Page 71

been tried before,” he said. “The city needs to be aggressive and implement a plan that will lead to long-term economic stability.” As far as Farfaglia’s vision in regards to development at the former Nestle Co. site, he said it would be ideal for multiple small companies in a variety of fields to locate at the 24-acre site. “There is enough resources locally that can help them thrive and become permanent parts of this city,” he added.

Deana Michaels

Longtime Fulton resident Deana Michaels is the endorsed Republican Party candidate in the upcoming city of Fulton mayoral contest. “One of the first things a business looks for when they are deciding to locate is the state of the workforce,” she said. “I think we need to make Fulton a place where people want to live and raise their families. We also want to make sure that the workforce is trained and ready to work.” If elected mayor, she intends on partnering with Cayuga Community College, the city, and the Fulton City School District and their respective workforce training programs to make sure Fulton has the best workforce in Oswego County. Michaels is a graduate of Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania, and Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. She also earned a certificate in leadership at the Wharton Business School. Michaels said she has engaged with various businesses throughout the city of Fulton, including Huhtamaki, Oswego Health, Sunoco as well as small


businesses. “The message is the same: There is a gap when looking at workforce skill levels, and difficulties in being able to recruit and hire,” she said. She said the city must capitalize on the programs that are already available. “CCC, the city and our school district are all engaged right now on a workforce development training program that is going to help develop skill sets and allow those graduates of the programs to be hire ready,” she said. “We need to be partners within the community, and with the strength of those partnerships, I think we will develop that workforce.” “We have a lot to offer in Fulton, and I want to make sure the outside world knows that,” she said. “I want to make sure our infrastructure is sound, especially our roads. I want to ensure safer neighborhoods, and partner with Oswego County tourism to develop opportunities within the city. “We will put Fulton first in all we do.” Michaels, who has worked for Pathfinder Bank for the past 23 years, said she also intends on working with “our talented team of employees and further develop our parks and various natural resources throughout the city.” Also, the city needs to continue to build relationships with key organizations that have developed, such as Friends of Fulton Parks and Fulton Block Builders, and work with them to continue to improve neighborhoods. “When I was starting my door-todoor campaign, there were so many signs up for Fulton Block Builders. I was able to engage in conversations and get feedback from the residents, and they are overwhelmingly on board and supportive of its work,” she said. Michaels has raised her family in Fulton, and sees the city as packed with potential. “We need to bring some new ideas and approaches to the table and really bring that potential to the forefront,” she said. “We have an amazing city. A lot of people pass through here, and we need to give them a reason to stop,” Michaels said. Michaels said it is imperative to


focus on existing businesses in the city. “We need to engage with them and make them part of the conversation about the city’s future,” she said. In terms of the larger employers, Michaels wants to know what their thoughts are on growth and retention and what’s going to help them achieve that. After first focusing on existing businesses, Michaels intends to then move forward with creating an atmosphere for businesses to feel welcomed in the city. “We have to really focus on that customer experience and ensure that each level of engagement with the city — be it zoning, planning or codes — is an experience that is second to none,” she said. “We need clear, concise communication and really easy-to-follow processes so that when a business comes forward — be it an existing business or new business — that experience makes them want to come back and continue to do business with us,” she added. Michaels said she strives to be proactive when it comes to attracting new businesses to Fulton. “I think I can build on my experiences and my established relationships to make sure Fulton is part of the conversation and that we are part of the consideration for those businesses that are looking to develop or relocate,” she said. Michaels said she is proud of her banking experience and that she has engaged extensively with customers and the community. “I am able to understand businesses from the start-up to the maturity phase, and really understand what that looks like for them along those phases. For me, it’s an exciting process to help businesses reach their dreams,” she said. “I can take that banking experience, along with all the volunteer opportunities I do in the community and the relationships I’ve built — be it with the various economic development resources such as the Small Business Development Center, the chamber of commerce, Operation Oswego County and CenterState CEO — and bring that to the table,” she said. Michaels noted if the city’s recently -application for $10 million in Down-


Profile for Wagner Dotto

OCBM 163 Aug - Sept 19  

OCBM 163 Aug - Sept 19  

Profile for ocbm