June / July 2017
1886 Malt House New project transforming the former Miller Brewery into one of the largest barley operations in the country. Production is about to start
3 Meet CNY’s ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ 3 From Boardroom to Small Business 3 Harborfest Turns 30 3 Novelis Continues to Roll 3 Jimmy Koid Plant manager at K & N’s Foods USA has lived in eight countries, visited 40
June / July 2017
Our 150th Issue
Become a Morn
In This Stage of Your Life….
Morningst Morningstar is a family always loo owned and operated skilled nursing and and most rehabilitation center that als to provides a competitive Oand SW E G O •wageWAT E RV I L L E comprehensive Whether and benefit package, comfortable and LPN or supportive atmosphere and high quality care and service. Aide, PT, UPDATE: Morningstar Care Center is working or if outpatient you are not a clinician and would like to open its community therapy service e a Morningstar! Morningstar Care Center in early is 2017! Stay tuned! keeping, laundry, activities or dietary. Please always looking for the best and most qualified individu- would love to meet you! mily owned and operated Assisted Living
We’re Here For You!
Become a Morningstar!
als to join our team. go, New York. Our mission is to provide Whether you are an RN, an active and comfortable environment Morningstar is a family owned and LPN or Certified Nurse viduality and independence. In addition Aide, PT, PTA, OT, COTA – are services and general support to help operated skilled nursing and Contact: Paula Whitehouse a clinician and would and like cognitive to work in houserotadapt to their physical rehabilitation center that provides 343-0880 or ry, activities or dietary. us a call. We at (315) chieve their individual bestPlease qualitygive of life. ng residents firstname.lastname@example.org meet you! to our fourth floor! We have competitive andowned comprehensive The Gardens is a family and operated Assisted wage Living ul first six months and greatly appreciate Residence in Oswego, NY. Our mission is to provide our residents Morningstar is a family-owned and operated port! Thank you Oswego or a loved one is considering benefit package, comfortable and is a family owned and and Onondaga County! If you and with an active and comfortable environment that promotes skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that esidence we would skilled nursing andlove to meet you. individuality andteam independence. We provide healthcare services atmosphere and high provides a competitive and comprehensive wage supportive n center that provides assisted living community being developed in Oswego NY. We are accepting and general support to help people overcome or adapt to their and benefit package, comfort and supportive team nd comprehensive wage qualified home health aides and personal quality care and service. icensed Practical Nurses, care aides. physical and cognitive limitations so as to achieve their individual atmosphere and high quality care service. ckage, comfortable and best quality of life. UPDATE: Care Center is working m atmosphere andMorningstar high The Gardens is now accepting residents to our fourth floor! We have had open its community outpatient therapy service care andtoservice. aavery first six months Waterville Resdiential Care Center is 92successful bed, family ownedand greatly appreciate the community Life in Balance in early 2017! Stay tuned! support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga counties! If you or a loved one and operated skilled nursing and rehabiltation facility located 17 Sunrise Drive -Care Oswego,Center. NY 13126 •. 315.342.4790 is considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. Please gstar Residential . . in Waterville NY. The facility is part of a health care provider www.morningstarcares.com contactcontact Paula Whitehouse at (315) 343-0880 or email@example.com continuum based here in Central NY. Please Joe Murabito (845)-750-4566 or Judy Harding (315) 525-4473 We are accepting applications for Licensed Practical Nurses, qualified health aides and personal care aides. NY 13126 e Drive - Oswego, NY 13126 315.342.4790 17home Sunrise Drive - Oswego, www.morningstarcares.com 132 Ellen Street - Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.0880 • Fax-315.342.5365
Morningstar Residential Care C
a better team, a better professiona
am, a better professional experience.
star Residential Care Waterville Residential Care Center Center is a 92 bed, family owned and operated skilled nursing lle Residential Care and rehabilitation facility locatedCenter in Waterville NY. The facility is part of a health care provider The Gardens continuum based here in Central NY. Please contact Joe Murabito (845)-750-4566 or Judy Harding (315) 525-4473 by Morningstar JUNE/JULY 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Morningstar Residential Care Center Waterville Residential Care Center The Gardens by Morningstar 3
PROFILE JIMMY KOID
Operations at the 1886 Malt House are about to start. Director Noel McCarthy talks about the project 55
Manufacturing • Novelis continues to roll • Five questions to Randy Wolken • Making the Case for CASE • Supporting breast-feeding • Need a Career Shift? • Smart Neighbors • Revitalization initiative making progress in allocations
President of K&N’s Foods USA in Fulton is a seasoned world traveler and an expert in the food industry. He has lived in eight countries and visited more than 40 while developing a success career..............................................12
SPECIAL FEATURES How I Got Started George Joyce, owner of Laser Transit Ltd. in Lacona, talks about how he grew his company from scratch.............. 10 Where in the World is Sandra Scott? Old Cartagena: This Colombia city is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site ............ 16 Nurturing Leadership Nearly 500 participants have graduated from the program, which enters its 25th year........................................ 18 Harborfest Turns 30 Director Peter Myles talks about sponsorship, attendance and how the festival has stayed popular........................... 34 From Boardroom to Small Business Three former corporate employees talk about how they became small business owners........ 38 Meet CNY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Anthony Nappa, 27, is the owner of Face Barbershop.................................................................. 44 Handing Down the Mic Michael Ameigh, general manager at WRVO-FM and assistant provost at SUNY Oswego, to retire............ 78
• What’s hot, what’s not • High-end homes in CNY comand top dollars
SUCCESS STORY In the wake of closures across the nation, JCPenney in Oswego celebrates 40 years of operations. New general manager, Carol Peters, of Fulton, talks about the store’s endurance and what helps make it successful.................................... 84
. ................... 9, 22, 46 My Turn Trump: Running a Business Vs Running a Country....... 36 Economic Trends Property listings aid businesses................. 53 Last Page David Turner, tourism director, Oswego County . .. 90 On the Job, Newsmakers, Business Updates
A refined approach to food in a rustic but elegant environment 4
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Applying time-tested principles of capital management to individual investorsâ€™ portfolios.
Adam C. Gagas 184 W. First Street Oswego, NY 13126 (315) 236-2050 www.breakwallam.com JUNE/JULY 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
1886 Malt House......................7 Acro-Fab.................................64 Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home...................45 ALPS Professional Services.24 Amdursky, Pelky, Fennell & Wallen................................43 America’s #1 Choice Realty.................................25 Amerigas................................23 Berkshire Hathaway ............21 Bond, Schoeneck & King, ....59 Borio’s Restaurant.................31 Breakwall Asset Management.......................5 Brookfield Renewable Power.................................73 Builder’s First........................27 Burke’s Home Center...........23 C & S Companies............58, 94 Canale’s Italian Cuisine........30 Canale’s Insurance & Accounting .......................49 Cayuga Comm. College.........2 Century 21 - Galloway.........27 Century 21 Leah Signature..24 CNY Arts................................69 Community Bank..................47 Compass Credit Union...........6 Crouse Hospital.....................91
Dave & Busters Rest.............31 Davis-Standard LLC.............65 Dusting Divas..........................6 Eastern Shore Associates Insurance...........................28 Eis House................................31 Exelon Generation.................37 Fastrac.....................................14 Financial Partners of Upstate...............................28 Finger Lakes Garage Doors.23 Fitzgibbons Agency..............43 Foster Funeral Home............60 Freedom Real Estate.............43 Fulton Oswego Motor Express...............................64 Fulton Savings Bank.............21 Fulton Tool Co.......................64 Glider Oil................................14 Halsey Machinery.................23 Harbor Towne Gifts..............29 Harborfest..............................11 Haun Welding Supply..........77 Hillside Park Real Estate......49 History Collaborative...........29 J P Jewelers.............................29
Johnston Gas..........................24 K & N Foods............................5 Key Bank................................67 Land & Trust Realty..............27 Laser Transit...........................64 Local 73, Plumbers & Steamfitters.......................65 Longley Brothers.....................8 Mimi’s Drive Inn...................30 Mitchell Speedway Printing................................8 Mr. Sub....................................31 Nelson Law Firm.....................8 North Bay Campground......29 Northern Ace Home.............27 N. Welding Fabrication..........8 OOC........................................91 Oswego Co. Federal Credit Union.....................45 Oswego Co. Mutual Ins..........24 Oswego Co. Stop DWI..........77 Oswego Health .....................83 Oswego Inn............................29 Oswego Speedway................29 Oswego Valley Insurance.....47 Over the Top Roofing...........23
Par-K Enterprises, Inc...........21 Pathfinder Bank.....................15 Patterson Warehousing........64 PC Masters Tech Repair.......15 Phoenix Press.........................25 Riccelli Northern...................37 RiverHouse Restaurant........31 Roger Phelps Quality Cars....................................43 Rudy’s.....................................31 Scriba Electric.........................24 Servpro....................................23 St. Joseph’s Imaging..............82 St. Luke Apartments.............77 SUNY Oswego.......................37 Sweet Inspirations.................31 Sweet-Woods Memorial.......45 Tailwater Lodge.......................7 The Gardens at Morningstar .......................3 The Landings at Meadowood......................15 United Wire Technology......69 Universal Metal Works.........65 Valley Locksmith...................25 Volney Multiplex...................24 White’s Lumber & Building Supply................................25 WRVO.....................................81 Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park..29
Dusting Divas inc. Your Fabulous deep cleaning experts.
s Serving Oswego County & parts of Onondaga County. s Fully Insured & Bonded s Call today for your Free Estimate: 315•591•1762
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
1886 Malt House is proud to partner with New York’s finest grain growers to create a variety of 100% New York-produced malts. State-of-the-art malting technology, proven quality systems, and expert personnel will help 1886 Malt House ensure the reliable, consistent production and delivery of the highest quality malt to the craft brewing industry.
1886 Malt House • 1850 Owens Road • P.O. Box 427 • Fulton, NY 13069
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Northern Welding & Fabrication LLC
Commercial and Residential / On-site welding available Fully Insured • Free Estimates • Certified Welders
• Steel Sales (Miscellaneous Steel / Any Size) • Heavy Equipment Repair • Structural Steel Design & Fabrication • Trailer Repair (steel and aluminum) • Sheet Metal Fabrication Construction/Demo • Custom Railings and Stairs • Boat Dock Repair and Modifications • Snowmobiles / Campers / RV Modifications Central Square • 315-481-3835 or 315-676-WELD
COVERING CENTRAL NEW YORK OswegoCountyBusiness.com Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto
Associate Editor Lou Sorendo
L. Michael Treadwell Bruce Frassinelli, Sandra Scott, Jacob Pucci, Randy Zeigler
Writers & Contributing Writers Deborah Jeanne Sergeant Matthew Liptak, Ken Little Melissa Stefanec
Peggy Kain Chianna Gambino
Office Assistant Kimberley Tyler
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www.speedwaypress.com Speedway Press P.O. Box 815 1 Burkle Street Oswego, Ny 13126 Phone: (315) 343-3531 Fax: (315)343-3577
Take the short drive to save $1,000s
Your CNY Truck Town Dealer 1698 County Route 57 Fulton • 598-2135 longleybros.com
NELSON LAW FIRM
Attorneys at Law Allison J. Nelson, Esq. Rachael A. Dator, Esq. Audrey L. Flynn, Esq.
NY Certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise
• Real Estate • Wills • Estates • Estate Planning • Municipal Law • Traffic Matters New Location: 209 W. Seventh St., Oswego, NY 13126 Tel: 315-312-0318 • Fax: 315-312-0322 • Web: anelsonlaw.net 8
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Oswego County Business is published by Local News, Inc., which also publishes CNY Summer Guide, Business Guide, CNY Winter Guide, College Life, In Good Health– The Healthcare Newspaper (four editions), CNY Healthcare Guide and 55PLUS, a Magazine for Active Adults (two editions) Published bimonthly (6 issues a year) at 185 E. Seneca Street PO Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126. Subscription: $21.50 a year; $35 for two years © 2016 by Oswego County Business. All rights reserved. Third class postage paid at Syracuse, NY. Permit Number: 244
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ON THE JOB “What kind of social media presence does your company have?” “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are the three major ones we consistently use. We post daily on one of those three. Primarily, we reach out to customers and post about community things we’re involved in. We have a dedicated social media individual who’s part of our marketing department. I think it raises awareness of our business and is a recruiting tool. You get more exposure and people will look to see if you have an opening.” John Trimble, president C & S Companies, Syracuse “I use Facebook for publicity. I post pictures and customers post pictures, but I don’t take orders through it. It’s a good PR thing for me. The customers do more than I do. They’ll rate me and things like that. I am sure it helps more people know about my business. I know people see the photos.” Robert Bateman, owner Cakes Galore & More, Oswego “We have for many years used Facebook. I post things that we do outside the realm of our work, like pro bono work. We also post new projects. I think it reinforces to our clients and friends that we’re out there working hard in the community and doing good work for our clients. It helps our brand. Over the years, through different online media, we have been seen and gotten calls for work. We also use Twitter.” Stewart Koenig, president Koenig Advertising Public Relations, Syracuse “We use mostly Facebook. We use it quite a bit. It’s where we can reach a lot of our customers, especially with my wife’s business, Mother Earth Baby. We have 13,000 followers between the businesses’ Facebook pages. We use it to promote sales, activities and events we’re doing and new products. We have a variety of JUNE/JULY 2017
posts from us and the customers. Or, it may be a re-post of an article. We don’t use Twitter as much. It’s a fairly costeffective way to reaching a number of current and potential customers. We do a lot of targeted advertising with it and have fans all over the world. We direct our Facebook advertising at a particular region for sales. Nathan Emmons, owner Just Push Play Production Oswego “I use Facebook for posting our specials on there and pictures. I also send out daily emails to our customer list. I use pictures of cakes we have done and sometimes customers post pictures of our cakes to say thanks. I have an employee who keeps up with the Facebook account. I tend to not have time because I’m so busy with everything.” Kathy Hotaling owner Kathy’sCakes & Specialty Treats, Fulton “We have a couple of different businesses. We use social media to show off some of our projects and products. It’s nice to stay fresh in people’s minds. We use Facebook predominately. It’s easy to use and it has a large number of people who are used to being on Facebook. We have a lot of people who respond, especially if it’s something interesting. If it’s new or we have events. It’s a good way to reach a decent-sized audience with media.” Anthony Pauldine, developer, Oswego “We chose Facebook and Twitter. We have not ventured into Instagram because we want make sure we do it right, so we’ve focused on just two. We have used them at least since 2010. We find them to be a relatively good way to get the word out. We don’t use social media solely, but every event we’re having goes on Facebook
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
and Twitter. We can add pictures and it gives a personal voice every day. The website is up-to-date but less personal and we can’t rely that people are checking every day. We use Facebook and Twitter differently. Twitter is a good way to engage with other professional organizations like ours on a personal level, and Facebook is more about images and announcements. Twitter is more direct conversing with people. We find it to be relatively successful. We had a workshop a couple weekends ago and one attendee found out about it on Facebook, registered and showed up. That wouldn’t have happened without Facebook.” Natalie Stetson, executive director Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse
“We’ve used Facebook for years. We try to post pretty much every day, usually in the evening because that’s when most people are online. This year, we started using Snapchat. We also started using Instagram more heavily. We launched a YouTube channel the first of the year showing what we do in a day. People love watching us make candy and talking. We have over 2,100 subscribers. Terry Andrianos, owner Hercules Candy Company, East Syracuse “We use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and we’re trying to gain the courage to use Twitter. I’m not a fan of Twitter because they deploy more negative information than positive. On Instagram and Pinterest, we use photos of events we produced, information we want to get out there, new products we want to advertise, or pictures of people in our company or who partnered with us who’ve done exceptional jobs. Most individual are equipped with smart phones like babies are equipped with pacifiers. Using Facebook to our benefit, we can boost ads and target select markets for a particular product. Thomas Ralston president Ralston Supply Center, Inc., Canastota By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
How I Got
George P. Joyce
CEO of Laser Transit Ltd. in Lacona — a leading regional trucking and third-party logistics provider — began with $5,000 and a dream
Q: You began Laser Transit with two people back in 1995. Can you describe how you decided to form and launch the business? A: Actually, I suggested the business to my daughter Jennifer, who had just graduated from SUNY Albany’s business program. I enticed her to try her hand at being an entrepreneur. Lake Shore Transportation Lines, where I was controller, was purely a New York-based operation and was not doing interstate trucking or truck brokerage. I helped her initiate those opportunities in early 1994 as a sole proprietorship. But by Christmas of that same year, she was looking at moving south and wanted to try her hand at other jobs. At that point, I was faced with her closing the doors or taking it over myself. Since it was already gaining traction, I incorporated the business and by the end of 1995, we were doing over $1 million worth of business. Jennifer went to Virginia, but returned to earn her Master of Business Administration degree. Ironically, she married William Patterson of Patterson Warehousing in Fulton. Q: What motivated you initially to focus your career on warehousing and distribution? A: My family and specifically my father — William Joyce Sr. — provided the impetus and introduced me to the business through his management of Lake Shore Transportation Lines, Oswego Stevedoring, and Oswego Warehousing, all of which were closely held operations. I started young, working at age 14 at the Port of Oswego Authority, unloading cocoa beans for Nestle. I then worked in the warehouse unloading railcars and trucks during summers and weekends all through high school and college. After graduating in 1972 from SUNY Oswego, jobs were scarce for those with Bachelor of Arts degrees. But Lake Shore had plenty of work and I was soon dispatching for the trucking operation. My dad just turned 90, and he’s always been very active. He didn’t retire until he was 78. Q: What did it cost and what resources were needed when you first launched Laser Transit? What were some of your primary overhead costs? A: I started with just $5,000 in cash, rented office space, and a lease of ware-
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
house space under a shared revenue arrangement. With truck brokerage, the primary asset need is cash. In the first few years, I took no salary and primarily grew the business organically from profits. As I moved toward purchasing of truck and trailer equipment and leasing warehouse space, labor and fuel became our largest overhead costs. Later, as we grew, fleet maintenance, debt service, and insurance became increasingly significant. Q: How did you finance the launch? Did you rely on loans or other outside forms of funding? A: At first, I used personal savings and was very reliant on accounts receivable and negotiated trade terms. Equipment loans and lines of credit came next. I was very fortunate to have a reliable track record, experience as a controller and operations manager in my work career, and multiple sources of funding. I think some startups tend to spend the capital that they have too early. I was certainly one of those people who wanted to use as much of my own resources as possible. But once you grow and are dealing with a seven-figure-andup business, you realize cash flow and working capital are key considerations in growing the business. I see some people who make the mistake of using all their equity up at once and using their cash and personal assets. Then it becomes tougher to get into those bank loans and other kinds of loan relationships. You have to learn early on that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Q: What were some of the foremost challenges in getting the business off the ground and showing a profit? A: I think all startups are challenging. In an established enterprise, you often take for granted the intellectual capital, processes in place, built customer base, assets at the ready, and work culture. When you start from scratch, there is a host of hurdles just to meet regulatory and operating environments on day one. Hiring becomes one of your most critical tasks. People need to be adaptable, responsive and engaged. Cash management, working capital, controlling costs, and a clear focus on pricing and margins all need to be a constant JUNE/JULY 2017
discipline. Growth is a double-edged sword. Capital access, measured financial strategies, and scalability need to be addressed or profits can disappear. Q: What do you attribute the business’ longevity and success? A: A solid work ethic with our people and consistent performance. I also believe as a business we have always positioned ourselves for growth and looked for incremental investment that would leverage existing infrastructure and assets, broadening capabilities and access to a wider customer base. When I started the business, a lot of what I did revolved around paper, pulp and forestry products. We did a lot of work with International Paper, formerly Hammermill; a lot of work with Felix Schoeller North America, which used to make paper; and Brownsville Specialty Paper Products, Legrand Paper, and Climax Paperboard and Packaging, which are no longer here. There was a lot of that industry in the North County that was viable and very productive in New York, but it has really diminished. We began to look at other markets, and that’s where being adaptable comes in. We do quite a lot of work with Novelis now, for example. Q: What were gross annual revenues following the first year of business and how do they compare with today? A: Our gross revenue at the end of the first year was a little over $1 million. Although our industry is subject to the same trends of the general economy in the last decade, I can say that our payroll alone now is close to $1.5 million annually. So we have grown gradually and hope to continue as the largest regional third-party logistics provider in Oswego County. Q: Did you ever envision that this enterprise would be as successful as it is? A: It’s almost serendipitous that I started the business. It was not planned at the beginning. I was in a family business, and for me, I worked as hard and always had to prove myself because I was part of an extended family. Through my work ethic and what I did, I had to be above everybody else — in my mind anyways. continued on page 88 OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
A GREAT WAY TO SHOW LOCAL PRIDE Harborfest has been a tradition in the central New York area for 30 years. It’s our honor to celebrate our local culture with thousands of residents and tourists each year.
SHOW CONSUMERS YOUR BUSINESS REFLECTS THEIR VALUES
Our Individual & Family Members are local shoppers who actively seek out businesses that support their local interests. Supporting the festival shows them you’re invested in what interests them!
WE ARE A REGISTERED 501(C)3 NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION A small part time staff raises the money needed to put on such a large scale music festival, with a budget that starts over from zero EVERY YEAR.
HUGE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
Businesses that become Members or give at a Sponsorship level have the opportunity to mingle with other local, regional, and national business leaders at our Sponsor Gala as well as forge lasting business relationships with the festival itself.
WANT TO BECOME A BUSINESS MEMBER OR SPONSOR?
Visit www.oswegoharborfest.org or call us at (315)-343-6858 to have YOUR Business’s name associated with one of the largest admission free festivals in the COUNTRY!
JULY 27-30 www.oswegoharborfest.org 11
PROFILE By Lou Sorendo
President of K&N’s Foods USA, a native of Malaysia, shares his passion for career, cooking and world traveling
all him a globetrotter, pioneer and seasoned world traveler. Jimmy Koid has resided in eight countries and visited more than 40 while enjoying a successful career in the food processing industry. He is president of K&N’s Foods USA, LLC in Fulton, a chicken-manufacturing facility that took over the former Birds Eye Foods’ facility in January of 2013. Koid, a native of Malaysia, has worked in Fulton ever since. “I’ve called United States home after I fully got my working permit and I’m now a U.S. resident,” the 57-year-old Baldwinsville resident said. His whirlwind career has included stops at points across the globe. He ventured to the United Kingdom as well as Ireland for studies. Koid started his career in Malaysia and then migrated to Australia, and also moved to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan. He resided in Canada for a few years before coming to the U.S. “My two daughters actually grew up traveling the world with me,” he said. His wife is a full-time homemaker and quit her job to support Koid’s career. His daughters are “third culture kids” and studied at international schools in each of the countries Koid was based. They both graduated from U.S. 12
colleges and are based in the U.S. Coming from an Asian background, the extensively traveled Koid — who has frequented the Western world as well as various parts of east and south Asia and the Pacific— can look at a name and person, observe how they talk, and figure out which country or region they come from. “That is basically the advantage of living in so many different places,” he said. There have been many calculated risks along the way, especially when deciding to take jobs overseas. “Every time
you move and relocate, you have to pack and unpack household things, and the children have to go to new schools and make new friends. Everything is more challenging. Even at the workplace, there are different cultures and regulatory needs and you have to adapt,” he said. However, Koid said he has no regrets. “It’s a good life and you see the world,” he noted. “If I had to do it again, I would do the same thing.” Koid said he has many favorite places to visit. “To the surprise of many people, I actually like Sri Lanka,” he said despite the country’s reputation for being poor and lacking in infrastructure and services. “A lot of people talk about Pakistan being a tough place to live, but I have spent 18 years on and off in Pakistan and it’s been a wonderful and eye-opening experience. You have the opportunity to be part of start-up poultry operations and further processing in the country and the opportunity to work with talented and hard-working people there,” he said. Koid was educated in the West and interacts extensively with people in the industry in the West as well, whether they are vendors or technical experts. Being fluent in English has made the transition to different cultures seamless,
Lifelines Age: 57 Birthplace: Malaysia Current residence: Baldwinsville Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in management science and industrial systems studies, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland; diploma in culinary arts, Liaison College of Culinary, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Personal: Married with two grown daughters Hobbies: Enjoys cooking and dining with friends; nature walks and hiking; traveling OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
he said. Malaysia is a multi-lingual country. In addition to English, Koid speaks Chinese and Malay. Being a former colony of Great Britain, Malaysia’s educational system has a strong British influence.
Bottom line responsibilities Koid is responsible for the complete organization in Fulton, including profit and loss accountability. His responsibilities started with the company’s acquisition of the former Birds Eye facility, which served primarily as a frozen vegetables packaging facility. K&N’s Foods USA converted the facility into a chicken manufacturing plant. It manufactures items such as chicken nuggets, patties and tenders, along with grilled kabobs, sausages and other smoked products. He also oversees recruiting and training workers and modifying and developing products. The plant employs 45 workers. “Being a small setup, many of us wear several hats,” he said. Koid is also heavily involved in production, warehouse duties, quality assurance and maintenance. In addition, he also helps develop sales while overseeing a retail market that the company has built. “We are going into exports and we also are entering the food services sector, and that needs continuous development,” he said. He is also involved in the branding of new products, particularly kabobs and halal chicken. Islamic law determines halal, or foods allowed to be eaten. “I’m very much involved in the identification and development of vendors,” whether they are involved in meat, fresh produce, coating materials or packaging. When Koid began his career, he worked as a restaurant manager trainee and subsequently senior internal auditor with KFC restaurants in Malaysia in 1986. Prior to becoming president, Koid was the chief technical officer with K&N’s Foods Ltd. in Pakistan for 10 years. Koid travels to Pakistan three to four times a year. “In some ways, I still have responsibilities in operations in Pakistan. I am still looking after all new product development and formulations,” said Koid, noting he is part of the company’s global sales committee. His trips, however, can be chalJUNE/JULY 2017
lenging. “Every time I make a trip to Pakistan to work, my mind is to come back [to Fulton]. I don’t want to leave this place vacant for too long,” said Koid, noting development in the States is still fledgling.
Food for thought Koid studied industrial management at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He got into the food business right after graduation and never looked back. “Food has been a personal passion of mine since I was a kid. I am fortunate that I’ve been able to build a career from that,” he said. Koid’s journey started in food service and evolved into the poultry business. There, he would experience aspects such as poultry breeding, feed milling and broiler growing. He now has extensive knowledge and experience in poultry processing, value-added food processing, food services, bakery, instant noodle manufacturing, and shelf-stable chicken products. Koid said he has experienced all aspects of the integrated poultry processing industry over 31 years. “I am still enjoying it and continue to learn every day,” he said. Koid said he developed a passion for food out of self-interest. “I’m a foodie — both in my heart and stomach. I have a strong interest in exploring and cooling various types of food, which comes quite naturally to me. Food development is what I do,” he said. Koid said he was fortunate to have joined the right company with leadership that has trusted him and recognized his abilities. “Along the way, they have given me lot of opportunities to move on. I took some chances and risks to move on, and every time I ventured into the outer boundaries, allowing me to experience all the component parts of the vertically integrated poultry industry.”
In tune with CNY Koid said he is content living in Central New York. “I like the outdoors and the greenery of Upstate New York,” he said. “You can take a day drive to so many places. I like the well-maintained roads and there are not so many cars, which makes travel easy.” “Life nowadays goes beyond retirement age,” he said. “You don’t retire. You can go slower and continue to do OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
something that you are passionate about. Koid said he would even entertain the notion of owning and operating a restaurant or chain of restaurants as a post-career business option. “I am still young and have a lot of energy,” he said. “It’s good to have your own business while doing something that you really like,” he said. “I’ve always been pretty lucky to be paid for something I truly enjoy doing.” Koid has a diploma in cook basic, culinary arts/chef training from Liaison College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He earned the diploma about five years ago, and embarked on the program out of sheer interest. He spent 20 hours a week for six months to earn the diploma. “It was one of the best things I’ve enjoyed,” he said. “I was just one of the lucky few that got into it not thinking of getting a job to be a professional chef.” Some of his classmates were young while others had restaurant work experience but were trying to upgrade their credentials. “I ended up actually making friends with many of them,” he said. “Once they knew my background as a successful person in the food industry, they actually sometimes approached me like a mentor.” Koid said he learned actual restaurant cooking techniques not only from the instructor, but also from some of his classmates. He in turn would impart his knowledge from his experience working in the food industry. Koid said he is quite versatile when it comes to cooking. His favorite endeavors include curries, stir-frying and making fried and soup noodles. “I also do salad and steak. Cooking comes easy to me, but baking is more challenging,” he said. “I like to eat and I like to see people enjoy eating,” he said. In terms of local cuisine, Koid said the variety is not as much as one can find in larger metropolitan areas. He enjoys Japanese food and frequents Ocean Sushi in Liverpool. “It’s small, but the food quality is consistent,” he said. He also likes the “simple-ness” of Polish food and enjoys seafood. “The Italian cuisine here is not bad. I don’t find much good Chinese food in Syracuse. I think there is an opportunity there,” he said. He did add there is “good Thai food around here.” 13
elieve it or not this edition of Oswego County Business is our 150th. The first edition hit the streets nearly 25 years ago in August 1992. It was a skinny issue (28 pages) that discussed the hottest topics in Central New York: the imminent construction of a Walmart store in Oswego, the proposed construction of Sithe Energies, a gas-fired cogeneration plant (now Dynegy) and the creation of SUNY Oswego Business School, among other topics. On my full-page editorial, I wrote that we would strive to publish a magazine that would be interesting, informative and relevant, a publication that would focus on under-the-radar topics and would go in-depth on some of the hot issues of the day. I guess if you last 25 years it means you got a few things right, correct? As a former newspaper reporter — my last job was with The Post-Standard, then part of the Syracuse Newspapers — I’ve had a lot of fun as the publisher of this magazine. The saying “if do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life”
By Wagner Dotto somewhat applies to my situation. We were the beneficiaries of the desktop publishing revolution that was taking place everywhere – from a one-room office, using one computer, we could design the entire publication, send it to the printer and then to the post office for distribution. I recall some people coming to my office to see how we were able to achieve that feat — of publishing a magazine at a time only big companies were able to do it. Oswego County has been a great place to do business. I think I would not be able to grow this small publishing business any other place. We had all the support we needed at the beginning and this support (including from advertisers) still continues to this date. Over the years, we have developed other publications — a healthcare monthly newspaper, which has separate editions for Buffalo, Rochester, Central New York and Utica/ Rome; a senior magazine, which is distributed in Rochester and Central New York; and a variety of annual and
semi-annual publications. It’s the business magazine, however, that’s still my main niche, where I feel most at home. First of 150 editions As we of Oswego County plan future Business. issues, our commitment remains the same — to publish a quality publication that is interesting, informative and relevant. Who knows, I may be at the helm for 150 more issues.
WAGNER DOTTO is the publisher of Oswego County Business Magazine.
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Where in the World is Sandra Scott? By Sandra Scott
Cartagena, Colombia B
Tall, modern buildings dot the cityâ€™s skyline but the biggest draw is the old, walled city where the 16th and 17th century Spanish architecture is well preserved or restored
ad reputations have a way of sticking around long after things have changed for the better. Such is the case with Colombia. One of the safest places in Colombia is Cartagena, located in the northern part of Colombia on the Caribbean coast. It has become a popular port of call for cruise ships. The city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is ablaze with color and steeped in history. It is Cartagenaâ€™s long and often violent history that makes exploring the city
so fascinating. Soon after Don Pedro de Heredia founded Cartagena de Indias for the Spanish in 1533, gold, emeralds and other riches were discovered, making Cartagena the port through which the booty was sent to Spain. Most of old Cartagena is still surrounded by a coral wall seven miles long, 40-feet high and, in some places, 60 feet wide. Due to numerous attacks by pirates, including Sir Francis Drake and an English force that included Law-
rence Washington (George Washingtonâ€™s half-brother), the Fortress San Felipe de Barajas was built. Standing more than 130 feet tall, it has a series of galleries and tunnels so linked that if a section of the fort was overcome, defenders can continue fighting from the remaining sections. The building of the fortification necessitated the need for labor so slaves were imported, in part because war and disease had decimated the indigenous Carib population.
Cartagena is located in the northern part of Colombia on the Caribbean coast. Despite its modernity, the big attraction is the old, walled city where the 16th and 17th century Spanish architecture is well preserved or restored.
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The entire old city of Cartagena is a living museum with the 16th and 17th century Spanish architecture well preserved or restored. Hours can be spent wandering the narrow cobbled lanes, visiting the churches, relaxing in the plazas and admiring the overhanging balconies laden with flowers. Just past the Puerta del Roloj, the clock tower, is the Plaza de los Coches, where the slaves were traded. Today it is a picturesque square with street vendors and horse-drawn carriages, making it hard to imagine the angst and suffering that took place there nearly 500 years ago. Even more difficult to comprehend are the displays of instruments of torture at the El Palacio de la Inquisicion museum. High on the hill, 500 feet above the city, Convento de la Popa offers spectacular views of the city. Today all is serene. The Las Bovedas, the dungeons, a series of cells built in the old city walls have been converted into shops where local artisans sell their goods. Beware of street vendors selling “real” emeralds and offering “a special deal just for you!” If the price is too good to be true… it probably is. While hours can be spent wandering the city and just sitting in the park watching life pass by, there are fun side trips. About 45 minutes from the city, get down and dirty at the Mud Volcano, Volcan de Lodo El Totumo, a 50-foot-tall mud bath reputed to have therapeutic qualities. Too messy for you? Then take a day trip to Rosario Islands and snorkel on one of Colombia’s most important protected reef areas. Still worried about security? Keep in mind that tourism is a moneymaker so the powers that be work hard to make sure the tourist areas are safe, but like anywhere else in the world, don’t wander off into areas you don’t belong, don’t flash your gold and diamond jewelry around, and keep in mind that a $100 bill means a lot more to local people than it does to the tourist. Relax and enjoy the beauty and culture of the city.
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. JUNE/JULY 2017
Plaza de los Coches, where the slaves were once traded. Today it is a picturesque square with street vendors and horse-drawn carriages making it hard to imagine the angst and suffering that took place there nearly 500 years ago.
Plaza Bolivar. Hours can be spent wandering the narrow cobbled lanes, visiting the churches, relaxing in the plazas and admiring the overhanging balconies laden with flowers. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
The 24th annual class of Leadership Oswego County graduates in June. The leadership-development program administered by SUNY Oswego now has 500 alumni from a wide variety of businesses, industries, nonprofits, institutions and other walks of life. Photo courtesy of SUNY Oswego/Nicole Pritchard.
Nurturing Leadership for 24 Years College, businesses, organizations advance employees’ skills, vision, service in Leadership Oswego County
overs and shakers, leaders and visionaries, stewards and volunteers, go-getters and doers, donors and patrons — whatever label you put on those who actively grow and nurture the greater Oswego County as a community, nearly 500 of them have one thing in common: Leadership Oswego County. For 24 years, the SUNY Oswego-administered, business-sponsored and broadly supported program has expanded the leadership capital, team-building skills and spirit of selflessness in the county through educating and inspiring a select group of at least a score of citizens a year from business and industry, nonprofits and institutions, and organizations large and small. “Leadership, particularly at the local level, is a critical ingredient in sustaining both vision and growth of our communities,” said college President Deborah F. Stanley. “SUNY Oswego is very proud
to have sponsored and supported the development of Oswego County’s leaders for more than two decades.” A new class of 20 diverse community residents graduates in June from Leadership Oswego County’s intensive nine-month program, growing their skills in community knowledge, trusteeship, leadership, current issues and networking. The graduates (see related list) hail from Novelis, Pathfinder Bank, the county Department of Social Services, Hillside Family of Agencies, Shineman Foundation and more. Adam King, acting radiation protection manager at Exelon’s James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, said the opportunity for community stewardship drew him to Leadership Oswego County (LOC), where he was set to become an alumnus, class of 2017. “I now understand how very fortunate I was to have grown up in Oswego County,” King said. “Communities like OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
this, though, don’t just happen. They are the result of people who took it on themselves to leave the place better than they found it. These are the kinds of people that Leadership Oswego County attracts, develops, networks, and sets loose in our community to serve the greater good.”
New director Pamela Caraccioli, deputy to the college president for external partnerships and economic development, announced that Chena Tucker, a Leadership Oswego County alumna, has been promoted to director of the college’s Office of Business and Community Relations, where she leads administration of LOC and serves on its advisory council. “Chena embodies the core values of our college and its role in building trust with our business and community leaders,” Caraccioli said. Tucker, who joined the college as a JUNE/JULY 2017
business adviser in 2011 after a career in small business, said it is no accident that LOC has sustained its appeal over nearly a quarter-century. “We are very fortunate to have so many local leaders, community members and past graduates committed to the Leadership Oswego County program,” she said. “Each year, members of our advisory council present content and information on core issues, evaluate the program and make recommendations for improvements, as well as serve as our ambassadors and champions.” The council includes Peg McKinstry, decorated many times for her extensive volunteerism, who has served LOC since it began in 1992 as a collaborative venture of the Oswego County government, the Private Industry Council and SUNY Oswego. “Each year, we look at what we can do to make the curriculum current,” McKinstry said.
Gaining confidence The LOC class meets most Fridays from September to May for all-day sessions that can include experts’ presentations, networking field trips and community projects. Class of 2017 member Ebony Coleman, a health insurance navigator for ACR Health in Mexico, said she has found LOC’s curriculum and camaraderie so compelling, she feels like a changed person — an empowered one. “At first, I was really shy,” she said. “But the more I interacted with people, the more comfortable I felt. I gained a lot more confidence.” A 2005 SUNY Oswego alumna with a master’s degree in communication studies from SUNY Brockport, Coleman learned a key skill: putting aside her own belief system and really listening to another person, to try to understand where the person is coming from. That’s important in her job with ACR Health, dealing with people who are often confused and frustrated about health care options. LOC helped her find her passion in life, government and politics, where the arts of listening and conciliation are also important. “This county has so much to offer,” she said. “I have always been interested in politics, since elementary school. I really loved LOC’s politics and government class. I hope to one day work in the political world — local, county, state or federal.” Her attitude coming out of LOC is JUNE/JULY 2017
Eight members of Leadership Oswego County’s 2017 class prepare for some work at the site of their community project on the shores of Fulton’s Lake Neatahwanta. In cooperation with the city of Fulton and Friends of Fulton Parks, the 20-member graduating class built a 750-foot section of trail connecting Bullhead Point with the trail that leads to Stevenson Beach. From left are Daisy Ruiz, Ashley Galloway, Ebony Coleman, Maeve Gillen, Erin Dorsey, Julia Preston-Fulton, Alicia King and Penny Halstead. Photo courtesy of SUNY Oswego/Wayne Westervelt.
Ebony Coleman, the health insurance navigator for ACR Health within the Oswego County Department of Social Services offices in Mexico, initially wanted to join Leadership Oswego County to shed positive light on her employer, and has found that the experience helped her gain confidence and skills in many ways, both professionally and personally. Photo courtesy of SUNY Oswego/Jeff Rea. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
watch out, world: “Ultimately, I hope to be the future leader of this county. I’ve learned the county is rich with history and resources that people aren’t tapping into. I hope to one day have this county be among the top 10 counties in the state.” Exelon’s Adam King said he already had a master’s degree in leadership, yet “still learned a lot” from Leadership Oswego County. “This program does teach theoretical leadership skills, but it also has a focus on the practical application of
those skills,” he said. “Presenters from the community are involved every step of the way, speaking from experience as well as [their] education. All the while, the class is collaborating to apply these lessons on an actual project that benefits the community.”
Community project Over the years, the LOC class projects have run a gamut from the invention and sale of a board game focused on Os-
Leadership Oswego County Class of 2017
Here’s the list of graduates in Leadership Oswego County’s latest class: Katy Brasser, Novelis Heather Bush, Pathfinder Bank Ebony Coleman, ACR Health Robin Dettbarn, Pathfinder Bank Erin Dorsey, SUNY Oswego Larry Dunsmore, Oswego County Department of Social Services Ashley Galloway, Oswego County Federal Credit Union Maeve Gillen, SUNY Oswego Penny Halstead, Shineman Foundation Alan Harris, SUNY Oswego Myia Hill, Oswego Health Foundation
Melissa Kempisty, Oswego County Department of Social Services Adam King, Exelon Alicia King, SUNY Oswego Jennifer Mays, Oswego Expeditions Elizabeth Occhino, SUNY Oswego Joseph Olsen, CiTi (formerly Oswego County BOCES) Julia Preston-Fulton, Oswego County Opportunities Daisy Ruiz, SUNY Oswego Jessica Westberry, Hillside Family of AgencieS
wego County history, to improvements to the Oswego County Nature Park at Camp Zerbe; from donating a class text titled “Johnson’s History of Oswego County” to libraries throughout the county, to sponsoring a forum on the abuse of alcohol and other drugs. This year’s class cooperated with the city of Fulton and the Friends of Fulton Parks, planning and building a 750-foot-long gravel and stone-dust trail skirting the shore of Lake Neatahwanta. “We built it to connect two existing trails, from Bullhead Point to the trail leading to Stevenson Beach,” said class member Ashley Galloway of Oswego County Federal Credit Union. Another classmate, Penny Halstead of the Shineman Foundation, said the project looked to the future, not only when Stevenson Beach is reopened for swimming, but also when a park for teens is built alongside the new trail. King summed up the sense of camaraderie and teamwork that bonds members of LOC for years, perhaps for life. “I must admit that I will very much miss it after graduation,” he said. “Many of the activities performed during the course were unique learning opportunities that I will never forget. I would love to be more detailed, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the experience for anyone else!”
More About Leadership Oswego County For more information about Leadership Oswego County — soon accepting applications for its Silver Anniversary class — visit oswego.edu/loc or contact the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations, obcr@ oswego.edu or 315-312-3492. Leadership Oswego County’s advisory council: in back (from left) are Dave Lloyd of Novelis, Nikki Pritchard and Chena Tucker of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, and Michael Paestella, the college’s student involvement director; in front (from left) are Peg McKinstry, who has been associated with Leadership Oswego County for all of its 24 years; and Tammy Thompson of the Oswego County Health Department. Missing from the photo are Cindy Walsh of Cornell Cooperative Extension and Lisa Kimball of Pathfinder Bank. SUNY Oswego/Wayne Westervelt. 20
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NEWSMAKERS NEWS BRIEFS ON LOCAL BUSINESS & BUSINESS PEOPLE
MVP Promotes SUNY Oswego Alum to VP MVP Health Care has promoted Kelly Smith to vice president, sales. She will be responsible for identifying and growing MVP’s new commercial business opportunities. Smith joined MVP in August 2015 as director, new sales and exchange solutions. In her time at MVP she has implemented sales strategies Smith for commercial products in East New York, Hudson Valley and Vermont. She also has worked with national and regional consultants, brokers and employers as MVP takes a lead role in developing private insurance exchanges. Prior to joining MVP, Smith was a senior member of the New York Health Benefit Exchange, publicly know as NY State of Health. Smith is a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters and is a graduate of the Leadership Institute through the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. A graduate of the SUNY Oswego, Smith has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.
Kimberly Allen Joins ESA Insurance Kimberly Allen recently joined Eastern Shore Associates Insurance (ESA), as assistant operations manager. “We are both enthused and delighted to have Kim and her operations experience on the ESA team,” Murray said. “She works at our Fulton headquarters and reports directly to Regina Lunkenheimer, our chief operating officer.” Allen, a licensed New York state 22
insurance broker, grew up in Wolcott, where she worked for many years in her family’s retail clothing business. After high school graduation, she studied at Canisius College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in
marketing. Before joining ESA, Allen worked nearly 15 years for Stewart Title. During that time, she served as vice president, senior operations manager, for 11 years; and, most recently, as senior business development officer. Allen and her husband, Shane, re-
New SUNY Chancellor Chancellor-elect Kristina M. Johnson (left) will serve as the 13th chancellor of SUNY effective Sept. 5. She succeeds Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, who is stepping down from the position in June after an eight-year term during which she has positioned the university system as a national model through an unprecedented partnership with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Johnson is the current founder OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
side in Sterling with daughters Graciana and Gloria.
F.O.C.U.S. Has New Executive Director The F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse Inc. board of Directors has named James E. Keib of Liverpool has been chosen to be the next executive director of the citizen engagement organization F.O.C.U.S. Retiring Executive D i re c t o r a n d Co-founder Charlotte “Chuckie” Holstein has been named executive director emeritus. Keib Keib has 30 years of experience in business, government and management and marketing for nonprofit organizations. He has served on the boards of the Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, the Erie Canal Museum, Literacy Volunteers and the Onondaga Historical
and chief executive officer of Cube Hydro Partners LLC, which develops hydroelectric generation facilities that provide clean energy to communities and businesses throughout the country. She was appointed by during the Obama administration as U.S. undersecretary of energy and served as Johns Hopkins University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, and professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder. JUNE/JULY 2017
Association. Most recently he served as executive director of the Northeast Economic Development Association, an association of economic development professionals in states from Maine to Maryland. His resume includes more than a decade as director of business development and government affairs for the C&S Cos. engineering firm. Keib earned a master’s degree in community and economic development from the World Campus of Penn State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from SUNY Binghamton. Holstein, who at 91 years of age will continue to be an active citizen trustee, has set up an office downtown to pursue projects on her list of “to do” items and says she looks forward to seeing the opportunities new leadership brings to the group. Board President Don Radke is serving as acting executive director until Keib takes office July 1. F.O.C.U.S. is a citizen-driven organization that taps citizen creativity to bring about change in Central New York by enabling citizens, organizations and government to work together to enhance the quality of the community. F.O.C.U.S. engages in research, public policy studies, public education, and public outreach to promote informed, inclusive, sustainable decisions. The group is known for its monthly Friday morning forums and annual Citizens Academy produced with University College of Syracuse University.
Bond Opens Office In Saratoga Springs Bond, Schoeneck & King has recently opened its newest office in Saratoga Springs. Bond serves businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout Upstate New York, and the new office will work closely with Bond’s Albany and other offices to further serve the Saratoga, Glens Falls and southern Adirondack communities. “We are opening the office to better serve one of the fastest growing communities in Upstate New York. With the number of clients we have in the area, it made sense for us to add a Saratoga office to better serve them,” according to Michael Billok, resident of the Saratoga office, co-chairman of the firm’s cybersecurity and data privacy practice, and member of the firm’s labor and employment practice. Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC is JUNE/JULY 2017
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Erica Jones Earns PSA Certification Erica Jones with TJMG Properties in Liverpool has earned the nationally recognized pricing strategy adviser (PSA) certification. The National Association of Realtors offers the PSA certification to real estate professionals as determining property values depends more than ever on professional expertise and competence, the best use of technology and a commitment to approach the pricing assignment from various perspectives. “The market demands accurate property value assessments, so NAR is excited to provide realtors with enhanced tools, education and expertise to determine the most accurate value for a home and give their clients a leg up when buying or selling,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Fla. “Pricing Strategies: Mastering the CMA” is the required one-day course for the PSA certification that provides realtors with knowledge and skills to select appropriate comparables and make accurate adjustments, guide sellers and buyers through the details of comparative market analyses and the underlying pricing principles that inform them, and interact effectively with appraisers. In addition to completing the course, participants are required to view two required webinars. Once awarded the certification, realtors will be equipped to guide clients through the anxieties and misperceptions they often have about home values.
Two Join Beardsley Architects Beardsley Architects + Engineers announced that Lawrence S. Koch has joined the firm as architect and Daniel J. Whitman has re-joined the firm as plumbing senior designer. Koch has more than 30 years of experience in the architectural design of educational facilities, manufacturing facilities, administrative buildings and
county office buildings. He has served as a project manager for multi-million-dollar design and construction projects, leading project teams and coordinating closely with clients. Koch Whitman has more than 24 years of experience in the design of plumbing and fire protection building systems for commercial, educational, residential, retail, and medical facilities. He returns t o B e a rd s l e y where he previously served as a department Whitman manager in addition to his work as plumbing designer.
Employee Gets SUNY Chancellor’s Award The State University of New York recently honored administrative assistant Jo Richardson, who for 15 years has served as the main face of International Student and Scholar Services at SUNY Oswego, with the Chancellor ’s Award for Excellence in the Classified Service. The award recognizes employees who Richard have continuously demonstrated outstanding achievement, skill and commitment to excellence in fulfilling the job; moreover, recipients also demonstrate excellence in activities beyond the scope of the job description. “When Jo started, there were barely
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70 international students on our campus; today there are 225 from 34 different countries,” stated Joshua McKeown, director of SUNY Oswego’s Office of International Education and Programming in his letter of recommendation. McKeown wrote. “Her work in processing their immigration documents and maintaining their files and government database entries is vital to their entering and remaining at our institution. She does it exactingly.” McKeown praised Richardson for her outstanding customer service, including personal care in meetings with students and, at times, their families, and carefully handling health insurance, on-campus accommodations and visa status compliance. “All of the work is complex and detailed, and … it has grown in volume,” McKeown wrote. “But she never complains, is always positive, pleasant and helpful, and shows creativity in resolving issues and tending to details.” McKeown said that in 2015, he undertook an international student service satisfaction survey, the International Student Barometer, administered to Oswego international students and representatives of home institutions around the world. The college’s International Student and Scholar Services unit achieved a 100 percent satisfaction rating. “This occurred with changes in supervisor and physical space,” he wrote.
“The one constant was Jo Ann Richardson. I believe that she more than anyone else is responsible for that success.”
New SUNY Provost Takes Over July 10 Scott R. Furlong will become SUNY Oswego’s new provost and vice president for academic affairs effective July 10. As the college’s chief academic officer, Furlong will be responsible for leadership of all instructional and academic programs across the college, including Oswego’s College of Liberal Arts and Furlong Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, and School of Communication, Media and the Arts. “Dr. Furlong has an outstanding record of leadership and collaboration in higher education, and is passionately committed to teaching, research development and providing students with a transformative experience,” said President Stanley. “His roles as a faculty member, program director and chair, and more recently as dean have prepared him
Bob Hall Earns Eastern Shore Associates’ Annual ‘Partnership Award’ Eastern Shore Associates Insurance (ESA) has awarded its annual Personal Lines Partnership Award to Bob Hall, commercial lines underwriting specialist for NYCM Insurance, Edmeston. Hall, second from right, is joined for the 26
award presentation by, from left: Bernie Hughes, marketing representative, NYCM Insurance; Hannah Harbison, underwriting supervisor, NYCM Insurance; and Kelly Isabella, ESA assistant vice president, personal lines. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
well to make immediate contributions as the chief academic officer at SUNY Oswego.” Furlong is the dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he oversees 30 academic programs, six research centers and institutes, more than 110 faculty and academic staff and a budget of over $8 million. As a member of the provost’s administrative council, Furlong actively participates in providing university-wide advice on decisions affecting academic and student affairs, including enrollment management and retention issues, program development, budgets, inclusive excellence initiatives, information technology and adult education. He also possesses a strong background in curriculum development, faculty development and university-wide strategic planning. “I am extremely grateful and humbled by my selection as the new provost/ vice president for academic affairs for SUNY Oswego,” said Furlong. “Everything that I learned throughout the search process showed a true dedication by the Oswego community to the development and success of Oswego students through high-quality and varied academic programs, high impact experiences and community engagement. These are all areas that I am very passionate about and I look forward to working with the SUNY Oswego community to build on its successes and continue its forward trajectory.” Furlong received his doctorate in political science from American University. He also earned a Master in Public Administration from American University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from St. Lawrence University. In his spare time, Furlong enjoys exercising, reading, spending time with family and keeping up on current events as a policy scholar. Furlong, who will succeed Walter Roettger as provost and vice president for academic affairs, added, “My wife, Debbie, and I can’t wait to join the Oswego family.”
Barton & Loguidice Chosen as Top Firm Industry publication Engineering News Record (ENR), has recently released its 2017 list of the Top 500 Design Firms in the U.S., ranking Barton & Loguidice at No. 346, which is up 13 spots from last year. JUNE/JULY 2017
“The firm’s advancement in the ENR rankings this year is a direct result of the hard work and efforts of all of our employees,” said President and CEO John F. Brusa, Jr. “In addition, 2016 saw the acquisition of New-Paltz-based David Clouser & Associates and the opening of our newest office in Lanham, Md.” The ENR Top 500 Design Firms list, published annually, ranks the 500 largest U.S.-based engineering, architectural, and environmental design firms, both publicly and privately held, based on design-specific revenue. For more information and to see the complete list of the top 500 firms, visit the ENR 2017 Top 500 Design Firms.
OOC Receives Marketing Recognition Operation Oswego County (OOC), Oswego County’s designated economic development agency, was recently awarded “honorable mention” for its 2015 Annual Report by the New York State Economic Development Council’s (NYSEDC) 2017 marketing and promotional materials award competition. The report profiles development projects and summarizes capital investment and job creation facilitated by OOC in 2015. For its electronic newsletter, “OOC E-News,” OOC received the rank of “honorable mention.” According to the organization, the “OOC E-News” has become a valuable tool to report important information about current economic development activity. OOC also received the rank of “honorable mention” for its website, www. oswegocounty.org. The OOC website is the hub for all the organization’s marketing efforts. “The NYSEDC marketing and promotional materials award competition recognizes the best and most effective publications in the economic development field. We are proud that our marketing materials have met the test of our economic development colleagues from throughout New York state,” said L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD, OOC executive director. The recognitions are awarded each year to NYSEDC member organizations throughout New York State who produce printed materials and Internet media to promote economic development in their areas. OOC has won several awards in past years for the effectiveness and quality of its advertising and promotional materials from NYSEDC and other regional and national professional development organizations. JUNE/JULY 2017
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NBT President and CEO John H. Watt Jr., (from left), executive vice president of operations and retail banking Joe Stagliano and territory manager Tom Sutton.
NBT Bank recently recognized top-performing branches for sales and service excellence during 2016. NBT Bank’s Oswego east office, led by Jodi Crouse, was named one of the top-10 branches among the bank’s 154 locations for overall achievement in the areas of sales and service, leadership, community involvement and operational integrity. NBT Bank offers personal banking, business banking and wealth management services from locations in six states, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. The bank and its parent company, NBT Bancorp, are headquartered in Norwich, Chenango County. NBT Bancorp had assets of $8.9 billion as of Dec. 31.
Read it Online @ www.OswegoCountyBusiness.com 28
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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Ag High School Slated for Syracuse 2018
By Deborah J. Sergeant
here some people see a prob- ture. Eagen hopes to narrow that gap lem, Ellen Eagen observes an by helping more young people develop opportunity. The Syracuse their interest in farming. Eagen is working with area farmers resident plans to open OnTECH, an to provide internship opportunities that agricultural charter high school that will accept any student, but especially can both provide eager workers a chance reach out to older high school students to receive mentoring on agriculture. interested in agriculture whose educa- Working on a functioning farm will tional needs have not been met by their enable students to see what areas of previous experience. Students could agriculture interest them the most. Eagen views Onondaga County as include immigrants whose first language isn’t English and native-born students an ideal location for OnTECH since the county is the largest recipient of refustruggling with academics. gees per capita nationwide. With help from several Since many refugees originate community members, Eagen from agricultural societies, organized OnTECH and learning highly technical received the school’s charter American agriculture may this spring. She plans its first provide some with a smoother semester for fall 2018. transition into American life As the school’s name deand instilling the concept of notes, OnTECH won’t serve as lifelong learning. a segue into low-paying, lowThe school’s charter was skilled jobs in agriculture, but approved by the Board of will help students graduate Regents of the New York State with an opportunity to get into Education Department. Workhighly skilled farm careers in ing with FFA, Cornell Cooperleadership positions, thanks ative Extension and OnPoint to further education, on-the- Ellen Eagen for College and other partners, job training and mentoring the school’s curriculum will mimic that opportunities. Since low academic prowess, lan- of a standard high school education, but guage barriers, and adjustment to US with an agricultural emphasis. OnTECH culture can make school difficult to will allow students to complete their high many learners at OnTECH, Eagen said school program in six years, if needed. that the school will include assistance The school’s curriculum will include classroom and hands-on experiences. in areas where students lack. “At 17, the state doesn’t compel Eagen believes that combination will you to go to school,” Eagen said. “Some help students retain what they have would be from refugee situation and they learned and build their critical thinking maybe haven’t been in high school so and problem-solving skills. The school’s location at 484 W. Onthey wouldn’t be able to achieve enough ondaga St. is near public transportation credits to graduate in time. We want to which will enable students without cars reignite their interest in school.” She envisions more one-on-one to more easily attend school. Its initial semester, the school will attention and an extended day and calendar year to give students all the time accept up to 90 students chosen at they need. Volunteers may help reach random from the applicants. Someday, Eagan hopes to expand the school to these goals. Eagen said that she has not heard of 350 eventually. Eagen has worked in special edua similar high school in an urban setting cation. She practiced law with Hiscock and only few in rural areas. Eagen hopes that OnTECH will not & Barclay, a law firm in Syracuse, and only serve students, but also help agri- currently operates her own law firm. Eagen welcomes input from the cultural employers. The rate of farmers leaving agriculture because of any cause community at 315-256-2461 or ellen@ outstrips the number entering agricul- ontechcharter.com, or visit www.ontechcharter.com.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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DiningOut By Jacob Pucci
The Tailwater Lodge opened in 2014 in the former Altmar Elementary School building in Altmar.
A refined approach to food in a rustic but elegant environment
ntil now, my memories of eating at an elementary school consisted of small paper cartons of chocolate milk, lukewarm tater tots and rectangle slices of pizza that fit snugly in the largest compartment of a blue plastic tray. Fortunately, that was nowhere to be seen at the Tailwater Lodge. From the outside, the lodge bears resemblance to the building’s past life as the former Altmar Elementary School. The school closed in 2012 and Syracuse-based real estate developers The Woodbine Group, whose other projects include the Hotel Skyler, Parkview Hotel and Copper Beech Commons in Syracuse, purchased the property in 2013. Tailwater opened in 2014 and if 32
our meal is any sign, it’s proven to be the source of top-notch cuisine in an unlikely locale. The menu at Tailwater is ambitious and wide-ranging. The fish and chips, ordered by nearly everybody at the 12top table adjacent to ours, came with apple cinnamon coleslaw and the strip steak — grass-fed and locally raised — was served with sweet vermouth and caramelized onion butter. The lodge’s unique take was also on display in our first course of fried lump crab fritters ($13). Not only were the beer-battered bites infinitely more sharable than a large crab cake, but the increased surface area allowed for a pleasant crunch with each bite. The accompanying sage remoulade provided OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
the characteristic zip of the classic New Orleans sauce. Entrees range in price from $18 for meatloaf and fish and chips to $39 for the aforementioned 14-ounce strip steak. Sandwiches and burgers range from $11 to $15. Entrees are served with a choice of soup or salad and on that unseasonably chilly late April evening, the New England clam chowder offered that day sounded like it would hit the spot. Poorly-made clam chowders are often goopy and thick, suffocating any fresh seafood flavor. However, this chowder found that satisfying sweet spot: rich and satisfying without covering up the ample clam and bacon flavors. The potatoes and vegetables were JUNE/JULY 2017
diced finer than I’ve seen in other clam chowder renditions — a refined approach to an otherwise rustic dish. In a way, it’s a microcosm of Tailwater: An upscale resort focused around fishing and snowmobiling located in a hamlet of around 400 people. The same can be said for the dining room itself. Even though the dining room has no windows, the woodsy restaurant feels open and not overly dark. The knotty wood tables play well with the bark-on tree trunks that line the walls that give the restaurant an almost Tudor look, while the floor-to-ceiling stone features with recessed fireplaces and flat screen TVs are welcomed modern luxuries. That refined rustic touch was again on display in the North Country Southern fried chicken ($21), served with collard greens, garlic mashed potatoes and cornbread. The platter included two bone-in chicken breasts with part of the wing still attached, otherwise known as an airline chicken breast. The chicken was brined in buttermilk, triple-breaded and fried to shatteringly crisp perfection. Collard greens, typically stewed with smoked pork and vinegar, are a classic Southern side dish, but this North Country version was unlike any collard greens I’ve eaten. The greens glistened with sweet maple syrup and bacon and unlike traditional versions, where the greens nearly fall apart in a flavorful broth, these greens still retained a bit of their natural bite. The cornbread muffin was flavored with orange — a surprisingly delicious pairing that helped lighten the muffin. The skin-on mashed potatoes were buttery and satisfying. Steak scaloppini ($23) combined tender beef filet with a sherry wine and Worcestershire reduction filled with wild mushrooms, sautéed leeks and rosemary. Sautéed baby spinach and the same homemade mashed potatoes completed the dish. The beef tenderloin, despite being sliced thin, was cooked to the desired medium-rare, rendering the provided steak knife superfluous. The wine sauce complemented the beef well without overpowering the steak. With few other dining options in town, Tailwater succeeds in checking off many different boxes. The food and atmosphere are elegant enough for a celebratory dinner, but like a million-dollar Adirondack great camp, still comfortable enough as a place to rewind over a burger and a beer. The Tailwater Lodge bit big, but it can certainly chew. JUNE/JULY 2017
Fried crab fritters: A generous helping of bite-sized fried lump crab fritters along with house-made sage remoulade sauce.
Clam chowder: Entrees are served with soup or salad. This take on New England clam chowder was refined and satisfying.
Tailwater Lodge Address: 52 Pulaski St., Altmar. Website: www.tailwaterlodge.com Phone: 855-895-6343 Hours: • Monday to Thursday: 4 to 9 p.m. • Friday and Saturday: Noon to 10 p.m. • Sunday: Noon to 9 p.m.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Steak scalloppini: Tender filets of beef with a sherry wine and Worcestershire reduction. 33
SPECIAL REPORT By Lou Sorendo
This will be the second year Peter Myles is in charge of Harborfest, one of the largest festivals in Central New York. He previously taught biology for 20 years at Oswego City School District.
Q A &
Harborfest Turns 30
10 Questions to Executive Director Peter Myles Q: How important was it to secure Entergy Nuclearâ€™s sponsorship for the 2017 Harborfest fireworks extravaganza presented by Fireworks by Grucci?
A: It is the largest single expenditure for the festival. In terms of the exact cost, Entergy doesnâ€™t like to focus on disclosing that amount of money. Entergy has been doing this for 16 years and enjoys 34
doing it, and its employees volunteer their time prior to and immediately after the fireworks for setup and takedown. We expected them to sponsor the fireworks this year as per a conversation and agreement that we had when we announced fireworks for 2016. I was kind of nervous for a little bit when they talked about closing the [James A. FitzPatrick OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
nuclear power] plant, but through communication with the representative that I work with at Entergy, they assured me regardless of what happened at the plant, they would be on board for 2017. Q: How will sponsorship for the fireworks be handled in 2018?
A: We have talked about that with JUNE/JULY 2017
our board of directors, and at this time, we don’t believe we’re going to have one single sponsor for the fireworks. We would love to, but if not, we’re hopeful that we can get multiple sponsors for 2018. Exelon Generation, the new owner of FitzPatrick, plans on having a presence at the 2018 festival, but not to the level that Entergy has in the past in terms of dollar amount. But they’ve committed volunteers to help set up and take down the festival and any logistics help that we need. Q: What are some of the other major expenses associated with the festival?
A: Aside from the fireworks, the other single largest expense would be the headliners for Thursday and Friday nights. It’s a huge cost to try to bring in a national act or somebody popular enough to attract a large number of people to the festival. And then there are all the other bands, and that adds up. No bands are doing it for free and they are all paid, but it’s always free to the listener. We actually start [seeking musical talent] around the first of the year by making performer applications available. We have a committee of individuals that sits down and listens to everything that is sent in. They do a fantastic job in selecting bands. Q: Volunteers form the backbone of Harborfest year in and year out. How integral are they to operations?
A: I think last year we were in the ballpark of about 150 volunteers for the weekend, and that is in addition to what Entergy provided. A lot of people come out and work shifts on multiple days during the festival to help us handle the 100,000-plus people that we expect. It speaks volumes to get that number of people who are willing to give up that prime weekend in the summertime to come and work for us. Q: Is there a person designated to coordinate the Harborfest volunteer effort?
A: Last year, we had an AmeriCorps student who oversaw the program, and this year I plan on having another. However, I’ve actually looked at having a person on staff short term just to coordinate the whole volunteer effort. My concern with AmeriCorps students is they are here for one year, maybe two. There’s no history for them to develop. My hope is JUNE/JULY 2017
‘It’s amazing that we have a very small parttime staff that can actually put this thing together’ Peter Myles
to eventually recruit a teacher from the Oswego City School District who is going to start out part-time to begin with. He will coordinate that effort annually and help us recruit and train volunteers and do everything that is necessary. Q: What were some of the more significant lessons you’ve learned in your first year as executive director in 2016? How will you apply that knowledge in 2017?
A: I learned a lot. I never organized a festival, so this was a huge undertaking for me. We have one staff member — our business manager Barbara Manwaring — who has been with Harborfest for a number of years. She is fantastic and a wealth of knowledge, and I learned a lot from her. However, there was one thing that stuck in my mind in terms of technology. The one thing I didn’t realize — especially as we approached the festival — was that our website wasn’t accommodating to people who were unfamiliar with Oswego. I heard that comment not just once, but multiple times, and it really left a mark on me in terms of something that we really needed to work on for 2017. We have to make sure that people who come here know about all the places to stay, parking, and logistics such as maneuvering within the city. The website [www.oswegoharborfest.com] now features a Google map that features exact locations for the parks to enable people to find these sites as they come from out of town. Q: What are some of your foremost challenges in producing the festival?
A: Finding sponsorships is huge, and it becomes more difficult as a lot of people are looking to the same sponsors for money for their cause. In addition, all the companies that are sponsors are tightening their belts at the same time. Securing national acts is getting more difficult. One reason is they are becoming more expensive, which makes OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
it harder for us to find sponsors. But also, when you are talking about the Lakeview Amphitheatre or the casinos to the east and west, they are bringing in those big names and making it more difficult for us. A lot of those big-name venues have clauses in their contracts that say they can’t perform within a 100-mile radius for 90 days. They don’t want us to offer a band for free when people have to pay $75 a ticket down the road to see the same band in two weeks. However, sometimes the venue will let them out of that part of the contract. Q: How has the festival managed to sustain itself for 30 years?
A: I think there are a lot of factors. There’s the support of the community, not just in terms of volunteers, but also financial support from the city and county. Also, credit the board of directors that volunteers its time to try to help us organize the festival. We can’t do without our sponsors, large and small, many of which return every year. Businesses also play a crucial role in supporting the festival. It’s amazing that we have a very small part-time staff that can actually put this thing together. One thing I never realized until I got here is that it does take a year to put this together and make sure all the pieces are fitting together, whether you are talking about scheduling bands and attractions or securing food vendors. All those types of things take a lot of time. Q: What are your main sources of gratification as executive director of Harborfest?
A: “I can’t believe we did it!” and “I can’t believe we pulled this off!” was how I felt at the end of last year, and it was such a success. It went so well in terms of bands and attractions performing on time and everybody showing up and all the food vendors having success. The only issue was the police department handing out parking tickets to people parking inappropriately, but if that’s as bad as it gets, I’m good with it. Q: What qualities do you have which make you a good fit leading Harborfest?
A: It’s about being positive, calm and organized. I said to my business manager the other day, “I really don’t get rattled.” I just deal with situations as they come. You have frustrations, but you work your way through them. You don’t let them stop you. 35
Bruce Frassinelli firstname.lastname@example.org
Trump: Running a Business vs. Running a Country
P ‘In a business, if the CEO wants something done, he or she orders it, and it either gets done, or heads might roll; in politics, well, it doesn’t work that way.’
BRUCE FRASSINELLI is the former publisher of The Palladium-Times and an adjunct online instructor at SUNY Oswego. 36
resident Donald Trump is just the latest among a number of candidates for public office who believe that running government as a business is the way to go. Well, I am here to tell you that when a business person seeking office promises to run government like a business, be wary; be very wary. The logic runs along these lines: Since government is so unwieldy and inefficient, only someone with a business background can get it back on track. Sure, it’s a plus for someone to have business know-how, but, ultimately, government cannot be run as a business. Someone who runs a company and gets things done on his or her say-so can’t pull off the same straight-line achievement in government. We have checks and balances, as set up in the U.S. Constitution. Autocratic company CEOs have no such constraints. While the concept of running government like a business sounds plausible, the execution is next to impossible. In a business, if the CEO wants something done, he or she orders it, My and it either gets done, or heads might roll. While a president can command some instantaneous action, important legislation must await the deliberation and passage by the Congress. In government, Trump is just one of 536 elected officials who are involved in the legislative decision-making process. On top of that, there is a nine-member watchdog Supreme Court, which can trump, if you will, legislation that runs afoul of the Constitution. If the governmental goals don’t get done, there are no major reprisals. No one is held accountable in any meaningful way. There are no suspensions, no firings, no monetary penalties, and, to be truthful, with the exception of some grousing here and there, even the nation’s residents don’t seem to be overly concerned. Trump cannot fire the members of the Congress any more than they can fire him, although the Congress does have the power of impeachment. Each of these officials is answerable to us, the voters. We elected them, and, come November of 2018, we can either keep 468 of them or vote them out of office. All 435 members of the U.S. House of
Representatives come up for election then as do one-third of the members of the U.S. Senate. As for the President, we won’t be able to issue a report card on his performance in any significant way until 2020 when and if he runs for re-election. Most of the members of Congress live in “safe” districts, so unless there is a near-revolution among the electorate, re-election never seems to be a problem. It has been fashionable for candidates over the past several decades to declare proudly that, if elected, they would run government as a business to cut spending and reduce debt. First of all, the premise is false. Corporations and government have completely opposite goals and operate in different ways. The reason for government’s existence is to advance the common well-being of its citizens. (Remember the phrase from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address: “…of the people, by the people and for the people”)? Government is expected to provide services which are incompatible with the aims of the private sector. Government provides these services – Turn referred to as “mandates” — for everyone, regardless of the ability to pay for them. Regardless of how a business makes money, it exists exclusively for the profit of those who own it. There is no requirement that a corporation provide services to those who cannot afford them, nor, with few exceptions, is there a law that says a business must serve the public good. The most basic flaw in trying to run government like a business is the disconnect in goals between government and businesses. Corporations need to pay their workers enough to entice them to work, but they are not obligated to improve their workers’ well-being. On the other hand, government exists for the sole purpose of serving its citizens’ interests. This is why promising to run government like a business is disingenuous. When we hear a politician promise to do it, we should remember that this is like someone trying to sell the impossible dream, a comparison between apples and oranges. Don’t fall for it.
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
SPECIAL REPORT By Lou Sorendo
From Boardroom to Small Business Area entrepreneurs make jump from corporate world to running their own businesses
very year, millions of people make the decision to leave their job in Corporate America to try their hand at entrepreneurship. The modern-day workforce is seeing professionals of all ages, from Millennials to baby boomers, making the leap from aspiring CEO to start-up business owner. Here is a glimpse at several local people who made that jump from the corporate boardroom to the challenging environment of the small business world.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Chasity Browngardt From Walmart to Running a Hardware Store
or one area businesswoman, the transition from the big-box setting of Walmart to owning her own hardware store and lumberyard was seamless. Chasity Browngardt spent 17 years working as a compliance manager for Sam’s Club in Clay and Syracuse. Among her duties was resolving violations of company policy, making efforts to minimize shrink and damages and financial oversight. She served as the auditing arm of the company, which is owned and operated by Walmart. “I made sure everything ran efficiently and everyone did what he or she needed to do,” she said. Browngardt started as a part-time cashier when she was in college, and worked her way up through the ranks. She spent her last 10 years as compliance manager. “I liked the challenge. Every day was a different experience,” she said. Chasity, her husband Michael, and Michael’s brother Timothy and his wife Rachael recently purchased Northern Ace Home Center on state Route 3 in Fulton. Chasity said the decision to leave the corporate world was a group decision buoyed by her husband, who has been in the construction business his entire life. “Being in the retail world for so long, I felt I had enough knowledge to get me started,” she said. The couple also had a college rental business going while they were engaged in their prior jobs. The opportunity arose, and the husband-wife team decided it was something that made sense and it went with where they saw their future trending. Her background at Sam’s fortified her decision. “That definitely had a lot to do with it. There’s one thing that I always say about Walmart — They know control and how to be financially sound in running a store,” Browngardt said. JUNE/JULY 2017
Chasity Browngardt is one of the owners of Northern Ace Home Center on state Route 3 in Fulton. Previously she spent 17 years as a compliance manager at Walmart. She learned skills such as where operating expenses need to be and how to delegate money. She was even exposed to merchandising, including what inventory to feature and how much money one needs to make to keep it there. “I constantly go back to things I learned and apply them here,” she said. “I don’t necessarily understand all the product here, so that’s something I need to learn. But I do understand how to put that product into play to make us money.” Despite making the jump, Browngardt said she doesn’t necessarily see herself as a risk taker. “I look at things differently because I know I have employees whose families depend on us,” she said. “So it’s definitely a different mindset.” “When you sit back before you make a big decision, you ask, “Is this going to be the right decision? Is it right for the business and will it be profitable? I worry about the other 12 people that are here. If we make the wrong decision, then it just doesn’t affect us — it affects them,” she said.
Slows pace down
In terms of hours, Browngardt would commonly work a minimum of 50 hours a week at Sam’s Club. “It was a never ending job,” she said. “The hardest thing I had trouble OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
with coming here was slowing my pace. I know that sounds funny and people would laugh, but we can handle things on a much more reasonable level.” Her husband has beckoned her to slow down. “He would say, ‘we’re not going to accomplish this to-do list in one day. You need to relax,’” she said. Browngardt said there is a profound difference between having 100 people to delegate to versus having five. She had the mindset that she needed to accomplish everything in one day. “Actually I’ve slowed down a little bit. It’s much more enjoyable. Now I can actually breathe and admire what happens and the outcome of something we’ve done, whereas before it was constant go-go-go and there was no break,” she said. Browngardt left her corporate job more than a year ago. She actually came into the business before it was purchased to work and learn the system before the transaction was closed. “I hit the ground running and didn’t have to ask on my first day, ‘Oh boy, now what do I do?’” Browngardt said it was a tough decision to leave her Sam’s Club job. “Part of me worried whether I was making the right decision. Another part of me had spent almost 20 years at a job I loved. At the same time, it was becoming more difficult as my two children 39
were getting older and travel was more difficult for me,” she said. Sam’s Club would send her out of state on business at certain times, and it was getting to a point where she was finding that harder to manage. “From a family aspect, it was the right move, but still I went back and forth asking, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ and ‘What am I going to do if I make the wrong decision’?” “You always get a paycheck in corporate America. Every Thursday, it’s in your bank account. Here, it’s not so much the same,” she said.
The task at hand for the Browngardts is differentiating themselves from the competition and making sure everyone understands it is a family-run business. People confuse the business with Riccelli Enterprises, a business that purchased the majority of The Northern Group in 2014. Northern Ace Home Center — part of The Northern Group — remained intact and was purchased by the Browngardts. “We definitely knew at some point in our lives that we eventually wanted to work for ourselves,” she said. “We did start the college rental business first, but
that was never at the point where it was going to be a full-time job that we were going to do every week. “We had some different ideas, but nothing that we were going to be able to do together. So this one actually worked out.” “Ace does a good job of being of top of things and trends,” said Browngardt, noting Ace is a great information resource. She said the ability to get onto acehardware.com and be informed about the latest rage — such as the recent influx of LED light bulbs — is instrumental.
Tim Murphy From National Grid to Running an Auto Repair Shop By Lou Sorendo
oing from being an account manager at National Grid to owning an automotive repair shop is no easy road to travel. Just ask Tim Murphy. Murphy, his wife Jayne and their son Brian are the owners of Murphy’s Automotive Solutions, a family owned and operated auto care center that opened in November 2013. The certified NAPA business occupies 3,300 square feet on a 4.5-acre site at 21 Fred Haynes Boulevard in the town of Oswego. It offers full-service automotive repairs, maintenance and diagnostics. Brian is the lead technician, and a 2005 graduate of Universal Technical Institute with a degree in automotive technology. Tim and Jayne oversee management and business operations. Tim Murphy, 63, is an Oswego native whose family resides in the town of Oswego, less than a mile from his business. He worked at Niagara Mohawk Power Corp, which was later acquired by National Grid, for 33 years. “I had a very enjoyable job,” said Murphy, noting he took advantage of an early retirement option in 2011. He served as a point of contact for large industrial, commercial and munici-
Tim Murphy, left, worked for National Grid (and Niagara Mohawk before that) for 33 years until he started his own family-owned business in Oswego, Murphy’s Automotive Solutions. His son , Brian, is one the principals at the business. pal organizations in Oswego County for electric, gas, billing and infrastructure services. “Basically, anything they needed that was National Grid related, I was their point of contact,” the Potsdam State graduate said. In his role as account manager, Murphy did a lot of fieldwork and “wasn’t restricted to a desk, so that was good,” he said. “I loved my job and made a lot of friends,” Murphy said. “I worked with all different facets and departments within National Grid.” “I always had an interest in being an entrepreneur, but I had such a good opportunity with National Grid that I never really pursued anything for myself. But I did have the interest,” he noted. Murphy started his career with Niagara Mohawk as a meter reader, and then went on to work at the Nine Mile Point nuclear complex for a year. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
He then became engaged in the customer contact side of the business. Murphy said he and Brian are alike personality wise, but are polar opposites in terms of skill sets. “He has the technical training and aptitude for automotive repair, including all of today’s diagnostics and special requirements,” he said. Blend that with dad’s resources and business management skills, and it’s a match destined to hit on all cylinders. Murphy said the true motivation behind launching the business was having the opportunity to work with his son. “It’s incredibly rewarding. He’s grown by leaps and bounds,” he said. “We had shopped around to see if we could refurbish a building. But frankly, it got to a point where it’s more expensive to refurbish than it would be to build a new facility,” Murphy said. The family discovered a parcel of land for sale on Fred Haynes Boulevard, JUNE/JULY 2017
less than a mile from where they reside. In 2012, they purchased and cleared the lot. The following year, Fingerlakes Construction out of Clyde constructed the building, while the family attended to interior work. The business opened in November of 2013.
Well networked Through the years with National Grid, Murphy allied with many associates and contacts on the corporate level. These same allegiances also played key roles when he helped launch his business. Murphy worked with L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of Operation Oswego County, and David Dano, business finance director at OOC, to bring the financial portion of the project to fruition. Also providing valuable assistance was John Halleron, senior small business adviser with the Small Business Development Center at SUNY Oswego, along with Pathfinder Bank. Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency provided financial assistance toward the $450,000 project. “Having those contacts was instrumental in having the comfort level to do this,” Murphy said. He spent a year researching the automotive business before launching his own. “Frankly, I didn’t know anything about it and certainly did not want to go into it blind,” he said. The Murphys got a jump-start on their NAPA affiliation, inviting representatives to their home to review services and form a relationship. NAPA provided the shop management system and other resources necessary to start and run the business. “I also put together a rather large business plan that was probably bigger than what I needed to do,” he said. “The first thing they tell you is, ‘It’s going to make you research and think about things you neglected to consider.’ And that was really true.” Murphy said he would get up in the morning and spend several hours working on it until he was mentally drained. “One of the hardest things I ever did was write that business plan,” said Murphy, noting it was as challenging as dealing with electric, gas and street light tariffs during his previous career. “I knew a lot about most elements JUNE/JULY 2017
of the project with the exception of marketing,” he said. Murphy said it was difficult to forecast how busy the business was going to be, which ultimately determines the size of a facility and how many employees will be needed. “You’re taking educated guesses in what your transition is going to be,” he said. It was just the father-mother-son team when the doors opened, but the business quickly added several employees. “It was difficult getting to a comfort level in terms of determining what our daily lives were going to be like, how much business we were going to do and if we would be able to make payroll or not,” Murphy said. “You’re not dealing with Monopoly money; you’re dealing with your own money.” He said the past three years have been “the fastest of my life” due to the high level of business activity. In fact, Murphy said he wishes he had built a bigger facility, and will be looking to expand in the future.
Whole new world
Murphy said the greatest difference between working in the corporate world and owning his own business is the amount of hours spent on the job. “I’m probably working 60-to-70 hours a week,” he said. “It’s really a matter of staffing for me to extricate myself from here a little bit.” Murphy handles the customer service end of the business, along with parts, billing and accounting. “You can’t really do accounting until the doors are closed,” he added. He spent his whole National Grid career in customer service, and finds this aspect of business fun. “I enjoy meeting new people and seeing old friends and people that I graduated high school with that I haven’t seen since 1971,” he said. “Conversely, Brian at this point doesn’t like working the counter, but prefers the technical aspect of it. However, he is taking on the customer piece,” Murphy said. He noted creating the business was a gradual process. “My wife, Brian and I sat down and had meetings regularly through the whole process,” Murphy said. “We’d say, ‘OK, we have this much invested. We can still bail.’” However, once they got to the point of signing their names on the mortgage, OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
“there’s absolutely no turning back,” Murphy said. He said there certainly is risk taking involved. “You must have a lot of faith in yourself, your skills and level of commitment,” he said. “I think people underestimate that level of commitment.” “You can’t just go home and turn the switch off. It’s really a never-ending process. As you learn, you get a little more comfortable with doing that,” he said. “You still sleep at night, but it’s a different animal than working for a large corporation in that respect.” Murphy said in a corporate setting, one is generally limited in terms of making solo decisions and a team approach is taken. “When you own your business, you are making every decision,” he said. “Every decision is on our shoulders.”
Not a ‘car guy’
Learning the automotive repair business was a challenge for Murphy. “It was for me because I was not a car guy,” he said. When Brian was young, he would watch automotive-related shows where mechanics were performing tasks such as rebuilding engines. “He was only 10 years old, but could tell you the type of car, engine, torque ratio and everything else,” Murphy said. “He didn’t get that from me or my wife. Neither of us has a technical aptitude. He calls me the ‘smartest dumbest’ person he’s ever met.” The dad-son combination, however, is proving to be successful. “That’s where people get in trouble in small business. They don’t have the accounting half. They might have the technical side covered, but they don’t know how to run the business,” he said. Murphy has also been heavily involved as a community volunteer. He was affiliated with Harborfest from its inception, and did all the electrical coordination work for 20 years. “Back then we were creating something, not just sustaining,” said Murphy, noting he worked with many of the fest’s creators, including Charlotte Sullivan, Mary Avrakotos and Dick Pfund. He also spent many years volunteering for Oswego Little League, and was instrumental in completely rebuilding the Fort Ontario complex for Little League over the past 10 years. Besides Brian, he and his wife have two other adult children — Shawn and Erin. They also have two grandchildren. 41
Tricia Cool Lorenz From Syracuse Media Group to Running a Specialty Store
his is an opportunity too “cool” to pass up. Tricia Cool Lorenz has had many experiences in the corporate world. They range over a span of 18 years and included stints at AT&T, Time Warner Cable and Syracuse Media Group (now Advance Media New York), also known as syracuse.com and The Post-Standard. Her corporate career mainly focused on sales and marketing. During her stint at Syracuse Media Group, she served as an account executive and essentially was responsible for growing new and existing business. Now, she recently opened Cool Clutter Barntique, a shop specializing in up-cycled décor and gifts, at her home at 312 county Route 89, town of Oswego. “I’m being really choosey. I want it to be something that is high quality that people will come to expect starting right out of the gate,” the Auburn native said. “It’s going to be cool and fun and just something out of the box.” Lorenz, 42, said she has seen several up-cycling businesses in the area, “but they seem to come across as flea-markety” and not creative. “The main motivation for opening my own business was that my husband Jay and I wanted to start a family, and we were blessed to have our daughter Jana Rebecca in January of 2016,” she said. The couple decided that after six months of Tricia being a stay-at-homemom, they would make the decision if she would return back to work. “After doing the math, considering the commute to Syracuse and the amount of time Jana would be in daycare, it was
Tricia Cool Lorenz has worked for several large corporations for more than 18 years, including AT&T and Syracuse Media Group. She now runs her own small business, Cool Clutter Barntique in Oswego. too costly,” she said. “I knew it was going to be a drastic change going from years in the corporate world to being a stay-at-home mom, but to me it was worth it,” she said. “At that time, I had considered making my dream of being a business owner a reality and the true blessing is that I could have the best of both worlds — have the business on our property and still raise our daughter.” When she told her husband about the idea of turning their existing barn into Cool Clutter Barntique, he saw her vision immediately and embraced the concept. “When my now-husband was courting me, he brought me to his property for the first time. The instant I saw the barn, I thought, ‘Wow, that would be an awesome storefront.’ I loved the energy I felt being inside of it. That was the moment it became a goal of mine,” she said. She said the corporate world treated her very well. “Now that I have had the opportunity to be out of it for a year, I can see where some of the aspects of that life deterred me from wanting to go back,” she said. Lorenz said she spent years watching working parents struggle. “The corporate world is not necessarily set up to be family friendly. If Jana was sick, she would be my priority, and I knew returning to that working environment would have put me in the position to choose between work and family,” she said. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Too many times, Lorenz saw that choice being made by a parent and “sometimes it didn’t end well,” she said. “I like the idea of being my own boss, and not having to choose between a sales meeting and picking my child up from daycare because she is sick. In my new world, I won’t have to make that choice,” she added. Lorenz graduated from Bryant & Stratton in Syracuse and also earned a bachelor’s degree in 2014 while working.
Creativity runs wild
Cool Clutter Barntique’s tagline is “Creative Spirit Lives Here.” “In the corporate world, creative spirit has a tendency to be squashed for one reason or another, and can leave a negative feeling about your purpose within the company,” she said. Lorenz said the challenge in making the transition from the corporate world into small business ownership is that “my hats will change by the minute.” “In the corporate world, I might have had a team of people to help me with my success, operations, tech support and management,” she said. “Now it’s all me.” Lorenz said she is lucky to have the support of her husband and family as well as the creative designers and artists she will have contributing to the success of Cool Clutter Barntique. “The keys to success will be asking for help when I need it and minimize the feeling of being overwhelmed by relying on others,” she said. JUNE/JULY 2017
Other challenges involved in launching her own business are choosing among talented and creative artists because of limited space, and finding a new life balance between work and family. Lorenz said she “absolutely” did not second-guess her decision to embark on a journey as an entrepreneur. “If anything, I believe everything is happening right now just as it should be,” she said. In a word, the shop can be described as eclectic. She noted several stay-at-home moms will be featuring shabby chic vinyl country style signs that will be “different and out of the norm.” Other items expected for sale will be up-cycled furniture, children’s clothing, designer jewelry, and stained glass creations. Also available will be stone jewelry, handmade wooden cutting boards and bowls, and even specially made turkey calls. “My goal is to have a little something for everybody,” she said.
Her business gains a measure of visibility because many folks travel county Route 89 en route to Rudy’s, a popular dining venue on Lake Ontario, she said. Nonetheless, she said the challenge is to attract people to the rural location. “I’m going to have to use social media for sure. I think that’s the new wave and that’s how people of all ages are going to find us on the map,” she said. Word of mouth, networking and relying on a host of friends and contacts will fuel the marketing engine, she said. While at Syracuse Media Group, she focused on building relationships and partnerships through networking. “I’m hoping all those years in the corporate world are going to pay off,” she added. The keys to success for Lorenz, she said, will be treating customers with integrity. “I like to think I have a high level of integrity and people find me approachable,” she said. “I want to be known as a business that cares about its customers and what they want and need. That’s No. 1.” The business will be open to October initially. “I’m putting my foot in the water before I jump in with both feet,” she said. Lorenz and her husband are members of St. Mary’s Church in Oswego. The couple enjoys camping and boating on Lake Ontario. They are members of the Oswego Yacht Club. JUNE/JULY 2017
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SPECIAL REPORT By Mattew Liptak
Meet CNY’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Owner of Saving Face Barbershop named ‘Young Entrepreneur of Year’ — has been cutting hair since age 12
nthony Nappa, 27, likes to joke that he is an overnight success — it just took two decades. Although he is a young 20-something, the barber and business owner has years of cutting hair and business savvy under his belt. He started cutting hair when he was a 12-yearold boy. It was this year though that the U.S. Small Business Administration
named him the Syracuse district’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He was recommended by the office of Small Business Development Center at SUNY Oswego. Nappa said the award is one of the highlights of his career. “It was a great honor,” he said. “I never could really imagine that I ever would be a recipient of such a prestigious award. I just have to defer the credit to the people I have surrounding me, my mentors, friends, everybody here. It’s just not a singular effort. It feels great to accept it, but this wasn’t a single-man effort.” Nappa’s business — Saving Face Barbershop —has two locations — the original at 4300 W. Genesee St., Syracuse, and one he runs in Manlius with business partner Taylor Horsman. Nappa expects to continue to grow and even has hopes to develop a franchise eventually.
Anthony Nappa, owner of Face Barbershop 44
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
“I’ve always been an ambitious person,” he said. “I want to grow big. I want to make this business scalable. I have great people here” that have resulted in a second location. “Growing with people is huge. People are your biggest asset in business, that’s for sure. I have a great foundation here — great guys that show up every day and go above and beyond. That’s why we’re able to grow.” He invested about $8,000 to start his original shop when he opened in 2009. He moved that to another location on West Genesee and invested $20,000 in 2011. Between the shop on West Genesee Street and the newer one in Manlius, there are 12 barbers that are all private contractors. “We essentially rent the chairs,” he said. “We have different models, different pay structures, but everyone’s essentially 1099 [contractors]. It works well. There are a couple of different models.” Nappa thinks of Saving Face’s model as somewhat revolutionary, providing a man cave away from home where younger and middle-aged men can come and share in some “guy time” and be entertained too. There is a pool table and flat screen TVs. The shop is exclusive to men and charges $19 for a standard cut. But there are a lot of variables to that.
Getting crazy “We do hair designs,” said Nappa, noting it is a form of artwork to “create something crazy” with a client’s hair. “We can put in any sort of logo. JUNE/JULY 2017
With the Super Bowl we did a bunch of Patriots’ and Falcons’ logos. If somebody wants some freehand design in his hair, we can do that as well. Prices on those vary.” Saving Face offers shaving too. Nappa has come a long way since he was a kid cutting his own hair as well as his friends’ hair at home. He became an apprentice barber with a shop in Cicero at 17, and that’s when he realized there could be a future for him in the business. “After I was working for a while at the barbershop, making money and really seeing the fruits of the effort I made, I got to a point where I saw people make a living doing this,” he said. But it’s not all about the bottom line for Saving Face. Nappa gives back to the community, too. He puts on the “Barber-Q”, where food, prizes and haircuts raise money for local charities each summer. “We do free haircuts,” he said. “We give out free food, drinks, live entertainment, music, and raffles. All tips that we raise go to charity. That serves as a great form of advertising. We get a lot of press on that.” Nappa wants his to be a scalable model that can catch on and spread. He wants to be franchising in five years. “We’re putting systems and controls in place where I don’t have to be here,” he said. “It’s designed oftentimes to depend on people. You have to be here to cut hair. I’m trying to design a system, like plug and play, almost like a franchise model. I’m trying to put together a model where I can pick and train the right people and just put them into place and tell them to do this for me until it’s proven effective. That’s something I’m continuing to work on.” Until then, he is happy with his two shops and is continuing to cut hair. “You give the person confidence,” he said. “Someone walks in and they’re down on their luck or just not feeling good about themselves. You give them a great haircut and you see that they’re noticeably thrilled. It’s just a great feeling — very rewarding because you’ve just instilled some confidence in that person that they didn’t have before seeing you. “We have that ability. We’re almost in the business of selling confidence and it’s a great feeling.” JUNE/JULY 2017
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Owners of Recess Coffee in Syracuse, Jesse Daino (left) and Adam Williams. The duo met in high school in Central Square and have been growing the business since 2007. The business currently employs 50 people — 12 of them on a full time basis.
C. Square Students Behind Success of Recess Coffee
With already two locations, owners of Recess Coffee plan additional shops and a big push on the wholesale end
alk about good investments: Adam Williams, 33, and Jesse Daino, 34, Central Square high school alumni, bought Recess Coffee a decade ago for less than $10,000. They have turned it into a thriving $1 million-plus business. Williams, now living in the Westcott neighborhood of Syracuse, was up front in talking to Oswego County Business about the business’ success. “It kind of fell into our lap, honestly,” he said. “I worked some middle management. I worked at the food co-op down the street from us. Jesse was in a band full time. We went to high school together. This opportunity came up. Originally it was just myself and I was looking for...just as a hobby — give it a shot
type of deal. Jesse was staying at my house between tours. I was like ‘Hey, I’m going to buy this coffee shop. Do you want to get in on this?’ He said, ‘yeah.’ It wasn’t really planned so we really didn’t have too much of a dedicated motivation in the beginning.” But since then, solid motivation, hard work, a business model based on a high-quality beans and a commitment to the greater community have equaled success. “It’s been growing every year,” Williams said. “The last couple of years have been growing really good. We opened our downtown location about a year and a half ago, which is going really well. This year has been great. We’re doing a ton of expansion on our wholesale — kind of
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
our focus.” Although Recess Coffee’s two cafes in Syracuse account for 70 percent of revenue, the owners want to see wholesale grow to at least 40 percent of total sales in the future. Currently Recess Coffee sells its wholesale coffee to 50 to 60 outlets over a wide geography. “It’s a pretty good mix,” Williams said. “It’s a lot of specialty grocery stores like Green Planet in Oswego. We do a lot of co-ops, cafes and restaurants. It’s a pretty broad range.” Recess Coffee has been picked up as the source ice coffee at CoreLife Eatery, a rapidly expanding health-food restaurant chain that started on Taft Road in North Syracuse. Williams said he is excited JUNE/JULY 2017
about that. They are not resting on their laurels though. They are increasing contacts with potential clients in the Northeast. “Essentially we’ll just find someplace where we’ve already had success, like a natural foods store or a specialty store or a restaurant with a focus on local, and we’ll give them a call and pitch our plan,” Williams said. “We usually mail them out some samples to follow up and see how they liked it. We’ve been traveling a little more with that.” Williams said a lot of Recess Coffee’s growth has been organic. Word of mouth of their business has traveled and so has their reputation for quality and reliability. Sales are reflected in that. They have grown 15 to 20 percent every year, with last year even being better than that, Williams said. There have been growing pains. Just three years ago Recess Coffee had 15 employees. Today they have 50 — 12 full-time. With that kind of growth the owners found the old management style wasn’t working. They brought in a new general manager to oversee things. “A lot of our biggest hurdles have definitely been training ourselves and training our people to work on that scale,” Williams said. “Last year we hired a general manager. That was a big step forward for us.” The owners are sticklers for caring about the community that has helped them so much. At least half of Recess Coffee customers are return customers, Williams said. The company is a member and supporter of many Syracuse neighborhood organizations. As business grows, Williams said he’d like to see Recess Coffee add a couple more cafes in the next five to 10 years and diversify into other areas. He said he didn’t want their company to put all its eggs in the coffee basket though. As to where those new cafes would be, he didn’t rule out Oswego. “That’s always been a thought,” he said. “There are a couple spots out there. College areas are great areas for coffee shops. My grandfather worked in the county building for a million years. I spent a lot of time out there. It’s always been in our periphery. Once again it’s just about location. It’s always in our mind, but we’ll play it by ear.”
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By Matthew Liptak
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Steve Pagliaroli owns and operates The Traveling Antique Man.
A New Headquarters for The Traveling Antique Man Owner expects a 20 percent increase in sales
ntiquing never gets old. Steve Pagliaroli owns and operates The Traveling Antique Man and recently relocated to 243 Duer St., Oswego. Many city residents remember the location as Bob’s TV Sales and Service in Oswego, run by Steve’s father, the late Bob Pagliaroli. Today, the building has been completely renovated and is headquarters to a business that moves forward thanks to items from the past. “It’s nice to have a home base after so many years of working out of my house,” he said. “It’s nice to have a place
to meet clients — both new and old — and offer up goods for sale and also have an opportunity and venue to buy.” He uses Vaseline glass to light up his shop at night, making it visible from East Utica Street. Pagliaroli, 47, began his journey into antiquing by researching a set of china — German-produced Blue Garland by Johann Haviland — during his senior year at SUNY Oswego, where he majored in business with an economics minor.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
“I started to delve into antiques, and it was from there that it just took off like wildfire,” he said. “I threw myself into it daily and right out of college, started to buy and sell antiques.” Pagliaroli said the history of various pieces “was always intriguing to me. But for me, it was always about the silver.” “I was always drawn to its aesthetic beauty,” he said. The most expensive antique Pagliaroli ever acquired was a set of sterling silver flatware by George Jensen in a cactus pattern. It was a pattern introduced in 1930 and was designed by long-time Jensen employee Gunorph Albertson. That particular pattern was a “quintessential” 20th century Art Deco design proving to be so popular that it stood the test of time and is still in production by the Denmark based firm today, Pagliaroli noted. He sold the flatware set to a “delighted” client in Texas for $8,450. The most unique antique he has ever come across was something he found just in the past six months. “It is a most unusual circa-1900 optometrist set complete with all of the different sized lenses to check a patient’s eyes,” he said. “In 20 years, I’ve never seen anything like it and it is quite possible that I’ll never have another one again.” Pagliaroli, a native of Scriba, also collects glass from the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, which was incorporated in 1826. “Most of it is in the form of candlesticks made in the 1840s and 1850s in Sandwich, Mass.,” said Pagliaroli, an Oswego city resident.
Learns trade himself Self-taught, Pagliaroli read a lot of books and did internet research on a regular basis. “Every passing day, I am researching and looking things up,” said Pagliaroli, who is a general line dealer who specializes in silver. Most of his purchases are done in Central New York, while his selling outlets are in the Boston, Madison-Bouckville and Rochester areas. “Additionally, internet sales give me a global reach,” he said. The bulk of Pagliaroli ‘s reach is done through eBay, although he just recently increased his presence on Facebook. “Of course, our website also help JUNE/JULY 2017
with marketing,” he said. His wife is Kathyrn Pagliaroli, director of quality and patient safety at Oswego Health. She was also one of the 2012-2013 Oswego County Business magazine’s “Forty Under 40” awardees. The couple has three children — Seth, Lillian and Kamryn. Pagliaroli’s business background has helped him from an accounting standpoint while ensuring that his bottom line is profitable. “I can wrap my head around the business side of things as much as I can the antique end. It’s two different parts of the brain,” he said. How does placing value on a given antique work? When he started, it was done with books. “If you didn’t have the right reference material, you couldn’t do it,” he said. “Now, I know right away that a certain number of those things have a limited market. I don’t even have to research them much because of the fact that I’ve seen them so many times,” he said. “But when I do find that one thing of interest, inevitably it’s a source from the internet,” he said. Pagliaroli, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, also subscribes to different research companies and has access to databases. “If it’s a more obscure thing, I would reference my antique library,” he said. Country primitive items are much harder to value without first being sure of what it is, he noted. “I know experts in the field that I can bring things to who can verify that something is what we believe it to be,” he added. Pagliaroli said he has “quite an extensive network of very reputable dealers and collectors,” many of whom are in their 60s and 70s and have been in the industry since the 1960s. “It’s at least several dozen people and they can be very key, not only as a source of information, but also because they have their own network of buyers,” he said.
Varied approach Pagliaroli got into the antique business in 1997 and started making house calls in 1998. He has probably done in excess of 1,500 house calls since then, he said. In addition to doing house calls, where people might have to sell one or perhaps a handful of items, Pagliaroli JUNE/JULY 2017
also purchases entire contents of a home in the form of cleanouts. “We get rid of debris and we buy antiques. The better things offset the expense of getting rid of the junk, and when we’re done, they have a clean and empty house ready for real estate agents to come in and list the property,” he said. He said this is particularly effective for out-of-state people who “fly in and don’t have a lot of time. They need it done quick and can’t bother with a dumpster and crew.” In addition to that venue, Pagliaroli also does estate sales on some properties. “That’s better if there is an enormous number of large items. It might be a farm with four tractors, and just so many things that I simply can’t do a cleanout,” he said. Pagliaroli conducts an estate sale instead, and earns a percentage. Again, the end result is an empty, clean house ready for the real estate market. “It happens pretty quickly,” he said. He said cleanouts are increasingly popular as people look to reduce their property tax burden inside an estate or on their own property as they downsize. Cleanouts, estate sales and house calls comprise half his activity spent during the busy season, which is spring through fall. A combination of LED signage, a strong presence on Facebook, his own business website and advertising in some local publications makes up his marketing strategy. His revenue streams come from internet sales, shop sales, co-op sales, antique shops and dealings with longtime private clients. He anticipates gross revenues will exceed last year’s numbers by 20 percent. Pagliaroli said there is definitely a push toward “mantiques” or items for men as opposed to the things “grandma used to have.” In many cases, these are the antiques made popular by shows like “American Pickers.” Antiques for men — including guns, American gold and silver coins, old motorcycles, bicycles and antique cars, and enameled advertising signs with “Mobil” or “Pegasus” emblazoned of them — are becoming increasingly popular. “There’s a market for all of these things that would fit in a man cave, but other categories are being pushed aside,” he said.
By Lou Sorendo
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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One of the businesses that received an award from the Small Business Administration is The Sweet Praxis in Syracuse — from left are Patrick MacKrell, New York Business Development Corporation; Natalie Evans and Jennifer Walls, from The Sweet Praxis; Joanne Lenweaver, WISE Women’s Business Center; and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA.
SBA Awards Recognizes Businesses in Onondaga, Oswego
our local small businesses in Onondaga County and another one in Oswego County were recognized during National Small Business Week at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 19th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon in Syracuse May 5. Small businesses are selected for the Excellence Awards based on their company’s longevity, innovation, sales growth, increased employment, ability to overcome adversity or community contributions. NBT Bank, NA honored Digital Hyve Marketing, LLC based in Syracuse. A full-service digital marketing agency, Digital Hyve Marketing specializes in website design and development, SEO, SEM, social media, video, content marketing and other digital marketing tactics. Owners Jeffery Knauss and Jacob Tanner started
Digital Hyve in 2014 to meet the demand of businesses seeking marketing that was targeted, measurable and achieved a return on investment. Digital Hyve has experienced meteoric growth, 825 percent in its second year, 313 percent in 2016 and growth projections for 200-300 percent in 2017. Employment has grown from the two cofounders in 2014 to 17 full-time employees in 2017, with the potential of 13 more employees to be added by year-end. Pathfinder Bank honored The Decorated Cookie Company, LLC, based in Syracuse and owned by Peter Hess, Tina Hess, Trevor Whiting, Stewart MacPherson and Kuno Kurschner. In 2001, Peter and Tina Hess founded Corso’s Cookies/The Decorated Cookie Company in their home. Within a year the couple moved their decorated cookies and cookie bouquet
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
operation to an 800-square-foot facility in Solvay. By 2005, their growth necessitated purchasing a 12,900-square-foot facility in Lakeland. The Decorated Cookie Company is the largest producer of decorated cookies in North America with customers like Barnes and Noble, Hobby Lobby, Proflowers and Cracker Barrel Restaurants. The company distinguishes itself from both domestic and foreign competitors with its proprietary decorating technology that provides for enormous manufacturing capacity while maintaining a hand-made look and taste. The WISE Women’s Business Center honored The Sweet Praxis based in Syracuse. The dream to open a retail space took The Sweet Praxis five years to achieve. Initially owners Natalie Evans and Jennifer Walls sold their baked goods at pop-up stores, farmer’s markets, restaurants
and events. While baking in their home kitchen, they saw a 60 percent increase in sales in 2013 and knew it was time to find a retail location. With their move and renovations to the historic Grange Building in downtown Syracuse, they are now working in a 400-square-foot kitchen and have a retail bakery and bistro. Their visibility and wide windows looking onto Warren Street, along with their social media presence, has resulted in increased brand awareness and sales.
NYBDC honored The View Restaurant, Inc. based in Tully. It is a casual sports tavern owned by Michael Schoemaker. The restaurant overlooks Sunset Pines, a nine-hole executive golf course. Customers can enjoy pub fare with a full bar in a relaxed atmosphere while seated indoors or outdoors on the patio. Nestled in the hills of Otisco Valley, outdoor seating overlooks the golf course and the breathtaking scenery of southern Onondaga County.
Operation Oswego County, Inc. honored Off Broadway Dance Center based in Fulton. Open since 1996, Off Broadway Dance Center (OBDC) had outgrown three of its previous locations. Owner Ellen Marshall purchased and renovated a former United Methodist Church for her most recent expansion. The new facility features two teaching studios with sprung wood flooring systems, an acro studio with wall-to-wall gymnastics mats and a large parent waiting room. Home to 250 students, OBDC offers weekly classes for 2-year olds through high-school-aged students in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and acro. Dance students perform at recitals and local events, while the award-winning Competition Team competes throughout New York state. (See full interview with owner Ellen Marshall at right). “The 19th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon gives us the opportunity to celebrate our business community leaders for their small business successes,” said Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse district director. “Entrepreneurs find success not by avoiding failure but by dreaming the impossible and taking chances. From Main Street stores to cyber merchants and all the companies in between, small businesses keep our economy innovative and vibrant.” JUNE/JULY 2017
Students at Off Broadway Dance Center in Granby. The business has 250 students. It was recently recipient of the 2017 Small Business Excellence Award given by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Off Broadway Dance Center On Point Granby business growing by leaps and bounds; was recently recognized by Small Business Administration
By Lou Sorendo
e are family. Sister Sledge provided plenty of inspiration with that 1979 hit song, and many can embrace the essence of its title. Off Broadway Dance Center, which has settled into its new location at 420 county Route 3, town of Granby, is all about family. Having a “family feel” is what gives the business a competitive edge over other dance studios, said owner Ellen Marshall. “We call ourselves the Off-Broadway Dance Center family — and that’s what we truly are,” she said. Open since 1997, OBDC began in a small storefront on state Route 3. As it grew, OBDC performed out of two other locations in Fulton — Schuyler Commons and its most recent location in the Neighborhood Plaza. Marshall recently purchased and renovated the former Granby Center United Methodist Church and converted it into the new home for OBDC.
She said the new location provides her more room for a growing membership. OBDC is home to 250 students. Featured at the new facility are a large waiting room, two bathrooms, and two teaching studios with professional dance flooring over a spring floor system, which lessens risk of injury. A dedicated acro room with wall-to-wall professional gymnastics mats is also part of the new facility. Acro is a style of dance that combines classical dance technique with precision acrobatic elements. “Our acro program is thriving and it’s exciting to see the kids accomplish new skills every week,” she said. “Almost all of our classes are filled to capacity and we are hoping that trend continues with our summer and fall registration.” “Many of our dancers come directly from school to dance, so the addition of a kitchen is nice. They’re able to eat before
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
class starts and do their homework on breaks,” said Marshall, a Fulton native and resident. “Initially, the motivation to purchase the former church was just to have my own space, rather than renting,” she said. Old church buildings lend themselves nicely to dance studios, because the rooms tend to be large and easily converted into studio rooms without the need for pillars or support beams, she noted. “Building new was just out of my reach financially and I also needed a place I could get into quickly to avoid signing another lease,” she said. Marshall likes its location. “It’s very near Walmart, and oftentimes parents drop kids off and do grocery shopping while they’re in class,” she said. The center offers dance lessons for children aged 2 and up in pre-ballet, ballet, lyrical, tap, jazz and hip-hop. It also has adult dance classes periodically. The business has four dance teachers and one acro instructor on staff. There are also two desk attendants on site at all times. Future plans call for expansion of OBDC’s competition team. “Right now, we have 50 members but are always happy to invite new dancers into our group,” she said. OBDC is also aiming to expand its special needs program to a “buddy ballet” class for preschoolers and young elementary school dancers. Marshall earned an associate’s degree in business management from Bryant & Stratton College in Syracuse, and a bachelor’s degree in education from SUNY Oswego. Marshall was recognized as an Oswego County Business “40 Under 40” recipient in 2008-09.
Passionate pursuit In order to be successful operating a dance studio, Marshall said it is key to have a passion for the art. “I also try to keep my skills sharp, keep learning, follow the trends and stay true to the basics,” she said. “I enjoy working with kids,” said Marshall, who spends most of her day with youngsters aged 6-17. She also noted organization is essential. “I have to make sure I’m successfully juggling several things at once,” she said. “Today for example, I was getting quotes for our recital program, ordering 52
Ellen Marshall, owner of Off Broadway Dance Center, with Bruce Phelps, her
grandfather and the owner of Fulton Tool in Fulton. “My grandfather is one of the most wonderful people I know,” Marshall said.
trophies, talking to an HVAC contractor, registering for an upcoming competition and discussing class options with new students,” she said. OBDC has a waiting room where parents are welcome to sit while their kids are in class. The business also features a dance cam that allows parents to watch their dancer’s class live. There are also “Bring Your Parents to Dance/Acro” weeks, where moms, dads and even grandparents strut their stuff. OBDC invites each dancer’s family to walk in the Fulton Memorial Day parade each year. “We usually have more than 300 participants with our group,” she said. “They all wear matching OBDC T-shirts. After the parade, everyone gathers for our annual banana split party.” OBDC also gifts free lessons and costumes to local foreign exchange students. Marshall and her staff fundraise to ensure that children from other countries can take dance lessons for free. “I’m always surprised that kids come to America from other countries and have to pay for everything they do here,” she said. “Many parents work a second job to support these kids while they live in the United States as foreign exchange students. We’ve met many wonderful friends in the many years we’ve done this. They still keep in contact with us.”
Accommodating special needs OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
OBDC offers lessons for special needs dancers. Its “Soaring Stars” program is strictly for school- aged girls with special abilities. Marshall’s daughter, Mattie Burdick, leads the weekly dance sessions. Burdick will be a senior at SUNY Oswego this fall while majoring in special education. “These great kids participate in our recitals and even compete with our competition team,” Marshall said. “They actually won the overall highest scoring teen group at a recent event. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.” Marshall is married to Michael Marshall, and the couple has three daughters — Mattie, and Grady and Vivienne Marshall. OBDC has also been invited to dance onstage at Disney World multiple times. This coming December will be the studio’s ninth visit. Team members prepare during the summer for a 20-minute performance onstage at Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex at the Walt Disney World Resort. “Thousands of people stopped to watch our last performance,” Marshall said. Many of Marshall’s dancers have gone on to dance in college. She currently has two alumni dancing at SUNY Oswego, while several of her students have gone on to teach. Kimberly Liberti France — a longtime student who began teaching at OBDC following college — is instructing preschool dancers. “Truly the biggest highlight of my career is seeing my students onstage, smiling and having fun, and watching their parents tear up as their kids dance,” she said. Marshall enjoys seeing her dancers grow in their art and having alumni drop in the studio with their children in tow. “That’s a great compliment,” she said. Operation Oswego County, Inc. recently honored OBDC with a 2017 Small Business Excellence Award. A celebration was held recently at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 19th annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon in Syracuse. Financing for the new OBDC project was provided by Fulton Savings Bank and a SBA 504 loan through Operation Oswego County. JUNE/JULY 2017
L. Michael Treadwell email@example.com
Property Listings Aid in Business Attraction, Expansion Efforts
I ‘In addition to marketing properties, Operation Oswego County owns and manages several properties designed to promote business growth and development in Oswego County.’
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. JUNE/JULY 2017
n order to draw new businesses and help OOC uses these profiles to strategically existing businesses to expand within market these sites to prospective businesses Oswego County, Operation Oswego that would be well suited for the identified County maintains a comprehensive portfo- best use of the property. When contacted by a lio of properties and sites that are available business seeking information about potential for purchase or lease. Many of these listings sites or buildings, the site profiles are made come from area real estate companies and available to them. Comprehensive site profiles are provided on OOC’s website with their are also available on the website within the permission. This relationship is mutually property listings. beneficial in that it provides additional OOC also works to promote development exposure for area real estate agents and a of privately-owned industrial and business comprehensive property list for OOC. parks such as the Riverview Business Park in The OOC website — www.oswego- the town of Volney, the Independence Industrial county.org — provides two lists, one con- Park in the town of Scriba, as well as the Rich taining available commercial and industrial Corporate Park in the town of Hastings. buildings and one containing available Because of the many economic develdevelopment sites. Each listing provides opment assets of the industrial and business pertinent data about the building or site, as parks in Oswego County — including strategic well as contact information for the listing locations, existing infrastructure, economic agent or owner. benefits and incentives, and varying parcels and In addition to marketing properties, buildings for office, research and development, OOC owns and manages several properties light industrial, distribution and manufacturing designed to promote space — Oswego County Economic Trends business growth and is able to be competitive development in Oswewhen attracting prospective go County. Listings for these properties can businesses. also be found on the OOC website. Operation Oswego County additionally Operation Oswego County operates manages three buildings with long-term tenthree industrial parks in Oswego County: ants. CiTi BOCES and Discovery Daycare are the Oswego County Industrial Park off located within the Oswego County Industrial NYS Route 481 in the town of Schroeppel, Park in the town of Schroeppel. Northland Filter the Lake Ontario Industrial Park in the city International is located in OOC’s spec building of Oswego and the Airport Industrial Park located in the Lake Ontario Industrial Park in in the town of Volney. the city of Oswego. Operation Oswego County is also inFor short-term tenants, Operation Oswego volved with the continuing development County maintains an incubator building with of the 100-acre, mixed-use Columbia Mills affordable rental space for non-retail, industrial Site in the town of Minetto and the Cen- and service businesses. The Business Expansion terville Road/Peck Road Site in the town Center (BEC), located on East Seneca Street in of Richland. Oswego, is ideal for hi-tech and IT businesses These five sites have had comprehen- as it recently upgraded computer and telephone sive site profiles completed. Each site profile network capabilities. The building includes contains detailed information about the site 13 offices and two manufacturing spaces. The including site characteristics, prior and cur- building also has a receiving dock. rent uses, site topography, environmental Operation Oswego County gets the word features, soil characteristics, site utilities out about these properties by marketing and zoning. Additionally, a market anal- through various channels. For instance, issues ysis is provided which includes potential of the OOC E-News feature one of the available scenarios for development of the site. These properties from the website. As a result, OOC comprehensive site profiles help developers recently had two local businesses contact it reand business owners visualize the site’s garding a newly featured facility. One of those potential, giving them a head start in the businesses is in the process of of purchasing development process. that building for manufacturing OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Noel McCarthy is malt house operations manager at the new 1886 Malt House in Volney.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Malt Master Noel McCarthy leads 1886 Malt House into modern era of craft beer brewing. New business transforming the former Miller Brewery into one of the largest malt house operations in the county
By Lou Sorendo
e’s a maltster on a mission. Noel McCarthy knows his malt, and now he is ready to show exactly what his knowledge and experience will result in. McCarthy is malt house operations manager at the new 1886 Malt House in Volney. The $12.5-million, 40,000 square-foot facility is on target to be commissioned in mid-June. “We’re moving along pretty quickly,” he said. McCarthy said it will take several weeks to commission the operation. Production will ramp up throughout the summer. Commissioning involves the first run of product through the equipment. “Initial startup is done dry, then you bring in a run-through with just water and air. Then you move in some grain. It’s a multi-step process that involves proving all the pieces of equipment are doing what they are supposed to before you turn them all on at the same time,” he said. The maltster talked about the keys to getting through the commissioning process successfully. “You need to make sure you have some talented people throughout the entire building doing exactly what they are supposed to,” said McCarthy, adding the team will need to go through a very detailed checklist and ensure every piece of equipment has been installed properly to spec and is going to do what is expected. The malt house is owned and part of the Sunoco ethanol operation at the Riverview Business Park in Volney, the former home to Miller Brewing Co. Eight full-time employees will be staffing the new facility.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
“We’re all very excited here about being able to finally operate the equipment. It’s been quite a while in the making. A lot of planning went into this and we’re really proud about where we are now,” he added. “The malt house is basically all in one large room and we have a little bit of space outside,” he said. “I’ll be in charge of bringing product in and designating where we want to store it, which malts we’re going to be making out of it, developing a product line and assisting in marketing as well,” he said. Malt is the major component of beer. McCarthy has been in the industry for several years and has been with Sunoco for the last two years working on this project. “My initial interest was home brewing,” he said. “Many years ago, I was looking at making beer locally with locally sourced ingredients. Come to find out, there were none available, so I decided to make my own.” He learned as much about the process as he could and continued to absorb information. “It’s a pretty interesting field. With brewing in general and malting, you basically draw from all of the sciences. Anything you can imagine applies to this as far as biochemistry, agronomics, genetics, the barley breeding process and all of these different sciences. You can dig into any corner of it and keep going,” he said. McCarthy said he is “just interested in taking things back as far as they go.” “You can look at anything, like beer, and say, ‘Someone made that. How did it happen and what’s involved in making that?’ You get the ingredients together and it’s basically a recipe similar to baking cookies. You follow the recipe and 55
Equipment is in place at The 1889 Malt House in Volney and ready for commissioning in mid-June. The plant will supply malt for the craft brewing industry. It’s owned by Sunoco, which invested $12.5 million in the project. end up with a cookie. Beer is the same thing, but then you take it a step further, and examine each of those ingredients and what was involved in making that ingredient. That’s when I kept going down the road of malting.” McCarthy has attended several courses for malting, including those at the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and at Hartwick College in Oneonta. He has also attended conferences and is absorbing everything that applies to malting and grain growing. “As we get into trying to contract our supply, over the last two years we have spent quite a bit of time on the road attending grain conferences,” he said. He noted Cornell University’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has been influential in disseminating information. “They have been doing many test plots for the last four years on different varieties of barley and collecting data on how it performs in our climate and whether it is a good variety for growing here in New York,” McCarthy said. During construction, there are about 50 workers onsite. “That’s gone up and down over the course of the project,” said Erin Tones, manager of marketing and logistics at Sunoco. Tackling the project are electricians, millwrights, carpenters, ironworkers, pipefitters, general laborers, heating, ventilating and air conditioning special56
ists and masons. Workers have been on site since last July.
Epic comeback In the 19th century, there was a lot of barley grown in New York state. “That fell off and just like other cereal grains, it all shifted to the ‘breadbasket’ in the Midwest,” he said. “Now we are starting to bring some of that back.” McCarthy said there are struggles associated with growing malt-grade barley in New York, but many growers he has been working with have successfully grown it for several years now. Unlike the west, New York is able to plant winter barley. “I think it represents more of the European-style malting grains. I think that is a strong suit we are going to have here because all-grain brewing is craft brewing. The European-style malt is better for that. I think here in New York, we will be able to produce a true, all-malt beer brewing ingredient similar to what they have in Europe,” he said. In 2012, there were about 86 licensed breweries in New York state. That same year, the state passed legislation that helped to grow and expand the craft beer industry in the state. It protected an important tax benefit for small breweries that produce beer in New York, created a farm brewery license that allowed craft brewers to expand operations through opening restaurants OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
or selling new products, and exempted breweries that produce small batches of beer from paying an annual State Liquor Authority fee. Additionally, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s farm brewery law created a new license for craft brewers that use New York-grown ingredients and included an exemption on brand label registration fees for small brewers. Because of that legislation, New York is further ahead in developing its craft-brewing industry than the rest of the country, McCarthy added. Those 86 breweries in 2012 have grown to more than 300, and McCarthy said that number will be closer to 350 shortly when pending licenses get approved. Ironically, in the early 1800s, New York state had 400 breweries. “We are basically right on pace to get back to that number, as well as having malt houses throughout the state. In the early 19th century, malting was going on in Rochester, Buffalo and all over the state,” he said. “We now have 13 malt houses in New York state, along with hops yards throughout the state. The name of our facility and the use of the year 1886 is a throw back to that era when we had that great diversity, and now it is coming back again. “History repeats itself, but now we are doing it with better tools and technology. I think it’s a really interesting time to be in the industry.” JUNE/JULY 2017
McCarthy said the prevailing goal is to support the regional craft beverage industry, primarily brewing. He noted the whole concept behind the business model is to pledge to source locally grown ingredients. “We’re having good luck. People had questioned whether or not it’s possible to meet our needs as far as incoming grains, but so far, we are doing very well with that,” he added. “I think we’ll be fine.” The malt house contracted last year with several growers for its startup, and it has about 500 tons stored on farms throughout the state that will be used for production. “We’ll be moving that through over the course of the next few months. We also have over 1,000 tons currently that’s contracted for this growing season that will be harvested in August,” he said. Tones said while high-quality products and efficient operations equate to success, the statewide industry has to be sustainable. “There are other malt houses, lots of farmers growing malted grains and craft breweries as well. It’s all part of the puzzle,” she said. The facility is the largest of its kind in the Northeast, but McCarthy said there are other malt houses in development. “This is a large-scale craft malting operation. However, it’s quite small in the grand scheme of malting. Malt is primarily done on a very large scale. That’s been driven by consumer demand. The current trend is driven by interest in local ingredients and the potential to develop new flavors and regional malt,” he said.
Barley banter “All of our specifications are driven by the fact that the brewer needs to use it and we are providing a product for them that is suitable for human consumption,” said McCarthy, noting it must be tested to ensure it is disease free and protein specifications are within a range that will make a good malt grain. Malting is an organic process and involves simply adding water and growing grain. “If it won’t grow, we can’t use it. The seed has to be viable,” he added. The booming state craft beer industry’s heavy reliance on barley has prompted U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to advocate for federal crop insurance to protect New York farmers who risk damage to crops susceptible to weather damage. JUNE/JULY 2017
Why 1886? There were approximately 400 breweries in New York state in the 1800s, Tones said. “We were a leader in hop production as well as malting barley, with malt houses located all throughout the state,” she said. In 1886, the Statue of Liberty was gifted to the United States. “This iconic symbol of New York state was used in our logo to demonstrate our pride and commitment to using New York-grown ingredients and contributing to a growing craft beverage industry across the state,” Tones added. McCarthy and his staff will have access to a full-service lab that has been built specifically for the malt house. Half of the lab is dedicated to incoming grain where sampling of harvests takes place to make sure the product meets criteria. The other half of the lab is for finished product, and the malt house will be able to provide full sets of lab data that tells brewers exactly what to expect from a particular malt. There are hundreds of styles of beer, and each of those styles has hundreds of varieties, McCarthy noted. “It’s one of those things where there is an infinite number of variables,” he said. “From the field all the way to that pint, there are so many levers that you can change that would determine exactly what you end up with. You can’t put a number to it,” he added. “There are endless possibilities,” Tones added. What does McCarthy himself like in terms of beer? “Across the board, I like a lot of different beers. It depends on the season. In the summer, I like a light, crisper beer like Kölsch. In the winter, I like a bigger, OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
thicker beer like an Imperial, a porter or stout, and then everything in between,” he said. McCarthy said craft beer is an allmalt beer, meaning all sugars used are from malted grain. “I don’t know of any craft breweries that utilize anything other than malt,” he said. There is the most commonly used malted grain is barley, and second to that is malted wheat. There is also malted rye, but the majority of the extract still comes from barley. He said the makers of American light lagers produced by adjunct brewers utilize corn and rice as part of their extract. “That gives them a lighter body and flavor, which the market has driven them to,” he said. Millennials, meanwhile, are helping to drive the industry. “I just want something different,” said McCarthy, a millennial himself. “When I travel, I try to find what’s local and something that I don’t have at home. It’s like. Here I am four-to-six hours from home, or on the other side of the country, and I ask, ‘What’s going on here? What flavors do you guys have? What are you making that is interesting?’” McCarthy said the craft beverage movement has evolved from the food movement. “A lot of people are looking for better ingredients, flavor, things that are new and maybe a little bit different,” he said. McCarthy said that’s part of what the state looked to do when it developed laws benefiting the craft beverage movement. “It’s to enhance tourism,” he said. “This industry is all based off an initial set of farm winery laws that are close to 40 years old. The Finger Lakes were recently labeled No. 1 in the world to visit for wine. So I think the goal is to get the rest of the craft beverage industry on board and try to drive that to match the qualities we have been able to see in wine, and a lot of that really is tourism.” The craft-brewing industry itself is generating buzz in terms of tourism. The Finger Lakes Beer Trail consists of over 75 microbreweries, brew pubs, tap houses and brewing-affiliated businesses. Empire Farm Brewery in Cazenovia and Good Nature Brewing Co. in Hamilton both feature expanded facilities to add to the tourism mix. There are several others throughout the state. 57
The Science, Art of Brewing Maltster details beer-making process from farm to pint
ou may entirely relish the experience of enjoying a cold brewski with family and friends. But do you know what goes into producing that frothy, sudsy cold one? Noel McCarthy is the maltster at the 1886 Malt House, a barley malting facility owned and operated by Sunoco at the Riverview Business Park in Volney. Annually, the plant is designed to produce 2,000 tons of malted grain per year. There is really nothing fancy about the title of maltster. It is simply a person who specializes in making malt. As operations manager, McCarthy will be overseeing a facility that is one of the largest in the Northeast. Beer making is more than just steeping grains in water and fermenting it. The malt house — with a target startup date of mid-June — plays in integral role in that beer-making process. The facility receives selected barley
that is stored at farms it has partnered with by the truckload. Malting is a three-part process that involves steeping, germination and kilning. From receiving bins, barley is run through a cleaner and then goes into the steeping process. When steeping, McCarthy begins with stored grain that has a moisture-content of roughly 12-12.5 percent. The goal is to bring it up to about 44 percent moisture as quickly as possible, a process that takes about two days. The grain is then transferred from a conical steep vessel into a germination-kilning drum, where it remains for six days, four of which is climate controlled to keep temperatures down. The barley sprouts and starts to grow. “It’s metabolizing and generating heat, and we’re circulating cool, humidified air to try to keep the grain comfortable and stop it from running
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away,” McCarthy said. “If it gets too hot, you can run into all sorts of other problems.” Once germinated to the degree the maltster wants, the kilning phase is initiated. The chilled air is now swapped out for heated air, moisture is driven off and ultimately moisture in the product gets reduced to about 4 percent. “The first part of it is driven down gently for a base malt. You want to preserve as much enzyme as you can. Enzymes are volatile and they can be destroyed by heat at high moisture,” he said. “You dry it down gently at first until you get down to about 12 percent moisture,” he said. “You then get into the molecularly bonded moistures, and it takes more energy to break the bonds.” The maltster then has to ramp up temperatures, but still be cognizant of denaturing enzymes. It is at this phase that all the flavor and color of the malt
is created. “The finished product then is suitable for brewing,” he noted. The malted barley is then packaged in either 50-pound bags or 2,000-pound “super sacks” that are shipped off to brewers. “When the brewers are ready to utilize it, they are going to make a blend of different malts. It is rare that they will use one malt to make a beer. This is where recipe development takes place and where all of our lab specifications come into play,” he said. McCarthy said malt features different colors, extracts and enzyme levels. “The brewer uses data that we have provided and creates a recipe depending on the style they want to make. They mill that grain and combine it with water. This mashing of the grain reactivates all the enzymes that we created for them, as well as gets the starch freed up and allows the enzymes to work on,” he said. All the starches are converted into soluble sugars, which are then moved over into the boil kettle. “That’s where the hop additions go on, and it’s usually an hour boil. Early hop and late hop additions are made before cooling ensues,” McCarthy noted. The wort is then moved to fermentation, and depending on the beer style, fermentation can go from three to 20 days.
Right ingredients McCarthy spoke of the skill sets he possesses that make him the right fit as maltster at the new facility. “I think attention to detail and just an overall understanding of what it takes to select and assemble the correct pieces of equipment. This will help to
ensure we’re going to be able to make the highest-quality product,” he said. Meanwhile, the facility will rely heavily on the growers who will be producing incoming grain. “We have some very talented people throughout the state that we work with and I’m confident they are going to be able to provide us with this piece of the puzzle,” he said. “I take it from there as we bring product through this process we’ve built here. I can ensure that we are going to do the best thing we can with the grain that they provide and make a high-quality product that brewers will utilize and bring out into the market.” McCarthy is a member of the Brew- Noel McCarthy displays grain at the new 1886 Malt ers Association, the House in Volney. McCarthy is the malt house operations American Society of manager, or maltster, at the newly facility. Brewing Chemists, the Master Brewers Association of Americas, and the Craft meet a high quality spec. “It would just help everybody Malting Guild. He is also helping to put together overall,” he said. As far as agronomics a New York State Malt Association, an and sourcing of grain, it would give organization that will encompass other members the chance to share what they learned about the previous year’s crop, malt houses across the state. McCarthy said it will be an oppor- whether it was successful or not, and tunity for members to share knowledge what theories are out there that may and ensure that everybody is trying to upgrade the entire industry as a whole.
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Novelis Continues to Roll Plant manager: Sky is the limit for company seeking opportunities for further growth
ovelis, the second-largest private employer in Oswego County, is growing its own workforce. There are approximately 1,160 employees at Novelis’ Oswego plant, a number that plant manager Kevin Shutt sees as being stable through 2017. “We find ourselves in a position where we’re really focusing now on our workforce here,” Shutt said. “We’ve had a lot of growth, and we have some folks that are a little less experienced in their positions.” Shutt said building skill sets and investing in employees is key. “We do find ourselves pretty short in a few very key positions,” he said. He said the demand for electricians, electrical engineers and automation and control engineers is high, not just in Oswego but nationwide. “With us being in nationwide competition for qualified candidates,
we’re growing our own employees and investing in people here that have that aptitude,” he said. In addressing the skills gap that exists in Oswego County, Shutt said there are many resources in the area that are trying to help remedy that. For example, Cayuga Community College and Novelis support the Advanced Manufacturing Institute and Corporate Training Center. Its mission is to equip students with manufacturing skills to develop a robust talent pool that will be required to fill the jobs expected in the Central New York region. Novelis also helps support the Oswego County Pathways in Technology Early College High School mentorship program administered by the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation. In P-Tech, area industry representatives share their expertise with students while providing academic assistance and career recommendations. “We look at that as something that will help us. It’s a great partnership and a little more long term, but it’s the kind of thing that we have to do to make both Oswego County and Novelis successful,” he said.
Automotive demand revs up
Kevin Shutt is Novelis’ plant manager in Oswego. JUNE/JULY 2017
In May of last year, Novelis, the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, celebrated the opening of its third state-of-the-
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art automotive finishing line at the Oswego plant. Installed to support the production of stronger, lighter and safer vehicles, the line represents Novelis’ latest investment of $120 million to expand high-strength aluminum alloy supply for Ford F-Series trucks, America’s best-selling truck. Novelis is a key supplier for the Ford F-150. The F-series, best known for the popular F-150, has been America’s best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years. The third finishing line also produces aluminum sheet for the body and cargo box of the all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty lineup, helping to reduce the overall vehicle weight by up to 350 pounds. “As a general trend, aluminum is becoming much more used in the automotive industry for a lot of reasons,” he said. “Everyone is moving toward using aluminum in one form or another in their vehicles.” Switching from steel to aluminum body panels allowed Ford to shave 750 pounds off the F-150. Automakers are trying to meet the government’s stricter fuel efficiency standards by making vehicles lighter. The aluminum that comes out of the process is 30 percent stronger and twice as formable as the high-strength steel most automakers use today, according to www.wallstreetdaily.com. “One of the things the manufacturers did not expect to see is the formability of aluminum,” he said. “This is something that has been key and nothing they banked on. It makes their process work a little easier.” This advantage reduces the amount of force it takes to form aluminum and reduces wear and tear on automakers’ equipment, thereby helping the bottom line, Shutt said. 61
The plant produces more than a billion pounds of aluminum every year, with approximately a third of that going to fulfill automotive needs. “We partnered up with Ford, and it’s been good for us and good for Ford. I think they would say that too,” he said. Flying atop a pole at the entrance to the Novelis plant is a Ford Q1 flag. The Q1 designation indicates Novelis has achieved excellence in several key areas: capable systems, high performance, superior manufacturing process, and satisfied customers. The Q1 mark is considered worldwide as an indication of exceptional quality. “Ford recognizes all the work that we have done in that partnership and recognizes that we are producing quality product for them,” he said. Shutt said it demonstrates to other automakers that Novelis has a solid reputation. The plant manager addressed what it is going to take to keep the aluminum rolling on a successful basis. “It really comes down to consistency. It comes down to automakers having the material when they want it, so having that consistency of supply and consistency of quality” is essential, he added.
To LA and back
In April, more than 5,000 miles of aluminum sheet shipped out of Oswego. Those 5,000 miles are just shy of the distance it would take to drive from Oswego to Los Angeles, Calif. and back. Of its production at Novelis Oswego, approximately a third goes toward fulfilling automotive needs. However, that fluctuates depending on demand. “Ford is in the business of making trucks, so what volume they pull from us varies from time to time,” Shutt said. Shutt, who took over plant operations last year, said globally, Novelis metal is featured in more than 180 vehicle models. “That diversification also exists across the auto industry,” he said. “The metal we produce goes into all of the major original automotive manufacturers — Ford, General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles. We have a pretty good base.” Shutt addressed the possibility of 62
“With us being in nationwide competition for qualified candidates, we’re growing our own employees and investing in people here that have that aptitude.”
in automotive, and so far that’s been very strong. But we are also seeing something we did not anticipate seeing, and that is beverage can demand is strong in the Northeast,” he said. “We’re seeing a resurgence of can that we didn’t anticipate seeing.” That spike in demand is being fueled by many different factors, one of which is the rise of the craft beer industry. “The growth of microbreweries and craft beer is really having an impact on aluminum,” he said.
Novelis plant manager Kevin Shutt
Novelis is the global leader in closed-loop recycling, which means recycling the material back into the same product, according to Katy Brasser, communications lead at Novelis. “This preserves the value of the alloy and maximizes the environmental benefits. We bring these same benefits to the automotive industry.” Recycling aluminum requires 95 percent less energy and produces 95 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than primary aluminum production. Today, 35 to 50 percent of automotive sheet sold to automakers is left over after a manufacturing plant stamps out automotive parts, she noted. “We have the advantage with our partnership of being able to return that scrap here, and it immediately goes back into making new products,” Shutt said. The closed loop process shipping huge aluminum coils from the Oswego plant to automotive stamping plants, and then transporting the aluminum scrap back to Oswego to be melted, cast and rolled into new coils. The entire process runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Getting to that point involved a collaborative effort with Novelis, its automotive manufacturing customer Ford, and third-party logistics provider Penske. The recycling process features custom-designed equipment that includes universal trailers that can tilt to haul and dump aluminum scrap. Shutt said the universal trailers are key to the closed loop recycling system. “Closed loop is good for all kinds of reasons. It’s efficient, saves energy and is good for the environment,” he added.
Novelis expanding to include a fourth Continuous Annealing Solution Heattreat (CASH) line at the Oswego plant. Shutt said it comes down to the corporate entity of Novelis determining what business looks like and whether that fourth CASH line is needed. “For Oswego, it’s really important for us to put ourselves in a position so we can support a fourth CASH line,” he said. “We are not only working and optimizing the CASH process to be able to incrementally produce more aluminum, but we’re also working on upstream processes to be able to fund more CASH capacity should that be needed by the business,” he said. “One thing about being able to increase that upstream capacity is it helps us to take advantage of some of the other business and customer opportunities we have out there,” he added. Shutt said adding a fourth line would “require a little adjustment for us, but we’re well suited to be able to and we do have acreage to support that.” Novelis has a diverse customer base, and automotive is only part of it. The plant still produces beverage cans, and also makes aluminum for its industrial product group, which includes architectural aluminum and some consumer electronics. “We also make a lot of raw material for other folks,” he said. “One of the advantages of being diverse like that and having that diverse customer base is we can move with the situation,” he said. “I would have to say our business is pretty strong. It has its roots OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Shown from left are Andrew Duschen, his father Dave Duschen, and brother Stephen Duschen. The family represents two generations of Novelis workers.
Family Vibe Working at Novelis in Oswego becomes family tradition
orking at Novelis in Oswego is all in the family. Since 1963 when it was Alcan, Novelis has provided employment for generations of families. “It’s a very family feeling here,” said plant manager Kevin Shutt, noting it is not uncommon to see Novelis employees whose families have worked there for generations. He said in his position, it’s important that family culture is preserved. “It’s someplace that I want to make sure my daughter, son and wife would feel comfortable working at,” he said. “We talk about business and what our opportunity is, but really when it comes down to it, we want to make sure we support our employees and present employees’ families opportunities as well,” he said. JUNE/JULY 2017
Novelis, the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, has expanded to accommodate the aluminum needs of the automotive industry. “If you look at our journey right now, we are becoming closer than ever. That family atmosphere is becoming a little more palpable,” he said. “We are sold out through 2020, and I think that’s one major advantage,” he said. “There are a few examples of employees whose kids right now are working on internships and looking at this as a career.” “I think that’s an example of making sure we focus on strategic aspects of the business. We’re thinking past that 2020 and looking at the next 20 to 25 years to make sure we are there for our families,” he said. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
The Duschens are an example of how careers stay in the same family. Dave Duschen and his sons Andrew and Stephen work at the Scriba mill. Dave, 65, is originally from Warsaw, N.Y. His sons are picking up where he left off in terms of occupation and place of employment. “It’s nice to know they are employed with a good company,” he said. “I also take great pride knowing I have been a mechanic for over 45 years and my sons are also mechanics.” “I didn’t really encourage them,” Dave said. “We had discussions about what I did at Alcan and how the employees were treated. They experienced Alcan through summer employment and decided it would be a good place to work.” Dave started his career with Alcan in July 1971 as a mechanic. “The job as ‘mechanic’ has changed in my 45-plus years here,” he said. “Now we are considered maintenance technicians. Longer title, same job.” Dave said keeping up with changes and additions at the plant represent the most challenging aspects of his job. 63
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He said leaving a piece of equipment in better shape than he found it is one of the most gratifying aspects of his job. He earned a two-year degree from Alfred State College. Alcan sent representatives to a job fair at Alfred State in search of students seeking associates’ degrees that had the technical background to handle maintenance work. “I was one of the first to be hired from Alfred for maintenance,” Dave said. “My grandfather told me Alcan was a financially sound company and I needed a job.” The Scriba resident and his wife of nearly 40 years, Kathy, have three sons and seven grandchildren.
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Andy, 38, earned his associate’s degree in mechanical engineering-product and machine design at Alfred State University. He said his father was a tremendous influence as far as his educational and career choices were concerned. “It wasn’t in the sense of ‘telling’ me that I was going to work there,” he said. “I was always extremely interested in hearing his stories about work.”
For Andy, Oswego has always been home. “I have always wanted to stay in the area,” he said. He said working summers at Novelis during college tilted the scale. “It is a good atmosphere to work in,” he said. Andy started out at Novelis in 1999 in cold mill production. He has worked as a central services crane crew mechanic for the past 10 years, and is also a crew leader. Prior to that, he was a mill mechanic working alongside his father. “I am a crew leader for the crane crew which repairs, maintains and inspects all of the cranes in the plant, as well as any other overhead lifting devices,” he said. “There are roughly 70 cranes in the plant. I also do planning and scheduling of the work that we do on the cranes.” In terms of job satisfaction, Andy enjoys having the chance to work with his dad and working with his crew on large maintenance activities. “It wasn’t my dad’s verbal advice that had the greatest impact regarding my career and life decisions,” Andy said. “But rather, he set a good example for me along the way. He has a work ethic and dedication that is second to none.”
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Andy is the father of 11-year-old twins: Cole and Lilly.
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Younger bro’s view
Stephen, 30, is a native and resident of Oswego. His father was instrumental in helping Stephen choose Novelis as a place of employment. “I remember when I was younger, during dinner time on most days my father would try to explain everything that he worked on and fixed throughout the day,” he said. Stephen said like his father, he has always had a love of trying to fix things and making it a career seemed natural. “My Dad has made the biggest impression on me by showing me how to calmly carry myself, not only at work but at home also,” he said. “He has an amazing amount of patience and is always willing to help, through to the end.” He said working at Novelis is becoming a family tradition. “We will have to see what the third generation decides,” he said. Stephen said he would recommend Novelis as a place to work. “It is a very safe, family-oriented place to work that has so many opportunities for their employees,” he said. In the summer of 2005, Stephen was hired at Novelis as summer help in the truck shop. He started full-time as a mechanic on the hot line in 2007 after graduating from SUNY Canton. Stephen has been a mechanical technician at Novelis for 10 years and has served as crew leader for the past four years. “Being an on-shift mechanic for the hot mill, I help to fix any breakdowns or issues that come up during nights and weekends,” he said. “We make repairs the best we can with the least amount of mill downtime so permanent repairs can be made when time is allowed and scheduled.” Stephen said the most challenging aspects of his job include having to stay focused on getting a job done safely, effectively and on time as business needs constantly change. Stephen said being able to build or repair something that makes life easier for the operations side of the team gives his great satisfaction. He earned an associate’s degree in mechanical technology from SUNY Canton. He and his wife Marcie have a son, Henry, and daughter, Cheyenne.
By Lou Sorendo JUNE/JULY 2017
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Questions to Randy Wolken CNY Skills Gap Problem
By Lou Sorendo
: A skills gap is one of the more important challenges facing the manufacturing sector in Central New York. What are some of the latest efforts toward this critical workforce development component? A: A few of the things that have been important for us to do is really get specific about how we close the skills gap. We believe the gap continues to grow annually by 300 to 400 jobs. This means we have job openings today and the gap keeps growing. One of the ways we are helping companies address that gap is by aiding them in the process of launching apprenticeships. What employers need are middle skills workers because people are retiring and the jobs themselves continue to get more complicated and require advanced skills. Entry level skill sets are not going to provide what’s needed, so with the help of New York state, we launched a pilot program here that encouraged 40 companies to set up apprenticeships. Our goal is to exceed 30 registered apprentices through federal and state apprenticeship programs. Many companies are actively engaged in starting three-to-four year apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships — which is an age-old concept — does very well in Europe, but as a country, we don’t do it very well. The immediate question for employers is, “How d o
we develop workers as fast as possible into middle skills workers? If I can’t find them, I have to train and grow my own.” The nice thing about it is we can do it with online learning as well and train personnel at companies themselves to use modern-day tools to update an age-old concept. It’s especially necessary for small to medium-sized companies that may not have curriculum available or may not be able to have a community college provide training. They may have one or two apprentices, unlike the old days when large companies had 10, 20 or 30 people going through the process.
technical education programs. New York state has approved and provided a high school diploma approach for a technical education. There is real recognition at the high school level that we need to get people into career pathways and focus on technical careers starting in high school. We may even get further back in the pipeline in middle schools because students and their parents need to be aware of the opportunities starting much earlier. If you’re a junior and you figured out you don’t have enough math and science, it’s almost too late. You have to take enough preparatory courses to become a technician or an engineer.
: What will be needed in the future to bridge this gap between job openings in manufacturing and the lack of capable workers to fill them? A: We need to think about what companies, organizations, community colleges and other learning institutions — and the community itself — are going to do to actually work on these shortterm needs. One initiative we have in the community and in New York state is creating P-Tech (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) programs. They are really pathways into these skilled careers. We need to begin in middle school or at least in high school to create technical pathways into these jobs. We run two programs that focus on developing mechanical and electrical technicians, and others throughout the state are working on them too. But we got to start filling the pipeline much sooner and not wait until we have a critical need. We ’ re Randy Wolken is president of the Manufacturers Association of also seeing Central New York, which serves approximately 330 companies with growth in 55,000 employees in a 20-county region in Upstate New York. current
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: What types of new manufacturing opportunities will be available in the future? A: Employers have openings for electronic and mechanical technicians and engineers. Interestingly enough, there are a huge amount of maintenance repair workers needed. Machines, equipment and even the upcoming technology around robotics are all going to need to be maintained and repaired on an annual basis. We are seeing a gap of well over 100 job openings and that gap is growing on an annual basis. Also, you have to maintain and repair high-tech and existing computers. We need people who are machine operators — now called command and control operators — and that’s a growing gap. Machinists in general are also in demand. People think machinists are going away, but they are not. These people will have to have some technology background. An interesting area of growth is inspectors and testers, or people who actually ensure the quality side. There is a two-year quality assurance apprenticeship that companies are investing in. The whole quality control inspector side is a growing need. Those are some of the career titles or needs that we see today and developing into the future. Interestingly, people are doing more work that has the technical aptitude and knowledge to operate machines and deal with technology that are being introduced into the workspace. JUNE/JULY 2017
You still have to be able to know the basics on how the machine works, but you have to be able to use computers now and the smart technology that is embedded in our factories and plants. Upgrading skills is not a one-time thing. It’s not as simple as going to college, to technical school, onto your job where you learn tasks and you’re done. Continuous learning and continuous skill upgrade — that to me is the biggest change. Earlier generations were told to go to school, get your credentials, get a job and you’re good. It’s not that way anymore. At every job, workers have to continually upgrade their skills.
be done in the United States. Stickley is thriving. They do have facilities in other parts of the world, but they make most of their high-end furniture right here in Central New York. There isn’t an industry we couldn’t thrive in, but it’s all going to be high tech. The difference is there are no low-tech manufacturing jobs in the future. We have people that still do manufacturing on the floor, but they will be highly skilled technicians that work with equipment. In some ways, there is no industry we can’t be in, but you got to do it in a way that uses all the smarts available, both in technology and with people.
: What are some examples of advanced manufacturing jobs that are prospering in Central New York? A: I tell people all the time that if you’re making something today, you’re in advanced manufacturing. The reality is you are using technology at some level and engaged in producing products that have to be sold probably globally, not just regionally or nationally. Companies that thrive are going to use more and more technology. In fact, they are calling it the Fourth Industrial Revolution or 4IR. Monumental changes are coming in the use of technology, big data and smart machines, and it’s going to be probably unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. What is going to be necessary is every manufacturer has to upgrade. Take a look at Novelis. The facility is a different place than it was 10 or 15 years ago. The markets that they have captured and the continuous quality and cycle of usage that they have captured within their sectors have transformed their business. That is also true of Crucible Industries, even though it’s a steel company and has been making steel for centuries. They are making additives and manufacturing additives will be their future. Every industry will go through a transformation or will not be around. Look at some of the companies that we currently have and how they continue to change, whether it is The Fulton Companies, Novelis, SRC and SRCTec, or Lockheed Martin. All of these companies that we are hearing about are all transforming their business as we speak. Interestingly enough, we can do really well in these technical spaces today in part because the world and our community will be investing in the next generation of both technology and products. Take for example the furniture industry, which people thought couldn’t JUNE/JULY 2017
: Has technology and automation resulted in less need for workers in the manufacturing sector in Central New York? How have manufacturing jobs changed in general over the last 15 to 20 years or so? A: I don’t think there is going to be less people needed. I think what you’re really going to see are people being re deployed. If you have a skills gap and you can’t find people, you can’t afford to lose the people you already have. You are going to redeploy them or deploy them in the running of the technology. The latest trend is robotics, and they even have a new term for it — cobots. Literally, in the past, you would go see a machine that is worth hundred or millions of dollars and it would be in a cage so it wouldn’t hurt anybody. Today’s robotics stand right next to a person and it can’t hurt you. It literally senses you and stops before it interrupts you. You move a cobot into a particular production line and a single individual will program it on the spot. You might have three or four cobots working with it. The average cobot can cost between $35,000 and $100,000, and they are pretty amazing. The worker who continues to reinvest himself in the company and the company that continues to reinvest itself in its workers will just continue to migrate into more technical jobs, but people still have to do the work. Someone still has to check quality, someone has to plan and prepare, and someone has to make sure the cobots are doing their job. Smart companies are not laying people off. They are redeploying those same people into higher-end jobs and getting more production outcomes. It’s a misnomer that robots are all going to show up one day and there will be no people there. That’s just not how it’s going to work.
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SPECIAL REPORT By Mattew Liptak
CASE deputy director Laura Welch with faculty director Pramod Varshneyand at a drone lab at Syracuse University. CASE is available to support companies from around the state, including Central New York, with R&D and other needs.
Making the Case for CASE Center of Advanced Systems and Engineering at Syracuse University helps local companies, students
t’s not hard to see the value in the Center of Advanced Systems and Engineering at Syracuse University. The organization creates at least $20 of economic impact for every $1 spent on it by taxpayers; it also can be a valuable asset to local companies. “In a tiny, tiny nutshell the state of New York supports us to make the resources of the university available to the business community of New York state, specifically around information technologies,” said CASE’s deputy director Laura Welch. “We essentially work for the businesses of New York state helping them to access the intellectual property and resources of the university.” CASE in Syracuse is one of 15 centers around New York state established to
help companies grow and thrive. Each center has a specialty. “What we do is more information-intensive systems and technologies,” said Pramod Varshney, CASE’s faculty director. “That’s what we do. Basically anything that has to do with cybersecurity, big data, communications, networking — those kids of technologies.” The strategy has been paying off. The state invests less than a million dollars in CASE’s budget each year and the organization usually generates at least 20 times that in economic impact each year, according to the state’s own measurements. “Our typical economic impact is about $20 million a year,” Welch said. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
“It’s been as high as $60 million and sometimes it falls to below $20 million, but on average it’s at least $20 million. This past year was a little bit lower for a handful of reasons — about $17-$18 million.” CASE partners with big companies like IBM and General Electric, thriving local corporations like SRC and Lockheed Martin, but it also partners with 10 to 15 companies at a time in the incubator the organization maintains in Syracuse. The organization helps the companies through three main strategies. “First is sponsored research,” Welch said. “So a company doesn’t have inhouse R&D capability or they need to augment their own in-house R&D capability and they partner with the JUNE/JULY 2017
university to conduct research in the information area that we specialize in. That’s sort of our main focus.” The second big focus is placing graduate students in local companies, both to benefit the companies because it’s high-value trained engineering capacity and also to benefit the students because they gain experience. CASE tries to encourage as many students as possible to stay in the Greater Central New York area and grow the workforce. Workforce development is one of the cornerstones that CASE is evaluated on. And the third major activity is that CASE has an incubator on campus so that companies can come and use office space and conference rooms and interact with SU faculty. A prototype-development lab is available to these companies. The incubator does not so much incubate new ventures, as it does incubate university-industry relationships. “We have companies of all sizes and stages of development that take space in our incubator because they hire teams of graduate students and they want a place where they can be on the clock where they can be with them,” Welch said. CASE has had a lot of success stories in its 32 years of existence.
Wireless Grid is a software and application developer now based in Syracuse that was a faculty company at SU. SIDEARM Sports is a web developer that was an incubator company at CASE that eventually had 60 employees. It was acquired by a company in Texas in 2014. “There are a lot of these success stories — a lot of things that have come out,” Varshney said. One area CASE got behind from the start was the effort to develop a drone industry in the Central New York area. That effort, not led by CASE, is ongoing with a 50-mile air corridor being constructed between Rome and Syracuse as this is written. This drone testing area will be one of only six in the country. It is hoped it will be a catalyst for a good portion of that new industry to be developed in the region. CASE alone has a small fleet of drones companies can use, and an FAA licensed commercial pilot available for test flights of them. Currently there are six unmanned aerial vehicle seed projects going on at SU, Varshney said. But CASE isn’t limited to Syracuse and Rome. Its services are available free of charge to companies across the state. “I would encourage your readership
to try and reach out to us and talk about their issues and problems,” Welch said. “We welcome people coming in and talking to us. For companies that hire graduate students through us, what you pay the graduate students is all you pay us. It’s straight pass-through. All the administration is done at CASE’s expense. We help facilitate contracts with the university. We can add some matching funds. We can often negotiate a very favorable overhead rate. It makes it very inexpensive to conduct research at the university. A lot can get done for not very much money.” For example, last year CASE had a fairly large regional manufacturer that hired a couple of graduate students to help them implement smart manufacturing protocols. The company spent a few tens of thousands of dollars and increased their revenues by $7 million. Companies often get a very big return on quite a small investment, according to CASE. “You get a lot of bang for your buck at the university if you know where to look,” Welch said. For more information on case go to case.syr.edu, email email@example.com or call 315-443-1060.
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URI Making Progress in Allocation, By Matthew Liptak
s of this spring, $189 million of the $500 million in Central New York’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) has already been allocated will be and it is having a real economic impact, state officials said. The funds have not been distributed yet, but are committed to going from the state to 44 projects in Central New York. “Last year when we submitted our plan the (regional) council identified roughly 40 projects that they recommended for funding,” said Jim Fayle, regional director for Empire State Development for Central New York. “That represented about $30 million. Since then we’ve made some investments into our UAS (unmanned aerial systems) initiative. Roughly $45 million has been earmarked for that. We made some other investments with companies like with Welch Allyn after they were purchased to grow what they were doing. It’s kind of across the board. Money’s been put in to bring an LED lighting company here—a few hundred jobs.” It’s expected that more than a few hundred jobs will result from the initiative. Empire State Development’s role is to vet the project ideas that are proposed. At this time there are four projects in Oswego County that funds have been committed to. $900,000 will go toward the Industrial Development Agency’s $6 million renovation of a former grocery store building in downtown Oswego. It will be turned into a 29,000 square foot business incubator. A $1.2 million grant to Felix Schoeller to expand it’s paper production in Pulaski is part of an $8.5 million investment by the company that is expected to create 23 new jobs. The URI allocated $400,000 to Lake Ontario Water Park Inc., which will invest $5,215,000 in a 10,000-square-foot water park on Oswego lake frontage that will create 18 jobs. And finally $700,000 from the URI was committed to Sunoco to renovate its grain malting facility in Fulton to supply malted products for craft breweries. It is part of a $9 million project by Sunoco that will create eight jobs. A lot of hope and hard work has been put into growing an aerial corridor between Utica and Syracuse that could make Central New York a Mecca for drone
Operation Oswego County, Felix Schoeller are some of organizations benefiting to URI funder testing and development. “We feel that that whole new emerging industry is a key focus,” Fayle said. “Certainly we’ve had a lot of excitement with the unmanned systems initiative. We held an international unmanned systems convention in November that brought us 500 people from all over the world to this area to focus on it and look at it as potential investments. It’s certainly making an impact.” The URI has already made direct investments to making the area attractive to drone development. The first $5 million is going toward the engineering and layout of the 50-mile corridor between Griffiss Air Park in Rome and Syracuse. According to Rob Simpson, president of Centerstate CEO, about another $245 million was earmarked for unmanned aerial system development when Central New York first started out on its quest to win the state funds. The corridor is well on its way to being a reality. Test drones may be flying from Utica to Syracuse in the near future. “The goal is to start being able to use that corridor certainly by the fourth quarter if not sooner of this year with a complete build-out by the end of 2018,” Fayle said. “(The) FAA is the entity is that ultimately signs off.” Another organization that is working on drones is CASE at Syracuse University (Center of Advanced Systems and Engineering). “This whole URI...it started with the designation of this area as one of the six test sites (in the country),” said Pramod Varshney, CASE’s faculty director. “It is actually the Syracuse-Rome corridor. NUAIR, that’s the entity that runs the test site and their office is in downtown Syracuse.” “Right now it’s very limited where OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
you are legally allowed to use drones even for commercial purposes,” said Laura Welch, deputy director of CASE. “They can’t fly above 400 feet. They can’t be outside of line-of-sight. So you can’t actually use autonomous software except in these designated test beds that were established by the FAA to make sure that whatever is being tested there is safe. If you want to fly a drone above 400 feet you have to do it in some of that NUAIR-designated test space.” CASE has a small fleet of drones, a licensed commercial unmanned aerial vehicle pilot, and prototype-development lab available to companies interested in pursuing the work. Currently there are six drone-related projects at Syracuse University where CASE is providing support. “Currently with this unmanned air systems, I think this is an industry that is still getting started across the country,” Varshney said. “If we can get things going I think we could be a leader.” But the URI is investing in more than drones. Fayle said generally about $100 million of the URI is expected to be allocated over each of the five years, but, if good ideas that need investment come up sooner than later, that approach may be modified. The URI is allocated as performance-based grants. In other words companies have to spend money to get money. The state tracks how much bang it is getting for its buck, Fayle said. If your company has a project that might benefit from URI funding go to regionalcouncils. ny.gov/content/central-new-york. Another major URI proposal was an inland port in Central New York. Progress was slowed because the Department of Transportation has undertaken a study about the feasibility of an inland port and what it should look like. “We’d look to see what the entity would be that makes the most sense,” Fayle said. “Is it multiple entities? We just don’t know right now.” Simpson said originally about $40 million was allocated for the inland port. He is not satisfied with its slow development. “I’ve been pretty vocal recently about the fact that I feel that the longer we debate the merits of individual sites we’re missing out on some significant economic opportunity,” he said. “I’ve met with two companies, both of whom wanted to build warehousing operations over 500,000 square feet in the last four months. They’re very interested in the port concept and the sites and wanted to know when the facility would be built. Their general message was call us back when it’s ready. It’s really too bad in a region that desperately needs investment and jobs that we’re missing that opportunity.” JUNE/JULY 2017
SPECIAL REPORT By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Need a Career Shift? Experts say some under-the-radar courses can lead to solid jobs with good salaries
onsidering a career shift or post-retirement career? Or maybe you’re helping your child explore educational and career options as he nears completing his high school education. Many educational opportunities available in Central New York segue into careers with good salaries, great room for advancement and job security. Sandra Bargainier, department chairwoman for the Health Promotion and Wellness Department at SUNY Oswego, suggested a master’s in bioinformatics. “It involves using data analysis and it’s a huge, growing field,” Bargainier said. Certifications in gerontology, play therapy, and behavioral forensics also offer greater opportunities for employment advancement.
Carla DeShaw, Cayuga Community College. JUNE/JULY 2017
Many medical positions offer good jobs with little invested time or money, making them ideal for people who desire a career shift or midlife second career. Daria Willis, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Onondaga Community College, recommends the school’s surgical tech program. “It isn’t as highly enrolled,” Willis said. “Students can complete it in one year and they’re definitely employable and receive higher than minimum wage when done.” Willis also mentioned the physical therapy assistant program, which takes two years to complete and offers both a fulfilling career along with a competitive salary. The school’s automotive tech program “is a good trade program that’s only two years,” Willis said. “Then
Daria Willis, Onondaga Community College. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
they can then start working at a garage. Students get to work on actual vehicles for hands-on experience. “It’s not just a job but a career path. They can stick with it and really make a living. The demand for these workers is good.” She wants more students look into workforce areas like machining and welding. “A lot of students coming out of those programs make more than those who have bachelor’s and PhDs,” Willis said. “The workforce has changed and we need to make sure we are servicing out students the way the 21st century demands we do it.” Carla DeShaw, dean at the Fulton campus of Cayuga Community College, said that advanced manufacturers, such as at Novelis and Sunoco, are all looking for skilled industrial maintenance techs and machinists. “We’ve had great success with our Advanced Manufacturing Boot Camp,” DeShaw said. “About 70 percent of those students have currently obtained employment in high-wage jobs.” The two-year programs include industrial maintenance technology, electrical technology, and mechanical technology. DeShaw said that all of these program graduates obtain employment at pay rates around $40,000. The school’s dental assisting program and LPN program all boast placement rates above 80 percent. “Those salaries are very competitive as well,” DeShaw said. Commercial driving — such as heavy trucks or passenger vehicles — is a career path facing a shortage of workers. DeShaw said CCC’s commercial driving program lasts just a semester and prepares students for careers with salaries ranging from $40,000 to $60,000. “There are a lot of opportunities in Oswego County and Central New York,” DeShaw said. “There’s a myth that there are no jobs here. There are some very good jobs that are going unfilled. It’s just a matter of knowing what the opportunities and jobs are. We need to do better at getting that information out. “The data are showing that the jobs in the country the ones going unfilled and the biggest growth in jobs is the middle skills jobs, requiring two years or less in training.” 71
Partnering with Man in the Moon Candies and its owner, Amy Lear (right), several SUNY Oswego students in advanced poetry display awareness-raising materials: (from left) Jessie Zavaro, Marissa Specioso and Brittney Castagnae. The collaborative, multidisciplinary program allows SUNY Oswego students to promote independent, local businesses. Photo courtesy of SUNY Oswego.
SUNY program has students working to promote local small businesses By Melissa Stefanec
lthough SUNY Oswego and downtown Oswego have always been right next to each other, it wasn’t until 2015 the two became part of the program Smart Neighbors, which pairs local independent businesses with students from various disciplines at the college. The program gives students handson experience on how small businesses are operated and gives area businesses the opportunity to use the knowledge students learn in the classroom. Since fall 2015, the river ’s end bookstore and Man in the Moon Candies have participated in the program. The Oswego Farmers’ Market via the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce will join the program this fall.
How it works Smart Neighbors is a collaborative effort between SUNY Oswego and local small businesses. Students provide busi72
ness owners with promotional materials such as videos, photography, marketing plans, digital essays, documentaries, jingles, promotional objects and various other marketing materials. There is no cost to businesses to participate in the program, but business owners must be willing to engage and collaborate with students and have them onsite at various points throughout the semester. The pilot program was a collaboration between the river’s end bookstore and the college. The second business to benefit from the program was Man in the Moon Candies. Both of these businesses are located in downtown Oswego, but Leigh Wilson, director of interdisciplinary activities at SUNY Oswego and the creator of Smart Neighbors, stressed the program is available to any business in the region. Students from several disciplines participated in the first two Smart Neighbors collaborations. The disciplines OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
included business, cinema and screen studies, creative writing, marketing, photography, sculpture and sociology. Students sign up for courses that contain the Smart Neighbors program as part of the course. Then, throughout the course of the semester, students go to the business, meet with the owners and operators and create programs and marketing plans business owners can use.
Why Smart Neighbors? Wilson, who is also the director of creative writing at the college, said she came up with the Smart Neighbors program after she realized many of her students had great talent, but lacked real-world experience and the ability to connect their skills in the job market. “I saw students had all these skills, but they needed applied learning,” said Wilson. Wilson thought there had to be a way for her students to apply their skills in the JUNE/JULY 2017
community, therefore benefiting small businesses and students. So, via grants from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation and another SUNY Performance Investment, an initiative was born.
The latest participant During the spring 2017 semester, SUNY Oswego students worked with Man in the Moon Candies, a business located on West First Street in Oswego. The business, owned by Amy Lear, sells chocolates and other sweets. Students created an assortment of promotional items for the business, including digital essays, documentaries, banners and posters, jingles, promotional objects and decorative items. They even created candy molds and sculptures. According to Lear, the program provided numerous opportunities for her business and the students she interacted with. “It’s fun to reconnect with the younger perspective,” said Lear. “Many of the students involved had never been downtown. They come in the store and they bring their friends. It was a great experience and a lot of fun.” Wilson echoes that sentiment, citing that very strength of the Smart Neighbors program. “It automatically promotes the business on campus,” said Wilson. “Word of mouth really gets things going.” Overall, Lear was glad to be a part of the program, even in its fledgling stages. “I was very pleased and proud to be one of the first businesses involved; it was an honor,” she said. Smart Neighbors students will share a physical space downtown as part of the Office of Business and Community Relations at SUNY Oswego. OBCR is expected to relocate this summer to two locations in downtown Oswego, at 34 E. Bridge St. and 121 E. First Street. “We really are trying to be smart neighbors,” said Wilson. “We know the success of the college and town will be working together.”
Interested? For more information on the program and to view the some of the promotional work created by students, visit http://digitaloz.oswego.edu/. Business owners interested in learning more about the program can call 315-312-3492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
SPECIAL REPORT By Matthew Liptak
Real Estate Market: What’s Selling, What’s Not Market is hot for median-priced homes, says agent
hen it comes to more expensive homes in Oswego and Onondaga counties, there are multiple factors that impact demand. Demand has risen recently on median-priced homes with prices between $80,000 and $120,000, creating a low inventory, while higher-end homes selling for between $175,000 and $300,000 have shown good availability. That’s according to Karen Hammond, chairperson for the Oswego County chapter of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors. Hammond is an active licensed real estate agent with Century 21 Leah’s Signature in Oswego. She sells between 40 and 50 listings a year. “The higher-end houses, they’re on the market a little bit longer. There are a lot of them. They take a little longer to sell than the median range of $80,000 to $120,000. It’s a special, unique person coming in that can afford that type of house. With the job situation around here, it’s not like we have a lot of influx of jobs being available.” The most important factor in driving people to high-end developments and homes is location, Hammond said. “Well it’s the demand,” she said. “I mean if there’s an area that’s closer to people’s work area. It’s usually the demand more than anything. The popularity of the area too — closer to malls, closer to people’s work —convenience, it’s the biggest thing.” Proximity to a good school district can also be a factor if the buyer has 74
children. Although the tax burden can be quite high with an expensive home, higher-end homes may be more insulated from that as a factor, Hammond believes, because the buyer is expecting a higher tax bill going in. Places like Skaneateles and Manlius have many high-end homes in Onondaga County, but when it comes to expensive houses that are turning over quickly, Hammond looks to communities farther north. “I would say the Clay-Liverpool-Cicero area has the biggest demand right now,” she said. “What’s out there? A lot of doctor’s offices, a lot of malls.” Convenience of the doctor’s offices for the retired and the convenience of the retail businesses for young families is what she believes is driving demand. The Oswego County real estate market is a bit different. Pricier homes gravitate to two places — the waterfront OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
and the city area, she said. “I would say at the higher end you’re probably looking at the city of Oswego over in the Kingsford Park area or Elizabeth Street,” Hammond said. “But then if you get on the waterfront, it’s a whole little scenario there too that brings it up. Sometimes those places on the waterfront are not year-round. You could be paying top dollar for those, but it’s not even year-round that you’re living there. The funny thing is the most expensive house in Oswego County happens to be in West Monroe. But it’s on the water in West Monroe, and it’s a year-round house.” The 11-year real estate veteran veteran said housing prices of neighborhoods and developments tend to stay stable within their geography. More expensive areas tend to stay that way. That’s not to say that a homeowner can take things for granted if they want to get a good JUNE/JULY 2017
price for their house. “You could have a house in a higher-end development and you just didn’t take care of it,” she said. “You’re not going to get top dollar for it like your neighbor two doors down who has taken care of their house well for years. In every area, if you have a very nice house, it’s going to sell for what the value of it is because you’ve taken very good care of it. That’s what it comes down to, taking good care of the house.” But investing money into renovations of any priced home, unless they are mandatory, can be a double-edged sword. If you are going to try to sell the home before you pay off the upgrade, you might not get that money back in the price of the house. That can largely depend on demand, Hammond said. “It depends too on what the market is doing at the time,” she said. “Can you add that on there? It’s hard to say.” Acreage is another factor that can make for a high-end price. Pricing of acreage can vary widely depending on the quality of the land. “Acreage is a weird thing,” Hammond said. “Acreage is going to go on the road frontage and if it’s a buildable lot. It can go anywhere from $500 up to $1,500 an acre. It varies. On the waterfront of course you’re going to find higher-end prices because of the water.” When should a seller consider reducing the price of a higher-end home? Hammond said it all comes down to the property’s visibility and popularity on the Internet. When she started over a decade ago, Hammond said most advertising was done through the local newspaper. That’s been turned on its head with online listing sites. “Century 21 has a system, we can see how many hits that a house is getting,” she said. “If you go on there and see a house has anywhere over 500 hits without showings, there’s a problem. Is it the photos? Is it something about the area? That’s when it becomes a factor in talking to the client: ‘This is what’s going on, I think we need to drop the price.’” And what about open houses? Hammond said she’s never sold a listing through an open house. Real estaate is heating up almost a decade after the crash. It’s a seller’s market now, according to Hammond, but there is a good amount of high-end property available locally. Although it’ll usually take longer to find a buyer, even these pricey places are likely to find a buyer, she said. JUNE/JULY 2017
Home at 1225 state Route 49 in Constantia was sold in February for $485,000. The most expensive residential property currently in the Oswego County market is also along Oneida Lake. It’s selling for $775,000.
High-End Homes Command Top Dollars Property on the shores of Oneida Lake on the market for $775,000; Skaneateles property goes for $1.5 million
swego County Business sat down with Karen Hammond, chairwoman of the Oswego chapter of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors, to discuss the most recent highest-selling homes in Oswego And Onondaga counties. What was found may not be a surprise to many. The priciest properties were large and on the lake with some impressive amenities. In Oswego County, the most expensive home sold this year is at 1225 state Route 49 and was closed on at the end of February. The Constantia home is a whopping 3,800 square feet and has 125 feet of lakefront on Oneida Lake. After OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
284 days on the market the four-bed, three-bath house sold for $485,000. The most expensive house for sale in Oswego County as of the end of May is also on Oneida Lake. “It’s in West Monroe at $775,00,” Hammond said. “It’s on lakefront so it brings the value.” That value is $199 per square foot. It’s on two acres, has 355 feet of Oneida Lake water frontage, and 15 rooms in its 3,800 square feet. The water frontage caught Hammond’s attention. “That’s a good amount, because most of the places on Lake Ontario, 75
you’re going to get between 50 and 100 (feet),” she said. That’s about the average.” The home features a gourmet kitchen with grand island, Sub-Zero refrigerator, Sub-Zero wine storage, stainless steel appliances, multiple granite work surfaces, walk-in pantry, radiant heating throughout home and garage, gas fireplace, maple flooring, Tiki bar, four-car garage, large dock and patio. The home had been on the market a little more than a month by the end of May. “It was built in 2006 so it’s pretty new, but I think the lakefront is giving
it its biggest value,” the realtor said. Its nearest competitor in high price is a $675,000, 4,700 square foot four-bedroom home also in West Monroe, but with no lake frontage. Numbers for the highest priced homes selling in Onondaga County are more than double in price compared to Oswego County. Like the homes in Oswego County, they tend to be on the lake too — in this case, Skaneateles Lake. The highest-selling home in Onondaga County sold so far this year was at 3221 E. Lake Road in Skaneateles. It sold for $1.5 million and was closed on the first of May. The five-bedroom,
Real Estate: Interest Rates Nudge Up, Supply Low Millennial, baby boomers driving market trends By Lou Sorendo
xpect increasing interest rates, fewer homes on the market and slow and steady growth in home prices in 2017 in Oswego County, according to an area real estate expert. The median sales price of a home in April in Oswego County was $87,450, an increase of 11.89 percent compared to a year-ago figure of $78,248. However, this pales in comparison to the median sales price of a home in Oswego County in 2016, which was $100,594. Florence Farley, real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway CNY in Oswego, said to expect slow and steady growth at a slightly slower rate in regard to home prices. The months’ supply of homes in Oswego County stood at 5.3 in April, compared to a much higher figure of 9.2 in April of 2016, a drop of nearly 42.4 percent. Months of supply are the measure of how many months it would take for the current number of homes on the market to sell. According to the National Association of Realtors, a healthy inventory should have a depth of about six months’ inventory. Many parts of the country only have about three months. In Oswego County, there were 170
new listings in April, a drop of 18.3 percent compared to last year. Closed sales in April — 76 — were up 38.2 percent, according to the NAR. There were 526 homes for sale in Oswego County in April, a dramatic drop of nearly 31.2 percent when compared to the year-ago figure of 765.
Interest rate situation Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point at its March 15 meeting. It was only the second time the Fed raised interest rates since 2006. The next Federal Open Market Committee meeting is June 14. The FOMC within the Fed is charged under United States law with overseeing the nation’s open market operations, such as buying and selling of United States Treasury securities. “They were just raised again recently, but all of this has been expected,” Farley said. “They are going up in small increments and that is actually healthy for the economy. The rates have been so artificially low and subsidized by the government that when the economy starts to improve, the Fed chair and board OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
three-bath home is 3,400 square feet and was built in 1965. “The same day it was listed it was sold,” Hammond said. As of the end of May the most expensive home still for sale in Onondaga County was also on Skaneateles Lake and listed for $500,000. The four-bedroom, four-bath house is 4,000 square feet. It has pocket doors, slate counters, hardwood floors, custom cabinetry, a master suite with spa and gym, wraparound porch, and carriage house. There are four-plus acres with 412 square feet on the lake.
By Matthew Liptak will raise the rate to avoid inflationary trends.” Chairwoman Janet Yellen, chair of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System, had suggested in March that if jobs and inflation data held up — which they did — then a hike would be appropriate. Most market-watchers expect the Fed will raise rates again at its June meeting. Even with a weaker-than-expected jobs report in March, policymakers can look at the labor market’s relative long-run strength as evidence for continuing hikes, according to businessinside.com. “If the economy keeps growing as expected, then the FOMC expects three quarter-point increases in 2018 and three more in 2019, bringing the federal funds rate to 3 percent, the Fed’s preferred level,” Kiplinger reports. Yellen and her colleagues will also be on the lookout next year for any inflationary effects of President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts and spending on the military and infrastructure, if those measures get through Congress, according to Kiplinger. Rates are now around 4.2 percent and even with slow increases expected to stay below 5, Farley added.
What’s impacting markets? In terms of demographics, Farley said Millennials are “slightly more complex” than in past years when looked at as a force in the market. “Right after the downturn in the economy, they were saddled with student loan debt and moving back into mom and dad’s basement,” she said. “Now, as rates start to creep up, they are realizing that long-term ownership of a home is the primary generator of JUNE/JULY 2017
looking to downsize and simplify by living on one level, owning a small condo unit where someone else takes care of the lawn, snow removal and maintenance.” Farley said this allows them to travel south for a few months in the winter or perhaps buy a small, simple vacation home. Many boomers are opting not to move to traditional retirement hot spots like Arizona or Florida, instead choosing to move closer to their families, she added. “Since single females live longer, they are even looking at cooperative living arrangements to share expenses,” Farley said.
All eyes on Washington Florence Farley, real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway CNY, says she sees “some very strong optimism in the real estate market due to recently received grants, grassroots neighborhood investments and improving employment numbers.” wealth in most people’s lives.” Most recent employment data shows that Millennials are employed at the highest rate since 1999. Recent Census data shows that their income jumped 7 percent and they are beginning to be much more optimistic in their investments, Farley said. “It is further complicated by the fact that now Millennials — who have some improved purchase power — are also running into inventories that are very low,” she said. “Add to that the fact that when a good home does come on the market, they are scooped up quickly by buyers with cash or larger down payments,” she said. “Overall though, Millennial surveys still indicate that they are desirable of home ownership. In our area, that is made even more likely by the rising cost of renting.” Meanwhile, baby boomers are expected to make up nearly one-third of the entire market for 2017. Boomers are the most stable and have the most discretionary income, Farley said. “Many retired with decent health care and some kind of a small pension, which is harder to find in newly hired positions,” she said. “Most boomers went from their starter home, to their expanded family home and are now JUNE/JULY 2017
Farley said whenever there is a new administration in Washington, there is some caution. “This year, that level of apprehension is even more pronounced. There seems to be a split between those business investors who expect more deregulation and fewer governmental restrictions — recent executive order on Dodd-Frank and the Volker Rule — and the average consumer who may want the protections of portions of the Environmental Protection Agency, or the assistance of an Federal Housing Authority, Veterans Administration or Housing and Urban Development-backed mortgage, in the style of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Farley said the city of Oswego is in the midst of “some very strong optimism in the real estate market due to recently received grants, grassroots neighborhood investments and improving employment numbers.” She added the county will also be helped with dollars being put into the Oswego County Land Bank to try and get abandoned or foreclosed properties back on the tax rolls. Farley said the recent announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of the purchase of 2,825 acres of land along the Salmon River and 3,236 acres of forestland near Redfield and Orwell have the potential to increase tourism and bring attention to the fishing and forestry industry. “Some of these fishermen and tourists often inquire about the purchase of waterfront properties or vacation homes nearby,” she said. “The cost of living in this area is much more affordable than in some of the large cities where they might currently live.” OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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People Who Matter Oswego County Business reaches nearly 25,000 readers in CNY. 77
SPECIAL REPORT By Lou Sorendo
Handing Down the Mic WRVO-FM General Manager Michael Ameigh ready to retire after career in broadcasting, education
fter wearing many hats in both the radio broadcasting and higher education arenas, Michael S. Ameigh is ready to decompress. After all, he’s earned it. Ameigh, 68, is the general manager at WRVO and assistant provost for budget and operations at SUNY Oswego. He also served as an associate professor of communication studies at the local campus. “It occurred to me recently that my first paid job was unloading a watermelon truck at the Dandy Supermarket in Elmira in 1965, more than a half century
ago. I have been working pretty much full time ever since. That alone should be enough of a motivation to retire,” he said. Ameigh noted he will be approaching his 69th year and has put off some exciting opportunities he wants to pursue. “On the college side, a new provost will come on board in July, which presents a great opportunity for fresh vision for a new day in the evolution of this great university. I need to get out of the way.” Scott Furlong will be the new provost and vice president for academic affairs beginning in July. Ameigh, an Elmira native, oversees all OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
aspects of operations at WRVO, including administration, programming and operations, development and technical operations. “WRVO is SUNY Oswego’s megaphone to the world, and so my dual role has been a natural one,” he said. A key responsibility for Ameigh has been helping WRVO’s underwriting sales staff develop initiatives that generate corporate and institutional support. “More than a decade of experience in commercial radio, much of it in sales, has come in handy,” he said. “The idea JUNE/JULY 2017
is to provide value both for the station and underwriter.” For Ameigh, the most enjoyable part of his radio stint has been interacting with listeners. “WRVO has more than 5,000 active members at any one time, every one a passionate supporter of our mission,” he said. Ameigh said he has particular skill sets and strengths that have served him well as general manager of the radio station. Before coming to SUNY Oswego nearly three decades ago, he had been a commercial broadcaster, most recently owner-operator of small stations in New York and Pennsylvania. There, he sold advertising time and worked with program staff to generate excitement to attract listeners. “In many ways public radio has the same challenges — serving audiences and, just as important, generating enough revenue to pay for it all,” he said. Ameigh said he is confident that he can step aside since there are “great people here to carry it on and that is important.” “I feel after a period of decompression, I will probably get back into the radio side somehow,” he said. “WRVO is one of the most successful radio stations in all of public radio in the country. It’s just been a great experience.”
Dream retirement In retirement, Ameigh wants to get his video camera back out and pursue his passion of nature videography. He also wants to return to research and writing. He resides in Liverpool with his wife Michele and also has a home in Anthem, Ariz. The couple has been married for 38 years and has four children and five grandchildren. His wife retired as a schoolteacher six years ago. Ameigh came to SUNY Oswego in 1990 to teach courses to communication students interested in pursuing careers in media management. “I came to SUNY Oswego to teach, my first love,” he said. “That I have ended my career as primarily an administrator is a happy coincidence. The accomplishments I cherish most are those I was able to pull off in the classroom as a teacher of undergraduates.” Once he retires, Ameigh said he intends on spending more of his time in Arizona. He has children in Phoenix, Ariz., JUNE/JULY 2017
New York City, Boulder, Colo. and Syracuse. “We’re not looking to leave but are looking to sell the house and get into something smaller. It’s typical of people in our situation,” he said. The couple is still investigating where they want to move. “We were both born and raised in Upstate New York, and love it here,” Ameigh said. “We’re not in any rush to do anything. We’re looking to get into some kind of situation so we can go back and forth from Arizona to wherever we land,” he said. Ameigh is intensely into birding. “Arizona is just a terrific state for that because it’s so varied. People think of Arizona as a desert, but you just go an hour north of where we are, and you are up a couple thousand feet and you’re in a completely different ecozone,” he said. Last year, the Ameighs visited Europe and did a river cruise through Holland and Belgium, home to Michael’s maternal side of the family. “It was just a lot of fun. We’d like to do more of that and see more of the world,” he said.
Leaving a legacy One of the more memorable experiences for Ameigh is meeting and working with the late Garrick Utley, a renowned television journalist best known for his work with NBC. Later in his career, Utley was a professor of broadcasting and journalism at SUNY Oswego. “He was an adjunct professor in our media program, which is what my professorial association is with the college,” Ameigh said. “One day, much to my surprise, he walked into my office and asked, ‘How can I help?’” Utley would go on to produce an award-winning radio documentary, “New York and the World,” along with producer Sidsel Overgaard during his stint in Oswego. He also recalls when the British Broadcasting Co. sent a young reporter — Fergus Nicholl — to SUNY Oswego for a week to work with Ameigh and students. It was during the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City, and Nicholl interviewed students who were demonstrating on campus at the time. When Ameigh tuned in to BBC that OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Ameigh was featured on the cover of the April-May 2011 issue of Oswego County Business, right after being named general manager at WRVO. same evening, Nicoll’s report was being broadcast across its network, listened to by some 40 million people. Ameigh was also instrumental in building up WRVO’s reach. During his tenure, four new signals have become available in Clayton, Ithaca, Rome and Fenner. “Having been a commercial broadcaster myself years ago, I can tell you it’s such a different and much more productive environment for really keeping people informed,” Ameigh, said. In the private sector, “something on the order of half your time is devoted to commercials, and you are really focused on selling those commercials because you’re in that business,” he said. “In commercial broadcasting, you are attracting an audience that will sit through those commercials,” he said. “Here, it’s a completely different mindset. When our listeners hear a new underwriter — which is essentially getting their name out in front of our highly educated and in many cases affluent audience — and that’s a value to them, the audience is quick to go and tell them, “Thank you for supporting WRVO’.”
One with campus As a professor, nothing has been more rewarding to Ameigh than working with undergraduates who became polished professionals and went on to 79
succeed at the highest level. SUNY Oswego has hundreds of such graduates, and while everybody knows about NBC star Al Roker — a WRVO alumnus — Ameigh and a host of professors know of scores of others who reached the top of their games thanks in part to SUNY Oswego. “My experience as an educator is a constant aid in carrying out my general manager duties because I am continually aware of how students benefit from working with professionals on a daily basis,” he said. “WRVO typically takes on around six interns each semester, all of whom make significant contributions to our success.” The assistant provost for budget and operations position at SUNY Oswego is the culmination of a number of other roles Ameigh has played over the years. Twenty years ago, he was tapped to serve as assistant dean of arts and sciences at a time when the internet and related technology were beginning to have an impact on the college. Soon thereafter, he was asked by then-President Stephen Weber to develop a distance learning distribution model for delivering college courses outside the classroom. “It was very experimental. Initially, we delivered live telecourses over cable, but soon moved to online courses, primarily as summer options for SUNY students,” he said. As director of distance learning at the time, he also oversaw the Learning Resources Center, a precursor to SUNY Oswego’s current Campus Technology Services that oversees virtually all campus network and classroom support functions. “Those experiences and the fact that I am a member of the faculty resulted in my having an extensive network of connections across all divisions of the college,” he said. In his capacity as assistant provost, he has served on numerous search committees that attracted highly talented, skilled staff and administrators who lead in their fields, not just at Oswego, but across SUNY and beyond. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business administration at SUNY Fredonia in 1971. He would then go on to earn a Master of Science degree in television and radio at the Newhouse School, Syracuse University, in 1983. Ameigh later earned his doctorate in public communication at Newhouse in 1991.
The State of Public Radio
n the face of being defunded, WRVO General Manager Michael Ameigh expresses hope when it comes to discussing the future of public radio. News and information stations like WRVO that carry the bulk of National Public Radio programs are riding a wave of high interest and membership, he noted. “The competition for listeners has never been more fierce,” noted Ameigh, saying for many stations the audience is aging out. “This is a major concern because young adults are opting for online streaming rather than traditional radio as their primary source of news and information,” he said. “While I am pleased that WRVO reached its highest level of annual member revenue ever in the first 10 months of this fiscal year, I suspect that pace is not sustainable over the long run,” he said. Even if it were, forces are at work to eliminate federal funding for public radio. WRVO receives $200,000 of that as an annual community service grant tied to its educational mission, an amount that most public stations receive. “If those forces prevail, this year’s financial gain will not be enough to replace it and hundreds of small public stations could be forced off the air, threatening the viability of the NPR network,” he said. Despite the negativity, Ameigh said he is “very optimistic despite the industry being caught in the crosshairs of a polarized political climate.” “There is a certain mindset out there that says public radio stations are very liberal and those that provide content to them have an agenda,” Ameigh said. “This is not true.” “It may be that people are drawn to what we do because they have a certain outlook, but it’s certainly no conspiracy and certainly not something we work at or even think about,” he said. He did say when one looks back at when stations like WRVO arrived on the air, there were a lot of stations — and some still exist — that featured very progressive agendas. “It was on-your-sleeve, progressive programming,” he said. When NPR came along in the early 1970s, it introduced a novel concept by providing a global news service that radio stations would support by subOSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
scribing to it. Ameigh added there is a misperception among listeners and others that stations like WRVO are owned and operated by NPR. “That is not true. All we do is contract with NPR for programming. NPR receives very little direct support from the federal government,” Ameigh said. Subscribing to NPR costs about $500,000 a year and rates as one of the station’s major expenses. Ameigh said opponents want to cut off federal funding “so we don’t have the money to pay NPR because they feel we have this liberal agenda.” He said the effort to eliminate public radio is not new, and is now being addressed once again by the Trump administration. “I’m optimistic that we will survive it. The way to do that is have listeners and stakeholders support what we do,” Ameigh said. “I can assure you that we have no political agenda whatsoever. .”
WRVO also receives about $58,000 from the New York State Education Department. “That is linked to our constant coverage of the state legislature and issues of importance to the people of New York state,” he said. The federal allotment represents 12-15 percent of WRVO’s budget. “Not only do we have to generate content and get it on the air, somebody has to go out and sell underwriting support,” he said. A manager also needs to be at the station to coordinate day-to-day operations as well, Ameigh said. On the technical side, WRVO employs two engineers who maintain the station’s 10 transmitters over a wide swath of area. “That’s expensive and we have to generate revenue for that,” he said. Ameigh did note there is support in Congress to keep public radio alive, with much of the advocacy is coming from Conservatives. “What we are finding is their audience, which is like minded, also relies on public radio,” he said. “We feel that there is a glimmer of hope there, but we are not through those woods yet.”
By Lou Sorendo JUNE/JULY 2017
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Every day, hundreds of reporters, producers, technicians, and program hosts collaborate to cover news and provide analysis that tens of thousands of WRVO listeners tap daily to stay in touch with what is happening in our region, New York State, the nation and the world. Whether you listen to WRVO Public Media on radio, WRVO on demand audio or WRVO program streams or perhaps you read our stories online at WRVO.org - you get the very best. Every local and regional news story heard on WRVO costs more than $200 to produce. NPR programs subscribed by WRVO cost more than $400,000 annually. WRVO is non-profit, serving the public interest through generous contributions from listeners like you. WRVO is a critical community collaboration that assures in depth, high quality news and analysis is available to everyone, every day. You can make a difference by becoming a member today. If you use any of these services and already support them with your financial contributions, thank you. If you use our service and have not already done so please support us. You can donate online at WRVO.org or call the station toll-free at 800-341-3690. Thank you. Morning Edition | 1A with Joshua Johnson | Fresh Air | Q with Tom Power | Here & Now All Things Considered | As It Happens | Capitol Pressroom | Tuned to Yesterday Only a Game | Weekend Edition Saturday/Sunday | Car Talk | Wait, Wait, Donâ€™t Tell Me Says You! | This American Life with Ira Glass | Reveal | On the Media TED Radio Hour | Live Wire! with Luke Burbank | Moth Radio Hour | Selected Shorts Freakonomics Radio | Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen | Ask Me Another Weekend All Things Considered | Take Care | Campbell Conversations Big Picture Science | HealthLink On Air | BBC News Day | Science Friday
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Health Care BRIEFS Rattmann elected Excellus board chairman Thomas E. Rattmann has been elected chairman of the board of directors of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and its parent company. He succeeds Thomas A. Hildebrandt. Rattmann is chairman of the board of Columbian Rattmann Financial Group, a life insurance organization based in Binghamton, which is primarily focused on the issuance of small-face life insurance products. He retired as Columbian’s chief executive officer in December 2016. Rattmann has been a member of company’s governing board since 2010. He continues as chairman of the regional advisory board of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Southern Tier region. In his career Rattmann has served on boards of directors of leading life insurance industry trade organizations, including as 82
past chairman of the Life Insurance Council of New York and as a director of the American Council of Life Insurers. He also has served on the boards of directors of various community organizations in the greater Binghamton area.
PA joins Oswego Health orthopedics team Oswego Health welcomes physician assistant Rahul Shinde to its advanced orthopedics team. Shinde earned his physician assistant degree from Upstate Medical Center last year, graduating with high honors. He previously earned his bachelor of medicine bachelor of surgery from NDMVPS Medical College in Nasik, India. He completed his internship at Nasik Civil Hospital, also in India. Shinde said he was looking forward to delivering care as a part of Oswego Health’s collaboration with the Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS). He will be providing office visit care and will assist members of the orthopedic team, which includes both Oswego Health and SOS orthopedic surgeons. Last year, Oswego Health announced its collaboration with SOS, Central New York’s most respected orthopedic group. Since the announcement, SOS orthopedic OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
surgeons have been performing total joint surgeries, as well as surgical procedures for foot and ankle and hand/upper extremity issues in Oswego Hospital’s surgery center. In addition, the team provides a wide range of sports medicine therapies for both the serious athlete and weekend warrior.
Louis Papa appointed to board of Excellus BCBS
Physician Louis J. Papa has been appointed to the board of directors of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and its parent company. Papa has been a member of the regional advisory board of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Rochester Region since 2008 and will continue to serve on that Papa board. A resident of Rochester, Papa is board certified in internal medicine and is a primary care physician with the Center for Primary Care and Olsan Medical Group. He also is an attending physician at Strong Memorial Hospital and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Rochester. JUNE/JULY 2017
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Oswego Hospital was awarded an “A” for patient safety for the third consecutive time by the Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit run by purchasers of health benefits. This Hospital Safety Score used 30 measures of safety data to calculate this single score representing the hospital’s ability to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, medical and medication errors. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is an elite designation from the Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit that sets the highest national standards for patient safety, quality and transparency in healthcare.
Oswego Health oswegohealth.org/safety JUNE/JULY 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
By Lou Sorendo
Carol Peters, general manager at the JCPenney store in Oswego
JCPenney - Oswego In the Wake of Closures, Thriving Department Store Celebrates 40th Year
penny for her thoughts. For Carol Peters, general manager at the JCPenney store in Oswego, those thoughts have a silver lining. JCPenney recently announced it is closing 130 to 140 stores and offering buyouts to 6,000 workers. The Plano, Texas-based retailer has closed almost 100 stores in the last four years. JCPenney officials said the department-store industry is sagging in the face of competition with online sellers and niche retailers. A niche retailer is a business that sells a single type of product or goods
within a specific category or niche. The Oswego JCPenney store, however, will remain open while celebrating its 40th year in the Port City during a time when many retailers across the country are closing their doors in similarly sized markets. Company officials noted the Oswego location has always been profitable and the demographics in the Oswego market align well with the type of customers JCPenney targets. Peters was not privy to the high-level decisions behind closing stores, but did say in Oswego, the staff prides itself on OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
providing exceptional customer service. She spoke of Cheryl Rox, an employee who recently helped a young man get ready for a job interview at Novelis. “He wanted to really dress for it and she was so excited to help him with that. They make it very personal and caring,” Peters said. She said it was empowering to see and hear comments from the community in support of the store. “It was heartwarming. People said in surveys how much they enjoy the store and wanted to keep it here,” she said. “Add to that the knowledge of our team members. “Also, we should not forget our loyal customers who continue to shop here even in an age of technology and online shopping.” Peters said it is “really amazing” to realize how many people in the city have at one time or another worked at the location. “JCPenney has touched many lives here in Oswego,” she said. David Pospesel, who has worked at the Oswego store for 22 years, is the longest tenured employee at JCPenney. JUNE/JULY 2017
Meanwhile, Louise Himes, 84, is the eldest member of the staff. She formerly worked at the JCPenney store and retired, but she returned “because she loves it so much,” Peters said. Kathy Davis was the longest tenured employee at the Oswego store before opting for early retirement. She was hired on Oct. 26, 1988. “I started working at JCPenney for Christmas in October 1988. Over the years, I have met hundreds of customers who I have enjoyed talking to and helping,” she said. “I guess my best memories will be of the many people I have worked with,” she said. “Most of them now have come and gone and some I still remain friends with.” Davis thanked previous managers Robert Kintz and Jeff Bame for making the store enjoyable to work at. The store employs about 40 workers.
‘Harder side’ of JCPenney
Peters said the mission of the Oswego store is making customers aware of its products and services and those offered online. As a result, Peters has designated Emily Pryor as the store’s in-house artist. Pryor has made a display at the front of the store featuring non-clothing products that can be ordered online and are not carried in the store. Meanwhile, budding artists from the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau — led by youth activities coordinator Kristen Slimmer — paint the outside of the windows of the store. Pryor begins the process by painting the window inside the vestibule as a sample of what the store is looking for in terms of artwork it wants to display, such as flowers. New to the store is same day pickup, which according to Peters, makes shopping for working mothers more convenient. JCPenney is also introducing new goods and services aimed at the shifting preferences of its customer base. Earlier this year, JCPenney began featuring appliances, which can be ordered at the Oswego store. “I just wish we had the appliances here so people can touch and feel. We would probably do a lot better with it,” she said. “I was really surprised that people are able to come in and look at products online and order from here. I’m new to that type of industry as well,” she added. Sephora — which specializes in JUNE/JULY 2017
Fulton Resident Now in Charge of JCPenney in Oswego She’s back home. After working a series of retail jobs throughout Central New York, Carol Peters, the new general manager at JCPenney in Oswego, has returned to Oswego County. Peters started with Family Dollar stores in 1993 as a cashier at the Midtown Plaza, Oswego. In October 1995, she became manager of Family Dollar in Fulton. She left Family Dollar in 2011 as a district manager to work at a convenience store. Peters then attended Cayuga Community College, but because of a change in life circumstances, had to put her educational plans on hold. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in Oswego then hired her. “I was hired to be a co-team leader for the Oswego location. However, on the last day of my training, I was informed the store would be on hold for another six months,” she said. Peters stayed with Ollie’s and worked at its DeWitt location until September 2015 before becoming store manager at its Massena location. Last September, however, she received an email from JCPenney saying it had reviewed her profile on LinkedIn and wanted to interview her for its Oswego location. “A month later, I was hired and back home,” she said. “The last time I heard about JCPenney, they were not doing well. But then I read some information about [JCPenney CEO] Marvin Ellision and where the company was heading, and I thought I would take that leap of faith,” she said. She said Ellison, who took over in the summer of 2015, has brought a new vision and fresh ideas to the 115-year-old company. “To be honest, I was so afraid I was going to be late because everything went wrong that morning. I really thought I blew the interview because I was so nervous. However, I got the call and accepted the offer and was able to come back home,” she said.
Goal is to be ’46-er’
Peters, 46, is originally from Utica and is a resident of Fulton. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
She has lived in Oswego for 10 years and resided in New Haven for 22 years. A graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School, she is studying at the University of Phoenix. Peters, a member of the YMCA, has a son, Rusty Peters. When Peters is not at the helm at JCPenney, she is researching genealogy, exploring New York state, delving into crafts, spending time with her family and friends, and hiking with her dog Max. The 46-year-old has a goal to be a “Forty-Sixer.” A “Forty-Sixer” is a person who has successfully conquered all 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. Peters has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and aims to work on her breathing while hiking. “I have it in my head that even though I know it’s not going to get better, I can make it better,” she said. Peters loves being outdoors, and looks forward to doing nature photography as well. She is also the family genealogist, a passion of hers for the last 17 years. “It’s amazing some of the things you learn about your ancestors. It’s pretty cool,” she said.
Fun place to work
Peters said she enjoys several things about her position. “This store has a family atmosphere, and this includes the customers. When I first came here, I was being introduced to customers daily,” she said. “I enjoy working for this company because it believes in working with the community and also ensures the personal happiness of its associates. I also welcome a new challenge in my career.” Peters said she has always had fun working for other businesses, but JCPenney is an exceptionally enjoyable experience. “We’re allowed to do stuff like giveaways and prizes for our people and they are very receptive to that. Last month, we had a contest and one of the girls won a Samsung Gear VR. “It’s a fun environment and makes coming to work a lot more fun,” she said.
JCPenney in Oswego is celebrating its 40th year of doing business in the Port City. The Oswego location survived a wave of closings recently due to its continued profitability. beauty products —is another avenue being pursued at JCPenney, and although its products are not featured at the Oswego site, brand items can be ordered from that location. JCPenney also specializes in home furnishings such as windows. “Although we do not do window measuring or installation at this location, we can refer customers to our Destiny location,” she said. A huge difference at JCPenney today is the variety of products that consumers are able to order outside of clothing and shoes. These products include bicycles, golf equipment, camping gear, Xbox One and PlayStation, to name a few. “We still personalize the experience for the shopper by offering custom fittings for men’s shirts and intimate apparel,” Peters noted. “Fine jewelry is also another department that continues to provide exceptional value and quality with knowledgeable associates.” Peters said JCPenney keeps up with the latest trends in its fashion boutique offerings, including Ashley Neil Tipton’s line of clothing for plus-sized women. The rise of omnichannel has been a significant change, Peters noted. Omnichannel is retailing that integrates different methods of shopping available to consumers, such as online, 86
in a physical store or by phone. Peters said this gives the Oswego staff the ability to order different sizes or colors if the store does not carry a particular item. The JCPenney hair salon is ranked No. 1 in Peters’ district. “We’re definitely heading in the right direction,” she said.
Competing in cyberspace
Peters said more consumers are using the online option for shopping. “You can get the same sort of discounts online, you can have home delivery or you can have it delivered here for free,” she said. “There are a lot of benefits to it.” She said JCPenney is striving to compete with Amazon, a leading electronic commerce and cloud computing company. “It’s tough competition, but I think the way our leadership is heading, we’re going to be right up there with them,” she said. Peters said the store competes on both quality and price, particularly now with its new CityStreets collection which she characterizes as “everyday value.” “You will find T-shirts for $5-$7. There’s a lot of cool stuff and the quality is still there,” she said. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Among the more popular clothing brands are Arizona and Worthington. Despite offerings such as bedding and household appliances, the Oswego store still specializes in clothing. “That’s what we have the most people come in for,” he said. “You used to hear, ‘Oh, my grandmother shops there,’ but we are really getting the everyday mom in here now,” she said. Back in the day, the store used to feature men’s suits complete with tailoring services. While that is done at Destiny USA, the Oswego store lacks space for that kind of endeavor. “From what I hear, it used to be a lot of fun. They used to be able to pick what clothes to sell and the kind of materials and styles. Now, it’s all reorders and the company orders it for us. We sell one, and another comes in,” she said. Peters said people are going for more of a casual look today, and most businesses are business casual when it comes to clothing standards. “People don’t dress like they used to. It’s more casual today with yoga pants and those types of trends. It’s a little more casual than what we are used to seeing,” she added.
JCPenney donates to support many local charitable causes, and Peters recently created a community ambassador position that is held by Katie Simoneau. She is working on getting JCPenney more involved in the community. “I don’t believe we’re as involved in the community like we should be,” Peters said. “Our goal this year is to get ourselves out there.” Peters also uses social media, and recently posted information on how JCPenney is helping military veterans transition from military to civilian life with proper attire. She said approximately 10 to 15 percent of sales are done online. “People order online, and when they are in the store to pick up the product, they are looking around too,” she said. “We’re really trying to promote our online business because there is so much people don’t know about in terms of what we have, such as kayaks, camping equipment and outdoor and indoor furniture,” she said. “We have our app too, so you can get our app and keep yourself connected to JCPenney,” she said. JUNE/JULY 2017
Retirement Saving for the Self-Employed
T ‘If you are self-employed or thinking about making the leap, make sure you prioritize your own financial future.’
Randy L. Zeigler, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU® is a private wealth adviser with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Zeigler offers fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 30. You may reach him at 315342-1227 at his office at 97 W. Utica St., Oswego. Zeigler’s website address is www. ameripriseadvisors.com/randy.l.zeigler JUNE/JULY 2017
he choice to become self-employed can be a fulfilling journey but it comes with many responsibilities. Entrepreneurs just starting out are in control of virtually every aspect of their business, which includes their retirement. If you are self-employed or thinking about making the leap, make sure you prioritize your own financial future. Begin by exploring retirement plan options available to you.
er). As your own employer, you can also make a modest additional or matching contribution.
As a business owner, you’re able to make contributions as both an employer and an employee. As the owner, you can contribute up to 100 percent of your net self-employment earnings on a pre-tax basis, up to $54,000 in 2017. You can save an additional $18,000 ($24,000 for those age Make retirement saving a habit 50 and older) in the plan. For the individual contribution, you have the option of If you are self-employed, you need making either pre-tax to make retirement contributions, or savsaving part of your Guest Columnist ing after-tax dollars routine. Although it into a Roth 401(k) may be challenging that offers benefits similar to a Roth IRA. to determine what your salary is — and A 401(k) has additional administrative therefore what your retirement savings requirements that don’t apply to some of will be — make it a priority to set aside the other savings options. money each month. Even a modest amount can make a big difference in the total amount of your nest egg. Once Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) your income is more consistent, consider increasing your contribution. Another potential option is to maxiThere are a variety of retirement savmize annual contributions to IRAs. Those ings vehicles for self-employed individuunder age 50 can save as much as $5,500 als to consider. You can use one approach (or 100 percent of income, whichever is or a variety of vehicles to build your nest less) in an IRA. Those 50 and older can egg. Among the most popular savings set aside an extra $1,000 above that limit. options are: Contributions may be tax deductible based on your income. Otherwise, you may have the option to save your after-tax SEP-IRAs dollars into a Roth IRA, if you qualify. Earnings accumulated in a Roth IRA have A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) the potential to give you a tax-free income IRA allows you to set aside as much as 25 steam in retirement, when all conditions percent of your net earnings from self-emare met. ployment, up to $54,000 per year in 2017. It is easy to administer, requires minimal paperwork, and gives you the ability to Look for guidance build a significant pool of savings for retirement. Choosing which plan or combination of savings plans is right for you is a personal choice. If you have questions or SimpleIRA want additional information about your options, contact a financial professional. This is a fairly simple plan to establish No matter what options you choose, keep for the self-employed or small business in mind that the best approach is the one owners. You can contribute 100 percent of that encourages you to create a secure your net self-employment earnings up to financial future for yourself. $12,500 ($15,500 for those age 50 and old-
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
How I Got
Started George Joyce: ‘We are actively pursuing cross-border expansion with opportunities in Canada from page 11 I had to run as fast and work as hard as anyone else, and I think I just carried that same thing — the need to succeed — into what was initially a startup enterprise. People learn by failures and certainly I’ve had some setbacks, but I’ve been very fortunate to be able to constantly reposition. We’ve been in business for 22 years now, and we’ve gone through several recessions along with some large economic turns. A lot of the businesses I worked with moved or failed for a variety of reasons, but we’ve been adapting. One of my other natural characteristics is when I look at success and growth, I always want to be in a place where no matter who I owed money to, I could pay them back. I couldn’t accept the fact of thinking about bankruptcy. It was anathema to me in terms of my personal characteristics not to be able to pay the people that I made promises to. If you manage your risks on a scale, you are less likely to have things like the threat of bankruptcy happen as you grow. I think people take large risks and can see an “out”; I just never saw that out. That was more of a moral
dilemma for me. That was the way I was brought up. My upbringing was you had to earn what you got. It was an earning mentality and not an entitlement mentality. Q: What are some of the more gratifying aspects of owning your own business? A: I am proud of the fact that we employ over 35 people who are typically the primary breadwinners in their households. I also get to work with other industries and always enjoy understanding how their business model works, particularly in the manufacturing sector. I always tell people who think owning a business would be great, that in reality, the business owns you. But those same relentless responsibilities and risks also provide challenges and opportunities to succeed personally, to grow, and to win. I have always been very analytical, and am a numbers guy at heart. You can run all the numbers, but at some point, you still have to look with the information you have and make a decision in a timely fashion. You don’t always have
People Who Matter Oswego County Business reaches nearly 25,000 readers in CNY. 88
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
full knowledge to make decisions, so some of that is still truly placing your actions where you want to go and then driving in that direction. I had always worked for somebody else. I was always comfortable with making decisions, but I never had the buck stop completely with me. Now that it does, when I make these kinds of decisions, you get to feel more responsible and share success. You’re not necessarily looking for acknowledgment, but you’re looking at the fact that it did work. I don’t want to ever be responsible for doing something that jeopardizes the employees I have and their jobs. Q: You have been an active board member with Operation Oswego County for many years. What has motivated you to support and contribute to the organization? A: My family’s roots date back to the mid 1800’s here in Oswego County. Economic development, like health care and education, is vital to my children and grandchildren and OOC’s mission is about sustaining and shaping the economic future for everyone here. Without a doubt, OOC’s policy is to be the best advocate and resource for business in the county. Local people are spearheading its mission to increase jobs and opportunities within our communities. Q: What future plans do you have for the business? A: We are actively pursuing cross-border expansion with opportunities in Canada. Our proximity, access, and infrastructure provide distinct market and logistics advantages for future growth with our largest trading partner. We’re looking at how we can take part of our business and do more with Canadian customers directly or U.S. customers that want to export and sell their products in Canada. Q: What is your ideal retirement scenario? A: A friend recently invited me to Florida, joking about his “adventure before dementia.” He is still working, although doing more of what satisfies him and less of what doesn’t. I think that’s the right formula. At 66, I’m fortunate to be healthy, hard at work, and in a hurry to meet the next challenge. So no retirement plans, just a little more planned relaxation.
By Lou Sorendo
Best Business Directory AUCTION & REAL ESTATE Dean Cummins: Over 35 years experience. All types of auctions & real estate. Route 370, Cato. 315-246-5407
AUTO COLLISION Northside Collision, Baldwinsville. Upstate’s largest collision/repair center. Lifetime warranty, loaners or rentals. We assist with the insurance claims. 75 E. Genesee St., Baldwinsville. Call 315-638-4444.
AUTO SALES & SERVICE Bellinger Auto Sales & Service. Third generation business. Used cars, towing, auto repair & accessories, truck repair. Oil, lube & filter service. 2746 County Route 57 Fulton, NY 13069. Call 593-1332 or fax 598-5286.
AUTO SERVICE & TIRES Northstar Tire & Auto Service. Major/minor repairs. Foreign & domestic. Alignments. Tire sales. Call Jim at 598-8200. 1860 State Route 3 W. in Fulton.
BUILDING SUPPLIES Burke’s Home Center. The complete building and supply center. Two locations for your convenience: 38 E. Second St. in Oswego (343-6147); and 65 N. Second St. in Fulton (592-2244). Free deliveries.
COPY + PRINT Port City Copy Center. Your one-stop for all of your copy + print needs. 52 West Bridge St., Oswego. 216-6163.
CUSTOM PICTURE FRAMING Picture Connection. 169 W. First St. Oswego. Quality conservation matting & framing for your photos, prints, original artwork & objects. 343-2908.
DEMOLITION Fisher Companies. Commercial & residential demolition. Great prices. Fully insured. Free estimates. 46 years of experience. Call Fisher Companies at 315-6523773 or visit www.johnefisherconstruction.com.
EXCAVATING Gilbert Excavating. Septic systems. Gravel & top soil.
Septic and tank pumping. 691 county Route 3, Fulton, 13069. Call 593-2472.
GLASS Fulton Glass, Oswego County’s only full service glass shop. Residential. Commercial. Shower enclosures. Auto glass. Window and picture glass. Screen repair. Window repair. Beveled mirrors and glass. Hrs: M-Th 8-4, Fri 8-noon. FultonGlass.net, 840 Hannibal St., Fulton, NY 13069, 593-7913.
HOME IMPROVEMENT Wet Paint Company. Paint, flooring, blinds & drapes. Free estimates. Call 343-1924, www.wetpaintcompany. com.
INSURANCE & ACCOUNTING Canale Insurance & Accounting Service for all your insurance, accounting, payroll and tax needs. Locally owned and operated. Call 315-343-4456
INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES Lie detection, EXAMS, matrimonial, criminal, custody. Call P.I.B. Investigations at 315-952-1118. Liedetectionssyracuse.com. Director: W. Malcolm Plummer.
JEWELERS JP Jewelers is your hometown jeweler offering supreme design at wholesale prices. Whether you’re buying or selling, JP Jewelers is here to be your local jeweler. 136 W. Bridge St., Oswego. (315) 342-GOLD. Find us on Facebook.
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.
LANDSCAPING D & S Landscaping office. Servicing Oswego & surrounding areas. Quality work, prompt & dependable service. Free estimates. Fully Insured. Backhoe services, Lawn mowing, Snow plowing, Top soil, Tree work. Hydro-seeding & asphalt seal coating. 315-5986025 (cell 315-591-4303).
LUMBER White’s Lumber. Four locations to serve you. Pulaski: state Route 13, 298-6575; Watertown: N. Rutland Street, 788-6200; Clayton: James Street, 686-1892; Gouverneur: Depot Street, 287-1892. D & D Logging and Lumber. Hardwood lumber sales. Buyer of logs and standing timber. Very competitive pricing. Call 315-593-2474. Located at 1409 county Route 4, Central Square, NY 13036.
OUTBOARD MOTORS Arney’s Marina. Route 14 Sodus Point, NY. Honda fourstroke motors, 2 hp to 250 hp. Repower your boat with the best! Call 483-9111 for more information.
OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT BJ’s Outdoor Power Equipment/ Sales & Service. 3649 state Route 3, Fulton, NY. www.bjsoutdoorpower.com. We sell Ferris, Echo, Central Boiler, and Simplicity products. Call 598-5636.
PAWN BROKER Pawn Boss. We buy everything from game systems to gold & silver. Coin collections, guitars and flat screen TVs too! Check us out on www.newyorkpawnboss.com or call 415-9127.
QUILT SHOP Quality fabrics, Notions, Classes for everyone. Explore a new hobby. The Robins Nest, 116 W. Broadway, Fulton, NY 315598-1170.
ROOFING/GUTTERS Over The Top Roofing. Mike Majeski. Commercial & residential roofing. Quality craftsmanship. 50-year manufacturer’s warranty for residential roofs. Best price on seamless gutters. Call 882-5255. 400 Co. Rt. 7 Hannibal, NY 13074.
$159 for 1 Year Just fill out this form, and
send it with a check to: JUNE/JULY 2017
Oswego County Business P.O. Box 276 • Oswego, NY 1312689 OSWEGO COUNTY•BUSINESS
A glimpse at county tourism as season kicks into full swing Q: In 2016, Oswego County registered the highest level of occupancy tax collections in its history. How is 2017 shaping up and how will it compare to 2016 numbers? A: We anticipated an increase in 2016 because the county legislature authorized a 1 percent increase in the tax itself. We went from a 3 to 4 percent tax, and that should have delivered about a 30 percent increase by itself when that went into place. The bed tax year runs from Dec. 1 through Nov. 31. The new increase took place on Jan. 1, 2016, so we only had 11 months of increased tax in 2016. So relative to 2017, we’ll have 12 months at the new rate. Just as a function of that, we expect 2017 to be better. 2016 was a really good year. Even though we expected about a 30 to 32 percent increase, we ended up with about a 37 percent increase, so it was a little bit better than what we anticipated. Q. How these percentage compare to the last decade? A. When we look back over 10-year increments, each of those 10-year periods has averaged about a 45 percent increase from what it was 10 years ago. Q: What are expectations in terms of visitation to major destinations here in Oswego County for 2017? A: We know our website traffic remains strong, so we think that is a good indication people are still interested in learning more about us and the opportunities here. This year will be the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal and associated canals, which includes Oswego. There will be a lot of New York state promotion around that, and the world canal conference is going to be held in downtown Syracuse. So there will be some spillover, and there are plans to bring people from the conference to the H. Lee White Maritime Museum. Super Dirt Week is back, and we have a lot more time to plan and promote it and are hoping the benefits of that event will be a little bit greater than last year. 90
Even with high water, fishing started off pretty strong this year. People who can get on the lake are saying great things about it, and we are hoping the water will recede soon and people will continue to come for that reason. Q: How vital is the sports fishing industry to Oswego County? A: We know from the data that’s out there that the largest group of folks who travel to Lake Ontario for fishing come to Oswego County. We sell more non-resident out-of-state fishing licenses than any other county in New York, and we sell more than all of our partner counties on Lake Ontario combined. In 2015, people from every single state in America and 33 countries and provinces around the world physically purchased a license someplace in Oswego County. Q. What’s the financial impact? A. Fishing is a huge draw. It’s a $40 million impact based on the last time the DEC measured it, which was about 10 years ago. For a lot of places, autumn and winter is a slow period in terms of tourism, but not really for us. Salmon fishing is the busiest season. The river season runs from mid-September through midMarch, with the peak of that probably being from October to mid-November. We do get a lot of anglers in the city of Oswego, but in Pulaski, it’s boom time. I think almost 70 percent of all angling hours spent on Lake Ontario tributaries on the southern shore are on the Salmon River.
By Lou Sorendo year. First and most importantly, the site we have now is not mobile responsive. When you are trying to look at a web page on your phone, which more and more people do every day, the page doesn’t automatically adjust to the device you’re using, whether it’s a tablet or phone. We need to go in and have that fixed on the website because mobile is king right now. Also, we are getting ready to make an offer to someone to come on board to fill a vacancy that we had. Part of their responsibility is to better manage our website and hopefully create an environment where we are able to more actively engage customers and potential customers. We also have the government website — www.oswegocounty.com — which is badly in need of an upgrade. That will be one of the projects this new hire will take on as well. We want a website that will be more than just a static list of who works here, where they work, programs and how to contact us. I’m hoping the combination of making the tourism website mobile responsive and making the government website more attractive and engaging will result in more people transferring from one to the other and have an interest in learning about Oswego County and eventually visiting here.
Q: How has traffic been on the county’s website — www. visitoswegocounty.com — from new visitors and international folks? A: Traffic has been good and remains strong but we know it can be better with a few simple but expensive approaches that we added to the budget to address this OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Superior stroke care. It’s about time.
eceiving the area’s fastest stroke diagnosis and treatment starts even before you arrive at Crouse Hospital. That’s because our EMS
partners start communicating with our team the moment they arrive on the scene. Once here, our stroke specialists immediately assess your condition. And if more advanced care is needed, our boardcertified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeons use the most progressive stroke-rescue therapies and technology available. When it’s about time, say “Take me to Crouse.”