com continuum based here in Central NY. Please contact Joe Murabito continuum based here in Central NY. Please contact Joe Murabito Community Outpatient Therapy Service Open continuum based here in Central NY. 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Breastfeed Your Baby Here Community Initiative Join our efforts toward a healthier Oswego County! You can help to make breastfeeding an accepted, comfortable, and easy choice for mothers in stores, day care centers, restaurants, parks – anytime, anywhere. Join fellow businesses and organizations in the initiative by becoming a recognized breastfeeding-friendly location. Benefits to Participating sites: ● Sites will be featured at breastfeedyourbabyhere.com, where nursing mothers can search for places in their area where they will feel encouraged and supported ● Community recognition for their commitment to a healthier Oswego County ● Window cling to display to show their support for the initiative

Get started today by contacting (315) 424-0009 or

visit www.reachcny.org Produced with funding from The New York State Department of Health, Division of Family Health

DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

3


Y O SW EG O C O U N T

BUSINESS $4.50

December 2017 / January

2018

ess.com OswegoCountyBusin

First Job Out of College. Salary: $125,000 Del Allen Scrimger How some workers — like ge of a grad are taking advanta Oswego of Sunoco — native and SUNYCentral New Oswego programs in21, is moving variety of training Alexander Kouthoofd, jobs first real York to get higher-paying his west in January to start salary: job after college. His starting college recent $125,000. Find out what nowadays graduates are earning

INSIDE y: Poverty in Oswego Count ALLEVIATE IT WHAT’S BEING DONE TO You Idea? ess Busin Got a Great Business Can Win $50,000 in New Competition

Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018

$4.50

COVER STORY

Alexander Kouthoofd recently graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in computer science. He just got his first real job. Starting salary: $125,000 54

Tackling Poverty While nearly 20 percent of Oswego County residents live under the federal poverty line, many lowincome wage earners are above the threshold but don’t earn enough to pay for the basics of living. Find out what’s being done to alleviate the problem 64

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 Issue 153

PROFILE ERIC PAHL The new managing director at Dynegy’s Independence Energy in Oswego has deep roots in the region. Starting in 1993 when the plant was built, he held several positions over the years. Now he is the one calling all the shots......................................12

SPECIAL FEATURES Where in the World is Sandra Scott? A recent visit to Saipan, the ‘America most Americans never heard of’ ....................... 16 Cold Real Estate Market Activity in the real estate business can drop as much as 50 percent in the winter............................................... 18 Cyber Sales Sizzling Internet-based retailers selling at record levels. What does it mean for the brick-and-mortar businesses?........ 48 Revitalizing Oswego Why is this new plan any different from failed ones introduced in the past?.......................................................... 48 Pulaski Gets a Big Boost PROP has raised $5 million to invest in a variety of projects in Pulaski............................................................ 70

SUCCESS STORY

Health Care Special The NYS Assembly has passed universal health care legislation four times in the last 25 years. However, it has never been passed, or even voted on, by the state Senate. That could change come the 2018 • Assemblyman Will Barclay: Why we should dump plans for universal health care 73 ALSO INSIDE A talk with Danielle Hayden about her plans as the newly appointed head of Oswego’s promotion and tourism advisory board 4

DEPARTMENTS

Ellen Marshall, owner of Off Broadway Dance Center in Fulton, has grown her dance studio to serve more than 275 kids. She discusses her business and her passion for dance and what it takes to grow a business in Fulton........................................83

On the Job How do you reward your best employees? ......................... 9 How I Got Started Stanley Long, Harbor Lights ..................................... 10 Newsmakers, Business Updates.................................................................22, 30 Dining Out Red Sun Fire Roasting Co., Oswego.................................... 28 Economic Trends COIDA presents annual report.................................... 42 My Turn Fake news, not a new thing ...................................................... 46 Guest Columnist Florida residence and NYS charitable giving .......... 52 First Person Tips to discuss money matters with your family ........... 86 Last Page Austin Wheelock on ‘Next Great Idea’ competition ......... 90 OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

5


Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home...................43 ALPS Professional Services.24 Amdursky, Pelky, Fennell & Wallen................................20 Bond, Schoeneck & King, Attorneys at Law..............27 Borios Restaurant..................15 Breakwall Asset Mgmt.........39 Builder’s First Source...........23 Burke’s Home Center...........26 Burritt Motors........................59 C & S Companies....................6 Caldwell Banker Prime Properties (Cicero)...........19 Canale’s Italian Cuisine........15 Canale’s Ins. & Acc. .......23, 25 Century 21 Galloway Realty...24 Century 21 Leah Signature...14 Chase Enterprises..................39 CNY Comm. Foundation.....21 Colosse Cheese Store............31 Community Bank..................58 Compass Credit Union.........59 Cornell Coop. Extension Oswego Co........................67 Crouse Hospital.....................91 Dave & Busters Restaurant...15 Dunsmoor Construction........7 Edward Jones (

6

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Kate Connell)....................53 Eis House................................15 Financial Partners of Upstate...............................39 Finger Lakes Garage Doors...26 Fitzgibbons Agency..............53 Food Bank of CNY................45 Foster Funeral Home............14 Friends of Oswego County Hospice..............................75 Fulton Savings Bank.............37 Fulton Tool Co.......................53 Gary’s Equipment.................24 Halsey Machinery.................24 Harbor Lights Chemical Dependency......................69 Harbor Towne Gifts..............31 Harbour Hall..........................31 Haun Welding Supply, Inc.........................26 Howard Hanna Real Estate.........................19 J P Jewelers.............................31 Joe Bush’s Collision..............23 Johnston Gas..........................23 Lakeshore Hardwoods.........31

Land & Trust Realty..............26 Longley Brothers...................53 Mimi’s Drive Inn...................15 Mitchell Speedway Printing................................8 Mr. Sub....................................31 Murdock’s................................5 Nelson Law Firm.....................7 Northern Ace Home Center.....................23 Operation Oswego Co..........91 Oswego County Federal Credit Union.....................67 Oswego Co.Mutual Ins.........20 Oswego County Opportunities OCO.........92 Oswego County Stop DWI..43 Oswego Health .....................79 Over the Top Roofing...........24 Par-K Enterprises, Inc.............7 Pathfinder Bank.....................45 Patrick E. Mather, CPA.........47 PC Masters Tech Repair.......69 Pei Lin Huang CRS, GRI......43 Phoenix Press.........................47 Reach CNY...............................3

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Riccelli Northern...................59 RiverHouse Restaurant........15 Riverside Artisans.................31 Scriba Electric.........................26 Servpro of Oswego Co..........25 Springside at Seneca Hill.....75 St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates..........................79 St. Luke Apartments.............75 Sun Harvest Realty...............43 SUNY Oswego, Office of Business and Community Development....................59 Sweet Inspirations.................15 Sweet-Woods Memorial.......47 Tailwater Lodge.....................37 The Gardens at Morningstar .......................2 The Landings at Meadowood........................5 Tobacco Action Coalition.......8 Tully Hill Chemical Dependency Treatment Ctr....................75 Valley Locksmith...................25 Volney Multiplex...................26 Watertown Industrial Center of Local Development.......5 White’s Lumber ....................25 WRVO.....................................88

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COVERING CENTRAL NEW YORK OswegoCountyBusiness.com Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

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Columnists

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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Oswego County Business is published by Local News, Inc., which also publishes CNY Summer Guide, Business Guide, CNY Winter Guide, College Life, In Good Health– The Healthcare Newspaper (four editions), CNY Healthcare Guide and 55PLUS, a Magazine for Active Adults (two editions) Published bimonthly (6 issues a year) at 185 E. Seneca Street PO Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126. Subscription: $21.50 a year; $35 for two years © 2017 by Oswego County Business. All rights reserved. Third class postage paid at Syracuse, NY. Permit Number: 244

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P.O. Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126 Phone: 315-342-8020 Fax: 315-342-7776 Email: Editor@OswegoCountyBusiness.com

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


ON THE JOB

‘How Do You Reward Your Best Employees? ‘ “Every year, we have a Christmas luncheon and we get a bonus and each boss usually buys us a present. We’ve been doing this for years. I have been here 33 years, so that ought to tell you something. “We have great bosses who are family-oriented and it’s great that they take the time to take us out. We’re a small group that’s close knit. They appreciate us and we appreciate that they appreciate us.” Joanne Scruton Office manager, Amdursky, Pelky, Fennell & Wallen, P.C., Oswego “We do a Christmas gathering each year. If the year warrants, we get a nice little Christmas gift. Every five, 10, and 15 years, the employees get a special gift at the Christmas gathering.” Sharon Noel Office manager, Associated Dental Arts, Oswego “We do seasonal cookouts, an employee holiday breakfast where the managers cook for all the employees and give rewards for longevity. “We belong to a large corporate chain of auctions. At each location, we don’t give monetary rewards but we can do things for employees. Each month, we do offer rewards. For longevity, when someone hits 10 or 20 years, we typically offer a gift card and a thank-you card. Typically, this is in conjunction with a seasonal cookout. “With budgets being what they are, it’s hard to hand out cash. For building morale and keeping people engaged, I see it as the small things — like birthday cakes and doing those types of things — mean someone cares.” David Taylor General manager ADESA, Syracuse “We are only four people. Currently, we offer pretty transparent profit sharing that comes once a DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

year. That’s the way we reward and retain talent. We go out for lunch on everyone’s birthday and work anniversary. We have a Christmas party with the spouses and families and do one to two retreats, where the company goes away. Over the summer, we do something outdoors. We talk about what’s going on and goals. Usually, we have some fun activity. It takes a day. “I think in general, we’re just trying to create a place where we want to come to work. We’re intentionally smaller. When there’s only four people, everyone knows what everyone’s working on. “It’s harder to do things like this at a large size. We treat everyone as adults. We have a lot of freedom of schedule and vacation. People have time for their families. Their personal life isn’t as controlled by their work life.” Nate Rooke Co-founder, Adjacent, Syracuse “Every year we treat our staff to a two-day getaway, like Greek Peak or a Lake Placid resort. We try to go Jan. 1, when we can get back-up bartenders to run the place. “We go to the breweries, and ski and hang out. Every employee is invited. We’re firm believers that you can have the best product in the world but without someone knowledgeable and professional it won’t work. We love to treat them. We do boating events in the summer as well. That January trip is our thank-you for the year. “I’m all about the staff. I’m not big-headed. The bartenders have taken over a lot of control and they’ve made the place better. “We don’t have much turnover. The newest employee has been here 10 years. The bartenders have all stepped up and acted like managers. I love going out with these guys and we all get together when we can. We try to keep it close. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

“We do cash bonuses for some positions here, like office managers and we do invite them on the trip. “We have 19 people. With a huge company, you’re so diverse that it makes it hard to take everyone somewhere. I’m glad we have a small company.” Carl Johnson Owner, Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge, Syracuse “We do several things. We recognize our agents who are individual contractors for their performance on a monthly basis. They go in the local newspaper. “We have an annual award where they are given both gift certificates and gifts they can choose from, everything from a big screen TV or an iPad. “We celebrate our employees. We have within our corporate structure to recognize anyone living our core values. Someone in the office may say this person did a great job and they’re given a gift card and a hand-written note from the Hanna family. It comes from peers and coworkers and that means a lot. It sets a tone of synergy, which is important.” Shauna Teelin Office manager, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, Fulton, Liverpool “We have a Christmas party every year. We do little things, like we supply iced beverages in the summer. We help out babysitting each others’ kids. We’re a small, tight knit operation, so we watch out for each other. I offer occasional bonuses. As far as a bonus or gift, giving money is flexible. They can spend it how they like. Denise Damiano Owner, Damiano’s Eatery, Inc., Mexico “I have some awesome employees who when they perform above and beyond get a special hand-written note from me. That is a forgotten art; I love getting written notes in the mail. I take the time to write out a heartfelt thank-you and usually include a little gift card.” Randy Sabourin Owner Metro Fitness Club, Syracuse By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant 9


How I Got

Started

Stanley Long Started Harbor Lights Chemical Dependency Service in Mexico in 1993 as a one-person business By Lou Sorendo

Q: When and where did you launch Harbor Lights Chemical Dependency Service? A: I had been working at Crouse Hospital and a few other treatment facilities, and saw a lot of people from Oswego County coming to Syracuse. I lived with my wife and family in Oswego County, and had been thinking for a while of opening a substance abuse outpatient treatment clinic here in the county. I started the process probably about a year and a half before actually launching the business. It was a long process to get licensed by the state, and we opened in 1993. Q: Did you have quit you job to start the operation? A: Yes. I talked to my wife and said that we should look at opening something in Oswego County. I came home one day and said, “I’ve resigned from my job at Crouse (which was a very good job) and we’re going to open a clinic. However, we probably won’t have income for about two years.” Fortunately, my wife has always been very supportive. She was finishing her master’s degree at SUNY Oswego at the time, and we had two little kids, so it was a couple of hard years. But somehow we made it though. Q: What did you do to generate income? A: During that time, I supplemented my income by contracting with the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to do training for counselors. I traveled all over the state doing counselor trainings. It was very rough during those first couple of years, but eventually we got on our feet. I also had a partner who helped fund some of the business for a few years. Q: How did you sustain yourself during those early years and go on to build the business? A: We didn’t receive any state money at all, even though we are licensed by the state. It’s a private business. So we refinanced our house. I was pretty sure it was going to work. We had a hard time finding a location in the county because there were very few rental places that were appropriate. We searched in the city of Oswego, and looked at renting a place on the harbor. That’s where the name Harbor Lights came from. The county encouraged us to look over in the Mexico area and in the eastern part of the county because there were no treatment facilities there. At that time, there was a dentist in Mexico — Dr.

10

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Thomas Madden — who had just finished building a new office for himself on Main Street. The basement area was vacant, so we wound up renting half of that and refurbishing it. Q: How did you go from that space to owning your building? A: We started very small with a couple of offices and a waiting area. Soon, we took over his whole basement, and within 20 years, had outgrown the space. I started to look to build my own building, which is where we are today on Scenic Avenue in Mexico. It took about three years to get this building going. We were going to build in another location, but there was dissent in the community over the nature of the business. There was a misunderstanding of the type of service we provided. Although that was an obstacle, it turned out to be a positive thing because it created a delay that led to us eventually building where we are now, which is a better place. Oswego Hospital eventually sold us the property where we are located now, and we put up an 8,000-squarefoot building designed specifically for this type of service. It’s pretty unique for a rural county like ours to have a service like this within the county. We are observing our 25th year of serving the county. Q: Any challenges at that point? A: The first challenge was getting state approval to get a license to run the facility, which required a lot of paperwork, developing policies and procedures, getting different levels of approval, and then establishing an acceptable budget. That meant the need to have a reserve of money available to get up and going. That was probably the biggest obstacle. Another obstacle was finding a location that was appropriate for this type of service. I tend to be a person who sees where things need to go into the future as well as an entrepreneur. I like to run a business with all the ups and downs that come with it. We built our building so we can expand it if we need to. There has to be a need in the area for more mental health services. We are just substance abuse now, but we can deal with people with mental illness and substance abuse. There is also a need for pure mental health treatment, so that might be something down the road. I’m getting to the point where DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

I’m looking to retire. I am looking for somebody to carry on this business that would have the same flavor because we are very close knit. We have about 20 staff now, full and part-time, including a family nurse practitioner and credentialed counselors. Q: What led you to your current career path as a substance abuse counselor and owner of a treatment facility? A: When I got out of high school and went into college, I never thought I’d be here in my career. It’s a spiritual journey in a way. I went to Syracuse University as well as SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and while in college, got quite involved with a Christian group on campus. The Rescue Mission in Syracuse was looking for some Big Brothers and Big Sisters to work with inner-city kids. I offered to be a Big Brother to an inner city kid and did that for a while. When I graduated from college, they offered me a job running the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, but funding was cut to that. So they moved me to their alcoholism services, and that’s how I stepped into this field of work. I look at it as a spiritual journey and I think God had his choice of where he wanted me to go. Q: What happened after that? A: I stayed at the Rescue Mission and wound up working there for about eight years and being in charge of its substance abuse services. I was then hired at that time by the Benjamin Rush Center in Syracuse, a private psychiatric hospital, and placed in charge of its dual diagnosis program dealing with mental health and substance abuse. Benjamin Rush would later hire me to open its outpatient services department, and then I spent a short stay at Crouse again, working in day treatment services. I’ve been doing this since 1973. It’s worked out well for me, and it’s where I am supposed to be. Q: How much did it cost to create and launch Harbor Lights? What were some of the more significant challenges to launching the business? A: It was probably $70,000 in 1993 when we acquired our nonprofit status, which was a lot more money than it is today. The way our income comes in is like a medical office through insurances and Medicaid. We had to contract with all the insurances and Medicaid. We opened before we were able to bill insurances, OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

but it seemed to work. Q: Where does your job gratification come from? A: One source of gratification is seeing people come back to us successfully. One of our programs is for women specifically, and we’ve had a number of young women who are pregnant go through our facility and give birth to clean babies. Recently, we had one mother bring her baby back to celebrate her first birthday. Q: Tell us more about the types of patients you treat? A: Lots of people have misconceptions about substance abusers. Most of them are just ordinary people that got caught up making some bad choices. One of the things I said to the architect when we were building the new building and what I look for with our staff is when people come here, they are really hurting people and need to be treated with dignity. They need to come to a facility that is professional and looks at them as people who have been put down by life. They really need to be encouraged and treated ethically, professionally and with dignity. Q: How has the current opioid epidemic affected your establishment? A: Surprisingly, it hasn’t really increased as much as you see the problem. A lot of the problem is focused toward law enforcement. People wind up in jail, and a lot of times, they never get referred to a treatment facility. We are busy, especially being in the rural areas, but not as busy as you might think when you read the news. Going into drug treatment is a very difficult step for people. The other issue is to stay in treatment. A lot of people start treatment, begin to feel better, and say they got it under control when they really don’t. For a lot of people, it means a whole change of lifestyle. It’s not just people who have gotten addicted to drugs, but their whole lifestyle — such as friends and social activities — revolves around substance use. Giving up the drug is the easy part. Changing their life is the hard part. Many people we see have a lot of different problems — mental health issues, depression, and a lot of them have been abused one way or another in their life. Once you get the drugs out, you have to deal with all the other problems as well. It involves not only us, but also getting them involved in a lot of different agencies. 11


PROFILE By Lou Sorendo

ERIC PAHL Familiar territory: Longtime Sithe-Dynegy leader now calling top shots at energy-producing facility

I

t pays to stick with the program. In today’s work environment, the average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times — with an average of 12 job changes — during his or her career. It’s safe to say that corporate loyalty is virtually dead. That trend, however, does not apply to Eric Pahl. Pahl, 55, is the new managing director at Dynegy’s Independence Energy Facility in Oswego. Independence is a 1,212-megawatt, natural gas-fired combined-cycle facility that produces electricity. Prior to his new position, Pahl managed both operations and maintenance at Independence. The original owner — Sithe Energies — brought him to Oswego when Independence was being constructed in 1993. Prior to that, he worked for Sithe in Northern California at a small biomass-fired power plant. Pahl grew up in Huntington Beach and in Loomis, a small town east of Sacramento, Calif. He was born in Geneva, where his father Herman “Bud” Pahl was stationed in the U.S. Army. The family moved back to its home state of California after his father was honorably discharged from the Army and began a career in civil engineering. His mother Sherrill worked in the aerospace industry and later as a real estate agent. Pahl has been working at Independence beginning with the plant’s construction and he was part of the startup crew that helped get the plant running and into commercial operation. He succeeds M.C. King as the plant leader, who has relocated to another Dynegy facility near Dallas, Texas. Pahl has also served as interim manager performing dual roles on a few of occasions since 2005.

12

“I have a long history working with the people down in the corporate office, and I’m well-known throughout the company outside of Oswego,” said Pahl, noting that Houston is the main headquarters for Dynegy while regional leadership is based in Connecticut. Dynegy now has 43 power plants located in 12 states with a total capacity of more than 27,000 megawatts. Pahl was a U.S. Merchant Marine who studied marine engineering at California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif. He went into the power industry upon graduating instead of shipping out with the Merchant Marines. The Merchant Marines lead civilian ships used to transport both imports and exports during peacetime and serves as an auxiliary to the U.S. Navy during times of war, delivering both troops and supplies. “A large

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

portion of our staff is ex-Navy and there are a couple of Maritime guys like myself, but there are a number of employees with different backgrounds and educations,” he said. Pahl noted the power industry features many workers whose backgrounds involve the Navy and seafaring activity, even at the Oswego-based plant. “The electrical power industry really is not that large of an industry. When attending conferences, you end up meeting the same people across the country again and again,” he said. Pahl said being an engineer and operator in the power generation industry is akin to being an engineer on a ship. “As a marine engineer, you’re running and maintaining the systems in the engine room, which is basically the same duties that an operator or a maintenance worker has at a power plant,” he said. “The best part is that you are doing most of the same tasks on a ship but you are able to go home at night or after your shift.” Pahl is married to Donna, who is from

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


East Syracuse. Donna is a math teacher at Pulaski Middle-Senior High School. The couple has two adult children: a daughter Katie, who is an art teacher in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District, and a son, Rick, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an outdoor leadership minor. Rick is working as a group youth leader out West. Pahl takes an annual pilgrimage to Northern California to visit his family. His parents, his brother and his family all reside in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento. His father is also an engineer, and he recalls when he used to watch his dad go to work in a suit and tie everyday. “I didn’t want to do that and I became a carpenter,” he said. “After a couple of years of working as a carpenter, I decided to do something a little bit different so I went back to college to earn a degree in a different field.” His father pointed him to the California Maritime Academy and a possible career in marine engineering. “I took his advice,” Pahl said. He also earned a Master of Business Administration degree at SUNY Oswego in 2010, which had been a goal of his. The degree has helped him master management skills, finance and accounting, aspects of the business that he is more involved with as plant leader. His wife and daughter also earned master degrees at SUNY Oswego. Rick earned his degree at SUNY Oneonta.

Engineering a career In his leadership post, Pahl is more focused on the corporate aspects of the business versus operations. “I’ve been assigned as interim manager a few times already, so it was not too much of a culture shock right from the beginning. There are a lot of aspects of the job I expected and had previously experienced,” he said. “I work with a great group of people here at Independence. It’s an excellent team, and together we have made Independence the success it is today,” said Pahl, noting the workforce at Independence plant numbers 34 employees. When the plant was constructed, there were 45 employees. “The company has been in a downsizing mode that the industry has taken over the last several years. And fortunately for us, it has all been through attrition.” he said. While the reduced staff is manageable, challenges do present themselves DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Lifelines Age: 55 Birthplace: Geneva Current residence: Brewerton Education: Marine engineering degree, California Maritime Academy, Vallejo, Calif.; Master of Business Administration degree, SUNY Oswego Affiliations: Oswego County Humane Society Personal: Wife, Donna; two children, Katie and Rick Hobbies: Golf, boating, travel for the smaller staff especially now with the plant doing more unit startups and shutdowns. This cycling of the plant has become almost a daily occurrence. “We have four units here at Independence that we are cycling on and off in various combinations daily,” he said. When the plant first went online, it was rated at 1,042 megawatts. It underwent repowering upgrades in 2016 that added another 100-plus megawatts and increased efficiencies. The current winter rating is 1,212 megawatts. “On a cold day during winter we can hit the higher loads due to the higher density of the air. With more oxygen present, we can burn more fuel. This higher energy and mass flow through the gas turbines produce higher outputs,” he said. In the past, there were several plans to attract businesses to locate adjacent to the facility on the approximately 250 acres the plant sits on. These plans were never completed because of economics. Pahl said there had also been plans to expand Independence by adding two more units, but these expansion plans were also put on hold. Expansion is tied intrinsically to the electricity market demands which are not favorable for added generation at this time, he added. The market has been impacted by load reductions in the state as well as more renewable sources of energy — such as wind and solar — becoming more prevalent, he said. Pahl is responsible for all plant operations and maintenance, and handles all budgetary matters as well as safety aspects of the plant. “Our goal is to generate electricity safely and with low environmental impact,” he said. “Safety is paramount for our company.” Independence is vying to attain voluntary protection program status OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The VPP program encourages companies like Dynegy to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses through hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, continuous improvement and cooperation between management and workers.

State of flux Independence was one of the earliest large-scale combined cycle gas units in the United States when it came online in 1994. “Since then, many more combined cycle plants have been added to the mix, not just in New York, but in the nation,” Pahl noted. He said the electrical load demands have stopped increasing and leveled off in New York state, in part because of heavy industry that has relocated out of the state and the efficiencies added through newer technology like LED lighting and new higher-efficient electric motors. Originally, Independence was built to be a base load power plant and operated as such for about eight or nine years. Shortly after the year 2000, the plant began operating more as a cycling power plant. “As we discovered how cycling affected the equipment, we installed many modifications and changes to procedures so the plant could be cycled effectively,” he said. “Today, being that nighttime power prices are lower, we are sometimes uneconomical and out of the money during the overnight periods,” Pahl added. The plant shuts down at night when power prices are low, and starts back up early in the morning. It may stand idle for three to six hours every night. The plant runs only during the day during the peak hours when electrical demand is the highest. Pahl said this year, Independence is on track to have well over 600 unit startups. The electrical power industry in New York operates in a competitive market that is run by the New York Independent System Operator. Dynegy competes in this open market and has to bid its power daily. Dynegy’s commercial group in Houston performs the bidding. The NYISO is the entity that mon-

continued on p. 87 13


Publisher’s note By Wagner Dotto

W

e just published our 24th annual Business Guide. We’re thrilled with the new issue. It’s packed with information about the largest employers in Central and Northern New York. Readers can find out who the major employers are, what they do, how to contact them and how to find more information about them. This is one of our more ambitious projects of the year. We literally contact hundreds of companies in the region — by letter, emails, phone calls. We get basic information from each company: names of the principals, number of employees, history of the business and recent or anticipated development. Then we put it all together, ranking the largest employers. Because our home base is Oswego County, the guide lists a lot more businesses from the county than from other places, like Onondaga, Cayuga or Jefferson County. Our plan for the next edition is to increase the number of employees we list, especially from

Onondaga County, CNY’s economic engine (in this issue we list the top 25 employers in Onondaga). The Business Guide is truly a great resource — it’s all there — right to the point, easy to follow and with all the hard data easily accessible. The guide is also available online at www. oswegocountybusiness.com. On the

site, just click the cover of the guide and the visitors will be sent to the digital edition, where they can flip through it. One of my favorite parts is the one featuring profiles of CEOs and principals at various companies and organizations in CNY. The segment is fun to read and we learn a great deal about the background of those who lead major businesses and organizations here. These leaders talk about their educational background, career, management style, hobbies and, equality important, they talk about ways CNY can become a better place.

WAGNER DOTTO is the publisher of Oswego County Business Magazine.

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DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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15 15


Where in the World is Sandra Scott? By Sandra Scott

Saipan

T

‘America most Americans never heard of’

he people of Saipan like to say, “Saipan is the America most Americans never heard of.” Saipan is the capital and largest of the 22 islands in the Western Pacific Ocean that make up the Northern Marianas, a self-governing commonwealth of the United States. It’s roughly in the same region as the Philippines, Guam and Indonesia. That means that the people in Saipan are Americans, speak English, and have American passports — there is even a Hard Rock Café there. Visiting the Northern Marianas is similar to visiting Hawaii. Saipan is the most visited of the Northern Mar-

ianas but the smaller islands of Tinian and Rota are nearby and easy to visit with a puddle jumper airplane. Most of the rest of the islands are uninhabited. Vacationers enjoy the beaches and all sorts of water fun, especially wind surfing. All of the islands have beautiful sandy beaches, warm ocean waters, a variety of accommodations, diving, golf and plenty of history. The islands have everything except those pesky annoyances such as insistent beach vendors and overcrowded roads. Saipan claims to be one of the best places to see the Green Flash, an optical phenomena that sometimes

occurs at the top of the sun just before it disappears. The islands have one of the world’s most equitable climates and are a favorite destination for Asian honeymooners. Besides the beaches, there are many other things to do. While there are plenty of scenic photo stops on Saipan, the most popular are Bird Island, located in a secluded bay and the panoramic view from Mount Tapochau, Saipan’s highest point. Get a taste of local cuisine and culture at the weekly market where there are Chamorro dancers and great food. The American Memorial Park tells the story of the Battle of Saipan

Saipan’s most popular place to visit is the Bird Island, located in a secluded bay.

16

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


and the rest of the Marianas. The displays and video are excellent. As a narrator relates, “What took 30 years to build was destroyed in 20 days” during which 43,000 American and Japanese were killed. For such a small island the war was profound. At the north end of the island are Banzai and Suicide cliffs where hundreds of Japanese soldiers and civilians, including whole families, took their lives instead of surrendering. The Japanese told their people horror stories about what being captured by the Americans would be like. Even though the soldiers tried to reassure them that the stories were untrue they still jumped. Today they are somber spots with many peace memorials — Asians don’t call them war memorials. Tinian is only a short distant away on a five-seater plane. Taxying takes longer than the flight. In 1945 Tinian was home to the world’s busiest airport, North Field. Today it is deserted and overgrown with weeds, except for one section that has glass coverings over the bomb pits that once held the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki bringing World War II to an end. There is a Japanese bomb shelter and other remnants of the war years but little else. Also of interest is the House of Taga, built around 1500 BC by the Chamorro. The massive 20-foot stone pillars called lattes supported the house of the powerful Chief Taga. Legend has it that when the last stone falls Chief Taga will return. For such a small island Saipan has excellent tourist facilities with a wide range of accommodations, car rentals, a plethora of restaurants, and duty-free shopping. Don’t be put off by what seems to be a very remote destination. Combining a trip to the Northern Marianas with time in Guam is a good plan.

Sandra Scott, a retired history teacher and the co-author of two local history books, has been traveling worldwide with her husband, John, since the 1980s. The Scotts live in the village of Mexico. DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Enjoying Saipan’s beach at Hyatt Hotel. Saipan is the most visited of the Northern Marianas

Chamorro dancers performing on the island of Saipan.

The island is a favorite destination for Asian honeymooners. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

17


SPECIAL REPORT Kenneth Sturtz

Real Estate Market Drops as Much as 50% During Wintertime Despite low activity, real estate agents say it’s a great time to list a property for sale

T

he Central New York real estate market typically enters a down period each winter. Homes are still bought and sold, but things slow down for several months once snow falls. And it is more than a modest drop. At the lowest point during winter, home sales in Onondaga and Oswego counties can drop to around half that of the busiest summer months. But the real estate market in the area has been strong throughout much of 2017. And real estate agents say conditions could be right for the market to remain surprisingly strong through the winter and into spring 2018. Sales were strong throughout much of 2017 in part due to interest rates remaining low, said Lynnore Fetyko, CEO of the Lynnore Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors. The supply of homes being listed for sale has also remained relatively low. That has created a demand for more listings and has helped keep sales strong, she said. Kellie Jo Maher, of Coldwell Banker Prime Properties in Cicero, sells properties in Oswego and Onondaga counties. She said last spring was the busiest she had seen at that time of year since at least a decade ago. When houses — especially in Onondaga County — were listed for sale, agents were often receiving several offers within days of the property going on the market, she said. “I hadn’t seen that since 2006. It was ridiculous,” Maher, said. “Things were selling like hot cakes.” While there was a general uptick, real estate agents noticed homes in

18

Home Sales Year/Month

Source: NYS Association of Realtors

Onondaga

Oswego

487 458 592 511 530 474 364 338 287 327 411 373

103 103 128 102 129 101 76 72 60 75 115 117

Oct - 17 Sept - 17 Aug - 17 July - 17 June - 17 May - 17 April - 17 Mar - 17 Feb - 17 Jan - 17 Dec - 16 Nov - 16 northern Onondaga and southern Oswego counties selling more quickly. But while the supply of homes on the market remained low, and it was still a seller’s market, there was enough activity to keep prices from shooting up. The first half of 2017 saw strong sales and low inventory of homes on the market, with homes selling at a faster pace than the previous year. For example, in May 2017 home sales increased 8 percent in Onondaga County and 14 percent in Oswego County over the previous May. And that faster pace was in spite of the shortage of available properties. In May 2017, there were 900 and 250 fewer homes for sale in Onondaga and Oswego counties respectively than 2016. Sales peaked in August when agents sold 592 and 128 homes in Onondaga and Oswego counties. But by then sales were already beginning to lag behind the pace set in 2016. “Up until August it was a seller’s OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

lowest activity

market,” Maher said. “It’s still a good season, but it has slowed down.” By September homes sales were down 12 percent in Onondaga County and 10 percent in Oswego County from 2016. And more homes were coming onto the market, increasing supply. That raises the question of how much the market will drop off during the winter. “So, the market doesn’t completely stop,” Fetyko said. “After the holidays, it ramps up quickly. Many experienced agents are busy right after first of year.” People tend to hold off on buying or selling houses during the busy holiday season. The snow and cold discourages many would-be buyers. And sellers sometimes choose to wait until spring to put their homes on the market when there is more activity. Winter can actually be a good time of the year to list a home, said Karen Hammond, of Century 21 Leah’s Signature, in Fulton. Sellers have less competition DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


with fewer homes on the market than in spring when real estate agencies are swamped. Buyers during the fall and winter months tend to be a bit more motivated “I like to say you don’t have as many tire-kickers,” said Pei Lin Huang, of Keller Williams Realty Syracuse. Even as the market tapers off, strong demand from buyers and a housing supply that Hammond is still lower than last year should carry over into 2018, Hammond said. That assumes interest rates continue to remain low, she said. “I don’t foresee that we’re going to slow down and come to a standstill,” Hammond said. But if there is one wildcard for real estate in Central New York, it is the weather. “Every year it’s a little different,” Huang said. “A lot depends on the weather too.” When the weather is warm and clear, winter tends to busier for the sector. Often people decide to take advantage of the nice weather, get Huang out of the house and go look at properties, Hammond said. But if there are blizzards every weekend and it is especially cold, most people stay away. But even with less business during winter, agents are still busy. Many choose to focus on their marketing during winter and catch up on training and implementing new technology, Huang said. Most real estate agents are also working with sellers to get their homes ready to go on the market in the spring, she said. Winter can also be helpful by indirectly pushing potential home buyers to make the decision to get out and look, Fetyko said. “The winter isn’t necessarily as bad thing for our real estate market,” she said. “It gives people pause to think about where they are in life and what they want.” DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

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Best Business Idea to Get $50K Award Deadline to compete in the “The Next Great Idea Oswego County Business Plan Competition” is Feb. 1. The winner will receive $50,000

T

he Next Great Idea Oswego County Business Plan Competition (NGI) began in 2008 when economic development officials along with business and community leaders came together to develop a program to encourage entrepreneurship and develop a solution for a problem many businesses find when getting started access to seed capital. “We knew we had a lot of great business ideas in the community but the recurring obstacle we kept finding when trying to assist businesses was a lack of equity for companies to get off the ground or to go to a bank and obtain traditional financing,” said NGI’s chairman Austin Wheelock, deputy director for Operation Oswego County (OOC). “We were losing companies and talented entrepreneurs to areas that had these types of programs and cultures of entrepreneurship in place.” Past NGI competition winners are: • ArcoArt which was awarded $25,000 in 2014 to design and create unique string instrument covers out of fabric. • Lakeside Artisans Cooperative, now known as Riverside Artisans, which won the 2010 competition • Ocean Blue Technology, LLC, which won the first NGI competition in 2008. • OBT, a Fulton-based company, developed the DiveBud Scuba Safety Platform for the recreational diving market. “We’re excited this year to double the prize to a $50,000 award which will help attract even bigger and better ideas to the competition and show the region and beyond that we are serious about encouraging entrepreneurship in Oswego County.” The entire competition will consist of three phases, starting with the business concept proposal which will be due by OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Feb. 1; and from there judges will select semi-finalists to move on to develop full business plans due in June 2018; and NGI culminates with the entrepreneurs making their “pitch” in person to a panel of judges in September 2018. The judging panel will be composed of local bankers, business owners, business service professionals, and investors. Ideas that are not selected will receive written feedback from the judges of how to improve their proposals for the future. In addition, the $50,000 can potentially be leveraged to borrow up to $500,000 in partnership with local banks, Operation Oswego County, Inc., the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency, the cities of Oswego and Fulton community development offices and other partner economic development agencies. For more information, visit www. oswegocounty.org, call 315-343-1545 or send an email to ngioswegocounty@ gmail.com.

Editor’s Note: See an interview with NGI’s chairman Austin Wheelock on page 90. DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Cutler Fund Boosted to $1 Million at SUNY Oswego

D

onations by 1974 SUNY Oswego alumnus David Cutler have brought a fund to support the college’s public justice program and student experiences to $1 million. The founder and executive director of the Arapahoe Community Treatment Center, a residential community corrections facility in Englewood, Colorado,., Cutler established the excellence fund for public justice in 2004 to help educate the next generation of leaders in corrections and law enforcement. Since then, he has infused the fund with additional gifts, most recently adding $500,000 to bring the endowed Cutler Public Justice Excellence Fund to $1 million. His generosity has helped public justice majors with opportunities to advance their studies and careers. “Attending Criminal Justice Educators Association of New York State changed my life,” said Anna Jimenez, a paralegal at Cummings & Lewis LLC in Spartanburg, S.C. She now has her heart set on becoming a criminal law paralegal in a defense attorney’s office and then eventually a victim’s advocate for children who have been abused. “Prior to this conference, I had no idea what type of law I wanted to be involved in,” she said. Jaclyn Schildkraut, assistant professor of public justice, said the Cutler Fund currently supports several key projects each year: • Student travel and fees to attend the CJEANYS conference • A day trip for students to visit two correctional facilities in Central New York • Presentation of outstanding freshman and senior awards at the annual Alpha Delta Omega honor society induction ceremony • A popular lecture series that brings high-profile speakers to campus “With one of the largest donor funds on campus, I believe that the Cutler Fund helps to distinguish us from our peers simply in how much we are able to do, virtually without restriction, for our students,” Schildkraut said. “Any idea that we have that can be used to improve the quality of education and experience for our students typically is covered.” DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Christine Woodcock Dettor and Emilee Lawson Hatch stand together at Bousquet Holstein’s office on West Fayette Street.

Giving Advice: Christine Woodcock Dettor & Emilee Lawson Hatch When our clients show interest in charitable planning, we feel comfortable referring them to the Community Foundation. Its knowledgeable staff works closely with each client to create a personalized giving plan that supports the causes our clients care about, while also achieving tax advantages.

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Read more of Christine and Emilee’s story at CNYCF.org/DettorHatch

cnycf.org (315) 422-9538

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

21


NEWSMAKERS NEWS BRIEFS ON LOCAL BUSINESS & BUSINESS PEOPLE

Pathfinder Has New Retail Products Specialist Calvin Corriders has been named Pathfinder Bank’s retail products specialist. In his new role he will originate mortgages and loans, promote lending services to the real estate community, help identify and serve the communities financial needs through seminars and sales meetings, and promote and participate in the bank’s community activities. “Calvin’s prior experience in the area of residential loan processing will be extremely valuable in his new position at Pathfinder Bank,” said Reyne Pierce, vice president, team leader of retail lending. “His commitment to customer service and his community involvement in the Syracuse area will be a tremendous asset toward the continued growth of our lending division in Central New York.” Corriders began his career in 2015

as a personal banker for Key Bank. This January, Corriders accepted the position as loan processor at Pathfinder Bank. Corriders is a graduate of Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He currently resides in Syracuse and is active within the community, currently serving as a member of the 100 Black Men of Syracuse. Corriders has also played an in strumental role in Pathfinder Bank’s Smart Savers Program, a partnership between Pathfinder Bank and Van Duyn Elementary school to help students take their first steps on the road to financial reCorriders sponsibility.

Bond Recognized In 2018 U.S. News-Best Lawyers The 2018 U.S. News — Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” recognized Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC with three national first-tier rankings: employment law / management; labor law / management; and litigation / labor and employment. “Bond has passion for the employer’s position and the courage to defend that position before courts, government agencies, plaintiffs and labor organizations. We are delighted that U.S. News — Best Lawyers has recognized us with three national first tier rankings, a recognition bestowed on only 29 firms nationally,” said Louis DiLorenzo, managing member of the firm’s New York City office. Bond is also recognized by Best Lawyers with the most lawyers in New York state in three labor and employment law categories: employment law / management; labor law / management; and litigation / labor and employment . In addition: Bond’s labor and employment practice is recognized in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA; twenty-six Bond labor and employment law lawyers are included in 2018 Best

OCFCU Certified as Community Development Financial Institution Oswego County Federal Credit Union (OCFCU) has been certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), by the U.S Department of the Treasury. “As a CDFI, we’ll work in our county to specialize in helping our neighbors who are underserved by traditional financial institutions,” said OCFCU CEO Bill Carhart. The target market area is the low-income population in Oswego County. “The CDFIF fund was created for the purpose of promoting economic revitalization and community development through investment in and assistance to community development and financial institutions… for underserved populations and in distressed communities in the United States,” according to its website. Since its creation, the CDFIF has awarded more than $2 billion to community development Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, right, congratulates Bill Carhart, Oswego organizations and financial institutions. “OCFCU will now act as a conduit for those County Federal Credit Union CEO, on OCFCU’s certification as a funds to make life better for the communities we community development financial institution (CDFI), by the U.S serve,” Carhart said. Department of the Treasury. 22

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Lawyers in America. Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC is a law firm with 250 lawyers serving individuals, companies and public sector entities in a broad range of practice areas. Bond has nine offices in New York state and offices in Naples, Fla., and Overland Park, Kansas.

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Northern Ace Home Center is like going to your neighbor. We’re here to help!

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Big Mike’s Service Now Offers U-Haul Equipment U-Haul Company of New York and Vermont, Inc. recently announced that Big Mike’s Service Center has signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer to serve the Oswego community. Big Mike’s Service Center at 3794 county Route 4 will offer U-Haul trucks, trailers, pre-tow inspection, towing equipment, moving supplies and instore pick-up for boxes. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 is now available at all U-Haul locations, enabling customers to access trucks and vans every hour of every day through the self-pick-up and self-return options on their uhaul.com account. An internet-connected mobile device with camera and GPS features is needed to take advantage of self-service. Big Mike’s Service Center owner Michael Tucker said he is proud to team with the industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage to better meet the demands of Oswego County.

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Besio Joins Arctic Risk Specialists as Sales Director Baldwinsville resident Jeff Besio has joined Arctic Risk Specialists, Toms River, N.J., as regional sales director of commercial lines for the northeast region. “Jeff ’s great standing in the community and his reputation for exceptional customer service make him a wonderful asset to us,” said Thomas Nastasi, Besio president. “Our company is growing and Jeff is key to expanding our client base in the northeast.” DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

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Reach all those who file a property deed in Oswego County and all those who file DBA certificates. Advertise in Oswego County Business Magazine 23 23


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Mahindra EQUIPMENT Tractors CO., INC. & SERVICE Implements 5334SALES Route 31 - Clay, NY 13041 • Phone (315) 699-8072 Trailers www.mahindrausa.com Attachments or 800-427-8072 / Fax (315) 699-0328 (All Types)

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315-564-6938 MOBILE

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Besio has more than 18 years of sales experience in the automotive industry, where he was one of the leading sales consultants at two major Central New York automotive dealerships. Besio resides in Baldwinsville with his wife, Caitlin, and daughter, Emily. “I look forward to ensuring that my clients’ coverage is up-to-date, placed with the proper carrier, and that they are receiving a competitive rate,” Besio said. “With over 50 carriers to choose from, we can find the right combination of coverage and premium to meet any commercial insurance need.” Since 2014, Arctic Risk Specialists, an independent agency, has grown to serve a wide variety of businesses and corporations in the greater New York City area. “Arctic Insurance Company specializes in bringing premier risk management services to our clients in order to minimize their liability and protect their interests,” according to the company’s website. “Our expert team of insurance professionals prides itself on providing quality customer service, giving clients a thorough explanation of the often complex nature of insurance and guiding them through insurance solution options tailored specifically for the protection they seek. We partner with the most trusted insurance carriers in the industry to ensure our clients are presented with premier insurance plans from stable institutions.” Besio’s office is located in Liverpool.

Residential & Commercial Roofing Seamless Gutters Remodeling Windows, Doors, Siding Best Roof Warranty Available 24-hour Emergency Repairs

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Erin Vaccaro Named Director of OCC in Liverpool Erin Vaccaro has been named director of Onondaga Community College at Liverpool. Prior to moving into the position, Vaccaro worked at OCC for nearly two years as a student success coordinator in economic and workforce development. She previously served as associate dean of student services and as an acaVaccaro demic adviser at Bryant & Stratton College’s Liverpool campus. Vaccaro is a trained Arbinger Institute facilitator and a member of the DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Home&Business

current Leadership Greater Syracuse class. Vaccaro is an alumna of Jordan-Elbridge High School who earned degrees from Le Moyne College and Capella University. She resides in Baldwinsville. Vaccaro replaces Barb Dennehy who retired. The recently refurbished OCC Liverpool college extension location offers day and evening credit classes taught by college faculty during the spring, summer and fall semesters. The facility includes seven classrooms, a student computer lab and a common area. Students enjoy free Wi-Fi, coffee and tea. Parking is free and convenient.

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KeyBank Has New Managers in Oswego, Fulton

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KeyBank recently announced the appointment of two branch managers in Oswego County. • Pamela Quesnell was appointed as branch manager for the Oswego office. In her role, she will supervise the activities of the branch, oversee staff development and work to meet the needs of customQuesnell ers within the community. Quesnell has 24 years of banking experience in roles she previously held with Marine Midland, HSBC and First Niagara. She served as vice president for 12 years and has earned several special accreditations. She also has been recognized with notable awards including the HSBC Regional President’s Award, Market Manager of the Year Award, Forty Under 40 and Branch Manager of the Year. Quesnell has lived is Oswego for her entire life with her teenage daughter and enjoys having the opportunity to be a part of the community. She is an active volunteer for Relay for Life. • Colleen McCraith was appointed as branch manager for the Fulton office. In her role, she will oversee operations and business development within the branch, supervise staff and work to meet the needs of customers within the DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

community. McCraith has 10 years of banking experience as a vice president/branch manager, in roles she previously held with Chase and Citizens banks. Prior to banking, McCraith worked as the assistant marketing director for the retail shops at Turning Stone Casino in Vernon and has 13 years of retail management experience with the Limited brands and Ann McCraith Taylor brands. McCraith attended SUNY Utica/ Rome, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration/management. She lives in Fulton and grew up in Oswego County. She credits this opportunity with KeyBank as a way to work in the community she lives and where her daughters attend school.  

SUNY Oswego Faculty Named Fellow in Royal Societies SUNY Oswego School of Business faculty member Efstathios (Stathis) Kefallonitis recently was named a fellow in two prestigious British royal societies. The associate professor of marketing and management earned recognition as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, ManufacKefallonitis tures and Commerce (RSA), and a Fellow of the Royal Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Both recognize the very best in the field, and “it is considered an award and an honor to be elected a fellow of both of these esteemed British institutions,” Kefallonitis said. “Throughout my education, one of my drivers in life is to give back,” Kefallonitis said. It is something he has done since his youngest school days, and what led to these distinctions, he added. Becoming an Oswego faculty DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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member in 2011 proved an outstanding match between the institution’s mission and his own. “Oswego is really well known for service to not only the local area but the world,” Kefallonitis noted. “Since I joined Oswego, service to the community has been part of my mission. It’s something I use in each and every class I teach.” He has engaged his classes in local, national and international projects with partners that include the Boeing Com-

pany, Syracuse Airport Authority, CNYArts, Greater Oswego County Chamber of Commerce, Landmark Theatre and Oswego Farmers Market, among others. Kefallonitis’ scientific expertise lies in neuromarketing, biometrics, consumer behavior and brand engagement. He validates his research through various applications in the air transport and hospitality industries. His schooling in the United Kingdom includes a Ph.D. in aviation mar-

SUNY Oswego students Samantha Boyle (left front) and Madison St. Gelais display their pride and their prize for making the winning pitch in the inaugural Launch It entrepreneurial business competition at the college.

Student Entrepreneurs Win ‘Launch It’ Competition at SUNY Oswego SUNY Oswego seniors Samantha Boyle and Madison St. Gelais recently won the finals of the inaugural Launch It competition showcasDECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

ing student entrepreneurs at the college, much as “Shark Tank” does with risk-taking business people on the ABC television network. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

keting management from Cranfield University and a master’s degree in design futures from Goldsmiths-University of London specializing in airline corporate identity design. Kefallonitis also was a postdoctoral research fellow in brand experience management at the London College of Communications, University of the Arts London, and has completed programs of study in neuromarketing at University College London and Cornell University’s Management Institute. The winning app proposal, Bunk, would allow students looking for off-campus housing to safely connect with potential roommates and verified and rated landlords, as well as view video tours of the properties. Boyle and St. Gelais won $1,000 and the opportunity to represent the college and its school of business in Oswego County’s upcoming business plan competition. Launch It featured teams of students pitching their ideas for startup businesses, with advice from business executives. SUNY Oswego’s Enactus chapter, a student group embracing entrepreneurship through community service, led organization of the competition. The competition tries “to harness the ideas and the energy and the enthusiasm of the students in a multidisciplinary environment” around business, technology, engineering, communications and the sciences, said School of Business Dean Richard Skolnik. 27


DiningOut By Jacob Pucci

Restaurant

Guide

The restaurant is located adjacent to its sister restaurant, Port City Café and Bakery, on West First Street in Oswego.

The Red Sun Fire Roasting Co.

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A staple of the downtown Oswego dining scene

t’s been nearly five years since I last dined at The Red Sun Fire Roasting Co. Then a college senior, I wanted to impress my date and show her that I appreciated the finer things in life or, in this case, wood-fired pizza.

It must have worked. The two of us returned for dinner on a recent Friday evening and I had one thought on my mind: Whether the mushroom and truffle pizza was as good now as it was in 2012. Thankfully, it was even better than I remember. Our dinner started off with an order of butternut squash arancini ($8). The risotto inside was creamy and tinged orange by the butternut squash. The demise of poorly-made arancini is often in the rice: Either too plain, too soft or too dry and crumbly. Red Sun’s interpretation of this Italian appetizer was spot-on, with an evenly golden brown

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crisp panko crust to boot. The tomato and sage marinara sauce that accompanied the three fried risotto calls was fresh and vibrant. The aforementioned Forrestiere pizza ($14) combined portobello mushrooms, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, olive oil, herbs and a drizzle of truffle oil. Truffle oil started off as the new “it” food product before its popularity caused a surge in cheap, low-quality versions, which thus soured (literally, in the case of some of these cut-rate versions) and the hype surrounding it died down. But the combination of good-quality truffle oil and mushrooms is one I’ll always enjoy. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

The pizzas are cooked in the woodfired oven that’s the centerpiece of the open kitchen adjacent to the bar. The crust had a bit of chew and char in all the right places. Mushrooms, truffles and rosemary make a dynamite trio, so I was glad it was the rosemary that shined brightest among the blend of herbs that topped the pie. I learned after dining at Red Sun that more entrees should be accompanied by savory bread pudding. Think of it as a refined, high-brow version of bread stuffing where every crispy bite tastes like the coveted corner piece of stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner. This version, made with rosemary and DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


roasted shallots, was served along side a roasted Cornish game hen, caramelized Brussels sprouts with pancetta and a tomato, mushroom and madeira wine demi-glace ($20). I typically don’t order poultry at restaurants — I figure I cook enough of it at home — but I made an exception for this and I’m glad I did. The young, small bird was noticeably more tender than your usual chicken and the skin was crispy and flavorful. Fall is Brussels sprouts season in Upstate New York and they’re especially good when roasted with cubed pancetta. If every parent cooked them like this, kids wouldn’t hate Brussels sprouts anymore. To me, this dish was an upscale interpretation on a cozy Thanksgiving dinner. On paper, roasted poultry with vegetables and a wine sauce is a yearround dinner, but there was something about bringing it all together — and adding bread pudding — that made this dish scream “fall.” Dinner ended with a dish of peach and raspberry cobbler ($7) that was plenty big enough for two. The fruit in the cobbler changes seasonally, so the fruit was perfectly ripe and sweet. We loved the peaches in particular — sweet, but not too soft. The cobbler was warm, not soupy and served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. What else could you want? Red Sun and its adjoining Port City Café and Bakery are staples of the downtown Oswego dining scene — Red Sun since 2010, Port City Cafe since 1996—and are favorites of locals and students alike. It won’t take me five years to go back.

Cornish game hen: The petite bird was roasted with herbs and served along side roasted Brussels sprouts, savory bread pudding and a madeira wine sauce. 

Butternut squash arancini: Three expertly fried risotto balls with homemade marinara sauce and a streak of balsamic glaze.

Forrestiere pizza is topped with portobello mushrooms, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, olive oil, herbs and a drizzle of truffle oil.

The Red Sun Fire Roasting Co. Address: 207 W. First St., Oswego. Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Lunch served Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Website: www.portcitycafe.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/ The-Red-Sun-Fire-RoastingCo-115475341798162/ Phone: 315-343-2418 DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Peach and raspberry cobbler The fruit was in season and very flavorful. A big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top completed the dessert. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

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New management at Save-a-Lot in Fulton: Jeremy Burns, general manager (left), and owners Jim Mirabito and his daughter Whitney. The Mirabito family used to run Hannibal Village for more than 25 years before selling it to Tops Friendly Markets in 2016.

Mirabito Family Back in the Grocery Business Longtime area grocers back in action with new Save-A-Lot store in Fulton

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t’s old school with a touch of today. The Mirabitos are a household name in the local grocery business. The family owned and operated the Hannibal Village Market IGA for more than 25 years before selling it to Tops Friendly Markets in 2016. Now, Jim Mirabito, his wife Cindy and daughter Whitney are the new owners of Save-A-Lot, 364 W. First St. S., Fulton. Jim is a third-generation grocer, as his grandparents Ross and Frances Mirabito opened their first store in their living room on Erie Street in Fulton in 1928. Since then, several members of the Mirabito family have owned and operated grocery stores in the area. The Mirabito family has been in the grocery business in Fulton and Hannibal

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for 89 years. The family will mark 90 years in business in 2018. The Mirabitos took over a Save-ALot store that had existed for 15 years prior to the acquisition. John Hart of Canandaigua was the former owner and also operated several locations in central and eastern New York. “He was just looking to retire and get out of the business. This opportunity became available to us and we couldn’t pass it up,” Whitney said. “I was actually living in Rochester and working at a law firm,” Whitney said. “After my parents sold the [Hannibal] store, my dad and I talked. He had mentioned that he was approached by Save-A-Lot and asked if he was interested in taking over the [Fulton-based] OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

store,” she said. Whitney graduated with a business degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester. “It’s something that I like doing. I always enjoyed working in the store, and my father wasn’t ready to retire himself,” she added. “He wanted to stay in the business, so when the opportunity arose, we decided to jump on it.” “I just felt I was too young and still had things I wanted to do,” Jim said. “This was an opportunity to try a different business model.” Noting the Hannibal Village Market was a conventional supermarket with a more extensive variety, Save-A-Lot is “more of a slimmed down version.” “We carry 90 to 95 percent of what a person needs. We just don’t have as DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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many different flavors, varieties and brands of each item,” he said. He noted prices are significantly lower due to less overhead cost. “I thought this was a way to try a different career choice without leaving the food industry,” he said. “We’ve been around the area for many years. It just looked like the right thing to do at the time,” he added. “The store was available. It had been run down, so we came in, cleaned and put a fresh coat of paint on it, and fixed all the refrigeration problems. We’re doing well.” The Mirabitos are independent licensed retailers. Approximately 70 percent of SaveA-Lot stores are owned and operated by independent licensed retailers.

Renovation phase After purchasing the facility outright in March of 2017, the family started extensive renovations for about a threemonth period. They celebrated their grand reopening on the weekend prior to the Fourth of July in 2017. “There is no set price on what it costs to get into this business,” Whitney said. “It depends on what you can work out with the previous owner.” Whitney did not disclose what it cost to acquire the business and renovate it. “It was a major investment for us. We did invest quite a bit and are still investing to make renovations to the store,” she said. Thanks to extensive refurbishing, Save-A-Lot features a completely upgraded and expanded produce department with a new display case; new flooring and LED lighting; an expanded dairy section and a fresh merchandising approach for groceries. Save-A-Lot employs a limited assortment concept in its production selection that results in an advertised 40 percent price reduction compared to conventional supermarkets. “At traditional, conventional stores, quite a few of their products are going to be national brand items, like Tide and Bounty,” she said. “With this store, we don’t purchase national brands, and right there is a big cost cut.” Save-A-Lot has its own private labels, and everything in the store is a Save-A-Lot product. “I enjoy just being here and speaking with customers and seeing people coming in every day. You develop friendships and relationships with them. 32

Fulton now has a highly competitive grocery sector, with Price Chopper and Tops Friendly Markets fighting for market share. Aldi is expected to open in Fulton in mid-December. That is really something that I definitely treasure,” Whitney said. Fulton features a highly competitive grocery sector, with Price Chopper and Tops Friendly Markets fighting for market share. Aldi is expected to open in Fulton in mid-December. Whitney addressed what it is going to take for the store to be successful. “Honestly, I think it’s going back to basics and being able to provide excellent customer service, great quality products at low prices,” she said. “That is our mission and our employees have done a great job at delivering it.” The store employs 26 workers.

Under Dad’s guidance For Jim Mirabito, what is going to lead to success for the store is getting the word out regarding pricing. “Our prices are 40 to 50 percent less than traditional supermarkets, and the quality is second to none,” he said. Save-A-Lot was launched in 1977. “They did not carry national brands. They developed all their own brands with quality and taste very similar to national brands at half the price,” Mirabito said. He said it’s challenging nowadays to select the proper mode of communicating messages to the consumer. “Thirty years ago, everybody got The Palladium-Times and The Valley News on Thursdays for the ads,” said Mirabito, noting the landscape has changed today with online marketing avenues. Mirabito noted Save-A-Lot has a sophisticated marketing department that shared vital demographics that indicated the opportunity had great potential. “We also tested against Aldi knowing that they will be here. We compared locations, pricing strategies” and target audiences, he said. Mirabito noted Aldi is “moving much more into the organic lines” and has a more limited selection than SaveA-Lot. “We have fresh meat and our produce is refrigerated. There are differenc-

es,” he said. Mirabito said a regular customer baked a pie recently and brought it in for Whitney. “That’s not what you get at an Aldi,” he said. “Nobody is going to make a pie and bring it in. That’s the connection.” For Jim, the added bonus of returning to the grocery business is doing it alongside his daughter. “I guess as a parent you want your kids to succeed, and I want her to be more successful than I’ve been,” Mirabito said. He noted he gains gratification from having the opportunity to work with her and share some of the insight he has gained over the years. “She’s going to make her own mistakes, and we’re going to let her do that. She has got to learn on her own,” he said. Mirabito said he is looking forward to giving her direction and being there to support her during rough times. “It’s just like teaching your kid how to ride a bicycle,” he said. “You put on the training wheels, take them off, hold the back seat, and pretty soon they are flying off on their own and still think you’re there. But you’re not. It’s very similar,” he said. “She always wants to learn and is always looking for a new, better angle. She always is trying to improve herself,” Mirabito said of his daughter. “She’s also kind to customers and employees and treats people the way she wants to be treated.” For Jim, the grocery business is in his DNA. “You get to see and meet more people in a single day here than you do in just about any other business. People come in with questions and problems. We offer solutions,” Mirabito said. “We talk about share of stomach. Everybody who walks through the door is wondering what he or she is going to have for dinner that night. We help them find a solution,” he said. Mirabito noted when he is out in public in Fulton, “people recognize me and they always speak. You walk down a street somewhere else — Syracuse, Rochester or wherever — you are focused on where you are going and they are focused on where they are going.” Jeremy Burns is the general manager at the refurbished store and heads up the merchandising effort. “Customers will always come back to a friendly face,” he said.

BUSINESS UPDATE

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

By Lou Sorendo DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


SRC, Inc. is a government contractor located near the Northern Boulevard exit of I-481 in North Syracuse.

SRC to Add 1,000 Jobs in Next Five Years Government contractor in North Syracuse in expansion mode

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RC, Inc. is a North Syracuse-based nonprofit company that has grown from a Syracuse University research arm into one of the biggest non-medical employers in the area. And that growth is expected well into the future. The company expects to hire about 1,000 new people by 2022, many of them engineers — software, electrical, systems. But that number will also include support personnel in areas like human resources and accounting. There are multiple reasons why SRC is growing. “It’s everything,” said the company’s communications director, Lisa Mondello. Mondello “Its current and anticipated contracts, the current demand from customers for the technology. It’s growth in just about every area of the company.” The corporation’s headquarters DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

has five buildings near the Northern Boulevard exit of I-481 but also has offices in Washington D.C., San Antonio, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. It is a government contractor with areas of expertise in defense, environment and intelligence. “A lot of our products and services that have really gone big time have been things that the military specifically needs to save lives,” Mondello said. “One example is a system we call our Lightweight Counter-Mortar Radar, LCMR for short. That gives early warning detection of incoming mortars for forward operating bases. It was a huge issue.” SRC also created an improvised explosive device (IED) jammer for troops overseas. Many of the bombs were being detonated via remote control by our enemies, but SRC created a way to jam these remote transmissions. “Our system jams the signal which made the enemy go to a different type of bomb,” she said. More recently, SRC has been success-

ful with contracts to develop anti-unmanned aerial system (UAS) equipment. The company saw the potential threat in unmanned aerial vehicles and began researching ways to combat it early on. “You can imagine UAS can be used unfortunately for bad things,” Mondello said. “Our system can detect and help the military deal with UAS that’s flying in an airspace it shouldn’t, maybe it’s carrying something that can be harmful.” Most of these contracts are JUON (Joint Urgent Operational Needs) for the military. They are designed to solve current problems in the field that need to be solved as soon as possible. “In the case of us being a not-forprofit and having investments already in this technology area, we were able to respond more rapidly, I think, than other contractors,” she said. There are other advantages for SRC in being a nonprofit corporation. It is not beholden to shareholders for making strategic decisions. “Our motivation is not shareholders or the bottom line,” Mondello said. “There’s no individual owner that’s benefiting. It makes us more of a trusted adviser for our customers. Any earnings are reinvested back into the company.” In fact, Mondello sees the success of SRC anti-UAS contract as a direct result of it being a nonprofit. “We have been investing in the counter-UAS domain for years because we put millions of dollars into things that we think are going to be an issue,” she said. “We call them challenge problems.” This ability to foresee future challenges for its customers may have a lot to do with SRC’s success. And although the company itself is not designed to make a profit, its employees are compensated well, the Mondello said. She said they have a great benefits package and good retirement plan. She credits the company’s success to the people it hires. “We’ve found our success is based on finding good people. I think that’s true across all businesses — finding good people that fit your culture.” Mondello said has been with the company for two decades and watched it move from the SU campus to its facilities in North Syracuse. It went from just 200 employees when she started to 1,100 now.

BUSINESS UPDATE

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

By Matthew Liptak 33


Dennis Longley, from left, with cousin Gene and son Doug. The Fulton auto dealer is entering its 70th year.

Longley Brothers Enters 70th Year in Business Fulton dealership now grooming fourth generation to take over the business

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lot can change in 70 years, and certainly has in Fulton. But at least one thing has remained constant in the city: the Longley family is still selling vehicles. Now entering its 70th year in operation and already under the third generation, the dealership has been more than just a way of life for this family. “Cars are kind of in our blood,” says Dennis Longley, former owner of Longley Brothers Inc. Dennis says it all started with his father Earl, who cut his teeth repairing heavy equipment while serving in the military during WWII. Upon his return to Fulton, Earl and his brother Harold opened a body shop in 1947. That’s where Dennis got his first work

experience, at the very early age of 7. “That was kind of my life, hanging out there,” Dennis said. “My feelings right from day one was here. Obviously, that’s where I’ve been ever since.” The Longley brothers jumped from fixing cars to selling them in 1955 when they moved into the space they now occupy on county Route 57. It started with GMC trucks, but after about decade, they made a key move that paid off big time. “They were approached by Oldsmobile, Mercury and Dodge, and they chose Dodge,” Dennis said. “Which I’m glad they did since the other two no longer exist.” Dennis developed along with the business, moving from work in the salvage yard at the auto body shop to

BUSINESS UPDATE

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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

selling at the dealership. He was later promoted to sales manager and eventually became general manager. Today, he counts himself as “supposedly retired” since he still comes in daily. That work ethic is another thing that runs in the Longley family. Dennis said it took years of prodding just to convince his father to embrace retirement. And his uncle Harold wasn’t much different. He only stopped working at the dealership after a stroke. “They were extremely hard workers,” Dennis said. “That was their life, was working, and they enjoyed it.” Just like his father before him, Dennis wanted to keep the dealership in the family. He started grooming his own son Doug at a young age. That paid off. Doug has been the current owner since 2013, something both men knew was somewhat destined. “I probably knew at 13 or 14 that this is what I wanted to do,” Doug said. When the Longleys were not selling cars, they were racing them. They spent a few years drag racing them together and now frequent car shows — at least one every year on Father’s Day. That’s in addition to the show they host. Each August, the Longleys move their fleet of vehicles off their dealership to make way for an American classic and muscle car show. What started as a small event with about 65 cars six years ago has burgeoned into a major annual affair with more than 300 cars on display, some of which are worth six figures. It now attracts nearly 1,000 people, including some from over the northern border. Despite the car show’s success, the Longley’s provide everything for free. That includes admission to the event, car entries, food, entertainment and prize giveaways with proceeds benefiting Fulton youth sports. Dennis says the event does attract prospective new customers to the business, which helps raise the dealership’s profile. But both Doug and Dennis agree that the car show is not about selling, it’s about giving back. “It’s kind of an appreciation thing for customers,” Dennis said. “I usually get a ton of phone calls when the show is over, people calling me and thanking me for doing it because you won’t find another dealership that does it all for free.” According to Dennis, customer satisfaction has been instrumental to the family’s success, and they have the hardware to prove it. The Longleys just won a “Customer First” award from DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


“We were on pins and needles for awhile.Being a small dealer we weren’t sure whether we were still going to be around.”

Dennis Longley on the 2008 economic downturn that forced Chrysler to close several of its dealearships. Chrysler — one of about 380 dealerships within the 3,000-plus dealership members of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Corp. The Longley’s strong performance ratings in customer satisfaction were pivotal during economic downturns, like in 2008 when Chrysler was closing a lot of their dealerships. “We were on pins and needles for awhile,” Dennis said. “Being a small dealer — we weren’t sure whether we were still going to be around. Luckily, we got a letter that they wanted us to continue on with them. Apparently they had a lot of faith in us.” Another reason for their longevity: adapting to a changing marketplace. The loss of manufacturing in Fulton has had seismic ripple effects for auto dealerships. But Dennis says the dealership has been able to continue growing thanks to the internet. The family estimates that about 50 to 60 percent of the dealership’s customers either begin their search for a vehicle from its online presence, or totally complete their purchase there. It’s also allowed the business to expand into customized vehicle services, selling to people all over the world, including Alaska, Britain and Russia. “It’s amazing how far people will come to buy a vehicle,” Dennis said. “It’s crazy. It makes no sense to me, but I’m not going to argue about it.” Dennis credits Doug with building their virtual presence. Passing the dealership onto descendants who then change it for the better has been perhaps the most significant element of the Longley success. And they have already started on the next class. Both of Doug’s children, Aiden, 14, and Emma, 12, are already learning about the car business.

By Payne Horning DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Todd Shapiro, left, and Rich Burritt as they finalized the purchase of Leon Shapiro Motors by Burritt Motors.

Burritt Acquires Shapiro Motors

Burritt Motors plans to move dealership to east side of Oswego, expand workforce

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urritt Motors has recently acquired Leon Shapiro Motor Sales of Oswego. “I am extremely excited about teaming up with Todd Shapiro and Shapiro Motors, which brings together two Oswego dealerships that have served Central New York for more than eight decades,” said Rich Burritt, president of Burritt Motors. According to Burritt, the entire workforce of employees at Shapiro will stay in place, and the new entity — Burritt Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram — will for now operate from the same location, 410 West First St. location. “Within the next two years, we will build a new, state-of-the-art dealership next to Burritt Motors,” Burritt said. “During this period, I anticipate that we will double the workforce for Burritt Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and the growth in this location will create a OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Burritt Superstore. “In addition, we will enhance the customer service experience while welcoming new customers.” Todd Shapiro said: “This brings together two dealerships with wonderful reputations for employee and customer satisfaction, exceptional service, and repeat business. Both Burritt Motors and Shapiro have formed warm, lasting relationships with our customers and their families who have been coming back for generations.” Burritt Motors’ history dates back to 1955 in Hannibal when Rich’s great grandfather, Elmer O. Burritt, purchased a Chevrolet franchise. Leon Shapiro Motor Sales has been a family run business for more than 80 years. In addition to selling new and pre-owned Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles, the business has a full service center. 35


Old Church Renovated as New Banquet Hall New facility in Oswego can accommodate groups of up to 130 guests

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ostly self-taught, with a couple great mentors along the way and tremendous community support, William Edwards and Brian Parkhurst have revived and transformed the former St. Matthews English Lutheran Church into what is the new Harbour Hall. Whether it be the meticulously detailed, restored Richardsonian Romanesque architecture or the added modern niceties, Oswego’s new Harbour Hall, 22 W. Mohawk St., offers a new banquet hall venue with the continuity of the days of old. Catering to smaller groups up to about 130 since June 2017, the upstairs event hall can be booked for most any event and is projected to feature five additional lower level commercial units by the year’s end. Erected in 1889, this piece of history has survived fires, hailstorms and the unfortunate demolition of its historical bell tower. Learning business strategies through books, audio CDs and shared tricks of the trade from other investors, Edwards learned early on the power of saving for future investments. “I had a good buddy once tell me ‘pay yourself first’, that’s the most important thing’,” said Edwards. “That was something I always remembered.” Recognizing that engineering wasn’t his passion, Edwards left SUNY Oswego for an opportunity to practice as a licensed real estate agent in South Carolina. He was 21 at the time and while in South Carolina he also earned anassociate’s degree in chemistry. After his four-year exodus, the Oswego County native returned home. “I missed the faster pace of New York,” Edwards said. Upon his return, Edwards gained temporary employment at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Power Station in Scriba, which ultimately evolved into a full-time position. Not wanting a mortgage to weigh

him down, Edwards purchased a duplex in 2007. This is where he met his first tenant, friend and soon-to-be business partner. “Brian is a skilled craftsman,” Edwards said. “If he can get it into his head, he can build it.” Under the tutelage of Brian Parkhurst Sr. the junior Parkhurst now owns his own construction business, Parkhurst Enterprises. As a team, Parkhurst is responsible for the project’s design and construction while Edwards keeps the books and manages the business. “If I didn’t have Brian involved it would cost a whole lot more,” Edwards said. “If we were to hire it all out, I think we’d be up to $650,000 to $700,000. Utilizing funds from savings and the collateral from their previous sixplex project on 201 W. Second St. in Oswego, the 33 year-old duo secured a variable rate construction loan from Pathfinder Bank as well as a City of Oswego Community Development Office grant. Opening their doors to code enforcement prior to construction, work began immediately after their closing in late November of 2016. Because they had several tenants lined up to rent their proposed lower elevation commercial units, the team original plan was to finish project from bottom-up. “We had designed this project around the downstairs office spaces. We wanted to finish that first and then work on upstairs [event hall]. ” Edwards said. “That’s part of the investor in me. I want to get some sort of turnaround so I can make an income while I’m paying this huge interest-only loan,” Edwards added. Their well laid plans hit a snag, however when their completion deadline was extended by several unforeseen setbacks. “The length of time for permitting, closing on the loan an all that, took away our office space options right away…we

BUSINESS UPDATE

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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

William Edwards (photo) and Brian Parkhurst renovated the former St. Matthews English Lutheran Church on West Mohawk Street in Oswego. had people committed, but they were committed for like December of last year” said Edwards. “…the sad part is we were going to take about a month to bang that [lower elevation] out… but unfortunately they [tenants] couldn’t wait any longer and we understood that.” Having to regroup, the team shifted their focus to a new prospect. “We had an opportunity for an event for [City of Oswego] Mayor [William ‘Billy’] Barlow. It was his first fundraiser, actually,” Edwards said. “So we said, ‘Well, you know what? Let’s get the upstairs done.” While the team continues work on their lower level commercial options, the event hall has been up and running since the mayor’s fundraising debut in June, offering space for events such as baby showers, birthday parties, bridal receptions, smaller weddings, fund raisers and the like. “I’ll be doing this all my life”, said Edwards. Continuing on and hopeful for federal and state funding, Edwards recently submitted the second segment of a three-part application process to the National Historic Registry.

By Marie Kouthoofd DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


For Answers to All Your Questions, Call or Email

DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

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Bruce Phelps, founder and president of Fulton Tool, says the company he started in 1959 is growing again thanks to the new contracts the company has retained.

Fulton Tool Co. Sees Surge in Business To accommodate growth, company is adding workers, more production space

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hen the Fulton Tool Company caught fire in 2003, owner Bruce Phelps says the blaze consumed everything. “It was a total loss,” Phelps said. “We didn’t have anything to speak of.” Phelps was one of three founders of the company, which uses computer-controlled machinery to make parts for manufacturers. It had been a staple of Fulton since it opened in 1959. But as devastat-

ing as the fire was for his business, Phelps said there was a silver lining. “It gave us an opportunity to start over,” he said. “It was a big change.” After deciding to rebuild in Fulton, Phelps said he invested millions to bring in equipment and machinery that would allow the company to make bigger and more valuable products. That is leading to a resurgence. The business now has its largest

BUSINESS UPDATE

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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

backlog of orders since the 1990s. To meet the demand, Phelps has hired several new staff members, with plans to bring on another five to 10 workers. And the company has recently added two new machining centers, tearing down old office space in the 32,000-squarefoot facility to make room for them. Phelps credits their marketing efforts with the defense industry for the increase in orders, and he thinks that will only continue. “It does benefit us, a great benefit,” Phelps said. “We think it’s there.” Fulton Tool’s clientele are located all over the world, but only about a quarter are in New York. As manufacturers have fled the state, Phelps said the very nature of his work changed. “My time was spent on the road selling,” Phelps said. “I used to go to Rochester every day. Sometimes I would go through Ithaca, to Auburn and back to Rochester. Every day I was traveling a lot of miles.” That model is no longer relevant, Phelps said, because the available business is no longer within driving distance. Phelps said many companies in the country — like Fulton Tool — have suffered along with American manufacturing. Where once there were about 15,000 of these “job shops,” today there are about half that amount. The company adapted to survive. It moved much of its business online and updated its in-house technology. “We got into what we needed to get into and learned it,” Phelps said. “It made us better people.” And Phelps says, the business too is better for it. Fulton Tool now enjoys International Organization for Standard (ISO) certification for quality management and practices. The prestigious certification is earned by companies with a solid reputation for customer satisfaction. Phelps says gaining the ISO certification was not easy. But then again neither was rebuilding the company from scratch. For him, it all goes back to one key principle that any business owner interested in success must remember. “Businesses need to look at themselves and ask ‘are we dedicated?’” Phelps said. “Dedication — that’s the one thing you’ve got to do.”

By Payne Horning

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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Hotel Syracuse $57 millions later, renovated hotel is now part of Syracuse downtown rebirth. Further expansion is expected at and around the facility By Matthew Liptak

A

fter spending $57 million to turn the once-grand Hotel Syracuse into the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, the iconic building, originally built in 1924, is once again a vibrant anchor of the downtown community. There are further plans to renovate the hotel into the future. The hotel reopened last fall, after renovations undertaken by owner Ed Riley, an architect and fifth-generation Syracusan, who enlisted the talents of hospitality architect and fellow Syracuse University alumnus Mario LaGuardia of New York’s MLG. “He’s been in the hotel business his whole career,” said Scott Becque, director of sales and marketing , referring to Riley, the hotel’s owner. “It was just a project that he’d been looking at for over 10 years. It became a reality. It took a lot of effort with many different entities — the city, the state, the financial institutions. There was a lot of work that went into

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it from many different angles.” It cost $7 million to build the hotel in 1924, and rooms cost $3 a night. The then 600-room hotel had 24 retail shops within it. Over the years, presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Carter stayed there. It also played host to Elvis Presley, John Lennon and George Gershwin among others. Today the hotel has 261 spacious and modern rooms and suites. But there are plans to expand further. There will be some new renovations to additional rooms and then there are plans for an additional hotel at the corner of Salina and Onondaga streets, which should offer another 110 rooms. “We do still have about 40 to 50 rooms that are available still within our building to be renovated,” Becque said. “Then adjacent to the hotel is another hotel that’s targeted for opening next year. It’ll be a different brand. It’s more geared toward the extended-stay guest.

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

He [Ed Riley] will have an ownership piece in it as well.” The Marriott Syracuse Downtown has been doing strong business since it opened last year. “I would say that we’re really doing quite well,” Becque said. “We’re exceeding expectations for our first year of occupancy.” The hotel is doing well with booking events too. It is booking about 150 weddings a year, and has made inroads

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


in the convention industry. “Most prime dates are booked for our Christmas season for holiday parties,” he said. “We still do have a lot of availability. We’re booking conventions out right now to the year 2020. To get Syracuse back in the rotation with some events you do have to book that far out with some associations.” There are three restaurants at the hotel, with another on the way soon. The newest arrival will be the newest incarnation of what was once an iconic Syracuse eatery. “It was called the Rainbow Lounge,” Becque said. “That’s coming back. That will be redesigned Scott Becque as a steakhouse on the ground-floor level. We’re still working on a name. We’d like to include rainbow in it, but the name’s not 100 percent finalized yet...probably by the end of the year or the first part of next year.” Marriott Syracuse Downtown is a mid-range priced hotel, Becque said. He believes he has two main competitive advantages in marketing it. One is the history of the place. With many original features and architecture, along with artwork, the hotel is as much an experience as a destination, he said. The other advantage is function space. The hotel has over 40,000 square feet of function space, he said. That includes not only its famous, and now restored ballrooms, but also a state-ofthe-art conference center which he said is the only one of its kind in Central New York. “The best thing is when Ed Riley designed the hotel he added a conference center, called the IACC Conference Center,” Becque said. “It has 11 separate meeting rooms that are all brand new and modern, and designed with the latest technology in mind. The renovation of the Hotel Syracuse is part of the bigger picture of a rejuvenated downtown. High-end apartments in the area have been in demand, bringing new lives and new business to downtown. Occupancy rates for these places is 95 percent, Becque said. It is a trend, combined with a re-invigoration of the convention industry downtown, that is moving the city in a new direction. It’s a direction the Marriott Syracuse DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Downtown is happy to be a part of. “Bit by bit there are a lot of things that are going on downtown,” Becque said. “There’s a very active downtown Syracuse committee promoting the use

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

of downtown quite a lot. More and more people are coming downtown and discovering what Syracuse has to offer from a convention destination standpoint.”

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L. Michael Treadwell ooc@oswegocounty.org

Industrial Development Agency Presents Its Annual Report Report: Agency’s programs supported creation of 368 new jobs, retention of 2,443 existing positions throughout Oswego County EJ USA, United Wire Technologies, Novelis, Lakeside Commons and Finger Lakes Stairs are some of the companies benefitting from some of COIDA programs.

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he County of Oswego Industrial During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Development Agency (COIDA) on COIDA provided or approved assistance Nov. 27 presented its annual report to through five of its nine financial assisthe Oswego County Legislature’s Economic tance programs. The two programs, which Development and Planning Committee. supported the greatest number of projects The report provides an account of COIDA’s were the PILOT Economic Development activities during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Fund and the Straight Lease Transaction which ran from Aug. 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017. program, representing 17 percent and 83 During this productive period, COIDA percent of the projects respectively. supported 18 projects that have or will be The PILOT Economic Development investing more than $285 million in OsweFund uses authorized portions of PILOT go County. Furthermore, these projects are income to provide financial assistance to projected to create 368 businesses that want to new jobs and retain 2,443 expand in, remain in or Economic Trends existing positions in move to Oswego County. Oswego County over the next three to five This program has been in place since 1994 years. and has been highly successful. During the

Home2 Suite in Oswego.

L. MICHAEL TREADWELL, CEcD, is executive director of Operation Oswego County based in Oswego. To contact him call 315-343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org. 42

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


agency’s last fiscal year, the program supported three projects projected to create 55 and retain 75 jobs in Oswego County. The projects that are benefitting from this specific program include COIDA incubator in the city of Oswego, K&N’s Foods USA in the city of Fulton and United Wire Technologies in the town of Constantia. The Straight Lease Transaction provides financial assistance to companies via real property tax, sales and use tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions as authorized by NYS General Municipal Law. The program also supported 15 projects projected to create 314 and retain 2,384 jobs in Oswego County. Some examples of projects that are being assisted through this program include Oswego Lodging Group which opened a new 89-room Home2 Suites by Hilton extended stay hotel in the city of Oswego; EJ USA which is building a 65,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the town of Schroeppel; United Wire Technologies which is building a 7,800-square-foot expansion onto their manufacturing facility in the town of Constantia; Novelis Corporation which installed a new pusher furnace for the hot rolling process at their facility in the town of Scriba; Lakeside Commons which is building a 320-bedroom student housing facility in the town of Oswego; and Finger Lakes Stairs which built a new 8,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the town of Schroeppel. Other forms of assistance provided in the 2016-2017 fiscal year included the Housing and Urban Development Economic Development Fund which supported one project; the Micro Enterprise Program Economic Development Fund which supported one project, and the COIDA Interme-

Business projects assisted were distributed throughout Oswego County, located in six towns and both cities. Projects represented numerous industry sectors including manufacturing, warehousing, retail, services, housing, tourism/ recreation and energy. Seven of the 18 projects were in manufacturing. diary Relending Program Economic Development Fund, which supported one project. Business projects assisted were distributed throughout Oswego County, located in six towns and both cities. Projects represented numerous industry sectors including manufacturing, warehousing, retail, services, housing, tourism/recreation and energy. Seven of the 18 projects were in manufacturing, representing 39 percent of all projects and 38 percent of capital investment. Detail on each is provided in the COIDA Annual Report which may be found at www.oswegocountyida.org. Members of the County of Oswego IDA board include Gary T. Toth (chairman), Nicholas M. Canale, Jr. (vice chairman), H. Leonard Schick (secretary/treasurer), Thomas Kells, Donald Kunzwiler, Morris Sorbello, and Barry Trimble. L. Michael Treadwell serves as the CEO and David S. Dano as the CFO.

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tors come to Oswego and have no idea where to eat or what to see. This is a perfect opportunity for advisory board to engage with our tourists and find out what they like and suggest what may best suit them and their family’s needs while they visit Oswego. The advisory board has also produced event cards for the city that showcase events that we feel can bring in people from the outside area. We as a board are going to continue to expand on what has already been done and increase our visibility. Q: What are your goals for the organization during your tenure? A: Increasing our ideas of how to promote the city of Oswego. We have two groups to focus on: the people who live here and the people who travel many miles to visit and tour our city. Finding the best ways to increase our visibility will not only help impact our businesses, but hopefully continue to increase the number of people who want to live, work and raise their families here.

Meet Oswego’s New Head of Tourism Advisory Board Danielle Hayden, formerly with the OswegoFulton Chamber of Commerce, talks about her plans as the newly appointed head of Oswego’s promotion and tourism advisory board

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swego Mayor Billy Barlow has recently chosen Danielle Hayden from the Oswego County Federal Credit Union as the next chairwoman of the city’s promotion and tourism advisory board. The board, which was created in 2014, guides city leaders on how to increase visitors and its presence in the region. Q: What experience do you bring to the City of Oswego Promotion and Tourism Advisory Board? A: My work experience in the last 14 years, which has included the Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross and now Oswego County Federal Credit Union, has allowed me to consistently work and build relationships within our community. I 44

have been involved in planning many city events that have brought locals and outsiders together to enjoy what our city has to offer. I will take that experience and knowledge with me to Promotion and Tourism Advisory Board and continue building on ways to promote Oswego and all we have to offer. Q: Mayor Billy Barlow said you will bring new ideas and a different approach to the board. What is the organization doing right and what could it be doing better? A: The board has been working very hard the last couple of years to build on how to bring in more tourism and promote the city of Oswego. They have established a city tent that has been very visible at many events and festivals that are held here. So many times visiOSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Q: What’s on your agenda for the board over the next year? A: We want to continue marketing our city the best we can and show off all the wonderful things we have in Oswego and what great things that will be happening in the future. Since we are an advisory board, we want to be able to listen to what is going on around the city, good or bad. If someone has an issue or wants to promote an idea or event, we want to be able to take that information and advise them who they may need to speak with. Improving on the bad and building on the good will allow us to promote our city better and make everyone’s experience positive enough to enjoy Oswego as a whole. Q: Oswego County enjoyed a record amount of tourism dollars last year. Is the city reaping some of those benefits? What is the state of tourism in the Port City? A: I feel the state of tourism has increased over the last year. With the addition to bringing in Super DIRT Week, we have an amazing waterfront, a fishing season that brings in thousands of fishermen who then spend money in our city and stay in our hotels. The unique events we have throughout the year also bring in many people to experience what Oswego has and we are finding people want to come back.

By Payne Horning DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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Bruce Frassinelli bfrassinelli@ptd.net

Fake News: Not a New Thing

T ‘Information will be disputed or interpreted in different ways, often for partisan reasons. In the end, however, for our system of democracy to work effectively, there needs to be an agreement of what generally is true.’

BRUCE FRASSINELLI is the former publisher of The Palladium-Times and an adjunct online instructor at SUNY Oswego. 46

he clamor over “fake news” might lead you to believe that this is a new phenomenon. Well, it isn’t. Although it may not have been referred to as “fake news,” we have had similar periods in history when journalistic credibility was under attack. I am talking about the era of “yellow journalism” and made-up stories that actually contributed to the United States going to war in 1898. “Yellow journalism” refers to newspaper accounts that emphasize sensationalism over factual, accurate and balanced reports. As for the origin of the term “yellow journalism,” there are several theories. The real story, though, has to do with the competition between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst over the wildly popular comic strip involving “The Yellow Kid.” Cartoonist Richard Outcault drew “Hogan’s Alley,” which featured “The Yellow Kid,” for Pulitzer’s newspaper, the New York World. In 1896, Hearst wanted to boost sales for his competing New York Journal, so he hired Outcault away from the World, touching off a bidding war. Hearst won the contest, but Pulitzer refused to give in and hired a new cartoonist to continue drawing “The Yellow Kid” for his paper. The animosity between the two wealthy publishers carried over into the news columns, and the fierce rivalry that was born of this hatred between two newspaper barons became known as “yellow journalism.” Both publishers tried to outdo each other in reporting events leading up to the U.S. invasion of Cuba and the start of the Spanish-American War. The huge headlines, harsh cartoons, even fabricated stories resulted in the sale of thousands of newspapers for both papers. When the U.S. battleship Maine sank in Havana harbor, presumably at the hands of saboteurs sympathetic to Spain, both papers printed outrageous and unverified rumors that stoked the passions of the American people to the point where they called for revenge and war. Hearst once said, “You furnish the pictures; I’ll provide the war.” Fake news has come and gone on several occasions during the past 120 years. Pulitzer’s and Hearst’s newspapers tried to outdo each other in reporting crime, scandal and oddball stories. The goal was to create a buzz of

sensationalism to entice New Yorkers to buy newspapers. If truth was sacrificed along the way, so be it. There were positive by-products that came from this hyped-up reporting. Corruption and incompetence in government were brought to the attention of readers, and when both of these newspapers latched onto a story that caught the public’s fancy, they were relentless in exploiting it. So was born another term — “muckraking.” The accusation that news organizations print sensational stories to “sell newspapers” goes back to those days in the ‘20s and ‘30s when newspapers had the news cycle mostly to themselves. Many cities had multiple dailies — Oswego and Syracuse among them. Competition was fierce, and the competing dailies lashed out at each other in print, often printing unfounded rumors about the competitor. In major cities, lurid headlines reached out for newsstand readers’ pennies. The “trial of the century” involved the kidnapping and killing of the infant son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh at their secluded Hunterdon County, N.J., estate in 1932. Suspect Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German immigrant and suspected Nazi sympathizer, was convicted in the media before a jury was chosen. Anti-German fervor was building in the United States as the Nazis and Hitler came to power leading up to World War II. Sixty years later, there was another “trial of the century,” involving football and media star O.J. Simpson, who was accused of murdering his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. In a stunning decision that stoked the racial passions of the nation, a jury found Simpson not guilty of the criminal charges. A civil court jury found for the families of Brown-Simpson and Goldman and ordered Simpson to pay $33.5 million in damages, nearly all of it still unpaid. Simpson has been in the media crosshairs ever since those killings in 1994. He was later charged and convicted of armed robbery and other offenses in a bungled Las Vegas incident where he reportedly tried to reclaim sports memorabilia he said was stolen from him. He was paroled last in the fall of 2017 after serving nearly eight years in prison. Any time there is a major story that thrives on sensationalism, outrageous rumors

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and hype, accusations of “fake news” seem more valid. Modern cases such as the Menendez murders, Amy Fisher (Long Island Lolita), Jon-Benet Ramsey, Mary Kay Letourneau, Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin, Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart and Lorena Bobbitt (accused off cutting off her husband’s penis), go on for months, sometimes years. Democracy thrives on open public discourse. Part of this debate involves emotions and passionate arguments. Information will be disputed or interpreted in different ways, often for partisan reasons. In the end, however, for our system of democracy to work effectively, there needs to be an agreement of what generally is true. Can climate change, for example, continue to be relegated to a conspiracy theory when the science has become indisputable? Social media have come into their own, giving just about everyone a platform. In the deluge of information that comes from these media, most are left to their own devices to determine what is true. I maintain that “complexity” is the public’s biggest challenge in finding the truth. It is much easier for someone to weigh in on a controversy involving the Kardashians compared to an issue involving, let’s say, nuclear energy. That is why too many consumers are willing to have someone form opinions for them on complex topics rather than research the pros and cons for themselves. DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Big media companies, which are measuring journalists’ productivity these days by the number of clicks their stories are getting online, are inadvertently inviting trivialized reporting on pop culture subjects rather than prime-time issues and sensationalizing information along the way. Just as in the era of yellow journalism, this reliance on sensationalism and dishonesty becomes a business strategy. Outsized profits have always been an alluring temptress, but in the news business, the public trust must be the ultimate consideration. The profits are a means to an end. A strong news organization can do better work if it is financed well. When it comes to a choice between profits and serving the public’s best interests, however, the choice should be obvious; too often, it is not. Unfortunately, when there is a fixation on the bottom line to the exclusion of their responsibilities to the public to provide fair, accurate and balanced information, the media may be inclined to sow the seeds of fake news, and our democratic principles suffer. A study showed that the public blames the news media for much of the country’s ills. The Washington Post-University of Maryland survey showed that 49 percent of those sampled blame the news media “a lot,” 39 percent blame them “some,” and just 11 percent do not blame them at all. The study concluded that what is under threat is nothing less than “independent reporting that provides information, investigation, analysis, and knowledge.” OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

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SPECIAL REPORT By Lou Sorendo

Cyber Sales Sizzling Internet-based retailers dominating the business world. What does it mean for brick-and-mortar stores?

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he internet certainly isn’t just for browsing anymore. With people glued to their smart phones for about an average of five hours per day, it’s no wonder that online retail shopping has surged in recent years. This, of course, is threatening the bottom lines of brick-and-mortar establishments. The biggest challenges facing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are decreased foot traffic and increased online shopping, where better deals can sometimes be found. Maureen Melville, adjunct professor of marketing at SUNY Oswego, said it’s “such a tough time for in-person

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traffic” in the Central New York region in the wake of online shopping. “Most big box stores have shifted their focus toward infrastructure to support sales with robust online shopping platforms and in-person pick-up,” she said. “Look at malls like Great Northern [Mall in Clay], losing big anchor stores like Macy’s this year. Macy’s had to close brick-and-mortar stores all over the country, look inward, and invest in their online platform.” She said smaller markets such as CNY are often hit hardest, noting Kmart closed stores in Clay and New Hartford in 2017 as well. Melville points to statistical evidence indicating the trend of increased online OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

shopping. According to Forbes, brick-andmortar still accounts for more than 90 percent of total retail sales. However, Melville said e-commerce is exploding in growth as attested to by an 8-to-12 percent jump in the first quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, brick and mortar has had a marginal growth of 2.8 percent, she added. “Really the trend is not to open new stores but to shore up online platforms,” she said. Melville said traditional retailers’ business models strictly relied on opening more stores. “In many cases, investments in online came too little too late. Companies DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


like JC Penney and Macy’s weren’t able to take advantage of the cost savings and customer loyalty online options and apps can bring,” she said. Toys “R” Us was the latest to announce store closures and bankruptcy due to intensifying competition and changing market tastes, Melville said. Fung Global Retail & Technology, which tracks retail openings and closures, reports store closings have increased 182 percent from last year, seemingly painting a bleak picture for brick-and-mortar. “Simply cutting prices and having flash sales weren’t enough to get people into their stores,” the analysts noted.

Fighting back Melville said traditional brickand-mortar stores are taking steps to stay competitive with online retailing, particularly during the holiday shopping season. She said stores like Walmart and Target are investing in the in-store pickup option as well as self-checkout to create ease and convenience in shopping. “Basically, the trend is adding value to the experience of shopping in-person,” Melville said. “Brick and mortar should focus on an integrated e-commerce, online marketing approach within the store so that shoppers will get the best of both worlds.” In order to compete with the Amazon.coms of the world, tradition brickand-mortar establishments are taking steps to counter the surge. A report by businessinsider.com stated Amazon.com accounts for 43 percent of U.S. online retail sales. “Any company large or small needs a website as well as an e-commerce offering,” Melville said. “There is absolutely no way of competing with anyone without a robust online presence.” Melville added that with a wide array of local advertising companies to choose from, there are many low-cost options for developing a useful e-commerce site and getting the message out there. Melville said fueling online shopping is accelerated cell phone use. “People typically spend five hours a day on their smart phones,” she said. “In my own research, I use my smart phone four to five hours a day.” She uses her smart phone to research items and often shops while in the comfort of her home. “I have my device in hand in-store while shopping,” she said. “I often look DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Black Friday 2017: All About Online Sales American shoppers spent a record $5 billion in 24 hours during the Black Friday in November — that marks a 16.9 percent increase in dollars spent online compared with Black Friday 2016, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks 80 percent of online spending at America’s 100 largest retail websites,as reported by CNN. Digital retail giant Amazon said that orders were rolling in “at record levels.” More than 200,000 toys were

sold in just the first five hours of the day, the company said, according to CNN. Amazon did not provide sales figures for Black Friday. Meanwhile, malls and big-box retailers were left only slightly emptier. Early estimates from ShopperTrak, a data analytics company that measures the number of shoppers at stores, said foot traffic “decreased less than 1 percent when compared to Black Friday 2016.” Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts loyalty programs,” Melville said. “It gets me into their brick-and-mortar store with the added benefit of free coffee, food, and easy pay.”

Impact depends on market

Maureen Melville, adjunct professor of marketing at SUNY Oswego: “[It’s] such a tough time for in-person traffic” in the Central New York region in the wake of online shopping. for coupons or benefits from store mobile sites or apps.” Melville said because of these habits, traditional and online companies are rethinking the apps they’re making. “Successful app programs are bundling loyalty and options like order-andpay,” she said. According to Forbes, Starbucks’ app has approximately 19 million monthly active users. Nearly 30 percent of total sales at rush hour are attributed to its mobile app. “I like to take advantage of both OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

“In this little, small city we live in, I don’t really let that online stuff bother me too much because of the way we are in the market,” said Alex Thompson of A&J Music in Oswego. “We do what we do. We’ve been consistent in our sales for many years now and it’s not going to get any better due to the demographics here.” “Granted, everybody wants to get the best price and everybody shops it out. That’s fine with me,” he said. Thompson said his business doesn’t deal with some of the higher-end merchandise that consumers see online. “I can’t move enough of it to warrant having it. That’s the biggest problem in a small city like this,” he said. “So I stay within my means and do what I do.” Thompson did note that he has done some online sales through an entity that he used to move some high-end merchandise, and it worked “very well.” Thompson said there are misconceptions in regards to Amazon.com. “I don’t know if people realize this or not, but nobody is making any money but Amazon,” he said. He said most dealers and retailers use it as a “big dump.” “They got product that they can’t move, so they are willing to take a loss and dump it out on Amazon for the most part,” he said. 49


He did say people have realized consistent sales on Amazon, “but they are working on very small profit margin because the online retailer” reaps most of it. He noted his business makes as much money doing setups and maintenance on products purchased online by a customer than he would if he had sold the item because the profit margin is so low. “There are still a lot of people out there who just like to shop online. They Hill Handley learned to do that and like doing that and don’t mind the UPS truck coming with their stuff to the door for them.” He said online shopping “started be advertised at. “If everybody plays by the same out to be a convenience thing and it’s rules, we’re all on the same page. Hownow become more of a habit thing.” He said from a brick-and-mortar ever, there’s ways to get around that,” standpoint, forming interpersonal rela- he said. tionships does help business to a point. “I’ve talked to a lot of people about Can’t beat this this and have been to a lot of seminars, and they all say ‘service, service, serKevin Hill, co-owner at JP Jewelers vice’,” Thompson said. “That’s all well in Oswego, said to remain competitive, and good, but some people just don’t his store offers levels of quality and care about service until something goes personalized service that are difficult to wrong. That’s when they want to beat replicate at an online retailer. your door down. We see it all the time.” “We are a full-service jeweler, offerA&J Music is in its 39th year of ing prompt professional on-site repairs at operation. competitive pricing,” he said. “We also Thompson said in his business, all offer full custom design services and vendors are expected to adhere to what have the ability to modify virtually any is termed MAP, or minimum advertised ‘off-the-shelf’ item to ensure complete pricing. customer satisfaction.” MAP is essentially is an agreement Hill said one of the most significant between suppliers and retailers that advantages of a brick-and-mortar jeweldetermines the lowest price an item can er versus an online retailer is the ability

to see, touch and feel a piece of jewelry before making a purchase, “which is very important to consumers.” “A jewelry purchase can be a significant investment and having the piece of mind of a physical location, with owners and employees who are part of the local community and who you can always count on and trust, is important,” he noted. Also, Hill said JP Jewelers supports causes throughout the local community “because we believe firmly that we are a part of the community and if we support the community, the community will support us. “That model has proven to be true for us at so many levels.” Chuck Handley, co-owner of Burke’s Do It Best Home Center in Oswego and Fulton, said he has found that pricing “is usually not the reason our customers buy online — it’s the convenience of ordering at home.” However, Handley said his sales staff focuses on servicing the customer with the knowledge that they need to use the products they are looking for. “We are also fortunate to have the products on hand and available for our customers. They are able to see and handle the products they are buying before the final purchase,” he said. He said Amazon.com and online shopping “is not going away, so the brick-and-mortar stores have to change the way they are doing business or they will end up like some of the major retailers that are closing.”

Holiday Season Means Big Dollars for Retailers

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he average consumer is expected to spend an average of $1,226 during the 2017 holiday shopping season, according to Deloitte.com. That number nearly doubles to an average of $2,226 among households earning $100,000 or more, it noted. In past holiday retail surveys, Deloitte.com noted consumers were combing the Internet for deals, comparing prices, and looking for recommendations. But when it came time to make the transaction, shoppers would hit the stores, the website stated. However, in the 2016 survey, online and in-store purchases comprised an equal share, at 47 percent each. This year, Deloitte saw a jump in the number of consumers who were doing research online and making purchases there.

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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Survey respondents plan to spend 51 percent of their budget online, compared with 42 percent in-store, Deloitte stated. Here are some additional findings of online purchasing: • Respondents earning $100,000 or more expect 57 percent of their spending will be online and 39 percent in-store. •  Fifty-five percent of respondents plan to shop online for gifts, increasing online shopping’s lead over mass merchants, where 44 percent of those polled plan to shop. • At 28 percent, and down 3 percentage points from last year, department stores placed a distant third behind the Internet and mass merchants as a shopping destination.

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Aerial photo of Destiny USA showing parking lot packed to capacity. Photo provided

High Online Sales: What Does it Mean to Destiny USA By Lou Sorendo

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oday’s shoppers don’t just want deals — they want unique experiences. So says Aiden McGuire, director of marketing at Destiny USA in Syracuse. The six-story Destiny USA features more than 250 places to shop, dine and play and 26 million guests visit the mall every year. It is the sixth largest shopping center in the United States. DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

What are brick-and-mortar businesses such as those at Destiny USA doing to stay competitive with online shopping outlets such as Amazon? “As an international travel and tourist destination, Destiny USA offers a much more broader experience than simply shopping,” McGuire said. “By combining an unparalleled mix of retailers with a broad range of dining, OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

entertainment, and outlet brands all under one roof, Destiny USA continues to provide its guests the opportunity to enjoy unique, sensory experiences that they simply cannot find anywhere else—including online,” he said. McGuire said the addition of Destiny USA’s first on-site, 209-room Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel is “an absolute game-changer.” “It is bringing tourists together from all over the world to extend their stay in Central New York and experience the very best our region has to offer,” McGuire said. He noted traffic at Destiny USA this past Thanksgiving weekend was up nearly 10 percent, with some retailers even doubling their sales volumes over last year. “These kinds of results buck national trends, and speak to the successful evolution of the Destiny USA experience,” McGuire added. 51


Marion Hancock Fish,Esq.

Florida Residency: It Doesn’t Have to Change NYS Charitable Giving ‘Some donors who change their tax domicile to Florida mistakenly think they need to cease their gifts to charities here in Central New York to avoid New York taxation. That thinking is not accurate’

Attorney Marion Hancock Fish is a former board chairwoman of the Community Foundation and partner at Hancock Estabrook, LLP. She focuses her practice on estate planning, transfer-ofwealth tax issues, family business planning and succession, charitable giving, nonprofit law and elder law and special needs administration. 52

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inter is here and Central New York Many snowbirds are heading snowbirds are making travel plans south to establish or maintain to flee the Empire State. While weather is certainly one reason to fly off to Florida, many snowbirds are head- their non-New York residency ing south for another reason — to establish for tax purposes. or maintain their non-New York residency for tax purposes. Recent changes in the law have reduced more than half the year (or 183 days) in New the impact of New York estate tax, but New York, and maintains a New York year-round York’s high income tax rates remain a strong residence. To help snowbird clients navigate these motivator to establish residency outside New complex rules, advisers have developed York. New York taxes its residents on income widely used checklists of “do’s and don’ts.” Often included in such lists is the recfrom all sources. On the other hand, nonresiommendation that clients sever all ties with dents are only subject to tax on income derived local charities. In response, from New York sources. clients have shifted their Therefore, an individual Guest Columnist charitable support out of who can establish legal state, ceasing donations to residency outside New York will eliminate or at least minimize his exposure to New York tax. organizations they and their families have supThere is a common misconception that ported for decades, and perhaps generations. This is not the intent of New York law. In charitable giving also needs to be adjusted fact, advisers and clients will be reassured to during this process. Thomas Griffith, direcknow the New York Tax Law and published tor of gift planning at the Central New York Community Foundation, reports that he often tax audit guidelines specifically state that sees donors who change their tax domicile where a taxpayer volunteers and to what to Florida mistakenly thinking they need to charity a taxpayer donates are not relevant cease their gifts to charities here in Central in determining the taxpayer’s domicile. The New York to avoid New York taxation. Let’s New York legislature amended Section 605 of the Tax Law in 1994 to clarify that charitable look at this more closely. Section 605(b) of the New York Tax Law support and volunteer work “shall not be determines a taxpayer’s residency status. The used in any manner to determine where an initial question is whether the taxpayer is “do- individual is domiciled.” Professional advisers should revisit and miciled” in New York. Although in everyday revise their guidance to reflect this information. conversation “residence” and “domicile” are used interchangeably, here they have different Surely, clients will welcome this news — one meanings. “Domicile” is the place an individu- less item on the snowbird checklist and, al intends to make her permanent home — the more meaningfully, a green light to continue place to which she returns after absence. And supporting the charities they have supported though a person may have several residences, their entire lives. For more information on this topic and she may only have one “domicile.” ways you or your clients can support Central These are the five primary factors to deNew York, I encourage you to connect with termine domicile under New York Law: the pattern of use of the New York residence; the the CNY Community Foundation. Its staff taxpayer’s New York business ties; where the will work with you to identify the clients that taxpayer spends her time; the physical location could benefit, discern their intentions and of items “near and dear”; and the location of create a plan that maximizes the advantage of family. Even if a taxpayer is not considered their estate and financial plans. Contact Tom “domiciled” in New York, the snowbird may Griffith at tgriffith@cnycf.org or 315-422-9538 still be taxed as a New Yorker if he spends for assistance. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Grant from the Shineman Foundation to Fund New Healthcare Service

Kate Connell

Financial Advisor

4890 N Jefferson Street Pulaski, NY 13142 Bus: 315-298-6560 Fax 855-379-5820 kathryn.connell@edwardjones.com www.edwardjones.com/kathryn-connell

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ealthcare from a board-certified physician will soon be a call, click or skype away when Oswego Health unveils Care OnDemand. Oswego Health will be the first in the area to introduce this virtual service, which is expected to be launched in the upcoming weeks. To access this service, residents can use their smartphone, tablet or computer. Once you have contacted the service, a physician will become available within 30 minutes of that call. “This unique service provides convenient medical care to community members when they need it, wherever they may be, 24 hours a day/365 days a year,” said Oswego Health Chief Medical Officer Renato Mandanas. This new initiative was made possible in part with a $35,000 gift from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, which provides grants to organizations whose projects or programs are considered as a positive step toward creating a vibrant community life for the Oswego County region. “We are very grateful to the Shineman Foundation, which recognizes the importance of this new service that puts healthcare at the fingertips of community residents,” said Oswego Health Foundation Director Karen Ferguson. “Our foundation was very intrigued to learn about this new, virtual program of healthcare delivery being planned by Oswego Health,” said Karen Goetz, executive director of The Richard S. Shineman Foundation. “We were pleased to be able to assist with funding the roll-out of this potentially transformative service.” The health system is collaborating with Carena, founded in 2000 and operating virtual clinics for health systems throughout the country. To best access this care when it becomes available, community members should be ready to verbalize their condition and be prepared with a list of their current medications and doses, as well as their medical history. The Care OnDemand physician may prescribe medications, which can be filled at an individual’s’ pharmacy. Following a Care OnDemand visit, your primary care physician will be notified. There is a fee to use the services, which can be paid by credit card. DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

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COVER

The 125K Man Lou Sorendo

Fresh off graduation, SUNY Oswego computer programmer plugs into big dollars

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lexander Kouthoofd may be leaving his heart in Oswego, but he is taking his gigabytes to San Francisco. Based on his entry-level wage, the 2,799-mile trip will be well worth it. Kouthoofd recently graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science. To say he has quickly parlayed that into something positive is an understatement. The Oswego native has been hired by Salesforce in San Francisco, a cloud computing company, and will be making $125,000 a year right out of the gate. To put that into perspective, the typical student at a mid-range four-year college earns $40,500 a year one decade after enrolling, according to the U.S. Department of Education. To the casual observer, $125K is an impressive amount of cash. But Kouthoofd advised that wage level is “standard” at Salesforce. Nonetheless, it “wicked took me off guard,” he said. “It was more like going completely 54

stiff because you don’t want to completely freak out on the person who just told you that,” he said. “It’s a very surprising number when it’s just thrown at you.” “It feels pretty good” to command that kind of pay,” Kouthoofd said. “You always hear that computer science is high paying and a good occupation to get into, but I still wasn’t expecting that. It’s really comforting to know that all the hard work is paying off,” he said. In his final semester, Kouthoofd was carrying an impressive overall 3.92 grade-point average, which qualifies him for high honors. The recent grad’s first job was working for Alex Pantaleev, assistant professor of computer science and game design and development at SUNY Oswego. Pantaleev and his wife Lynna Cekova own Prista Technologies in Syracuse, which does subcontracting work for the federal government. Kouthoofd, 21, was hired on a parttime basis while still in college. Prista Technologies specializes in programming for government radar systems, and Kouthoofd mostly tested OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

equipment to make sure it operated properly.

Off and running He was at Prista Technologies when he met a colleague there who had been hired by Salesforce, and he helped line Kouthoofd up for an interview for a paid internship. “Once I got into the internship last summer, it all played out from there,” said Kouthoofd, noting he will start his new journey as a software engineer on Feb. 8. Kouthoofd characterized the interim period leading up to his start date as “nerve wracking” but exciting. “At Salesforce, I will be working on a program that improves the performance of the main application that the company has,” he said. “It’s all about making things faster. The main application can be pretty slow sometimes, so our job is to make it run faster.” Kouthoofd said his internship was great. “I love San Francisco and the city DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


life is exciting. The weather is never cold; it’s not necessarily warm, but it’s always never cold, which is nice,” he said. San Francisco has 43 hills ranging upward from 200 to 938 feet. “It’s an interesting system because the city is surrounded by a road that’s nice and flat and you can go around the city and then make your way in and don’t have to go through all those hills,” he said. “The company is great and has the coolest environment ever. They like to make lots of jokes and have a lot of fun,” he added. Salesforce is regarded as the world’s No. 1 customer relationship management platform. It features cloud-based applications for sales, service and marketing. Its revenues in 2017 are an estimated $8.39 billion. With about 10,000 employees worldwide, it is the largest tech employer in San Francisco. “It’s largely focused on creating products for other businesses, which is why it’s not a company that most people have heard of,” he said. It recently constructed Salesforce Tower, a 1,070-foot-high skyscraper that is the tallest and most expensive building in San Francisco. “Salesforce has this really cool system called the ‘one-on-one model’ that has all employees at some point go and do some fun volunteer work,” he said. “It’s required but you can pick what volunteer work you want to do.” Kouthoofd assisted a volunteer group during his internship when it helped at a soup kitchen and charity soccer game. The recent grad said he hit many learning curves during the internship. “You learn how to program from college, but you learn how to do your job on the job,” Kouthoofd said. “Pretty much anything you do at the college preps you to critically think. Things you learn in college are helpful, but they don’t directly apply to the job.” Kouthoofd said he has previewed apartments, and has discovered that in San Francisco for a one-bedroom apartment or efficiency studio, the cost is around $3,000 a month. Some of the apartments he was looking at located next to the commercial district were priced higher. “Which is ‘ouch’,” he said. However, once outside the city, rentals drop to around $2,000. “That’s about as low as it gets,” he said. A co-worker of his resides in PleasDECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Alexander Kouthoofd of Oswego. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

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anton, a suburb in the San Francisco Bay area. There, he is paying $2,000 in rent. Kouthoofd said he intended to either stay at a hostel or with his colleague in Pleasanton for a week or so in mid-January while attempting to find his own space.

Dispelling stereotype Kouthoofd said the typical stereotype of a “computer geek” bears some truth. “Geeks” have commonly been described as fairly quiet, digitally savvy yet socially awkward types. “There are also some misconceptions to it. You have people who are great artists who do computer science,” he said. “I couldn’t draw to save my life, but there are plenty of other ways to express creativity.” Kouthoofd enjoys the discipline of parkour, which uses movement that developed from military obstacle course training. Participants navigate 56

from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. It includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting and other movements deemed suitable for the situation. It’s not uncommon to see Kouthoofd doing back flips en route to his destination. “It’s all about being creative and trying to figure out what is the best way to get from one place to another with maybe some flair added in,” he said. While the nightlife may seem enticing to a person in their early 20s, Kouthoofd tends to abstain from such activity. “I had three other people that I lived with during my internship, and two of them were definitely partiers,” he said. “They were out every night. They never caused us problems, but you could tell they really liked the night life.” However, that may have been an anomaly. “As you might imagine, computer science people don’t often go out,” he OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

said. “I think the reason we don’t is we’re too busy,” he said. “Computer science takes up a lot of time. When you are working on an assignment, it’s a huge time sink.”

Exploring his passion Besides excelling in the classroom, Kouthoofd served as vice president and public relations officer for the college’s Computer Science Association. “Computer programming has always been one of my favorite things to do since high school,” he said. He said he loves the challenge. “I just think it is super fun. It is hard, but every time you get something done, it is really satisfying because you can actually see it work and function,” he said. He also was affiliated with Team Mini, a club at SUNY Oswego that focuses on learning and working with robotics. “They have this really cool robot that runs on the ice during the intermissions DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


of hockey games on campus,” he said. “We would actually [remotely] drive the robot out onto the ice, where it would shoot T-shirts out into the crowd.” Kouthoofd also participated with the SUNY Oswego Outdoor Club, which delves into activities such as hiking and skiing. One of his favorite outdoor activities is rock climbing, and he has frequented The Ledge at Pacific Health Club in Liverpool that features indoor climbing for training purposes. “You wouldn’t believe the number of people in San Francisco who go rock climbing,” Kouthoofd said. He said at 5 p.m. weekdays, the four rock climbing gyms in the city are packed. “I think it’s a lot of computer science people who don’t get a lot of exercise from sitting in a chair all day,” said Kouthoofd, noting he encountered fellow interns from his company there.’ In terms of his future, Kouthoofd said he has thought of several paths. After one year at Salesforce, the company allows its employees to work remotely from anywhere they want. Kouthoofd is eyeing a master’s degree program in computer science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, located on the island of Honolulu. “I would love to go get my master’s in computer science in Hawaii and work remotely for Salesforce while I’m doing it,” he said. He noted the company has a parttime college pay program. “They will pay for a portion of your master’s to go back to college,” he said. Kouthoofd lived home in the city of Oswego during his four-year stint at the college. “It was really helpful and I saved a lot of money. It’s very expensive to stay on campus,” Kouthoofd said. His parents are Rod and Marie Kouthoofd, owners of RMK Properties in Oswego and Fulton. “I couldn’t do it without them,” he said in reference to his parents. “I attribute a lot of my success to them. They have been nothing but supportive and they are super helpful. I love them,” he said. His two older sisters — Michelle and Angela — reside on the same block as the Kouthoofds. Michelle lives next door and Angela’s apartment’s back yard is connected to their parents’ home.

DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Top-shelf Wage SUNY Oswego Career Services: Alex Kouthoofd’s starting salary is among the top 1 percent among graduates at SUNY Oswego

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lexander Kouthoofd, an Oswego native and recent SUNY Oswego graduate, has just raised the bar when it comes to starting wages. The computer engineering major will be earning $125,000 a year when he starts as a computer programmer at Salesforce in San Francisco in early February. While that type of starting wage raises eyebrows in Central New York, it is rather standard fare at Salesforce. Gary Morris, director of Career Services at SUNY Oswego, said the 21-year-old Kouthoofd was offered a higher starting salary than average. Morris noted average starting salaries for software engineers at various other companies in the San Francisco area are as follows: • Airbnb — $105,289 • Fitbit — $101,600 • Square — $100,000 • Facebook — $100,000 • Uber — $96,520 • LinkedIn — $88,317 • Google — $86,360 • Apple — $77,343 “Alex is above average in terms of skills and experiences, and his threemonth internship at Salesforce over the summer was a true plus,” Morris said. Morris said he has a staff member with a personal contact in the tech industry out in San Francisco, and he noted Kouthoofd was likely successful for several reasons. “He interned for them this past summer, so if he was hired, they are well aware of his skills,” the staffer said. “If he’s really good and is on the core apps team, that would be a reasonable starting salary around the San Francisco area. He was willing to relocate. Some people won’t.” Morris said SUNY Oswego has limited salary data on graduates. “That is often the very last piece of information they choose to share with us,” he said. Morris said his office only has two data points for computer science gradOSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

uates from SUNY Oswego. One alumnus started at $50,000 in Syracuse, and another at $72,000 in Pennsylvania, Morris said. The Career Services director said cost of living is a major factor when putting Alex’s starting salary in perspective. Morris said a salary of $50,000 in Rochester would be comparable to $89,162 in San Francisco. “Things are way more expensive there, so salaries need to accommodate to some degree,” he said. (LS)

Starting Salary: How Syracuse Colleges Stack Up Recent Syracuse University graduates earn on average $47K while Le Moyne students earn $41K, according to colleges By Deborah J. Sergeant

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ow do Syracuse University graduates fare when it comes to salary? Chuck Reutlinger, associate director of the Career Services Office maintains a positive outlook. “Based on the improvement of the college job market since the crash of 2008, we’ve seen a good success rate for our students relative to employment and placement in graduate studies,” he said. “We have every reason to believe that our students will continue to penetrate the careers of their choices and win good, career-launching opportunities. “The projections of hiring are improving but a number of fields remain very competitive,” he added. Syracuse University offers the follow57


ing information on the class of 2016 based upon 1,860 completed voluntary student surveys out of 3,288 undergraduate degree awarded in August and December, 2015 and May and June, 2016. • $47,954 is the average starting salary • 91 percent career outcome rate (meaning full- and part-time employment, military and attending graduate school). • 93 percent position related to career goals • 2 percent pursuing an internship post-graduation

• 59 percent obtained full-time work by graduation Their top job sources show variety. • 23 percent found work through networking • 20 percent use campus connections • 20 percent applied directly to organizations Where students end up working also varies, but not to a great extent. • 12 percent go to New England • 53 percent remain in New York • 14 percent work in the Mid-Atlantic states • 4 percent head to the Midwest

Trevor Bacon 315-445-3145 • Russell Sturtz 315-445-3137

• 6 percent go south • 8 percent travel west for work • 3 percent work in an international venue LeMoyne College’s most recent data gathered in 2015 relates to 184 out of 593 of the school’s 2014 graduates who responded to the survey: • $41,000 is the average starting salary for graduates • 94 percent of alumni are employed or attending graduate school within one year after graduating. • 92 percent are employed or accepted into graduate school. • 46 percent of respondents completed one or more internships. • 88 percent are employed; 80 percent of these are employed full-time. • 87 percent are employed in the “regular employment” category. • 48 percent of all employed respondents are employed in Syracuse. The five-year average is 52 percent. • 32 percent of respondents accepted a job before graduation. 83 percent of employed respondents were employed within six months of graduation; 95 percent of employed respondents were employed within the first year. • 56 percent of employed respondents reported a yearly salary of $30,000 or more; 15 percent earn $50,000 or more. • 71 percent of employed respondents responded that their jobs were related or very related to their career interests or objectives. • 60 percent of employed respondents had jobs that were related or very related to their academic major. • 71 percent of employed respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their current job. • 65 percent of employed respondents affirmed that education at Le Moyne prepared them well for life in the workplace. Another 26 percent responded “Somewhat.”

The average starting salary for SUNY Oswego graduates is $43,200. Binghamton University in Vestal is the highestranking Upstate SUNY college with an average salary of$65,100. 58

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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Poverty Stricken

Poverty in Oswego County

Helping the less fortunate among us

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any in Oswego County are teetering on the threshold of financial disaster. While nearly 20 percent of county residents live under the federal poverty line, many low-income wage earners are above the threshold but don’t earn enough to pay for the basics of living. “Poverty is complex, but I would say the definition of poverty is lacking in resources. It’s lacking in housing, health care, education; something that is impacting your ability to thrive and your family’s ability to thrive,” said Diane Cooper-Currier, executive director of Oswego County Opportunities. According to the latest data, 18.62 percent of people in Oswego County live in poverty, which ranks it the eighth highest in the state. Although the official poverty rate in the city of Oswego is 29 percent, another 18 percent of residents have income at or below 200 percent of the poverty threshold, which means they often struggle to make ends meet. The 2017 federal poverty guidelines for all states with the exception of Alaska

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By Lou Sorendo and Hawaii state that for one person, the threshold is $12,060. Family size changes the federal poverty threshold. For instance, the threshold for a family of four is $24,600. Public assistance benefits distributed by the county of Oswego Department of Social Services such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program vary depending on the number of people in the family and its assets. Cooper-Currier noted those under the federal poverty threshold are “the poorest of the poor.” However, eligibility for government benefits and even for several OCO programs don’t always follow the poverty threshold. “Some of our programs include eligibility guidelines and often they are 150, 180 and 200 percent of the poverty threshold,” Cooper-Currier said. That is done in recognition of the reality that people living just above the threshold are still living in poverty and cannot afford to pay their rent or mortgage, or have enough to buy food, OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

clothing or cover utilities. “If they have a car, it’s one that is old and in disrepair and they can’t afford to pay for repairs,” she said. In terms of the federal poverty threshold, “It’s based on an old formula and I couldn’t even begin to describe to you what that formula is,” she said. “The reality is if you hit that threshold or are below it, you really are not earning much at all.” There are regional differences in terms of how people are able to live. Cooper-Currier said someone in Oswego County earning $18,000 a year lives in a different type of poverty than someone in New York City. “Thank goodness in Central New York we have a lower cost of living, particularly Oswego, where housing prices are really reasonable, but rent is not,” she noted. The city of Oswego’s recent study on poverty found that low-income renters are directing more than 40 percent of their income to housing when compared to homeowners. “It’s more affordable to own a home DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Poverty in Oswego County than to rent,” Cooper-Currier said.

Haven for homeless OCO provides homeless services in the county. “Most people can’t find housing at a rate they can actually afford. They get over their heads in rental housing, can’t afford to pay rent and utilities, and oftentimes, the homes they are renting are not great in terms of energy efficiency, so their utility bills are way out of whack,” she noted. “What happens is they end up getting their 30-day eviction notice because they can’t afford to pay rent, utilities or put food on the table when they are earning $20,000 for a family of four,” she added. Cooper-Currier said many of the homeless families OCO provides for “are not necessarily what you would consider homeless. When you think of homeless, you think of New York City and that type of urban homelessness.

“Poverty is complex, but I would say the definition of poverty is lacking in resources. It’s lacking in housing, health care, education; something that is impacting your ability to thrive and your family’s ability to thrive,” Diane Cooper-Currier, executive director of Oswego County Opportunities.

Diane Cooper-Currier

Our homeless people are working, trying to get by and make ends meet. “What happens is they will end up doubling or tripling up and staying with family and friends.” The rural homeless are considered “couch surfers.” “Both young people and families live in someone’s living room until they can find housing again,” she said. In terms of the rental housing market, to be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Oswego County on a minimum-wage income, “you have to work almost 80 hours a week or earn at least $15 an hour and work 40 hours per week,” Cooper-Currier said. “If you look at the job market for low-skilled individuals in this community now, workers are not earning $15 an hour,” she noted. OCO also provides crisis services in the form of shelter and housing resources for runaway and homeless youth. “Kids who are struggling with all sorts of issues end up becoming homeless themselves and there is no one there to help them get back on track, and they end up in poverty,” Cooper-Currier added. OCO receives referrals for those in need, but also has homeless specialists working in most of the school districts in the county. “If somebody in the school district learns about a child who is a runaway or homeless, or of a family on the verge of becoming homeless, they will refer them to the homeless specialist right there at school,” Cooper-Currier said. OCO also has a program for a homeless family in need of a security deposit, and even has a program that pays rent for a year for a person or people who meet criteria. “We want to help them get back on their feet, and that becomes the issue,” Cooper-Currier said. OCO also has several apartments for homeless individuals and families.

Resourceful agency OCO has a variety of preventive types of services available in order to help individuals obtain employment and address barriers. “We’re not giving hand outs, we’re giving a hand up and helping people build their skills for self-sufficiency in a variety of ways based on what their DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

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Poverty in Oswego County needs are,” she noted. Meanwhile, the DSS stands on guard, offering both public assistance along with children and family services. DSS is more service oriented while maintaining Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and other various safety net options. “DSS is really working with the poorest of the poor,” Cooper-Currier said. While DSS handles government benefit assistance, OCO is more focused on providing supportive and ancillary services. “Giving people cash assistance doesn’t help them get out of their situation. What we do in partnership with DSS is work with those individuals as well as others — people who are working but having trouble getting by — to help build skills for self-sufficiency,” she said. OCO staff also works with consumers to create a blueprint so consumers can get off public assistance, land and keep a job, take care of their family, get a car, maintain stable housing, and maintain their health care. “DSS provides them with cash assistance or public assistance to get by so that we can address other social barriers,” Cooper-Currier said. Often, OCO contracts with DSS. “They are providing what is required of the government, and then they can subcontract with us to provide those other ancillary services. We can do it more cost effectively, and we can have great outcomes in terms of our results,” she said.

Battling off welfare Cooper-Currier said OCO’s consumers oftentimes face an uphill battle when trying to free themselves from the grips of welfare. “People will start to earn money after getting a job, and start to get off public assistance, but then they might earn too much and lose health care,” she said. They then must purchase health care coverage on the NY State of Health, which features a stipend to allow indigent folks to pay for health care services as per the Affordable Care Act. However, if that scenario were to change, Cooper-Currier said “here’s a group of people who are hard-working and trying to make ends meet, but can’t 62

Although the official poverty rate in the city of Oswego is 29 percent, another 18 percent of residents have income at or below 200 percent of the poverty threshold, which means they often struggle to make ends meet.

said Cooper-Currier, noting many plans and strategies have been identified but no money exists for execution. However, the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council was instrumental in garnering $30 million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative monies thanks to a development plan making the fight on poverty a primary goal. Overseeing the funds is a newly formed committee, called the Alliance for Economic Inclusion. It features 24 members recruited from throughout the five-county Central New York region. Those interested in applying for these funds met recently and determined that a collaborative and coordinated application needs to be made on behalf of Oswego County.

afford health care.” Cooper-Currier said officials are looking to bring the Oswego County Anti-Poverty Task Force and the City of Oswego’s Poverty Reduction Taskforce together to work collaboratively. Cooper-Currier serves as one of the advisers to the county task force’s steering committee, and was instrumental in working to develop a needs assessment for many in the community who receive OCO assistance. The city of Oswego recently developed a comprehensive city-wide poverty needs assessment, and through this needs assessment, has prepared a request for proposal to provide funding up to $400,000 for projects aimed at reducing poverty in the city of Oswego. Cooper-Currier said poverty is systemic and crosses all sorts of arenas. “You can’t address it in silos,” she said. “What the task forces do is bring people together to develop a more strategic plan about how we should address it.” “Everyone is providing great programs and services,” including OCO, Catholic Charities, ARISE, the county’s Office of Employment and Training and DSS, she noted. “It’s bringing all those pieces together in a coordinated and comprehensive way and steering the ship in a direction that we are all going and seeing how the pieces and parts fit together,” she said. She said the challenge with the county taskforce is lack of funding. “They haven’t had a lot of money to do much with and to drive it forward,”

Education vital piece

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Educationally, OCO features Head Start, a preschool program for low-income children and families. “We know kids who are growing up in a low-income family are less likely to succeed once they go into a public school setting or graduate,” Cooper-Currier said. “Low-income children have a much higher percentage of dropping out of school. Their parents haven’t had good success in school, particularly if there is generational poverty.” “We’re trying to focus on educational attainment for youth and their families and help families engage in school because if they don’t make it through school and drop out at 16, the likelihood of them living in poverty is significant,” Cooper-Currier noted. OCO’s educational programs are focused on guiding children through school and helping families support students by helping them read and assist with homework. “If you go home as a 10-year-old and you’ve got a back pack full of homework and your family doesn’t care, then why would a 10-year-old even put the effort forward?” she asked. From a health care standpoint, OCO helps people get health insurance, a change from the days when it simply got them on Medicaid. OCO has a health navigation program that helps clients look at what their health care options are so they don’t go into crisis mode. DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Poverty in Oswego County

DSS Head: Less Fortunate Need a ‘Champion’ Despite pressing needs, Oswego County DSS notes stabilizing trend regarding public assistance

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fter almost four decades working with those in poverty, it is my belief that those most challenged in realizing self-sufficiency need a champion — someone who believes in them.” Those words, spoken by Oswego County Department of Social Services Commissioner Stacy Alvord, reflect her feelings on what is needed to counter poverty in the region. Alvord maintains that those in poverty in the county need “someone who helps them to navigate the system of supports available to them. “So many of our constituents lack confidence and have not been influenced in their life with a healthy role model who exemplifies good work ethics.” Alvord said this rings true in the recent workforce development study produced by Chena Tucker, executive director of the Workforce Development Board of Oswego County. Among other findings, the SUNY Oswego-based study cited “soft skills” such as ability to communicate, problem solve, and collaborate as severely lacking in newly hired employees. Alvord said she has seen “tremendous benefits” in providing paid mentors — both professional and paraprofessional mentors — that can help serve as champions. “Peer supports and volunteers, trained and supervised by professionals, have also shown to be effective,” she said. “If we take time to think about how we attained success, we would most likely think about our parents or a teacher or coach who believed in us,” she said. “So many of our constituents who are stuck in intergenerational poverty have never had that champion in their life, someone who believes in them and that they can count on.” Nearly one out of every five county residents lives in poverty, ranking it eighth in the state. DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Levels hit plateau While Oswego County faces workforce development challenges as well as high demand for support services, the actual number of people on public assistance in Oswego County has stabilized. Demand for public assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families has plateaued since 2014 in Oswego County, according to Stacy Alvord. According to the most recent data from the DSS, countywide participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps) dropped from an average of 9,254 recipients per month in 2013 to

an average of 9,182 per month in 2017. Participation in temporary assistance (cash benefits) has dropped from an average of 859 recipients per month in 2013 to an average of 746 recipients per month in 2017. Safety Net assistance, however, has jumped by about 10 percent when comparing monthly averages from 2013 to 2017. Safety Net assistance is designed to provide benefits to eligible individuals and certain families who do not qualify for family assistance or other federal temporary assistance programs. Alvord noted there are several factors that have contributed to these numbers stabilizing. “Our employment and training programs are robust and provide pathways to self-sufficiency for those ready to learn and ready to work,” she said. Alvord noted that DSS diverts many applicants for TANF directly to employment. Recognizing that low-income working families would benefit from SNAP and the Home Energy Assistance Program, New York state implemented policies over the past decade that allowed for on-line applications and phone interviews for those seeking these supports, Alvord said. “Low-income workers no longer have to take time off from their jobs

Stacy Alvord

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Poverty in Oswego County and come into the DSS office to apply for these supports,” she said. DSS and its private partners that serve the low-income community have helped to reach constituents and enroll eligible residents. Alvord noted the Oswego County Workforce’s One Stop Career Center in Fulton is a valuable resource to all, including those who are under-employed. “As those constituents are trained and are able to take on more technical and advanced positions, it opens jobs for our unskilled labor force to assume,” she said. Alvord said for those residents who are disabled and receiving cash assistance, DSS implemented a program several years ago that assists those individuals with applying for federal Supplemental Security Income benefits. SSI is a disability program designed for those with a demonstrated financial need and a disability that prevents them from substantial gainful activity. “We have been successful. Many people are able to be closed out of our county’s assistance programs and transitioned to federal benefits,” she said.

On the Medicaid front Meanwhile, enrollment in Medicaid-managed programs in the county has dipped by 6 percent between 2015-2016 after years of growth. New York state has been a health care reform front runner, Alvord said, creating an individual health insurance market decades ahead of the Affordable Care Act. The state also expanded Medicaid to cover many low-income parents

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said. “Livable wage jobs are needed in our region to lift those low-income working families out of poverty.” The cost of basic household expenses in New York is more than most of the state’s jobs can support, the report noted. The average annual household survival budget for a New York family of four (two adults with one infant and one preschooler) is $62,472 — more than double the U.S. family poverty level of $23,850. Alvord said the process needed in order to decrease the number of residents on cash assistance (TANF and Safety Net Assistance), is “very complex.” SNA consists of cash and non-cash components and is funded primarily by state and local sources. “Those who attempt to live on cash assistance for any prolonged period of time are the poorest of the poor and have the most challenges to overcome in order to realize self-sufficiency,” Alvord said. “The fact is, many who apply are diverted to employment before they receive cash assistance. Others receive benefits for a brief period of time until they can resume working.” The DSS commissioner said the needs of those who are on cash assistance for a prolonged period of time vary. “These needs are often unmet due to a lack of available resources,” she said. These include mental health treatment, transportation to and from both day care for their children and a livable wage job, safe and affordable housing, and day care for children, especially for jobs that require parents to work non-traditional hours. (LS)

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and childless adults long before the ACA reformed the nation’s health insurance system, she added. On the local front and with the introduction of New York State of Health, DSS in Oswego County was proactive ins partnering with its navigator agencies such as ACR Health and Oswego County Opportunities to assist families and individuals in getting enrolled in insurance programs. “We have been successful in decreasing the number of uninsured citizens in Oswego County,” Alvord said. Historically, the uninsured that experienced a health crisis ended up on Medicaid. However, subsidized health insurance plans have resulted in less dependence on Medicaid, Alvord noted. Alvord said measures put forth to attack poverty in Oswego County have been outlined in the United Way’s ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report-New York (http:// unitedwayalice.org/NewYork/. With the cost of living higher than what most people earn, ALICE families have income above the federal poverty level, but not high enough to afford a basic household budget that includes housing, childcare, food, transportation, and health care. The ALICE report notes that more than 55 percent of all jobs in New York pay less than $20 per hour, with more than half of those paying between $10 and $15 per hour ($15 per hour full-time equals $30,000 per year). “The vast majority of households in Oswego County that are poorly resourced have at least one household member working a paid job,” Alvord

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Poverty in Oswego County

Katie Meyer, standing, a housing specialist at Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. who contracts with the Oswego County Department of Social Services, enjoys a recent visit by Kathyjo Box of Fulton. Accompanying Box, who is one of Meyer¹s consumers, are her 3-year-old daughter Gracie and 4-year-old son Peyton.

The Face of Poverty On brink of financial crisis, local woman fights for survival

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hile numbers can attempt to describe the extent of poverty in Oswego County, the emotional toll is immeasurable. Kathyjo Box, 43, was an Army brat. She was born into a military family in Virginia and after extensive travel and a broken first marriage, settled in New York in 2011. Box wanted to take advantage of what she perceives to be a superior educational system in New York state for her now 21-year-old and 14-year-old daughters. “It’s the quality of the teachers and the details they put into their teaching plans,” she said. She was staying in Oswego before meeting her second husband John and DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

moving in with him in Fulton in 2012. “We’re not together and not even divorced yet because I have to have health insurance,” she said. After a tumultuous relationship, she and her children left John on Nov. 2, 2015. “That’s when we first got introduced to Oswego County Opportunities,” she said. “I called them and they came and got us at a quiet location so we could go to a SAF (Services to Aid Families) house for battered and abused women,” she said. Box also has a 3-year-old daughter Gracie and a 4-year-old son Peyton who are 11 months apart. John cannot have any contact with his children outside of supervised visits because he was convicted of molesting OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Box’s daughter Malia when she was 11 years old in 2015. He pleaded down to a violent Class D felony and got four months of weekends in jail. “I thought I was doing really good this year, but I had a nervous breakdown and I tried to kill myself. Oswego County Opportunities has been there, helping me every step of the way,” Box said. “With suicide nothing matters. You go into this pit and you can’t get out of it. I’ve been through a lot,” she said. Handling her case is Katie Meyer, a housing specialist at the county Department of Social Services and Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. Meyer is an employee with OCO and is contracted by DSS “to make it all come together,” she said. She has been a housing specialist since the program’s inception last January. Prior to that, she worked with homeless families through OCO for six years. After Box’s suicide attempt, she was admitted into St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Program. “I told them I wanted to come to Oswego for my upkeep because if I ever need a babysitter, it’s right here and easier to get to. So I started going to Oswego Hospital Behavioral Health Services and they are really good there,” she said. Box struggled initially with medication, even gaining 60 pounds as a result. “There’s always a plan to be able to fix things, and sometimes there isn’t,” she said. She did extensive research and determined the medications were not working for her, and was planning to revisit her medication management regimen while also receiving counseling. “They take very good care of me, but it’s also a lot of work on my part. I have to really do the work, read and try to be proactive. It’s an absolute fight,” she said. “I always had one view before I met an abusive husband,” she said. “My family came to me and asked, ‘How did this happen to you, you of all people? They asked because I’m so strong and I always had it together, no matter what.”

Separate ways Box, a high school graduate, said her first husband Jesse wanted to put his career first. 65


“I agreed to that, which was a bad choice,” she said. “It did not end well after working two jobs and giving him two children. He got his dual PhD in aeronautical and mechanical engineering, got a job at Boeing, and walked and left.” Box did receive child support from him, but that total changed when her eldest turned 21. “That changed my income a lot and I tried to prepare for it which put me in my current situation [needing assistance from OCO],” she said. “I tried to live with friends and things like that, because I knew that change was coming. I tried to prepare for it, but it didn’t work out.” Box said she has been a single mom basically all her life. “I just got a job at Dunkin Donuts here in Fulton,” she said. “They said it would be full time but they haven’t been giving me the hours.” She is paid the minimum wage of $10.75 an hour. Despite the low wage, Box is determined to work. “It’s how I was raised,” she said. Box didn’t always have to work when receiving support from Jesse. “I worked part time while taking

care of the kids,” she said. “But I have to work for me. I enjoy being a mom, but working makes me a better mom.” She works the overnight shift at Dunkin Donuts, and has her daughter Malia watch the two youngest. Meyer has been working with Box for several months. “It’s heartwarming and I am blessed because I get to work with people like Kathyjo,” Meyer said. “I get to help them in their moment of need. It is so rewarding to see her blossom through this whole experience of being homeless. She turned it around from being in emergency housing. She went out and found housing and got a job. We buddied up and we got the inspection — I inspect places before they move to make sure they are safe.” “The amount of confidence she has having her own place is a huge difference,” Meyer added. As for the kids, they are “so happy and they have their routines and their own things,” Box said.

Vital lifeline For Box, OCO has helped her in

virtually every aspect of her life. “Literally from the moment we got into the SAF house, the next morning they had a psychiatrist there to speak with me and my children,” Box said. They also provided law advocates to support her in court, and OCO brought them to the Child Advocacy Center for family counseling. The children are enrolled in OCO’s Head Start program and participate in play therapy. OCO also provided space as part of its supervised visitation program for John to see his children. “I have to tell you that other than being an Army brat, and having support from military family and friends, OCO is the only other place where I have lived that has been there,” she said. “If I need anything, they have a program for it.” “It is absolutely phenomenal. Other than military life, this is the only other time in my life that I’ve ever experienced such community outreach.” Meyer said it’s difficult not to bond with clients, “but we set up very good boundaries.” “You just learn to go with the flow. You can’t attach to much to them because it’s inappropriate,” she said. “But we do

Cooperative Extension Answers Hunger Pangs

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swego County continues to place great emphasis on education as a weapon against poverty. Paul Forestiere, executive director at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, said people don’t realize how involved his organization is with education when it comes to combating poverty. “Everybody equates us with agriculture, but that is just part of it. Our mission is education,” Forestiere said. Cooperative Extension gets referrals from the Oswego County Department of Social Services, Catholic Charities, the Oswego County Health Department and Oswego County Opportunities in regards to people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) and public assistance. Cooperative Extension in turn provides educational resources, even sending educators into homes to teach

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life skills such as cooking. “We also have a program where a person on food stamps can go to the grocery store with one of our educators and shop with them,” he said. Cindy Walsh is the team leader for human ecology and nutrition at Cooperative Extension. There are two different programs designed for people with limited resources who are on food stamps and assistance. The first is the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program for people who are below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. It is backed by the United States Department of Agriculture. “We go into people’s home, community centers and do a series of educational sessions while focusing on basic nutrition,” Walsh said. The target audience is families with children. “In every lesson, there is a food component, whether it be a food OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

demonstration or actually preparing food in participant’s homes,” she added. Cooperative Extension also features the Eat Smart New York nutrition education program for those on food stamps. The mission of the ESNY is to encourage people on food stamps to eat more fruits and vegetables, drink less sugar-sweetened beverages, and exercise more. The USDA-funded ESNY provides nutrition education materials and sponsors education events and classes in local communities on a variety of nutrition topics. Walsh said the objectives of the programs are helping folks stretch their food stamp dollars and eating healthy. “If we can help people get healthy, the whole community benefits,” she said. (LS)

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


build a connection with them. They can come to us and feel they can trust us. We are there to take care of them, and it’s our job to be a human to them.” On the DSS side, Box receives assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, gets childcare assistance and also plugs into the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. “Other than that, they just make sure I’m still kicking it and taking care of the kids,” she said. “I am waiting for God to open the door. I tried to do it on my own, but I messed it up, so now I let Him open the door and provide the opportunity,” Box said. Her spirituality is “the only way I made it through,” said Box, who is a Seventh Day Adventist. Box is nonplussed when asked how she manages to survive as a single mother. “It’s hard because we’re poor but we’re blessed. We get furniture and food when we need it. You can technically say we’re in need, but we’ve been blessed. “Yes we are poor and I do worry about my finances, but at the same token, we’re blessed because everything gets provided by love and generosity.” “Here, having OCO and its programs have made me literally think the community cares about me and that I’m not by myself. Even though I don’t have family supporting me, there is a family taking care of me. It’s there for me when my own isn’t,” she said. While the job can be rewarding, Meyer said finding affordable housing in the area is the most difficult part of the job. It is tough to find a place that is within the client’s budget, whether they are on temporary assistance through DSS or have some type of income that can help supplement that, Meyer noted. Finding landlords that are willing to work with DSS is another obstacle, she said. “That’s where we struggle is finding housing that is reasonably priced in the area of where they want to be, where they have connections and where they have their support system,” she said. Meyer said DSS can give out applications for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development housing, but the waiting list is at least a year. Meyer said that has improved from a waiting period of three to five years several years ago. (LS) DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

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Poverty in Oswego County

Pinpointing Poverty SUNY Oswego sociologist gives perspective on critical issue

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oing without. For many in Oswego County, going without is a way of life. In Oswego County, more than 18 percent of the population is considered living in poverty. “Certainly from a sociological perspective, some of the areas that have been of particular interest that definitely affect Oswego County have to do with changes not only happening in New York and the Rust Belt region, but also because of forces of globalization,” said Evelyn Clark, assistant professor of sociology at SUNY Oswego. She said regarding notoriously high unemployment rates in Oswego County, it stems from regional, national and international forces that led to a decline in manufacturing jobs that were outsourced to lower-wage areas, not only within the U.S. but internationally. “More significantly, however, it’s been the loss of manufacturing to automation and technology, and Oswego has been dealing with these issues as has many places in the region,” she said. She said unfortunately, while there were jobs that helped fill the void, most of them were in low-service jobs, particularly retail which feature lower wages and less benefits. “At the same time, in places like Oswego, when you lose employment, you lose tax base and you’re also going to start losing city services and benefits that used to be provided through employment or government. That is going to have a prolonged effect,” she said. Clark said individual families “are on the hook” for more than they used to be. “They have to pay more out of pocket and with stagnant wages for most of the working and middle class people in the region, for most families this is going to drive them into poverty either officially or unofficially,” she said. Clark said education plays a key role. “Higher-paying jobs do require a higher education, and so that is another expense,” said Clark, noting the decline

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Evelyn Clark of local and state support for education because of less tax base and policies that are promoting less government and less services are having an impact. “Without a consumer base, even technical and vocational jobs that require some training are going to be less in demand,” she said. “Tech [technology sector] is the industry oftentimes where we focus our energy into, but every job that pays better now requires some kind of certification or a college degree,” she noted. She said it’s not just about directing everyone toward a liberal arts degree, but rather capitalizing on resources from community colleges that can provide technical degrees and get students proper certification. “The problem is though, and maybe there is a wall that we are running into that does have to be discussed, the higher degree or certification that is required for a particular job, then the expectation is there will be a higher wage attached to that job, and in some cases, there will be,” she said. “The problem though is a lot of the gap they talk about is some employers want the higher degree or higher certification, but don’t want to pay the wages to go with it. They talk about this gap, OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

but people are unwilling to invest in the extra training and still pay a very low wage,” she said.

Defining poverty Defining poverty is difficult, Clark said. She noted for the sake of developing government policy and shaping people’s perception of poverty, the term “absolute poverty” is used. Essentially, absolute poverty is when an individual falls below a certain income level where he or she can’t meet standards of living and struggles to afford food, shelter, health care and clothing. For the measure to be absolute, the line must be the same in different countries, cultures, and technological levels. Besides an international poverty line, the federal government has a line that determines absolute poverty in the United States. In 2016, the federal poverty line for one person was $12,228. For two people, it was $15,569, and for three people, it was $19,105. “This is the measure that determines eligibility for programs,” Clark said. For a family of four, the line is at $24,563. “Technically, if you make $5 more, you are not considered living in poverty in the United States,” she said. Clark said there could be areas where a family of four may be able to survive hat because the cost of living is significantly lower. “However, even in Oswego County, four people living on $24,000 a year — even if it is $5 over — we would think of as being relatively poor,” she said. The way the U.S. government determines the federal poverty threshold is to compare pre-tax cash income against a line that is set three times the cost of the minimum food diet in 1963. That figure is adjusted according to the current consumer price index. Clark said sociologists are “incredibly critical” of that formula. “In the 1960s, it was a pretty good measure of absolute poverty because the highest item in most families’ budgets would have been food. The problem is, that’s no longer the case,” she noted. “Actually, other costs such as housing and health care are some of the bigger ticket items now, and of course, this line DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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www.pcmasterstech.com 104 West Utica St. Oswego NY doesn’t reflect that,” she said. Housing costs in the 1960s made up less than 20 percent of a family’s budget, whereas today it can range anywhere between 50 to 75 percent of a family’s budget. “Some programs don’t take that into account in terms of their measurement of poverty,” Clark said. She said the federal government does provide leeway for certain geographic locations, health care subsidies and the amount of federal aid one might receive, which does not count toward total income. But for every program, the federal poverty line is the base, Clark noted. There is also flexibility when it comes to applying for programs such as Medicaid and other health care safety nets. For example with Medicaid, depending on your age, whether or not you’re living with parents, or whether you’re a pregnant woman, thresholds might be anywhere between 137 percent to up to 224 percent of the federal poverty line “So they include people who are above that line to a certain degree,” Clark said. For the most part, in terms of absoDECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

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lute poverty, sociologists have been very critical of the way it is defined. Making it even more complex is the existence of relative poverty. “Relative poverty would mean you may be able to afford the necessities of life but in terms of your access to resources, goods, services and life chances, compared to other people in society, you would be considered poor,” she said. Relative poverty refers to a standard that is defined in terms of the society in which an individual lives and which therefore differs between countries and over time.

Seeking solutions Discovering proper solutions to poverty has been a debate for decades. “Certainly the emphasis on low taxes, on reducing government services and deregulation have been tried out all over the world for 40 years,” she said. “In my research, I’m not really seeing that as a solution to poverty.” Investing into areas with infrastructure that is going to promote not only business but also support consumption and high living standards that will draw OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

people to particular areas has a better track record but is hard to accomplish, she noted. “Oswego actually has a lot to offer in this respect and this is something I think will continually be clear in the next few decades,” she noted. “We have lots of water, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you look at the western half of the U.S., this is a major issue. We also have a low cost of living, which will also be an attraction for new development,” she said. “New York is investing into energy, which is another sector that is going to be growing as time continues,” Clark said. “We have a very strong agricultural base, which doesn’t provide a lot of high-income jobs, but is a necessity in terms of economic growth.” Clark said there is lot to offer in Oswego County, but the problem is it’s going to take investment into government services and public goods such as education, roads, data infrastructure such as fiber optics, and energy. “All of that has to come from somewhere, and if you don’t have the tax base, where does it come from? That is the issue,” Clark said. (LS) 69


Poverty in Oswego County

Port City in Need of ‘LIFT’ Mayor’s office spearheads antipoverty campaign

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nstead of a hand out, let’s try a hand up. City of Oswego Mayor William J. Barlow, Jr. has determined the need for real, effective workforce development programs to help give residents in poverty a hand up rather than a hand out. “I firmly believe most folks relying on public subsidy or not working wish they could work and would rather not rely on a subsidy,” he said. “I also know from touring and meeting with the human resources and personnel departments from major employers in our area that they struggle to find trained, quality employees they can hire and retain from

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the immediate Oswego city area.” The city of Oswego was recently awarded funding to participate in the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative. Barlow organized and appointed the City of Oswego Poverty Reduction Steering Committee to take charge in alleviating poverty through the establishment of a platform for developing innovative initiatives, solutions and programs. The hope is to begin to shift the pendulum of a bottom-heavy socioeconomic demographic to provide a higher quality of life in the community. The steering committee, along with the city’s Poverty Reduction Taskforce — “LIFT Oswego” —worked with the Center for Governmental Research to develop a comprehensive city wide poverty needs assessment. Through the needs assessment, it prepared a request for proposal to provide funding up to $400,000 for projects aimed at reducing poverty in the city of Oswego. “LIFT” stands for “learn, identify, focus and transform.” Barlow said if the city and its partners help those living in poverty develop skills to excel in the workplace and prepare them for a job search and interview, “we can help lift our neighbors out of poverty.” Although the official poverty rate in the city is 29 percent, another 18 percent of residents have income at or below 200 percent of the poverty threshold, which means they often struggle to make ends meet. LIFT Oswego is in the process of seeking proposals for projects in the areas of childcare, education, housing, services and support systems, transportation, and workforce development that will measurably impact poverty in the city. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Numbers spell trouble In the LIFT Oswego Needs Assessment report on poverty in the city, job growth has been “very low” since 1990. Manufacturing jobs have declined by more than 30 percent in the last 15 years, but those losses have been buffered by education and health care jobs, which increased 18 percent. Labor force participation — which includes adults aged 25-64 either working or looking for work — is generally low in the city at 72 percent, and particularly low among older adults and less educated adults, the needs report stated. Barlow said he believes the workforce development component is critical as expressed by major employers in the area. Some employers report difficulty in filling a variety of jobs and point to a lack of soft skills — such as showing up, being on time and working with others — math and literacy skills, and, in some cases, special certifications. “We have job openings in the immediate area and we need those jobs filled with Oswego city residents,” Barlow said. “Additionally, we need to make the services that working mothers and fathers need affordable, things like child care, transportation and literacy programs.” In the needs assessment, employees cite lack of transportation and childcare as key challenges in holding down jobs. In addition, transportation is a significant problem for low-income residents. “If the parents in the household are working, they need these particular services to be accessible and affordable in order to keep their employment, stay focused and supply their children with the resources and care they need,” Barlow said. The mayor said the city is expected to call back the RFPs and will be judging and scoring them through the end of November. “At that point, we will score and make our recommendations to the state for approval and we will announce the selected proposals who will receive funding,” he said. Barlow said he hopes to start launching the funded projects within the first few months of 2018. (LS)

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


SPECIAL REPORT By Randy Pellis

The Children’s Museum of Oswego is one of the project that will benefit from the new revistalizationplan the city has in place. The musem occupies the bottom floor of the building.

Oswego Downtown Revitalization: A New Day Is Dawning So many plans, so little accomplished. Why this new revitalization plan has a good shot at accomplishing its goal

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ver the last 50 years, the economic juggernaut of Upstate New York that was its manufacturing base, was Bethlehem Steel in Buffalo, that was Eastman Kodak in Rochester, that was Carrier in Syracuse, that was Smith-Corona in Cortland, that was Nestle and Miller Brewing in Fulton, and that was Cyclotherm and Hammermill in Oswego, is gone. All gone and not coming back. And over those 50 years state government turned a blind eye. New York City had the overwhelming majority of the votes in the state legislature, and so, New York City got all the money, all the projects, all the help while Upstate floundered shaking its head in disbelief like a boxer who’s just taken a fast, hard right out of nowhere, all the while believing he can box his way back as his knees start to DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

buckle and another blow falls. Oswego has been in that ring for many years now, and as with many other Upstate New York cities, it’s never really believed that some things have changed forever. But little by little, change by change, it has finally become obvious. The old economy is over. Things have changed, and so must we. And maybe there’s finally something in the air, because finally the state has realized it too. It’s realized that Upstate matters, that change for the better is possible and finally understands that as goes Upstate, so goes New York state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets it. Apparently the legislature finally gets it too, as more money is flowing into places like Oswego all across Upstate New York than has been seen in years and years. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

For Oswego that has meant a $10 million award for its Downtown Revitalization Initiative, given to only 10 Upstate cities out of 104 that competed for the prize. Gov. Cuomo was in Oswego this past July to make the award. Calling Oswego’s application “a smart application...a very smart plan,” Cuomo laid out the thinking behind the award. “Economic growth is accelerated if the downtown area is vibrant... If you look at the regions that are growing, they are vibrant downtown areas,” he said. Oswego is all in on that idea. Delineating a section of the city running from West Fifth Street to East Fourth and from Utica Street north to the lake, Oswego hopes to leverage the $10 million award into $120 million of additional private investment that 71


will re-make downtown into a vibrant engine of economic and social growth. “We’re not building back what Oswego was,” said Cuomo in July. “We’re going to build an Oswego that has never been, and we are on the track to do it.” And so far, all signs point to it all actually happening. Anyone who’s been around Oswego long enough is more than familiar with the seemingly endless master plans that have been commissioned by the city over the years. And everyone too is pretty aware that after each plan is debated over and finally written, it quietly goes to the master plan graveyard somewhere in the depths of City Hall to lie among the shelves with all the other plans gathering dust and accomplishing nothing. Why should this plan be any different? “The difference is there’s $10 million behind this plan,” said Oswego Mayor William Barlow in an interview with Oswego County Business. Past plans, he said, relied upon finding grant funding after the plan was written. “But this time around,” he said, “we already have the funding to execute the plan, and I think that’s the difference. And as long as these business owners do what they said they were going to do if they had the assistance of the $10 million, most of these projects should come to fruition. We already have the funding, and that’s what sets this apart from anything this community’s ever seen before.” Furthermore, the projects that were chosen to receive part of the $10 million are projects with considerable private funding already committed to the project’s successful completion. And though there are no guarantees, Barlow sees very little chance of projects running out of money halfway through the process. “We investigated that really from the beginning,” said Barlow. “If a property owner couldn’t make the initial investment in order to leverage the grant money, then that property ranked much lower on the scale and probably didn’t receive funding.” “All of these projects,” he said, “they cannot be totally complete just off of the DRI [Downtown Revitalization Initiative] money. They all require private investment, and the property owners knew that when we submitted the projects, the city knew that when we submitted, and the state knew that 72

when we submitted. That was really the core of our entire plan.” And there’s another difference, one that’s both smart and obvious, making one wonder why it was never done this way before. “The grant is a reimburse-as-yougo grant,” said the mayor. “The developers actually have to do work, they send in an invoice, and they get paid for the work they’ve done. Typically what happens with grants,” he went on, “is if you have a $1 million project, you have to do the project, and then you’re reimbursed the million. This is different. This they can do bit by bit. So, if they go and purchase new windows for their building, then they can send in an invoice for the windows, and they get paid for that as they go along. It’s designed to try to speed the process along, keep the projects moving, and allows the developers to keep making progress.” One of the four main goals of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is an increase in downtown residential living. Once Oswego had won the $10 million award, and in coordination with that goal, the state hired the Zimmerman/Volk firm of Clinton, N.J., to assess the potential for downtown residential growth in Oswego. Laurie Volk is principal in charge of the firm’s market studies. According to Carnegie Mellon University, she is “the firm’s primary analyst of demographic, market, and lifestyle trends.” She has personally done more than 85 downtown studies. Her study of Oswego, she said to Oswego County Business, “helps them to understand where they should invest and what they should support over the next five to seven years.” Looking at not only the possibility of new construction, but also the renovation of existing under-utilized buildings, Volk concluded Oswego could create as many as 450 housing units over the next five years and predicts that if those units are built, the population of Oswego will grow. “We know,” she said, “we’ve been doing this for nearly 30 years, that you can capture a segment of the market that you haven’t captured before because you haven’t had the housing to accommodate them.” And, she added, “if you get people living downtown, the retail will definitely follow. We’ve seen it happen over and over and over again.” Almost all 450 are intended as OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

rental units rather than condos or townhouses, and Volk expects that 70 percent of those who move into these new downtown units will be young singles and couples. The rents in her study range from $900 to $1,550 a month. And though 450 units may be feasible according to the Zimmerman/ Volk study, Mayor Barlow noted that the city’s plan calls for nowhere near 450 units being built. Regardless, what did the mayor believe would be the effect on the city’s landlords of the addition of new rental property downtown? “I don’t think we’ll see really much damage done to the neighborhood rental market,” he said. “Quite frankly, if we do [negatively affect present landlords], it’s competition. The landlords in town, as I’ve said publicly before, they have to raise the bar, they have to make their properties better, they have to make their properties affordable, they have to enhance their properties and offer a better product if they want to compete. And I think this plan will push them to do that.” As of November 2017, none of the projects has submitted an invoice, and really, only the renovation of the Cahill building is presently underway and could start being reimbursed for work done. Developers were just given the final “green light” by the state this past September to begin their projects, and Barlow expects much of the work to begin this coming spring. “I think you’ll see the Children’s Museum exhibits start being built. I think you’ll see improvements made to the Buckhout building,” he said. “The Global Buffet project is a project that I’m very confident will be one of the first projects to be started and completed. You’ll see some movement there in the spring. And then, the two projects that the city administers, the riverwalk improvements and the pocket park, along with the Complete Streets along 104, are projects that the city has to administer, and you’ll see some movement start on those projects in the Spring as well.” And so, as Oswego looks and prepares to revitalize its downtown, it really may be a new day dawning, and a long night may finally be coming to an end. Stay tuned.

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Health Care Special • Is Universal Health Care Coming to NYS? • Assemblyman Will Barclay: Dump Universal Health Care

DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

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SPECIAL REPORT By Randy Pellis

Is Universal Health Care Coming to NYS? State embroiled in major decision regarding its health care insurance structure

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he New York State Assembly has passed universal health care legislation four times in the last 25 years. However, it has never been passed, or even voted on, by the state Senate. That could change come the 2018 session of the legislature with citizen pressure mounting and enough votes coming together among the Senate’s ever-changing coalitions to put it within real range of passing. At present, it is possibly just one vote short of passage. At the end of the 2017 legislative session, the overwhelmingly passed (94-46) Assembly bill remained stuck in the Senate’s Health Committee. District 48’s Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Oswegatchie) is the deputy vice-chairwoman of that 74

committee. She declined comment for this article. The Assembly bill, written and sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), the longest-serving member of the Assembly and chairman of the Assembly Health Committee since 1987, is based on the work of Gerald Friedman, chairman of the department of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Friedman’s 2015 “Economic Analysis of the New York Health Act” calls for the establishment of “a comprehensive, universal health insurance program for all New Yorkers.” Claiming his plan will save New OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Yorkers billions, the devil is obviously in the details. It is difficult to find fault with Friedman’s litany of concerns within both New York and American health care insurance in general. He notes the cost as a percentage of state income has steadily risen in New York from 12 percent in 1991 to 16 percent in 2014 and predicts that at its current pace, the cost of health care will consume 18 percent of New York’s total income in the next decade. He attributes this to the rising cost of health care rather than increased utilization. The national picture looks just as bad. “Compared with other countries,” he says, “the American health care system is uniquely inefficient. Despite spending well over twice as much per person as the average for the member nations in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, life expectancy in the United States is below the OECD average.” The OECD is made up of 35 nations, representing all of Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Mexico, the U.S., and others. Life expectancy in New York “bareDECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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ly” exceeds the OECD average, according to Friedman, at a cost of 15 percent more than the average OECD per person price tag. Nevertheless, he claims, life expectancy in New York exceeds that of the rest of the U.S., — a number of other studies rank New York sixth — and that New York spends more on health care than any other state. The Kaiser Family Foundation ranks New York eighth in health spending per capita.) Life expectancy is shorter in the U.S. despite some relatively healthy life style practices. According to Friedman, Americans drink less, are less likely to commit suicide, and are much less likely to smoke than residents of other OECD countries. But, he says, Americans use the health care system less than do residents of other countries. They average only 4.1 physician consultations per person per year, compared to 6.7 for the rest of the OECD, and Americans have fewer and shorter hospital stays. Friedman said shorter life expectancy and higher spending on health care “reflects the way higher prices for health care in the United States prevent Americans from seeking needed care.” The cost of being poor in New York isn’t only measured in dollars. It can be measured in mortality. New Yorkers who could not see a doctor because of cost have significantly higher mortality rates. Using county mortality and health care access data, Friedman found every percentage point increase in the share of the population unable to see a doctor because of cost raises the age-adjusted mortality rate by over 1 percent. For Oswego, this means an extra 13 deaths.

Rich, poor disparity According to a 2014 study for the Brookings Institution, Barry P. Bosworth and Kathleen Burke concluded the gap between life expectancy for rich and poor Americans has increased dramatically over the past 20 years, especially for women. And private sector employers don’t seem to be picking up the slack, or more precisely, the cost. Friedman found that in New York state, the share of private-sector workers with health insurance through their employer fell sharply from 57 percent of workers in 2003 to 47 percent in 2013. And he notes that those who still have health insurance through work are paying both higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and 76

copayments. Premiums have more than doubled over the past 10 years, costing the average New York employee over $4,200 a year. And then there’s the issue of exorbitant expenses and waste. The CEOs of nine large health insurers averaged nearly $14 million in compensation in 2013, more than double the average for CEOs of the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in America. According to Friedman, private health insurers spend over 15 percent of premiums on administrative activities, including inflated managerial salaries, redundant bill reviews, medical review programs, and other overhead, plus profit. Private insurers also waste resources in other ways, he says. Competition leads them to spend money on advertising and marketing their competing plans, and, he notes, many insurers are too small to realize the scale economies possible with a large billing network. (Needs clarification – how is that wasting resources?) Public plans also draw criticism for their own expensive overhead. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program spend significant funds policing eligibility.

Focus on drug prices Drug prices come under special scrutiny. The International Federation of Health Plans found that, for eight common drugs, the price in the U.S. is on average over three times the average price in Canada, England, or the Netherlands. In no case is the U.S. price lower and in only two drugs — Enbrel and Humira — are prices in the U.S. less than twice that paid in other countries. A treatment of Gleevac, a cancer drug, for example, costs $6,214 in the U.S. but only $1,141 in Canada; Copaxone, a drug for multiple sclerosis, costs $3,875 in the states but only $862 in England; Nexium, for acid reflux, costs $215 in the U.S. and $23 in the Netherlands. If the Assembly’s universal health care plan, known as the New York Health Plan, were to negotiate drug prices that were 37 percent lower than they are now, which would be less of a savings than that achieved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Friedman estimates it would save over $16 billion. Overall, Friedman concludes that under his plan for universal health care, projected gross savings on current health care activities come to almost OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

$71 billion in 2019, which represents 25 percent of that year’s projected health care spending. Under universal health care, New York would be able to raise the rates it pays health care providers. In 2012, Medicaid paid New York physicians only 87 percent as much for the same services as Medicare paid; and Medicare pays physicians only 80 percent as much as private insurers. Universal health care would take over Medicaid and Medicare and, according to Friedman, would raise health care provider reimbursements $10.8 billion. New York counties would benefit in a similar way. Oswego County pays $25.6 million a year for Medicaid, 40 percent of its total property tax income. Onondaga County pays $105.6 million. The New York Health Plan eliminates this expense for local governments, transferring the burden from local governments to the New York Health Trust Fund, a fund completely separate from any other. Under New York Health, New Yorkers would no longer pay deductibles, co-pays, or out-of-network charges. New York Health would also pay Medicare Part B premiums. And how would all this be funded? Friedman estimates $92 billion would need to be raised and he proposes doing it in two ways. First, a progressively graduated payroll tax would be employed with lower wage earners paying a lower percentage of their paychecks and higher wage earners paying more. In any case, their employer would pay 80 percent of their share, a percentage that is pretty much standard presently among employer-sponsored insurance plans. But Friedman estimates it will cost employers much less than they now pay. According to Friedman’s plan, the payroll assessment on the income of an employee earning $75,000 will be 6.7 percent. The employer would be required to pay 80 percent of that, or 5.3 percent, much less than businesses and governments pay for private health insurance. For an employee earning $50,000, the total assessment would be 4.5 percent, with the employer paying 3.6 percent; for an employee making $125,000, the assessment would be 9.4 percent with the employer paying 7.5 percent.

Impact on businesses Friedman claims most businesses will benefit from the New York Health DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Plan. Establishments with fewer than 25 workers in 2012, for example, paid nearly 8 percent of their payroll for health insurance in addition to bearing the cost of managing their health insurance plan. They would see a decrease in their average contribution. According to the plan, establishments with over 24 workers that pay over 10 percent now would enjoy substantial savings. Public employers that currently pay over 15 percent of payroll would enjoy significant savings. According to the plan, most New Yorkers would save thousands of dollars a year compared with what they and their employer spend on health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The largest savings go to working families and to middle-income households, especially those with children. While most workers would benefit from the New York Health Plan, the gains are greater for workers in a family and for those earning less than $100,000. The second source of funding would be upper-bracket non-payroll taxable income, mainly capital gains, dividends and interest. Those assessments would also be progressively graduated. Two caveats about the Assembly bill remain. First, it does not deal with the money spent in New York on senior care through the Medicaid program. Instead, it requires that this be dealt with in two years of the initial bill’s passage. That is a rather substantial omission. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, senior care represents 27 percent of New York’s entire $60 billion Medicaid bill, or $16.2 billion. Secondly, the employer and employee payroll and non-payroll tax percentages and the amounts they would raise are Friedman’s numbers. The Assembly bill does not specify any of them. They are left blank, to be filled in later. It is incomplete statistics such as these that left all local companies and public entities contacted for this story with nothing to say on the possibility of universal health care in New York. Those with any response at all, such as National Grid and Novelis, would only say that universal health care, as it stands in the legislature, is too hypothetical to comment on. While they don’t comment on pending legislation, they were open to further comment should the bill pass. The Oswego City School District, a publicly funded entity, declined comment.

DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

Local Rep: Dump Universal Health Care Assemblyman Barclay says plan is way too expensive By Randy Pellis

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oth members of the New York State Assembly representing Oswego County voted against the bill on universal health care. Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski) recently spoke on universal health care and why he voted against it. “This is just taking the private insurer out and making government essentially the payer,” he said. “I don’t see efficiencies in doing that. We haven’t seen it anywhere else. I don’t know why we think government would be able to run anything. Can you name any program in government that’s not generally more expensive to run than it would be privately? I’m not aware of any. Some things government’s just better equipped to manage than private industry, but from a cost standpoint, I don’t know. In my mind, this would be a step in the wrong direction.” Barclay said “having the consumer responsible for their costs will tend to lower the curve.” As the Assembly bill stands, he said, “the individual is essentially taken out of this whole process. Having some personal stake in the game, I think is a good way of doing it. I think that’s a more efficient way of getting those costs down. “I just don’t believe the claims it’s going to be cheaper because government’s going to be running it versus a private company, and that obviously crosses into a little bit of what my ideology is, but I haven’t seen it anywhere else. Why would I think OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

it’s going to happen here? “Vermont experimented with this, actually passed a universal health care bill, and the governor, who was a liberal Democrat, when he started looking at it realized that in order to raise enough revenue they’d have to double the size of the tax revenue there in the state, so he quickly said, ‘Well, we can’t do this.’ So there’s a concrete example of an area where they actually tried to implement it, but then I think some saner minds prevailed,” Barclay said. Aside from concerns about the cost, though, Barclay disagrees with the bill philosophically. “It’s forcing people into getting government-run insurance,” he said.

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Options eliminated “You can’t buy insurance elsewhere. You don’t have any other options. You couldn’t say, ‘You know what? I only want to spend 10 percent of my salary, and I’ll get a plan that doesn’t have as much coverage.’” The Assembly bill does not allow insurance companies to offer any form of health insurance that replicates what is covered under New York Health. Only such things as elective surgeries or elective procedures could be covered by private insurance. Senior care insurance might be possible until it is incorporated into the New York Health Plan. Barclay is wary of the bill’s claims of savings and of the call to cut the middleman — the insurance industry — out of the picture. “We’ve already done that,” he said. “The insurance companies already have to pay 85 percent of all the premiums they take in toward paying medical claims. Why do they think the government will be able to do it more efficiently than an insurance company can? Put me down as suspect. I’ve heard those claims that have never, ever been true where government’s running something.” He did see one ray of sunshine in the Assembly bill, though. Under the New York Health Plan, the state would pick up Oswego County’s $25.6 million payment into the state’s Medicaid fund. “That would probably be one part of where we would be a winner on this,” he said. “But, that being said, once we chase every business out of New York state, we’re not going to have anyone else to pay the bill. So, that’s my general concern with this: It’s too expensive.” And it’s not just businesses leaving the state that worries Barclay. It’s people. “People aren’t staying in New York state,” he said. “They’re retiring to Florida. It may be for a lot of reasons, but it’s easy to make that decision when you have good weather and no income tax.” Overall, Barclay summed up his view this way: “What we’re trying to do is have government pay for health care and run health care, and I’m very suspect of how successful that would be.”

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Health Care BRIEFS New Operating Room Director at Oswego Health Joining Oswego Health as its operating room director is Shannon Campbell. Campbell arrives at Oswego Health with more than 11 years of experience working in the operating rooms of Crouse Hospital, which included serving as a supervisor who oversaw a staff of 30. “I’m excited to be working at Oswego Health and have this opportunity to Campbell grow professionally and personally,” Campbell said. “I am also looking forward to working with the physicians and staff,” Campbell said. During her career, Campbell, a Syracuse native, has advanced from a licensed practical nurse to registered nurse. She obtained her bachelor ’s degree in nursing from Keuka College, graduating, summa cum laude and is currently earning her master’s degree in health administration with a concentration in business operations through Capella University. Campbell is certified as an operating room nurse. (CNOR). It was during her early training that she learned that she wanted to provide care in an operating room setting. “I did an observation in the operating room and just fell in love with the whole process and decided that this was the kind of nursing I wanted to do,” Campbell said. Campbell will oversee the staff and the day-to-day operation of Oswego Hospital’s seven suite surgery center.

Tara Searor Receives ‘Employee of Distinction Award’ Tara Searor, a certified nursing assistant with St. Luke Health Services in Oswego, is the recipient of a 2017 Long

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Term Care Employee of Distinction Award. Searor received the award during a ceremony held recently in her honor at St. Luke. The statewide a w a r d presented by LeadingAge New York, an association re p re s e n t i n g m i s s i o n – d r i v e n , Searor nonprofit continuing care providers, recognized Searor’s outstanding commitment and professionalism over her 11-year career with the local healthcare provider. P

Integrated Community Planning Marks 30 YearMilestone Integrated Community Planning of Oswego County, Inc. (ICP) recently recognized its 30th anniversary as a nonprofit agency in Oswego County. Getting its start as the Oswego County Child Care Council in 1987, ICP has evolved over the past 30 years, becoming incorporated into ICP in 2001, expanding its vision and scope, and broadening its programs and services to the community. Administering a variety of grants and programs throughout the past 30 years, ICP’s current divisions include the Tobacco Free Network of CNY, the Oswego County Traffic Safety Board, and the Child Care & Development Council of Oswego County where its roots began. “While various programs have come and gone, ICP has remained strong with a mission of improving the quality of life for the citizens of Oswego County,” said Christina Wilson, ICP’s executive director. “As a nonprofit, being a viable entity and providing needed services to the community for 30 years is an achievement to be celebrated,” Wilson said. During the event to mark the milestone, which took place at the end of October at Oswego YMCA, Brandy Koproski, the Child Care & Development Council programs coordinator, recognized the registered and licensed child care providers for their dedication to the early care and learning for the organization’s youngest population. Joseph Wicks, the community engage-

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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ment coordinator for the Tobacco Free Network, recognized Holly Carpenter and the Fulton Housing Authority for their efforts this past year in making their property smoke free. Five law enforcement officers were recognized for their individual accomplishments over the last year: NYS police trooper Justin Morrison, Oswego County sheriff deputies Joe Taylor and

Kristy Crast, Fulton City police officer Thomas Pappa, and Oswego City Police Department officer Chelsea Giovo. A special award was given in memory of former Oswego County Traffic Safety Board Coordinator Billie Crandall Brady, by her husband Dennis Brady. The Billie Crandall Brady Award was given to STOP-DWI Coordinator Robert Lighthall, who has been an instrumental

advocate for the traffic safety program. This award is given to the community members who personify the drive and passion that Billie had to educate and advocate for traffic safety. Sponsorship of the event were Compass Credit Union, the Fitzgibbons Agency, Kaplan Early Learning Company and Ashley Lynn Winery.

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Woman in black scarf is Michelle Hughes, president of PROP; the other woman is Nancy Farrell, secretary of the organization and board president of the Greater Pulaski Community Endowment Fund.

Nonprofit Group Giving Pulaski a Big Boost PROP prosperity synonymous in Pulaski By Lou Sorendo

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t’s called taking the bull by the horns. A nonprofit group in the village of Pulaski is not waiting for government dollars to make things happen. PROP is taking the initiative itself. Preservation-Revitalization of Pulaski, Inc. is a nonprofit group dedicated to the beautification and improvement of the village of Pulaski. To date, grant money and in-kind services generated and received by PROP exceed $5 million. The mission of PROP is to develop plans for the preservation and revitalization of the historical, cultural, natural and architectural resources of the Pulaski

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community. “The goal is to ensure a vibrant community supported by its citizens and to lessen the tax burdens for such projects,” said Michelle Hughes, president of PROP. PROP is a member of the Pulaski-Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce. PROP has existed since the 1980s when Dee Dee Barclay sponsored the program. She is the wife of former long-time state Sen. H. Douglas Barclay, who is also a former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador. PROP received its exempt organization status from the Internal Revenue Service in 1987. Hughes noted the South Park project OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

is the PROP’s most significant at the moment. The project includes updating the electrical service to safely handle the multiple events held in the park throughout each year. A new structure is being built that will contain the electrical housing, storage and a public restroom. “This project will ensure the continued success of community events plus provide a much-needed restroom when these events are occurring,” Hughes said. She noted the PROP has been able to completely fund this project through grant monies, corporate sponsorship and community members. Spearheading grant writing for PROP is Nancy Farrell, secretary for the organization and board president of the Greater Pulaski Community Endowment Fund. “Without her help, we would not have what we have,” Hughes said. “We are super proud of what we’ve been able to do with the support of our businesses, grant partnerships and individual donations,” Farrell said. She said there were more than 75 individuals that donated to the downtown beautification project. Farrell noted Hughes’ “vision and drive” are key to PROP. “Sometimes I get nervous from the financial aspect, and I say, ‘Let’s get our money first and then do a project,’ but Michelle will get a vision and she will drive it and we’ll be able to see it come to fruition,” Farrell said. The benefits of operating a nonprofit organization today truly outweigh the challenges, Hughes said. “However, the current economic landscape presents financial challenges for citizens,” she said. Organizations such as the John Ben Snow Foundation and The Shineman Foundation provide generous funding to help make PROP’s visions realities, Hughes noted. PROP is comprised of a slate of officers and a board of directors who meet monthly to plan projects, provide updates on PROP’s progress, and inform members on new developments in and around the village. PROP always welcomes and is seeking volunteers to assist with the array of restoration, beautification, and preservation projects around the village, Hughes said. She noted PROP is an organization that serves several purposes within the community. DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


“PROP directly benefits the community by creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for local residents and visitors,” she said. She said it is the PROP’s hope that restoring, preserving, and enhancing the aesthetics of the community will foster a culture of pride among the residents and attract consumers and entrepreneurs to the area to stimulate the economy. “People buy into the idea, but sometimes it’s hard for people to visualize what we’re explaining,” Hughes said. “But once they see what the trees, benches and receptacles look like, they think it looks incredible.”

Making a difference To date, businesses, residents, and interested citizens have sponsored 20 trees, 20 grates, 20 single receptacles, six double receptacles and 40 benches in the village. All metal items have a glossy black finish to complement the newly painted heritage lampposts. The tree grates were designed, manufactured and donated by Fulton Companies, saving the organization over $35,000. The trees have all been planted and those requiring grates have been placed along Jefferson Street. The benches and receptacles are located in the North and South parks, along North Jefferson Street, the entrance to the Haldane Center walking trail, the Salmon River walk and state Route 13. The John Ben Snow Foundation

awarded PROP $10,000 to use toward the projects. The six double receptacles were sponsored by the PROP’s banner project. Meanwhile, Ted’s Jewelers donated 40 of the 60 plaques that adorn the benches, including engraving, which is valued at $4,000. All plaques are attached to sponsored items. Concrete pads needed to be poured to place the remaining 12 benches to complete the project. The Pulaski Village Department of Public Works cut the sidewalk concrete for the trees and grates, and formed the pads for the 12 benches. They also inventoried and assembled the benches and receptacles. The project has been of no cost to taxpayers, Hughes noted.

Leaving a footprint PROP is responsible for several high-profile projects thus far: • The Jefferson Downtown Project was initiated in 1989 and brought new curbing, sidewalks and heritage lampposts to the downtown Pulaski area. A major component of the project was the movement of cable, telephone and electrical wires underground. • The banner project is a longstanding effort by PROP, serving to highlight and acknowledge local businesses and organizations. “The banners celebrate the economic prosperity of our area, while enhancing the aesthetics within our village,” Hughes said. “The banner project serves

as a primary fundraising source for PROP and our community projects.” • The Downtown Beautification Project includes trees, tree grates, receptacles, and benches that have been placed around the village. The project began with letters being sent to community members in July 2015. Sponsorship of trees, grates, receptacles, and benches took place from July of 2015 until July of 2016. Installation of the sponsored items began during the spring of 2017 and has recently been completed. • The South Park Gazebo facelift project, supported by banner project funds, features new arches and new black metal railings supplied by the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation in Mexico to replace the old wooden system. The village DPW edged and thinned the landscaping as well. •  The Heritage Lamp Post Project, again financed by proceeds from the banner project, saw chipped and peeling green lampposts sandblasted and repainted to a glossy black color. •  “Welcome to Pulaski” signs have been placed at various roadway entrances to the village. The signs also contain information regarding upcoming events and are decorated with hardscaping and landscaping. • In terms of rezoning efforts, PROP members feel a vibrant business district and historic downtown hinges on defining supportive and accountable zoning for both businesses and residences. The PROP is collaborating with village officials, boards, local citizens,

Project on South Park in Pulaski sponsored by Preservation-Revitalization of Pulaski, Inc. Photo on left shows work on the electrical room, storage and public restroom. The nonprofit is also upgrading the electrical system of the park. The bandstand was revamped last year with the help from students from CiTi. DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

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and the Pulaski Historical Society to redefine responsible zoning to ensure the prosperity and economy of a revitalized downtown, Hughes said. • In the area of sponsorship, PROP continues to back community events such as Pulaski’s ever growing and evolving farmers’ market. “Each year, the market gets bigger and more successful,” Hughes said. With live entertainment and a wide selection of local vendors, the historic South Park comes to life on Friday evenings during the summer and fall. PROP also sponsors the Salmon River Festival and Winter Fest, Light Up Pulaski and the Pulaski Farmers Market. “By having these facilities and improvements in the park, it just makes these events that much more enjoyable,” Farrell said.

Foundation of volunteers

Detailed information on hundreds of local companies in Oswego County, Northern and Central New York Get the 100-plus page annual guide free when you subscribe to Oswego County Business magazine. See our coupon in this issue. Or buy a single copy at river’s end bookstore in downtown Oswego. Single copies: $20 82

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Hughes said the volunteers who support PROP are the lifeblood of the organization. “The contributions of volunteers’ time and talents have served to create a synergy that has made the vision of PROP a reality via the many projects that have been implemented since PROP’s inception,” she said. PROP’s success and longevity can be attributed largely to the volunteers who have spent countless hours implementing projects to enhance the Pulaski area for the betterment of the community, she noted. “Their passion, dedication, and willingness to devote their time and talents to ensure that the historical essence of Pulaski is preserved and enhanced has been the major contributor to the success and longevity of PROP,” Hughes added. “The essence of belonging to an organization that is devoted to improving the quality of life in Pulaski is working with a dynamic group of individuals who have the drive, focus, and passion to support the effort of enhancing our historic area,” she said. She said the village’s proximity to the Salmon River and Lake Ontario lends itself well to creating an extraordinary infrastructure, conducive to economic prosperity. “To see a vision become a reality, as has happened several times in Pulaski over the past several years, is truly the most gratifying aspect of belonging to this group,” she noted. DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


Success Story

By Lou Sorendo

Off Broadway Dance Center Owner Ellen Marshall Has Grown Dance Studio in Fulton to Serve More Than 275 Kids In Step with Unbounded Success

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pon entering Off Broadway Dance Center in Granby, it’s impossible not to notice the array of trophies lined against the walls. This “wall of fame” is a reflection of the success realized by a studio that is setting the standard for dance in the region. However, it’s not all about the metal. “It’s a highlight for me to see my kids go to any kind of convention or competition and know they can compete on a level that other kids can,” said owner Ellen Marshall. “But it’s also a highlight just to walk into class each week to see a kid attain DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

a new skill, or have a child come in and give me a hug or tell me what happened in their day,” she said. “Those are more highlights than winning or awards.” The Fulton resident said her students go to Disney World to perform every other year, including this December. “It is really something to take kids from Fulton to dance there. There are people from all over the world that you can interact with,” she said. Marshall, 46, was born and raised in Fulton. She earned a business degree at Bryant & Stratton College and a degree in education at SUNY Oswego. The center recently moved into its new location at 420 county Route 3, town of Granby. Marshall purchased and renovated the former Granby OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Center United Methodist Church and converted it into the new home for OBDC. She noted old church buildings convert nicely into dance studios given their spacious rooms. This is quite a jump from when she launched the business in 1996. OBDC began in a small 800-square-foot storefront on state Route 3 that featured “a tiny waiting room and a tinier studio,” Marshall said. Since then, it has outgrown two other locations in Fulton — Schuyler Commons and its most recent location in the Neighborhood Plaza.

Award-winning business Marshall recently won the 2017 83


Small Business Excellence Award from Operation Oswego County, gaining recognition through the U.S. Small Business Administration. “It was nice,” Marshall said in regards to winning the award. “I take my kids to a lot of dance competitions, and usually they are the ones that get the accolades. So it was nice for me to get a pat on the back for doing something well.” She said it was also gratifying to be able to share the experience with her maternal grandfather, Fulton Tool Co. founder and president Bruce Phelps, who has served as her mentor. “We don’t really talk business. I just watch how he does things. He never rests on his laurels and always tries to do more as far as business goes,” she said. “He is also very big about giving back to his community in obvious and not-so-obvious ways.” Marshall’s father, Peter Russell, has worked at Fulton Tool for 45 years. Her mother, Linda Phelps Russell, has been a “huge part of the studio from the start and really a key to our success,” Marshall said. Russell is not only the seamstress, but also serves as the office manager for the studio. “She’s a wonderful sounding board and visionary,” Marshall said. “I can always count on her for good advice or great ideas. She’s also a stand-in grandmother for the many that refer to her as “Mimi” and attends every competition, performance and event to cheer the kids on.” Like her grandfather, Marshall places great emphasis on giving back to the community. “My competition team does a lot of fundraising and they ask the community to come support them so they can do the things they like to do,” she said. “So we try to give back as well. I think it’s important to try to teach the kids that it is good to give back to your community because you’re part of the community.” The center features three competition teams that travel to various venues across the state. The teams are coming off a solid season in 2016, having won many overall awards. The one award that Marshall is especially proud of is the one captured by her special needs team that participates in her “Soaring Stars” program, designed for school-aged girls with special needs. One of Marshall’s daughters, Mattie Burdick, leads the dance sessions. Burdick is a senior at SUNY Oswego and plans 84

to teach special needs education. The squad was the overall highest scoring team in its age range at the 2016 “Power of Dance” competition in Syracuse. “The audience was moved to tears. It was really awesome,” Marshall noted. The center has four special needs girls who have been dancing together for several years. Marshall noted it is difficult for special needs students to assimilate into regular classroom activity when they get older, hence the need for a group dedicated just for them. “It’s been a very rewarding class,” Marshall said.

Organization, flexibility key Marshall said it is key to be organized when dealing with 275 children and their parents on a weekly basis. “You have to make sure everyone knows what’s going on and where they need to be at certain times,” she said. She also places importance on being flexible, especially when working with children. “Kids get sick, kids change their minds; you need to be flexible but organized,” she said. She said one of her strengths is genuinely caring about her kids and their parents. “I think they know that,” she said. “We have some really great parents, but when you deal with that many people, there are bound to be some people you really like and some people who are a little more challenging to deal with,” she said. “You have to make everybody happy but at the same time, you have to say, ‘Somebody has to be in charge of all of this. You have to trust my judgment’,” Marshall said. “That’s hard for parents to do sometimes.” About 10 percent of her clientele are boys. The center features boys-only hip-hop and acro, which is basically gymnastics combined with dance. “The boys like to be by themselves and don’t want to be with girls,” she said. “Then I have a handful of boys that go into traditional girls’ classes and like that too. It really is what they are interested in.” Still, Marshall said boys “really still have a tough row to hoe. Dads don’t like boys dancing.” However, there are some dads “who are great with it,” she said. Marshall said the father of one of OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Ellen Marshall at her Fulton studio. her talented boy dancers is Jeff Rothrock, the football coach at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton. “He sees that his kid does better at sports because he takes dance lessons,” she said. The benefits are enhanced coordination, flexibility and core strength, she noted. She said TV shows such as “Dancing With the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” have helped to shatter stereotypes. “You see men and they are masculine and still go home with their wives afterwards,” she said. “So I think that helps.” “When we first started, I don’t think we had a boy for probably close to 10 years,” Marshall said. “Then we got one good boy dancer who wasn’t afraid to be in the room with all those girls. When his brothers and other boys saw him, then we started to get boys taking lessons.” The overall number of dancers has risen over the years, although Marshall said she gets concerned doing business in an area that does not feature high incomes. However, “people around here alDECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


ways find money to do things for their kids. I think maybe their parents go without, or they just cut their budget in other places. People always have no issue with putting their kids first,” she said.

Stick to basics “We try to diversify,” Marshall said in regards to her longevity and success. For instance, she added acro dance

three years ago and that has helped to drive her growth. The center also features hip-hop. However, “we’ve really stayed true to the basics such as ballet, tap and jazz,” she said. “We still reach out to other areas that people are interested in. Acro is a really big program. We’ve had it for three years now, but really we’ve gotten 50 to 60 kids that come to take that,” she said.

Students from Off Broadway Dance Center in Granby participate at various competitions and make several presentations during the year.

DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Marshall said she believes a lot of people watch “Dance Moms” on TV, and relate that to competition dance. “Even though it is really not a true representation of what competition dance is all about, they do a lot of acro moves and a lot of the flexibility and contortion, which is what acro is, and so people see that. Plus, I encourage my competition team to participate in acro. Probably 95 percent of them do. The strength and flexibility they get from it has really helped our performance as far as competition goes,” she said. Upon request, Marshall and her team of instructors visit schools and participate in assemblies. For example, Marshall visited Granby Elementary School recently in support of its dance program. “We dance at fairs and at retirement homes, things like that. But we really try to go where the kids are and get them interested,” she said. Marshall formerly was a cheer coach, but now strictly teaches dancers in first grade through high school and instructs two of the competition teams. The dance studio business is highly competitive in Oswego County, with three in Fulton, one in Hannibal and four in Oswego. Marshall said unless she gets a bigger building and more staff, she is content where she is. “When you get too big, sometimes you lose some of that family feel, and that’s important to us. Knowing faces and parents and knowing what students’ families are like is important to us. We want to stay small enough to do that but obviously big enough to pay our bills.” Marshall said she has students who started when they were 2 years old and are graduating from high school next year. Marshall is a member of the National Dance Teachers Association of America. Her husband Michael works at Sunoco in Volney. Besides Mattie, the couple has two other daughters — Grady and Vivienne Marshall. “A lot of my time is spent going to competitions. We compete from February until June,” she said. Marshall said she gets her gratification “just knowing that you’re making a difference in some kids’ lives,” she said. “You know that when they are older, they will be telling their kids about their youth and bring up these memories, and that I’m going to be a part of that,” she said. “That’s some heavy stuff.” 85


“While many families are discussing financial issues, they tend to shy away from diving deep into topics like inheritance and estate planning, leaving some family members with unrealistic expectations.”

Randy L. Zeigler, CFP, ChFC, CLU is a private wealth adviser with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Oswego. Zeigler offers fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 30 years. For more information, call 315342-1227 or visit www. ameripriseadvisors.com/ randy.l.zeigler 86

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Randy Zeigler

Tips to Help You Discuss Money Matters with Your Family

Dialogue about estate topics with family members could pave the way for a smooth transfer of wealth, when the day comes

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ow confident are you about your family’s finances? How often do you discuss money with your loved

conversation if needed. After your initial conversations, keep your family members up-to-date about changes that could affect ones? your estate, such as establishing a living There’s a close correlation between will or cashing in an annuity. financial confidence and communication, Share your agenda ahead of time according to the Family Wealth Checkup so that your family can prepare for study released early in 2017 by Ameriprise the conversation. Consider starting Financial. While many families are discussthe conversation by sharing your financial ing financial issues, they tend to shy away goals and values, and telling your family from diving deep into why these discussions are topics like inheritance important to you. Other Guest Columnist and estate planning, topics on the agenda may leaving some family include managing curmembers with unrealistic expectations. rent finances including any debt, healthcare Here are some seven tips to help you costs and legacy planning. discuss money matters with your family. Manage expectations. You don’t Don’t wait for tragedy to bring up have to divulge the exact value of finances. Family conversations about your estate or the amount of money finances lay the foundation for a in your accounts, but it’s important to dismore secure financial future for the people close enough details so that your family can closest to you. Nine in 10 adult children say set appropriate expectations. If part of your a life altering event triggered a financial talk legacy plan includes leaving an inheritance, with their parents. It’s a good idea to have consider letting your family know whether these conversations when all the important it’s an amount large enough to help fund players in your estate plan can participate your grandchildren’s education or maybe and communicate their wishes or questions. it’s closer to a down payment on a car. Most With time on your side, you can cover topics people plan to leave an inheritance, but thoroughly and have time to get the proper only 21 percent of parents have told their documents in place, if you haven’t already. kids how much they can expect to receive. Although estate planning can be a Create or update your estate plan. tough and emotional topic to initiate, famiPair your conversations with a comlies who have talked about it say the discusprehensive estate plan to prevent sion went much smoother than anticipated. rifts that can happen when financial wishes Families said their conversations were are not clearly documented. Your estate straightforward and relaxed as opposed to encompasses anything you own, such as awkward or difficult — even more motivareal estate, cars, life insurance, financial tion to have the talk with your loved ones. accounts, including your retirement plans, Make the conversation a priority and personal possessions. Creating a and schedule a time to chat. Rather plan for what happens to these assets and than hoping a conversation will accounts is important no matter the size of happen after dinner, let each family member your estate. know ahead of time that you want to talk. If you already have an estate plan in Complex estates may require multiple displace, revisit your will or trust, and upcussions, so schedule a date to continue the date beneficiaries to various accounts and

3. 4.

1.

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DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


assets to mirror the blueprint you’ve shared with family members. Consider also providing instructions in a healthcare directive on what you want your family to do in the event that you cannot act on your own behalf. Clearly documenting your wishes can make difficult circumstances easier for everyone involved. Tell loved ones where to find important documents. Families who are kept in the dark could face challenges if something unplanned happens and they are left to pick up the financial pieces. Prevent headaches that can slow down the settlement of your estate by providing instructions about where you’ve stored the safety deposit key, bank accounts, stock certificates and other pertinent items, including digital assets. Also, ensure that your family has the contact information for the professionals (e.g. lawyer, estate planner, tax or financial advisor) who are helping you prepare or manage your estate. Work with a financial professional. If you experience conflict in your family discussions or want some help navigating difficult topics, consider working with a neutral third party, such as a financial adviser. A financial professional can help your family understand your collective financial picture and transition wealth from one generation to the next. Ongoing dialogue about estate topics with family members could bring you closer together and pave the way for a smooth transfer of wealth, when the day comes.

6.

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Eric Pahl, New Dynegy Boss continued from p. 13

itors the reliability of the state’s power system and coordinates the daily operations to distribute electricity supply. The NYISO determines whether or not a plant such as Independence runs or not based on its bid costs, Pahl said. “Every day around 9:35 the NYISO issues the bid awards and we find out what we’re going to be doing the next day. It’s a day-to-day operation,” he said. The current lower cost of natural gas has resulted in the plant remaining competitive. “Natural gas costs have definitely been low. We’re in an area just north of the Marcellus Shale gas fields that were developed roughly 10 years ago and we have easy access to it. Because of this, there’s a lot of natural gas in our area and I believe it’s going to remain relatively cheap, at least for the near term,” Pahl said. The amount of gas it takes to create a kilowatt of electricity is regarded as the heat rate. As the cost of natural gas fluctuates, it drives generation costs accordingly. “Right now, the cheaper natural gas helps Independence remain a lowcost power generator. But again, power pricing in the evening hours is most of the time still below what we consider profitable,” he said.

County Humane Society. “In my present position, I would like to get more involved in the community,” he said. Pahl was formerly a long-time resident of Minetto. Although Dynegy has a limited budget for charitable causes, Pahl said the staff looks for different ways to help support the community. In the summertime, Pahl enjoys golfing and his passion of boating on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He keeps his boat at Sackets Harbor. He attributes his love of boating to his background as a U.S. Merchant Marine. Pahl’s ideal retirement scenario consists of most likely staying in the area, particularly to savor the summers in Oswego County. He will defer to the Southland, however, in the winter. “I really like summers up here. You can’t beat the summer. I grew up with earthquakes and wildfires being from California. You deal with a little bit of snow here in the winter, but the rest is pretty good,” he said.

Community minded approach

“I work with a great group of people here at Independence. Together we have made Independence the success it is today.”

Pahl, who resides in Brewerton, is seeking affiliation with the Oswego

Eric Pahl , managing director at Dynegy’s Independence Energy Facility.

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s Small Busines y to Eas Owners: Not s Find Employee

2017 October/November

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Best Business Directory AUCTION & REAL ESTATE

GLASS

Dean Cummins – Over 35 Years Experience. All Types of Auctions & Real Estate. Route 370 in Cato – 315246-5407

Fulton Glass — Oswego County’s only full service glass shop. Residential. Commercial. Shower enclosures. Auto glass. Window and picture glass. Screen Repair. Window Repair. Beveled Mirrors and Glass. Hrs: M-Th 8-4, Fri 8-noon. FultonGlass.net, 840 Hannibal Street, Fulton, NY 13069, 593-7913.

AUTO COLLISION Northside Collision, Baldwinsville. Upstate’s largest collision/repair center. Lifetime warranty, loaners or rentals. We assist with the insurance claims. 75 E. Genesee St., Baldwinsville. More information, call 638-4444.

HOME IMPROVEMENT Wet Paint Company. Paint, flooring, blinds & drapes. Free estimates. Call 343-1924, www.wetpaintcompany.com.

AUTO SALES & SERVICE

INSURANCE & ACCOUNTING

Bellinger Auto Sales & Service — Third generation business. Used Cars, Towing, auto repair & accessories, Truck repair. Oil, lube & filter service. 2746 County Route 57 Fulton, NY 13069. Call 593-1332 or fax 598-5286.

Canale Insurance & Accounting Service for all your insurance, Accounting, Payroll and Tax needs. Locally owned and operated. Call 315-343-4456.

AUTO SERVICE & TIRES

JP Jewelers is your hometown jeweler offering supreme design at wholesale prices. Whether you’re buying or selling, JP Jewelers is here to be your local jeweler. 136 W. Bridge St. Oswego. (315) 342-GOLD. Find us on Facebook.

Northstar Tire & Auto Service. Major/minor repairs. Foreign & domestic. Alignments. Tire sales. Call Jim at 598-8200. 1860 State Route 3 W. in Fulton.

BUILDING SUPPLIES Burke’s Home Center. The complete building and supply center. Two locations for your convenience: 38 E. Second St. in Oswego (343-6147); and 65 N. Second St. in Fulton (592-2244). Free deliveries.

EXCAVATING

JEWELERS

KILN-DRIED HARDWOODS Lakeshore Hardwoods. We stock kiln-dried cherry, walnut, maple, butternut, ash, oak, basswood, mahogany, cedar figured woods, and exotics. Also, hardwood flooring, moldings, stair parts & woodworking supplies. 266 Manwaring Rd. Pulaski. 298-6407 or visit www.lakeshorehardwoods.com.

LAND SURVEYOR

Gilbert Excavating. Septic systems. Gravel & top soil. Septic and tank pumping. 691 county Route 3, Fulton, 13069. Call 593-2472.

FIREWOOD

Robert M. Burleigh, licensed land surveyor. Quality land surveying. Residential, subdivision, commercial, boundary surveying. 593-2231.

LANDSCAPING

Northern Firewood & Earth Products – www. northernfirewood.net 315-668-9663 – Seasoned and Unseasoned split hardwoods. Block or Log Length. FREE DELIVERY! We Accept all major credit cards and HEAP. Call today to place your order.

D & S Landscaping office. Servicing Oswego & surrounding areas. Quality work, prompt & dependable service. Free estimates. Fully Insured. Backhoe services, Lawn mowing, Snow plowing, Top soil, Tree work. Hydro-seeding & asphalt seal coating. 315-598-6025 (cell 315-591-4303).

LUMBER \White’s Lumber. Four locations to serve you. Pulaski: state Route 13, 298-6575; Watertown: N. Rutland Street, 788-6200; Clayton: James Street, 686-1892; Gouverneur: Depot Street, 287-1892.

LUMBER D & D Logging and Lumber. Hardwood lumber sales. Buyer of logs and standing timber. Very competitive pricing. Call 315-593-2474. Located at 1409 county Route 4, Central Square, NY 13036.

OUTBOARD MOTORS Arney’s Marina. Route 14 Sodus Point, NY. Honda four-stroke motors, 2 hp to 250 hp. Repower your boat with the best! Call 483-9111 for more information.

PAWN BROKER Pawn Boss. We buy everything from game systems to gold & silver. Coin collections, guitars and flat screen TVs too! Check us out on www. newyorkpawnboss.com or call 415-9127.

ROOFING/GUTTERS Over The Top Roofing. Mike Majeski. Commercial & residential roofing. Quality craftsmanship. 50-year manufacturer’s warranty for residential roofs. Best price on seamless gutters. Call 8825255. 400 Co. Rt. 7 Hannibal, NY 13074.

TRACTOR/LAWN EQUIPMENT RanMar Tractor Supply, Sales and Service of New and Used Tractors and Farm Equipment – 5219 US Rte 11 Pulaski, New York

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Oswego County Business • P.O. Box 276 • Oswego, NY 13126

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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

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Last Page

By Lou Sorendo

Austin Wheelock Deputy director at Operation Oswego County spearheads ‘Next Great Idea’ business plan competition, which will award $50,000 to best business concept Q: This is the 10th year of Next Great Idea business plan competition in Oswego County. What do you attribute its success and longevity to? A.: I would say the success and sustainability of the program are tied back to several factors. These include the quality of the submissions that we receive each competition, the work of the steering committee to guide the program, and the support of our sponsors that have allowed us to grow the program from $25,000 to $50,000 for this next competition. I would also attribute some success and longevity to the fact we made the deliberate decision to hold the competition on a biennial basis (every other year) so we can focus time on assisting the winning business to be successful.

of Oswego County as a good place to do business with fresh ideas. Q: What are some of the greater challenges involved in running the competition? A.: Fundraising always provides some challenges no matter how successful the past rounds of the competition have been, but our sponsors have always been very good to us and believe in the program. Going from $25,000 to $50,000 was a challenge but we felt it was in the best interest of the program long-term to make that leap.

Q: What are some of the more gratifying or “feel-good” aspects of the competition from an organizer’s point of view? A: From an organizer’s point of view, it’s always great to see someone win the prize and then implement his or her business. But it can be just as gratifying to see those who didn’t win decide to start their business anyways because of the motivation that the program gave them to develop their business idea and confidence they gained going through this process. Editor’s note: The competition website — www.oswegocounty.org/NGI/index. htm — includes an overview of the event, a competition timeline, application guidelines and more. Also see story on p. 20.

Q: What are the keys to running the competition on a successful basis? A.: That’s a good question and it’s something we continue to refine each competition. It starts with cultivating good ideas from the business community, because without fresh and exciting business ideas that can be developed into feasible businesses, Next Great Idea would be out of business. Also, the support of our many private sector and charitable foundation sponsors is critical to raising prize money. Q: What benefits does the competition provide the business community? A.: It represents a pathway for funding business startups and new products or services at existing businesses; it creates new businesses for existing businesses to market their goods and services to; Next Great Idea increases the tax base to share the load; and creates an improved entrepreneurial and business climate as well as a network of entrepreneurship advocates. The competition also creates a better perception 90

OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

DECEMBER 2017/ JANUARY 2018


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At Oswego County Opportunities, we know that "poverty" isn't just a financial status. That's why we've been breaking down barriers to self-sufficiency for more than 50 years by providing: educational services to all ages, support for youth, assistance and housing for the homeless and disabled, meals for the elderly, youth and homebound, addiction recovery services, reproductive health services, job readiness development, literacy services, independence for the disabled, safety for the abused, and transportation for all.

www.oco.org Facebook: @didyouknowitsoco  315.598.4717

OCBM Issue 153 Dec-Jan 18  
OCBM Issue 153 Dec-Jan 18  
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