OCBM 165 Dec 19- Jan 20

Page 1


BUSINESS December 2019 / January 2020



Women Who Make a Difference Sixty-two Central New York leaders share their achievements, career paths and offer a glimpse into their personal lives. P. 61

Deana Michaels is set to become the second woman in history to serve as mayor of Fulton. P. 54 Covering Oswego, Onondaga counties

CNY’s Business Magazine


We are growing and have exciting career opportunities in the health care industry. To join our talented, professional team, please visit one of our care facilities career pages for available positions.

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Our Mission.

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Our Vision.


To redefine skilled nursing care through successful team development, use of technology, progressive service and being a strong community partner.

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Assisted Living Community

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Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

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DEC 2019/JAN 2020 • Issue 165

PROFILE TANIA ANDERSON She is a journalist and a lawyer by training. Her passion: long distance running and leading Syracuse-based ARISE, a human services agency that provides services to people with developmental disabilities. Page 16


Fulton’s New Mayor. Deana Michaels, the Fulton branch manager at Pathfinder Bank — who has taken courses at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Yale University — beat three opponents to become only the second woman in history to serve as a mayor in Fulton. She discusses her career and plans for the city. Page 55 Women Who Make a Difference. Feature package takes a look at many of the female movers and shakers in the community who are making a difference by increasing our quality of life. They not only share where they are at professionally and some of their outstanding accomplishments, but also offer a glimpse into their personal lives. Page 61

SPECIAL FEATURES Low-Income Housing A $13.7 million housing project provides 56 apartments for low-income families in Oswego County............... 28 Burgeoning Drone Industry We talk to the new president of NUAIR who discusses the UAS industry.............................................. 34 MacKenzie-Childs Expanding Handcrafted home décor giant finds new home in Volney — plans to open facility in May............... 38 Fast Food Frenzy Three fast food titans expanded or started operations in Port City in the last few months................................ .....48 Feeding the Needy More CNY residents relying on food distributed by the Food Bank of Central New York............................ 51 Healing Minds Equanimity Counseling, a new business in Oswego, seeks to help fill void in county’s mental health scene....... 96

SUCCESS STORY Marie Schadt started grooming pets in 1977 when grooming pets was not a thing. Her K-9 Grooming & Pet Motel is one of the busiest in the business; some of her employees have been there for over 40 years........................ 102


On the Job How do the holidays affect your organization?................. 11

How I Got Started: Megan Pecora, Port City Copy Center...................... 14 Where is Sandra Scott Croatia on the Dalmatian Coast..........................20


Tim's Notes Fair Haven means business, even in the winter ..............36 Business Updates........................................................................................... 38

The breakfast burrito is one of the great options available at Nora’s, a 30 new eatery in Oswego. 4

My Turn Dawn of new decade to bring same old problems...............46 Economic Trends IDA report shows ‘productive period’ ....................60 Last Page

David Turner on the tourism industry during winter..... 106



Nationally Recognized Stroke Care. Say “Take Me to Crouse.” As one of just 10 hospitals in New York State to have earned Comprehensive Stroke Center certification, Crouse Health is proud to provide the full range of stroke care services.

Minutes Matter Comprehensive stroke centers are the best-equipped medical centers in a geographical area that can treat any kind of stroke or stroke complication. At Crouse, receiving fast stroke diagnosis and treatment starts even before patients arrive at the Emergency Room. Once on the scene, our Emergency Medical Services partners start communicating with our ER and stroke teams, providing information vital for immediate treatment. Working together, we’re consistently meeting — and exceeding — aggressive door-totreatment times that surpass the U.S. average. Crouse provides options for post-stroke rehabilitation, as well as continuing education to patients, our EMS partners and the community about the risks factors and signs of stroke.

Advanced Stroke Rescue Crouse is the only hospital in the region equipped with two hybrid operating room suites, allowing our multidisciplinary stroke team to provide the most advanced endovascular stroke rescue capabilities 24/7.

Exceeding Stroke Treatment Standards Median Time (minutes)




2017 2018



Source: AHA/ASA Get With the Guidelines

If tPA is given within three hours of symptoms, the effects of stroke decrease significantly. Crouse has earned the American Heart/Stroke Association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus recognition for meeting — and exceeding — AHA guidelines for giving tPA within 45 minutes.


F. A. S. T.





As a New York State-designated Primary Stroke Center since 2007, we’ve worked to raise awareness in our community about the warning signs of stroke. With our designation as a DNV Comprehensive Stroke Center and home to the region’s newest ER, Crouse Health continues to deliver superior stroke care to Central New York patients.

S T R O K E ? C A L L 911. crouse.org/stroke DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020



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481 Liquor & Wines..............12 Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home....................15 ALPS Professional Services.15 ARISE......................................95 Arts Parts ‘N More................23 Bond, Schoeneck & King, Attorneys at Law..............19 Buckingham Brothers...........49 Builder’s FirstSource............25 Burke’s Home Center...........23 C & S Companies................107 Canale’s Italian Cuisine........33 Canale’s Insurance & Accounting ..................24 25 Canalview Travel..................12 Case Supply Inc.......................7 Century 21 Galloway Realty...............23 Century 21 Leah Signature..10 Chase Enterprises....................6 CNY Community Foundation........................95 ConnextCare..........................13 Crouse Hospital.......................5 Davis-Standard LLC.............52 Dental Health Associates.....99 Eis House................................33 6

IBEW THE IBEW LOCAL LOCAL 43 43 THE OFFICERS OFFICERS OF OF IBEW IBEW LOCAL LOCAL 43 43 4568 Pat –– President 4568 Waterhouse Waterhouse Road Road Pat Costello President Alan Marzullo -Costello Bus. Mgr. / Fin. Secretary Clay, Don Morgan –– Bus. Fin. Clay, NY NY 13041-9613 13041-9613 (315)422-0435 (315)422-0435 Don Morgan Bus. Mgr. Mgr. Fin. Secretary Secretary Kevin Crawford - President


Eye Consultants of SU..........99 Financial Partners of Upstate...............................10 Fitzgibbons Agency..............27 Float Center & Wellness Boutique Aqua Spa..........29 Foster Funeral Home............52 Fulton Auto Salvage.............23 Fulton Community Development Agency......15 Fulton Savings Bank.............10 Fulton Taxi..............................27 Fulton Tool Co.......................41 Gartner Equipment...............19 Great Lakes Oral Surgery.....97 Greater Oswego Fulton Chamber of Commerce...32 Harbor Eye Associates..........95 Hematology-Oncology Associates of CNY............95 Howard Hanna Real Estate........................35 Johnston Gas..........................25 Laser Transit...........................49

Local 43 (NECA EBEW).........6 Longley Brothers...................41 LW Emporium Co-Op..........41 Menter Ambulance...............99 Mimi’s Drive Inn...................33 Mitchell Speedway Printing............................29 Mr. Sub ...................................33 Northern Ace.........................24 Novelis..................................108 Operation Oswego Co........107 Oswego Community Development Office...........8 Oswego County Federal Credit Union.....................32 Oswego County Mutual Insurance...........................17 Oswego County Opportunities OCO.........98 Oswego Health .......................7 Oswego YMCA......................17 Pathfinder Bank.......................7 Prevention Network.............99 RiverHouse Restaurant........33


Riverside Artisans.................33 Salvatore Lanza Law Office.12 SBDC – Small Business Development Center........49 Scriba Electric.........................24 SUNY Oswego, Office of Business and Community Development....................18 SUNY Upstate..........................9 Sweet Woods..........................27 Technology Development Organization (TDO).........41 The Gardens at Morningstar .......................2 The Medicine Place...............95 Tully Hill Chemical Dependency Treatment Ctr.......................................97 Valley Locksmith...................25 Vashaw’s Collision................49 Volney Multiplex...................27 Watertown Industrial Center of Local Development.....18 WD Malone............................24 White’s Lumber & Building Supply..............................23 WRVO.....................................53


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M Welcome to Oswego, New York

CNY’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE OswegoCountyBusiness.com

Where Family Meets Community.

Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo


L. Michael Treadwell Bruce Frassinelli, Sandra Scott Tim Nekritz


Deborah Jeanne Sergeant Christopher Malone Payne Horning, Alex Plate Mary Beth Roach


Peggy Kain Roxanne Seeber, Jamie Towle

Office Manager Nancy Niet


Downtown Living


Be in the heart of it all with views of the water — Oswego River and Lake Ontario — shopping, dining, outdoor recreation including riverwalk trails at your front door. Young professionals, empty nesters, families — hundreds make their home right in Downtown Oswego. The downtown living offers a variety of options to suit everyone's specific needs. And the living spaces themselves, from modern apartments and condos to spacious lofts in historic buildings, are beautifully distinctive.


The Oswego area Bolsters a wide vareity of events yearround from: Festivals, World-Class Fishing, Movie Theater & A Drive in Theater, Several Music & Performing Arts Groups, Races & Derbies, Museums & Historical Sites, Bustling night life and Accommodations available in walking distance to attractions. There is something for every individual and family to choose from.

Layout and Design Dylon Clew-Thomas

Cover Photo

Chuck Wainwright 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)


Expanding Community

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

Our community here in Oswego is always expanding. Creating new activities for you and your family. Places for business to grow and thrive. Elected officals that push for clean streets, and better quality of life for its citizens and visitors.

© 2019 by Oswego County Business. All rights reserved. PRSRT STD US Postage PAID

A Year-Round Destination of Fun!

Buffalo, NY Permit No. 4725


How to Reach Us


Oswego, New York is a waterfront community located on the Southeastern shore of Lake Ontario and along the Oswego River. The city is embarking on a transformation to build upon its strengths to embrace our rich history, natural assets, and promotes the development and restoration of healthy, vibrant neighborhoods surrounding Oswego’s downtown.


P.O. Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126 Phone: 315-342-8020 Fax: 315-342-7776 Email: Editor@OswegoCountyBusiness.com DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

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ON THE JOB How Do the Holidays Affect Your Organization? Interviews by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant “The holidays impact my coaching and consulting business because after mid-November, people want to ‘wait ‘till after the holidays’ to schedule our work. This means a slower final six weeks in my year and a predictably busy first quarter to follow.” Leslie Rose McDonald, president Pathfinders CTS, Inc., Liverpool

For 40 years I have not found a way to get people to put printing on their Santa list, but they should! The bright side is, after a very busy rest of the year, we are able to let our overworked staff enjoy some less hectic time to refresh and re-energize for the coming year.” John Henry, CEO, Speedway Press, Oswego

“It’s not one of our busiest times of the year. We do get quite a few personalized Christmas card orders, but other than that, most of our business customers have used up their budgets, and the last thing they are thinking of is ordering printing.

“We see increased store traffic with the addition of Christmas trees and wreaths. We also sell a lot more fruit baskets since they are a great gift for someone who is hard to buy for and make a great last-minute gift. Beverage sales also increase a gread



deal with holiday cheer.” Maria Johnson, owner C’s Farm Market, Oswego “As our business picks up due to the colder weather and snow, people are wanting to get away on vacation. We found that many specials and offers come out this time of the year for different vacation hotspots. We can pass this savings on to our clients. And another big seller is our gift cards, the perfect gift for any person. We love the holiday season.” Sandra Shue, manager Canalview Travel Service, Inc., Fulton. “Holidays can be a challenging time for those we serve, particularly those who have experienced a great deal of trauma in their life. They may be disenfranchised from family or other support system, challenged with depression or other serious mental health disorder or don’t have the resources to provide the type of celebration that floods advertising and media outlets during this time of the year. OCO employees work hard at helping our clients celebrate,


Salvatore F. Lanza, ESQ. Attorney of Law

Real Estate • Traffic Wills & Estates • Divorce/Family

(315) 598-1928

154 South 2nd St., Fulton, NY 13069


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create plans for being connected to a support system during the holidays and often host special holiday celebrations for clients with the assistance of many generous businesses, churches and civic groups that make this possible. We cannot do it alone and are grateful to those who help us serve a special meal, shower families with special gifts or just spend time with someone who is alone. Diane Cooper-Currier, executive director Oswego County Opportunities, Fulton.

branches. The holidays are a busy time at the bank that we look forward to each and every year.” Deana M. Michaels, Fulton market manager, Pathfinder Bank, Fulton

“CiTi BOCES is a family and the holiday season is a time to come together. We have students and families who may not have enough to eat or gifts for the holidays, and we do our best to fill in those gaps. We have a breakfast for lunch and weekends program that staff contribute to throughout the year to purchase food items to send home with students in need on the weekends. Staff ‘adopt’ families in our migrant education program to purchase gifts for the holidays anonymously. These are just some of the things that spread good cheer throughout CiTi during the holidays.” Naomi Himes, public relations coordinator CiTi BOCES, Mexico

“The holiday season does not slow us down in real estate because there are many buyers trying to close on their new properties for the end of the year for tax purposes. The new year finds buyers starting to look in the market when they know what kind of a refund they will be having for a down payment. It remains a stable market all through the holidays.” Bill Galloway, owner and real estate agent Century 21 Galloway Realty, Oswego

“Our business is very seasonal in design. It picks up in April and runs through October. There’s not a lot of demand for bus tours in the winter months. Most of our business has already gone to Florida by autumn.” Richard Oneil, owner and travel agent Travel Choice International, Syracuse “The holidays are a busy time for boarding and grooming.” Marie Schadt, owner K-9 Grooming and Pet Motel, Oswego “Any time of the year is rewarding to be a banker. The holidays are no exception. During the hustle and bustle of the season, the bank is usually one of the first stops before our customers head out to do some shopping or spend time with family and friends. We enjoy hearing all the wonderful stories, sharing in the memories, offering our support and providing festive events at our OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

“The only impact of the holiday season is for year-end income tax planning for my clients. That keeps my staff and I quite busy at the end of each year.” Randy L. Zeigler, certified financial planner, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Oswego

“During the holidays the Oswego County Prevention Coalition works hard to address underage drinking that has a tendency to rise with school breaks and an increase in social gatherings.” Tyler Ahart, project coordinator at Oswego County Prevention Coalition. “The holiday season is an opportunity for us to work with our clients to improve their financial wellness by helping them budget for expenses many incur this time of year. We also assist clients in developing plans to pay down their holiday debt. Some examples include using a credit card that offers valuable rewards, such as cash back or miles or using a debit card that automatically transfers money into a savings account. The holidays are a great time of year to review all of your financial accounts and develop a plan for year-round financial wellness.” Stephen Fournier, Central New York market president, regional retail leader KeyBank, Syracuse


Say hello to healthy.

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Learn more at connextcare.org — or better yet, stop in to one of our six sites Located in Fulton, Mexico, Oswego, Parish, Phoenix, Pulaski and say hello.



Started How I Got By Lou Sorendo

Megan Pecora Owner of Port City Copy Center in Oswego endures hardship to achieve success

Q.: At what point in your life did you decide you wanted to run your own business? A.: I think it all stemmed from a career day in elementary school. All the parents were talking about what they do, and I was like, “Man, I don’t want to work for anyone else. That sounds awful.” One of the parents stood up and said, “I own my own business.” And I was like, “Bingo!” I worked full time throughout college, and I saved about $10,000 with the intention of starting my own business. I lived at home, so didn’t have many expenses. A couple of years after that, I got a loan through the city of Oswego for $20,000 to expand a little bit more. Q.: You are a graduate of the Oswego County MicroEnterprise Business Training Program. How did the experience help? A.: It was huge. I earned my bachelor’s degree in business administration at SUNY Oswego, but that didn’t prepare me in the least bit like the small business program did. It taught me how to do everyday things while owning a business, such as actually meeting with bookkeepers and insurance companies. The business administration degree helped me on a theoretical basis in terms of critical thinking, but the Micro-Enterprise Business Training Program classes taught me the nitty-gritty of running a business. It’s such a great program. I wish more people knew about it. It definitely gave me a degree of comfort that I didn’t have before. Q.: You worked at Staples prior to establishing your own business. How did that experience help you from a professional standpoint? A.: That definitely opened up the opportunity, because I didn’t even know what a copy center was until I started working there. I enjoyed working with customers in more of a corporate setting, and was able to figure out what our city would need in a print shop versus what wouldn’t really work. Having experience from there definitely gave me the tools I needed. Q.: How difficult was it to absorb the 2017 Memorial Day weekend fire that destroyed that block of West Bridge Street where you were located?




A.: It was very traumatizing. I am still mending emotionally from all of that. It was Memorial Day weekend and I was camping with my now-fiance. We had just started dating, love was in the air and we were having such a great time. Then I got word that a massive fire had broken out and my business was involved. I went from such a high to such a low so quickly. We were driving from Fair Haven, and we could see the smoke just barreling out from there. I was just hysterical. I tend to avoid driving down Bridge Street because my palms still get a little sweaty. Q.: Did you consider giving up the business? A.: There were times when I was asking myself, “Do I want to try to do something else?’ People were offering me job opportunities, and I was in position to potentially make more money. But that thought lasted a split second. I said, “I’m still invested in this and it just doesn’t feel right.” I was not ready to walk away and give it all up yet. Thankfully, I had some cash on hand, so the interim period was hard but not devastating. I was able to regroup and get my equipment going in my new location pretty quickly. Q.: How did you end up at the Old Freight House on East First Street, between The Press Box and Port City Day Spa? A.: We were located on the lower level of Midtown Plaza for a couple of months after the fire, but we expected that the plaza was coming down for the East Lake Commons project. This space was already open, and to move right around the corner was much easier. I myself had not come down here too often, but I am so surprised by the foot traffic there is here already. I don’t think many people know there’s a little section of downtown here that doesn’t necessarily correspond with the section of downtown on the west side. I am already impressed with how much foot traffic there is. Q.: What do you consider to be the most difficult challenges you face today? A.: The biggest challenge lately is a paper shortage. A lot of people don’t realize that because newspapers are not being printed like they used to, that’s caused a lot of mills to shut DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

down. Also, there are extra tariffs at our borders. Now our prices for raw material have actually doubled. Trying to keep a margin and customers happy at the same time has been a little tricky. Printers like us have had to readjust to smaller volumes. The mills as well have to adjust to producing smaller amounts. Once they figure out how to still make money and keep their product coming out, I think we’ll see the market stabilize a little bit. When that will happen I am not sure, but hopefully soon. Q.: How has the print industry changed during your tenure as a business owner? A.: At Staples, we were just using standard copiers to print off flyers and things like that. That worked then, but now people are after quality. Now we are close to the quality that offset printing offers. [Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface]. Offset printing is some of the best printing quality you can get. Before, copiers — or additional printers that were essentially copiers — didn’t come close, but now they are side by side and it’s very hard to differentiate. However, that comes with a price. Q.: What have been the keys to sustaining the business since you first opened as Port City Blueprint? A.: I think it is a blend of service, quality and price. We have such a broad customer base. We cater to architects, contractors who are looking for blueprints, and also different type of customers such as those looking for photo prints. I think offering a variety of products has helped us a lot. We’ve been gaining customers every year and increasing sales, and just being able to maintain a budget I think is the biggest thing. I see far too often when people expand way too quickly, and they can’t keep up with it. Even though they have the customers, they just don’t know how to run the business or can’t yet because things happen too quickly. I have definitely taken my time. I have been directing money back into the business to grow by adding more equipment and services. Now, I just want to focus on promoting the business that I’ve built. Every day, we still have customers come in and say, “I didn’t know you were here.” I want to change that. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

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PROFILE By Lou Sorendo

Tania Anderson CEO of ARISE, motivated by her own child’s disability, leads nonprofit with passion and persistence


here’s nothing greater than a mother’s love for her child, particularly when it also leads to a fulfilling and challenging career. That is particularly true for Tania Anderson, who has served as CEO of ARISE since 2016. ARISE is a human services agency that primarily provides independent living services, mental health services and support for people with developmental disabilities. The organization has been providing advocacy and services since 1979. Anderson was on the board of ARISE for 17 years and served as its president for the last eight years of her tenure. Her daughter Eliza was born in 2005 and diagnosed in 2006 at 13 months old with a rare developmental disability. “The work I had been doing at ARISE as part of the board really became much more personal to me, because now I had a daughter with a disability,” Anderson said. “My previous advocacy work as a lawyer also became more personal to me. I was now advocating for my daughter to have needed services.” “I have a personal stake in the success of this organization,” Anderson said. “My interest in the disability rights community obviously became more personal, and I was very much engaged in that.” It was then that Anderson’s predecessor, Thomas McKeown, decided to retire as CEO of ARISE in 2016. While Anderson was preparing to conduct a search for a successor, she thought, “I think I’ll try for this job.” “The board hired me as CEO, and we’ve been going ever since.” ARISE’s largest office is in Syracuse, and besides Oswego, the agency also has locations in Oneida, Fulton and Auburn, along with ARISE at the Farm, a 77-acre inclusive recreational facility in Chittenango. 16

Also featured is ARISE & Ski held at Toggenburg Mountain Winter Sports Center in Fabius. “We are actively recruiting volunteers who are essential to the success of the adaptive program founded in 1996. Last season, we had about 80 skiers of all abilities,” Anderson said. ARISE serves more than 7,000 people in its five-county service area and employs 850 people, with nearly 190 of those working in Oswego County. Besides Oswego, other counties served include Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison and Seneca counties. Meanwhile, ARISE in the Port City is in the process of establishing a new home at the Creekside Plaza, state Route 104 East, Oswego. “It’s the same amount of space but it’s a different configuration,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be more flexible and efficient for us.” She will be able to run the new location at a lower cost while taking advantage of the higher-profile location. ARISE’s prior location was at Hillside Commons facing Fourth Avenue on the west side. Plans OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

also call for expanding mental health services provided by ARISE at the new location.

Heart of matter Eliza has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, an extremely rare genetic disorder that affects one in every 50,000



Age: 53 Birthplace: West Virginia Current residence: Syracuse Education: Bachelor’s degree in English and magazine journalism; law degree; and master’s degree (combination of a Master of Business Administration and media studies), all at Syracuse University Current affiliations: New York Association for Independent Living; Central New York Care Collaborative; Community Services Board; Central New York Behavioral Health Care Collaborative; Inclusive Alliance Independent Practice Association; LIFEPlan Care Coordination Organization, LLC; Oswego County Workforce Development Board Personal: Daughter, Eliza Hobbies: “I enjoy any time spent with my daughter; gardening, and running.” births. “She’s actually very wonderful, happy, engaged and thriving. It’s characterized mostly by delays. It’s harder for her to learn and processing is more difficult for her. She is the highlight of my life,” Anderson said. Eliza, 14, is a middle school student. “She’s had a great experience in school. She’s got friends, and she’s made the honor roll,” her mom said proudly. What makes her job personal is that her daughter receives services at ARISE in the form of community habilitation services and ARISE at the Farm. ARISE at the Farm is a separate corporation that is devoted to inclusive recreation. The property has a fully inclusive playground, an arena where adaptive horseback riding is taught, an accessible fishing pond, a ropes course and a sensory trail. When Eliza gets older, she will have access to employment services from ARISE. “I see the success and impact of the organization every day when I get Eliza out of bed,” she said. As an advocate, Anderson not only sees the impact ARISE has in the community, but is helping to ensure people with disabilities have the power and voice to shape their lives DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

the way they want them to be. “That’s a really important distinction that ARISE has in terms of being a person-centered, independent living center from other organizations that also do fantastic work,” she said.

Finding her niche Anderson had always enjoyed writing and being involved in the community. She earned a joint degree in English and magazine journalism at Syracuse University with her aim being to become a writer. Anderson got a job during and after college reporting for The Syracuse Newspapers in Syracuse, moving from different desks while covering local news and weekend events. She did a stint at the Oneida bureau, and then ended up on the business desk. “I really enjoyed it, but I found I wanted to have more of an impact in terms of making the news that I was reporting on. Law seemed like an attractive way to do that and I could use my skills such as critical thinking and writing,” she said. She at first focused on media law having had some exposure to it during grad school, and practiced communications law for a large firm in Washington, D.C. for a year. “It was fun, but law is such a vast field that you can do so much with. I really wanted to explore everything,” she said. Other than her experience in Washington, Anderson devoted her entire legal career working in the court systems as a law clerk for the New York State Supreme Court and for the federal trial and appellate courts. “My role was really as the lawyer for the judge. My job would be to research cases that came before the court, and give recommendations in terms of analysis and outcomes,” she said. The types of cases would range from divorces to slip and falls, insurance cases, commercial and civil rights litigation, and criminal cases. “It was really interesting to me as a lawyer and just as a person,” she said. “It allowed me to hone my skills in critical thinking and just learn a lot of nuts and bolts, which is important

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’m so excited with this issue of Oswego County Business. It’s the first time in years we are publishing a special on women who make a difference. The last time we did something similar was in the 1990s. Katie Toomey, the executive director of the Greater Fulton-Oswego Chamber of Commerce, suggested the idea. She said that there were many new faces, many new women in leadership positions in the region and that we should do a special issue focusing on them. We took that idea and expanded it to feature not only the new faces but also women who have contributed a great deal to make this area a better community. We compiled a list with about 80 names, based on a variety of sources we checked with— including Toomey. Some of the women we chose decided not to participate or were not available. Among 62 women we interviewed for this issue are Sara Errington, the first female chief in the history of the Syracuse Fire Department; Kayla McKeon, the first regis-

Publisher’s note

tered lobbyist with Down syndrome, who works as manager of grassroots advocacy for the National Down Syndrome Society; and NewsChannel 9, WSYR-TV anchor Jennifer Sanders, who beat the odds to become a respected journalist known to many in Central New York. It’s a humbling experience to see the level of achievement attained by all the women listed in this issue — and the passion that drives them. We are inspired by many of the answers these women shared with our readers. Hope readers will enjoy this issue of Oswego County Business. We certainly had a lot of fun putting it together.

By Wagner Dotto

Cover of the April-May 1994 featuring “powerful women.” From left: Nancy Bellow, Carolyn Rush, Fran Sullivan, Sara Barclay, Ann Mirabito-Snyder and Linda Syrell. They were part of 60 profiles we developed at in that issue.

WAGNER DOTTO is the publisher of Oswego County Business Magazine.

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Where in the World is Sandra Scott? By Sandra Scott


Country filled with ancient cities, picturesque islands and small towns


f all the places Emperor Diocletian could have chosen in the vast Roman Empire to build his retirement palace, he selected present-day Split, Croatia. Why? Because Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and Mediterranean climate, where Split is located, cannot be surpassed. Even though it was built in the 4th century, parts of Diocletian’s palace are still in use, making it one of the best-preserved Roman sites. The UNESCO site is the living, pulsating heart of the city. Diocletian, noted for his persecution of early Christians, would never imag-

ine that the temple that was to be his mausoleum is now the Cathedral of St. Dominus. Not to miss is the Temple of Juniper, guarded by a headless sphinx and the basement halls revealing more of the palace’s 4th century structure. Split is an ideal base for visiting the ruins of the ancient city of Solin, picturesque islands and small towns. In the nearby town of Omis there is a boat ride on Centina River to the rapids, which is popular with whitewater rafters. The river seems to disappear between the towering cliffs making it easy to understand why it was once the

perfect hideaway for pirates. There is a ferry from Split to Dubrovnik. The scenery from the relaxing nine-hour ferry ride is wondrous. The ferry stops for a short time at Hvar, Croatia’s most popular and luxurious island; and Korcula, an enchanting walled city. Both are destinations in their own right. Dubrovnik is another of Croatia’s UNESCO World Heritage sites and a donot-miss. It is a living museum — a city where people live, work and play since the 7th century, which is what makes it so special. Add to that the fact that

Beautiful Plitvice Lake National Park with trails along lakes and past waterfalls is about two hours away. It’s located in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital since 1991.




during the war in the early 1990s over half of the buildings were hit and several palaces destroyed. Now everything has been completely restored. During the 1500s the drawbridge entrances to Dubrovnik were lifted every night, the large heavy gates closed and locked, after which the key was handed to the prince. Times have changed. The city is popular with tourists and it is now a cruise port destination. Wander the morning market in the large square near Pucic Palace where the scent of lavender fills the air and there are often folkloric shows. The impressive city walls of Dubrovnik were built between the 13th and 16th century. Take a leisurely three-hour stroll atop the city walls for spectacular views. Like Split, Dubrovnik could be a destination onto itself as there are plenty of things to do, including visiting museums, attending concerts, taking boat trips to various islands, and a plethora of sport activities from swimming to kayaking. Dubrovnik is especially romantic in the evening when the streets are devoid of tourists and workers. Most evenings there are concerts in one of the many small churches. Zagreb, became the capital of the newly formed country of Croatia in 1991, but its history is at least a thousand years old. The large square in the Lower Town is where locals like to relax while sipping coffee in one of the many cafes. In Upper Town there is a colorful flower market in Kaptol Square. Nearby is the cathedral and the museum of the City of Zagreb, housed in the Convent of St. Clair with an informative overview of Zagreb and Croatian history. Beautiful Plitvice Lake National Park with trails along lakes and past waterfalls is about two hours away. A valid passport is required for travel to Croatia. A visa is not required for U.S. passport holders for tourist and business trips up to 90 days. The Croatian Kuna is the currency of Croatia which can easily be obtained at a hotel, bank or ATM machine.

The large square in the Lower Town, Zagreb, is where locals like to relax while sipping coffee in one of the many cafes. In Upper Town there is a colorful flower market in Kaptol Square.

Dubrovnik seen from the water. This is another of Croatia’s UNESCO World Heritage sites and a do-not-miss. It is a living museum.

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 2019 / JANUARY 2020

Wander the morning market in the large square near Pucic Palace in Dubrovnik where the scent of lavender fills the air and there are often folkloric shows. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS



Janet Ready Named New COO at St. Joe’s Janet L. Ready has been named the new chief operating officer at St. Joseph’s Health. In this role, she will oversee the daily operations at the organization and serve as an integral member of the administrative leadership team. “With over a decade of Ready health care leadership experience, Janet’s solid industry expertise and acumen will help us continue to uphold and advance operational excellence across our network,” said St. Joseph’s Health president and CEO Leslie Paul Luke. “Janet will be a valuable member of the St. Joseph’s Health team as we continue to provide the highest quality care to our patients.” Ready served as president of Penn Health Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro, New Jersey, and as senior vice president at Penn Health since 2014. As president of Princeton Medical Center, Ready oversaw several expansions and initiatives, including the hospital’s magnet nursing recertification process. In her role as senior vice president at Penn Health, Ready focused on the organization’s quality and safety control and strategic growth. Prior to Penn Health, Ready spent nearly 10 years in hospital leadership roles at Healthquest in LaGrange, New York, and at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, where she improved the organization’s financial performance and significantly raised the medical center’s patient experience. Ready holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing, a Master of Science in public health and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. 22

NBT Has New Chief Financial, Accounting Officers NBT Bancorp Inc. recently announced new changes in its leadership team. John V. Moran has been appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer. Moran will serve on NBT’s executive management team and will be based at the company’s headquarters in Norwich. He brings 17 years of experience in the financial services industry to his new position. Prior to joining NBT, he was senior vice president and

director of corporate development & strategy for Old National Bancorp, a $20 billion financial services holding company based in Evansville, Indiana. “John Moran is a critical addition to NBT’s executive management team,” said President and CEO John H . Wa t t , J r. “His participation in bank corporate finance and strategy coupled with his extensive experience as an Moran

Calendar Features Notable FultonBorn Artists


ulton Savings Bank has recently published the 25th annual edition of its community calendar. The 2020 Community Calendar’s theme is “Notable Art & Artists of Central New York.” The calendar is free and is available at all offices of the bank. Fulton Savings Bank has been compiling and publishing the popular local calendars since 1997 when the first edition celebrated the bank’s 125th anniversary of its founding. “Our calendars started 25 years ago when our then Marketing Director Nancy Kush Ellis came up with a great idea, a calendar depicting our history and activities of the people in areas we serve,” said Michael J. Pollock, president & CEO of Fulton Savings, “Since then our annual calendars have proven very popular and have, in fact, become collector’s items by many people.” This year’s edition features some notable Fulton-born or resident local artists, perhaps the most prominent being Alan Stephens Foster, a native and Fulton High School grad and prolific illustrator of covers for Saturday Evening Post; the mysterious Darwin Styles who spent many years in Fulton; OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Albert Kraus, the well-known Hunter Arms engraver and landscape artist, and the popular Evgenijs Kaskin from Mexico who painted dozens of local scenes. Some other Central New York artists featured in the calendar include James Gale Tyler who was a native of Oswego, Edward Elhoff of Baldwinsville, and Levi Wells Prentice, who was a Tug Hill native and was associated with the famous Hudson River School. “For our 2020 calendar we searched local area historical societies museums and galleries, as well as the internet, for examples of artists’ works but also several local area art collectors homes,” said Fulton Savings Assistant Vice President HR & Marketing Annette Cotton, who supervised the production of the 2020 calendar DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

investment analyst gives him a unique perspective that will provide guidance to our team as we engage in ongoing initiatives to grow NBT and enhance shareholder value.” In addition to his role at Old National, Moran brings significant experience in corporate finance and investment research to NBT. He was previously employed by Macquarie Securities from 2010 to 2017 and, prior to that, by Cohen & Company and Ryan Beck & Co. Moran earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Rutgers University and his master’s degree in real estate development from Columbia University. He is also a chartered financial analyst (CFA) charterholder. Moran is succeeding Michael J. Chewens, who is retiring following a successful 25-year career with the company. Chewens will continue to be employed by NBT through March 31 and will assist with the transition. Annette L. Burns was promoted to senior vice president and chief accounting officer. Burns is a certified public account with nearly 25 years of experience in accounting and finance. She joined NBT in 2013 when the Burns company acquired Alliance Bank and advanced to the position of corporate controller later that year. In 2019, Burns was promoted to senior corporate controller. She earned her bachelor ’s degree in business administration from St. Bonaventure University.

RMS Recognized for Patient-Satisfaction Surveys Modern Healthcare has ranked Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) the 8th largest patient-satisfaction measurement firm in the United States. Modern Healthcare is an award-winning publication deemed a “must-read” by those in the industry. Last year, RMS ranked as the 11th in the same survey. For 13 years, RMS has been a national leader in patient satisfaction surveying, growing its consulting and DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

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Beardsley Architects + Engineers re c e n t l y a n nounced that Dennis G. McCarthy has been named a principal of the firm. McCarthy is a New York state licensed engineer with a d e g re e i n electrical and computer enMcCarthy gineering from DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

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AmeriCU Has New AVP of Membership Development Gail Rizzo-Spilka has accepted the position of assistant vice president of membership development at AmeriCU, a credit union serving nine counties in Central and Northern New York. In her role, Rizzo-Spilka will Rizzo-Spilka oversee a team of member partner advisers handling business partners, outreach and financial education. “At AmeriCU, we’ve put an emphasis on the member experience,” said Ron Belle, chief experience officer for AmeriCU. “Bringing Gail on board will give us the opportunity to provide a higher level of member engagement and satisfaction than ever before.” Rizzo-Spilka comes to AmeriCU with 10 years of prior credit union experience and has over 15 years of sales and business development acumen. As assistant vice president of membership development, Rizzo-Spilka will be responsible for growing and cultivating relationships with business partners, owners and members of AmeriCU.

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product lines, including orders for pipe and tube systems, blown film systems and coating and lamination systems. In addition to complete lines, there are several developing projects for equipment and technology upgrades to existing product lines. “Our K booth exceeded expectations with productive customer meetings, new sales and promising leads,” said Jim Murphy, Davis-Standard president and CEO. “Our brand message ‘Where your ideas take shape’ has resonated with customers as we work to build and promote sustainable solutions that support the circular economy. We anticipate additional business as result of K in the months ahead.” This was the first time Davis-Standard exhibited at K with the newest members of its global brand, Maillefer, Brampton Engineering and TSL. Each has added a new dimension to Davis-Standard’s robust line of equipment and aftermarket services. Davis-Standard is based in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, and has a plant in Fulton. The company employs 153 people in Oswego County and is the county’s 6th largest manufacturing company, according to the 2020 CNY Business Guide.

nities I’ve had to work with so many outstanding colleagues and peers over the years.” He added, “Even though I am pulling back into semi-retirement, I look forward to continued collaboration in advancing web handling and winding techniques to improve processes.” Smith is well-known throughout the global paper, film and nonwoven industries for his technical knowledge, leadership and involvement in TAPPI (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry). Among his most notable achievements are two winding patents, over 85 technical presentations, numerous published articles, and two books published through TAPPI Press. His second book and most substantial work is the Ultimate Roll and Web Defect Trouble Shooting Guide. He has received two TAPPI technical

awards, including the coveted Rohm & Haas Prize and has been named a TAPPI Fellow by the TAPPI Board of Directors for his technical and service contributions to the industry. Smith has also been honored the Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE) by awarding him the SPE Certificate of Recognition for significant contributions made to the Society and the plastic industry. “Duane Smith is an enthusiastic and motivated innovator who has worked tirelessly to advance web handling and winding best practices worldwide,” said Jim Murphy, Davis-Standard president and CEO. “We congratulate him on going part-time, and are grateful to continue to have him as resource in the years to come. We know his work is far from finished!”

Davis-Standard’s Duane Smith Cuts Back After 47 accomplished years, Duane Smith re c e n t l y a n nounced he’ll be transitioning into a part-time role from his current position of process manager, web handling and specialty winding at Davis-Standard, a ConSmith necticut-based company with a plant in Fulton. Even with a reduced schedule, Smith will continue to support Davis-Standard’s technical leadership, deliver technical presentations and training classes, and continue his consulting work on web handling and winding. “I find great joy in making new discoveries and sharing knowledge,” said Smith. “I am passionate about our industry and grateful for the opportu26

Fulton Lions Past President Steve Chirello (right), is congratulated by Lion David Hubman, district governor, District 20-Y of Lions Clubs International, (far left), and Fulton Lions President David Guyer for receiving a Melvin Jones Fellowship, the highest form of Lions International’s recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service.

Chirello Receives Melvin Jones Fellowship


ion David Hubman, district governor, District 20-Y of Lions Clubs International, was the featured guest at the Fulton Lions Club’s October meeting. Hubman’s work is focusing on helping children with Type 1 diabetes as part of his service mission during his tenure as district governor. Specifically, he seeks to raise $25,000 to furnish the pediatric waiting room for a new Joslin Center for Diabetes facility that will connect with Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse. The Fulton Lions OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Club donated $500 toward this project and the remainder of the funds will be raised from other local Lions clubs and Lions International grants. Fulton Lions Past President Steve Chirello received a Melvin Jones Fellowship, the highest form of Lions International’s recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service. It was created in 1973 and takes its name from Melvin Jones, the founder of Lions Clubs International. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

$1 Million Gift from SRC Inc. Establishes Endowed Professorship in Engineering at SUNY


UNY Oswego’s engineering program received a $1 million gift from SRC Inc., a Syracuse-based research and development company, to establish an endowed professorship, strengthening the internationally accredited engineering program. The gift will help the college attract and retain world-class faculty and will infuse additional resources for research, community outreach and new opportunities between the college and a major employer of engineering graduates in the region. Officials from SRC Inc. and SUNY Oswego announced the historic gift Nov. 26 during a ceremony at the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation on the college’s main campus in Oswego. “SRC’s support for an endowed professorship at SUNY Oswego exhibits the organization’s confidence in our engineering program and its commitment to programmatic growth, improvement and success,” said college President Deborah F. Stanley. “Their support is testament to our shared interest in advancing the field and educating forward-thinking engineers. The college community is grateful for SRC’s investment, and for continuing our partnership that will propel our region and society in the future.” Paul Tremont, SRC CEO said, “SRC’s mission is to help keep America and its allies safe and strong. To continue to be successful, we need engineers who understand technology and how to apply critical thinking. We believe the endowed professorship will attract the brightest minds to CNY, which will help us grow a315.342.5000 strong workforce for the future. We’re excited to expand our partnership with SUNY Oswego and appreciate President Stanley’s support.” The funds from the endowment will provide resources for a competitive faculty salary, world-class research facilities, student assistants and conference support, among other things.The endowed professorship will be in place by the start of the fall 2020 semester.


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Champlain Commons Opens in Scriba $13.7 million housing project to help low income families


recent ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of Champlain Commons, a new $13.7 million, 56-unit apartment complex with supportive services in Scriba. “The completion of Champlain Commons is a wonderful thing for Oswego County,” said OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier. “There is a critical need for affordable, safe housing in Oswego County. As a homeless service provider, we see individuals and families who are working but are not making enough to pay the cost of high rent and utilities. “Many working families in Oswego County are living paycheck to paycheck and are one crisis away from having to make difficult decisions — pay the rent, buy food, repair the car, etc. We wanted a housing complex that will afford tenants affordable rent in energy-efficient apartments, helping them to better make ends meet and hopefully save for the future. Champlain Commons 28

provides just that.” Located on City Line Road in Scriba, Champlain Commons’ 56 units offers a place where families and individuals with moderate or low incomes who are making up to 60% of the area median income can live affordably. The project was developed in partnership with OCO and Rochester’s Cornerstone Group — with federal and state grant funding and private financing. Champlain Commons is operated and managed by the developer, Rochester’s Cornerstone Group. They manage the renting process for all 56 apartments and maintain the property. OCO provides services for the 17 apartments designated to serve eligible tenants who were homeless. In keeping with its goal of affordable housing, OCO procured funding from the Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation and the Bureau of Housing and Supportive Services to set aside 17 units for housing chalOSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

lenged individuals. OCO provides supportive services for these special needs residents. “Champlain Commons would not have come to fruition if not for the support and cooperation of a huge team comprised of state agencies; town and county officials; Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, LTD; Lecesse Construction; and of course our many funders,” said Cooper-Currier. “It’s all about our residents. Champlain Commons offers them a roof over their head and a safe and secure place to call home. We are happy to bring Champlain Commons to the community and bring services to people that might otherwise be out on the street.” OCO is a private, nonprofit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 100 separate locations. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

SUNY Oswego Faculty Member Again Coordinates Holiday Card Drive


UNY Oswego criminal justice faculty member Jaclyn Schildkraut is once again coordinating an effort to send thousands of holiday cards to children impacted by mass shootings. “We have 74 kids who lost parents, stepparents, grandparents or siblings in Las Vegas, Parkland [Florida] and Aurora [Colorado],” Schildkraut explained. “We are also collecting community cards — more general in nature — for Aurora, Newtown [Sandy Hook], Orlando [Pulse], Santa Fe, El Paso, Dayton, Midland/Odessa, and Pittsburgh.” The effort has gained momentum year after year In its first year, 2017, Schildkraut said 2,036 were distributed, rising to nearly 10,000 in 2018. “We’re looking to collect as many as possible this year, with a goal of 15,000 to 20,000 because the number of impacted communities keeps growing,” Schildkraut said. “Cards can be homemade or store-bought, people can write as many or as few as they want. Every bit of love helps!” As of Nov. 24, the campaign had more than 5,000 cards pledged toward the 2019 goal. “We get cards from all over America and even Canada,” Schildkraut said. “People from campus get involved, as well as complete strangers.” The effort began when Schildkraut wanted to bring some relief to children who lost parents in the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 and injured another 546. She would later add those impacted by a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which killed 26 and injured 20 on Nov. 5, 2017. The project has grown to include children who lost siblings and parents in the Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staff members while injuring 17 others. For more information on how to help, email Jaclyn.Schildkraut@ oswego.edu or visit Facebook.com/ CardsForKidsByJackie



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DiningOut By Christopher Malone


Guide Façade of Nora’s in downtown Oswego.

New Kid Down the Block N

Nora’s in Oswego offers no-nonsense feel-good food

ora’s in Oswego is all about simplicity. Its black-and-white logo with a spoon, knife and a fork appears above the restaurant’s name. The walls are bright white and the floors bear a checkerboard pattern. Red outlines the menus on the wall and covers the top of the tables. Even the bifold menu is organized with a distinct font as pristine as the atmosphere of the restaurant with its designated kitchen, pantry and takeaway areas. Located on the main strip of West First Street in downtown, Nora’s fits in well with the rest of Oswego fare and complements the local restaurant scene. The clean ingredient focused and environmentally conscious eatery


stands out with a couple signs bearing the name and a third that reads “EAT” with a hand pointing toward the door. The concept of Nora’s is straightforward: Patrons order at the counter and the order is brought out for the patron to pick up and (hopefully) enjoy. The fare available during Nora’s breakfast and lunch hours is definitely on the healthier side and caters to an array of dietary preferences. Where many healthy-focused restaurants come at a price, several options for breakfast and a late lunch came to an affordable $47.73 (before tip). My friend and local entrepreneur Michael and I ordered a coffee each and shared a couple orders of toast, a bowl OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

of porridge and a breakfast burrito for our meal. Nora’s toast and the avocado toast ($6.50 each), both served on thick and flawless and toasted-to-perfection multi-grain bread, were great options to bite into when starting the most important meal of the day. Both toasts orders were definitely photo-worthy enough to cause Instagram users to drool and short circuit their phones. The Nora’s toast was topped with goat cheese, bosc pear, pomegranate seeds, pecans and a drizzle of honey. It had as much flavor as it looked and exceeded expectations. The pomegranate seeds were flavor grenades. The bosc pear slices were crisp and sweet. The cheese and bread DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

definitely helped balance it all. The avocado toast, a common staple of bougie toast, was as aromatic as it was flavorful. The tomato, onion, pepper and slathered avocado was refreshing. It’s not reinventing the avocado toast option, but it is Nora’s version of it and it’s an applaudable effort. The nuts and berries porridge bowl ($8) was literal. The steel cut oats were joined by strawberries, blueberries, pecans and maple syrup. The temperature of the oats was just right (bear-able) and we didn’t need two other options to determine it. The aspect the two of us didn’t like was the puddle of water found on the bottom of the bowl. The oats weren’t soggy and it’s difficult to not have some water residue as I do like my oats saturated. The breakfast burrito ($7) was on the smaller side, but the very wellwrapped egg, onion, avocado and cheddar was hearty. There was also a smear of chipotle cream in the mix, and the amount was just enough. Nothing kills a handheld breakfast wrap like mayo or whatever dressing oozing out. Kudos to Nora’s. Since this Saturday was a busy day, I ordered a Bill’s Favorite sandwich ($9) and a cup of pumpkin pie chia seed pudding (not labeled, but will guess $3-$4) for later. The French baguette sammy was stuffed with shaved ribeye, manchego cheese, and arugula. There was a great balance between bread and ingredients as well as flavor. The standout component was the horseradish sauce. The horseradish was noticeable with every bite; however, it wasn’t overpowering. It was a hearty sandwich which could be eaten over the course of two lunches (but I shared it with my fiancé). The pumpkin pie chia seed pudding was a spontaneous buy in order to

satisfy a sweet treat void. The amount of pumpkin was perfect. It was creamy and smooth. And it wasn’t overly sweet. It was that guilt-free treat I wished would never end. Nora’s is just months old and it’s

already popular. There’s nothing really like it in the heart of the city. For a quick bite, a grab-and-go meal, or a sit-down experience with friends and family — it’s a sure bet.

The pumpkin pie chia seed pudding: creamy and smooth.

The nuts and berries porridge bowl ($8).

Nora’s toast and the avocado toast ($6.50 each). Both served on thick, flawless, toasted-to-perfection multi-grain bread.

Nora’s Address 203 W 1st St., Oswego, NY 13126 Phone 315-216-4629 Website/social facebook.com/norasoswego instagram.com/norasoswego Hours Sun.: Closed Mon. – Fri.: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sat.: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

The breakfast burrito ($7) was on the smaller side, but the very well-wrapped egg, onion, avocado and cheddar was hearty. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS


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Shineman Foundation Announces Final Grant Awards 12 nonprofits share $593,000 in grants; Crouse Foundation, Fulton Block Builders get $150,000 each


welve nonprofit organizations received grant awards totaling $593,000 from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation at its November board meeting in the last of three 2019 grant rounds. All funded projects reach a wide range of people in Oswego County. As with previous grant rounds, the projects represent a diverse cross-section of community organizations in economic revitalization, education, arts and culture, and health and human services. The largest award, $150,000, was given to Crouse Health Foundation by the Shineman Foundation in support of its capital campaign to renovate and expand Crouse Hospital’s regional neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to provide state-of-theart support services to at-risk babies and their mothers. Fulton Block Builders, the grassroots organization in Fulton, has continued to exceed expectations for its very successful Healthy Neighborhoods revitalization program, and was awarded another $150,000 matching grant payable in the spring of 2020, following completion of fundraising in Fulton. Revitalization grants were also given to ARISE for the relocation of its Oswego office and to the Salvation Army of Oswego in support of the repair and resurfacing of its parking lot to address safety concerns. The Shineman Foundation made a large commitment of $145,500 to




The Reading League so it can provide all pre-K through grade 3 educators in the nine Oswego County school districts with evidence-aligned reading instruction using livestreaming video technology. Due to this grant, the league’s five professional development offerings per year will be provided free of charge for five years. Two education/arts and culture grants were awarded by the Shineman Foundation to organizations expanding their outreach with and into Oswego County schools: The REV Theatre Company (formerly MerryGo-Round Playhouse) for its touring “Sequential Dramatics Program” and the Museum of Science and Technology’s “Oswego County on the Go” science program, which will bring a 45-minute classroom-based science demonstration to all 78 sixth-grade classes in 16 school buildings in Oswego County. Several health and human services grants were awarded by the Shineman Foundation: David’s Refuge for provision of respite/caregiver support to parents and guardians of children with special needs; Food Bank of CNY to enhance its Mobile Food Pantry in Oswego County; Journey of Faith United Methodist Church for its Weekend Backpack Program for 150 children in the Hannibal school district; and Victory Transformation to launch its Cars for Change pilot program. For more information on the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, visit www.shinemanfoundation.org.

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Michael J. Hertzendorf By Payne Horning

Newly appointed NUAIR’s president and CEO talks about drone industry, the RomeSyracuse drone corridor and the role CNY is playing in this burgeoning industry


nonprofit coalition made up of private, public and academic entities in Central New York is working to put the region on the cutting edge of the burgeoning unmanned aerial system (UAS) industry. Northeast Unmanned Aerial System Airspace Integration Research, referred to as NUAIR, manages operations of the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York — one of just seven FAA-designated UAS test sites in the country. Michael J. Hertzendorf, NUAIR’s chief of staff and former interim CEO, was recently promoted to the position of president and chief executive officer. He takes over at a crucial moment for NUAIR. The nonprofit just finished construction of a 50-mile drone corridor between Griffiss and Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport, the first of its kind in the country. The purpose of the project is to facilitate what’s called beyond visual line of sight testing, which is currently restricted by the FAA. It’s one piece of a larger national effort to safely integrate drones into the national airspace.

state agency should be using UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations. Our other main priority is the continued development and advancement of New York’s 50-mile UAS corridor, and support to the New York UAS Test Site, which continues to bring in companies from

across the globe to Central New York. What are potential areas of improvement at NUAIR that you plan to address? I don’t see this as an area for improvement but as technology is constantly advancing and this industry is in its infancy, we must always keep a pulse on the industry and market to maintain a competitive advantage. You served in the U.S. Army for nearly 30 years as a special operations aviator with more than two decades of command and leadership experience, including battalion command, regiment command and division chief of staff. How do you think that has prepared you to take on this role? The military and civilian sectors have much more in common than many people think. You have to be focused on serving others. You have to be able to build empowered teams who have the resources and desire to win and you have to be able to form teams in complex situation where many of the stakeholders have competing interests. You have to be able to inspire others to see why collaboration is the best path forward. You are taking the reins at an exciting time for NUAIR now that the 50-mile UAS corridor is completed. What does achieving this milestone mean for the future of

What are your priorities and goals that you hope to accomplish during your tenure? Continue to be a key asset to New York agencies and grow and improve upon the breadth of services we can provide to them. New York state is a leader in the UAS industry, and we want to maintain that leadership position. We believe every New York 34



drone development in Central New York? With the needed infrastructure in place within the corridor, we will continue to implement advanced technologies that will further enhance UAS operations and testing. Recently we received authority to fly beyond visual line of sight within a portion of the corridor, which will open the door for future authorizations within the corridor from the FAA. We will continue to aggressively advance technologies in the corridor and our ultimate goal is a place that can support routine commercial operations of UAVs. Additionally, the Tech Garden is about to undergo a major expansion as part of the larger effort to make Central New York a global player in this industry. The downtown facility will add two new floors, with a Drone Zone space designated specifically for companies working in the UAS industry. How will that complement the work NUAIR is doing? The UAS ecosystem in Central New York is powerful. From Syracuse University’s Autonomous System Policy Institute, to the Tech Garden, the New York UAS Test Site and the UAS corridor, we have a complete lifecycle that will provide economic opportunities to ourselves, our partners, our communities, and the state. Currently major renovations are also happening out at Griffiss International Airport, where the New York UAS Test Site is, which includes dedicated hangar space for indoor drone testing. As the industry continues to grow, having a multitude of testing capabilities helps to improve the attractiveness of Central New York for UAS companies and the ecosystem. What can we expect in terms of the next phase of development of the drone industry and what role is Central New York playing in that? I think the next phase of the drone industry is getting into the cyber security side of the industry. With the anticipation of the air being filled with drones performing all sorts of commercial tasks, we — the industry — need to develop the safety protocols and standards to mitigate malicious cyber attackers. Much like you have an antivirus program on your computer to thwart hackers taking over your computer and taking your information, to a greater extent we need to make sure this can’t happen to the “computers” flying around in the sky. Another growing need regarding malicious characters interfering with unmanned aircraft or seeking to do malicious activities with one, counter UAS (cUAS) technologies are also being developed. There’s a multitude of technologies from geofences, to lasers, to other drones shooting nets and capturing rogue drones. Again, with the New York UAS Test Site and variety of partners and companies within this region makes it a great place to test and advance these types of technologies to keep our future skies safer. What is next for NUAIR? The continued development of New York’s 50-mile UAS corridor, advancing commercial UAS operations and the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace. Enhancing our services with New York state agencies to help them implement drones into their daily operations to help save time, money and lives. We’ve already helped multiple fire and poDECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

“With the anticipation of the air being filled with drones performing all sorts of commercial tasks, we — the industry — need to develop the safety protocols and standards to mitigate malicious cyber attackers.” lice departments implement drones into their organizations and they continue to view drones as another essential “tool” in their toolbox of life-saving equipment. Earlier this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of a “Center of UAS Excellence” within the Central New York and Mohawk Valley regions, which NUAIR will manage. The UAS Center of Excellence will be a partnership between the UAS industry, academia, New York State agencies and Israeli companies to advance the UAS industry and contribute to the economic development of the region. We will continue to develop the Center in 2020 alongside our other key priorities.

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Tim Nekritz nekritz@gmail.com

Fair Haven Means Business — Increasingly Throughout the Year ‘Fair Haven is a town with no chain stores, no large employers. Its downtown looks quaint, and on first glimpse, its businesses might even seem somewhat quirky. In this modern world, this kind of authenticity and family feeling are most welcome.’

Tim Nekritz is director of news and media for SUNY Oswego, where he spearheads telling the stories of the campus community. 36


t’s New Year’s Eve 2018, and the Hardware Store Cafe and General Store in Fair Haven is packed with diners around lunch. It’s not only an occasion bridging two pivotal years for the beautiful village, but a scene that was unimaginable even a few years ago. For much of its existence, Fair Haven has been known as a lakeside resort community with busy summers that — to outsiders at least — hibernated in the winter. It’s been in the news for other reasons lately, but the success of its business community has been a very underreported story. The latest census counts Fair Haven’s citizenry at 727 souls, although the lakeside community swells in the summer as snowbirds and people in other communities come back north to both modest cottages and homes resembling mansions along the West Bay. When we would spend summers growing up at our camp a few miles down Lake Ontario or working as a family at the Sterling Renaissance Festival, this is often where we’d come for groceries and modest entertainment. Back then the Fair Haven Register newspaper and my future employer, the Oswego Palladium-Times, would run stories about the small town’s aspirations to become a yearround tourist destination. Those dreams, like the Register itself, appeared to go defunct, but nobody seems to mind that much. Fair Haven’s a gem they are not necessarily in a hurry to share. If you came here outside the peak months a few years ago, you wouldn’t be able to eat in the cafe or do almost anything else in the village’s downtown. For a long time, the grocery store now known as Bayside was the only thing you would find open. Plenty of parking spaces would be available, but little else. On a late December day when I enjoy a plainly titled yet delicious Meat Sandwich at the Hardware Store Cafe and General Store, this diner/seller of curios abounds with warmth and community. People come in and hug their neighbors or long-lost friends. A

woman brought in cookies for the owners. And nobody’s really in any hurry and never is heard a discouraging word. The business has been many things over the years (including, obviously, a hardware store) but perhaps its most important role has been a modest driver of change. A couple of years ago, the then-newish owners of the cafe/store, Susan and Larry, decided to stay open year-round. It seems like a small move, but it’s the kind of decision that can have a positive chain reaction when many other businesses don’t necessarily have the resources or willingness to try to become 12-month operations. And a funny thing happened — people kept coming. They aren’t all Fair Haven residents, but also those of the surrounding villages, Oswego and elsewhere who saw social media posts from friends and families and decided it was worth the drive. The advent of social media offering glimpses into these places help draw people, and the experiences keep them coming back. But 2019 saw new ownership for a number of businesses. Sterling Cidery, which has become an anchor for the community as a purveyor of delicious hard ciders and a convivial atmosphere, changed hands from founders Amy and Bobby Malo to a pair of local couples, Brandon Furber and Jana House and Craig Arnold and Lesley Gould. The two close-knit couples (House and Gould are sisters) already contributed to the village in a big way by launching Porchfest and its dozens of performers a few years ago. The Pleasant Beach Hotel, a lakeside destination for decades, changed owners as well. As did Giusseppi’s Pizza and Subs, an anchor at the eastern edge of downtown. The turnover of these businesses did not slow down the town’s momentum — indeed, they seemed to keep the energy as fresh as the food. And this village served up plenty of food, drink and adventures for residents and visitors alike in 2018. Pirate Fest, Winter Fest and Porchfest, all fairly recent additions to the schedule, put on very distinctive offerings for all ages. The biggest celebration of the

Tim’s Notes



Heads above water

‘Fair Haven is a village that likes to live, love and laugh. Visit a couple times, and you’re no longer a stranger.’ Pictured is last summer’s Porchfest, one of the new events held at the village. year remains its Independence Day celebration, and with its Mile-Long Parade, jam-packed carnival and well-attended fireworks, among other attractions. If you were to look north from the cafe, your gaze would take you to Brandon’s Pub + Grille, known as O’Connor’s until fairly recently, presenting food, beverages and a lot of music. Just west along the main drag of Route 104A is Bayside Grocery, still the go-to for most basic foodstuffs and necessities. Bayside shares a parking lot with Big Bo’s ice cream, which packs in customers throughout summer. Across from the cafe you’ll find a gift shop and home base for Kyle Meddaugh, better known as the proprietor of OnePhoto, which unofficially serves as a big visual booster for #DestinationFairHaven. The west side of the bay contains such attractions as Colloca’s Winery, which serves up its own vintage as well as a variety of food and entertainment, and Turtle Cove Marina and Restaurant, which has survived plenty of flooding to provide its fare and a variety of DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

crowd-pleasing music. Fair Haven is no longer just a summer town. The likes of Brandon’s, Colloca’s and Turtle Cove have started making a go of it year-round recently, with the cidery planning to only shut down a short time for renovations before rejoining the offerings. The village also thrives on its artistic and creative scenes. A few art galleries, a place for music lessons, a local ukulele band and writers’ group provide outlets for all manners of creative sorts. Open jams and open mics at Sterling Cidery and Turtle Cove accommodate players of many skill levels and genres. Fair Haven is a town with no chain stores, no large employers except perhaps the seasonal state park and its beaches. Its downtown looks quaint, and on first glimpse, its businesses might even seem somewhat quirky. In this modern world, this kind of authenticity and family feeling are most welcome. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

If you’ve seen Fair Haven in the news, chances are it wasn’t for any of these positive business developments but instead about flooding. The high water and concerns returned in 2019, the second time in three years that rising tides brought growing concerns about how this could impact tourism, a big part of local business. The local news crews showed up, interviewed local businesses and residents and tried to get somebody to complain about the government. The reporters did their standups where they looked really concerned. Then they packed up and left, not particularly interested in returning to see how Fair Haven really is. If you only watched TV news and never visited Fair Haven, you’d think it is just a town that gets flooded and people are always struggling. This is far from the truth. And that is changing. Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $43 million in funding to support a number of projects in Cayuga and Oswego counties to both mitigate flooding and promote economic development. Those projects for the immediate Fair Haven area total more than $8.4 million, including $2.7 million for a West Bay Road storm sewer system, $1.5 million for the Phillips Park Walkway, $1.2 million for Fair Haven Beach State Park, $900,000 for the Nine Mile Creek Bike Corridor, $800,000 for King Street boat launch and parking, $600,000 for West Barrier Bar Park, and $250,000 each for Standbrook Park, Cottage Street Park and the Lake Street Pump House. How much of, and how soon, any of these will happen remain open questions, as does whether another flooding awaits the region in 2020. But these represent progress nonetheless, as well as an unusual occurrence of the wider world taking a proactive interest in Fair Haven’s affairs. Whatever these projects bring, the community will persevere. Maybe it never will become the year-round tourism destination some have wanted. And maybe that doesn’t matter too much. Fair Haven is a village that likes to live, love and laugh. Visit a couple times, and you’re no longer a stranger. Hang out in one of the local establishments for a bit, and you’ll probably make new friends.



MacKenzie-Childs’ headquarters in Aurora, Cayuga County, on the shores of Cayuga Lake.

MacKenzie-Childs to Expand with Volney Fulfillment Center


acKenzie-Childs is expected to make a substantial economic development impact once it settles into its new location in Volney. MacKenzie-Childs is a fully integrated designer, manufacturer and multichannel merchant of high-quality, handcrafted ceramic and enamel tableware, furniture, and home and garden accessories. The company has chosen a 200,931-square-foot warehouse to house its growing warehousing and fulfillment needs. Fulfillment center operations consist of the work that helps get online orders to a customer’s doorstep. It’s also referred to as the order fulfillment process. MacKenzie-Childs is headquartered in Aurora, Cayuga County. “Staying physically close to our roots and supporting our employees is important to us,” Bailey Vaughn, a company spokesperson said. The Volney location provides the company an opportunity to stay with38

in a reasonable commute for existing employees, while also offering enough space for its continual growth for years to come, Vaughn noted. “The Volney location allows a daily


product shuttle from our manufacturing site in Aurora, is a totally open footprint to lay out as we need and is close to the I-90 and I-81 transportation corridors,” Vaughn added. At this time, the company does not have any plans for additional Northeast fulfillment centers. “Our products are distinctive, whimsical, and fun in a way that other companies have not been able to duplicate,” Vaughn said. The company anticipates starting up the facility with between 50 and 60 employees, with the workforce growing over time as it continues to expand its markets and products. In terms of open positions, the company will be filling openings for order pickers, order packers, loading and unloading/material handlers, forklift operators, and fulfillment supervisors. The company will be running a first and second shift at the facility weekdays with options for overtime. MacKenzie-Childs anticipates hiring over $500,000 in total annual salaries DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

from the local population to fill out its total workforce. Subsequently, there will be an increase in people looking for lunch options at local establishments, as well as demand for gas for vehicles and landscaping and snow removal resources. “We expect to bring a lot of economic benefits to the local area. We have a multi-year lease on the Volney facility and plan on being a stable employment presence for many years to come and will look to continue to grow locally,” the company spokesperson said. Operation Oswego County played a key role in attracting the company to the area.

County agency clutch OOC connected MacKenzie-Childs with Christine Weaver, director of client services at Oswego County Workforce New York. Its various services will assist Mack-

Handcrafted home décor giant finds new home in Oswego County. It will employ 50 to 60 workers locally and it’s expected to open the first week in May enzie-Childs in identifying employment candidates for the new Volney location. In addition, OOC facilitated a meeting with town of Volney leaders to explain the project and its benefits to the community, and assisted the building

owner in navigating the permitting and approval processes for necessary building improvements. The existing warehouse building is undergoing substantial renovations and upgrades to meet the needs of its new occupant, according to OOC. The plans include constructing a new parking lot and vehicle entrance for employees, as well as interior improvements, including enhanced insulation, lighting, and creating office space. In addition to improvements to the facility, MacKenzie-Childs will be installing racking and other custom-designed equipment to maximize the efficiency of the operation. Handcrafted MacKenzie-Childs products can be purchased from the company’s retail stores in New York City and Aurora, and through retailers in the U.S. and around the world.

By Lou Sorendo

Mackenzie-Childs’ Unique Design Sets Company Apart





Jack and Faye Beckwith started planting Christmas trees on their farm at Mill Street in Hannibal in 1985. However, the farm did not start selling trees until 1995.

Goal at the Hannibal Farm is to Sell 1,000 Christmas Trees This Season


Beckwith Family Christmas Tree Station has become a family affair for the Beckwith family

he Beckwith Family Christmas Tree Station has been a part of many Central New Yorkers holiday traditions since it opened in 1995, and owners Jack and Faye Beckwith say they feel blessed to be able to be a part of the season for so many. Faye says that the station’s customers come from all over Central New York, some coming from as far away as Skaneateles, almost an hour drive south of Hannibal. “People will drive quite a long distance to cut a farm-fresh tree,” Faye said. Part of what makes the Beckwith Family Christmas Tree Station special is that the trees at the farm are not planted according to age or size. Rather, young trees are planted wherever there is space among the older, larger stock. “I think people like having the trees 40

mixed up like that. It makes you feel like you’re out in the woods, and you have a lot of unique options to choose from,” Jack said. The farm sells a variety of trees, ranging in price from $50 and $150 depending on the size. Some are more popular than others. Jack says that many people choose the Frasier fir trees because they hold onto their needles for longer than many other varieties of tree. Another popular choice is the concolor fir, which has a silver coloring to its needles. The Beckwith family moved to the tree farm on Mill Street in Hannibal in 1980, where they raised their daughter Noel and their two sons, Jack and Scott. Faye says that her husband got interested in planting and caring for Christmas trees from right after they OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

married. Jack was working as a barber at the time, which he still does on the side. He has a small shop on the farm. “When we first married, a barber shop customer had some trees, so Jack would get some and plant them in our front yard,” Faye said. “He had the bug early, for sure.” The first trees for the farm were planted in 1985. However, the farm did not start selling trees until 1995, because it takes a decade to grow a tree to the right size and shape to be a Christmas tree. When putting the tree farm together, Jack and Faye decided to include some of Hannibal’s railroading history. “About a half mile down the road was the Hannibal train station,” Faye said. “Of course, we weren’t alive back then, but we’ve been told that there were DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

as many as 12 trains a day that stopped there at one point. Jack’s always been interested in that.” There are two mock-cabooses at the front of the farm. One is the Warming Car, where customers can rid themselves of the winter chill, and the other is the Christmas Caboose, the farm’s gift shop. Jack built them on the farm in the style of a 19th century train caboose, using the real base of a train car, called a truck.

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Family affair The tree farm is a family affair for the Beckwiths during the winters. During the selling season, all three of Jack and Faye’s children get involved, as well as their grandson. Jack, Scott and the Beckwith’s grandson all drive tractors to bring people to select their trees and assist in cutting the trees. Noel helps out with the cash registers and the gift shop. Jack and Faye say they have a personal goal to sell 1,000 trees per season, which they have yet to achieve. Faye said they came close to that goal a few years ago, but personal concerns have gotten in the way of the planting season for the past few years, so they are not sure they will meet that goal this year. They know that they’ll sell at least 500 trees this year though, as they must in order to stay involved with the national Christmas Tree Promotion Board. Jack said that his favorite part of owning and working on a Christmas tree farm comes in the summertime, when the warm weather and sunny conditions allow him to work outside, shearing the trees. He says that the air quality is noticeably better than elsewhere, and the peace of being someplace very close to a forest is comforting. As for Faye, her favorite part of running the tree station is helping families connect and watching children thoroughly enjoy themselves. “In this day and age, when kids are sitting with their phones playing games, watching videos and people are watching TV and getting so involved in media,” she said. “It’s nice when a family can come out and just have a day together.” The Beckwiths expect to have the farm open until Dec. 22, the Sunday before Christmas — or until tree supply lasts, which may come before the expected closing date depending on demand.

By Alexander Plate DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

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Interior of 3 Sisters Gift Shoppe on 116 W. Second St. It sells jewelry, metaphysical products, candles, stones and essential oils, among other products.


3 Sisters Gifts Shoppe Fills Void in Oswego

Sisters Gift Shoppe wants to bring holistic healing and health to Oswego, and the family behind it is ready to connect the city with metaphysical and spiritual solutions to mental and physical health concerns. The shop is run by Sara Pelc, Tabitha Mott and Gina Allen, the three sisters the shop is named for. Their mother, Lisa Pelkey is also involved with the business. The shop was Pelc’s idea, which she says came from trying to help her own young child deal with anxiety issues. “I had a young kid who didn’t know how to handle anxiety, so I suggested a worry stone,” she said. “Unfortunately, we realized there was no place in Oswego to get something like that.” Pelc says that things in the realm of metaphysical health should be interacted with by the buyer before they make a purchase, to see what works for them. Online shopping does not offer 42

that level of interaction before purchase. The closest shops that did offer holistic health products were in Syracuse, out of the way for many people in the area. The idea has been in the works since 2016, when Pelc, Mott and Allen first thought up the plan over one of their regular Sunday family dinners. At the time, however, they say that the city was not in the best place, and the shop would likely not have found a stable footing, “When the new mayor [William “Billy” Barlow] came in, and the revitalization started, the money started flowing to make Oswego build itself back up. That was when I told them to open up.”Pelkey said. The process of opening up the shop took time, and the sisters say that the business is still growing and evolving, “We’re tracking ourselves by customer feedback, more than anything else,” Mott said. “We have a tarot card OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

reader who comes in, we’ll start doing Reiki soon.” The services of the shop are adjusting as well. 3 Sisters now hosts parties and events, which the sisters say has tested their ability to coordinate and manage this along with their other commitments. “We’re doing more events now, and sometimes we have to close for those, and it is stretching us a little,” Allen said. All three sisters have full-time jobs outside of their commitments to the shop, as well as families and children to care for. They pooled their own money — about $18,000 — to start the shop up, along with their mother. They think that there is a great chance for them to enrich the community with their services. Allen said that Oswego has always been a close-knit community, and now that growth has started again, they may be willing to look at spiritual and metaphysical health. “Every few weeks, we’ll start carrying something new that we think people would like, or someone has asked us to start carrying,” she said.

By Alexandre Plate DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020


After a Decade, JP Jewelers Is Still Growing Jeweler recently celebrated 10 years in business. Co-owner says customization and faster repairs give the business a competitive edge


or the last 10 years, JP Jewelers has been offering competitive prices and quality services to the jewelry buyers in Oswego County. Co-owner Kevin Hill says that he plans for nothing but growth for the family-owned-and-operated business on Oswego’s westside. JP Jewelers was founded in September 2009. That year, Anthony Pauldine, the local contractor and businessman, purchased and renovated the storefront at 136 W. Bridge St. The building, which had been home to a jewelry store beforehand as well, was damaged in a fire that started next door. His brother, James Pauldine, took over the storefront once Anthony was finished with the renovations, and opened JP Jewelers. “James understood that there would be potential with the customer base that had been coming there for 30 years,” said Kevin Hill, co-owner of the store and James’s stepson. “He was actually a colleague of the previous owner, he thought it was a great opportunity to open the business in this location.” Currently, JP Jewelers employs three people; Pauldine, who is the head jeweler and goldsmith; Hill, who manages the business side of things and Leanne Joice-Gillen, who works as the in-house goldsmith and master carver. Joice-Gillen primarily handles repairs and the custom work that JP Jewelers offers, which Hill says is a rare opportunity for a shop of their size. “It used to be common that most, or all, jewelers had a smith onsite, but now we’re seeing that most jewelers outsource their work,” Hill said. “Leanne allows us to do all of our work on premises, which is very important for people when they’re leaving their valuables to know that they’ll be secure and safe.” DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

Joice-Gillen’s work with their custom offerings is something that Hill says sets JP Jewelers apart. The shop has a long-standing relationship with the Oswego Speedway, and produces all of their championship rings, as well as custom super modified racing-themed jewelry and custom lighthouse charms. Most goldsmiths do not work with metal casting beyond small repairs, according to Hill, but Joice-Gillen, who has a bachelor’s degree in jewelry design from SUNY Oswego, is able to do so. The jewelry industry has changed a lot in the last few decades, and Hill says that a bulk of the competition today comes from mall stores and national chains. Those stores have millions of dollars to spend on advertising, and small businesses like JP Jewelers are unable to compete in the advertising game. However, Hill says that local shops still offer a much higher degree of service and customization, as well as faster repairs when compared to their larger competitors. JP Jewelers advertises itself as a provider of high-quality, low cost products. Hill says that the store is able to offer lower prices on repairs, products and services because the business is structured for low-markup, high-volume sales. Compared to a national chain store, JP Jewelers offers its products at a cost below their average retail price, according to Hill. While profit is still made from every sale, the margins are a lot smaller. The difference is, JP Jewelers sells a lot more jewelry in a day than an average retail store. “I think that our numbers are unusual for a jewelry store of our size,” Hill said. “A regular store may see three to four customers in a day and make so much off of them to cover the cost of keeping the store open. We may see OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Kevin Hill, co-owner of JP Jewelers. He said his store on the west side of Oswego is visited by about 30 to 40 people a day. 30 to 40 customers a day and generate that same amount of profit.” The store continues to grow, buying and selling more and more jewelry each year. As well as selling retail jewelry, JP Jewelers buys pieces from estate sales and purchases from individual sellers. To keep up with their growing inventory and demand, Hill said that he would like to add another position to their team, responsible for handling online sales. Hill said that he would like to see the storefront itself expand as well, to offer more space for more products and services, as well as improve the parking around the shop.

By Alexandre Plate 43


Kristopher Rookey is one of the principals at Upstate Hearing in downtown Oswego. He and his partner are hearing instrument specialists.

New Hearing Aid Shop Betting on Low Prices Upstate Hearing owners invested $70K in new Oswego downtown office. They say their prices are 40% to 50% less than the competiton


owntown Oswego has a new healthcare provider, specifically focused on helping patients hear their best. Upstate Hearing, owned by Oswego locals Kristopher Rookey and Clayton Andrews — both hearing instrument specialists — opened in September in the Manipulations Massage Therapy building on West Bridge Street. Andrews is the junior partner in the business and has worked in the corporate hearing care industry for over 30 years. He says that the main focus on 44

the business in Oswego is to provide low-cost premium hearing care to the community. “We made a decision a couple years ago that we wanted to do something different, so what we’re doing is that we price our hearing aids at 40% to 50% less than our competitors,” Andrews said. Andrews and Rookey are offering premium hearing aids exclusively, which come with technological upgrades beyond the standard hearing aid system, like dynamic soundscape detection, Bluetooth connectivity and OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

rechargeable batteries. Their prices start at around $2,000 for a pair. When a patient visits Upstate Hearing, the goal is to establish a relationship between the provider and the patient. Andrews said that not only do they consciously take their time when serving a patient, but they also try to get the patient exactly what they are looking for. “Anybody that comes and gets a test done here, we let them leave with a set of hearing aids for a week.” Andrews said. “What that hearing aid does is it looks for up to seven different listening environments, so we can see their hearing lifestyle, which is beyond their prescription.” Once a patient has had their trial hearing aids for the week, they go back to the office and the data their units have collected is fed into a computer program that analyzes it all. The result is not only a hearing aid that fits the patient’s prescription, but it also has been finetuned to exactly how that patient uses their hearing in their everyday life. This can help inform the provider of what type of hearing aid the patient would be happiest with. Andrews and Rookey are breaking common practices in other ways as well. Not only are their hearing aids comparatively much cheaper than their competition, but their returns policy is also more forgiving too. In New York state, customers have 35 days to return their hearing aids after they first buy them, and the provider can withhold 10% of the total as a nonrefundable service fee. At Upstate Hearing however, every cent that the business collects gets returned to the customer. Altogether, Andrews and Rookey took eigth months to get the office ready for customers and sunk about $20,000 into the space and the tools they needed, plus another $50,000 for inventory. Things like listening booths to test hearing acuity, plus the computer programs and other tools needed to service and maintain the hearing aids themselves can cost quite a lot. Andrews said that it is not uncommon for a hearing practice to require $50,000 to $100,000 worth of initial investment. Both Andrews and Rookey work at a larger practice in Ogdensburg, and Andrews said that is where the two make their money. “The goal here is to get the word out to the community and become a resource for Oswego for inexpensive, premium hearing healthcare,” Andrews said.

By Alexandre Plate DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020


Interior of Stone’s Homemade Candy Shop, which reopened recently at 23 W. Seneca St. in Oswego.

Stone’s Homemade Candy Shop Reopens in Oswego Under new, restructured ownership and a brand-new building, traditional chocolate shop reopens on west side of Port City


tone’s Homemade Candy Shop is back and ready to keep growing, after moving to a new location in downtown Oswego. In January, three local men bought into the business alongside longtime owner Don Regan. Bill Galloway, a local real estate agent; Jeff McCrobie, a former Oswego fire chief; and Diego Lebaudy, a local lawyer, all became equal partners with Regan, and began the process of expanding the business model and looking for ways to improve. The shop, which has been an Oswego staple since the early 1970s, moved from its old West Bridge Street location, to 23 W. Seneca St. in September. According to Galloway, the move was done mainly to put the storefront in closer proximity to downtown Oswego, as well as to facilitate further growth. One of the first major changes coming with the new location is an expanded platform for shipping Stone’s products nationwide. “We expanded the business side of things,” said Galloway. “We’re going to be doing more shipping, we have numerous clients around the country


Real estate broker Bill Galloway and Ron Regan (left). They formed a partnership, along with Jeff McCrobie, a former Oswego fire chief; and Diego Lebaudy, a local lawyer, to reopen Stone’s Homemade Candy Shop. Reagan was the owner. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

who want to order our products.” Moving a candy shop is not the same as moving other businesses, according to Galloway. Not only do the normal things like furniture, computers and paperwork have to be moved, but the machines used for making the candy have to be moved as well. Galloway said that one of the major concerns for the new building was finding a place that could be climate controlled very specifically, in order to ensure that what the shop is producing remains consistent. Overall, Galloway said that the total costs of the refresh, including the move, the renovations at the new location and the new hires to handle the increased shipping totaled over $400,000. Stone’s Homemade Candies is one of only five confectioners to make sponge candy, an Upstate New York specialty with roots in cities like Buffalo, Syracuse and Oswego. The conditions for making the candy have to be similar in order to ensure consistency, said Galloway. Galloway said that he decided to buy into Stone’s because the business was threatening to close. As costs of doing business grew, and the Regan family considered their options, Galloway said that he saw a similarity between Stone’s and a bakery that his family owned when he was younger. “It was so sad to see that close, and Stone’s was showing some signs that it was going to go the same way,” Galloway said. “I saw that there was a lot of potential to buy it, grow it, and hopefully keep it going another 50 years.”

By Alexander Plate 45

Bruce Frassinelli bfrassinelli@ptd.net

By Bruce Frassinelli

Wars, Terrorism, Climate Change, Computer Threats… Dawn of new decade likely to bring same problems we’ve faced in the two first decades ‘The decade does not officially end until Dec. 31, 2020. So why am I doing this column a year earlier? Because, as most people did in 1999, they will be celebrating the end of the decade on the last day of December.’


wo decades into the 21st century seem like a lifetime. Although we would like to have 20/20 vision to see what is going to happen as we stand on the threshold of 2020, no such luck. The best we can do is study the past to try to get a glimpse of the future. While we hope for the best, we brace ourselves for the worst. This is the way of human nature. Wars, terrorism, climate change, our inhumanity to each other, the inability of our leaders to be civil to one another for the common good, computer threats, cyber-bullying — they have been our constant companions during the last 20 years, and, regrettably, they seem to be following us into the 2020s, possibly even beyond. At the end of each year, the news media will gather the top stories from the concluding year as a way to summarize the important events that affected us and possibly touched our lives in a significant way. It’s a device to give context to the

year, rather than looking at it in a vacuum. Before we get into specifics, I want to make the same point that I did when the calendar clicked from Dec. 31, 1999 to Jan. 1, 2000. This was not the beginning of the 21st century, even though most people celebrated as if it were. I, on the other hand, did my celebrating a year later — on Dec. 31, 2000 – because this is when the century officially ended. A lot of my friends said I was nuts until I proved it to them. When we went from 1 BC to AD 1, we did not go through a year “zero.” So, the first 10 years in AD (Anno Domini — year of our Lord) were numbered 1 through 10. The decade ended on the last day of the 10th year. If you extend this to present day, the decade does not officially end until Dec. 31, 2020. So why am I doing this column a year earlier? Because, as most people did in 1999, they will be celebrating the end of the decade on the last day of December. Here is a list of the biggest stories that

My Turn

BRUCE FRASSINELLI is the former publisher of The PalladiumTimes. He served as a governor of the Rotary Club District 7150 (Central New York) from July 2001 to June 2002. 46



occurred in each year since the beginning of the 21st century: ➤➤ Sept. 11, 2001 – The World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked by al-Qaida terrorists flying jets into these buildings in New York City and Washington. A fourth plane was downed in Western Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks. Hundreds more died or are dying from the aftermath of toxic materials ingested into their bodies. ➤➤In 2002, an attack in the tourist district of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali resulted in 202 deaths, including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians, 23 Britons and people of more than 20 other nationalities. More than 200 others were injured. ➤➤ In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein. ➤➤ In 2004, George W. Bush was re-elected president of the United States. Also, Facebook, a controversial force of social media, was formed by Mark Zuckerberg, the fourth richest person in the United States. Forbes magazine pegged his wealth in 2018 at $69.6 billion. To put such an enormous number into perspective, this is four times the combined per capita income of every man, woman and child in both Oswego and Onondaga counties. ➤➤ In 2005, Hurricane Katrina killed 1,836 persons in the Gulf of Mexico area, most notably in New Orleans. ➤➤ In 2006, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was found in his hiding place after having fled for his life following the invasion of his country by allied forces led by the United States. He was convicted by an Iraqi court and hanged. Also, Twitter, another social media phenomenon and the one favored by President Donald Trump, was launched. ➤➤ In 2007, the meltdown triggered by the sub-prime housing and bank crises led to a global recession which nearly caused another Great Depression. ➤➤ In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama became the first African-American president in the nation’s history defeating Republican nominee John McCain. ➤➤ In 2009, thanks to government intervention, the recession began to recede, and the stock market began its methodical run-up to record levels. ➤➤ In 2010, the greatest oil spill in recorded history — known as Deepwater Horizon and operated by BP Petroleum — occurred in the Gulf of DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

‘At the end of each year, the news media will gather the top stories from the concluding year as a way to summarize the important events that affected us and possibly touched our lives in a significant way. It’s a device to give context to the year.’ Mexico following an explosion. This resulted in the discharge of 4.9 billion barrels of crude oil into the Gulf. Also, the Arab Spring movement, which led to the overthrow of leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, officially began. ➤➤ In 2011, the Syrian civil war began. Its consequences continue to be felt today in the changing geopolitical landscape of the Middle East. ➤➤ In 2012, Super Storm Sandy caused $70 billion in damage and devastated parts of New York City, including its famed subway system, and the New Jersey Shore. Also, the surprise attack at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, resulted in the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and embroiled then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the blame game. Also President Obama was re-elected. ➤➤ In 2013, Pope Benedict XVI resigned, and Pope Francis became leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Also, the Boston Marathon bombings occurred resulting in three deaths and the injuring of several hundred others. ➤➤ In 2014, the worst Ebola epidemic in recorded history occurred in West Africa, infecting nearly 30,000 with more than 11,000 deaths. Also, ISIS launched an offensive in northern Iraq to set up a caliphate. This led to intervention in Iraq and Syria by a U.S.-led coalition of armed forces. ➤➤ In 2015, 195 nations agreed to lower carbon emissions as their concern about global warming intensified. Also, coordinated terror attacks by suicide bombers at various locations in Paris resulted in 138 deaths (inOSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

cluding the seven perpetrators) and 413 injuries. ➤➤ In 2016, Republican Donald Trump defied the polling experts and pulled an improbable upset over Democrat Hillary Clinton to become president of the United States. Also, reacting to the influx of immigrants into European countries, voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a movement that would forever become known as “Brexit.” ➤➤ In 2017, Hurricane Harvey killed 68 in Texas; Hurricane Irma killed 52 in Florida, and Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico, killing 2,975. Also, a shooter opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas resulting in 58 deaths and 422 injuries. Also, in Charlottesville, Virginia, site of a protest against the removal of a Confederate statue, a white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and hurting 19 others. Also, the Mueller investigation into foreign interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election began. ➤➤ In 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, resulting in 17 being killed and another 17 injured. The shootings touched off a nationwide debate about gun control and led to massive demonstrations and protests all over the country. Also, Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle were married as about 29 million viewers in the United States looked on. ➤➤ So far in 2019, the Mueller Report was presented with President Trump saying that it vindicated him while his opponents say just the opposite. Also, an inquiry began to determine whether articles of impeachment should be brought against President Trump for allegedly seeking help from a foreign leader (President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine) to launch an investigation into a political rival (Joe Biden) and his son (Hunter). Conventional political wisdom indicates that the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives will vote for impeachment while the Republican-controlled Senate will vote to acquit the president. Also, Republicans and Democrats are preparing for a presidential election in 2020, with Trump running for re-election and more than 20 Democrats trying to win their party’s nomination to oppose him. 47


Fast Food Frenzy Three titans of fast food industry make presence felt in Port City By Lou Sorendo


ast and furious. That describes the growth of fast food options in the city of Oswego this year. Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell and Stewart’s have kicked up the fast food industry in the Port City with new locations, joining the likes of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and KFC. Is this a recurring trend throughout all of Central New York? Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, said consumers look for quick meal options that can be eaten off-premises, and they are turning to quick service and fast casual restaurants. A fast casual restaurant does not offer full table service, but advertises higher quality food than fast food restaurants, with fewer frozen or processed ingredients. It is an intermediate concept between fast food and casual dining, and normally priced accordingly. 48

“As many of these chains are beginning to offer a more diverse set of options on their menus to meet the demands of their customers, they have become a more appealing option,” Fleischut said. “We expect to see this trend continue as people seek more convenient options for their busy lifestyles.” Nationally, the fast food industry is expected to have an annual growth of 2.5% for the next several years. “All of the projections for the restaurant industry in New York state show that our growth is lagging far behind the national average,” Fleischut said. “But it is fair to say they have continued to be a popular option for customers. With people constantly being on the go, the convenience of grabbing fast food, along with some restaurants offering healthier options than before, they have given customers more of a reason to get their food from them.” She noted the New York State Restaurant Association has noticed a shift from traditional, sit-down restauOSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Rank of Largest Fast Food Restaurants in the U.S.

1. McDonald’s 2. Starbucks 3. Subway 4. Taco Bell 5. Chick-fil-A 6. Wendy’s 7. Burger King 8. Dunkin’ Donuts 9. Domino’s 10. Panera Bread Based on U.S. sales in 2018, according to QSR magazine. rants to fast or fast-casual concepts.

Factors driving increase Fleischut spoke to the factors that drive an increase in fast food restaurant options in a given area. “From what we have seen, the population density of a given area seems to drive the decisions of many fast food chains about where they choose to locate their restaurants,” she said. For example, and as expected, fast food chains are not as prevalent in rural DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020


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“There are still quite a few people who’ve been left behind as the economy has been doing well. Folks may have a job, or multiple jobs, but they’re still struggling to make ends meet. A large number of the people who seek assistance in our area are actually employed, they just can’t make ends meet.”




SPECIAL REPORT By Alexander Plate

More CNY Residents Relying on Meals Served by the Food Bank Agency reports that many people seeking assistance are regular folks with jobs who can’t make ends meet


A worker sorts types of food in the Food Bank of Central New York’s warehouse in Syracuse. Photo provided. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

he Food Bank of Central New York is the region’s primary source of food for charitable organizations. Founded in 1985, it is considered one of the country’s most efficient food banks, with an average expense of about $1 for every three meals provided. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, which ended in June 2018, the Food Bank disbursed over 12 million meals to their partner agencies. This past fiscal year saw an increase to that number, about 13 million meals distributed. The main driver of this increase is the ongoing trade war with China and the routing of food meant for export back into the domestic supply chain, according to Becky Lare, director of government relations for the Food Bank. Through “The Emergency Food Assistance Program,” or TEFAP, which is run by the Department of Agriculture, food is routed into food banks and other charitable organizations throughout the country. There are three categories for food received from the program: mandatory commodities, bonus commodities and the Trade Mitigation program. Mandatory commodities are legally required donations made to food banks and charities, organized by the USDA. Bonus commodity donations are decided on by the Secretary of Agriculture and are used as a way to balance out agricultural markets when too much of something has been produced and cannot all be put into the wider market. The Trade Mitigation program is employed when food stocks that would normally be exported to other countries are no longer able to be exported, due to political or economic reasons. In recent months, as a result of the escalating trade war with China, a large amount of food that would normally be sent to China has been routed to OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

charitable organizations through the Trade Mitigation program. “We are receiving a significant increase in commodities coming to the Food Bank, and everything that we receive through the TEFAP programs is wonderful product,” Lare said. “I’m pretty confident in saying that increase can be attributed to the trade mitigation program.” The Food Bank operates as a procurer and distributor of food to charitable organizations around the region. Food is received through government contracts, wholesale purchases or largescale donations. “Those three streams of food are coming into the Food Bank, we’ve got a warehouse located in Syracuse and we have a fleet of tractor trailers,” Lare said. “Our primary distribution network is our partnered agencies, those are your local food pantries, your local soup kitchens and shelters.” The Food Bank also provides food to non-emergency programs, like senior centers and daycares. One of the requirements to become a partner organization is that the organization must be a registered nonprofit. According to executive director Kathleen Stress, the Food Bank partners with over 400 programs across an 11-county region in Central New York. Lare says that while the economy has recovered from the 2008 recession, there is still significant need in the region. According to Stress, the Food Bank has seen a steady increase in the number of people needing assistance since the recession, although the Food Bank has continually had the resources required to meet that demand. “There are still quite a few people who’ve been left behind as the economy has been doing well,” Lare said. “Folks 51

may have a job, or multiple jobs, but they’re still struggling to make ends meet. A large number of the people who seek assistance in our area are actually employed, they just can’t make ends meet.” Another group of people that often relies on food assistance is seniors. Lare said that social security payments and retirement savings do not always sustain the seniors that rely on them. If an unexpected expense comes in, like a medical bill or a car repair bill, the result can be a crisis. As the future looms, Lare said a concern is the return of a recession. As the economy tends to cycle, and economics experts have started to show some worry, Lare said that the Food Bank has still not yet reached their pre2008 levels for distribution. It means the Food Bank has less food to give to peope it serves. That’s especially true in areas of Central New York that rely heavily on one or two industries — the need for food assistance in a community can skyrocket in a relatively short amount of time if the economy should turn and local employers close down. Another worry is possible federal changes to aid programs like SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program). Lare said that when the

Overview of food warehouse maintained by the Food Bank of Central New York. Photo provided. SNAP program changes in a way that reduces the amount of people who are eligible, the result is increased reliance on food assistance charities. The USDA changed SNAP rules three times in 2019, and the most recent change in October has the potential to take benefits from an estimated 8,000 families. The other two adjustments to the program made

in 2019 are expected to cut off almost 4 million people off from SNAP benefits if they are enacted without adjustments. Stress said that she is thankful that the Food Bank has been successfully feeding needy Central New Yorkers for years, but the need for food assistance in the region is just as strong as ever.

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COVER By Lou Sorendondo

Banking on

Deana Michaels Empty nester fulfilling her goals as she steps into the Fulton mayor’s seat


hat do you get when you mix a professional woman, a community volunteer and a devoted mother of two who is now an empty nester? The city of Fulton’s new mayor-elect — Deana Michaels. However, behind the political persona is a person that has both passion and purpose when it comes to not only her profession, but to life itself. Before her ascent to being the market manager for Pathfinder Bank’s Fulton location and the mayor-elect of Fulton, she navigated through a myriad of opportunities and challenges. After graduating from Oswego High School, Michaels attended SUNY Oswego. “I was still in my hometown, but I didn’t feel connected to the college life. I wanted to get out into the world and start a career,” she said. Through high school, Michael worked several jobs, including manager at McDonalds. “I learned the importance of leadership early on,” said Michaels, who attributes her strong work ethic to a hard-working family background. She would then leave school and start work at Oswego City Savings Bank at the age of 19. She started out as a teller and fell in love with working in a professional setting. It wasn’t before long that an opportunity arose within Pathfinder Bank, and Michaels was incentivized further knowing that Pathfinder supported continuing education. Early in her career, she explored various educational opportunities. Once her children got older, she decided to ramp up efforts to attain educational goals, and took several



classes at SUNY Oswego and Cayuga Community College. She was then asked by Pathfinder’s management team to participate in the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking, a three-year program at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School. She graduated in 2016, right around the same time she was contemplating running for mayor of Fulton. Michaels would then discover the American Bankers Association Campaign School for Bankers in Washington, D.C., and she was the only female who attended out of a group of bankers from across the country. From there, Michaels would participate in the highly selective Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. After completing that program, she then participated in the CNY Political Leadership Institute in Syracuse, which featured more local-level politics. “It was after that I said, ‘Yes, this is my calling. I’m ready to run. I can do this,’” she recalls. “It wasn’t about just throwing my hat in without being prepared. To make a commitment like this to my community and family requires research, and I don’t do anything without a great deal of prep.” “Being a woman in this arena has its challenges,” said Michaels, noting there was a real focus on how women survive in the political arena at Yale. One of Michaels’ goals is to empower other women to take on leadership roles. While she now represents the city of Fulton and the business community, she also intends on being a role model and example for all women. “If I do nothing else, I will have been successful if I inspire other young 55

women to be leaders,” she said. “We have to empower one another and raise each other up,” she said. “We have to set examples within the community, and I want to be that example.”

The empty nest Being that her husband Kevin hails from Syracuse and she was an Oswegonian, when the couple married they decided to buy a house halfway between — in Fulton. She and her family have lived in Fulton for the past 16 years. “This is where we raised our children,” she said. The couple raised two boys — Geoffry, 22, and Ryan, 18, who is a senior in high school. “My husband works out of town during the week, and so we have a very unique life in the sense that we are spread out all over the place,” she said. “Some people see it as unusual, but I see it as our unique story, and this is the chapter we are in. And it simply works.” Her husband works as a district manager for Coca-Cola, with his territory being the southern tier of New York. He lives in Pennsylvania. Michaels is officially an “empty nester.” “I now have the time to go after my ambitions, and not have the added pressure of having to take care of the home. I did that for many years, and now when I get home, I hit the reset button and we start all over the next day,” she said. The saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” certainly applies in the Michaels’ household. “That’s true not only with my marriage and relationship with my husband, but with my children too. They’ve grown up and have gone their separate ways and are busy starting their next chapter. I find that when they come home, that time is really special,” she said. Michaels practices meditation, and embraces music and her alone time. “I make sure I find that time. While it wasn’t always the case, I now find myself not turning on the TV as much,” she said. “I am not big into social media as a lot of people are, although with the political side of it, I have had to get back on some social media. “But for me, it’s about enjoying music and family time. You have to know what’s important to you and what makes you feel good.” She goes to Counseling & Healing 56

Deana Michaels serving food during Fulton Polish Fest at Fulton Polish Home in September... Arts in Fulton and meditates under the guidance of instructor Susan Brockway. “It’s about becoming one with yourself and practicing breathing techniques,” said Michaels, noting that when she goes home, she uses calmness and meditation phone apps as well. “It’s connecting with your breathing and getting your mind focused. I find myself doing it throughout the day,” she said. She employs 7-11 breathing, which involves breathing in for a count of seven, and then breathing out for a count of 11. “It really makes a difference. You can do it at the stoplight, or sitting at your desk,” she said. “Let’s face it, life is stressful. It’s important that you can identify the triggers and have techniques to help you get through those stressful moments,” she added. With her new mayoral duties, her high energy, excitement and passion OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

will be on display. “I was always very active as a child,” said Michaels, noting she played softball and spent 15 years as a dancer. “I actually had a desire to become a dance teacher for a long time. I always stayed very active, and then life happened,” she said. “And when life happens, you sometimes lose focus on yourself, because you put everything else as a priority,” she said. “I’m no different that anyone else. We all have busy lives and lose our way from time to time. I was fortunate to find meditation. It taught me to focus on myself and not feel guilty about doing so. I’ve learned through the process that when you can take care of yourself and love yourself first, it makes it much easier to be in healthier relationships with other people. So that’s what I did.” Michaels is vice president of Oswego County Opportunities’ board of directors, an organization she views as DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

an “amazing resource” that is not widely known about in the region. “We focus our efforts making sure we get our message out there” in terms of OCO’s human services mission and vision, she said. Another area that she is passionate about is financial health and wellness. She is an instructor for and co-chairwoman of Pathfinder Bank’s “Money Smart” financial health and wellness program. She travels throughout Oswego and Onondaga counties teaching financial health and wellness. The program teaches participants everything from budgeting, understanding credit, keeping safe in an electronic workplace, and awareness concerning financial fraud and elder financial abuse within the aging population.

Business of banking Michaels’ role at Pathfinder Bank has evolved over the years, and Fulton is her primary market as a branch manager. She has worked at Pathfinder Bank

for 24 years. “The primary focus of my work is to be out in the community. Pathfinder Bank’s focus has always been to give back to the communities that we serve,” she said. For Michaels, that means engaging in the community, be it at board meetings, volunteering, networking or teaching. That passion started when Michaels was a child. “My father Don [Buske] was just someone who was always involved by helping others, volunteering and getting out in the community. It was just something that we always did,” she said. “I grew up in that environment. My father always taught me that giving back was the right thing to do,” she added. While born and educated in Oswego, Michaels spent much of her youth in Fulton. Her father worked at Fulton Container Corp. while several of his 13 siblings found their home in Fulton. For Michaels, it’s always been family first. “I emphasize the importance of family with my employees, co-workers,

friends and people that I know. Life is short and time moves by so fast. At the end of the day, our family is our support system and for me what gives me the most joy in life,” she said. Michaels worked her way up through the ranks of Pathfinder relatively quickly. She started as a teller, became a financial services representative and worked in the bank’s finance department. She became assistant manager at another bank branch before being asked to assist in the opening of the Central Square office. A move to the Fulton branch dovetailed nicely with her family’s plans to buy a house there. “There was an opportunity here in Fulton to make an impact and turn the branch around,” said Michaels, noting she was up for the challenge. “I came here as the assistant manager and soon after was promoted to manager of the branch, and I’ve been here ever since,” she said. Michaels feels a love for her community. “Fulton is on the cusp of something great. You can feel it and you can see

... and playing bingo with seniors at the Fulton Municipal Building in August. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020



it,” she noted. “It’s been exciting to be part of that process and to see the community evolve.” Michaels fully supports her staff learning and seeking to reach their goals, mainly because she was given the same opportunity. “I don’t want to hold anyone back, so when they are seeking to grow within the organization and take on new challenges and positions, I fully support that, because I know firsthand the impact that can have,” she said.

Driving force for DRI Michaels also brought her financial and community development expertise to the table as a key member of Fulton’s Downtown Revitalization Committee. The city was awarded $10 million in DRI funds in 2019. As president of the board, she was serving as the interim executive director of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce when Oswego received its $10 million in DRI funding in 2016. She was closely involved with the Oswego process, sitting down with focus groups and participating in discussions. When Fulton applied for 2019 funds, Michaels was asked to be on the DRI committee. She said the level of excitement upon learning Fulton had been awarded funds “can’t be put into words.” “That’s why I say Fulton is on the cusp. It’s the small victories we need to celebrate, such as the progress being made through Friends of Fulton Parks, Fulton Block Builders, Fulton Footpaths and now the DRI.” Michaels benefitted considerably by experiencing the Oswego DRI journey. “It was a very strategic process and there was a great deal of planning involved,” said Michaels, noting she learned patience is required as well as a well thought out approach. While campaigning, Michaels received feedback from the public that indicated what the city’s major challenges are. “The three major takeaways are safer neighborhoods, and that includes the drug and crime issues; improving our failing infrastructure, and stimulating our economy, and I think the DRI is going to help us to do that,” she said.


Fresh Vision for Future New era in Fulton as Deana Michaels steps in as mayor By Lou Sorendo


ou never completely know what to expect as a parent talking to a college-aged son. Fulton mayor-elect Deana Marie Michaels found out. “The reason I ran for office is because of my son, Geoff,” she said. She was talking to him during the early phases of his college career, and he said. “Mom, I don’t have any reason to move back to Fulton when I graduate.” “As a mother, I sat there and said, ‘that’s not OK. That’s never OK. A mother wants to know that her kids are there and want to be home,” she said. During the discussion, Michaels made it a point to highlight all of the things that were good about Fulton, but also touched on the tough issues, such as potholes in the road, a lack of things to do for people her son’s age, and whether or not he would be able to find a job locally. “He looked at me and said, ‘Mom, this all sounds great, but unless you are willing to do something about it, nothing is ever going to change,’” she said. Michaels walked away from that conversation but just couldn’t shake it. “It was weighing on my mind. He challenged me,” she said. She characterizes herself as being driven and once she sets her mind to something, she is going to see it through. “I’m very goal-oriented and I’m very competitive. I like to be challenged and I welcome constructive feedback. I know I’m not always going to always get it right, but having the opportunity to learn is such a blessing,” she said. She got with her son a short time later and said, “Geoff, you’re right. I have to do something about this, and I’m going to run for mayor of Fulton.” “He laughed at me at first and said, ‘Yeah, right.’ I said, No, you’re right. I can’t just sit on the sidelines,” she said. “If I’m going to talk to you about this, I want to give you reason to move back. I OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

have to give other families and children a reason to choose Fulton as well.” That discussion served as her immediate spark to enter the political arena. “That’s what a lot of my life has been ever since I had children. I want to make them proud and give them a reason to live a great life,” she said. Ironically, Geoff recently graduated from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry as a bio-process engineer. After applying for 102 jobs across the country, he got two offers: one from Huhtamaki in Fulton and the other from Attis Industries in Volney, formerly known as Sunoco Biofuels. After interning at Attis Industries during college, he was hired as a bioprocess engineer there. He also travels throughout Central New York refereeing basketball games. “He said to me he’s not moving back here after college, and now he’s working at Attis,” Michaels noted. SUNY ESF and Attis, intent on creating a “green campus” at the Riverview Business Park, have formed a working partnership. Geoff was recently asked to serve on the advisory council for the bioprocess engineering department at SUNY ESF. Her youngest, Ryan, attended Fulton schools through the 10th grade. He then earned a scholarship to attend Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass. At 6’7”, he is an avid basketball player and competes across the country. He will be graduating in May, and will set his sights on becoming an engineer while playing basketball in college. The tall genes run on both sides of the family, and Michaels is 5’9” herself.

Confidence abounds When Michaels says she is competitive, she means it. Michaels (R-C) won the mayoral DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

race after garnering nearly 55% of the vote in the recent November election. She defeated her closest challenger by more than 23%. “I got into this to win, because I want the community to win,” she said. Michaels said her team ran a “very positive campaign” from day one as it marched toward the mayoral seat. “That’s what Fulton deserved,” she said. “It’s been a long year of campaigning, but we stayed the course,” said Michaels, noting she surrounded herself with experts whom she trusted and showed support for her goals. She said the keys to running a successful campaign involved having a strong work ethic, as well as family and campaign team support system. Michaels also made it a point to establish guidelines early on in terms of how she wanted to run her campaign. “We set the goals and vision and stayed focused on them, and that really made a difference,” she said. “We did that early on.” Michaels ran on the Republican and Conservative lines. While she did sway toward being an independent earlier in her life, she selected the GOP primarily because it aligned with her values and goals. Her allegiance to the Conservative Party “makes sense,” she said, largely because of her focus on spending money wisely and making good financial decisions.

Take-charge approach Among Michaels’ immediate goals as mayor will be to fully analyze all departments to find where the city can be more efficient and effective. “We will continue to deliver a level of transparency that keeps the community engaged and informed,” said Michaels, noting her team will be looking to enhance the city’s web and social media presence to deliver these results. Regarding the recently acquired $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the mayor-elect said there is a lot of work to be done in determining what projects will come to fruition. Michaels said she is looking forward to working with the local planning committee and community members to determine which projects will enhance downtown. “We will work to make city hall more business friendly to ensure we get repeat business and work with our DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

Michaels is the second woman ever to serve as mayor of Fulton. The first one was Muriel Allerton, who served two terms, starting in 1988. Allerton died at age 93 in July 2013. Photo provided. existing business community to ensure they have the support they need to thrive in our community,” she said. Michaels saw her competitive edge over her opponents as being her business experience having worked at Pathfinder Bank for more than 23 years. She is presently the market manager at Pathfinder Bank in Fulton. She also cited her high level of community involvement as one of the reasons why she won over the hearts of city voters. Michaels noted she has a solid network of people with whom she has built strong relationships with over the years. “I’m not afraid to demand a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation,” she said. “I will fight for our city and make sure Fulton is not forgotten. We will do what we need to do in order to put Fulton back on the map and make sure people are paying attention.” “Quality of life is certainly an area where we need to focus on,” Michaels said. She said nearly 20,000 motorists pass through the city every day, while OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

approximately $27 million is coming into the county to support tourism initiatives. “What are we doing to capture that and to get those passersby to stop here and spend money?” she asked. “We have to give them reasons.” “If you look at what our neighbors are doing, they have activities all year around for people to participate in, and I think we need to think along those same lines,” she added. “We need to do things like bring ethnic festivals into the city and look at different holiday opportunities, such as what Oswego did during Halloween with its ‘Creepy Crawl’,” she said. For Michaels, that is how the community is going to win. “You have to surround yourself with people who have energy, passion, drive and ideas. You can’t think what we always did is going to work. Let’s think differently, and if we do that, opportunities will abound,” she added.


L. Michael Treadwell ooc@oswegocounty.org

IDA Report Shows ‘Productive Period’ New report shows creation of 344 new jobs, retention of 193 existing positions in Oswego County

T ‘COIDA’s programs have helped a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, services, housing, tourism/recreation, warehousing, agribusiness, mining, healthcare, energy and mixed-use.’

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. 60

he County of Oswego Industrial Desupported by the City of Fulton Community velopment Agency (COIDA) on Dec. Development Agency, the City of Oswego 3 presented its annual report to the Community Development Office, and OperOswego County Legislature’s Economic ation Oswego County to provide guidance Development and Planning Committee. and assistance to people interested in starting The report provides an account of COIDA’s or expanding a small business. economic development activities during the The program supported six projects 2018-2019 fiscal year, which ran from Aug. projected to create 22 and retain two jobs in 1, 2018, to July 31, 2019. Oswego County. The projects that are being During this productive period, COIDA assisted through this program include: Great supported 29 projects that have or will be Bear Childcare in the town of Schroeppel, investing more than $116 million in OsweMaple Hollow Farm in the town of Hannibal, go County. These projects are projected to Woody’s on 37 in the town of Hastings, MLK create 344 new jobs and retain 193 existing Enterprises in the town of Richland, Clean positions in Oswego County over the next Cut Lawns & Snow Plowing in the town of three to five years. Oswego, and J&E Reid During the 2018-2019 Enterprises in the city Economic Trends fiscal year, COIDA providof Fulton. ed or approved assistance Other forms of asthrough five of its nine financial assistance sistance administered by the COIDA during programs. The two programs which supportthe 2018-2019 fiscal year included the USDA ed the greatest number of projects were the Intermediary Relending Program Economic “Straight Lease Transaction” and the “Micro Development Fund, which supported five Enterprise Program Economic Development projects, the PILOT Economic Development Fund,” representing 59% and 21% of the Fund, which supported two projects, and the projects respectively. Housing and Urban Development Economic The Straight Lease Transaction proDevelopment Fund, which supported two vides financial assistance to companies via projects. real property tax, sales and use tax and mortBusiness projects assisted were distribgage recording tax exemptions as authorized uted throughout Oswego County, located in by NYS General Municipal Law. The program nine towns and both cities. Projects represupported 17 projects projected to create 291 sented numerous industry sectors, including and retain 173 jobs in Oswego County. manufacturing, services, housing, tourism/ Some examples of projects that were recreation, warehousing, agribusiness, assisted through this program include: R.M. mining, healthcare, energy and mixed-use. Burritt Motors in the city of Oswego, Geo Three projects were renewable energy, solar Hotel Co. Water Park in the city of Oswego, projects, three were manufacturing, four were iFreeze in the city of Fulton, Harbor View agribusiness, three were tourism-related, and Square in the city of Oswego, the Litatro four were mixed-use and seven were service Building in the city of Oswego, The Maples businesses. Detail on each is provided in the Assisted Living Facility in the city of FulCOIDA annual report which may be found ton, and Bishops Commons in the city of at www.oswegocountyida.org. Oswego. These were eight projects that are Members of the COIDA board during the projects in the Oswego DRI and planned for fiscal year that ended in July were Gary T. the Fulton DRI. Toth (chairman), Nicholas M. Canale, Jr. (vice The Micro Enterprise Program Ecochairman), H. Leonard Schick (secretary/ nomic Development Fund provides loans treasurer), Thomas Kells, Morris Sorbello, to graduates of the Micro-Enterprise Training Tim Stahl and Barry Trimble. L. Michael Program, a 24-hour small business training Treadwell served as the chief executive officer course coordinated by the SUNY Oswego and Kevin LaMontagne serves as the chief Business Resource Center and the SBA financial officer Small Business Development Center, and OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS


Women Who Make A Difference Here in the Central New York region, women are continuing to fuel the trend of closing the gender gap and they are rising to leadership positions and key roles in the community. Whether it is in education, business, health care or human services, women continue to set the standard in providing outstanding leadership and vision. This feature package looks at many of the female movers and shakers in the community who are making a difference by increasing our quality of life. They not only share where they are professionally and some of their outstanding accomplishments, but also offer a glimpse into their personal lives. We hope you enjoy! Interviews by Lou Sorendo, Deb Jeanne Sergeant and Mary Beth Roach




Stacy Alvord

precious time is on this earth. ➤➤My wishful super power: I wish I had the power to add more time to my day. I never seem to have enough time. ➤➤Would like to meet: Jane Addams is known as the “mother of social work.” She was an activist for the poor and began the American Settlement House movement in the late 19th century. She was a social worker, public administrator, author and championed women’s suffrage in the United States.

Commissioner, Oswego County Department of Social Services ➤➤ Lives in: Scriba.

➤➤This may surprise people: The largest state in the U.S. is the state of poverty. There are 46.7 million U.S. citizens who live below the federal poverty limit, which is $25,100 a year for a family of four. ➤➤My hidden talent: I take people where they are at without judgment. I understand that we are all doing the best we can given the opportunities afforded us.

➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, Bachelor of Arts degree in public justice (1980); Syracuse University, Master of Social Work (1997).

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I have a heart for mission and feel called to be a social worker. When you love what you do, it brings incredible joy to life. My mom and dad would often tell me to find something I love to do for a career in life. They would be proud to know that I did.

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I am proud and honored to work with an amazing team of colleagues at DSS. Together, we can do what not one of us can do alone. Joining in mission, especially one so compelling, is an extraordinary experience. I am inspired every day by the courage and resilience of our most vulnerable citizenry. I give my thanks to the Oswego County Legislature for providing me this opportunity to serve.

➤➤Favorite nonprofit: I have been a United Way donor for over 35 years. The United Way assures that donations target programs that have high impact to a community’s most pressing social issues. The nonprofits that receive United Way dollars are well-managed and are showing good outcomes, or they would not receive an award. I know my donation to the United Way makes a difference in my community.

➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband Mark Alvord.

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? Embrace mission. This is a field that takes grit and it takes heart. We serve the neediest of the needy and the poorest of the poor. We serve children and families in crisis. Keeping mission at the forefront keeps us grounded and moving in the right direction.

Chief executive officer, ARISE ➤➤Lives in: Syracuse. ➤➤Children: Daughter, Eliza. ➤➤Education: Syracuse University, Bachelor of Arts degree in English and magazine journalism; master’s degree in media administration, juris doctorate. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My personal and professional lives seem to have culminated in the opportunity to lead ARISE. My work as a reporter engaged me in the community and honed my writing. My work as a lawyer taught me advocacy and problem solving. My 17 years on the board of ARISE laid the foundation for the CEO role. My role as Eliza’s mom pulled it all together in ensuring that people with disabilities have the services and supports they need to be successful and included in our world. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? Embrace change, because human services are changing rapidly in terms of funding and regulations. Listen actively to everyone around you and you will learn so much. Keep the mission of your organization in your heart, because that is why you are working so hard. Have fun and laugh, so the inevitable stress doesn’t wear you out.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Enjoying all the events and the natural wonders of Oswego County. There is so much to do and to see across our county. Tourists come from all over the world to enjoy what is in my back yard. My favorite place to walk with my dog Mindy is Fort Ontario.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Running. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Eliza’s baby clothes. ➤➤My wishful super power: Snow removal with the snap of my fingers.

➤➤I can’t get rid of: My grandmother clock, a wedding gift from my dad. It chimes on the hour and reminds me how 62

Tania Anderson

➤➤Would like to meet: Mr. Rogers. ➤➤This may surprise people: I was an OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS


avid swing dancer for years and helped organize and manage a nonprofit devoted to promoting the dance in Central New York. ➤➤My hidden talent: Cooking, very hidden. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I’m able to analyze situations quickly and keep an open mind. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: ARISE, of course! ➤➤Other leadership positions: President of Inclusive Alliance Independent Practice Association; director of CNY Care Collaborative; Oswego County Workforce Development Board member; NY Association for Independent Living; LIFEPlan Care Coordination Organization; CNY Behavioral Health Care Collaborative.

Inga Back

in our club who are all committed to the Zonta ideals — empowering women, achieving equal rights, and eliminating domestic violence. Our members are leaders in their own right and give their time and talents for the good of the club and community. I am very fortunate to be part of this.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Sleeping. Free time seems to be a rare commodity.

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: We all have our strengths — find yours and exploit them. Work hard. Nothing happens in the absence of that. Know that it’s the journey that’s more important than the destination. To quote Amelia Earhart, who was an early member of Zonta, “The process is its own reward.” Finally, always listen and try to be kind.

➤➤This may surprise people: Though I was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and am a Packers’ fan, I do not own a cheese hat.

➤➤I can’t get rid of: My favorite books. I love to pull them out and re-read them. ➤➤My wishful super power: Everything Wonder Woman can do. ➤➤Would like to meet: Michelle Obama.

➤➤My hidden talent: I can make a lovely Christmas ornament out of a beer (or soda) can. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Harnessing the talents

Margaret N. Barclay Executive director, Oswego Health Foundation The Ethan Lindberg Foundation supports families with children with congenital heart disease. Our son, Harry, was diagnosed with congenital heart disease as a toddler. He has had two open heart surgeries and has been asymptomatic and healthy. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? In development and philanthropy it is important to work for a nonprofit that you believe in and support. Surround yourself with people that you enjoy and balance your strengths and weaknesses. Laugh and enjoy your work.

President, Zonta Club of Oswego

➤➤ When I’m not working, I’m: a mother to our two sons, running with friends, walking our dog Hank and spending time with family and friends.

➤➤Lives in: Oswego. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Rick Back, professor at SUNY Oswego; three children, Clara, 14; Tommy, 16; and Nick, 19. ➤➤Education: Master of Science degree, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Master of Science degree in public health, SUNY Albany. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I’m very proud to be leading the Zonta Club of Oswego during a time of such proliferation and success. We’ve increased our membership by about 30% over the past year and our events and activities have been extremely successful and impactful. We also have several new projects on the horizon that we are looking forward to. I attribute this success to the amazing group of women DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤I can’t get rid of: Sweaters that my mother knit for my father that I remember him wearing proudly. ➤➤My wishful super power: Flight. ➤➤Lives in: Pulaski. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Husband Will; sons Harry and George. ➤➤Education: St. Lawrence University, bachelor’s degree. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Our two sons. Raising money for the Ethan Lindberg Foundation and running the Boston Marathon with Team Frannie. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤This may surprise people: I’ve been laughing at my husband’s jokes since 1996. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Oswego Health Foundation! ➤➤Other leadership positions: I am on the board of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation and the Council for the Women’s Fund of CNY.


and energy of those around me. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Zonta Club of Oswego. ➤➤Other leadership positions: At work, I manage several medical practices for Oswego Health. I serve on the board of the County of Oswego Council on Alcoholism & Addictions, have completed Leadership Oswego County and the Health Leadership fellows program through the Health Foundation of Central & Western New York. I was also secretary of the Kingsford Park Home and School Association when my kids were there and organized the KPS Triathlon for many years.

Barbara Bateman

“the face of NBT Bank” in the Oswego market, it made me feel appreciated and needed. Personally, becoming a wife, mother and grandmother are right at the top of the list. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Making sure that you find your passion with any career is important. Surrounding yourself with people that care about the things that you care about is key. And first and foremost, get involved with your community. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Spending time with my family and friends. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Old photographs of family are important things to hang on to. I never thought I would get rid of the papers from my children’s childhood, but recently my husband and I have downsized again and this time, I’ve separated the piles for each child and will be sending them to them. ➤➤My wishful super power: The power to heal would be a wonderful super power. ➤➤Would like to meet: Oprah Winfrey. She is an amazing woman. She is generous, kind, intelligent and has overcome many challenges. ➤➤My hidden talent: I was a rifle sergeant in the Oswego Black Nights Drum Corp and could spin and toss the rifle and saber pretty well.

Vice president, branch manager, NBT Bank ➤➤Lives in: Oswego. ➤➤Spouse: Robert Bateman. Children: Jolene Liegl of Florida, Kristen Kelly of Oswego and Ryan Bateman of Brooklyn. ➤➤Education: Onondaga Community College, Cayuga Community College, AIB degree. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment was being recognized by United Way with the “Spirit of Community Award.” Early in my banking career, I was asked to manage the new Oswego County Savings Bank branch that was being built on the west side of the city. That was one of my proudest moments in banking. Since then, being made senior vice president with Alliance Bank was pivotal. When we became NBT Bank and I was asked to continue and be 64

Faye Scott Beckwith

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Customer service is definitely my main strength. My customers have been so important to me over my 33 years in banking, and I have loved making and growing those relationships. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: This is a tough one. I have so many that I have worked with over the years. My recent passion is being the chairwoman of the Oswego Health Foundation. Oswego Health is such an important institution in this community, and they are doing so many necessary things to bring valuable and much needed services to this community. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Currently chairwoman of Operation Oswego County and member of Zonta Club of Oswego. Past chairwoman of the Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce; past board member of Oswego Health (but still sit on committees); past Red Cross board member and past advisory chairwoman of the Oswego Salvation Army, to name a few.

Owner, licensed real estate broker, Freedom Real Estate ➤➤Lives in: Hannibal ➤➤Spouse/children: Husband Jack Beckwith; three grown children, three children-in-law; and six grandchildren; we are excited for our first great-grandchild in February. ➤➤Education: Earned four nationally recognized professional designations; certified residential specialist; graduate of the REALTORS Institute. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Our family is my favorite accomplishment. Also I was named New York State Residential Specialist of the Year several years ago. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering the field? Learn something new every day and don’t let the job beat you down. Above all else, be nice. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Planning. I’m always planning what to do next, whether it’s learning a new song or where we might travel. There’s always a new adventure on the horizon. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Stuff. I’m trying to simplify, but with four jobs, papers and ideas accumulate. ➤➤My wishful super power: I would wave my magic wand and our home would be in perfect order from top to bottom. That’s my selfish wish. My serious wish would help everyone to flourish with love. ➤➤Would like to meet: My Scottish and Irish ancestors.



➤➤This may surprise people: My husband Jack and I eloped 55 years ago with only $300. And yes, I was a child bride. ➤➤My hidden talent: I’m hoping to discover this soon! Jack and I are enjoying performing music together. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional? Perseverance and sincerity. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Samaritan’s Purse. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Past president, Christmas Trees Farmers Association of New York; past president, Oswego Board of Realtors; teach Zumba fitness.

Debbie Bilello

Being brave enough to dive into business on my own has been life changing. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: My advice to young people is be fearless. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Take one step and then take the next step. You will learn what to do next after you’ve taken a few steps. If it makes your heart sing, then find a way to pursue it and be successful at it. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Quilting, paper crafting or enjoying time with my kids and grandchildren. Grandchildren are the perfect reward for raising children. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: A quilt that was made for my mom for her 70th birthday. It holds the signatures and handprints of her children and grandchildren. She has since passed. The quilt is a treasured heirloom. ➤➤My wishful super power: I would like a kindness magic wand that I could wave and make people be kinder to one another. ➤➤Would like to meet: Jesus Christ. ➤➤This may surprise people: Some days I miss being an employee. As much as I love being a business owner, some days I’d like to be an employee and work 9 to 5.

Administrator, Fort Brewerton/Greater Oneida Lake Chamber of Commerce

➤➤Lives in: Central Square.

➤➤Spouse: Lou Bilello; children Brian, Mike and Justin. ➤➤Education: Bryant Stratton College, associate degree in accounting. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I think my proudest accomplishment is having built a successful business on my own. I was an employee in office administration and management in a variety of fields my whole life. After being downsized from two consecutive jobs I realized that I had skills that were marketable to small businesses who needed some guidance in that administrative role. Business owners are really good at focusing on their business. Sometimes they need someone to help them steer the ship from an administrative standpoint. That role isn’t specific to any one industry, but needed in all industries. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

Randi Bregman

➤➤My hidden talent: I’m not sure I have one. I’m pretty much an open book so not too many things are hidden. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: The ability to see a big picture and identify the parts needed to reach the big picture. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: BSA Scouting. All three of my boys are Eagle Scouts. ➤➤Other leadership positions: No other current leadership roles but multiple former roles. Former youth leader at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Liverpool; former chairperson of the Cooperative Youth Ministry in the Central Crossroads Conference; former chairperson of the Central Crossroads Conference Volleyball Marathon; held multiple positions in the Boy Scout organization including committee chairwoman, treasurer, den leader, district commissioner.

Executive director, Vera House, Inc. ➤➤Lives in: Manlius ➤➤Spouse / Children: Husband Ted Gottbrecht; daughter Sonja Gottbrecht; son Carl Gottbrecht; and two wonderful grandchildren Sorin and Bryce. ➤➤Education: Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Albany, Master of Social Work degree from Syracuse University. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest personal accomplishment would have to be raising my amazing children and then helping to raise my wonderful grandchildren. My proudest work accomplishments would be the merger of Vera House and the Rape Crisis Center, “together for hope and healing”, and the overall growth of our programs and services. I am particularly proud of our efforts to reach marginalized communities and our commitment to prevention work, attempting to change the culture that allows violence and abuse to occur. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: I think you need to start by knowing how to take care of yourself and having a good work/life balance. Then you can pour your passion into the work without losing yourself. Also, know that it is okay to fail or make mistakes – that is where a lot of our best learning comes from. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: relaxing with my family and friends, usually eating healthy comfort food. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My kids’ old things.



➤➤My wishful super power: Bring peace. ➤➤Would like to meet: Tarana Burke. ➤➤This may surprise people: I love to eat snow (it has to be clean though). ➤➤My hidden talent: Calligraphy. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I am deeply committed to the mission of Vera House and try to live my life promoting Vera House’s vision — a world free of violence and abuse. I engage our community in difficult conversations that are essential for us to grow and change. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Vera House, but I love many others.

Hockey Magazine and authoring four published books. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: For aspiring anchors, remember the news should be told, not read. You are real news. Daily rebuild the trust of the people. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: at a hockey rink watching my daughter play. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: my children’s first pair of tiny hockey skates. ➤➤ My wishful super power: Teleportation, to be able to travel to any place at any time. ➤➤Would like to meet: Paul McCartney.

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Partnership with my husband and raising four wonderful children. Inspiring philanthropy support at SUNY Oswego. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Don’t be afraid of failure, or the word “no.” Have a strong connection to the pulse of your charitable institution. Know what will tangibly be transformed — for the greater good — as you ask others for philanthropic support. Then, go out and represent your institutional mission with confidence, and conviction. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: cycling, walking and spending time with family. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My books.

➤➤Other leadership positions: I serve on the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence policy committee and am on the Steering Committee of the Human Services Leadership Council.

➤➤This may surprise people: I had two total hip replacements.

Christie Casciano Burns

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Passion.

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Determination.

➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Make A Wish Foundation.

➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Feed the Poor and Oswego College Foundation.

➤➤My hidden talent: I love to figure skate. I can do one mean waltz jump toe loop combination.

➤➤Other leadership positions: Newsroom mentor to young reporters.

Mary Canale

News anchor, author WSYR-TV, channel 9 ➤➤Lives in: East Syracuse. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Husband, John; daughter, Sophia; son, Joey. ➤➤Education: Bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, SI Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Raising two wonderful children, being recognized with an Emmy Nomination and Edward R. Murrow Regional Award for “Heroin, Too Close To Home” series; writing a monthly column in USA 66

Vice president for development and alumni relations, SUNY Oswego ➤➤ Lives in: Oswego. ➤➤Spouse: Steven. Children: Christine Brown, Ali Scanlon, Michele Canale and Marissa Canale. ➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, psychology. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤Would like to meet: Michele Obama and Andra Bocelli. ➤➤This may surprise people: I am a crime show Nexflix junkie.

Pamela Caraccioli

Deputy to the president for external partnerships and economic development, SUNY Oswego ➤➤Lives in: City of Oswego. ➤➤Children: Jack, 15; Matthew, 16; and our family dog, Olive. ➤➤Education: University of California at Santa Barbara, bachelor’s degree in law and society; Maxwell School at Syracuse University, master’s degree in public administration. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: It would be tough to consider my proudest accomplishment without sharing that I’m most proud of my two sons. They’re pretty cool guys who surprise, ground and inspire me daily. On a professional level, I need to give a shout out to my entire team on (and off) campus, where we build partnerships and create opportunities for our students and our community. Two great, local examples of this include our Leighton Learning Community at Leighton Elementary School, and our Agricultural Testing and Analysis Labs at the Port of Oswego Authority. I’m fortunate to be able to collaborate with many local and regional leaders as well as our

campus departments to help build these partnerships. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: I would tell any young person that higher education is an incredible space to work in. It is tremendously rewarding to mentor students, and there are endless opportunities to continue learning, develop new skills, and gain perspectives across cultures and other enriching areas. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: In motion with two busy teenagers, but we also intentionally carve out time to catch up, watch movies and play lots of ping pong. We also enjoy travel, playing golf, running, cycling and kayaking.

Janet West Clerkin Tourism and public information coordinator, Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism & Planning oncology nurse in Syracuse; Sean is a sales rep for a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, software firm, and Mary Katherine is an account rep for a market research company in Rochester. Family time is very important to me.

➤➤Lives in: Parish. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband Kevin; children Brendan, Sean and Mary Katherine; one grandson, Leland James Clerkin. ➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, Bachelor of Arts degree in English and history, and several marketing courses. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: On a personal level, my proudest accomplishment is raising our three children with my husband, Kevin. We strived to raise them to be responsible and compassionate adults and exposed them to a variety of experiences while they were growing up. Brendan is an


➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? No matter how insignificant it seems, approach every job as an opportunity to learn something new. My first job out of college was as a proofreader for “The Palladium-Times.” I knew that position wasn’t my career goal, but the skills I learned from my co-workers were invaluable and opened many doors for me. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help or advice. Take risks and accept new challenges. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Cooking, tending our vegetable garden, knitting and spending time outdoors. We tent and canoe camp as often as possible, and take a backcountry camping trip every year. In the winter, I try to get out and cross-country ski or snowshoe. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: A Hohner diatonic accordion that belonged to my French-Canadian grandmother. ➤➤Would like to meet: Both of my grandfathers, Dexter Slack and William West, passed away long before I was born. I would love to have met them. ➤➤This may surprise people: I have an OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤I can’t get rid of: I rescued my great-grandmother ’s writing desk about 25 years ago. It’s been refinished and is a beautiful piece that I hope will also be cherished by my sons and their families. ➤➤My wishful super power: Like any busy parent, I wish I could be replicated so that I could cover all my bases at a much slower pace. ➤➤Would like to meet: I’ve been lucky to meet some important and cool people, but I would love to re-meet my parents and grandparents, who are all deceased. They were incredible people and I would enjoy knowing them again. ➤➤This may surprise people: I followed identical twin, Jane, who lives in the Albany area. ➤➤My hidden talent: I don’t know if it’s a talent but I play accordion and clarinet. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: That’s a tough question. I try to look at the big picture and be open to other viewpoints. I always enjoyed writing, and I learned as a newspaper reporter to write under pressure and stay focused. I try to use these skills to help raise awareness about the many positive programs taking place in our community. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: I have enjoyed being involved in several community organizations, but my favorite nonprofit is the Oswego County Pioneer Search and Rescue Team. I joined the team three years ago. It’s made up of dedicated and highly trained volunteers who make themselves available to search for missing persons at all hours of the day and night. We also educate the community, especially youth groups, about how to prepare for a hike and stay safe if they are lost in the woods. ➤➤Other leadership positions: I recently stepped down after serving more than 10 years as secretary of Friends of Fort Ontario. The fort is near and dear to my heart and the Friends group is a wonderful group of volunteers that supports educational programs and other projects at the fort. I also served as president of the Oswego County Professional Association, the labor union that represents middle management and professional positions across several departments of county government. 67

the Grateful Dead throughout the 80’s and into the 90’s, and my last show with Jerry Garcia as lead was in 1995 at RFK stadium in Washington D.C. for my bachelorette party. This was also the year he died. I was lucky to see their farewell show in Chicago in 2015, which was both fun and nostalgic, and it marked my 49th show.

community would be like without the work they do. Similarly, but on a more global level, I think the highest nonprofit bar is set by the Gates Foundation. I subscribe to Bill and Melinda’s blogs and try to keep up with them. They’re an incredible team who attach to lifting the most vulnerable populations across the globe.

➤➤My hidden talent: I’d like to think that I try to find the humor in most any setting — from flight delays to long meetings.

➤➤Other leadership positions: I’m fortunate to sit on many councils, task forces and committees at SUNY Oswego. I’m also a trustee with Fulton Savings Bank and enjoy sitting on the boards for Upstate Medical’s Biotech Accelerator, the NYS Economic Development Council, the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, and Syracuse City School District’s Partnership Council.

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I’m pretty intentional about hiring good talent and I can appreciate that they often know more than I do. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Locally, my favorite nonprofit is Oswego County Opportunities. I cannot image what our

Elizabeth A. “Betsy” Copps Senior director of operations, Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. in their lives back then means I have to work longer before I can retire but to me, nothing has a more powerful influence on our future than bringing up kind, decent human beings who can make a difference. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Jump in with both feet. Be yourself — your best self. Be a sponge: soak up and learn from as many experiences as you can. Listen twice as much as you speak. Don’t burn any bridges; you may need that person’s recommendation someday. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Spending time with family, serving in the faith community, devouring books, spoiling my golden doodle, following Syracuse Crunch hockey, crafting or cooking. ➤➤Lives in: Fulton. ➤➤Spouse: Husband Chuck. Children: Kenny, 31; and Auger, 27. ➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, bachelor’s degree in English writing arts and history. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Staying at home with my children during their early years. I was fortunate to have freelance work and some parttime writing assignments until the youngest started school. Investing 68

➤➤I can’t get rid of: Christmas decorations made by our kids, and some old and pretty ugly ornaments that belonged to parents and grandparents. Garish or falling apart, they still go on the tree. ➤➤My wishful super power: To be able to breathe under water and survive the tremendous water pressure. Our planet is 70% water and there’s so much that remains unknown and unexplored. ➤➤Would like to meet: I thought hard about this one, because I don’t follow celebrities or pay much attention to OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

famous people. What I’d really like is to meet someone who is born 100 years from now, and find out how the work we do today has informed the world they live in. ➤➤This may surprise people: While in high school I was privileged to drive a 1961 Ford Thunderbird — until I got into a fender bender. So I actually did have “fun, fun, fun ‘til Daddy took the T-Bird away.” ➤➤My hidden talent: I’m a musician. I play and sing as a worship leader in local churches, and I have written a few of my own songs — all since losing hearing in my right ear in 2001. Also, my husband and I are National Anthem singers. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: My ability to leverage every scrap of learning and life experience together to carry out my work responsibilities with skill, compassion, and excellence. I’ve come a long way toward becoming a fully integrated person, allowing my best professional, personal, spiritual, mental and emotional attributes to be expressed in everything I do. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: I believe in the mission and role of nonprofits in the community, and I also believe in supporting their work, financially and through service opportunities, on the local, national and global levels. I work to support my family and be able to give to help others. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Founding member, Lakeside Christian Ministries; board member, Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

Megan Coleman

TV news anchor, WSTM-TV, CNYCentral ➤➤Lives in: Manlius. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Husband Richard, children: Olivia, 9; Henry, 7; Hudson, 4. ➤➤Education: Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: During the course of my broadcast journalism career, I have had the privilege of telling many stories about Central New Yorkers. One of my proudest achievements was winning two New York Emmy Awards alongside my incredibly talented and passionate team. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: You are entering this industry at a most crucial time. It is critical to remember the vital trust the public places in you and to report the news with honesty, objectivity and integrity. Never lose sight of that responsibility. Keep your eyes and ears wide open. There are hidden gems in every story. Read often and find diverse sources from which to stay up-to-date and educated. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Spending time with my family, including my husband and three children. Traveling to nearby and far off places. Immersing myself in arts and culture. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My daily cup of Illy coffee, chapstick, body lotion and nice glass of sauvignon blanc to end the workday. ➤➤My wishful super power: As a working mother, I know all too well the challengDECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

es of juggling multiple hats. If I had a super power, it would be able to clone myself so I could be in multiple places at once. Ideally, I would be anchoring and reporting the news while shuffling kids to their after school activities, making dinner for my family and simultaneously being in the school auditorium for a class performance. ➤➤Would like to meet: From politicians to rock stars, I have had the great fortune of interviewing many famous faces over the years including rocker Alice Cooper and actor Richard Gere as well as former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. If I could go back in time, I would love to meet Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman. I would also enjoy the opportunity to interview astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As for being star struck, I would love to meet actor Matt Damon. ➤➤This may surprise people: When I was 15-years-old, I traveled abroad to live with a family in a small town in Spain. Such an adventure may have seemed daunting to some, but for me it was an experience that I was eager to embrace. As a result, I learned how to take a leap of faith, learn about a foreign culture and embrace a new language. It left me with an even greater confidence to take on the unknown. ➤➤My hidden talent: Thanks to my experience studying abroad as a teenager and again during my college years in Spain, I have become proficient in the Spanish language. It is a skill that I have relied on many times throughout my professional career. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Listening. Most people see me reporting the news, but I think my most valuable skill is the ability to listen to others, understand their concerns and use that to inform myself and the community as I tell the stories of issues impacting Central New Yorkers. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: There are so many nonprofits making a difference in Central New York. As a news organization, we have proudly teamed up with the Food Bank of Central New York for an annual telethon each year understanding that no one should go hungry. I am also incredibly passionate about supporting the arts including the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), the Everson Museum, Syracuse Stage, Symphoria, Broadway in Syracuse and the Landmark Theater. I am also proud OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

of the work done by Vera House, the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York to help children and families across Central New York. ➤➤Other leadership positions: I previously served on the board of trustees for the Museum of Science and Technology and Temple Concord.

Diane CooperCurrier

Executive director, Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. ➤➤Lives in: Scriba. ➤➤Education: Master of Social Work degree, Syracuse University. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I led a project with other community leaders in examining the issue of runaway and homeless youth in Oswego County. As a rule of this work, we were able to obtain funding for runaway and homeless youth services in Oswego County. This provided the first-ever safe emergency and transitional housing alternative for youth to turn to when they were pushed out or left their family. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Stay focused on the mission and the reason why you chose to enter the helping profession. Keep in mind that people do things for their own reasons and in their own time, not for your reasons or in your time frame. If you have a personal vision of advancement, pay attention to your present-day experiences, learn from them and carry that knowledge 69

into the future. ➤➤When I’m not working: I’m relaxing any way possible! I particularly enjoy traveling, gardening, walking and watching my two goofy dogs play together. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: A piano that my mother gave her mother with her earnings from her first job. It is now ruined because of a recent flood in my house but I can’t part with it. ➤➤My wishful super power: To evoke kindness, caring and acceptance on to everyone. ➤➤Would like to meet: Abraham Lincoln. ➤➤This may surprise people: I am a closet introvert and find it a challenge to speak before groups of people. ➤➤My hidden talent: I don’t think I have any hidden talent. If I do, they are hidden from me as well. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., of course.

Science degree in teaching English as a second language and an a Doctorate of Education degree in curriculum and instruction, both from SUNY Albany. ➤➤Proudest Accomplishment: Raising a wonderful daughter and finding meaningful work. Every graduation ceremony fills me with hope and pride. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: For young people interested in entering higher education, I recommend that they push through and complete their graduate work, find passion in their research, and get teaching experience early. This will help them build a strong foundation connected to something they care about. ➤➤When I am not working, I am: wondering why I’m not working because there is plenty to do. I like spending time with friends and traveling. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: I have too many sets of china from various relatives.

➤➤Other leadership positions: I have been a member of many local, regional and state nonprofit boards and have held officer positions on several of them.

➤➤My wishful superpower: The ability to grant wishes.

Kathleen “Casey” Crabill

➤➤This may surprise people: When I retire, I want to travel the world to study wine.

➤➤Would like to meet: Eleanor Roosevelt.

➤➤My hidden talent: A decent cook. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: At this stage, I would say strength comes from experience, a strong network and the ability to remain level during stressful times. ➤➤Favorite non-profit: Onondaga Community College. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Chairwoman of the Central New York Community Foundation board.

President, Onondaga Community College. ➤➤Lives in: Camillus. ➤➤Children: Daughter, Katy. ➤➤Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Skidmore College; Master of 70

Karrie DammStewart

CNY’s Business Magazine

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Executive director, Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County ➤➤Lives in: Scriba. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Husband Craig; one child, Kaylee; four step kids: Stef, Jessie, Cody and Abbi; four grandbabies, and too many to count furbabies. ➤➤Education: Syracuse University: Dual Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and psychology; master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest personal accomplishment is maintaining my integrity and relationships in a tough world. My proudest professional accomplishment is building a permanent home for the CAC that will be a beacon of hope for abused children and their families for generations. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? Know yourself. Find your voice. Speak up when someone gives you the microphone because it’s a privilege not afforded to everyone. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: traveling to fun places with my family and swimming with my kids and grandbabies. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Old Christmas ornaments that symbolize something important that happened that year. I’ve been collecting them for 30 years. ➤➤My wishful super power: To clone myself. There are too many things I want to do and not enough of me to do them all. ➤➤Would like to meet: The Dalai Lama or



Pope Frances. How they keep their faith in trying times is a piece of knowledge I’d like to learn. ➤➤This may surprise people: I’m a huge nerd. I love books and reading and math and science. ➤➤My hidden talent: I make an amazing chocolate cake. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: My resilience. I am able to see the good in people, maintain compassion, and bounce back after a disappointment. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: After the CAC, the Girl Scouts. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Treasurer of the New York State Children’s Alliance; former president and board member of the New York Association for Marriage & Family Therapy. I’m also a member of the Oswego County Child Protection Advisory Committee.

ally choosing a life of service, both as a professional and volunteer. Over the years, I have worked extensively with countless youth programs, dedicated time to numerous community organization boards, taught agricultural programs in the schools and in public forums, and helped run global and local outreach initiatives through our church. Stepping out into the often-complicated world of elected public service was a significant challenge for me. However, every conscious choice to use my time, talents, and education for the benefit of others has resulted in a positive ripple

effect that is both reciprocal and exponential. I am very proud of that. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: To participate in elected public service positions. Most importantly, you have to know yourself, fully understand your value system, and be willing to work humbly and sacrificially. Once elected, never forget you are a servant to the needs of your constituency and external pressures should never overshadow your personal moral compass. Lastly, don’t let anyone tell you don’t belong. Everyone,

Lynne Eggert Associate leader, wellness and emergency services coordinator, Novelis, Inc.

injured soldiers and vets; my oldest daughter graduating from Northwestern Law as an attorney and my youngest daughter graduating from Yale University with a Master in Public Health degree.

Heather DelConte

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Nursing is not just a profession; it’s a passion to help others. Although many nursing responsibilities have changed over the years and as a whole have become more technical with advanced medicine, one thing has not: making a difference in someone’s life. My career as a nurse has made me a better person. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: golfing, cooking, reading and traveling. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My piano.

President, Oswego City School Board of Education; legislator, Oswego County Legislature ➤➤Lives in: Black Creek Farms, Volney. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Scott J. DelConte; daughters Danielle, 19; Nicole, 17; and sons Joseph, 15, and Jack, 13. ➤➤Education: Bachelor of Science degree (1995), Master of Science degree (1997), Cornell University. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I can’t really take credit for what I am most proud of — my marriage and children. However, I can take credit for intentionDECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤My wishful super power: To be able to travel in time and witness important events in history. ➤➤Would like to meet: Malala Yousifazi. ➤➤This may surprise people: I love ballet and classical music. ➤➤Lives in: Oswego.

➤➤My hidden talent: Figure skater.

➤➤Spouse: Jeffrey Eggert; children: Eric, Amanda and Rachel Morris. ➤➤Education: Roberts Wesleyn College, bachelor’s in nursing; Community General, NYS nurse practitioner certification.

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I would consider my professional strength as being dedicated to my work. I have a strong sense of support and loyalty to our employees and company.

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Raising three wonderful children with proudest moments being my son enlisting in the United States Army, working at Walter Reed Hospital, caring for our

➤➤Other leadership positions: Farnham board member; Oswego Health board member, Oswego Health Business Relations Committee, member.


➤➤Favorite nonprofit: SCPA.


regardless of political affiliation, place of birth, or socioeconomic status should have a chance to serve in this capacity for their own growth and the benefit of the community. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Still working. Our family manages a small beef farm, raising mostly registered breeding stock. Although we work together, there is always more to do. We spend a lot of time as a family fixing fences, training calves and managing manure. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: There isn’t any material item I am attached to. I like to keep life simple. ➤➤My wishful super power: I wish I had the ability to see and understand everyone else’s perspective. ➤➤Would like to meet: Harriet Tubman. ➤➤This may surprise people: I was living with my family in New Delhi, India, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated (Oct. 31, 1984). The riots and terrible events that ensued had a tremendous impact on me. ➤➤My hidden talent: I tear and glue tiny pieces of old magazine pages to create artwork depicting nature, pets and landscapes. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I am creative and really enjoy developing solutions that exist outside traditional boundaries. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: 4-H and Future Farmers of America. ➤➤Other leadership positions: 4-H leader, Oswego County; junior livestock and educational superintendent, Oswego County Fair.

Linda Eagan

➤➤Lives in: Volney. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband Mark; daughter Cathlin and son-in-law Sermet, who have two beautiful sons Ashton and Jack; Son Micheil, engaged to Kristen; and son Alan, married to Ashley with a sweet daughter Ava. ➤➤Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in social work and criminal justice, Anderson College; master’s level guidance counseling coursework, SUNY Oswego. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My family is hands-down what makes me beam with pride. But I’m guessing you want me to talk about Fulton Block Builders. In November, I was selected as one of nine American Association of Retired Persons’ Purpose Prize fellows in the United States. This is a great honor and brings with it a year of technical assistance that will catapult FBB from a start-up to a replicable, sustainable organization. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? Don’t let labels prevent you from moving forward and doing new things. Fulton Block Builders is a neighborhood revitalization program that helps homeowners and property owners recover part of the cost of their property improvements. After a career in human services helping teens and families build on their strengths, I started Fulton Builders as a neighborhood revitalization program bringing neighbors and communities together. But this is not my training or field of study. Skills are transferable. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Hanging with family and friends, gardening, hiking, entertaining and playing with my dog. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: A glass water pitcher my mother received as a wedding gift. She was always afraid she would break it and therefore used it rarely if ever. I love it and use it at almost every party. ➤➤My wishful super power: Healing, both of the heart and the body. ➤➤Would like to meet: Unfortunately, I have lost a lot of my family. I would definitely like to meet and talk with each of them again. ➤➤This may surprise people: I don’t live in the city of Fulton and I have no formal education in community development.

Administrative director, Fulton Block Builders 72

➤➤My hidden talent: It takes years to complete but I make Christmas stockings for my family members. Right now, I’m three behind for grandson Jack, granddaughter Ava, and future OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

daughter-in-law Kristen. They take forever but are a labor of love. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Confidence, in others and myself. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Fulton Block Builders, of course. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Oswego County Health Department, compliance program administrator and HIPAA privacy office; OCO, Inc., adolescent family life coordinator; Oswego County, adolescent pregnancy prevention and services coordinator; NYS Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, president; Oswego County Youth Bureau, board member and program committee; CNY Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, president; Reach CNY board, president; Weston T. Hyde Educational Foundation, president; Integrated Community Planning of Oswego County, board member and budget committee.

Lisa Emmons

Owner, Mother Earth Baby Boutique and Diaper Service and Curious Kidz

➤➤Lives in: Oswego.

➤➤Spouse: Husband Nathan Emmons. Children: Alex, 20; Daniel, 17; Olivia, 11; and Sam, 8. ➤➤Education: SUNY Potsdam, bachelor’s degrees in psychology and dance; Syracuse University, Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in gerontology. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: First I’m so proud to be the mom of four fantastic children. Next, being married to the love of my life for nearly 20 years (this January). Nathan and I met about 28 years DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

ago in college and I wouldn’t want to work, live or play beside anyone else. Finally, I’m so incredibly proud of our business being self-employed. This is not where I would have expected to be, but so thankful for the path that brought us here today. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Starting your own business and being self-employed takes an enormous amount of flexibility, persistence and patience. Things don’t happen overnight and things also aren’t always great or perfect. I’ve found that one of the most important things I’ve learned is to listen to my customers. Meaning always keeping your ears open, showing compassion and truly understanding what they are looking for and what is helpful to them. Service is the top priority and something that above all else is the reason why people come back to you. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Working. Ha,ha! Really, my husband and I often think about the times way back when we had a weekend off or an evening where we were faced with the question, “What do we want to do?” We have many things we juggle on a daily basis from homeschooling our two younger children, to evening activities such as dance classes, Boy Scouts, high school performances for one of our older sons who is involved in marching band, chorus, concert band and the school theatrical performances, to the many volunteer opportunities we participate in. Oftentimes most nights we don’t sit until about 11 p.m. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Many things! Ha,ha! I tend to hold on to more than I should. My employees always laugh at me and tease me that my basement is like Mary Poppins’ purse. I can always find just about anything I need. But really, the one thing I absolutely love and enjoy still playing with to this day with my children is my collection of vintage Fisher Price Little People. I have dreams one day of bringing them out to share with my grandchildren one day. ➤➤My wishful super power: To clone myself. Oh, imagine the possibilities. ➤➤Would like to meet: My husband over coffee. Ha,ha! Seems simple, but never happens just for fun. ➤➤This may surprise people: So many people are surprised to know about what I did before starting my own business. I received my master’s in social work and worked about 14 years with DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

at-risk youth. I started at a CNY nonprofit right after graduating and worked in many positions. My final position was as a director of multi-dimensional treatment foster care. I had the opportunity to start this program from the ground up. What an amazing experience. I left that position and moved to another local nonprofit working as a manager for the home and community-based services waiver program, providing wrap-around mental health services to keep youth home and in the community and out of the hospital or a higher level of care. We started our business after the birth of our daughter. I think we were surprised that it went well and that is when I was faced with an extremely scary and difficult decision to leave my career. ➤➤My hidden talent: Dance. I danced my whole life. I loved it so much I took

it as a second major in school. After graduation, I never took an organized class again until about five years ago (age 40) when I started back up when my daughter started dancing. One style though that I never took was tap. I always wanted to learn so I figured I better just do it and not waste one more day. Three years ago, I took my first tap class and loved it! Dance is my one outlet and the one activity where I don’t think about all the things I still have to do. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I think I have a great desire to help people. I naturally am a problem solver and love to process solutions with people. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: New York Milk Bank. It collects and processes human milk from donors to be able to provide for the most medically vulnerable ba-

Sara Errington District chief, Syracuse Fire Department ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Stay out of trouble, study hard and get strong physically and mentally. Learn a trade, and work on becoming self-disciplined and self-motivated. Make reading a regular part of your life. It will come in handy when you are learning the history and strategy of firefighting. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Finding new restaurants and bars to try. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Old keys. I will never figure out what they open, but I can’t bring myself to throw them away. ➤➤My wishful super power: Super strength combined with ridiculous martial arts skills. ➤➤Lives in: DeWitt. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Husband Mark Trodden. No kids. ➤➤Education: Ph.D., Brown University; Master of Arts degree, Brown University; Bachelor of Arts, Mount Holyoke College. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Finishing my Ph.D. was a proud moment, but nothing beats becoming a district chief in the Syracuse Fire Department. This is my dream job and I worked extremely hard to earn it. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤Would like to meet: Harriet Tubman. ➤➤This may surprise people: I’ve never seen the movies Forrest Gump or Top Gun. ➤➤My hidden talent: I may be one of the world’s heaviest sleepers. I’m not sure if that’s a talent or a curse. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Persistence and strong organizational skills. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Planned Parenthood.


bies who need this milk to survive. I am a breastfeeding advocate and support for breastfeeding moms and is probably the one thing I am most passionate about. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Board member Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition; volunteer licensed by the New York State Health Department as a Milk Depot for Milk Depot for the NY Milk Bank; board member Integrated Community Planning; founding member Shop Oswego Live Oswego; member Downtown Oswego Energetic Retailers; former founding board member and First 40 member Children’s Museum of Oswego; awarded Oswego County Forty Under 40 (2014); former member Oswego Rotary Club; former member Zonta of Oswego County; retired La Leche League Leader.

profit management is ever changing and success lies in being flexible enough to learn, grow and change.

➤➤My wishful super power: To make a kinder world.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Reading.

➤➤Would like to meet: Simone Joyaux, Barack Obama.

➤➤I can’t get rid of: A comfortable but very worn pair of jeans.

➤➤This may surprise people: I ride a motorcycle (Spyder).

Meghan Florkowski Director, WISE Women’s Business Center “You should be stubborn about your goals but flexible in your methods.” ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: With my family, ideally outside and most often on the soccer field.

Karen Ferguson

➤➤I can’t get rid of: I have a very goofy print with a dog on it that says, “smile.” It has traveled from my son’s bedroom to my office and now it’s back in the house in the bathroom. It really does make you smile so that’s why I keep it around. ➤➤My wishful super power: To let the little stuff bounce off more often than it does. ➤➤Would like to meet: My great grandparents.

LIFT Oswego County coordinator, Oswego County Opportunities ➤➤Lives in: Oswego Town. ➤➤Spouse: Husband. Children: Stacie and Christopher. ➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, Bachelor of Science degree; certified fundraising professional ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Learning to manage being a mom, wife, friend, grammy and a fulfilling career. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Read, read some more, learn and stay on top of new ideas. Fundraising and not-for74

➤➤Lives in: Fayetteville. ➤➤Spouse: AJ, three children. ➤➤Education: United States Military Academy; engineering psychology, minor in systems engineering. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Taking very calculated risks to include on my husband. We’re approaching 15 years, so I think I got it right. In all seriousness, everything I’m most proud of was born out of not sitting idle and the willingness to get a bit uncomfortable. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Sounds clichéd, but remain flexible. My career journey has been all over the map both literally and figuratively while serving in the military and as a military spouse, so for many years, I had to remain flexible out of necessity. My constant reminder is a quote visible in my office, OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤This may surprise people: I don’t do so often now, but I love going on spontaneous adventures. The best trips for me are those that are not over planned, probably because my day to day is so planned and down to the minute. ➤➤My hidden talent: Hmm…being able to tell a joke that nobody gets. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Appreciating the talents of those I work with and I would say the ability to keep it simple if needed and detailed when required. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: This answer changes with my season in life. Right now, my favorites are organizations my kids are involved with so it’s tough to share just one. Our local rec soccer program and Scouts for starters. ➤➤Other leadership positions: A few past ones: assistant director of employer relations, Le Moyne College; director of Entrepreneurship Programs, Institute for Veterans and Military Families; platoon leader and Battalion S-1, U.S. Army.


➤➤My hidden talent: None that are hidden. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: My flexibility and willingness to mentor or others. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. ➤➤Other leadership positions: President, CNY Chapter Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Leila Giancone

to grant wishes. It would be such an incredible superpower to help people make their dreams come true. That or teleportation because then I’d never be late to get to where I’m going.

Karen S. Goetz

➤➤Would like to meet: My grandfather. He passed away when I was a baby but his legacy lives on through his friends and family. He was an incredible person who not only worked hard but smart. His values and purpose significantly shaped my mom’s values and purpose and my mom significantly shaped mine as a result. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Listening. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: There are so many wonderful philanthropic organizations that are making positive impacts in our communities. It’s hard to pick just one. If I had to pick just one, it would be the American Cancer Society. The ACS is leading the way in research and patient care for a disease that affects far too many people. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Current: Chairwoman of the ACS board of advisors; member, ACS Upstate NY Leadership Board; member, advisory council for the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce; co-founder of “Oswego Going Global” scholarship program; former: vice chairwoman of the Downtown YMCA board of managers; member, communications council for the American Red Cross (sub-committee of the board).

Executive director, Richard S. Shineman Foundation ➤➤Lives in: Syracuse. ➤➤Spouse: Jeff Rea, five sons. ➤➤Education: Indiana University, Bachelor of Science degree in education.

➤➤Education: Binghamton University, undergraduate degree, English; The New School, Master of Science degree in management, with concentration in corporate social responsibility.

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Utilizing my 28 years of entrepreneurial for-profit business experience and applying that to my work at the Shineman Foundation. In 2013-2014, I was honored to serve on the foundation’s initial board of directors, and I have been executive director for the past five years. During that time, I have worked with our board to steer the foundation through the startup phase and into its current growth and outreach phase. In just seven years, the Shineman Foundation has provided a total of 250 grants to 118 organizations totaling over $7 million.

➤➤ProudThest accomplishment: I’m not sure if it counts as an accomplishment per se, but I’m proud of my daily commitment to be a kind person. I appreciate that every day is a new opportunity to accomplish acts of kindness and compassion.

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Surround yourself with positive, smart people who can be your mentors. Listen more than talk. Keep learning. Always do your best, be ethical and treat others as you would want to be treated.

Communications lead, Novelis ➤➤Lives in: Baldwinsville. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband Michael, daughter Estella Giancone.

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? Be open. Listen, ask questions, understand purpose and commit to learning, doing and collaborating with your peers, leaders and community.

➤➤When I’m not working: I’m doing stuff with my husband like yoga, taking walks, going to the movies and working on projects at home. We also love spending time with my kids, grandkids and friends.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Enjoying time with my family and friends, hiking, skiing or cheering on my favorite sports teams.

➤➤I can’t get rid of: My kids’ old Christmas ornaments. ➤➤My wishful super power: To clone myself so I could be in multiple places

➤➤My wishful super power: The ability DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020



at once. ➤➤Would like to meet: Meryl Streep. ➤➤This may surprise people: I have a degree in education. I got into the business world when my first husband’s business failed in 1985. I learned how to start, grow and run a business via on-the-job self-training with excellent mentors advising me. ➤➤My hidden talent: I have a memory like an elephant. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I think like a coach. I focus on and utilize people’s strengths and always encourage them to keep learning and doing the best they can. I continually look for ways our foundation can have more impact in our community. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: The Richard S. Shineman Foundation, of course. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Founder & CEO of Inforia, Inc. 2000-2014; electronic health record company founder & CEO of TickestLive 1986-1999 (first international software ticketing company to create truly live internet ticketing); founding member of the Syracuse Chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO); served on the boards of: NY Funders Alliance, Housing & Homeless Coalition of CNY, LIFT Oswego City and LIFT Oswego County (anti-poverty) Collaborative, Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, MOST Foundation Board.

Leah Haggerty

➤➤Lives in: Granby. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband, Thomas Haggerty; children Meagan Keib and Patrick Haggerty. ➤➤Education: Tunxis Community College, SUNY Buffalo. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment is to have been the mother of two wonderful children and now to be a grandmother of two beautiful grandchildren. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? Affiliate with a good brokerage. Learn as much as you can. Go to as many training classes (online or in person) as you possibly can. Listen, listen, and listen to your clients and customers. And always dress up, show up, be consistent every day. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Usually involved with family activities. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: I purge my house regularly, but you could ask my husband that question. ➤➤My wishful super power: If I had a super power, I would want to be able to feed all the hungry children. ➤➤Would like to meet: Zig Ziglar. ➤➤My favorite quote: A quote that I read and firmly believe in is, “Leadership is not about being in charge; it is about taking care of people in your charge” (Simon Sinek). ➤➤My hidden talent: Professionally, when storms are all around, people see only calm in me. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: After 30 years in the real estate business, I believe my main strength is my ability to negotiate. I believe my negotiating skills are enhanced by the fact that I truly care. I truly care about my clients and customers. I truly care about the professional real estate agents who are affiliated with me. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Oswego County Opportunities PATH Program (Program to Assist Teenage Homeless), which we have supported for the last 23 years.

President, licensed real estate broker, Century 21 Leah’s Signature Inc. 76

Kathleen Randall Henry

➤➤Other leadership positions: Past president, Oswego County Board of Realtors; past chairwoman of the Greater Fulton Chamber of Commerce; Realtor of the Year; currently serving as a director on the Fulton Housing board of directors; currently serving on the Fulton Downtown Revitalization Initiative local planning committee. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Vice president, Mitchell’s Speedway Press ➤➤Lives in: Scriba. ➤➤Spouse: John Henry. Children: Megan, 29, lives on Long Island, and Tyler, 25, is your local Fed Ex delivery driver. ➤➤Education: Mexico High School, some college. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Raising two healthy and happy children while being able to successfully run a small business for over 30 years. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Two words: kindness and empathy. You must start with kindness toward yourself first. You are going to make mistakes, so learn from them and move forward. Have empathy toward your employees and your customers. You must understand the needs of your customers, and the only way to do that is by truly listening to them. Your employees need to feel like they are heard as well, and valued. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: hiking in the Adirondacks. I became a 46’er at age 50, and my passion for the mountains has only grown. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: 10 lbs. of belly fat. ➤➤My wishful super power: To cure cancer. ➤➤Would like to meet: The Dalai Lama. ➤➤This may surprise people: I am a teetotaler. I completely stopped drinking alcohol in 2015 and never felt better. ➤➤My hidden talent: Endurance hiking, DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

longest so far 21 miles in 12 hours. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Organization. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Many, including Girl Scouts, Harborfest, Salvation Army, Home and School Associations, various professional boards and foundations, and they all made me the person I am today. “One to whom much has been given, much is required” are the words I live by.


Chamberlain Higginbotham

work experience. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Running, kayaking, biking and visiting my sons in New York City. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My downhill skies given to me by my dad in 1979. ➤➤My wishful super power: Instant teleportation to places where my loved ones are and where I can do good in the community.

➤➤Lives in: Syracuse.

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Promoting, supporting and uniting woman-owned businesses across New York state.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Spending time with my husband and my son. Traveling. Shopping. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My son’s baby clothes.

➤➤Favorite nonprofit: 261Fearless (Global nonprofit); Maureen’s Hope Foundation (local nonprofit).

➤➤My wishful super power: The ability to read minds.

Evelyn C. Ingram

➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, Bachelor’s degree in business administration. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Writing and recently releasing my first book “Under the Rose-Colored Hat” sharing my personal medical journey with alopecia that made me a bald woman at age 54 and the compassion and kindness witnessed during that time.


➤➤Proudest accomplishment: The birth of my son. I also am very proud of the community service reputation Wegmans has gained in the Central New York market under my leadership.

➤➤My hidden talent: Extremely witty.

➤➤This may surprise people: I appeared on the Oprah Show in 1998.

➤➤Spouse: Scott Higginbotham. Children: Thomas Higginbotham and Adam Higginbotham.

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: I wouldn’t become an entrepreneur right out of college but rather gain 10 years of experience in your chosen field, learn and make contacts and then create a business unique to your passions and talents utilizing your education and

➤➤Education: Syracuse University, Bachelor of Science in public relations; LeMoyne College, MBA.

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Be flexible. Learn how to go with the flow. Don’t be so focused on achieving career goals that you don’t take time enjoy life. Know how to speak and write proper English.

➤➤Would like to meet: Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band.

➤➤Other leadership positions: Since 1987, I have supported SUNY Oswego as a board member of the Oswego Alumni Association and Oswego Business School; served as advisory board member of the New York State Women’s Business Center since 2005; past board member of Maureen’s Hope Foundation; and past president of Khorus Performing Arts for Kids.

Founder and president, Women TIES, LLC

➤➤Spouse / Children: Husband Chino, son Austin, 11th grader.

Director of Community Relations, Wegmans Food Markets

➤➤Would like to meet: Actress Angela Bassett. ➤➤This may surprise people: I always wanted to host my own talk show. ➤➤My hidden talent: I know how to cornrow braid hair. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: The ability to build relationships with others. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: I love them all as they all do great work and serve a significant purpose. ➤➤Other leadership positions: CenterState CEO board of directors, first vice chairwoman; Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation, board of directors; Salvation Army of Great Syracuse, board of directors, 2019 Civic Luncheon chairwoman; United Way of Central New York, board of directors, Leadership Giving and Women United chairwoman; WCNY Public Broadcasting, board of directors; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Syracuse Graduate Chapter President; Links, Inc., executive committee member; Central New York Community Foundation, board of directors, two terms; Crouse Hospital Foundation, board of directors, two terms; Hillside Work Scholarship Connection, board of directors, three terms; American Heart Association -Go Red for Women, campaign chairwoman, 2015 and 2017.

➤➤Lives in: Syracuse. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS


Farah Jadran

our three dogs, Jack, Bear and Bogey. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: all my old running ribbons, medals and track shoes from my biggest races. ➤➤My wishful super power: I wish I could speak every language in the world. For now, I speak English and Spanish. ➤➤Would like to meet: Malala Yousafzai. ➤➤This may surprise people: I enjoy playing Fantasy Football and I am a red belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art. ➤➤My hidden talent: I memorize movie and TV show lines without even trying.

News anchor, CBS 5 This Morning and CBS 5 News at noon, CNYCentral ➤➤Lives in: Syracuse. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Niko Tamurian, sports director at CNYCentral. ➤➤Education: Master’s degree in magazine, newspaper and online journalism, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I grew up watching Chicago newscasts and reading Chicago area newspapers. Since I could talk, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. Since I could read and I write, I knew I also wanted to be a newspaper and magazine journalist. I have been blessed to make all those dreams come true. I helped launch Central New York’s first and only standing women’s magazine in January 2011 -- Syracuse Woman Magazine. More than five years ago, I then transitioned to TV news, which is where my journey is currently. Anchoring the morning and noon news for CBS5 WTVH in Syracuse is a great privilege and honor. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Sharing other people’s stories is a great privilege — one you cannot take for granted. Being a journalist means being fair, balanced and objective. No matter which field you enter, be yourself. Remember, that it is your dream and your path — no one else will decide it for you. As you become more and more successful, be sure to pass on knowledge to others and mentor when possible. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: fitting in a run on the streets of Syracuse or spending time with my husband Niko and 78

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I am a team player who can easily adapt in a changing environment such as daily news. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Many nonprofits are close to my heart, and a few of them include Hope for Heather Ovarian Cancer Awareness, Vera House, Helping Hounds Dog Rescue, YWCA, Ophelia’s Place, WBOC, Arc of Onondaga and Front Row Players. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Current: President, Vera House board of directors; media spokeswoman, Hope for Heather Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Past: board of director, WBOC and Ophelia’s Place; advisory board, WISE Women’s Business Center

Brittney Fiorini Jerred

Jerred, daughter Mary Jerred, 15, son Henry Jerred, 10. ➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, English major/business minor. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Recently, it was being a part of a core group of volunteers that developed the winning Downtown Revitalization Initiative application for the city of Fulton. Learning we were awarded $10 million was one of the most exciting days of my career, and I will carry the enthusiasm and positive energy that was in that room at the announcement for a long time. There is a revitalization movement afoot in Fulton and I am hopeful for its future. The DRI attaches something tangible to the efforts already being made by many who wish for our city to move beyond years of economic downturn. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? Be kind. Find your passion, collaborate with others who have similar goals and set small, obtainable goals that help you succeed to reach the big-picture goals together. Always do your research too and be open to working with people who have similar passions but can offer a different viewpoint, talent or skill set. Show appreciation along the way. The phrase “stronger together” often comes to mind when I think about projects or efforts that make a difference. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Enjoying spending time with my family, friends, reading, working out, working on various projects at home or finding ways to improve the community. I love the people here and for too long, Fulton has not recognized or showcased its strengths. We need to change that and while the DRI will help, it is the people, businesses, residents, parents, and families who live here that have the opportunity to use it as a catalyst for real change. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My cello. I enjoyed playing in an orchestra and one day I hope to get back to that. ➤➤My wishful super power: Healing powers.

Media relations, NYS Assembly / Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I,Ref-Pulaski) ➤➤Lives in: Fulton ➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband Benjamin OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤Would like to meet: Mother Theresa. Seeing old videos of her and reading her writing is inspiring. ➤➤This may surprise people: I worked on my parents’ farm every summer growing up. ➤➤My hidden talent: Sewing/quilting. ➤➤As a professional, what is your main DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

strength? Collaborating with others. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Fulton Footpaths. ➤➤O t h e r l e a d e r s h i p p o s i t i o n s : Co-founder of Fulton Footpaths; past editor of monthly, weekly and daily publications.

Linda M. LeMura

➤➤My wishful super power: Being able to transport back in time to meet some of the great intellects and spiritual leaders since the birth of Christ. ➤➤Would like to meet: Leonardo da Vinci, so I could converse with a rarified genius. This would be particularly energizing to me as his expertise in so many fields is truly inspirational. And it would be incredibly fun to spend time with him. I’d have a million questions I’d love to ask. Maybe more. ➤➤This may surprise people: I was a good athlete in my youth. I was a varsity athlete in high school and college and continue to dabble in sports to this day. ➤➤My hidden talent: I am a fantastic gardener and love landscape design. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Equal parts curiosity and energy. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Jesuit Refugee Services and Catholic Charities.

President, Le Moyne College

➤➤Lives in: Syracuse.

➤➤Spouse / Children: Lawrence Tanner, Ph.D., professor of environmental science systems at Le Moyne; daughter Emily Tanner. ➤➤Education: Summa cum laude graduate of Niagara University; M.S. and Ph.D. in applied physiology from Syracuse University.

➤➤Other leadership positions: I am a member of the Regional Economic Development Council, a trustee at the College of the Holy Cross and on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Jesuit Universities.

Jamie Leszczynski

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Spending time with my family. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Any of my daughter’s artwork and her homemade cards. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Make sure you have professional goals. Even if it’s identifying where you want to be in just five years from now. Then immediately create your own personal board of directors. Identify influential people who can help coach and guide you to success. Success is something you have to work toward. By surrounding yourself with influential people that can help you network and build your own brand, you’ll get to where you strive to go in your career. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Being a mom of three very busy children. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Old greeting cards, especially the funny ones, but I love them all. ➤➤My wishful super power: I wish that I had the power to immediately brighten someone’s day. To make them smile when they’re sad. To make them laugh when they think they didn’t have it in them. To have the power to never allow someone to have the feeling that they are alone or depressed. That suicide was never a thought that crossed their mind. ➤➤Would like to meet: If I had a chance to meet someone influential, I’d probably choose Sheryl Sandberg. She currently is the COO of Facebook and has been an advocate for women in the business world.

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Raising a thoughtful, kind, generous, smart, confident and hardworking daughter. Emily is an energetic young professional who has her priorities in the right place. What’s more important, she’s a loyal friend and a loving family member. I attribute many of her qualities to the fact that she’s Jesuit-educated. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Have an insatiable curiosity. Be a voracious reader and a life-long learner who works to master your own discipline and understands the power of studying economics. Crave meaningful dialogue and consultation. Appreciate those with whom you may disagree.

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: After losing my brother to suicide when he was only 16, I set out to try to make a difference and partnered with a national nonprofit, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE). In 2010, my committee of volunteers became the first US charter for SAVE and for the past nine years, we have raised over $100,000 and engaged over 15,000 people to raise awareness surrounding mental health.

Senior director of communications, Oswego Health ➤➤Lives in: Oswego. ➤➤Spouse: Michael Leszczynski. Children: Maddie, 11; Tanner, 7; and Caden, 3. ➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, Bachelor of Science with a marketing degree. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤This may surprise people: One day I’d love to write a children’s book about mental health and self confidence and travel around the country, reading it out loud. ➤➤My hidden talent: I love doing silly voices and accents when I read books to my kids at night. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I consider myself to be a very dedicated individual. Dedication teaches discipline, passion and time management. All are vital to success. I can truly say that I’m dedicated to my employer, my employees, colleagues and our patients. 79

➤➤Favorite nonprofit: SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)

made in school, especially the pieces that include their handprints.

➤➤Other leadership positions and accomplishments: chairwoman of SAVE Central NY since 2010. Received Leadership Oswego County’s 40 Under 40 award at the age of 25. At the age of 32, listed with BizEventz 40 Under 40. Graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse, Class of 2014. Past president of Central New York’s Sales and Marketing Executives, 2014 -2016. Coach for Girls Leprechaun League.

➤➤My wishful super power: To stop time and be able to spend more of it with my family.

Joanie Mahoney

➤➤Would like to meet: Harriet Tubman. ➤➤This may surprise people: I’ve been a vegetarian since 1992. ➤➤My hidden talent: Backflips off the high dive.

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: A willingness to do the right thing, no matter what it takes. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: That’s a tough one because there are a lot of people doing great work. NAACP does a tremendous job in the community. I’m currently working on the Red Kettle campaign for the Salvation Army, the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation is among the most generous and the Boys and Girls

Suzie Lobdell Assistant vice president of customer experience, HealthWay Family of Brands challenging yourself with new tasks. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Traveling! I travel often for work, but we really enjoy traveling with our family and friends too. One of my favorite quotes is: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page,” St. Augustine.

Chief operating officer, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry ➤➤Lives in: Dewitt. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Married 25 years to Marc Overdyk, four sons. ➤➤Education: S.U., bachelor’s degree in marketing; SU College of Law, Juris Doctor degree. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: By far I am most proud of having raised four awesome sons with my husband. It was a priority for us that our boys be kind and considerate and we are happy and proud of the men they have become. Nothing else comes close. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Figure out how to actually get things done. Ask questions and keep moving the ball forward. And resist meetings. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: spending time with my family. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: The artwork the boys 80

➤➤I can’t get rid of: Handwritten cards. I keep Christmas cards, birthday cards, etc, from my friends and family. For example, I’ve kept all my birthday cards from my grandparents, who have since passed, and look back at them occasionally. It reminds me they’re always close.

➤➤Lives in: Clay. ➤➤Spouse: Vinny, three children. ➤➤Education: LeMoyne College, Bachelor of Arts in sociology, human services; Bryant & Stratton College, certified paralegal. ➤➤Proudest Accomplishment: I’ve recently completed my second half marathon and I’m proud of the hard work and time that I’ve put into my running in the last year and a half. Running has become something I really enjoy, and it keeps my body and mind healthy. I’ve also made some great friends through running; the running community can be somewhat of a support group. ➤➤Advice to a young person entering this field: Don’t be afraid to take on projects that you are not familiar with; you will learn new things and grow as a professional, and individual, by OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤My wishful superpower: Healing. I am so blessed and grateful for my health, I wish I could share that with others who need it. ➤➤Would like to meet: Malala Yousafzai. ➤➤This may surprise people: I’ve been to 11 countries. ➤➤My hidden talent: I can play chopsticks on the piano. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Organization. I’m pretty detail oriented and like to be very organized. ➤➤Favorite non-profit: charitywater. org. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Board member, ConnextCare since April 2018. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the community with an organization that is truly dedicated to providing quality and affordable health care to our area.


club are changing lives. There are too many to pick just one favorite and I am grateful for all of them. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Former Onondaga County executive and currently chairwoman of the New York State Thruway Authority.

Marie Mankiewicz

in a row beginning in 2016 and in August the city of Fulton was presented with this transformational downtown revitalization award. As a core team member, I was able to provide research, public input and grant writing services and I am happy to be continuing my DRI involvement as a member of the local planning committee that will be helping to establish a strategic downtown investment plan for Fulton. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? My advice to young people regardless of what field they are in or what job they are pursuing is the same: Bring your best self to work every day. Be committed to what you are doing. Be passionate about your work. If you have chosen a career or job that does not give you energy, find one that does. Life is too short to not love what you are doing every day. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Enjoying local cultural events, especially the many regional and community theater productions available to us.

Co-founder, Fulton Footpaths

➤➤Lives in: Fulton.

➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband David Mankiewicz; son Michael and daughter Rimma. ➤➤Education: Master of Business Administration, human resource management, Chapman University; Bachelor of Science degree in management/human resources, SUNY Empire State College. ➤➤Proudest accomplishments: As a graduate of Leadership Oswego County, I have spent the past several years offering my business skills to the Fulton community in several ways: by co-founding a nonprofit organization, Fulton Footpaths (focused on constructing multi-use walking trails); researching and writing grants for CNY Community Arts Center (focused on providing all arts for all ages in Fulton) and for the city of Fulton (grants for Safe Routes to School sidewalks and the multi-use walking trails feasibility study and construction). I also worked extensively on updating the city of Fulton’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program plan. My proudest accomplishment, though, is as a core member of the city of Fulton’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative committee. Our team applied for this $10 million economic development grant four years DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤I can’t get rid of: My father’s childhood desk that has been lovingly used by both of my children. ➤➤My wishful super power: The power to influence my environment to effect positive change. ➤➤Would like to meet: Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook and author of “Lean In: Women, Work and The Will to Lead,” an excellent book on women and leadership in the workplace.

research, communications, employee recognition and team building. Today, my work in research and grant writing continues to use my professional strengths of collaboration, teamwork, good communication and leadership. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: In addition to my organization Fulton Footpaths, my favorite nonprofit is the CNY Community Arts Center in Fulton. This amazing nonprofit organization led by Nancy Fox is celebrating its eighth year in Fulton. It started with a small group of people operating out of a local church basement and last year, the organization was able to purchase and renovate a building in downtown Fulton to become a fully functioning arts center with a state-of-the-art theater, art gallery, classrooms and culinary kitchen. The most remarkable thing about them is that they have been and continue to be run by an all-volunteer dedicated group of people whose passion and energy is limitless and inspiring. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the many activities and events offered by this organization. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Senior human resources consultant; director, customer impact assessment; visiting assistant professor, SUNY Oswego; board of directors and secretary, CNY Arts Center; board of directors, Fulton Historical Society.

Rachel May

➤➤This may surprise people: I am living in the house I was born in. However, even though I have lived in Fulton my entire life, I love to travel both in the United States and abroad. ➤➤My hidden talent: I have strong organizational skills that started as a child when I would spend time organizing and cataloging the books in my home library. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: With 30 years of experience at Niagara Mohawk/National Grid working in human resources, marketing and customer service, my main strength is my ability to work with people both as a team member and as a team leader. Much of my work has centered on the value of the employee and the enrichment of the work environment through people. As a result, I have spent a majority of my professional career focused on employee input and OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Senator, 53rd Senate District NYS Legislature ➤➤Lives in: Syracuse. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Tom Brockelman, husband; daughter Sophie. ➤➤Education: Stanford University Ph.D. 81

(Russian language and literature); SUNY-ESF master’s degree in environmental science.

professional: I’m an active listener and try to make everyone feel respected and heard.

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I am proud to have raised a daughter who is a strong, open-minded, curious, adventuresome and kind person. And I’m proud to have stepped out of my comfort zone, and run a grassroots campaign for office, based on ideas and ideals rather than on negativity or personal attacks. Since taking office I’ve been able to follow through on most of the promises made during the campaign, both in terms of policies enacted and of changing the culture of Albany to be more open and responsive to New Yorkers. I’m especially proud of my exceptional staff and the way we work together to solve problems for constituents, listen to everyone who reaches out to us, and develop good policy proposals.

➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Every day I learn about wonderful nonprofits in our community, but I’ll go with one I’ve admired for years: Onondaga Earth Corps, which trains young people to care for the urban forest and install green infrastructure (such as rain gardens that capture water before it floods the storm water system). They

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: If you want to run for office, first make sure you are doing it because you care about issues and your community, not just because you want the title or the public recognition. There are lots of ways to get involved in government and civic engagement without running for office, and it’s good to try some of those first, to see if you like it and to build up your networks. I reached out to my mayor and asked to serve on the boards of agencies that interested me, and I volunteered for several community organizations. I also got involved in Toastmasters, which was immensely helpful with improving my public speaking. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: taking long walks or bike rides in the environs of Syracuse, or if the weather’s uncooperative, I like to sit home, listen to an audio book, and knit. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: a collection of large seashells my grandmother gave me. ➤➤My wishful super power: I wish I could restore stability to the earth’s climate. ➤➤Would like to meet: Michelle Obama. I honestly think we’d have a lot to talk about. ➤➤This may surprise people: I was named for my grandmother Rachel Garza, who was a trailblazer among Tejanas (Texas women of Mexican descent). ➤➤My hidden talent: I’m fluent in Russian. ➤➤What is your main strength as a 82

get work experience, often advance to leadership/supervisory roles, all while beautifying the community and making it more resilient. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Within the Senate, I chair the committee on aging and the legislative commission on rural resources, and I’m on the board of the Legislative Women’s Caucus.

Kayla McKeon Manager of grassroots advocacy, National Down Syndrome Society ➤➤Lives in: Syracuse. ➤➤Education: Onondaga Community College pursuing my associates degree. ➤➤Proudest accomplishments: Becoming the first registered lobbyist with Down Syndrome in the nation; obtaining my NYS driver’s license as a person who happens to have Down Syndrome; Special Olympic World Games athlete receiving a silver and bronze medal in Athens, Greece; Law Enforcement Athlete of the Year; 40 under 40 Leaders in CNY. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Persevere and don’t give up on your dreams. ➤➤When I am not working, I’m: taking college classes, doing homework, training for Special Olympics and reading books. ➤➤I can’t give up: some of my old jewelry. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤My wishful superpower: is to get rid of celiac disease. ➤➤Would like to meet: Ellen DeGeneres, Matthew McConaughey. ➤➤This may surprise people: When they see me driving. ➤➤My hidden talent: I like to make people feel good about themselves. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I don’t take no for an answer. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: National Down Syndrome Society and Special Olympics. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Congressional member and Global messenger for Special Olympics NY; 40 under 40 leaders that Rock in Central New York; Wall of Distinction, Cicero-North Syracuse High School; Co-liaison of the Self-Advocate Advisory Board of NDSS; Self-advocate of the year in 2016 with NDSS. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

Deana M. Michaels

traveling with my family, attending sporting events, visiting with my parents to play cards, volunteering throughout the community or simply relaxing in the comforts of my home.

Pamela Murchison

➤➤I can’t get rid of: My Bumpa’s cowboy boots. ➤➤My wishful super power: I wish I had the power to stop time. There are some moments I wish we could hold on to for a bit longer. ➤➤Would like to meet: I believe that everything in life happens for a reason and those we cross paths with are meant to have purpose in our lives. That being said, I hope to some day cross paths with Jon Bon Jovi.

Mayor-elect, Fulton Branch manager Pathfinder Bank ➤➤Lives in: Fulton. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Married to Kevin since 1995; sons Geoffry, 22, and Ryan, 18. ➤➤Education: Graduated from Stonier Graduate School of Banking at University of Pennsylvania (2016); received a leadership certification from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (2016); graduate of the 2017 American Bankers Association Campaign School for Banks (2018); graduate of Women’s Campaign School at Yale University; graduate of the CNY Political Leadership Institute. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest achievement is being a mother to my amazing sons, Geoffry and Ryan. They have always been the center of my world and the highlight of my life accomplishments. My husband and I take pride in watching them grow into the young men they are becoming. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: We need more young individuals interested in local politics. They are the future leaders and we need to show them the way. I would encourage our youth to get involved by contacting their local elected officials, attending public meetings, volunteering in the community and having a voice in the decisions of their community. It’s their community to inherit; they should help pave the way.

➤➤This may surprise people: When I order an ice cream cone, I ask for the sprinkles to be put in the bottom of the cone. ➤➤My hidden talent: My son tells me it’s my cooking but no one knows because I only do it four times a year. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: As a leader, it’s important to admit when we are wrong and to always keep learning. It’s important to surround ourselves by experts in their fields who can help us to become the best version of ourselves. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: There are so many wonderful nonprofits that serve the community to enhance the quality of life for all. They all have a special place and purpose. It would be difficult to choose just one. ➤➤Other leadership positions: I am a proud graduate of Leadership Oswego County 2008; I serve as the vice president for the Oswego County Opportunities board; I serve on the board for Towpath Towers; I serve on the business relations committee for the Oswego Health Foundation; I serve on the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce advisory council; I served as an adviser for Stonier Graduate School; I am the co-chairwoman as well as an instructor for Pathfinder Bank’s “Money Smart” program, a seven-course financial health and wellness curriculum.

➤➤Lives in: East Syracuse. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Husband, Matthew, no children, three kitties. ➤➤Education: West Virginia University, Doctor of Musical Arts. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: With my family by my side, I leaped into a huge life change in 2015 when I began to work full time as a development officer. While the work was still in the field of music (I had been primarily a professional flutist up until that point), the challenges of a new career path were much bigger than I realized, even in the first few years. I’m proud of my ability to change and adapt, and so very grateful to the family and friends who helped me. I couldn’t have done it without them, and I’m so happy that the path has brought me here to Symphoria. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: A very good friend once said to me that the people who thrive are the ones who are best at sifting through the nonsense and frustrations of our day-to-day lives. Commitment to focusing on the positive things that happen each day and practicing gratitude help me in so many ways. If what we focus on is what we grow, I recommend focusing on joy. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Reading, exploring, spending time with friends, watching the Great British Baking Show. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: A broken Christmas ornament from my grandmother. ➤➤My wishful super power: Patience.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Enjoying DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

Executive director, Symphoria

➤➤Would like to meet: Mr. Rogers. I OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS


grew up in Pittsburgh and have always adored him and his message. ➤➤This may surprise people: I know all of the words to all of the songs in “Grease 2” — it’s one of my favorite movies. ➤➤My hidden talent: Perseverance. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I hope it is empathy. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Symphoria, of course. ➤➤Other leadership positions: I was the drum major in my high school marching band.

Tricia PeterClark

my tenure at ConnextCare, I am most proud of bringing together disparate operations and cultures, from the five acquired practices into one unified and efficient primary care practice network throughout the Oswego County. Subsequent to the integrated practices, I am proud of the leadership I provided during our re-branding campaign that led to our new name, ConnextCare, which truly signifies the magnitude of reach we have, without limiting our potential for future growth. Receiving the 40 under 40 award from the CNY Business Journal in 2018, joining the list of other young distinguished leaders is also a true highlight and an honor. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Never underestimate the potential in any role. A demonstrated hard work ethic and notable outcomes will undoubtedly lead you to a bright future, in a position that you love. Build strong relationships along the journey, stay optimistic and true to yourself, while never compromising your credibility and integrity for anyone. Be strong, be confident and always stay in control. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: usually driving my kids from one activity to another, and then watching them do what they love.

Executive vice president / chief operating officer, ConnextCare ➤➤Lives in: New Haven. ➤➤Spouse: Jason Clark. Children: Ethan, 12 and Isabel, 8. ➤➤Education: D’Youville College, Bachelor of Science degree in health services with a concentration in health education and operations; St. Joseph’s College, Master of Business Administration; American College of Healthcare Executives, board-certified in healthcare management. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Early on in my career I am most proud of the accelerated growth I led in the Cancer Services Program, providing hundreds of men and women with essential cancer screenings, which resulted in formal recognition from the NYS Department of Health as a model program. During 84

Professional Advisory Committee; member, New York State Association for Rural Health.

Elizabeth Fallon Quilter

Consultant/non-profit strategist, Efquilter.com ➤➤Lives in: Baldwinsville. ➤➤Spouse: David.

➤➤I can’t get rid of: A chair that once was in the living room of my great aunt’s house.

➤➤Child: Jack.

➤➤My wishful super power: I wish I had the superpower of healing.

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I am proud to be mom/stepmom to three great men. I am proud of the work I do with nonprofit organizations to help them thrive. I am proud of the nonprofit organizations that I have helped in some way as a volunteer, donor, staff, board member, or consultant over the past 30plus years. I am proud of my marriage: 22 years and counting many more.

➤➤Would like to meet: Alex O’Loughlin. ➤➤This may surprise people: Despite the suit and heels, I most enjoy jeans and burly boots, with a very fast and muddy ride on the ATVs at our camp up east. ➤➤My hidden talent: I was recruited to play basketball in college and led my team to two championship titles. This talent now offers my 12-year-old a real challenge on our home court and has taught me many things about teamwork that I rely on today. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Trustworthiness. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Make-A-Wish. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Director, Central New York Care Collaborative; director, Operation Oswego County; director and secretary, Mexico Tiger Sharks; fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives; member, Oswego County Health Department OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤Education: Boston College, Human Development.

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Build relationships. Stay connected. Keep listening and learning. Take care of yourself. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Reading and/or on or near big water, particularly on the northeast coast. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: The rocking chair my late father gave me on the day I was born. ➤➤My wishful super power: I would like to be able to fly. ➤➤Would like to meet: Bruce Springsteen. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤This may surprise people: I have been sober for more than 13 years. ➤➤My hidden talent: Finding great travel destinations and deals/planning and accomplishing epic road trips. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I am a connector. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Horizons for Youth (Chicago); Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County (Fulton); Women’s Fund of CNY. ➤➤Other leadership positions: currently chair of the Leadership Council of Women’s Fund of CNY.

Patricia Ritchie

nity and talking with those who are in positions you might someday like to hold. To those already in the field, but just starting out, I would encourage them to work hard and to listen to all they represent. It goes without saying that you also have to develop a thick skin if you’re going to be in politics. You will never be able to make everybody happy all of the time, but it’s important you try your best to do so, take criticism you might receive in stride and most importantly, learn from it. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Spending as much time as possible with my grandchildren. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: From birthday cards to my children’s report cards from when they were young, little things like this always have sentimental value to me, and I can’t get rid of them. That also goes for handmade Christmas ornaments from my kids. My tree is filled with decorations they made throughout their grade school years, like my personal favorite — a little reindeer made out of clothespins.

➤➤Favorite nonprofit: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, again for the important work they do to help those with childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, along with their families. I also admire the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation for its efforts to brighten the spirits of critically ill children. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Ranking member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee and ranking member of the Local Government Committee. In addition, I also serve as a member of a number of other committees, including elections; finance; health; veterans, homeland security and military affairs; Legislative Commission on Rural Resources; Legislative Women’s Caucus

Amy Robbins

➤➤My wishful super power: It breaks my heart to see people who are so young, with so much life ahead of them, struggling with illness. If I could have one super power, it would be to heal sick children.

State senator, NY-48th Senate District New York State Senate ➤➤Lives in: Oswegatchie. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband Tom, three children and four grandchildren. ➤➤Education: Mater Dei College and SUNY Potsdam. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment, other than my family, is having the opportunity to represent the hardworking people of the 48th Senate District. The people I meet every day amaze me and I cannot thank everyone enough for their support and continued trust in me to represent them. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? We need more young people to be engaged and active in government, and I would encourage any of them with an interest in the field to get involved. Start by attending local government meetings, keeping up on current events affecting your commuDECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤Would like to meet: One of the people who I admire most is Marlo Thomas because of the role she plays as the national outreach director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I have always been in awe of the amazing work St. Jude does on behalf of sick children. ➤➤This may surprise people: I do not like to have my picture taken. But as an elected official, it is oftentimes part of the job. ➤➤My hidden talent: I like to think that one of my biggest hidden talents is my ability to be a mediator. I pride myself on always listening to others’ points of view. Throughout my career, this has allowed me to successfully mediate and help those with opposing outlooks find common ground. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional? I believe my main strength as a professional is my eagerness to listen. Whether it’s a constituent who reaches out to me with a concern, or a colleague from across the aisle, I believe one of the most important roles of an elected official is to listen to those they represent, as well as those they work with. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Morning radio personality, 93Q FM ➤➤Lives in: Cicero. ➤➤Spouse / Children: Husband Mark, No children, two cats named Riley and Kantishna. ➤➤Education: Ithaca College, bachelor’s degree in Communications, emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment is to be able to say that I have broadcast for the same radio station, with the same morning show partner (Ted Long) for the last 31 years! It is very unusual to have that much longevity in the radio field, let alone at the same radio station. We are honored to entertain generations of Central New Yorkers and hope to continue to do it for a number of years. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: My advice 85

would be to get your foot in the door at whatever career you want to pursue. Whether it’s an unpaid internship, or a position that may not be your “dream job”, let them get to know you. Be enthusiastic, show that you want to be there and you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Maryann Roefaro

➤➤I can’t get rid of: My old Ithaca College sweatshirts. Every time I go through the closet to pick things to donate, I have to pass those by and hang on to them.

➤➤Would like to meet: Ellen DeGeneres. ➤➤This may surprise people: I really don’t like driving or and am not good at left turns, but I do drive a standard vehicle. ➤➤My hidden talent: I already used being able to drive a stick shift. I can also recite the names of all 50 states in alphabetical order. And I’m an awesome bartender as I did that all through college. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I am extremely (or try to be) very empathetic and very kind. I try to make that come across to my listeners but also to the people that I work with face to face and those who I connect with outside of the building as well. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: It’s tough to pick one. I love the Food Bank of CNY, I’m a big fan of everything animal organization and we work a lot with those who provide services and research for Breast Cancer. ➤➤Other leadership positions: I was on the board for the Syracuse Press Club. Ted and I have also been the voices of the New York State Fair since 2011. We also emcee the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Downtown Syracuse every year. We were just inducted this Fall into the New York State Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame.

➤➤Would like to meet: My future grandchildren. ➤➤This may surprise people: I cherish alone time and running means a great deal to me.

Chief executive officer, Hematology-Oncology Associates of CNY ➤➤Lives in: Camillus. ➤➤Spouse: Tom Carranti. Children: Casey Prietti and Angela Franz; stepsons: Pio and Joe Carranti. ➤➤Education: Albany College of Pharmacy, Upstate Medical University, American Institute of Holistic Theology. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment is looking at my two daughters and knowing that they are bright, authentic, kind and hard working adults. I am also very proud of my career achievements, starting as a medical technologist in the Microbiology Laboratory and becoming a supervisor, laboratory manager, healthcare administrator, VP of Crouse Hospital — and saving the best for last--the CEO of Hematology-Oncology Associates (HOA). The culture at HOA is one of incredible excellence and compassion. I’m also very proud and rather surprised at having completed five marathons from 55-59 years old. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Do not compromise your integrity for anyone or anything. Believe in yourself and know that you are only limited by the boundaries you place on yourself. Accept that there are no failures, just redirections. Be honest and work hard. Pay attention to detail and autograph everything you do with excellence. Love what you do and most especially, love who you are. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Spending


➤➤ I can’t get rid of: All my running/ race medals. ➤➤My wishful super power: To transform all bullies into nice people. To wave my wand and have wonderful people who struggle financially come home to find all of what they need and most of what they want.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: working out, napping, snuggling in front of a fire with my cats, reading, cooking.

➤➤My wishful super power: to be able to take really annoying drivers and SAFELY deposit them elsewhere on a road in Central New York. Tailgating? Blink! How did I end up on route 481?

time with my family (including Millie, my precious dog), running, writing, or reading.


➤➤My hidden talent: I am an excellent hypnotherapist. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I think I possess high level leadership skills. I have a very high emotional quotient. I understand people and how to put them together to develop great functioning teams. I love surrounding myself with people far more skilled and smarter than I am. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: CancerConnects, Inc. and Hospice of CNY. ➤➤Other leadership positions: co-founder and president of CancerConnects, Inc. I’ve been in leadership positions since I was 24 years old — that’s 36 years of practice.

Mary Kate Rolf

President and chief executive officer, Nascentia Health ➤➤Bridgeport. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤Spouse: Jim Rolf. ➤➤Children: Janet Szilagyi, Jennafer Rolf and Jaime Rolf. ➤➤Education: SUNY Polytech, Master’s Health Service Administration, and Master’s Business Administration. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment in my current role has been the expansion of Nascentia Health Options, our Managed Long Term Care Plan, across 48 Upstate New York counties. When I started out, we were a Home Health Agency Serving

Onondaga County. Now we are able to provide care and services to over 8,000 residents in Upstate New York in some of the most remote and rural parts of the state.

positive relationships and networking, as you never know when in the future that same person could become someone that you may need to work with or need assistance from.

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Take in as much as you can from those willing to teach you, and do so with active listening skills. Even if you feel that information is not helpful, or that you already know it, be respectful and considerate of that person’s time and experience. It is important in building

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Enjoying time with my family, and whenever possible, I will be snowmobiling with my husband.

Irene Scruton

Assistant dean, director MBA programs, School of Business SUNY Oswego for me to have my dad and mom, my son and his wife and my grandson at my doctoral dissertation defense. My dad passed away shortly thereafter, so it will always be a special moment that he could be there for that accomplishment. Career-wise, my proud moments over the years are connected to watching employees flourish, grow and achieve more than they ever thought possible. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Higher education has an incredible variety of career pathways and inclusive opportunities for a young person to consider. The most satisfying part of higher education is the opportunity to have a positive impact on the growth, development and careers of the students we serve. Higher education provides the perfect combination of meaningful work and career growth for persons of diverse backgrounds. ➤➤Lives in: DeWitt ➤➤Child: Brian ➤➤Education: St. John Fisher Ed.D; Syracuse University M.B.A.; SUNY Buffalo B.S. Business ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I have no one accomplishment that is “the one” because there have been many moments over the years , in career and in family, that have stood out. One was recently: As a first generation citizen and first generation student, education and lifelong learning has been a value of our family. It was very special DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤When I’m not working: Caretaking or visiting family members, reading, walking the dog (Bella) or driving. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Old scarves. They’re memories of places I’ve been. ➤➤My wishful super power: Being fluent in any language. ➤➤Would like to meet: Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO or any one of the top 20 global women leaders or someone like the Wojcicki sisters of YouTube and 23andme. ➤➤My hidden talent: Whiteboard artist. ➤➤What is your main strength as a


➤➤My wishful super power: My intuition. Whenever I get an instinctive/ gut feeling about something, it usually turns out to be accurate.

professional: There are two: enthusiastically serving the people I lead and working with people to bring an idea to reality. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Just elected to the Board of Directors of the Food Bank CNY and their mission is one we should all be behind. My other favorite is the NY-Penn Girl Scouts. As a former board member and former Girl Scout, I saw first hand what the organization does to develop leadership skills in young women. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Many leadership roles over the years both in the private and public sector. My career started in banking, where I had the opportunity to rise to senior executive levels over 20 year in Buffalo and Syracuse. I then joined the nonprofit sector as an executive director of an Upstate New York organization. In 2010, I was appointed to the inaugural board of the newly established public authority, the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority, where I served for six years through 2016 and chaired the governance committee. I served my town as an elected official for 12 years, chairing many committees and was a member of the town’s Police Commission for six years. I was also on the NY-Penn Girl Scout board of directors helping to consolidate five independent counsels into the new organization. Between 2003 and 2010, I was a member of the board of directors and the Executive Committee of the Onondaga Community College Foundation, chairing the scholarship committee. I’m currently on the board of directors of Microwave Filter, a manufacturer of components for the cable and satellite industry. In September, I was elected to the board of directors of the Food Bank CNY which serves 11 counties in the region.


➤➤Would like to meet: Ellen DeGeneres because she is sincere, honest, and willing to put aside personal differences and accept and love people simply for who they are as people. ➤➤This may surprise people: I love the snow and the winter weather. ➤➤My hidden talent: My hidden talent is still hiding. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: My main strength as a leader is my ability to remain positively focused on the vision, and keep my team and the organization inspired to achieve that vision collaboratively. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Why Nascentia Health, of course! This year, I will say the runner up is the American Heart Association, as I am the 2020 Go Red For Women Chair for the Syracuse region. With hypertension typically having no symptoms, it can lead to a heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, so check your blood pressure regularly. ➤➤Other leadership positions: member National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services; chair of the Visiting Nurse Association of America Board of Directors; and board member of: The (National) Leading Age; Centerstate CEO; and the American College of Healthcare Executives CEO Circle.

Jennifer D. Sanders

studies and Spanish; University of North Texas, master’s degree in broadcast journalism. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment to date is defying the odds to live out my wildest dreams as a journalist. In my early years in the industry, I was told “you’re not good enough,” “you’re not pretty enough,” “your skin is not light enough,” “you’ll never be a reporter.” Despite it all, I made it. Now I just strive to be the person I wanted (and needed) to see on television when I was younger. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Be authentically and unapologetically you. Find at least three mentors in the industry (at least one should be in a senior level management position). Have thick skin. Be well-versed in every aspect of broadcast and digital news. Reading and writing are key. Question everything. Consume news. Most importantly, immerse yourself in the community you are reporting on. ➤➤
 When I’m not working, I’m: investing in my community. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: my guitar from college ➤➤My wishful super power: To ban winter. ➤➤This may surprise people: I love to watch and study documentaries and take at least one page of notes per documentary. ➤➤My hidden talent: waking up at 2:30 every morning during the week. Does that count? ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: storytelling and mentoring. ➤➤
Favorite nonprofit: Vera House, Inc.

TV anchor, NewsChannel 9, WSYR-TV

➤➤Other leadership positions: Career coach/mentor at Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central; mentor/ volunteer, Syracuse City School District; board member, Vera House; capital campaign co-chairwoman, Good Life Foundation; founder/president, NexJeneration, Inc.; technology chairwoman, The Links, Inc., Syracuse chapter; technology chairwoman, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Syracuse chapter; adjunct professor, Syracuse University.

Executive director, Children’s Museum of Oswego ➤➤Lives in: Oswego. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband Jonathan, and children Andy and Madeleine. ➤➤Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and child development, The George Washington University (2006). ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Receiving the Zonta International 2019 Amelia Earhart Woman of Achievement Award ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: My advice would be to consistently seek connections. Community-based organizations thrive on social capital. If you feel stuck, chances are there is someone in your network with the experience, advice or resources that you need to move forward. There is a lot of power in people helping people; we all have something to offer. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Spending time with my family, traveling, running. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My children’s artwork. ➤➤My wishful super power: Endless energy. ➤➤Would like to meet: Ruby Bridges. ➤➤This may surprise people: My husband and I own and manage 42 real estate units and 55 commercial and residential tenants. ➤➤My hidden talent: I studied Japanese for seven years.

➤➤Lives in: Syracuse.

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: The ability to roll with the punches. Things don’t always go as planned and with each year of

➤➤Spouse / Children: None. ➤➤Education: Texas Lutheran University, bachelor’s degree in communication 88

Jillian Shaver



experience in my field, I find myself increasingly able to focus on solutions rather than problems and not dwell on things I have no control over.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: probably tinkering with a recipe in the kitchen or watching one of the million Netflix cooking show options.

➤➤Favorite nonprofit: CMOO, of course! I also feel very passionate about the work that the St. Baldrick’s Foundation does to find a cure for pediatric cancer.

➤➤I can’t get rid of: A jewelry box my nephew made for me when he was 4 years old.

Honora (Nora) Spillane

➤➤My wishful super power: The ability to instantly travel. I’m not a huge fan of traveling, but I love exploring new places. ➤➤Would like to meet: Sirius Black. ➤➤This may surprise people: I’m fascinated by WWII history. ➤➤My hidden talent: I can name a song usually within five seconds. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I like to think that I am efficient which enables me to handle several different types of projects at the same time. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Volunteer Lawyers Project. ➤➤Other leadership positions: On the Syracuse Board of Zoning Appeals.

Senior director of business and economic development, CenterState CEO

Katie Toomey

➤➤Lives in: Syracuse.

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Economic development is a lot of listening and troubleshooting. Every day is a different challenge and your ability to be nimble, creative, and patient will absolutely determine how effective you will be. Your job is to help other people succeed often at some of the most challenging times they or their business will ever face, but when you pull it off, it’s a great feeling. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: The recipe for success is simple: Be authentic while acknowledging and accepting constructive criticism. Far too often, people try to be who they think they should be rather than embracing who they are. Early in my career, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to be something that I wasn’t. It was exhausting. The truth is, you will not grow in any area of your life without failure, and relationships are vital. Focus on your strengths. Surround yourself with people who are willing to share the good, the bad and the ugly. Then, reflect, adjust and grow. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Enjoying time with family and friends. I also enjoy working out, cooking and eating pizza.

➤➤Education: Graduated cum laude from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in communications and from Syracuse University, a juris doctorate and a Master of Public Administration. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: It’s rewarding to see the work with small businesses I’ve been fortunate to be a part of over the past decade evolve into regional strategies. In my new-ish role at CenterState CEO, I can take the lessons learned from my local work in Syracuse and share best practices with the region.

to lead our chamber after the integration with CenterState CEO in 2017. I have had the honor of introducing our mission, vision and portfolio of services to our community in a meaningful way. As a result, our member retention rates are above 90%, existing members are investing further in our organization and we are on-boarding new members each week. As a team, we have introduced new programming and demonstrated value that membership provides. We have hit our stride and remain committed to listening, learning and finding new ways to provide additional value. We will continue to celebrate the milestones and achievements of our business community. My personal success would not have been possible without the leadership of CenterState CEO, the support of my team, our advisers, membership and community partners.

➤➤I can’t get rid of: The endless pile of random Legos, action figures and socks at the bottom of my purse. (Thanks, boys).

Executive director, Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce/ CenterState CEO ➤➤Lives in: Oswego. ➤➤Children: George, 6, and Patrick, 4 ➤➤Education: SUNY Plattsburgh, Bachelor of Science degree in communication studies; Iona College, Master of Science in public relations. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I am proud to be the first executive director OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤My wishful super power: The ability to have my entire life figured out at once. (That statement will make those closest to me laugh out loud). ➤➤Would like to meet: Tina Fey. ➤➤This may surprise people: I am a homebody. ➤➤My hidden talent: I am a good cook. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I am good under pressure. I ask questions, listen and find the humor in challenging situations. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: The GOFCC and CenterState CEO. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Oswego 89

Health Foundation, board of directors and annual giving committee co-chairwoman; city of Fulton Downtown Revitalization Initiative local planning committee; Oswego County economic advancement plan, steering committee and marketing subcommittee chairwoman; Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Museum, board of directors; Friends of Fort Ontario, board of directors; Oswego County Workforce Development Board, business development committee; Oswego County Airport master plan, advisory committee; Oswego County Tourism, advisory committee.

Kimberly Townsend

get going! Don’t let the urgent—today’s crisis—crowd out the important, which is always people. Finally, change is the only constant. Work on being resilient and open to change, and comfortable with uncertainty. ➤➤When I am not working: I’m with family. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: old photos. Even after I digitize. ➤➤Wishful super power: The ability to create a more inclusive and just world. ➤➤Would like to meet: Barack Obama. Whether you agree or disagree with his positions, he’s a highly effective leader that communicates a vision that energizes people. ➤➤This may surprise people: that I am an extroverted introvert. ➤➤My hidden talent: Paddleboarding. ➤➤Main strength: I am a strategic thinker and when things get hot, I keep my cool. ➤➤Favorite non profit: Loretto, of course. ➤➤Other leadership positons. Because of my passion for community service, I have help numerous leadership positions in local, regional and national non profits.

President and CEO, Loretto Health and Rehab

Chena L. Tucker

➤➤Lives in: Syracuse.

➤➤Education: Bachelor in business administration, a master’s in business administration, a juris doctorate and an Executive Master of Public Administration degree, all from Syracuse University; a doctorate in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College in Rochester.

➤➤Advice to young people entering the field: Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to get started in your career. Just 90

➤➤Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in design studies from Marylhurst University in Oregon; completion of Master of Business Administration degree at SUNY Oswego (spring 2020). ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment is that I am able to give back to my community in a way that I had never imagined that I could. I am also proud of my career and furthering my education. I try to demonstrate to my daughter that with perseverance and hard work, she can achieve any goal she sets for herself. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? You can never ask too many questions. If you’re interested in something, pursue your passion with enthusiasm and a sense of wonder. Never stop learning. Be self-reflective, but not self-critical. Failure is the best teacher. Hard work DOES pay off. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Spending time with family and my dog Whitney or studying for my MBA at SUNY Oswego. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My design boards and drawings from when I was in college for my BFA. They are huge and take up a lot of space but I cannot bring myself to get rid of them. Every couple of years, I pull them out and am again inspired by the design process and concepts. ➤➤My wishful super power: The ability to stop time, so I could get more things done in a day. ➤➤Would like to meet: I am a huge fan of Jane Goodall and would love the opportunity to meet her. She was truly ahead of her time and has devoted her life to one cause. She remains steadfast, determined and I am in awe of her commitment.

➤➤Spouse/Kids: John Gruninger, and 6 children ages 16 to 34.

➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Personally, seeing our children grow up and have their own children, and all they are accomplishing while being great people. Professionally, the honor of leading a great team every day here at Loretto. It’s the extended Loretto family of caregivers, residents and their families that make every day extraordinary.

➤➤Lives in: Oswego.

➤➤This may surprise people: I participated in a 500-mile motorcycle rally along the Pacific Northwest coast and through parts of Canada.

Director, Office of Business and Community Relations (SUNY Oswego). Executive director, Workforce Development Board of Oswego County

➤➤My hidden talent: I am very intuitive and good at assessing the intentions of others.



➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: To always remember that leadership is not about me; it’s about service to others and to our community. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: I support any group that seeks to improve the lives of Oswego County residents.

➤➤Other leadership positions: New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals Leadership Council; former chairperson of Harborfest board and children’s committee; Oswego County Poverty Task Force; Operation Oswego County board member; advisory council for the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

AnneMarie Walker-Czyz

cardiovascular services. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: My advice to a young person entering healthcare is to commit to reflecting every day on how to improve and a be vessel for patients and the needs of those to be served. Always seek to build positive relationships with self, colleagues, and those to be cared for. Prioritize healthy living to ensure a life time commitment, so that caring for others is possible. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Enjoying my family. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My first Bible. ➤➤My wishful super power: To be invisible/invisible shield to serve and protect. ➤➤This may surprise people: I enjoy riding dirt bikes with my children. ➤➤My hidden talent: I see the talent and endless possibilities in others.

Chief nursing officer, St. Joseph’s Health ➤➤Lives in: Syracuse. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Married with two children. ➤➤Education: St. Joseph’s College of Nursing, Associates Degree in Applied Science with an RN; Upstate Medical University, BS in Nursing; Upstate Medical University, MSN and Clinical Nurse Specialist (graduation with distinction); St. John Fisher College, Doctorate Degree of Education in Executive Leadership. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: I am very proud and honored to have served St. Joseph’s Health’s patients and colleagues for over 20 years. The community has set high standards for us, and I’m grateful to have learned how to best meet those expectations in a way that aligns with our mission. I’m also humbled to have partnered with our doctors and committed colleagues to overcome significant challenges to achieve a higher level of care every day. This partnership has created a culture of continuous quality improvement to achieve milestones like Magnet designation and re-designation, LeapFrog ‘A’ Safety Grade, Baby Friendly designation and numerous service line awards in orthopedic and DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: My main strength as a professional is my unwavering commitment to mission, vision, and values, the ability to make decisions in difficult circumstances, and a fearless approach to our work because with God all things are possible and failure is never an option. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: New Hope Family Services and Vera House. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Recently served as the chief operating officer and chief nursing officer for St. Joseph’s Health.

Robin WarrenPhilips

Owner, manager, designer, chief bucket washer, Designs of Elegance Florist and Wedding Planner ➤➤Lives in: Pulaski. ➤➤Spouse: Bryan; children Brandon, Robert and Cassidy. ➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, Bachelor of Arts. ➤➤Proudest Accomplishment: Never taking the easy way out. Working hard to earn a honest living and raise a family and a business while giving back to the community that raised me. ➤➤Advice to a young person: Skip retail. Society is evil. Run! Seriously, if opening a business in Oswego County, run your numbers and know your customer base. Don’t worry about your competition, let them worry about you. ➤➤When I’m not working: I am spending time with my family or my close circle of friends. My children are very active in athletics and they all race go karts. We enjoy DIRT racing as well and never miss Super Dirt Week or Daytona in February. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: My husband says I am the least sentimental person he knows. This is a tough one. ➤➤My wishful super power: I already have a magic wand to “make the magic” everyday so asking for one more would just be greedy. ➤➤Would like to meet: Condoleezza Rice. ➤➤This may surprise people: Based on the House impeachment proceedings, my attorneys have advised me to invoke the 5th Amendment. ➤➤My Hidden Talent: Classified. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: My sense of humor for dealing with the public. ➤➤Favorite Non Profit: PROP (Preservation Revitalization of Pulaski). I am a board member and have been for several years as well as past President and Admin a previous Main St. Grant. PROP, founded in the ‘80s by Mrs. Barclay, is the driving force for improvements and beautification in my hometown. We also organize the Farmer’s Market, Light Up Pulaski, Winterfest, Banner Program and foster several other community wide projects. ➤➤Other Leadership Positions: New



Trustee to Halfshire Historical, Pulaski Alumni Board, Past President Women in Business, Community Grant Board Member, Retired Teleflora Board Member, Matron of Pulaski Puritan Chapter #159.

Kerrie Ann Webb

Chief executive officer, Oswego YMCA ➤➤Lives in: Oswego. ➤➤Spouse/Children: Four boys: Ben, 24; Turner, 20; Finn, 7; and Murphy, 5. ➤➤Education: SUNY Oswego, Bachelor of Science degree. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment thus far in my life would hands-down be my four boys. I am proud of the people they are. To see my older boys grow into the openminded, caring, respectful men they are allows me to see I’m doing something right and to keep going that path with my younger boys. My sons are my biggest supporters; they always have my back and believe in me no matter what the situation. They create a space in my life for me to continue to grow and take risks professionally. I owe them so much for allowing me to immerse myself in my career and education, so that I can be the professional that I aspire to be. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? My advice to any young person entering this field today or considering it would be to take the leap! Be prepared to change lives, and do not underestimate your ability to make an impact. Running a nonprofit organization is much different than what the perception is. We are still a business — there are budgets, 92

strategic plans, and we too must pay bills, payroll and insurance. However, this is done on a tight budget with little room for change. So we must remain relevant, meet our changing community needs and identify new methods of sustainability.

store and so much more. It was a time to be humble, build character, and dig down deep to persevere. I would not change a thing, since it made me who I am and allows me to identify with my members at the Y that may hit a rough patch and need assistance.

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Typically spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy being outside and staying active. I take any chance I get to start a home project or craft! I find that having a creative outlet keeps me grounded.

➤➤My hidden talent: Cooking for sure! I love to cook, whether it be new dishes or old family recipes. The joy of feeding someone and having them smile and appreciate the food is a very special experience. I have great memories of cooking as a child in both of my grandmothers’ kitchens, or with my own parents. I have tried to pass this on to my sons and enjoy making new memories as well. Food always brings our family together no matter the occasion, and I am grateful for this.

➤➤I can’t get rid of: I have moved many times in my adult life and fewer objects seem to make the moves than before. However, I have a rocking chair that makes the cut each time. Every time I look at it, I see my grandma Turner sitting in it at Christmas with a big smile. She would perhaps be holding one of my sons, or have one of our dogs on her lap. The chair no longer matches or is even used much; however, it will always have a place in my home. ➤➤My wishful super power: I wish that the power of a momma’s kiss to a booboo carried through to working on adults and healing their pains or fears. ➤➤Would like to meet: I am a people person. I get so much out of learning about other people and their life experiences. It would be difficult to pick just one person. Of course, there are some very influential women in history that I would love to sit and listen to, such as Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, Dr. Mary Walker, Jane Adams, Coco Channel, Maya Angelo, and Priscilla Chan are just a few. ➤➤This may surprise people: I was the first person in my family to graduate college. My parents were married and had me their senior year in high school. They were hard workers and always pushed us to do our best. I dropped out of college after my freshman year at the age of 19 and got married and had my oldest son. I returned to finish my education as a non-traditional student at SUNY Oswego. I worked three part-time jobs, had a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old at that time. It was not easy, but nothing worthwhile usually is. I look back at those times and don’t really know how we did it. The financial hardships that we went through forever changed me. Things like having our power shut off, paying for gas with change, hand-me-down clothes (not just for the kids but for me), Christmas shopping at the dollar OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional? I would say my main strength is that I am a straight shooter and very genuine. I like to observe, and try to get a hands-on experience in everything I do. It’s important to me that I understand how things work in every aspect of a job. That may lead to some interesting experiences, and always an opportunity to learn and grow as a professional. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: YMCA. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Advisory board chairwoman, Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

Margaret M. Weigel

Retired library director, Pulaski Public Library ➤➤Lives in: Pulaski. ➤➤Spouse: Charles (Marty) Weigel, three DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

grown children. ➤➤Education: Pulaski Academy and Central School; Canton ATC, nursing. ➤➤Proudest Accomplishment: I am most proud of my family and their accom-

plishments. While I was involved in all their activities growing up, I helped impact many other youth in their school and community as well by volunteering.

son entering your field: Get to know your patrons. Reach out beyond the library walls and get involved in your community.

➤➤What is your advice to a young per-

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Reading, gardening, sewing, camping.

Ruth S. Weinstock Chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, medical director, Joslin Diabetes Center diabetes in our region. I am proud of our diabetes team, who are engaged in innovative ways to expand access and improve care. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Keep an open mind to new approaches for the evaluation and management of your patients, don’t be afraid to ask questions, be compassionate and try to treat every patient as you would want your loved one to be treated, be optimistic and honest. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m visiting children, grandchildren and friends, walking/enjoying the outdoors, reading. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: my mother’s old sweater. ➤➤Lives in: Fayetteville ➤➤Children/Grandchildren: Two daughters. four grandchildren (ages 3, 2½, 8 months, 7 months) ➤➤Education: Smith College AB (Summa cum laude with Highest Honors in the Biological Sciences); Columbia University MD/PhD Program (MD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons and PhD in Genetics and Human Development from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences). ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Overall I am proudest of my children. Professionally, I helped establish and continue to serve as Medical Director of the Joslin Diabetes Center at Upstate in Syracuse. We have the privilege of serving thousands of children and adults with diabetes and other endocrine disorders, and offer state-of –the art care using a team approach. We have also grown our research efforts in diabetes, with many ongoing research projects studying new medications, devices and approaches to improving the lives of people living with

➤➤My wishful super power: I wish for end of prejudice, end of wars/conflicts and protection of our environment. ➤➤Would like to meet: relatives who may exist but I am unaware of their existence. ➤➤This may surprise people: I exercise almost every morning before going to work.

➤➤I can’t get rid of: My grandmother’s diaries. ➤➤My wishful super power: To abolish all the trash along the streets and roads. ➤➤Would like to meet: Past - Mother Teresa; present - Bill Gates. ➤➤This may surprise people: I would never ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t at least try myself first (in the employment or volunteer arena). ➤➤My hidden talent: I can quietly identify and cultivate the gifts and talents of others to the benefit of the community. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: To encourage volunteers to be respected, recognized and for them to know they are appreciated. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Pulaski Historical Society. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Pulaski Village historian; PROP (Preservation Revitalization of Pulaski); Pulaski Academy and Central School Alumni Association; Economic Development Task Force, Park United Methodist Church.

Tammy Lynn Wilkinson

➤➤My hidden talent: My children love my chocolate cake. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: I believe in what I do, I work hard, and I enjoy my work. ➤➤Favorite nonprofits: American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. ➤➤Other leadership positions: I have served on many national committees, task forces and other initiatives/programs related to diabetes through the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Diabetes Association, and other federal and state agencies and not-for-profits.

Co-owner/float ambassador, Aqua Spa Float Center & Wellness Boutique. ➤➤Lives in: Minetto. ➤➤Fiancé: Terry LeRoi.




➤➤SUNY Morrisville, associate’s degree in journalism; SUNY Oswego, bachelor’s degree, communication studies. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Is yet to come, I’m sure of it! Stay tuned! Otherwise, I was the first in my family to go to college. As the oldest of five siblings, I hope I led by example. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Say yes to everything! Experience everything! You never know what may come from any given opportunity, paid or volunteer. There is knowledge to be gained from everything we experience. Step off the ledge. Get out of your comfort zone. Learn and grow.

➤➤Favorite nonprofit: Make-A-Wish Foundation.

➤➤Would like to meet: Everyone, no one in particular.

➤➤Other leadership positions: Artistic director, Theatre Du Jour; lead director, LOC/CHW Productions/SUNY Oswego/SUNY Morrisville. Board of directors, producer, Oswego Players, Inc.; goldsmith (specialty in lost wax casting), LeRoi, Inc.

➤➤This may surprise people: I grew up very, very shy.

Teresa F. Woolson

➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Making art. Supporting local artists. Working on myself. Physically, mentally and emotionally. Wellness is gold.

➤➤My wishful super power: I fancy flight.

➤➤This may surprise people: Once upon a time I was a little “raver kid” (techno dance scene). ➤➤My hidden talent: Empathy. ➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Positivity. Unlimited passion.

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Listening and making connections. ➤➤Favorite nonprofit: My own, the VOW Foundation. ➤➤Other leadership positions: Chairwoman of Substance Use Disorder & Recovery; board member of COCOAA; steering committee member of the Oswego County Prevention Coalition, previous board member of Zonta Club of Oswego.

Linda ThomasCaster

➤➤I can’t get rid of: My extremely eclectic earring collection. ➤➤Would like to meet: Brené Brown, PhD LMSW, researcher/storyteller; Glennon Doyle Melton, author/activist) and Pink, pop icon.

➤➤My hidden talent: Numbers, anything to do with numbers.

President, VOW Foundation, Inc. Administrative coordinator Operation Oswego County, Inc. ➤➤Lives in: Scriba. ➤➤Spouse: George. ➤➤Children: Angela Coville (Cortland), Sarah Gauger (Oswego) and Victor Woolson (in heaven). ➤➤Education: Oswego High School 1977 and several continuing education courses throughout my life. ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Starting the VOW Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed to educate and advocate about synthetic drugs. ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field: Do your very best. Keep doing what makes you happy and be proud of your work. ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Reading or spending time with family. ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Lots of things that have meaning — too many really. ➤➤My wishful super power: Saving Lives with education.



Licensed associate real estate broker, Howard Hanna Real Estate ➤➤Lives in: Town of Volney ➤➤Spouse/Children: Husband Douglas Caster; six adult children and nine grandchildren ➤➤Education: Nyack College and St. Thomas Aquinas College, Bachelor of Arts degree in English, secondary education and teaching ➤➤Proudest accomplishment: Providing for and raising my family of three children as a widowed mother and seeing them all succeed; providing my expertise to many of Central New York’s finest people — my clients past and DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

present — to help them reach their goals, whether buying or selling real property; as a past president of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors, being able to initiate a collaboration among the Onondaga, Oswego and Cayuga County board of realtors and help implement a transition to merge all three into the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors; transitioning the Ladies Home of Oswego along with its board of directors to a closure for economic reasons and finding a suitable buyer to love and care for the historical building with an unprecedented legacy never to be forgotten ➤➤What is your advice to a young person entering your field? Work hard, never stop learning, always be trustworthy, always be kind, always be respectful and you will love what you do! It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing!” ➤➤When I’m not working, I’m: Volunteering, traveling, and visiting family ➤➤I can’t get rid of: Of course, we all have things we love and surround ourselves with, but I don’t think I am attached to anything I could not give up. As long as I have family, loyal and trustworthy friends and faith to sustain through all difficulties, I am the richest lady in town. ➤➤My wishful super power: Bring joy and contentment to all situations within my power ➤➤Would like to meet: My creator ➤➤This may surprise people: One of my first jobs was a gas station attendant — Yep, pumping gas and checking oil!

Andy Breuer, president of Hueber-Breuer Construction, his wife Amy, and their two children.

My wife and I engage our children in philanthropy by collaboratively choosing which organizations will receive grants from our donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation. This community has been good to us, our business and our employees, and we want to ensure it remains a great place to raise families for years to come.


Read more of the Breuers’ story at cnycf.org/Breuer

➤➤What is your main strength as a professional: Commitment to whatever it takes to accomplish the necessary outcome for positive results ➤➤Favorite nonprofits: I have always had a soft spot for The Ladies’ Home of Oswego and it saddened me, solely due to economics, to have to be part of the end of its 147-year existence. I love Fulton Block Builders and their vision for making neighborhoods a better place to live by uniting homeowners’ efforts one block at a time. I also support The Family Resource Center and its tireless commitment to helping those in our communities. I mostly enjoy supporting local nonprofits that benefit and enhance day-to-day living in our communities here in CNY.

315.422.9538 | CNYCF.ORG

Fun Things to Do and See

WINTER GUIDE Pick up a free copy at various high traffic locations in the region

CNYwinter.com DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020



Healing Minds Equanimity Counseling, a new business in Oswego, seeks to help fill void on county’s mental health scene By Lou Sorendo


alm your mind. That is the mission of Christopher Battles, an Oswego native and owner of his own private practice, Equanimity Counseling, located at the Business Expansion Center, 185 E. Seneca St., Oswego. He works with adults and teenagers who are battling through issues such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. “Most of what I do literally takes place while sipping tea and helping clients with the art and science of being human,” he said. “Clients come in, unplug, and talk confidentially for about an hour.” The word equanimity means mental calmness in the face of adversity. “It embraces the reality that emotions and chaos are a part of life and that we can get through it,” he said. It is used in mindfulness counseling and a synonym for mental wellness, mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain, he said. Battles said there is much stigma surrounding counseling. “Admittedly, psychotherapy sounds like a scary word, and the way media characterizes mental health doesn’t help either,” he noted. Counseling is a therapeutic alliance based on empathy without judgment, Battles said, and the “magic” of empathy is being able to see through a client’s eyes in an unconditional and nonjudgmental way. “That’s a really hard skill, especially for an elder millennial like myself,” he said. He uses treatment strategies such as cognitive behavioral therapy to create mental clarity and psychological healing. “People should find a counselor they work well with, just like they find a family doctor, to help

A licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) Christopher Battles at his new office at 185 E. Seneca St. in Oswego. “Most of what I do literally takes place while sipping tea and helping clients with the art and science of being human,” he said. “Clients come in, unplug, and talk confidentially for about an hour.” 96



with the agony of adjusting to life, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, anger and explosiveness, and other mental disorders,” he said. “On the whole, people seek treatment for broken legs but hesitate to get help for broken lives.” Luckily, Battles said, society is waking up to the fact that mental illness, like a broken leg, benefits from professional treatment. Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian of all time, has made a second career out of creating awareness about mental health, while comedian Howie Mandel is known for his saying, “If we treated mental health like dental health, we would be OK.” Battles is determined to de-stigmatize, normalize and humanize psychotherapy. “Culturally, people are finding out — and not just the Silicon Valley people but NASDAQ companies — that investing in mental health as a preventive or recovery tool for their employees” aids the bottom line immensely. A licensed mental health counselor (LMHC), Battles has passed extensive board exams while logging thousands of hours of clinical time. LMHCs retain licenses in New York state by satisfying continuing education requirements and periodically reregistering their license. Battles is also a nationally certified counselor, the premier national counseling board certification that connotes he has gone the extra mile insofar as education and professional development. “On the business side of things, I joke that I have an MBA and CPA from the school-of-hard-knocks,” he said. “I had to learn the ropes this year — QuickBooks was nearly the end of me!” Battles formerly worked at Creekside Counseling Services in Oswego. Creating his own private practice was in line with his artistic world, complete with its creativity and individualism. Battles earned a bachelor of music degree in music education with a minor in jazz studies from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. “Folks come in here and you got to find their way. That’s the purpose of counseling is to find that person’s way through whatever it is they are working through” in an empathetic DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

manner, he added. The “magic” of empathy is being able to see through a client’s eyes in an unconditional and non-judgmental way, he said. “That’s a really hard skill, specially for an elder millennial like myself,” he noted. “There isn’t a syllabus for this.” “It’s people trying to wrestle with demons, or attempting to overcome what is referred to as a ‘house of mirrors’ that happens in one’s mind when emotions get high and when thought patterns are so ingrained that one starts feeling estranged from their own culture because of failure to fit its archetypes. That can really wreak havoc in somebody’s mind,” he said.

Musically inclined

While he sees himself as a classically trained percussionist with the heart of a jazz and Latin drummer, he spent several years after graduating college as an acoustic singer-songwriter and even produced an extended-play musical recording while living and substitute teaching in New York City. Battles moved back home to Oswego and continued exploring music while entering into SUNY Oswego’s graduate program for school counselors. “This was actually my first venture into the science of psychology. I found fantastic mentors and the power of empathy, which ultimately led me to clinical work,” he said. He said sometimes music and other facets of his life help build a strong therapeutic connection with a diverse array of clients. The office playlist exemplifies this with music ranging from Steely Dan, Dr. Dre, Metallica, Allman Brothers Band, Taylor Swift, BB King, Wham, Yo-Yo Ma, John Coltrane, to Mozart. “I’m personally more of a ‘Blue Moon Café’ on TK99 with Mimi Griswold kind of listener,” he said. Battles also features trinkets around his office from his Adirondack High Peaks 46er journey, a mini-library of self-help and psychology books, fidget puzzles, plants, and bike-related items from local cycling clubs that he belongs to. Battles said pursuing his music career “might have been the first dry run of what it is like to be an entrepreneur.” “Coming here, I was a bit familOSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS


Serving all counties in Upstate & Central NY David A. MacGregor, DMD Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon


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iar in the sort of paperwork needed to get a business going, as well as branding, public relations and design,” he said. However, “where the rubber really meets the road involved areas such as taxes and accounting,” he added. “You have to keep your patience, be precise, and chip away at the todo list every day,” he said. “That is something that I have developed in the last year — that entrepreneurial skill set of being able to create that todo list and knowing that nobody was going to help me with it.” 97

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ore Americans are having trouble falling and staying asleep, and smartphones and technology are probably to blame, researchers report. Their analysis of data from nearly 165,000 adults nationwide showed that the number who reported difficulty falling asleep at least once a week was up 1.4% between 2013 and 2017, and those who had trouble staying asleep rose 2.7%. Those percentages may appear small, but it means that as many as 5 million more adults have sleep problems, according to study leader Zlatan Krizan, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University (ISU), in Ames, Iowa. “How long we sleep is important, but how well we sleep and how we feel about our sleep is important in its own right,” Krizan said in a university news release. “Sleep health is a multidimensional phenomenon, so examining all the aspects of sleep is crucial for future research.” The study was published online recently in the journal Sleep Health. Krizan and his team could not say what’s contributing to the increase in sleep problems, but technology is likely a factor, according to lead author Garrett Hisler. He’s a former ISU graduate student who is now a postdoctoral associate at the University of Pittsburgh. “We know from our previous research there is a correlation between smartphone use and insufficient sleep among teens,” Hisler said in the news release. “If we’re on our phone before bed or we’re receiving alerts in the middle of the night, that can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night,” he explained. Too little sleep and poor sleep can increase the risk of heart disease, and sleep quality affects overall well-being, the researchers noted. Krizan said, “We know that how well people sleep is generally very reflective of people’s health and may be an indicator of other conditions. If we want a full picture of the population’s health, it’s important to measure and track these changes in sleep trends over time.” DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

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Tania Anderson: Going the Distance continued from page 17 to anyone in our community.” Anderson said the common thread with working cases in the court system is solving problems. “Folks have come to litigation. Most cases don’t go to trial and they are settled at some point along the process. In order to successfully do that, you really have to be able to see all points of view, try to find common ground and solve the problems and resolve the case in a way that is fair to everyone. So that skill can translate to anything,” she said. Anderson has retained her license to practice law, and is the inhouse counsel for ARISE. “I’m able to do a lot of things that we might farm out otherwise to an outside firm,” she said. “Even when we use outside counsel, the fact that I’m a lawyer speeds up the process and saves us cost.” “Disability rights are civil rights, and ARISE is an independent living center, which means that we are a civil rights organization that makes sure people with disabilities are completely included in our society and have equal rights that anyone should have,” she said.

Passion for running Tania Anderson, the CEO of ARISE, knows what it takes to go the extra mile. Or in her case, miles. Anderson is a long-distance runner, and has logged 30 marathons in her running career. She started running during her first law job in Washington, D.C. as a stress release. “I’ve been running ever since, and it’s been a great outlet for me,” she said. Anderson lived in an apartment complex in Washington, and there was a group of women that would walk together. “It was a beautiful route. I would walk out my door and go to Fort Myer, walk around Iwo Jima, and watch the sunrise over the skyline with the Washington monument,” she 100

Anderson is a long-distance runner, and has logged 30 marathons in her running career. said. “Gradually, I would run more than walk and it turned into running,” she said. Upon relocating to Syracuse, she joined a group of other runners. “Some of my best friends are from the running community,” said Anderson, who runs all year round. “It’s good time outdoors, and I pretty much run outdoors no matter what the weather is,” she said. “I end up problem solving a lot when I’m running without even having to think about it consciously. If a problem is rolling around in my head, sometimes while running things will occur to me as a strategy or a way to approach an issue that I wouldn’t have thought of had I sat in front of a computer and stared at it a little bit longer.” Anderson runs about 25 miles a week now, and at her peak was up to 30 to 35 miles a week. She doesn’t discount the possibility of running more marathons down the line. “I probably will in a few years, but right now, I don’t have the time to devote to training,” she said. Anderson noted there is a huge sense of accomplishment with a marathon. “The fun part is probably OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

training, because there is a variety of things to do to train for a marathon. I got to a point where I was running two a year: one in the spring and one in the fall,” she said. “Also fun is connecting with other runners and having those relationships. Anderson was never the type of runner who would abstain from certain foods when training. She enjoys the benefit of being able to eat more without having to worry about calories. “It’s really just being outside, clearing your head and staying fit,” she noted. She has run the Boston Marathon six times. “The energy there is electric with so many people running and onlookers cheering on the course,” Anderson said. Her first marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. “I got to like smaller marathons after my daughter Eliza was born just to stay closer to home. It was always exciting whenever Eliza would come to a marathon and see me cross the finish line,” she said. Anderson also enjoys tending to her large flower garden at home, and watching cooking shows with her daughter. She has lived in her house in the Valley section of Syracuse for the past 24 years. The only lawyer in her family, Anderson credits her parents for her strong work ethic. “They always supported my brother and I in school and whatever activities we wanted to do,” she said. “They both were hard workers.” “They taught me the value of work, being involved in the community and the value of a dollar,” she said. In terms of work-life balance, Anderson said having her daughter and attending to her schedule keeps her on track. She drops Eliza off at school, and has time with her during the evenings. “I tend to not work on the weekends, because that’s my time with Eliza,” she said. “I’d rather work late than cut into the time I have with her.” “The key is to keep organized, try to keep a schedule and keep an eye on what the priorities are that I have to accomplish in any given day,” she said. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

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Success Story

By Lou Sorendo

Marie Schadt holding a dog at her K-9 Grooming and Pet Motel in the town of Oswego.

K-9 Grooming & Pet Motel Long-time owner, legislator Marie Schadt turns pet project into lifelong dream in the town of Oswego


t’s not your average grooming and pet motel. But then again, it’s not your average grooming and pet motel owner. Marie Holland Schadt is the longtime owner of K-9 Grooming & Pet Motel, 2452 county Route 7 (Johnson Road), town of Oswego. As if that is not enough responsibility, she is also the county legislator for the 19th District in Oswego County. Humbly starting from the laundry room in her basement in 1977, Schadt has grown the business to where it is a premiere destination for pet owners wanting top-level service throughout the region. Schadt said the keys to the business’ longevity — the business is over 40 years old —have been earning the respect and trust of customers, being consistent and following through, and using the finest products possible. 102

“You also have to keep the facility immaculately clean, which is a huge process,” Schadt said. “You can’t really even go to the grocery store during holidays. You have to stay on the property,” said Schadt, noting she has cameras that provide images right to her phone. “I live right on the premises, so can hear anything that goes on,” she said. “It’s your life. Your clients are alive, and it’s like having a dairy farm on steroids,” she said. “Everything is owned by someone else, but they are family members.” Schadt has overseen some dramatic transformations regarding dogs. “We took a dog in from a vet clinic and were told she was super aggressive. We boarded that dog for more than a year because its owner was experiencing a health situation,” she said. “The owner was very committed to the dog, and we OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

really admired her commitment.” “We worked with her, desensitized her, and got her to walk among and play with other dogs,” she said. “Now you can stand her on the table for the vet and she doesn’t have to use a muzzle or any of that crazy stuff.” “It was very rewarding and we gained the admiration of the vets’ group and owner,” she said. “Everybody here came to love this dog.” Schadt also gets gratification from alerting pet owners as to health threats and directing them to veterinarians. “Unless you are drying them inch by inch, you are not going to find melanoma or a small tumor,” she said. Schadt’s team has found fishing lures buried in the coat of heavily matted dogs and even a rubber band wound around a dog’s ear, probably caused by a child. “We’ve seen unbelievable things,” DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

she said. One dog once consumed many Boy Scout pins and somehow survived. Contributing to her success is a very low turnover rates in terms of employees. The business has 10 employees, including Susan Muldoon, who has been there for 40 years. Darlene Dorn and Allison Longley, meanwhile, have been employees for more than 20 years. “It’s a group effort. My employees have skin in the game, and without them, I would not have made it,” Schadt said.

Chasing her passion Although she attended college, Schadt’s real passion in her early years was in riding and showing horses. She worked for John Shaffner, a noted Grand Prix rider and trainer, to ride green — or minimally trained — horses. Shaffner trained Abdullah, a stallion who won many international titles in the sport of show jumping. The business today also features a horse riding facility that was built about 20 years ago. It was her mother, Alma Joyce, who provided Schadt with the spark that led to the launch of her business. Schadt’s grandmother had her miniature schnauzer groomed locally but was extremely displeased at the results. She said, “Oh my God, Marie, this is horrible,” and prompted her daughter to pursue grooming due to her experience preparing horses for show. “At that time, there was nothing of substance in the area,” Schadt said. That’s when Schadt became acquainted with a dog show judge in Syracuse, Nina Reynolds, who had been a judge in the United States as well as Paris, London, Canada and Bermuda. Reynolds was heavily involved in the Dachshund Club of America, and worked with imported dogs from Germany and various places throughout Europe. She would take on breeds such as standard poodles and Kerry blue terriers as a handler. Joe Holland, Schadt’s father, paid for his daughter to become a full apprentice with Reynolds for more than a year. “We started to go to shows after that and prepping dogs’ coats. When showing, you are really competing at a high level and have to learn your breed groups,” she said. Schadt was then compelled to study the history of each dog breed. DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

Mary Schadt (top photo): “I live right on the premises, so I can hear anything that goes on,” she says about herK-9 Grooming in the town of Oswego. Below is an employee cleaning one of the pets at the business. “No one seems to do that now. I just see people get into the field but don’t really immerse themselves in it,” she said. Schadt would then begin scissoring poodles and loved it. “It’s a lot of work to do it right. It’s time-consuming, and you have to learn some anatomy,” she said. Schadt pointed to the recently concluded National Dog Show as a true example of extraordinary grooming. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

“These dogs are not eating dog food,” she said. “They are on raw, natural diets that are targeted at their muscle mass and body type. It’s a real different world,” she said. Schadt said the dog grooming business didn’t “have the buzz that it has now.” People are now well aware of various options for taking care of their dog. Schadt makes her own dog food that does not contain grain, which is 103

used as filler in many dog food brands. She is critical of food dog manufacturers defending the use of grain, and says their claims that grain-free brands are linked to heart disease in dogs are erroneous and profit based.

Launching a dream Schadt has helped prep some of the top dogs in the nation, including Woodley, a collie owned by Jean Welsh who was No. 1 in the country. “I don’t know how people equate it with a hair dresser. A hairdresser would charge $300 for what we do. People don’t realize what goes into it,” she said. “One day, I was scissoring on a standard poodle, and Nina said, ‘Whoa, you don’t need me anymore.’” When Schadt decided to start her business, “everybody thought it was a joke,” she said. After placing a small ad in a local newspaper, she began fielding her first calls. She groomed her first dog in the basement of her home in the fall of 1977. “I started in my laundry room. It could not have been more humble,” she said. Her father helped hang lights while her husband Ron brought a little cage unit in. “He thought I was nuts,” she said. “Then I started doing a few jobs, and people said, ‘This looks great!’ So I had to move into the front portion of the garage and then took it over quickly,” she said. Her husband is quite adept at industrial piping and heating systems being a career steamfitter, while her father was head of the local building and trades and her brother Sean Holland is a mason. Using their talents made costs considerably less onerous, she noted. However, Schadt had difficulty financing the launch. “I went to a couple of banks, and my grandmother did help me and I paid her back. But then I needed serious money,” she said. It was then that Jerry Crego of Oswego County Savings Bank, whose wife was a customer of Schadt’s, that wrote her first note. “I was a nervous wreck wondering if I could do it,” she said. Everybody then pitched in. “We basically worked morning and night for probably 15 years,” she said. “You work all day and you build all night.” “It takes around four years to build a good client base,” she said. 104

A Three-term Democrat in the Legislature Schadt concerned with loss of population, infrastructure


arie Schadt is a county legislator, representing the 19th District (Oswego Town, Minetto) as a Democrat. Despite facing an overwhelming majority, Schadt has earned the reputation of fighting against tax increases “I’m looking at governments that are voting for ultra-platinum insurance, which is untouchable to the average worker,” she said. “I’m in a super minority, but you have to have checks and balances, and our forefathers knew that,” she said. “Human nature can be not-great at times.” Schadt said her passion lies in infrastructure, ensuring that residents have good roads and bridges. Before improvements in those areas are even considered, area leaders much focus on replacing aging water and sewer systems. “Our infrastructure gets a D-minus in this country. That is horrible and a sin,” she said. “I’ve come to realize that the business models of towns and villages have come to pass. That’s why the

South is so cheap” to live in because it has regionalized, she said. She said having towns and villages every 10 miles is an antiquated notion, particularly given advancements in technology. “We have to man all these buildings, heat and plow them, to support a handful of people and then tax the taxpayer for that rate,” she said. “We’ve got to start streamlining and regionalizing.” Schadt noted that about 57,000 people are leaving New York state annually. This is happening despite the region having “some of the best soil and workforce” in the country, she said. “We are sitting on fresh water, which will be worth more than oil before it’s over with,” she said. Schadt has served three terms in the legislature. “I am quick to respond and available, and I even get people from other districts calling. You have to have an open ear and listen and voice your concerns,” she said.

Mastering the craft

However, Schadt characterizes cats as one of the more difficult aspects of the business to deal with. “They are a lot of work and up workers’ compensation numbers,” she said. Nonetheless, Schadt draws cats from a wide area. One of her customers travels from Buffalo several times a year to have her cat and dogs groomed. Schadts draws from a wide area, as attested to by customers in Fulton, Fair Haven, Baldwinsville, Syracuse, Skaneateles and Hamilton. Having a business two miles from SUNY Oswego also has led to clients in New York City and New Jersey, who see her as offering “big city grooming” in Oswego. She also had a brush with fame when famed singer and entertainer Frances Langford Evinrude cruised into the area aboard her 108-foot yacht, Chanticleer. Her personal assistant would call Schadt at Lock 8 on the Oswego River to instruct her to meet them at the dock to pick up and groom their dogs.

Schadt said she has “truly been through the school of hard knocks” when talking about her ascent in the industry. “When you stumble over yourself, you have to stop and say, ‘OK, let’s do this better’,” she said. Schadt goes to trade shows, talks to experts and is willing to try new products. She creates her high-quality shampoo at body temperature complete with a neutral pH that does not interrupt a pet’s acid mantle and is compatible with flea and tick products. Schadt takes great pride in the infrastructure her business features, such as a heavy-duty heating and hot water system. She also has the ability to move all air out of the building in a matter of seconds, and changing the air is done twice a day. Under Dorn’s supervision, the K9 Grooming also features a functional cattery. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS


Best Business Directory AUTO SALES & SERVICE Bellinger Auto Sales & Service — Third generation business. Used Cars, Towing, general auto repair & accessories, Truck repair. Oil, lube & filter service. 2746 County Route 57 Fulton, NY 13069. Call 5931332 or fax 598-5286.

CONSTRUCTION Dunsmoor Construction Inc. – Residential-Commercial Construction. Serving Oswego County. Home Improvement Contractor. 315-343-4380 or 315-5915020.

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


COPY & PRINT Port City Copy Center. Your one-stop for all of your copy + print needs. 37 East First St., Oswego . 2166163.

DEMOLITION Fisher Companies. Commercial & residential demolition. Great prices. Fully insured. Free estimates. 48 years of experience. Call Fisher Companies at 315652-3773 or visit www.johnefisherconstruction.com.

White’s Lumber. Four locations to serve you. Pulaski: state Route 13, 315-298-6575; Watertown: N. Rutland Street, 315-788-6200; Clayton: James Street, 315-6861892; Gouverneur: Depot Street, 315-287-1892.

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.


EXCAVATING Gilbert Excavating. Septic systems. Gravel & top soil. Septic tank pumping. 685 County Route 3, Fulton, 13069. Call 593-2472.

RanMar Tractor Supply, Sales and Service of New and Used Tractors and Farm Equipment – 5219 US Rte 11 Pulaski, New York – 315-598-5109.


$159 for 1 Year Oswego County Business P.O. Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126105 OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS

Just fill out this form, and send it with a check to: DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020

Last Page

By Alexander Plate

David Turner Snow-related events keeps the flow of visitors coming to Oswego County, says director of Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism & Planning Is winter a busy time for Oswego County tourism? “Oswego County is blessed with outstanding recreational activities in all four of our seasons. Winter is no exception.” How popular are Oswego County winter tourism destinations? “There’s no way to really count how many visitors come to enjoy outdoor recreation activities around here. Snowmobilers, once they buy a registration, they could come up once or twice, or every weekend during the season. We know that we get thousands of anglers who come here for ice fishing and steelhead fishing in the river.” What are the main attractions in the winter? “A majority come here for fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and now there are some bike races. Ice hockey is also a big draw, and that’s usually drawing thousands of people into the region. Figure skating events bring people in as well. There’s quite a lot that brings people in during the wintertime.”

What are some of the upcoming big-ticket events coming up in 2020? “In January and February, there’s a statewide winter pro-am classic, that’s not just ice fishing but stream fishing as well. Oneida Lake is one of the most famous ice fishing spots in New York. We’ve got the Winona Forest 12K Classic, which is a cross-country ski race. People come from all over America, and literally all over the world to participate in that. There’s also the Winona Forest snowshoe 5K walk and run, both of those are in January. They also have their Tour-a-Thon, which is known across the country and that’s also in February. Selkirk Shores has a snowshoe race in February as well. There’s a snowmobile show in February,

called the Great Eastern Whiteout, which is antique and classic snowmobiles. These are a few big-ticket things that draw people in from far and wide, and then you have a few other festivals. December is a big month for holiday festivals, and there are a few winter festivals in January and February, in Pulaski and around the county. There’s a pretty wide variety from outdoor sports to other outdoor gatherings and events that may draw in people from around the state.”

How do you promote winter attractions? “Our reputation for the quality of the activities we offer is really the main driver. It’s well known to the people who participate in the activities that we do offer, that Oswego County is a place to go. When someone talks about, say, snowmobiling, people know that you have to go to the nearly 500 miles of trails in the Tug Hill region of the county. We get more snow in the Tug Hill region than most places east of the Rockies, so it’s dependable. If you talk to the people in the snowmobile clubs, they’ll tell you that they have members from states all over, from North Carolina to Texas.” 106



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