February / March 2017
Become a Morn In This Stage of Your Life….
Morningst Morningstar is a family always loo owned and operated skilled nursing and and most q rehabilitation center that als to provides a competitive Oand SW E G O • WAT E RV I L L E comprehensive wage 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 iduality 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 ort! 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 supportive atmosphere and high provides a competitive and comprehensive wage 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. censed 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. first six months Waterville Resdiential Care Center is aavery 92successful bed, family ownedand greatly appreciate the community Life in Balance in early 2017! Stay tuned! support! Thank you Oswego and Onondaga County! If you or a loved one and operated skilled nursing and rehabiltation facility located 17 Sunrise Drive Oswego, NY 13126 • 315.342.4790 is considering an assisted living residence we would love to meet you. Please gstar Residential Care Center. . . is part of a health care provider in Waterville NY. The. facility 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 Nursed, 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 professional
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 MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Morningstar Residetial Care Center Waterville Residential Care Center The Gardens by Morningstar 3
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2017
PROFILE CARLA DESHAW Cayuga Community College dean is heavily focused on education and workforce development. On top of it, she is involved in many projects and organizations — and she finds time to serve as mayor of the village of Canastota. .........................................12
Where in the World is Sandra Scott? Archipelago of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea has everything............................................... 16 ‘Carol from Redfield’ Find out why this Redfield resident has appeared on CNN, CBS and other media ............................................. 18 Demolition Job Free Nestle demolition job not what entrepreneur expected .............................................................................. 32
• Will the Trump administration be good for CNY? • Seven questions to Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow •Ten most important economic sectors analyzed • HealthWay Home Products flying ‘Made in America’ banner • Rob Simpson: Region on the rise • Wanted: Health care leader
New Maple View Grocery Store Owners invested $100,000plus to re-open former Ostrander’s Village Market............................. 38 2017 First DBAs First in line to file a business certificate, new entrepreneurs hope to succeed ................................................................ 40 Employee Retention Learn what the pros at Wegmans, Novelis, OBG and Loretto do to retain employees............................................... 44 Oswego Y On the brink of closing its doors, Y’s comeback now involves a major construction project ................................................... 46
SUCCESS STORY C & S Companies — Employeeowned company makes indelible mark with projects ranging from the construction of Lakeview Amphitheater to work on expansion projects at Novelis and Sunoco.............................................76
Starts on page 58
.... 10 Newsmakers, Business Updates.............................. 20, 34 My Turn Trump pulls off the unthinkable. ..................... 48 Economic Trends Manufacturing, energy propelling economic ..... 50 Guest Columnist Sales — It’s not a dirty word................... 84 Last Page Inga Back, Wellness at Work Conference .......... 90 How I Got Started Chris Batchelor, owner of four Subway stores
Meat combo at Jimmie James in Scriba. Review on page 30. 4
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
MBA Ranked Top Online MBA Program in New York State! Find out more about SUNY Oswego’s Online MBA Program in one of our live online information sessions:
March 8th at 5pm April 5th at 12pm Register by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org Accredited • Accessible • Affordable MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Acro-Fab................................47 Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home....................35 ALPS Professional Serv.........22 Amerigas................................23 APFW - Amdursky, Pelky, Fennell & Wallen...............38 ARISE....................................80 Barclay Damon........................8 Beacon Hotel / Season Inn.....14 Berkshire Hathaway ..............62 Bond, Schoeneck & King, Attorneys at Law...............27 Borio’s Restaurant..................29 Bosco & Geers.......................42 Brookfield Power...................67 Burke’s Home Center.............23 Burritt Motors..........................7 C & S Companies..................37 Canale’s Italian Cuisine.........29 Canale’s Ins. & Accounting ..39 Caster’s Sawmill Inc..............25 Cayuga Community College....2 Century 21 Galloway Realty................21 Century 21 Leah Signature....22 CNY Arts................................47 Community Bank...................45 Compass Credit Union...........15 Crouse Hospital......................91 Dave & Buster’s Syracuse.....29 Disciplined Capital Management.. 37
Advertisers Dowdle Funeral Home...........42 Dusting Divas.........................43 Eastern Shore Associates Insurance..15 Eis House...............................29 Exelon Generation.................26 Fastrac....................................26 Finger Lakes Garage Doors...21 Fitzgibbons Agency...............51 Foster Funeral Home..............63 Freedom Real Estate..............59 Fulton Oswego Motor Express... 51 Fulton Savings Bank..............60 Fulton Tool Co.......................51 Glider Oil...............................26 Haun Welding Supply, Inc.....21 HealthWay Home Products......9 Hematology-Oncology Associates of CNY............81 Hillside Park Real Estate.......38 J P Jewelers............................28 Joe Bush’s Collision...............21 Johnston Gas..........................25 K & N Foods............................5 Key Bank...............................35 Local 73........................................65 Longley Brothers...................51
Mimi’s Drive Inn....................29 Mr. Sub...................................29 NBT Bank.............................. 11 Nelson Law Firm...................45 Northern Ace..........................47 NTTS National Tractor Trailer School....................14 OBG (O’Brien & Gere).........47 Operation Oswego County.....91 Oswego County Federal Credit Union......................65 Oswego Co. Mutual Ins.........35 OCO...................................6, 80 Oswego Co. Stop DWI..........25 Oswego Health ......................92 Oswego Inn............................28 Oswego Printing.....................57 Oswego Valley Insurance.........8 Oswego YMCA......................67 Over the Top Roofing.............25 Par-K........................................7 Parsons-McKenna Construction......................57 Pathfinder Bank......................57 Patterson Warehousing...........51 PC Masters Tech Repair.........43
Peter Realty............................81 Phoenix Press.........................25 Port City Copy Center............21 Pro-Build................................23 RanMar Tractor......................59 Riccelli Northern....................62 River Edge Mansion..............28 RiverHouse Restaurant..........29 Riverside Artisans..................28 RJ Caruso Accounting............42 Roger Phelps Quality Cars.....39 Scriba Electric........................21 Servpro of Oswego County....22 Sorbello and Sons Inc............59 St. Luke Apartments...............80 SUNY Oswego – MBA Program....................................5 SUNY Oswego, Office of Business and Comm.................43 Sustainable Office Solutions..43 Sweet-Woods Memorial.........35 Tailwater Lodge.....................15 The Gardens at Morningstar ...3 The Landings at Meadowood...7 Uniforms Etc..........................22 United Wire Technology........63 Valley Locksmith...................23 Vashaw’s Collision.................35 Volney Multiplex...................25 White’s Lumber & Building Supply................22
Wellness at Work Conference Sponsored by the Oswego County Worksite Wellness Collaborative
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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(315) 343-8948 | Rt. 104 East | Oswego MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
COVERING CENTRAL NEW YORK OswegoCountyBusiness.com Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto
Associate Editor Lou Sorendo
L. Michael Treadwell Bruce Frassinelli, Jamieson Persee Sandra Scott, Jacob Pucci
Writers & Contributing Writers
Deborah Jeanne Sergeant Matthew Liptak, Carol Thompson Charles Ellis
Peggy Kain Stacie Garafolo
Office Assistant Kimberley Tyler
Layout and Design Dylon Clew-Thomas
Success isn’t a given, we earn it with each client we serve and each matter we handle. Our attorneys practice across 11 offices in New York State and in major markets such as New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and Toronto. For more information, contact us about any of our 33 diverse practice offerings.
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
How to Reach Us
barclaydamon.com Barclay Damon Tower • 125 E. Jefferson Street • Syracuse, NY 13202
P.O. Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126 Phone: 315-342-8020 Fax: 315-342-7776 Email: Editor@OswegoCountyBusiness.com
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Eliminate 99.99% of the bad stuff in the air. And 40% of the price. Residents of Oswego and Onondaga Counties can take 40% off the purchase of the revolutionary Intellipure Ultrafine 468 air purifier – made in Pulaski, New York, by the clean air experts at HealthWay. Enjoy the freshest indoor air, relief from asthma and allergies, and a better night’s sleep. Visit intellipure.com and enter the promo code CLEANAIR. Must be purchased within 30 days of this ad run date.
One of Central New York’s most unique wedding venues. When you see all that the Kallet Theater has to offer on your special day, you’ll know it was meant to be. With an idyllic Salmon River backdrop on the outside and a spacious, sophisticated, newly renovated space on the inside, you can rest assured that your wedding and reception will be full of unforgettable moments. Contact us today and start discussing all the different ways that the Kallet can plan your perfect day.
Kallet Theater and Conference Center 4842 N. Jefferson Street, Pulaski, NY 13142 (315)298-0007 • kallettheater.com MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
How I Got
Started Chris Batchelor Owner of four Subway store franchises in Oswego started as an employee in one of the stores he now owns
Q.: When did you first express interest in becoming involved with Subway and what motivated you in that direction? A.: In 1989, because of my previous scratch-baking experience and management at Super Duper grocery store, deli and bakery, I was approached to be the manager for a new start-up franchise concept called Subway. At that time, Subway had only a few thousand franchise outlets, but now feature over 30,000 worldwide. The new concept intrigued me right away. I liked the idea of a proven business plan, the great buying power that the new concept provided, and I wanted to be my own boss. Q.: You began your career as an employee with Subway in the late ‘80s. Was it your goal to eventually purchase franchise rights? A.: In the late 80s, I wasn’t really too familiar with franchising. But I was starting a new family, so I was setting all kinds of new goals at that time. After I saw the power of a proven business unfold in front of me, I became very intrigued and set some new goals to own one and in 1994, my goal was reached. Q.: How did you generate the capital necessary in order to purchase your first store? How much did it actually cost to launch your first store? A.: The capital came from my dad, Don Batchelor, who financed my first store himself. He had the belief in me, and a dream to help me succeed. The success of that first store came from the faith and belief of all my family, especially my dad, my mom Kay, and my wife, Beckey. The cost wasn’t just monetary as much as it was a lot of hard work, goals, and belief in yourself and the business plan. Q.: How many Subway locations do you own today and in what sequence were they opened? A.: My company — Boo-Ga-Loo, Inc. — does business as Subway of Oswego and owns four Oswego locations. I opened my first store in 1994 in the Oswego Plaza. My second opened in 2000 at 255 W. Seneca St. (state Route 104), while my third location opened in 2003 at East Bridge and First streets.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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I opened my fourth location in 2012 inside the Walmart Supercenter on state Route 104 East. Q.: What played into the decision to locate within the Walmart Supercenter in Oswego? A.: Deciding to open a location under the same roof as the world’s largest retailer was a no-brainer. We felt like it was the right opportunity to do what we do for a larger audience. You can’t beat the high volume of traffic Walmart brings to an area. Walmart contacted Subway and invited us to set up shop in their newly remodeled store. This partnership allows us to reach a lot of customers and allows Walmart to provide an extra service for their customers. Q.: What were the keys to successfully launching all of your Subway locations? Was there a blueprint that you followed for each? A.: Huge support of all our customers, hard work, determination, a proven business plan and the right local lenders like Pathfinder Bank and the City of Oswego Community Development Office, under the guidance of former director Mary Vanouse. They showed belief in me as a local businessman. Q.: What is the most gratifying aspect of owning your own business? A.: Reaching our goals, providing our very best product to our customers, training employees to be their best, being able to spend time with family, helping support the community with employment and community volunteering. Q.: How does a workday today compare to when you first started out as an independent business owner? A.: It’s the same now as it was then — work hard to succeed.
NBT Bank executives rang the Nasdaq opening bell on Monday, December 19, celebrating 160 years in business and a transition to new leadership.
Celebrating the past. Ringing in the future. As we marked the close of our 160th year in business at the Nasdaq opening bell, it was exciting to watch John H. Watt, Jr. assume the role of President and CEO from Martin A. Dietrich, who continues as Chairman of the Board. We thank Marty for his incredible leadership over the past decade. Our team of 1,800 employees will keep building on NBT’s success under John’s direction as we remain here for everything that counts.
Q.: What plans do you have for the future in terms of your business career? A.: To be the best at what I do as a leader and employer in a small community to help the community thrive and prosper. Member FDIC
By Lou Sorendo MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Profile By Lou Sorendo
Dean at Cayuga Community College passionate about education, economic development
he has never met a challenge she didn’t like. Carla DeShaw is not timid when it comes to stepping up and enhancing a particular program or project, whether it falls under the realm of education or economic development. DeShaw is the executive dean of community education and workforce development at Cayuga Community College. An innovative thinker, DeShaw is the creator of the idea to merge with the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation (CiTi). The two institutions have united as the Center for Career and Community Education, which offers continuing education programs. “We’re actually joined at the hip,” DeShaw said. It’s the first time in New York state when a board of cooperative educational services and community college have formally joined, thus forming a new model for shared services. DeShaw worked at Madison-Oneida BOCES for nearly 10 years before arriving at CCC, so she is familiar with both systems. “I always thought that it was unproductive for the two agencies to compete,” said DeShaw, noting both have traditionally competed toward the same goals. When Christopher Todd became the new superintendent at CiTi, he was receptive to DeShaw’s concept of joining together as one entity. “The dream became a reality, and here I am with the challenge,” she said. DeShaw was the lead on the grant that led to $900,000 in funds to support CCC’s new Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI) at the Auburn campus. She hopes to replicate the AMI model at the Fulton campus. Novelis, the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, made a long-term commitment to CCC’s Fulton 12
campus to launch an AMI. The institute intends to equip students with advanced manufacturing skills to develop a robust talent pool required to fill jobs being brought to the Central New York region.
DeShaw’s major responsibilities include ensuring CCC’s programming is aligned with the needs of business and industry in the area. CCC President Brian Durant assigned DeShaw to Oswego County to do just that. She also designs adult literacy programming to mesh with the needs of the county. She works on poverty issues, out-of-school youth programs, and with agencies such as the Oswego County Workforce Development Center’s One-Stop Career Center. Part of her job is to foster and grow partnerships with the college and agencies, and now with the CCCE. DeShaw has been in continuing education for 24 years. “I enjoy it because personally I love to see the connection between workforce and economic development,” she said. She said the No. 1 asset for any company are its workers. “Without skilled workers, the company can’t function or expand, or a new company can’t come into an area if you don’t have a skilled workforce,” she said. “It’s really enjoyable and rewarding to see a person come in without a job or underemployed, living paycheck to paycheck or maybe not even paycheck to paycheck, go through the program, work hard and then come out and get a job that OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
triples their pay, which makes their quality of life better than it was when they first came through our door,” she said. It also instills a sense of pride. “A job or career for some people is more than just a paycheck. It’s a sense of belonging and pride. I love seeing student successes, and that is what
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
keeps my team and me going,” she said. “I still cry at LPN graduations.”
Education in blood
turn the BOCES program around from a negative budget to a very positive budget by developing partnerships, programming and meeting performance measures,” she said. In 1999, Madison Oneida BOCES recruited her for the position of assistant director of continuing education. “It was a growth position as the program was much larger than the program at DCMO BOCES in Norwich [from about a $1.3 million program to a $4.5 million program],” she said. “I also succeeded in growing the program at Madison Oneida, strengthening programming, creating relationships with employers, growing revenue and meeting performance outcomes.” She was at Madison Oneida BOCES for nearly 10 years and then sought to enter the world of higher education. “I chose to focus on seeking a position at a community college,” DeShaw said. “This is where I can truly focus on aligning workforce needs and educational programming, ultimately helping to close skill gaps and helping companies prosper.” Certified to be a school district administrator, she was poised for the next big step in her career. “I was thinking of going that route, and then I ended up deciding I really loved continuing education and workforce development,” she said. She chose CCC and has been there for nine years. DeShaw started at the Auburn cam-
pus and advanced many different programs, including the recently completed Advanced Manufacturing Institute. “If you really love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s really a passion for me. I truly love what I do and love helping communities grow,” she said. “I’ve always been a people person,” said DeShaw, who was involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program for more than 15 years. “I always have enjoyed helping people reach their goals or help them make their lives better.” DeShaw has visited 23 countries. Among her favorites are Austria and Taiwan, where she spent a month on a professional exchange through the Rotary Club. “It was a highlight of my career, because I focused on advanced manufacturing and got to tour plants and schools and talk about the differences between education and advanced manufacturing in the U.S. and Taiwan,” she said.
With the intent of becoming a teacher, DeShaw attended SUNY Cortland before opting to choose a smaller setting at Cazenovia College. She graduated from the two-year program with an Associate in Applied Science degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. She then worked in the field for several years, exploring retailing and human resources, while seeking direction career-wise. “I always felt the need to go back to education. There was just this calling that I had inside myself. I really wanted to work in education, but I didn’t want to be the traditional classroom teacher,” she said. After obtaining her teaching certification and Bachelor of Science degree in vocational technical education at SUNY Oswego, DeShaw was hired by Madison Oneida BOCES as a program Solid foundation assistant-job placement specialist in its DeShaw’s parents were both indivision of continuing education. volved in manufacturing jobs, and their During this time, she was promoted hard work ethic was a model for DeShaw to business-industry specialist. while growing up. DeShaw left Madison Oneida She was the first one in her family BOCES when she had the opportunity to to go to college. work for Sargent, Webster, Crenshaw & Her mom, Mary DeShaw, is a huge Folley, a large architectural-engineering mentor. firm in Syracuse. “Back then, my parents didn’t know She started as an executive assistant much about going to college, but she to one of the partners and then became found a way to make sure I went. She director of human reworked until she was sources. 67 to make sure I got “Wanting to reach through my first two my goal of working in years,” she said. education, I began studIn high school, Age: 54 ies at SUNY Oswego DeShaw was inHometown: Canastota to complete a master’s volved in commuCurrent residence: Canastota degree in special edunity service projects. Education: Associate in Applied Science, business management, Cazenovia Colcation,” she said. “It’s just been my lege; Bachelor of Science, SUNY Oswego, vocational technical education; Master Midway through, personality,” she of Science, SUNY Oswego, educational administration; certificate of advanced she applied for the posaid. study in educational administration, SUNY Oswego sition of coordinator of She also coached Affiliations: Former school board president, board member, Canastota Central adult and continuing volleyball from the education at Delaware School District; former member of Cazenovia College alumni board; former president, high school to the Chenango Madison Celebration Children’s Council; former village of Canastota recreation director, curDivision III college Otsego BOCES and level. rent village of Canastota mayor; former board member, St. Williams on Long Point, was hired. She played on a Raquette Lake; former Iroquois Empire Volleyball Association board member and At this time, she partial scholarship at female representative; member, Learning Resources Network; public participation shifted her studies to Cazenovia College, committee member, Central New York Regional Economic Development Council; the master’s and adand was active in former board member, Cayuga County Economic Development Agency; former Big vanced study certificate the sport until she Sister; also presented at multiple conferences on fee-for-service models, career programs in educational turned 44. pathway program development, and building win-win partnerships. administration at SUNY Hobbies: Spending time with friends; retreating to her home in the Adirondacks Oswego. “I also was able to
continued on p.82
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Publisher’s note By Wagner Dotto
ree things are always good. They entice people — tons of people. Offer them a free dinner to attend a seminar and you’ll have a room full of people. Offer free drinks during happy hour and your establishment will be packed. We hope this logic will apply to some of the changes we’re making to our website, OswegoCountyBusiness. com. We’re now offering the entire content of this magazine free of charge. It’s there for whoever is interested in reading it — cover to cover or just pieces of it. The new flippable issue online means people can click on the “interactive issue” link on our home page and flip through the entire magazine. Our hope is that people who don’t subscribe to the magazine or are occasional readers will find the site more appealing (and more accessible). It’s one more reason to visit.
This is also a way to give a valueadded bonus to all our advertisers. Viewers will be able to see their ads online and click on them. If the ad has a website or email address, viewers will be able to go directly to the advertiser’s Web page by clicking on the ad. We’re also planning to send more direct email to thousands of business people — with the free MailChimp platform. These newsletters will promote the award-winning content of this publication and consequently draw more people to the site. OswegoCountyBusiness.com already carries a wealth of information and breaking news stories. Viewers can access our seasonal publications — Summer Guide, Winter Guide — the same way they can access the Business Guide, which brings detailed information about nearly 300 of the largest companies in CNY. Besides, we update the site constantly, on average two or three
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
times a week or whenever there is any business-related news we want to share. Without any promotion, the site already draws about 10,000 visits and nearly 100,000 hits a month. We hope to double this number within a few months. Will we lose some paid subscribers with this move? I don’t believe so — and if we do, it will not be significant. I and most of our readers still prefer to have a hard copy of the publication at hand. Even if that costs $21.50 a year.
WAGNER DOTTO is the publisher of Oswego County Business Magazine.
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Where in the World is Sandra Scott? By Sandra Scott
Archipelago of Malta
Mediterranean Sea islands have everything — from rich history, casinos, beaches to great food
alta may be the most overlooked European destination. That is a shame. Malta is an archipelago of many islands located in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily. Only three are inhabited: Malta, Gozo and Comino (population 4). The main island of Malta is about 17 miles long and nine miles wide and Gozo is about nine miles long and four miles wide. Amazingly Malta has everything: history, walled cities, beaches, casinos and great food. Malta’s unique culture has been influenced by the many groups who occupied the islands: Phoenicians,
Romans, Moors, French, British and legend has it that Ulysses, the Greek hero, was lured to Gozo in the 12th century BC by Calypso, beautiful goddess-nymph, where he stayed for seven years. Visitors can see the cave where he resided. Even though more bombs fell on Malta during WW II than any other place, the reconstruction maintained the island’s architectural integrity. The island has been the setting of many movies including “Game of Thrones,” “Conan the Barbarian,” and “Popeye.” The set of “Popeye” is now a theme park. The islands are home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites: the City of
Valletta, the Megalithic Temples, and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum. The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean structure with temples dating from 3000 BC, is currently closed due to a conservation project but is scheduled to reopen in 2017. Tickets should be booked online well in advance as the number of visitors is limited in order to protect the site. According to UNESCO, Valletta, the walled capital of Malta, is “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.” The interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral is a masterpiece of baroque art with dazzling gilded pillars and elaborately painted ceilings. Services
Malta is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily. It may be the most overlooked European destination. It’s rich in history, beaches, good food and other amenities that please visitors. The islands are home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites 16
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are still held on Sunday. In the Oratory is Caravaggio’s “The Beheading of St. John the Baptist” painting; the only one he ever signed. The sister island of Gozo is less developed, making it ideal for those who want to get away from it all. It is 20 minutes away by ferryboat. The iconic image of Gozo is the Azure Window, a natural limestone arch with a table rock. Beneath is the Blue Hole, an underwater limestone cave accessed by divers through a 262-foot underwater tunnel. It is home to a beautiful array of marine life including octopi, fire worms and seahorses. Not to miss is the Neolithic Ggantija temple ruins dating from 3600 BC. It is a testament to the skill and engineering expertise of these early builders. The labor involved to move and assemble the massive stones is impressive. Wander the streets of the capital city of Victoria and tour the Citadel that dominates the hill. The visitor center has an excellent do-not-miss multi-media presentation detailing the Ottoman invasion of 1551 and the tragic story of Bernardo Dupuo who killed his family to prevent them from becoming slaves (3000 were enslaved). He then fought to his death defending the fortification. Exploring the islands is easy. English and Maltese are the official languages. There are taxis, car rentals, hop-on bus tours, a great public transport system, and a variety of adventure tours, including a day tour to Sicily. Accommodations run the gamut from the five-star hotels, to beach resorts, to rental apartments, to hostels. Self-catering farmhouses are popular on Gozo. Americans need only a valid passport. Major credit cards are widely accepted and there many ATMs. The Maltese are welcoming, plus the island is extremely safe with none of the common tourist annoyances like beggars and roaming vendors.
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. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
The iconic image of Gozo, an island within the archipelago of Malta, is the Azure Window, a natural limestone arch with a table rock.
Popeye theme park: Malta has been the setting of many movies including “Game of Thrones,” “Conan the Barbarian,” and “Popeye.” The set of “Popeye” is now a theme park.
The interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Malta is a masterpiece of baroque art with dazzling gilded pillars and elaborately painted ceilings. Services are still held on Sunday. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
SPECIAL REPORT By Carol Thompson Carolyn Yerdon celebrates 200 inches of snow in Redfield on Jan 29.
Measuring Snow in Snow Country ‘Carol from Redfield’ has gained notoriety after appearing on CNN, CBS, New York Times and other local TV stations and newspapers. She has kept track of snow since 1994 18
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
he’s known as “Carol from Redfield” and for the 53-year-old weather watcher from Redfield, it’s all right that her name is abbreviated. Carolyn Yerdon has been measuring snow totals since 1994, when she answered an ad in a Syracuse newspaper shortly after she moved to Redfield. That first gig with the newspaper led Yerdon to becoming nationally known. “I began recording my daily snow totals in my journal, which I started after seeing how useful my father-inlaw’s daily journals were to him. While he did not always measure the snow, he made many notes as to how much blanketed the area and roads,” Yerdon said, explaining how her interest in snow measuring began. Redfield, located in the northernmost part of Oswego County, is well known for an abundance of snow. “The highest total I have ever recorded was during the season of 1996-97 when we received 424.25 inches. The lowest is 151 inches in 2011-2012 season,” Yerdon said. With Redfield’s reputation for snow receiving more and more attention, it wasn’t long before the National Weather Service contacted Yerdon. Beginning in the winter of 1995-96, she began reporting snow totals for them as well. The exposure both Yerdon and the town received from the National Weather Service led to even more discovery. Along with the exposure she’s received from the National Weather Service, she has been interviewed by CNN, CBS, New York Times as well as the Syracuse and Watertown television stations. Her data and stories have also been published in a couple books. “The publicity I’ve received has been absolutely overwhelming,” she said. “Who knew snow would bring such interest.” She became known as “Carol from Redfield” after being referred to by that title on the daily news when they speak of Redfield’s temperature and snowfall totals. Yerdon is not paid for her service as a weather observer — it’s strictly volunteer. When she’s not measuring snow, running marathons or tending to her pigs, she works as a paraprofessional for the Sandy Creek School District. Yerdon has no educational training in meteorology; however, it’s something she doesn’t need because she’s not a forecaster. “I gathered information and knowledge from meteorologists and scientists that I have met along the way,” she said. “I only watch the MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
weather and record it. I do not predict or forecast… that is for the experts, and I do not pretend to be anything close to that. What I do is all about having fun with what nature gives us and making people smile about it.” Yerdon is quite successful at generating smiles. Her enthusiasm for snow shows in her Facebook posts and weather reports. “I have added my love of photography to weather watching and have been so pleasantly surprised by the joy that it has brought others. When I post a silly picture of me in the snow and I get comments from people all around the world that it made them laugh or they like to look at it but glad it’s in my yard and not theirs,” she said. “I feel like I am doing a positive thing. I strive to put a positive spin on a season that can be sometimes overwhelming to some. I love knowing that something I’m doing is making a difference in someone’s life, even if it is just a smile. I sure hope that the time I have put into weather watching and all my data will be looked upon by future generations as another reason why Redfield is such an amazing little town.” Yerdon doesn’t put her yardstick away in winter. For the past five years, she has been recording rainfall totals for the National Weather Service to help with the water table data.
Yerdon at her backyard in Redfield.
Crazy About Snow
eedless to say, Carolyn Yerdon loves snow. She runs marathons in snowshoes and celebrates waking to new snowfall by running outside in her pajamas. Overcome with excitement, she doesn’t want to take the time to get dressed. “When this silly little hobby of measuring snow began 21 years ago, I thought it would just give me something to do,” she said. “Little did I know that because of something so simple as snow, I would get to meet so many incredible people and learn so much. “I am honored to have met so many of the wonderful media, reporters, and most of all the meteorologists at the local TV stations who I can call my friends.” Why does Yerdon love the fluffy white stuff so much? “I love snow, and am so very grateful to it for bringing all this fun into my world. The kind words OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
and the smiles that people extend to me after they have seen a silly photo of me in the snow or tell me that they saw me on the news makes it all worth it. Whether they like snow or not, a smile came out of it!” Yerdon said she also loves the fact that when the heavy snow does hit, schools will be delayed or closed giving her some extra time to play with her camera in the snow and report for the media. “I have records that I hope my little town will appreciate for generations to come, and I feel my reports have put Redfield on the map,” she said. “I think it is important to strive to bring attention to the beauty of nature that surrounds you. I’m forever grateful for what snow has done for making me who I am today, and I am very proud to be called ‘Carol from Redfield.’” 19
NEWSMAKERS NEWS BRIEFS ON LOCAL BUSINESS & BUSINESS PEOPLE
NBT Bank Completes Leadership Transition John H. Watt Jr. has recently been appointed president and CEO of NBT Bancorp and NBT Bank, N.A. The appointment represents the culmination of a succession plan unanimously approved by NBT’s board last May when Watt was named president of the bank. NBT’s retiring president and CEO, Martin A. Dietrich, was elected chairman of the board. Watt was also appointed to serve as a member of the board of directors. “I have enjoyed working closely with John and NBT’s executive management team to orchestrate this seamless transition with the support of our employees and directors,” said Dietrich. “I am confident that John will continue to lead NBT to achieve new milestones that Dietrich meet the needs of current and future customers and create lasting shareholder value in a manner consistent with our community banking values. I look forward to continuing in my role as chairman.” Watt added, “I am excited and honored to assume leadership of the highly successful team at NBT. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to drive the company’s continued growth for the benefit of our shareholders and customers. It has Watt been my privilege to work with Marty Dietrich this year on the leadership transition, and I look forward to a long and successful partnership with him in his role as chairman.” Watt has more than 30 years of expe20
rience in banking and financial services. He joined NBT in 2014 and has played an expanding role providing executive leadership for a number of key areas, including commercial and consumer lending, credit administration and marketing. He was promoted to executive vice president and joined NBT’s executive management team in 2015. Prior to joining NBT, Watt was executive vice president of commercial banking, investment management and bank operations at Alliance Bank, N.A. through the merger with the NBT Bank in 2013. He was also a member of the board of directors for Alliance Bank and Alliance Financial Corporation. Previously, he was employed by JP Morgan Chase and its Upstate New York predecessors. Watt is a graduate of Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He also earned his Juris Doctor from The National Law Center at George Washington University. Dietrich began his career in financial services with NBT in 1981. He joined the bank’s senior management team in 1995. Dietrich became president of the bank in 2000; advanced to president and CEO of the bank and president of NBT in 2004; and ultimately became CEO of NBT in 2006. He joined the bank board of directors in 1993 and NBT’s board of directors in 2005. Dietrich is a graduate of Colgate University with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Allers Joins Kallet Theater as Manager The Kallet Theater, a newly re-modeled and re-opened theater and conference center in Pulaski, has announced that Elizabeth Allers of Syracuse has recently joined its team as theater manager. Allers, who is a native of Schenectady, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Le Moyne College in English and theater arts, with a concentration in management. She later received her master’s degree in museum studies from Syracuse University. Her education is supplemented by her previous experience as the program associate at CNY Arts. “I’ve seen the immense benefit that OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
art and entertainment provide the CNY c o m m u n i t y, ” s h e s a i d . “ A r t and entertainment boost the economy, build a united community, and provide opportunities for artists and audiences outside large metropolitan areas,” said Allers. “I’m excited to now further these opportunities through my position at the Kallet Theater. The Kallet Allers Theater is a beloved part of Pulaski. I feel privileged to be part of its leadership and hope to continue to build on the wonderful work that’s been done since it’s re-opening.” “We are proud to announce the addition of Elizabeth Allers to the Kallet Theater leadership team. Liz represents one of the finest professionals in the industry,” said theater owner, Vinny Lobdell. “Her education, passion and experience in theater arts, along with her ongoing commitment to serve those in the community, make her a perfect fit for the Kallet Theater.”
CNY Arts Annunces New Board Members Lisa Clark-Sova, a business development manager at Canale Insurance and Accounting, LLC in Oswego, has been selected to be a member of CNY Arts’ board of directors. CNY Arts, Inc., Central New York’s regional arts council, serves six counties providing more than $1.5 million in funding that supports artists and arts, cultural and heritage organizations Clark-Sova Sova brings to the organization 30 years of accounting and tax experience, according to the nonprofit. Originally from Dallas, she earned her finance and accounting degree from Baylor University. She now resides in Oswego. Other community members appointed to CNY Arts’ board of directors are: • Kristy Brightman Frame, an attorMARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
ney at Bond, Shoeneck & King, where she focuses on real state property law, representing a wide array of clients, including financial institutions, individuals, higher education institutions and for profit and nonprofit corporations. • Daniel Hammer, the deputy director of purchasing with Onondaga County. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Oswego and master’s degrees in education from National Louis University and in public administration from Syracuse University. • Adam McGivern is the executive director of the Cortland Downtown Partnership and Cortland Business Innovation Center since 2008. He attended the University of New Orleans and graduated with a master’s in public administration. He also spent two years in the Peace Corps developing environmental education curricula for students from grade schools to universities. • Daria J. Willis is the new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Onondaga Community College. Willis comes to OCC from Lee College in Baytown, Texas, where she served as dean of academic studies. She earned bachelor ’s and master ’s degrees at Florida A&M University and a doctorate from Florida State University.
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The company also announced the addition of two other professionals in the marketing department. • Laura Petreszyn has joined the company as marketing specialist. Petreszyn, a resident of Palermo, has more than 20 years of experience handling marketing communications for several local corporations. Petreszyn attended Thomas College in Waterville, Me. Before joining Barton & Loguidice, she worked as a marketing communications specialist with a manufacturing company where she created and managed marketing communications Petreszyn material for multiple manufacturing companies as well as website development. • Beth Braun also joined the company as marketing specialist. A resident of Cazenovia and a graduate of Cazenovia College, Braun has more than 30 years’ experience in the environmental, manufacturing, retail/ construction and Braun customer service fields. She previously worked at a global environmental consulting firm, where she served as a marketing/technical proposal coordinator managing the preparation of proposals/qualification packages for the U.S. eastern region and coordinated with the creative/brand manager on various collateral materials and managed the conference/tradeshow schedule. Founded in 1961 in Syracuse, Barton & Loguidice’s professional staff provides civil and environmental engineering, environmental science, planning and landscape architecture services to public and private clients throughout the Northeast and Middle Atlantic regions from offices in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
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FitzGibbons, Huntington Now WorkComp Advisers FitzGibbons Agency, an Oswego-based independent insurance agency and its partner agency, the Huntington Agency of Baldwinsville, are now designated as Certified WorkComp Advisors (CWCA) by the The Institute of WorkComp Professionals (IWCP), announced John FitzGibbons, agency president. The 60-year-old Huntington Agency was integrated into the FitzGibbons family of insurance agencies in 2015. Earning this designation involves rigorous training and testing through The IWCP, recognized as the leader in training insurance agents as experts. Today, there are more than 800 certified members of the community across the country. “Workers’ compensation is complicated and confusing and, according to the institute, at least 50 percent of businesses are overcharged for their workers’ comp insurance, costing employers thousands of dollars each year,” FitzGibbons said. “As CWCAs, our agency knows how to find those overcharges in workers’ comp accounts and audits, often resulting in immediate cost-savings for employers.” CWCAs are committed to on-going workers’ compensation education and IWCP sponsors a variety of workers’ comp educational opportunities for advisers, keeping advisers up to date on rule changes and new tools for enhancing the results they achieve for employers. “We have the distinct ability to design an injury management program that fits a company’s culture and budget,” FitzGibbons added. “And knowing they are insured with an agency that is a Certified WorkComp advisers provides employers with peace of mind.”
FitzGibbons Agency Appoints New Expert Barry Grant, a Fulton native with more than 30 years in the financial services industry, has recently joined the FitzGibbons Agency, an Oswego-based independent insurance agency and its partner agency, the Huntington Agency, of Baldwinsville. Working in the capacity of account executive, Grant will be based primarily in Baldwinsville. Grant holds a New York State Property and Casualty License. He is a graduate of the State University at Buffalo, has MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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with both the training and the tools necessary to help me meet the needs of clients and to succeed in achieving my career goals.” Grant said his primary focus at The Huntington Agency will be to help businesses, professional offices and nonprofits manage insurance and risk
management. Recently, he received designation as a Certified WorkComp Advisor (CWCA) from The Institute of WorkComp Professionals (IWCP). He said this accreditation provides him with an advanced understanding of how to assist small business owners to better manage their Workers’ Compensation program and Grant reduce expenses often associated with payroll audits.
HealthWay Home Products Adds Staff Michael J. Falcone, (second from left) chairman emeritus and founder of The Pioneer Companies, has donated the former Cayuga Community College and Center for Instruction Technology and Innovation (CiTi) site on West Broadway in Fulton to Catholic Charities of Oswego County (CCOC). The building is assessed at $3.3 million. Thanking Falcone and his wife, Doreen, (far left), are Steve Frawley, CCOC board president and Margaret Pezella-Pekow, CCOC executive director.
Pioneer Companies Donates Building to Catholic Charities Michael J. Falcone, chairman emeritus and founder of The Pioneer Companies, has donated the former Cayuga Community College and Center for Instruction Technology and Innovation (CiTi) site on West Broadway to Catholic Charities of Oswego County, (CCOC). “We cannot begin to express the depth of our gratitude to Mr. Falcone for his generosity,” said Steve Frawley, CCOC board president. “This space and new facility couldn’t have come at a better time to keep pace with how much we’ve grown in the past year, and how desperately we need this space. It will help ensure that Catholic Charities can better serve the many clients it has in Oswego County for many years to come.” In addition to donating the 80,000 sq. ft. building, Pioneer also donated the cost of asbestos removal, which totaled approximately $70,000, 24
said Mary-Margaret Pezella-Pekow, CCOC executive director. The building is assessed at $3.3 million. “The building is owned by the Diocese of Syracuse, but we will have full use,” Pezzela-Pekow said. “We have begun renovations, and we will eventually be relocating about 80 employees who are extremely crowed in the 32,000 sq. feet at our current 365 W. First St. location. We’ll have more than double the space we have now. “All of the services we have now will be kept and continue at our new location, which will also include a multi-use community room that is under construction. We expect to move into the new location in the spring 2017. In the meantime, all services and activities will continue at our present location. “It’s also important to note that Pioneer is also working with us to find a developer or buyer for the West First St. building that was once part of the American Woolen Mill,” Frawley said. “We will work diligently with them to find a new owner and purpose for the building,” said Pezella-Pekow.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
HealthWay Home Products, a Pulaski-based global manufacturer of indoor air quality solutions has announced the addition of two professionals to its team. • Joe Hurd of Sandy Creek has joined the company as the director of manufacturing. Hurd has built himself an impressive portfolio over the years, including his experience as general manager for FiberMark and director of research and development at BioSpherix. “I believe that manufacturing is a key component to a solid economy, Hurd otherwise there is nothing for the ‘service economy’ to service. I have been fortunate to work with several manufacturers in my career, most of whom competed in international markets,” said Hurd. “HealthWay has a great team in place and I look forward to doing my part in bringing world-class products out of the Pulaski factory that in turn provide local jobs and help improve our country’s trade balance.” • Olivia Ivison of Lacona has joined the company as a brand strategist. Ivison graduated cum laude from St. John Fisher College last May with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Ivison earned her degree in just three years, during which she earned her place on the dean’s list for five semesters. “It’s such a blessing to be able to start my career locally,” Ivison said. “Learning MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
the industry of air purification and applying my creative, modern approach to marketing for a brand that’s made in small town America is an exciting and highly autonomous experience that not many recent graduates are fortunate enough to find.”
Robert Kocik Now MEP Center Director The Central New York Technology Development Organization (TDO) has announced Robert Kocik has been named center director for its Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center. Kocik leads TDO’s initiatives to support the evolving needs of small- to mid-size manufacturers and technology-based entrepreneurs. In his prior role at TDO, Kocik led the implementation of HR, Lean, and work force training initiatives for TDO clients. Kocik’s 23 years of experience includes operations leadership positions with PPC, New Process Gear, and Service Merchandise. He holds a Master of Business Kocik Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with dual majors in business management and human resource management from Columbia College. The Central New York Technology Development Organization (TDO) is the NYS Empire State Development designated NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center for Central New York. Its mission is to help CNY manufacturers and technology businesses innovate, compete and grow.
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County, Oswego County’s designated economic development organization, has been selected by the editors as one of the 2016 “Top Five” food processing award winners. “The Top Five Awards of Excellence recognizes economic development organizations that have shown exceptional progress in the area of development. The locations were chosen because of the support system offered to businesses as well as recent activity and growth potential in each area. Strategic locations, pro-business climates, investments made in improving infrastructure and the availability of buildings and sites were among the top deciding factors in choosing these locations,” according to the publication. Recent growth in the food-processing sector in Oswego County has come from investments made by such companies as Champlain Valley Specialty, K&N’s Foods USA and Teti Bakery USA.
Erie Canal Museum Board Elects Officers The board of trustees of the Erie Canal Museum recently elected officers for 2017, and re-elected three trustees to second three-year terms. Steven H. Kelly, associate treasurer at Syracuse University, was elected president of the board. Vice president is Sarah Tietje, an academic counselor with the HEOP program at Cazenovia College. Treasurer is Michael P. Goetz, CPA, a manager at Firley, Moran, Freer and Eassa, CPA, P.C. Secretary is Blaine T. Bettinger, an associate with Bond, Schoeneck and King
Attorneys. Chairwoman is Susan Hughes, director of the American Pomeroy Historic Genealogical Association. Goetz, Kelly and Ali Jackson Popp were elected to second three-year terms on the board. Jodee A. LaCelle, a vice president at M&T Bank, was elected to trustee emeritus.
New Retail Products Rep at Pathfinder Joleen DiBartolo has been named retail products specialist at Pathfinder Bank. She replaces Brenda Niver, who is retiring from her position. The appointment of DiBartolo to the position will provide the bank and its customers with years of experience in residential mortgage lending, according to Reyne Pierce, vice president and team leader / retail lending. “Joleen’s prior experience in the area of residential loan processing will DiBartolo be extremely valuable in her new position at Pathfinder Bank,” said Pierce. “In her new role, Joleen will originate mortgages and consumer loans, promote the financial institution and its lending services to the real estate community, help to identify and serve the communities financial needs through seminars and sales meetings, and participate in and promote the financial institutions
community activities.” DiBartolo joined Pathfinder Bank in 2006, beginning her career in lending in 2009 as an administrative assistant. DiBartolo has since held the title of loan closing coordinator, loan processor and, most recently, residential underwriter. DiBartolo resides in Fulton with her husband, Jason, and her two children, Austin and Sophia. She is a Pathfinder Bank Money Smart Educator for the “Charge It Right” curriculum, an ambassador for HerPath to Success, and is a director on the Central New York Mortgage Bankers Association board.
Emergent: New Name for Company The performance consulting, training and executive coaching company, PLS, based in Baldwinsville, recently announced it’s changing its name. The new name: Emergent. The decision to make this change came after a rebranding initiative that took place throughout 2016. “We believe the name, Emergent, better illustrates who we are, what we do, and the myriad of products we offer,” said Ralph Simone, a partner in the company. Simone said that the word emergent is defined as “coming into being,” and that describes the work his business does in helping individuals, teams and organizations reach their full potential for themselves, and in the organizations and communities they serve. “Our passion is always to guide professionals and their teams to emerge as leaders, thinkers and doers — in a way that is life transforming, both professionally and personally,” Simone said.
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President Stanley Supports Free College Tuition By Charles Ellis SUNY Oswego officials say they welcome Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to provide free tuition at all New York state colleges and universities, but that it’s too early to tell how everything is going to shake out. “We applaud and support his effort to help make college more affordable to a greater number of New York students and families. SUNY Oswego is very committed to increasing access to talented students and this scholarship program helps expand access to many more deserving students. We are ready to move forward,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley recently in a statement. Before anything moves forward, though, the plan will have to be approved by the state Legislature, and Cuomo is working out the details with top SUNY administrators in Albany. Meanwhile, SUNY Oswego officials can only watch and wait, said Wayne Westervelt, the college’s chief communication officer. For the 2016-2017 school year, the annual tuition for in-state students at SUNY Oswego is $6,470; the estimated cost for room and board is $13,390. Financial aid is provided to students based on a complicated formula tied to family income. Cuomo’s plan — as of now — would make tuition free for families with annual incomes up to $125,000. It wouldn’t affect any other college-related costs. Currently, about 89 percent of SUNY Oswego’s 6,868 full-time undergraduate students receive some financial aid, Westervelt said. SUNY also has 282 undergraduate students, 317 full-time graduate students and 537 part-time graduate students, Westervelt said. One of the more controversial details being discussed is a requirement that free tuition be reserved for full-time students. Westervelt said that might encourage more students to stay in school long enough to graduate. “We’re waiting for the specifics to unfold,” Westervelt said. “But access [to state schools] is not enough. Completion is the key.” MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
DiningOut By Jacob Pucci
The main dining room is adorned with musical instruments, vintage license plates and Pepsi memorabilia and the name of the restaurant written in guitar amplifier cords.
Jimmie James BBQ Making proper barbecue comes not from the ingredients used, but rather proper technique, timing and lots of patience. Jimmie James in Scriba gets it right
n a town known for its nuclear power plants and little else, in a corner of an old gas station across the street from a small motel, sits Jimmie James BBQ, an unlikely source of a delectable dinner. Armed with a borrowed smoker, Jim and Robin Guyle started Jimmie James as a weekend concession stand in 2007. In 2013, they opened their brick-andmortar location on Route 104 in Scriba at the site of the former Telly’s pizzeria and Clifford Fuel Co. gas station. On the restaurant’s white metal siding are red block letters spelling out the name of the restaurant, covering an area far larger than the restaurant itself. The main dining room has about eight tables, plus a few seats at the bar, each seat marked with a paper placemat ad-
vertising banks, car dealerships, paving companies and other local businesses. For a barbecue restaurant, the menu is quite long and diverse, which is beneficial, because restaurant pickings are generally slim between Oswego and Mexico. In addition to barbecue, Jimmie James offers a selection of fried appetizers, burgers, pizza, subs, fried seafood, chicken wings and sandwiches. Wanting to focus on their specialty, we ordered fried pickles ($4.99), a half-rack of baby back ribs ($15.99 for the dinner, $12.99 for ribs only) and a three-meat combo platter ($17.75/$14.99 on Thursdays). The walls of the restaurant are decorated with guitars, license plates and other road signs. What I originally OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
thought was the name of the restaurant written in script using metal behind the bar is actually made from guitar amplifier cables. The vintage gas pump near the front door still says “leaded gasoline.” It’s part honky-tonk, but not kitschy. If it was any fancier, you’d feel uncomfortable grabbing a paper towel from the roll at each table to clean your hands after licking them clean of barbecue sauce. Chalk this one up in the lesser-known food debate column, but the dispute between chips and spears when it comes to fried pickles is a conversation worth having. I tend to favor spears for the exact reasons why Jimmie James’ spears were so good. These spears, served five to an orMARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
der, provided an optimal balance of hot, crispy crust and soft, natural coolness of the pickle inside. Even more impressive was the fact that the breading stayed on the entire time, despite repeated dips in ranch dressing. The three-meat combo platter comes with a pulled pork sandwich, a quarter barbecued chicken and either a quarter-rack of ribs or a portion of beef brisket. Both dinners come with salt potatoes, baked beans and your choice of macaroni or potato salad or coleslaw. Salt potatoes, the quintessential Central New York side dish, are often made and rarely perfected, but Jimmie James sure comes close. The slight snap of the potato’s salty crust quickly give s way to a creamy, tender interior that soaked up the pool of melted butter. I found a few pieces of meat in my baked beans—a welcome addition—and the red skin potato salad was flavorful and tasted homemade. For me, the proper coleslaw needs to have a healthy punch of vinegar or else it’s like eating crunchy mayonnaise. Fortunately, Jimmie James’ version is vinegar-forward with just enough mayo to hold it all together. Ribs should be tender, but not to the point of looking like bone-in pulled pork, and Jimmie James did a nice job walking that fine line. Both the pulled pork and chicken were tender and delicious, but the star of the platter was the brisket. The smokiest meat of the bunch—evidenced by the deep pink smoke ring around the outside of the meat—the brisket was fork-tender and packed a beefy punch of flavor. The complexity in making proper barbecue comes not from the ingredients used, but rather proper technique, timing and lots of patience. And in this old gas station, in a town were dining is a distant third behind the nuclear power and aluminum plants, Jimmie James is doing it right.
These fried pickle spears hold all their breading despite repeated dips in ranch dressing, which is no small feat.
The salt potatoes: The slight snap of the potato’s salty crust quickly gives way to a creamy, tender interior that soaked up the pool of melted butter.
The baked beans, served with each barbecue platter, are thicker than average canned beans and are boosted with added meat.
Jimmie James BBQ
Address: 5048 State Route 104, Scriba.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. Phone: 315-342-7427 Website:
www.jimmiejamesbbq.com MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Jimmie James three-meat combo: Left to right: pulled pork sandwich, barbecued chicken and beef brisket. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
DEMOLITION MAN Mark Lindsley works on the Nestle site in Fulton. He is demolishing the building complex for free.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Nestle Job Not What Entrepreneur Expected Mark Lindsley offered to demolish the 750,000-sq.-ft. Nestle site for free expecting he would make a profit after selling the scrap steel and brick. Things didn’t turn out as he expected
hen Fulton city officials were looking for a company to demolish the Nestle plant — which had been mostly empty since 2003 — Fulton native Mark Lindsley offered to do the job for free. Lindsley, owner of Infinity Enterprises, said he figured he could recoup the costs — and maybe make a profit — by selling scrap steel and brick, and the city was happy to take him up on the offer. Things haven’t quite worked out the way Lindsley hoped. “As of right now, it’s been a horrible deal for me,” he said in mid-January. “Doing a job like this is like playing the stock market. You don’t know what’s going to happen.” Demolition of the 750,000-sq.-ft. building on about 24 acres in downtown Fulton started in the spring of 2016. The plan was to finish the work by the end of 2016. Lindsley now hopes to finish the project by August of this year, but only about 200,000 square feet has been cleared so far, he said. Why the delay? The first part of the project was to knock down the part of the factory that faces South Fourth Street, the main road leading into Fulton from Interstate 481. City officials want that space to be used for a new Aldi’s store. Aldi’s paid the city $360,000 for the land, said Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. That part of the factory, though, was filled with asbestos, and the removal has been time-consuming and costly, Lindsley and Woodward agreed.
“Asbestos removal is quite complicated,” Woodward said. And nobody wanted any more mistakes involving asbestos. The previous owner of the property, Phoenix
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
resident Edward Palmer, was convicted in 2013 of violating the Clean Air Act by improperly removing asbestos insulation from pipes in the building. After that, the city seized the land for $1 million in back taxes. Lindsley said the hardest work is done. “From this time on, it will be a breeze,” he said. He has reason to hope so. He said that by the end of 2016, he had spent $608,000 on the project, and expects to lay out more than $1 million by the time he’s done. He said he’s not optimistic that whatever he can sell for scrap will cover his expenses, much less lead to any profit. But he said he doesn’t regret taking on the project. “I was born and raised here,” Lindsley said. “If I can break even, great. If I can do my part to clear that property and maybe create some jobs, I’m happy with that.” The plant was built in 1900 and expanded over the years. The first Nestle Crunch bars were produced at the plant in 1938. At its peak in the middle of the 20th century, about 1,500 people worked there. By the time the plant shut down in 2003, the number of employees had dropped to about 450 — still a substantial number in a city of about 12,000 at the time, according to the U.S. Census. One of those last employees at Nestle was Fulton’s current mayor, who worked there for 17 years as a maintenance supervisor. Woodward said manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back to New York state, but he’s excited that the property will find other uses. Other companies have expressed interest in the property but don’t want to commit publicly until Aldi’s is up and running later this year, he said. As for Lindsley, he can still joke about finding another way to make money on the project: “If you want to start a gofundme page for me, I’m for it,” he said.
Mark Lindsley and his wife, Jessica.
By Charles Ellis
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
New Restaurant, Lodging M Opens in Pulaski Salmon River Pub & Grill newest attraction on Pulaski dining, lodging scene. It’s located in the building formerly used by Eddy’s Place
elissa Gibbs is not one to sit around. The Sandy Pond resident is the new owner of Salmon River Pub & Grill, 3866 state Route 13, Pulaski. Gibbs, 27, is originally from Sandy Creek. She enjoys the restaurant business because she likes to stay active. “I worked in an office for about eight months. I loved where I worked and what I was doing, but I cannot just sit down in front of a computer all day. I’m an active person and have to be able to move around. I’m also sociable, so it works out,” she said. The facility was the former Eddy’s Place in Pulaski, owned by Edward Ward. It looks to continue a tradition of serving traveling fishermen as well as locals. Gibbs now leases the building, which features a full-service restaurant, bar and eight remodeled hotel rooms on the second floor. For visiting fishermen, it is the complete package. Having the rooms, restaurant and bar is a winning combination, Gibbs noted. “You don’t have to go anywhere. You pull in here and it’s a one-stop shop,” she said. “If you’re fishing, you can walk right out back and go fishing. You can then come here, eat and drink and then go upstairs and sleep,” she said. The lodging industry in Pulaski is highly competitive, with many sites to choose from. “I knew there were places for lodging in Pulaski, but didn’t know how many until I got into here,” Gibbs said. She said there are more than a dozen along a three-mile stretch on Route 13 in Pulaski. “In Pulaski, that’s where the money is,” she said. Gibbs’ friend, Paul Cox, is the owner of Pardon My Dust and played an integral role in remodeling the facility. Minor drywall repairs, paint, and new carpets and windows were the major tasks for Cox. Gibbs also needed to acquire about $7,000 in kitchen equipment to get the ball rolling. Gibbs said obtaining permits and adhering to codes cost “a good chunk of change,” as did the inventory she needed. Gibbs has been in the restaurant business for 14 years, and worked at Brewster’s in Sandy Creek and Eddie’s Cove in Sandy Pond. “The reason why people like her is
Melissa Gibbs of Sandy Pond recently open her business, Salmon River Pub & Grill, in Pulaski.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
she can do everything, from waitressing to being a line cook,” Cox said. “She can do whatever needs to be done.” Gibbs, a mother of two, was actually thinking of getting out of the restaurant business before her latest opportunity arose. “When Eddy’s Place closed, he [Ed Ward] asked Paul if he knew anyone that wanted to run a restaurant,” Gibbs said. “I’ve gone as far as I could in every restaurant I’ve worked in, and when this came up, I said OK.” While the salmon fishing season looks to sustain the business from September through November, Gibbs will be looking to local patrons to generate business during the other nine months. Cox noted one of the biggest goals is establishing consistency with all aspects of the business. “Consistency is key. The fish sandwich a customer comes in for today has to be as good as the one he returns for in two months,” he said. Gibbs put together her own menu, and she used many of the popular entrees featured at Eddie’s Cove. She also has a sandwich named after her — Melissa’s Wrap. The clientele thus far is primarily aged 50 to 70, and this is the same demographic that is providing repeat business. “We had one lady who came here four days in a row,” Gibbs said. “You can’t complain about that.” Prime rib is featured on Fridays and Saturdays, while other popular entrees include fried haddock. The business employs seven. Gibbs said the most favorable aspect of owning her own business is the freedom it offers. “If the school calls and I have to run and go get one of my kids, I don’t have to get approval from anyone. I can just go,” she said. Gibbs is looking forward to when she will be able to cut herself a paycheck. “I don’t want to be stuck in my Subaru or tiny house that we’re in. I want to be able to send both my kids to college,” said Gibbs, who has an 11-year-old and a 4-year-old. How does Gibbs manage to run a business while being a mother of two? “I don’t do it alone, for sure,” said Gibbs, noting Cox, her mom and former mother-in-law provide a solid network of support. “I would not be able to do it without everyone’s help,” she said.
By Lou Sorendo MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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One of the 17 builidngs at The Landings at Meadowood, 111 Pebblewood Lane, Baldwinsville.
Morgan Communities to Open Luxury Rental Apartments in B’ville Rochester-based companies expanding in CNY with 17-building luxury apartment complex in Baldwinsville
ome March the first residents of the 442-unit The Landings at Meadowood off Downer Street in Baldwinsville are expected to be moving in. Though construction of the 17-building luxury apartment complex is not expected to be completed until 2019, three of the buildings will be fit for their new residents as of March 4. Morgan Communities is a Rochester-based business that is growing both regionally and nationally. “It’s a huge, fast-growing company,” said Karen Witter, the property manager of The Landings. “They’re big. They’re progressive. There’s a lot going on.” In 2014, Morgan Communities finished Rivers Pointe Apartments off Route 31 in Clay. Like that construction, rental of The Landings was well underway before the opening. The company also just finished
96 town homes in Camillus, known as Township Five, in the Costco area. It has also started the construction of town homes in Clay, behind Rivers Pointe. Nationwide, Morgan Communities has 162 communities, or about 32,000 units, Witter said. Thirteen of those are in the Syracuse area, but not all are new construction. “All the new communities we’ve built — the new construction — has done really, really well. I think we have a total of 13 communities in Syracuse right now. You’ve got a range of everything so there’s something for everybody.” High-end luxury apartments have been popular with the company. The Landings in Baldwinsville offers residents one-to three-bedroom apartments that range in monthly rent from $1,000 to $1,600. The three-bedrooms come with a garage.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
“[There are] luxury finishes lik e quartz counter tops, stainless steel appliances, farm sinks,” Wi t t e r s a i d . “We’ll have the hard laminate wood look and a lot of modern contempo- Karen Witter rary finishes, a swimming pool, a gorgeous community center that has a library that has Wi-Fi access for residents, a pub room with billiards, fireplace, bar area, party room for residents to rent, a gorgeous 24-hour fitness center, large and spacious and well-equipped.” Though the property manager couldn’t give a specific figures, she said Morgan Communities has invested many millions in its new Central New York construction. She said the area has become attractive to developers in recent years. “I think Onondaga County is attractive to everybody,” she said. “There’s a lot of reasons to be here. It’s just a great location. There’s a need.” Witter said there may be diversity in those who choose to live at The Landings. The apartments’ location offers the familiarity of village life, but is centrally located off route 690, offering easy access to both Syracuse and Oswego County. “You’ve got people who want to be close to their families—grandmas and grandpas,” she said. “You’ve got the college kids that are coming out of school that are looking at their first jobs. You’ve got Syracuse University grad students. You get a wide range.” She said the village helped in allowing the construction process to move forward and also DGA Builders, the Rochester firm doing the construction. Once more of the construction is completed the property will have a model apartment available to look at for those interested. She also said a 360 degree virtual tour will be available online. Witter sees a lot of reasons why “The Landings at Meadowood” will be an attractive housing option for years to come. “It’s a great location,” she said. “It’s a great product. There’s a need for it in our community. Baldwinsville has nothing like this, so there’s a lot of positives.”
By Matthew Liptak MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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“We’ve Got You Covered!” Allen Manwaring, a veteran of the grocery business in Oswego County, is the general manager at Mapleview Market.
New Grocery Store Opens in Maple View Find the best in residential & commercial properties in Oswego NY
Building once used by Ostrander’s Village Market now houses Mapleview Market. Owners invested more than $100,000 in the business
A www.hillsideparkrealestate.com 38
foreclosed property in Mexico now houses a full-service grocery store, carrying on a 100-plus year tradition of a grocery store located on the corner of Routes 104 and 11. Brothers Shaan and Deve Patel — who already own Brewerton Motel OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
— purchased the property at a county tax auction two years ago for $31,000. They spent $80,000 to $90,000 in renovations, which includes an entire new roof. New refrigeration was also added as the compressors left by the previous owner weren’t good. On Dec. 1, Mapleview Market MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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Complete AUTO REPAIR CENTER ... From Tune-ups to ENGINE & TRANSMISSION REPAIR Call today! Brothers Shaan and Deve Patel recently opened Mapleview Market, a grocery store located in Maple View in the same building Ostrander’s Village Market occupied until 2013. Also picture is Jags (left), Shaan’s wife opened for business offering full-service grocery, produce, deli, custom cut meats, frozen and dairy as well as a pizza shop that serves pizza, wings and submarine sandwiches. The business is managed by Allen Manwaring, a veteran of the grocery business. He worked as a general manager at Paul’s Big M in Oswego and owned his own store in Pulaski Al’s Big Hometown Corner Market. “It’s kind of funny I’m back here,” said Manwaring. “I opened this store with Tom Aletshauser in 1987 as a meat and full-service grocery store.” Manwaring interviewed on behalf of the Patels as English is their second language. Manwaring is also the “face” of the store as he has a following of customers from his 35 years in the grocery industry. Not only does Manwaring assist the Patels with communication, he teaches them about the business. “They really didn’t know a lot about the grocery business in the beginning.” he said. The county took over the property following the closing of Ostrander’s Village Market. Ostrander’s closed four years ago, and since that time the building remained vacant. The Patels acquired it in 2015, and that’s when Manwaring heard about it. He approached the new owners MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
about working at the store, and they were interested. But time went by and he heard nothing. He made another stop to find out what was going on, and that’s when he landed the job as the general manager. The building’s roots go back to the early 1900s when it housed a small general store owned by the Wildmer family. Eventually, a repair shop and gas pumps were added. The Wildmer’s lived upstairs. The building was sold in 1947 to the Catuli family and they expanded the store. In 1971, the store became a seven-aisle supermarket and the Catulis operated it as an IGA until 1984, at which time Ostrander’s took over. The Patels are new to the grocery industry, but they aren’t new to business. They own a motel in Brewerton and they are in the process of acquiring a motel in Auburn. They opened a store in Albany and a dry-goods store in south Syracuse. Business has been good, Manwaring said, as more and more people become aware of the new store. “It’s going to take time,” he noted. “We’re more of an evening, weekend store, but we’re coming along.”
By Carol Thompson OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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Striking Out On Their Own First small business certificates (DBAs) filed in Central New York in 2017 include a restaurant, an arts and craft business and store in Fulton selling handmade crafts Second Chance Creations Owners: Scott and Melissa Benjamin, Red Creek
elissa Benjamin had always wanted to own her own business. Her dream came true Feb. 1 when she opened Second Chance Creations with her husband Scott. She had filed a business certificate early in January. The store, located at 616B Oneida St., Fulton, sells handmade crafts. Benjamin took a different approach by having crafters rent space rather than sell on consignment. “They pay a monthly rent and we sell it for them,” she said. Benjamin said she borrowed the money from a family member to start the business. A resident of Red Creek, she selected Fulton because of the location. “It has a nice atmosphere,” she said. Start-up costs were under $10,000 and included storefront rent, security deposit, and the addition of shelving. The shop offers all handmade crafts from knitted baby layettes to rocking chairs. A number of dog items are available as well as wooden clocks and pan handle covers. 40
Scott and wife Melissa Benjamin recently opened a small craft business in Fulton. The couple lives in Red Creek but said they chose Fulton because of its location. The couple spent $10,000 to get the business up and running. Benjamin said she does crafts and her husband does woodworking so a handmade shop was a natural fit for the couple’s first business. Along with the handcrafted goods, Benjamin has direct sales with OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Avon, Pampered Chef, Pink Zebra and Lemon Grass Spa. Those representatives are on site to sell their wares and answer customer questions. Benjamin used social media to find vendors. “I went on Facebook MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
and said I was looking. I let them know the details and we worked it out,” she said of her current vendors. She added that she’s always looking for more crafters. “It’s a new year and a new adventure,” Benjamin said. “It’s either going to make us or break us but it’s going to make us because that’s the outlook we have.” The shop is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
By Carol Thompson
Making Dew Makeand-Take Art Studio Owner: Dorothy Wilcox, East Syracuse
orothy Wilcox is a local artist with a dream. She wants to become the Build-a-Bear of sun and dreamcatchers. “What would I consider success?” she mused. “When someone comes and offers me $5 million for my company and I know that I shouldn’t sell it because I know someone is going to turn around and offer me $10 million next week.” Right now she’s far off from the millions she aspires to. But she’s decided to pursue the business after testing it out in an unconventional way. “I’ve done a little bit of illegal vending where I’ve taken them out on umbrellas at different festivals and I’ve done OK. They sell for between $10 and $40.” She believes this art she discovered had enough potential to become a real business. Her dreamcatchers and sun-catchers can be created through a fairly simple process. “A friend of mine got together to make crafts with me,” she said. “She brought some Shrinky-Dink paper over. We were using it to make bookmarks and I thought this should be a sun-catcher. I started not only using them as bookmarks, but poking holes in the bottoms as well so I could add other adornments and make them really stand out in the sun.” After testing out the product, Wilcox realized she wanted to share MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Dorothy Wilcox is a local artist with a dream. She wants to become the Build-a-Bear of sun and dreamcatchers. She was one of the first people in Onondaga County to file a business certificate this year. the art and its process with others. She plans to be setting up booths at local festivals where she can quickly teach others how to create their own personalized dreamcatchers and sun-catchers. Designs are only limited by the creator’s imagination, but Wilcox suggested they can include birds, butterflies, fish, Grateful Dead skulls, sunsets, elephants and more. “I don’t know yet if it’s really profitable because I haven’t done it in a way where other people can make their own,” she said. “As I grow and expand and am able to go to festivals instead of just an umbrella-full, I’ll have two tents full with generators and tables and ovens where people can create their own. I think not only could it be profitable, but it could spread a little bit of art around. Don’t we all need a little bit more art in our lives?”
By Matthew Liptak
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Caribbean Soul Restaurant Owner: Tricia Stewart, Syracuse
ricia Stewart is a native of Grenada in the Caribbean. She wants to bring a little of the island flavor to Syracuse. Stewart moved here when she was 17. Today she is living on Syracuse’s South Side. She is a well-spoken, somewhat shy young woman. She is planning to give up her steady job as a cook at Iroquois Nursing Home in Jamesville and make a go of it as a small business woman. “I didn’t realize I was the first [DBA],” Stewart said. “It feels good that I gave the year a good start. I’m optimistic and it’s exciting. I’m just jumping in. You got to take a leap. Success doesn’t come too easily — and if you don’t try you’ll never know. I’m trusting in God and doing the right steps to prepare myself financially to 41
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that’s the same curry powder that they have in my country. If I go visit my sister, I get it from Canada. She lives in Mississauga. They have West Indian stores. That’s where I’ll buy it in bulk.” Stewart has had the importance of consistency ground into her at Iroquois Nursing Home. It’s a place where if you get the ingredients wrong it can actually hurt the customers, not just upset them. “I’m nervous because I’m going to be my own boss,” she said. “I’m really nervous. It is going to be a total difference to what I do at Iroquois. We’ll have a lot more flavor.” The entrepreneur said she is still selecting the ideal location for her eatery and hopes to have a property to Tricia Stewart of Syracuse filed the very first move into by May. She said DAB in Onondaga County. She plans to start a she wants to be somewhat Caribbean restaurant in Syracuse. centrally located, and attract customers from different get the outcome that I’m looking for.” backgrounds and neighborhoods. Onondaga County’s first 2017 She also wants to give back to businessperson has studied hospitality the community through monetary management at Onondaga Commudonations to area charities once her nity College. She comes from a family business is financially stable enough. whose members are in the food and “I want to be able to help others restaurant business. in need when I get to the point that “It runs in the family,” she said. I’m able to help them — donate, feed “My dad is a cook. My grandmother the homeless — whatever I can do to has a restaurant in Grenada. She calls be beneficial to those that are in need, it the Sugar Shack. My mom used to because there’s been times in my life have a restaurant called Sonya’s. My when things didn’t go my way. It dad — he’s a chef here. My cousin is a would be nice to give back to people.” cook here. It runs in the blood.” Before that though, there’s a lot The newest member of the of dishes to be cooked and spices to Stewart family to run a small business be added with her unique Grenadian expects to be offering a variety of flare. Caribbean cuisine. She said there’ll be Stewart doesn’t want to cook just curry chicken, jerked chicken, stewed the occasional tasty meal that may be pork, shrimp mac and cheese among a novelty to some, but wants Caribother dishes. And Caribbean Soul will bean Soul to be a place where her also have American fare like lasagna Central New York neighbors can come and fried fish Fridays. back to enjoy some island hospitality. But Stewart doesn’t aspire to be “This time next year I’m hoping just another ethnic eatery in Syracuse. She wants to prepare the best Caribbe- to be known for the best authentic Caribbean dishes in Syracuse,” she an fare in Central New York. She said said. “I [hope] people from outside she believes the key to that is consisSyracuse will come and want to try tency and ingredients. my food. I want to make my impact. “A lot of times the spices and the I want to make my dad proud and I ingredients makes the difference,” want to be financially stable. I believe Stewart said. “And how we prepare it is possible.” it. For instance, when you make curry chicken I don’t use the curry powder By Matthew Liptak that they have in Syracuse. I typically get it from New York City because OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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Employee Retention: What Local Companies Do
Novelis, OBG, Wegman, Loretto share some of the techniques they use to keep employees By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
nce you find great employees, retaining them is the name of the game. The cost of employee turnover ranges from 50 to 100 percent or more of that employee’s annual salary, depending upon the skill level and function of the employee. The expense includes the cost of down time, recruiting, screening, orientation, training and dips in productivity of other employees because of lowered morale. Here’s how some of Central New York’s largest employers keep their best employees. At Novelis in Oswego, it’s all about initial culture fit. If employees fit in, they’ll stay. Malcolm Gabriel, director of human resources, said that when the company shifted from canning to automotive in its focus, Novelis had to draw from a different population to find the skill set required, but recruiting people to Upstate New York proved challenging. Instead of looking outside the state, Novelis formed partnerships with SUNY Oswego and Cayuga Community College. The company invested $80,000 to form an educational program. Engaging engineers with social networking and achievement boasting has helped attract like-minded applicants and aided current employees in building a spirit of camaraderie. “We’ve taken a very hard line more recently on internal hires,” Gabriel said. 44
“What this means is we have prioritized learning and development as part of our company growth. We will create the successful candidates for the future. As a last resort, we hire from the outside.” Developing internal leadership, asking for employee feedback (along with taking it seriously) and helping employees complete further education has all helped Novelis keep talented employees onboard. Company culture also helps Wegmans both find and keep good employees, according to Evelyn Carter, director of community relations for the Syracuse division. “We form a strong connection with the employees,” Carter said. The company also offers a specific training program for each employee “to make sure they have the tools to execute their jobs,” Carter said. “That builds employee confidence that they can provide more services to customers. They have a stronger sense of accomplishment when employees experience positive interactions with customers.” Cross training enables the store chain to provide flexible work schedules, a boon to parents and students. “We try to be very supportive of employees with any personal experience,” Carter said. An employee with a death in the family may receive food delivered from the store, for example. The employee scholarship program OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
offers assistance with tuition and books for college, a benefit that Carter said many employees use. Not many retail organizations provide scholarships. “We have a strong focus on internal promotion,” Carter said. “We try to consider our employee population before we look externally. Employees have an opportunity if they work hard and do their job efficiently.” In the health care industry, burnout and turnover keep the retention rates low in many organizations. That’s why Loretto management works to improve the working environment. Allison Wollen, vice president of HR, said that following up with new hires at 30 and 90 days after hire helps ensure employees have all the resources they need to perform their jobs. The management also hosts get-togethers for an informal means of engaging with employees, and recognizes employee milestones. The organization subsidizes uniforms, and allows employees to wear any color or pattern of scrubs they wish. Loretto provides nearly 100 percent tuition reimbursement, a boon to those interested in a long-term career in health care. Some entry-level employees continue on to become registered nurses, thanks to the reimbursement and the flexible schedule they’re provided. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Wollen described the residence floors as “very homey” and including bird cages, fish tanks and a few residents’ dogs. “It doesn’t look like a hospital,” Wollen said. “Our employees participate in different recreational programs with residents.” By creating a community-like atmosphere, Loretto tries to make work a place where employees enjoy spending time. Loretto is working on helping employees buy their own vehicles, since some entry-level employees encounter difficulty in getting to work dependably without owning a car. A lack of a down payment and established credit also hampers their ability to purchase a vehicle. By working with auto dealers to find inexpensive vehicles and partnering with a lender, Loretto hopes to roll out the car co-sign program soon to further help employees who have struggled to purchase a car. O’Brien & Gere (OBG) maintains locations in Syracuse and Liverpool, among others places in New York and elsewhere. Dianne Prossner, senior manager of human resources at OBG, said that the company’s commitment to both clients and employees has helped improve retention. OBG’s initiatives include career building, premium benefits, and community involvement. Prossner has worked with OBG for 30 years. Though she began in finance, she worked her way through the company both vertically and laterally to her current position. “Our employees are thrilled there are challenging projects to work on and can find a great career here,” Prossner said. “There are opportunities to grow.” The company’s SPARK Innovation Competition is “a 24-hour, think-tank style competition created by OBG to promote innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related problem statements” the company website states. “We’re a culture of innovation,” Prossner said. “We have an internal and external innovation competition. It’s an exciting engagement opportunity. Employees get together to brainstorm. It’s a great opportunity our employees really enjoy.” Employee benefits include wellness activities, flexible work arrangements, and matching retirement funds. Prossner said that many employees enjoy contributing to the community through corporate philanthropy efforts. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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wego River. The Y has already paid a design fee to have the power lines moved.
Time to roll
Kerrie Webb, chief executive officer of the Oswego YMCA
Oswego YMCA: Connecting the Dots Major construction projects totaling nearly $1 million to elevate Y’s status in Oswego By Lou Sorendo
he beleaguered Oswego YMCA is looking to connect with the community again. Both figuratively and literally speaking, that is. Besieged by financial woes, the Y is looking to regain its former status beginning with two major construction projects totaling nearly $1 million. The projects involve creating a connector joining the Oswego Armory with its swimming pool, located within its former location that is no longer serviceable. The space will offer new men’s and women’s locker rooms as well as an atrium. In addition, plans are to revamp the existing basement men’s locker room into two separate areas — wom46
en’s and men’s — and an entrance level restroom. Kerrie Webb, chief executive officer of the Oswego YMCA, is leading the comeback charge. The plan calls for using a preexisting garage as a connector. The preexisting garage would house men’s, ladies and family locker rooms that are ADA compliant to ensure accessibility. “There’s a lot of work to get done,” she said. Drainage lines from West Mohawk Street flow between the buildings, and Webb said the Y is in contact with the city to inquire about the timing of its sewer projects this year. Also, National Grid power lines run between the buildings as well, leading to the canal locks on the OsOSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Jerry Cowden, project manager/ mechanical engineer at Sack & Associates Consulting Engineers, Syracuse, is the point person for design while PAC Construction in Oswego will head up the construction phase. Scriba Electric is providing electrical work. “I don’t care whether it’s union or non-union, I want people in the area to have the opportunity to be able to continue to do the trades they do,” Webb said. An atrium will be featured with tables and gathering space, as well as a closed circuit TV to provide live feeds of swim lessons and classes being held in the pool since the area will not have an observation deck like it used to. YMCA of the USA says people learn new activities better without a parent or significant other hovering over them. Besides the connector project, the Y also intends on splitting pre-existing locker rooms at the Armory. Total cost is going to be between $800,000 and $1 million, Webb said. “Because it’s a pre-existing structure, it really can take place much quicker than what you would typically think something like this could happen,” said Webb, noting it could happen in less than six months once started. “The biggest thing is timing in terms of orchestrating the move of the power lines,” she said. “My personal goal is to be able to see things happening by late spring,” she said. Stairs and a lift will be necessary to access the existing pool deck. The Y has been maintaining the pool, which was built in the 1960s, while it has been closed.
Project enhances accessibility Webb said the most significant benefit the project provides is full accessibility. While the Y now features a handicapped ramp and bathroom along with stair lifts, it is only accommodating for one certain group, Webb noted. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
“We also have to look at strollers, or people carrying multiple kids, or a senior who may have recently had a new knee replacement,” she said. Now armed with a new kitchen, the Y will be working with pre- and post-bariatric surgery patients along with folks suffering from heart conditions. “We have to make sure we’re accessible for everyone with all needs,” she said. Webb said forming partnerships are key to Oswego’s success. “Everyone has functioned for so long in a silo and in survival mode, all fighting for the same money,” she said. An example is when Lowe’s offered to gift a kitchen to the Y. “So now we can teach actual healthy living aspects,” she said. “There is so much someone has to do to get healthy before taking a fitness class, and Type 2 diabetes in our area is on the rise,” she said. With child obesity at epidemic proportions, the Y will now teach children how to eat. “We are helping and educating them, not forcing them to run. Not every kid likes to do that,” she said.
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Trump Pulls Off the Unthinkable Four years ago, Donald Trump proclaimed that the Electoral College system of picking the president of the United States was a “disaster.” Now, he is in the White House because of it
‘Virtually all of the pollsters, political insiders and the media had Hillary Clinton doing a cakewalk into the presidency. How in the world did nearly everyone get it so spectacularly wrong?’
BRUCE FRASSINELLI is the former publisher of The Palladium-Times and an adjunct online instructor at SUNY Oswego. 48
s the nation went to the polls on Election Day, virtually all of the pollsters, political insiders and the media had Hillary Clinton doing a cakewalk into the presidency. Even a large number of Trump’s inner circle later admitted that they thought Clinton would win. In this age of technology, how in the world did they get it so spectacularly wrong? Make no mistake, the analysis to try to unravel this riddle will go on for years, maybe even decades, in what is arguably one of the most sensational, never-saw-it-coming upsets in our nation’s history. It confirms a view that every four years, when we get a chance to vote for the candidates running for the highest office in the land, the electorate gets angrier, and it also confirms that the two economic Americas are growing further and further apart, and the gap continues to grow. Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times said that a big part of the country was far more upset than the so-called experts thought. He also said that Trump’s message to fix the country and “drain the swamp” was much stronger than all of Trump’s flaws and the multitude of screw-ups that he made — errors that would have decimated any conventional candidate. “Donald Trump did everything short of cutting off his own ear to try to hurt himself over and over again and dare voters to reject him,” said another Times’ reporter, Maggie Haberman, “and they just wouldn’t do it.” Another major factor was the repudiation of Clinton. “Fundamentally, Clinton, as it turns out, was the worst candidate Democrats could have run,” Haberman said. “This is ironic since the field was cleared for her back in 2013. Had almost any other major Democratic candidate been the nominee, they would have beaten Donald Trump,” she said. Geoff Garin, a veteran Democratic pollster who worked for the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA, said many surveys under-sampled non-college-educated whites, a group that Trump appealed to heavily. He also said there was an over-emphasis on the impact of the country’s rising demographic diversity. Many thought that Clinton’s appeal OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
to African Americans and Latinos would put her over the top. One thing that we know for sure is that this is another nail in the coffin of polling. Even some of the gold-standard polls have lost substantial credibility and won’t regain their luster anytime soon. Their polling methods have been called into question, which does not bode well for the profession. Some believe there was a fairly sizable “hidden Trump vote.” These are Trump admirers who were embarrassed to admit, even anonymously to pollsters, that they planned to vote for him. It is similar to polls that newspapers would take a generation ago. When asked which section readers turned to first, many of them said the editorial section. We knew this was a bogus response, but they did not want to admit that they turned to the comics, Dear Abby or the obituaries first. In New York state, the results of the presidential election were much as predicted. Clinton carried the state with 59 percent of the vote to Trump’s 36.5 percent. The other 4 ½ percent were divided among Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and another third-party candidate and other non-candidates who received votes. Locally, Clinton carried just Onondaga County with about 103,000 votes to Trump’s 78,000. The others went to Trump, including Oswego (25,800-15,600), Cayuga (16,200-12,200), Wayne (22,000-12,300), Jefferson (20,000-12,300), Oneida (48,500-30,700) and Madison (15,00010,600). Other analysts thought that Trump had a last-minute surge when FBI Director James Comey announced 11 days before the election that it was reviewing additional evidence involving Clinton’s emails and those of her aides at the State Department. Although Comey announced two days before the election that it had not found any incriminating evidence, both sides believe the damage had already been done to Clinton’s fragile lead. The fact is that despite the tightening of the polls as Election Day neared, few believed that Trump could pull off the unthinkable. Republican Party adviser Curt Anderson put it as directly as anyone: “The deniers in this election were in a bubble, and the bubble has burst.” MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
PROGRESS MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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Manufacturing, Energy Lead to Promising Economic Outlook in 2017
‘Manufacturing and energy generation have traditionally been Oswego County’s primary economic base. Growth in these areas is a testament to the strength of these sectors and is proof that the local economy is advancing and is poised for growth.’
L. MICHAEL TREADWELL, CEcD, is executive director of Operation Oswego County based in Oswego.
ince 2008, Oswego County has been able to rebound from high unemployment. As part of the turn-around, the county has already seen significant growth in the manufacturing sector. Growth in manufacturing has a considerable economic impact on Oswego County and the Central New York region. Manufacturing has the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. For every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.48 is added to the overall economy. Below is a list of Economic manufacturing projects set to commence in Oswego County in 2017. • EJ USA is constructing a new 65,000-sq.ft. manufacturing facility in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the town of Schroeppel. This expansion/relocation project will employ approximately 90 fulltime workers. The cost for the project is $9 million and construction is expected to begin in 2017. EJ, based in Michigan, designs, manufactures and distributes manhole covers and gratings for water, sewer, drainage, telecommunications and utility networks. This location will also serve as their major distribution hub for the Northeast. • Northland Filter International, in the city of Oswego, is a business expansion project made possible through a planned addition on the 32,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility they lease from Operation Oswego County. The $1.1 million project, including the building expansion and new equipment, will add new product lines and anticipates the creation of 25 to 30 jobs. Construction of the addition is scheduled to take place in 2017. Northland Filter makes air filtration equipment for the industrial and commercial industries. The company’s headquarters are in Canada. • The County of Oswego IDA is in the process of acquiring the former Price Chopper building in the city of Oswego from the Port of Oswego Authority. The $6 million project will involve the renovation of the 43,000-sq.-ft. building into a modern, worldclass incubator facility that will provide space OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
for advanced manufacturing, research and development and food processing, as well as emerging technology and service businesses. The incubator facility will also house the offices of Operation Oswego County and the County of Oswego IDA. Additional support space will be available for business advisers and incubation service providers. Acquisition is anticipated to be finalized by March and construction and renovations will begin in the summer. The building is expected to open in 2018. • Finger Lakes Stairs will construct a new 7,920-sq.-ft. manufacturTrends ing facility in the town of Schroeppel. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2017. This relocation /expansion is expected to employ 10 fulltime workers. Finger Lakes Stairs makes custom stairs and stair parts, wood flooring and molding. • In 2016, the County of Oswego IDA purchased from Oswego County the former Waste Water Treatment facility along with approximately 216 acres located in the former Miller Brewing site in the town of Volney. The facility has the potential to provide millions of gallons of waste water service capacity to large industrial users, as well as providing additional municipal capacity necessary for growth. Targeted improvements to the facility will be used as a tool to attract manufacturing prospects. • Construction is well underway on the 40,000-sq.-ft. 1886 Malt House at the Sunoco complex in the town of Volney. The manufacturing facility, which is expected to open in 2017, will produce more than 2,000 tons of barley malt annually, making it one of the largest barley malt suppliers for the craft brewing industry in the U.S. The 1886 Malt House will use New York-grown barley and is looking to create partnerships with New York growers. It estimates that it will need to contract nearly 2,000 acres of barley to meet production needs for 2017. Since 2010, Sunoco has occupied a sizable portion of the former Miller Brewery where it produces ethanol from corn. Sunoco will also oversee the operation of the 1886 Malt House. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
• Champlain Valley Specialty (CVS) has continued to grow since locating in the town of Oswego in 2012. CVS sources locally grown apples, including those from Oswego County, which are sliced and packaged for institutions, restaurants and retail stores. When they relocated in 2012, they expected to create 60 jobs. They now employ more than 200. They are certainly a company to watch in 2017. • During 2016, Novelis continued to expand and grow in the town of Scriba. The company celebrated the commissioning of its third state-of-theart automotive finishing line. Since 2011, the company has added approximately 500 jobs. Started in 2016 and scheduled to be completed in 2017 was another $21 million investment in a new pusher furnace to preheat ingots to begin the hot rolling process of aluminum. • While not manufacturing per se, one of the biggest stories of 2016 and 2017 involves the fate of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant. In 2016, the Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition and the County of Oswego IDA advocated for and celebrated the NYS Public Service Commission’s approval of Gov. Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard which included a provision for Upstate New York nuclear plants to receive zero emission credits (ZECs). Subsequent to that, Gov. Cuomo stood on the grounds of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant to announce that Entergy had agreed to sell FitzPatrick to Exelon. These two events saved over 600 direct jobs in Oswego County, in addition to nearly 1,000 outage-related jobs. In late 2016, the NYS Public Service Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the sale of FitzPatrick to Exelon. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is still reviewing the application and is expected to give approval this spring, the last step in the approval process. Entergy and Exelon are moving forward and have worked together to refuel the plant, in preparation for its continued operation. In 2017, Upstate Energy Jobs will continue to advocate for energy jobs in Oswego County and champion for improved transmission infrastructure. Manufacturing and energy generation have traditionally been Oswego County’s primary economic base. These projects are just a sample of the successes in these two industrial sectors in Oswego County. Growth in these areas is a testament to the strength of these sectors and is proof that the Oswego County economy is advancing and is poised for growth. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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Will the Trump Administration Be Good for CNY? 20 local businesses people weigh in
Recently we asked leaders of Central New York organizations and businesses what they expect from the Trump Administration. Here’s what they said.
“I’m optimistic, I tell you that. I’m hoping the economy gets better. I’m not directly affected by import and export business. We’re just a small business. We’ve been in business 50 years and this past year has been the worst as for as new business. Fire departments and corporations are all going to certificate awards instead of plaques. Budget cuts for the schools have affected us. They give certificates, too.” Rosanne Anthony, owner A-1 Trophy Company, Syracuse
“I’m hoping for big things. I hope everything that’s wrong with this country is made right. I pray the executive orders he’s signing all becomes law.” Charles Page, owner, Ace Trust Solutions, Chittenango
“As with any administration, I want 52
to see all levels of business prosper, unemployment levels improve as job opportunities increase, quality of life in our communities thrive and the interests of all citizens be considered when drafting new policy and regulations” Deana M. Michaels, AVP branch manager, Pathfinder Bank, Fulton and Greater Oswego Fulton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors president
drug costs. This could help reduce premiums as well. We are waiting to see if there will be an overall healthcare law or a series of changes to the current law. Hopefully the administration works hard to address the actual cost of care, as that is the largest driver of premiums.” Brooks Wright, director of new business development, KBM Management, East Syracuse
“From the Trump administration we expect a more pro-business, pro-development regulatory environment. We also expect an increase in public-private partnerships and private equity investments in infrastructure as the Trump administration looks for ways to fund the significant infrastructure improvement program that has been communicated.” John D. Trimble, P.E., president & CEO, C&S Companies, Syracuse
“My expectation of the new administration is that they not cave to the ‘politics as usual’ fed by individual self interests. It is critically important to be able to communicate effectively and work well together for the benefit of the overall good. My hope is that President Trump and his new administration stay true to the spirit of making America competitive again, and to the promises made during his campaign.” Jamieson C. Persse, certified member of The John Maxwell Team, executive coach, trainer, and speaker, founder & CEO, JC Persse Consulting
“As a consultant to businesses on their employee benefits, we are constantly watching for changes to healthcare legislation. The overall tone of reducing regulations should help some toward premium reductions. The administration has mentioned working on prescription OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
“My expectation for the Trump Administration is to repeal and replace Obamacare with affordable premiums MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
and realistic deductibles while being able to keep your doctor, allowing small business/groups to pool resources and shop for the best prices, but not be contained within the state. Crossing state lines for access ensures a more competitive price structure and affordability. Lower corporate and payroll taxes and reduce regulations on small businesses to allow growth and sustainability of large and small businesses.” Chiropractor Ed Galvin, Port City Chiropractic, PC, Oswego
“I believe people will be traveling less in the coming years. I sense a prevailing feeling of unease, which doesn’t bode well for the tourism industry, particularly for those of us who host foreign travelers. I hope I’m wrong because I’d love to see joyful and carefree times ahead.” Anne Hutchins, owner and innkeeper, River Edge Mansion Bed & Breakfast, Pennellville
“Locally, I expect minimal impact on my business; statewide, a major impact on Wall Street. For short-term gains, not much the rest of the state. Nationally, I expect faster growth the next two years.” John M. Henry, owner Mitchell’s Speedway Press, Oswego
“It is difficult to know exactly what to expect from the Trump Administration and the new Congress. The only thing we know with reasonable certainty is that there will be a lot of changes and, at least initially, more than a little chaos. There are a lot of moving parts, and it is difficult to sort out what that might mean for business generally and Central New York business specifically. It is also hard to know exactly how these changes may affect individual business sectors. Some could thrive while others suffer. Business does not generally embrace a chaotic and disruptive environment so at least in the near term, it could be a pretty bumpy ride. After that, we’ll just have to wait and see.” Jay Mahoney, business manager, SBG Properties, LLC, Penfield, a real estate investment business primarily engaged in Oswego’s residential rental market
“He runs the office of the presidency in a more business-like fashion. I think too long it’s been run on a political aspect. It’s important to start running in a more MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
structured business environment.” Raymond Carrock, President & CFO, Aquarii, Inc., Camillus
“I’ll wait and see it out. Hopefully he’ll do well.” Marjorie Taylor, artistic director, CMC Dance Company, Inc., Cicero
“There will probably be a slight impact in the change of FHA [Federal Housing Administration] mortgage insurance ruling they did away with. Other than that, it’s more dependent on rates and the economy.” Patrick O’Connor, broker & owner, NYHomes, Syracuse
“My goal for any administration is the hope that they focus on business and create opportunities for businesses that have left the state. I hope that what is put in place at the federal level will trickle down to positively affect businesses at the state level.” James Hickey, president, Charles Signs, Inc., Liverpool
“I’m really up in the air. He says one thing one week and does something else the other week. It would be nice if he really did bring more business into the economy. I’m hoping as time goes by, he’ll be able to work with leaders like the Mexican president to work out better trade deals so maybe more manufacturing can come back to this country. There are so many issues, not just that. I think that he’s going to find that over time, working with Congress and some of the leaders in Europe, he’ll probably calm down on some of his rhetoric and do the right thing for our country.” Toni Ritter, owner James Flowers, Syracuse
“I’m hoping that we can keep jobs and bring more industry to the United States. Lift regulations that raise cost for consumers.” Patrick Furlong Jr., field work, service and sales, Furdis.com, Fulton
“I think one of the most important things is that he will change our immigration policy to a policy that is more selective on who comes into our country. I think that is very important in two ways. Number one, we won’t have to OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
spend so much of our money taking care of people who are among the most needy of other countries Number two, we will have people come into our country who are as educated or better educated as our citizens. That will change the immigration landscape.” David Proietti, principal, Oswego Community Christian School, Oswego
“I think it will be good for business. He has a lot of good ideas and is doing a lot of new things. He understands things have got to be manufactured in the US for our economy to work.” Jim Soule, Scriba Electric, Inc., Oswego
“He had all these ideas going in and I think you and I know he can’t do all these all at once. It’s not going to work. It’s baby steps: one step at a time.” Alex Thompson, owner, A & J Music, Oswego
“I think that the election as a whole was very difficult. It was a hard decision. While I think that there may be some good things that happen with the Trump Administration, I’m very uncomfortable with his mannerisms and lack of integrity and honesty. I’m a little fearful that several more months down the road, there may be a little boy at the parade that exclaims, ‘Look, the emperor has no clothes’ and we may all come to a realization. I’m apprehensive.” Anthony Pauldine, owner, Anthony Pauldine’s Contractors, Inc., Oswego
“I’m hoping he will do everything he can to help small businesses and college students with their tuition. I hope he will lower our taxes for the middle class.” Suanne Darling, Darling Elves, Oswego
“I think that the Trump administration will roll back some of the onerous federal regulations and try to simplify the tax code and business development process. If they follow through on these stated initiatives, it will give a strong boost to small and large businesses alike. Long overdue.” Randy L. Zeigler, financial adviser, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Oswego
Interviews by Deborah Sergeant 53
2017 Top Projects in Oswego County
Focus to continue on advanced manufacturing, energy production, health care, tourism and agri-business By Lou Sorendo
hat needs to happen in 2017 for Oswego County to achieve a high level of success in terms of economic development? “In the short-term, we will continue doing what’s been recently successful,” said L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of Operation Oswego County, the county’s designated economic development agency. That means the county will continue to target the industry sectors of advanced manufacturing, energy production, health care, tourism, and agri-business. He said these sectors have led to major investments in the hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years and will provide jobs in 2017 and beyond. In order to continue to attract companies and expand the ones established, Oswego County will need to invest in critical assets, Treadwell said. These include the county’s workforce, local and regional infrastructure and site development, including shovel-ready sites. Oswego County is also developing a business incubator facility at the former Price Chopper site on East Cayuga Street in the city of Oswego. Treadwell said it is key to improve downtown commercial hubs as a catalyst for business attraction and entrepreneurship. “We will continue to change perceptions by celebrating our successes, improving our weaknesses, and not dwelling on what we are not,” Treadwell said. Looking long term, Oswego County can also achieve success by
being proactive about the future, Treadwell said. This year, for the first time, Oswego County will embark on a countywide study known as the strategic economic advancement plan. “It will allow us to benchmark our programs and outcomes and compare us to communities using economic development best practices around the United States and beyond,” Treadwell said. He said the plan enables the county to determine what is working and to identify where improvements can be made in programs, collaboration and outcomes. “This will also be an essential step toward addressing deficiencies in our infrastructure that are significant impediments to economic development, as well as to the basic quality of life for our citizens,” Treadwell added. Progress was recently made when the village of Phoenix was awarded $529,216 for water and sewer improvements, including new water lines, storm sewers and sanitary sewers. It was part of the $62.2 million in economic and community development state funding the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council received in 2016. Here is a look at the top economic development projects, whether ongoing or under way, in Oswego County:
Novelis Generates Job Growth Novelis Corp. in Scriba — the most significant job generator over the OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
last several years in Oswego County — will continue to be just that in the years to come. Since 2011, the aluminum manufacturer and recycler has added approximately 500 jobs. It is poised to complete yet another major project in 2017. It has made a $21 million investment in a new pusher furnace to preheat ingots to begin the hot rolling process of aluminum. Over the last five years, Novelis has invested more than $500 million in the plant to meet the demands of the automotive industry. Novelis’ Oswego Works recently commissioned its third aluminum finishing line and expects demand to rise for lightweight metals in automotive manufacturing. The company expects to add another 250 workers to its 1,100-employee workforce over the next four years. Novelis is the second-leading private employer in Oswego behind Oswego Health. Aluminum makes for lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles, allowing automakers to meet stricter federal guidelines for fuel efficiency. Novelis’ production lines make aluminum sheet for use in the Ford F-150 and F-Series Super Duty line of trucks. In addition to the finishing lines, Novelis invested in an aluminum scrap recycling facility. Ford returns scrap aluminum, from their automotive manufacturing process, back to Novelis for recycling.
Nestle Site Comes Back to Life One of the top projects in Fulton is the continued demolition and redevelopment of the former Nestle Co. site. Mayor Ronald Woodward said demolition has been slowed at the site, which features some buildings that are more than 100 years old. Woodward worked as a maintenance supervisor at the chocolate factory for 17 years until it closed in 2003. “People refer to it as the Nestle building, but there are 24 acres of buildings that are all connected,” MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Progress Woodward said. “I worked there on nights and it would take me a couple hours to go through the whole plant, and that’s if I didn’t talk to anybody,” he said. The corner of Fay and South Fourth streets is where international supermarket chain Aldi intends to build a new grocery store. However, those particular buildings that demolition crews are trying to clear for Aldi are loaded with asbestos that went undetected in initial surveys, Woodward said. Over the years, when Nestle went to build on or remodel, it did not remove materials, but instead covered it up with new materials. When Infinity Enterprises, the demolition contractor owned by Mark Lindsley, took walls out, it found walls underneath laden with asbestos. When workers got down to the studs, they discovered piping running through several false floors that also contained asbestos not originally thought to exist, Woodward said. He said the work gets labor intensive, and includes air monitoring. “The good thing is we’re very close to having the whole site done,” said Woodward, noting the city is planning to close the transaction with Aldi in March. Woodward said several developers have expressed interest, and at least one will commit only if Aldi is located there. “We’ve had all kind of inquiries about it,” he said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a $350,000 grant for a Route 481 Gateway project in the city of Fulton. It is one of 75 projects across the state receiving funding through the Restore NY Communities Initiative. “We got to put our budget together for it,” Woodward said. He foresees part of the funds being targeted toward developing the 2.2-acre Aldi site. Woodward said his goal this year is to try to have the entire 24-acre site cleared.
at the Sunoco complex in the town of Volney, site of the former Miller Brewery. It is located within the Riverview Business Park and will be operated by Sunoco. The $9.1 million project will employ eight full-time workers and involve 150-200 contractors during construction, according to Erin Tones, manager of marketing and logistics at Sunoco. Since 2010, Sunoco has occupied a sizable portion of the former Miller Brewery where it produces ethanol from corn. The manufacturing facility will produce more than 2,000 tons of barley malt annually, making it one of the largest barley malt suppliers for the craft beer brewing industry in the United States, according to OOC. The facility is expected to come online in the first half of 2017, Tones added. The product is a dry malted grain that is the main raw ingredient for the craft beverage industry. The majority of the grain the facility will process is malting barley, but wheat and rye will also be malted in the future. “All grains processed at the facility will be grown in New York state,” Tones said. “The facility has contracted malting barley with farmers across the state for the 2017 production year, and is looking for growers for the planting coming up this spring and winter.” In 2012, New York state approved its farm brewery law, which resulted in an influx of craft breweries in New York. The law provides breaks on taxes and fees to breweries using ingredients grown or produced in New York state. The County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency provided funding assistance for the project. The facility received a $700,000 grant as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative.
1886 Malt House
Former Flexo Wire Site Redevelopment
Construction has begun on the 40,000-square-foot 1886 Malt House
Housing Visions’ $19 million plan to re-develop the former Flexo
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Wire site bodes well for Port City waterfront development, according to Operation Oswego County. The five-story mixed-use project would include 75 units of rental housing and 8,000 square feet of commercial space. Housing Visions is working on a New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal grant application. The site was previously designated a Brownfield site. The cost of site remediation is anticipated to be around $2 million. The remediation is expected to begin in 2017, and building construction would follow in 2018, according to OOC. This project is one of the core projects for the city’s winning the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative for Central New York.
Marine Sanctuary Status Officials from Oswego County and three surrounding counties are continuing to work toward the establishment of a National Marine Sanctuary they say could bring millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs to the area, according to OOC. The Great Lake Ontario Marine Sanctuary, first proposed in 2015, is a project that would take advantage of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration accepting applications for new members for the first time in 20 years. The marine sanctuary would encompass 193 miles of shoreline in Oswego, Wayne, Cayuga and Jefferson counties and encourage the preservation, research and exploration of Lake Ontario. Lake Ontario saw considerable shipping traffic during the 18th and 19th centuries, which left a legacy of hundreds of historic sites where shipwrecks are well preserved in the water. The county’s application has been submitted to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office for review before making its way to NOAA officials in Washington, D.C. 55
10 Sectors By Lou Sorendo
Agribusiness Agribusiness staggered by disastreous drought in 2016; looks to recover in 2017 despite challenges With President Donald Trump’s hard stance on immigration, area farmers are bracing for possible impact because they use migrant workers. “A lot of people are uncertain right now, obviously given the president’s actions,” said Orion Behling, president of the Oswego County Farm Bureau. Behling is the operations manager on his family farm — Behling Orchards LLC — in Mexico. His father, Eric, uncle Steve and grandmother Marion are its owners. Behling said area farmers use legal avenues to procure migrant workers. One of those methods is through the H2A visa for seasonal agricultural workers. The H2A temporary agricultural program allows local farmers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. 56
Behling noted most migrants come from the Caribbean, although many are Mexicans. “Will it create a labor shortage in the area? I have to assume it’s not going to be easy,” he said. Behling said the reason why local farmers use the H2A program to hire migrant workers is because of a shortage of workers in the local labor force. “You’re caught between a rock and a hard place, because you can’t raise the price of goods to pay higher wages. You are stuck with minimum wage or just above,” he said. “We’re stuck with a lot of empty vacancies. People don’t want to pick apples for eight hours a day at minimum wage,” he said. “It’s difficult work.” “It’s hard to get good help,” said Behling, noting migrant workers do not hesitate to take on tasks such as picking strawberries or beans. “We’re not panicking and running around screaming that the sky is falling,” he noted. “Like in any industry, we are going to wait and see what happens and then plan accordingly.” Behling is in his second year as president of the county bureau.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Dry period Behling said New York is a unfriendly state to agriculture, mostly because of onerous governmental regulations that make it difficult for farmers “to do what they need to do to get the job done.” The minimum wage for farm workers in New York state provides that all workers, with certain exceptions, must be paid at least $9 per hour. The state’s minimum wage for non-farm workers is $9.70 an hour. The state’s minimum wage will increase to $12.50 by 2020 with the eventual goal of reaching $15 an hour sometime past that. Behling said area farmers use young people as well as migrant workers and rely on the minimum wage to keep prices down. He noted there are differences in the minimum wage depending on what state or nation one resides. “We’re not only competing with other farmers in New York, but also competing with people in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Vermont and Canada,” he said. In Pennsylvania, for example, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Behling said the New York State MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Farm Bureau has been “fighting tooth and nail” to try to get the state to see that a higher minimum wage is going to be hard on farmers to absorb. 2016 was particularly difficult; area farmers suffered through one of the worse droughts in history. “We do apples and irrigated all summer long, which was the first time we’ve really done that. We put in new ponds, and one completely dried up. I’ve never seen that before,” he noted. Irrigation means additional fuel and labor costs, Behling said. Because of drought conditions in 2016, Oswego County farmers became eligible to apply for federal assistance when the region was declared a natural disaster area. It was reported that 70 percent of field crop and pasture acreage had losses greater than 30 percent, with some reporting nearly total crop failure. Behling said crop insurance is available, but it is not a “save all.” “It’s not going to keep you moving forward, but it might keep you standing up to fight the next year,” he said. Behling said very few crops fared well in Oswego County because of the drought last year. Christmas tree growers in the county also suffered, particularly since most do not run irrigation. Some of them lost up to 5 percent of their trees, Behling said.
Sour on milk Behling said the dairy business in Oswego County is suffering “fairly significantly.” “Milk prices are at a devastating low,” he said. Adversely affecting milk prices are feed costs and supply and demand, Behling said. “The market sets the prices. With most agricultural and commodity businesses, you can’t just set the price yourself. We are price takers, not price makers,” he said. The price dairy farmers are paid for milk has fallen 40 percent since 2014, sending many farmers into financial distress. Prices are at their lowest since 1998. “I believe the market will eventually bounce back on its own,” Behling added. In response to low prices for milk, area farmers are finding niche markets. One avenue is selling their milk to cheese producers such as Heluva Good and Adirondack. “I’ve heard of some businesses switching over to beef. We have more MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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fresh beef in the area and beef prices are getting stronger,” he said. He added dairy farmers are trying to get into smaller markets that feature more demand. According to 2012 numbers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, there are 657 farms in Oswego County with 94,209 acres of farmland in production. They generated $47.6 million in annual revenue. There were 2,300 dairy cows that were milked in 2015 in Oswego County, a number consistent with 2014, according to Steve Ammerman, public affairs manager for the New York Farm Bureau. According to the 2015-2016 NASS annual report, the total head of all cows and calves — including beef — in Oswego County was 9,700 head in 2015. That was 100 lower than 2014.
Progress on agribusiness front The 1886 Malt House is under construction at the former Miller Brewery in Volney, and the facility is expected to
Progress produce more than 2,000 tons of barley malt annually. This will serve as a boon for the state’s grain growers. “Anything that comes in and creates a demand for any agricultural product is great, especially if you have open till of the land year round,” he said. Barley can be used as a winter annual cover crop wherever it is grown as a winter grain crop as well. Behling said when the Sunoco plant in Volney began to produce ethanol, it created a similar benefit to the state’s corn growers. From a state perspective, NASS recently released the total value of agricultural production statewide for 2015. It was $5.33 billion, down from $6.3 billion the year before. “That is a 16 percent drop in farm income, and it would be fair to say that Oswego County numbers would reflect that,” Ammerman said.
“Much of that is due to a significant drop in milk prices as well as lower commodity prices across the board,” he said. “We expect 2016 to show even more low numbers because of the sustained decline in prices.” Oswego County field crops include corn, soybeans, hay and small grains. Other major products include onions and apples. The area also produces honey, maple syrup and Christmas trees. Oswego County’s agricultural sector also features U-Picks and farm markets, petting zoos and animal farms, and wineries.
Construction / Unions
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Union leader concerned about potential anti union policies from new administration
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Union leaders in the region are bracing to see what actions President Donald Trump takes that may impact the status of organized labor. If Trump and Vice President Mike Pence utilize the power they have been granted with the help of the Republican-controlled Congress, “they could deliver a major blow to organized labor,” said Patrick Carroll, business manager for United Association of Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 73, headquartered in Oswego. There are more than 600 members affiliated with Local 73. The president — with Congress’ approval — has to fill a U.S. Supreme Court seat and may fill as many as four during his first term, Carroll noted. “The Supreme Court hears labor-related cases and conservative appointments to these seats could severely jeopardize rulings in favor of unions,” Carroll said. Meanwhile, expect the National Labor Relations Board to be filled with Republican nominees, he said. “Its responsibilities are to enforce U.S. labor law in relation to collective bargaining and unfair labor practices,” Carroll said. “Again, filling these seats with conservative anti-union appointments will make it harder to organize workers and unionize in general.” In addition, Carroll said, fast food executive Andrew Puzder, Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, has opposed additional overtime pay and is critical of minimum wage increases. He along with Trump favors right to work legislation, another example of an attack on labor, Carroll added. “These are just a few examples of things he can do to attack labor,” the union leader said. Carroll said the unfortunate thing is over 50 percent of union membership voted for Trump “despite the message we were sending of his agenda. “I believe memberships are just fed up with the unfulfilled promises of the Democratic leadership and Trump told them what they wanted to hear. I don’t believe he is naive enough to think he can run the country like his reality shows and fire everyone that disagrees with him. He played the role of a politician to a tee and used his ‘trump card’ — Hillary — as the status quo.” Carroll said the American people wanted a change and they are going to get it. “But taking it out on the backs of the members of unions who protect all MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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of labor — union or not — isn’t what they are looking for,” he said. However, Carroll did say that “not every Republican is anti-union and not every Democrat is pro-union.” “As a local labor leader, I am very fortunate to have a great relationship with the local Republican leadership, from U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) to Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Oswegatchie) to Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski) to Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow,” Carroll said. “Each of them has supported organized labor in the past and I see no reason this will not continue moving forward.”
Assessing the future Carroll said 2016 started out slow for organized labor, but as per tradition, activity picked up in the third quarter with work on schools starting. Some of the major projects of 2016 included the spring outage of Exelon’s Nine Mile Unit II at Nine Mile Point in Scriba, a new pusher furnace at Novelis and the fall outage at Dynegy. Carroll noted 2017 is starting out strong due to the January refueling outage at Entergy’s James A. FitzPat-
rick Nuclear Power Plant at Nine Mile Point. That will be followed by a March refueling outage at Exelon’s Nine Mile Unit I. “I don’t believe enough can be said about the efforts of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Ritchie, Assemblyman Barclay and local leadership to save FitzPatrick for the region,” Carroll said. He noted the Clean Energy Standard is a revolutionary piece of legislation that will give Upstate nuclear plants the opportunity they have needed to be competitive. The CES will require 50 percent of New York’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear by 2030. Saving the 615 jobs at FitzPatrick, future jobs at Nine Mile Point and the Ginna nuclear power plant in Webster and the thousands of support crafts can’t be understated, Carroll added. “This is legislation that needs to be adopted throughout the country to save
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
an energy industry that can’t be replaced by wind and solar,” he said.
Energy Saving the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant from closing to economic development is story of 2016 Entergy Corp. recently removed the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba from service to begin its 22nd refueling and maintenance outage. While the outage is considered normal operating procedure in the nuclear industry, it is certainly not in this case. FitzPatrick was scheduled to be completely shut down early this year until Exelon Generation stepped up to assume ownership and manage operations. Exelon purchased new fuel for the reactor, which was a condition of the
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Progress plant purchase, and Entergy and Exelon have worked together to plan for the outage, install new fuel and perform other work. Exelon is the owner of the adjacent Nine Mile Point units 1 and 2 nuclear power plants. Entergy claimed the reasons for closing the plant included sustained low wholesale energy prices, a flawed market design, nuclear power not being included in clean energy mandates and the plant having a high cost structure being it is a single unit. Most nuclear plants come in twos or threes, making for positive economies of scale, according to Forbes. The closure, the company said, would save $250 million a year. During the outage, about a third of the plant’s 560 fuels assemblies in the reactor core are being replaced, enabling the plant to operate for another cycle, said Tammy Holden, communications manager for Entergy. Refueling outage workers are also performing maintenance activities and surveillance testing on systems and components. Entergy does not project duration for outages as this information is considered business sensitive, she added. Holden said the refueling outage is a tangible accomplishment of the Entergy-Exelon agreement, reached last August, for Exelon to purchase FitzPatrick. The transaction hinged on certain conditions, including the implementation of the Clean Energy Standard and regulatory approvals. In 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo along with state and local officials worked feverishly toward approval of the CES. It provides $965 million over two years in ratepayer subsidies to keep the four Upstate plants operational and maintain the plants’ benefits of zero-emissions energy production. Exelon also operates the R.E. Ginna nuclear power facility in the Rochester area. The New York Public Service Commission approved the CES, which requires that 50 percent of the state’s power will come from clean and renewable sources of energy by 2030, including nuclear power. The subsidies are part of an effort to keep the nuclear reactors, which proMARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
duce almost no emissions, operating at a time of low prices for power as well as for natural gas, an alternative generator fuel, according to Reuters. New York’s plan could provide a model for the rest of the country to save the struggling nuclear industry while reducing carbon emissions, Reuters reported. While the CES faced challenges from energy companies and environmental advocates, the subsidies were approved and paved the way for a proposed $110 million sale of FitzPatrick from Entergy to Exelon. Late last year, the PSC and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of ownership of FitzPatrick to Exelon, preserving nearly 600 full-time jobs at the plant. The average Fitzpatrick worker earns about $120,000 a year, a significant number in a county where the median household income is only $48,000, according to Forbes magazine. A U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling on the transfer of FitzPatrick’s operating license and decommissioning trust fund, the last of the approvals needed for transaction completion, is expected this spring, Holden said. The U.S. Department of Energy has also approved the transaction. “We are on track to support closure in the second quarter of 2017,” Holden said. “The transaction is on-track to close during second quarter of 2017. We cannot provide any additional timing,” said Jill Lyon, senior communications specialist at Exelon Generation. FitzPatrick’s staff is involved in the refueling and maintenance outage, supplemented by Entergy employees from its other nuclear plants, nearly 100 Exelon employees, contract workers, and regional union labor, including pipefitters, boilermakers, electricians, laborers, and radiation protection technicians. “The influx of more than 1,000 outside workers and their associated spending at local hotels, restaurants, gas stations and stores provide a major economic boost to the community,” Holden said. The 838-megawatt FitzPatrick plant generates carbon-free electricity for more
than 800,000 homes and businesses.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Sector remains in a state of flux and transition Not unlike the nation in general, the health care sector in Oswego County remains in a state of flux and transition. That trend is continuing into 2017, according to Daniel Dey, president and CEO of Northern Oswego County Health Services. “There is still a focus on value-based payments and payment mechanisms that are awarding dollars to providers based on improvement in population health outcomes,” said Dey, referring to the goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Population health refers to the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. In response to that, Dey said, it requires additional collaboration, cooperation and coordination of services among providers in the community, both in health and social services. Dey said that was the impetus behind the Oswego County Integrated Delivery Network. The network’s primary players include NOCHSI, Oswego Health, Oswego County Opportunities, and the county departments of health and social services. NOCHSI was the recipient of a $100,000 Rural Health Network Development Grant that enables it to develop resources to identify a coordinated managed care system for the community. The funding is for a year through May, and NOCHSI recently submitted a request for an additional three-year funding opportunity related to that. “Nonetheless, the initiative will continue in terms of coordinating our efforts to manage care,” he said. Meanwhile, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program continues to have an impact on the health care environment in Oswego County. DSRIP is the main mechanism by which New York state implements 61
Progress the Medicaid redesign team waiver amendment. DSRIP´s purpose is to restructure the health care delivery system by reinvesting in the Medicaid program, with the primary goal of reducing avoidable hospital use by 25 percent over five years. Up to $6.4 billion is allocated to this program with payouts based upon achieving predefined results in system transformation, clinical management and population health, according to the New York State Department of Health. Dey said DSRIP is “evolving.” “There still needs to be some clarification in terms of how funds will flow for Medicaid to support coordinated care in the region, not just Oswego County,” he said. This includes hospitals, social service and other health care providers throughout Oswego, Onondaga and other counties. In terms of how to effectively measure population health outcomes versus the traditional pay-per-visit scenario,
Dey said it is based on certain clinical indicators and outcomes that have the greatest impact on improving the health of the population. “You focus on those indicators,” he said. “For example, with immunization rates or depression screening rates, when you improve on those rates, you focus on preventive care. It has both a health and financial constraint benefit down the road.” In terms of physician recruitment, NOCHSI is making continued progress in hiring primary care providers, including physicians as well as mid-level providers such as physician assistants, behavioral health specialists and nurse practitioners. “But we’re still challenged in trying to meet the demand in the community for primary care services,” he said. “What is being done is NOCHSI and the hospital have coordinated their provider recruitment efforts.” NOCHSI serves as a training plat-
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
form for nurse practitioner and medical students as well as residents. “That way, we can identify potential candidates for future employment,” he said. Dey noted the administration change in Washington featuring President Donald Trump may lead to changes on the health care scene. “The big uncertainty revolves around the potential for block granting of Medicaid dollars,” he said. “Right now, the federal and state governments each share approximately half the costs of Medicaid.” A possible scenario is seeing the federal government turning its share over to states in a block grant to allow states to determine how they want to allocate dollars for Medicaid services, he said. “That could have a pretty profound transformation on how we get funded for providing services to Medicaid patients,” he said.
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Oswego Health sets aggressive agenda 2017 will feature partnerships and collaboration at Oswego Health. Oswego Health recently collaborated with Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists, one of the best-known groups for orthopedic care in the region. The partnership brings SOS orthopedic surgeons to Oswego County to provide office visits at the Oswego Health Services Center and perform surgeries alongside Oswego Hospital’s orthopedic team in the hospital’s surgery center. “We sat back and said, as a smaller health care organization, it’s really hard to build some of these services on our own and have credibility around them,” said Charles “Chuck” Gijanto, president and CEO of Oswego Health. “It takes time to earn that credibility, so if you partner with someone who already has that credibility, it lifts and boat right there. The tide rises, and the boat rises. In regards to SOS, we could have spent 10 years trying to build a reputation. We had immediate credibility by bringing
Progress SOS in.” In the coming months, Oswego Health is going to be opening a new wound management/hyperbaric therapy program in partnership with Hologic, the largest provider of wound management in the country. The program will be under Oswego Health’s name and located on site, but the hospital will be using Hologic’s expertise, protocols and information systems. “We’ll get out of the gate with a world-class program that we never even had before,” Gijanto said. Oswego Health also plans to introduce a bariatric surgery program. New York is among states that have the highest proportion of obesity, and Oswego County has a higher proportion than New York state. “It’s a real issue in this county,” Gijanto said. “It’s very intricate surgery. It’s an entire program, and not just surgery,” said Gijanto, noting there are 150 people who leave the county every year to get
that surgery done. “Why don’t we keep that here?” he asked. “Again, do we start cold and build a reputation when we have people around us who have already done that and can partner with someone who brings that name recognition?” There is no final agreement with Hologic, but Gijanto said to expect an announcement perhaps in the spring. SUNY Oswego is responsive and innovative when developing curriculum, forging partnerships and educating students while molding the future workforce, according to SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley. “We are seeking to understand the pulse of our society and the state of our economy and, in turn, reaching even further by forecasting industry demand and developing interdisciplinary offerings that will propel both today’s and tomorrow’s students and position them to thrive long into the future,” she said.
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ing umbrella are “synergistically compatible” with existing Oswego programs in software engineering, human-computer interaction, cognitive science, graphic design and information science, Stanley added. Oswego’s electrical and computer engineering program has had the support and guidance of employers throughout the region, including Welch Allyn, Lockheed-Martin, National Grid, Saab Sensis, O’Brien & Gere, Novelis and SRC.
Higher Education Millions of dollars in major projects taking place at SUNY Oswego SUNY Oswego engages and partners with local, national and international communities and makes an impact through research, community service and economic development for collective prosperity, equity, resilience and success, the president said. “Operating on the belief that communities we touch experience increased prosperity, social equity, sustainability, self-sufficiency and greater educational attainment, SUNY Oswego is committed to elevating and supporting productive external partnerships,” she noted. Here are some recent developments at SUNY Oswego that bode well in terms of economic development in the region and state: • Biomedical and health informatics SUNY Oswego recently unveiled a new graduate degree program in biomedical and health informatics that puts data to work in improving health care. Biomedical and health informatics studies the flow of information in health care and public health. Numerous health care and economic development organizations endorsed the regional need for the new program, according to Wayne Westervelt, chief communications officer at SUNY Oswego. • Electrical and computer engineering SUNY Oswego’s bachelor’s degree program in electrical and computer engineering seeks to help meet demand regionally and nationally for engineers in such cutting-edge fields as bioinstrumentation, robotics and power systems and in embedded systems such as microprocessors, which are present in machines and products from autos to refrigerators, according to Westervelt. Robotics, embedded systems and the other specialties under Oswego’s electrical and computer engineer64
• MBA/Health Services Administration SUNY Oswego’s new master of business administration in health services administration targets mid-career health care professionals as well as people in other sectors wishing to make the switch to health care, Westervelt said. “The program meets the increased need for the efficient and effective delivery of services in the health care sector, a large and growing industry and is timely for Central New York — a region that has a concentration of health care-related organizations,” Stanley said. • Metro Center Recently earning designation as a branch campus from New York state, SUNY Oswego’s Metro Center in Syracuse provides expanded regional access to 14 bachelor’s, master’s and advanced certificate programs at affordable SUNY tuition rates, Westervelt said. With day, evening and online classes, SUNY Oswego in Syracuse accommodates the schedules of nontraditional students and working professionals, he added. In August of 2016, SUNY Oswego began to offer undergraduate programs in business administration, human development and public justice at the Metro Center. SUNY Oswego has also recently undertaken several major projects and initiatives that contribute to the area from an economic development standpoint. • Tyler Hall renovation — In 2016, SUNY Oswego completed a two-year, $22.2 million first phase of the 48-yearold Tyler Hall, a popular campus destination to many in the Oswego and Central OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
New York communities, especially those with an interest in and appreciation for the visual and performing arts. • Agricultural testing and analysis labs at the Port of Oswego — SUNY Oswego’s agricultural testing and analysis labs at the Port of Oswego Authority and on campus – a student-driven enterprise that seeks to close an export loop in the region’s economy – won a national award recently from the University Economic Development Association. Utilizing trained student inspectors to test and analyze grain for quality, quantity and food safety, the laboratories have met the needs of one of the port’s largest customers, Perdue AgriBusiness, and provided on-the-job business experience for undergraduates. “As the largest employer in Oswego County and a progressive and relevant economic anchor in our region, SUNY Oswego fosters intentional learning that prepares our students to contribute real, hands-on intellectual capital,” Stanley said. “We are focused on the future, and work to position our students on the front lines of the next generation of business and industry.” There is also a host of economic development-related activity planned by SUNY Oswego in 2017 that bodes well for the local economy. • The Office of Business and Community Relations — SUNY Oswego is relocating OBCR operations to 34 E. Bridge (the PathFinder building) and its newly developed SUNY Oswego Business Resource Center to 121 E. First St. The moves are being made in order for the college to be more accessible to community members and businesses downtown, Stanley said. One space will serve community resource programs including Campus-City Relations, Leadership Oswego County, and the Retired Senior & Volunteer Program. The other space will serve business resource programs including the Small Business Development Center, the Oswego County Workforce Development Board and the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce. • Scales Hall renovation — Scales Hall, the last of the four residence halls built on the lakeside area of campus, will undergo a $13.1 million renovation during the first half of this year. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
The project should be done by July 1, following completion of work by the Oswego construction company PAC Associates, the same company that renovated Waterbury Hall in 2014-15. • Tyler Hall Phase II — The $18 million, Phase II of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts’ Tyler Hall renovation project continues this year. • Renovate Wilber Hall — The School of Education, Phase-III project represents the third and final phase of the renovation of Park and Wilber Halls. Reconstruction began in late 2016 and the expected completion of the full renovation scope of work and re-occupancy is January 2018, according to the college.
Manufacturing Trend toward hightech, advanced manufacturing companies apparent in Central New York Central New York’s workforce must keep pace with the times. By 2020, an estimated 350,000 positions in New York that require mid-level skills will be unfilled, with many of those jobs being in advanced manufacturing. The reason is workers won’t have necessary skills to fill them, according to ReadyNation. This is of grave concern to Randy Wolken, president of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York. MACNY serves approximately 330 companies with 55,000 employees in a 20-county region in Upstate New York. “This is a significant challenge that is not only true here but across the country,” he said. “We do need to be doing a lot in this space.” Wolken said there is progress being made in this area, namely the New York State Pathways in Technology program. NYS P-TECH is a public-private partnership that prepares thousands of high school students in New York for highly skilled jobs in technology, manufacturing, health care and finance. There are also continuing education programs that are geared to prepare workers for skilled labor positions, many of which only require certification or a two-year degree. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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MACNY is implementing an apprentice program this year that will focus on preparing workers for several of the most-needed job titles in manufacturing. “More apprentices have to be secured and invested in at the company level,” Wolken said. “We have a significant talent shortage on the horizon.” Wolken said workers in these skilled labor jobs today are in their mid- to late-50s, foreshadowing a significant transition in the current workforce over the next 10 years. He said this job skills gap in one of the most important challenges for MACNY. “One advantage we have is a highly developed higher education system, and we’re a state that tends to invest a lot there,” he said. “We are positioned to tackle this problem. If we don’t solve this problem, we’re going to have a hard time keeping and growing advanced manufacturing jobs.” Novelis, the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, has made a long-term commitment to the Cayuga Community College’s Fulton campus to launch an Advanced Manufacturing Institute, including an industrial maintenance technician program and an advanced laboratory and training center. The institute’s mission will be to equip students with manufacturing skills to develop a robust talent pool that will be required to fill the many jobs expected to be brought to the CNY region. Novelis and other manufacturers are facing an urgent need in identifying and recruiting qualified personnel as these companies seek to grow in the region, according to CenterState CEO. “Higher education has to come together with industry to create their own training opportunities and pathways,” Wolken said. “That creates more pathways for young people leading right into these skilled labor positions.” Wolken said exposure to openings and opportunities in advanced manufacturing can start as early as middle school. He said while many parents question their offspring about choosing manufacturing as a career, Wolken notes advanced manufacturing opportunities are going to flourish. That’s why it is imperative for young people to take enough math and science in school to be qualified for these opportunities, he said. 66
Progress State gets more competitive Wolken said New York is poised to expand and grow in the global marketplace. “We’ve become more competitive generally speaking as a state. Our taxes have moderated, and there has been some significant investment in the advanced manufacturing sector,” he said. “Quite frankly, the United States has become more attractive to make things again,” he said. Wolken said according to several recent studies, the U.S. is regarded from a developed country perspective as the best place to manufacture products in the world. Other trends are proving favorable for New York, such as the availability of natural gas and the lowering of energy costs, and the shift toward high-tech manufacturing. “These are things that have moderated what normally would be some loss because of the use of technology,” Wolken said. “But I think we’re positioned to do well in the manufacturing sector in 2017.” Wolken said high tech sectors, advanced manufacturing and the use of automation are going to be key drivers for the U.S. economy in the months to come. “Some kinds of jobs are just going to go away, namely highly manual jobs. However, job needs will arise and the demand for workers with more advanced degrees and technical skills will increase,” he said. Meanwhile, New York state and the rest of the country in general is not well positioned to feature assembly line and commodity jobs. “But high-tech, advanced manufacturing jobs that require additional skill sets and capital investment” will continue to be prevalent trends, he added. The type of companies that are flourishing — such as Novelis Corp. and Inficon, Inc. — are all high-tech companies using a lot of technology and making significant capital investments.
“These are high-tech jobs that pay well above average jobs,” he said. “This will really be the opportunity for us.” “Even if you are in the commodity business today, you’ve got to be moving as quickly as you can, using more technology and having more value added to be successful. We’re also seeing those companies doing better,” he said.
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Sector facing dramatic competing for funding Wolken is also president of the recently formed Manufacturers Alliance of New York, which is a coalition of manufacturing groups representing over 1,500 companies in 47 counties in New York state. In 2015, nonprofit leaders characterized the nonprofit sector in Oswego County as operating in a challenging environment from a financial perspective. Was that trend the same in 2016 and will it continue in 2017? According to Diane Cooper-Currier, executive director of Oswego County Opportunities, the answer is yes. “The nonprofit sector faces many challenges, not the least of which are financial, according to Cooper-Currier. Grant dollars have become increasingly competitive, and recent shifts in funding priorities have imposed hardships on some of OCO’s programs, she said. OCO, the sixth-largest private employer in Oswego County with 553 workers, is the county’s community action agency, providing direct services, housing, advocacy and prevention for all ages. Most recently, funding was discontinued for OCO’s shelter for homeless youth, and the agency is focusing on appeals to a variety of sources to sustain this crucial program, Cooper-Currier said. “Despite these challenges, OCO has been fortunate to have strong, long-standing relationships in the community who are passionate about our mission, and support our work whether
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it’s through monetary donations, event sponsorships, donation of goods, or volunteering,” she said. There are several reasons why the nonprofit sector in Oswego County has been adversely impacted financially over the past several years. “Some funders have either changed their priorities or widened the pool of eligible applicants, or both, making it more challenging to submit annual applications and sustain funding and program services,” she said.
Pressure on nonprofits Additionally, increased regulations, accountability and unfunded mandates require additional resources and staffing in order to comply, costing nonprofits more with no increases by funding sources to cover these mandates, she added. “The increases to minimum wage and exempt salary rules are a huge financial challenge for nonprofits,” she said. Employees whose jobs are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act are either “exempt” or “nonexempt.” Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay, while exempt employees are not. New regulations raised the standard minimum level for salaried, exempt workers from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). “As the anti-poverty agency for Oswego County, OCO supports these increases but it is a challenge for us to figure out how to financially meet these requirements, maintain jobs and continue to provide the same level of service with the same amount of funding we’ve had for the past several years,” Cooper-Currier said. Cooper-Currier addressed what needs to happen in order for the nonprofit sector to realize a high level of success in 2017. “Oswego County nonprofits are creative, agile and resilient and as a result, they will seek ways to endure,” she said. Cooper-Currier noted that collaboration among nonprofits in Oswego County is strong. “Services will improve as we work to eliminate duplication, improve coordination for delivery of services, streamline access, utilize needs assessments to identify service gaps and develop cooperative strategies to address those gaps,” she said. OCO is involved in several collabo-
MAKE SAFETY A PRIORITY! BE CAUTIOUS WHEN RECREATING NEAR HYDROELECTRIC FACILITIES. Ice and water conditions can change quickly and without notice. Pay attention to your surroundings and respect all signage and warning signals.
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ratives and coalitions, and has been for many years, she noted. “There is a greater focus, directed by federal and state government, on regional collaboration instead of stopping at the county lines,” she said. Cooper-Currier said this allows the nonprofit sector to leverage greater resources to obtain and disburse funding where it can be most effective for the populations it serves. “Nonprofits in the health and human services arena will be transforming the approach to care, moving away from the old model of how many people are served to how well we are serving the people,” she noted.
Progress ods of change,” she said. “[Millennials and baby boomers] are at stages including marriage, having children, retirement, and becoming empty nesters that encourage home purchases,” Farley said. Last year, the median sale price of a home in Oswego County improved by 0.5 percent over 2015 and 7.1 percent over 2012, according to recent figures from the New York State Association of Realtors. In 2016, the median sale price of a home in the county was $100,594. The total number of sales was 1,064, a 13.3 percent improvement over 2015. Sellers received 94.6 percent of their list price, according to the NYSAR. The real estate mortgage rate is expected to rise slightly in 2017 by 0.75 percent, according to the NYSAR. This will allow buyers to acquire 30year fixed-rate mortgages at an interest rate below 5 percent, Farley noted. “Statewide, prices are expected to rise, but at a slightly slower pace,” Farley said. “In general, when inventory is low and demand is high, prices will rise.”
Real Estate With interest rates relatively low, expect robust activity to continue in 2017 Following a robust 2016 in the real estate sector in Oswego County, 2017 should be another productive year, according to Florence Farley, a licensed real estate salesperson with Berkshire Hathaway CNY in Oswego. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates last December for only the second time since 2006, and a majority of the members of the Fed’s rate-setting board predict there will be three more increases coming in 2017, Farley said. “They are, however, still in a very good 4 percent range,” she said. Farley said millennials remain a major force in the market, and a slightly unpredictable one for a number of reasons. “In addition to student loan debt, some are waiting longer to purchase a home,” she said. “They are skipping that lower-priced entry level home and going right into a more permanent residence.” Farley added that baby boomers are expected to make up nearly one-third of the entire market for 2017. “Some are investing in higher-priced homes as a hedge against inflation and a shift away from the stock market as a potentially safer bet during major peri68
Warning signs However, there are significant concerns in the real estate sector, Farley said. The decreasing inventory of homes and the competition from cash buyers for those homes needs to be addressed, Farley said. “However, given the many types of mortgages available and even grant opportunities for first-time and low-income buyers, those concerns are easily resolved,” she said. Buying a home is still one of the best investments that the average person can make, Farley said. “If someone is looking to buy a house right now and hasn’t placed an offer, it might be a great time to make a decision,” she noted. In Oswego, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is in the process of bringing a $10 million investment into the city. Also, the design plans to develop the Oswego waterfront bring new enerOSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
gy to connect the tourism market with downtown, she said. “Statewide, if only a fraction of the proposals in the governor’s budget are implemented, it could offer a significant economic boost to home buyers,” she said. “For example, the free tuition at public universities for families making less than $125,000 could provide young New Yorkers with the opportunity to get an education nearly debt-free.” Farley said that would enable them to invest in a home purchase earlier in life, without the burden of student loan debt. “Improvements in education funding as well as infrastructure spending could allow local governments to make much needed investments in our children and the repair of aging water and transportation systems,” she noted. On the other side of the equation, Farley said, the markets in general “have some trepidation because of the unknowns surrounding a new federal administration and the unpredictability which that brings.”
Is the price right? Economists expect price appreciation to slow down nationally, she said. Home prices are forecast to slow to 3.9 percent growth year over year, from an estimated 4.9 percent in 2016. “Consumer confidence is on the rise due to good employment, rising salaries and high-earning millennials with an interest in homeownership because they are unhappy with high rents,” she said. Farley said if the Republican-controlled Congress implements the removal of some of the banking, investment and corporate regulations, it could spur construction and maybe even the repeal or non-renewal of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The act was intended as an effort at consumer protection after the 2008 economic downturn, but is seen by some as an excessively restrictive limitation on investment and financing, Farley said. She said 2017 “will definitely be interesting. “Let’s hope that the changes coming down the road allow all of us to find balance and equilibrium in our pocketMARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
books and most especially, our families’ overall well-being.”
Progress productivity across all sectors, Stanley said. According to Empire State Development, employment in core STEM job titles grew by more than 10 percent between 2010-2015. Comparatively, the nation’s core STEM job count grew by 11.3 percent. Additionally, STEM careers in New York state tend to be more financially lucrative than non-STEM careers with a median hourly wage of $41.74, which is almost 60 percent higher than the comparable $24.65 for non-STEM job titles. However, only 16 percent of high school students are interested in a STEM career, according to the U.S. Department of Education. A number of programs were initiated under the Obama administration to invest federal funds in K-12 STEM education to increase public and youth STEM engagement. Similarly, the NYS STEM Incentive Program provides a full SUNY tuition scholarship to the top 10 percent of students in each high school in New York state if they pursue a STEM degree in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program, and agree to live in the state and work in a STEM field for five years after graduation.
Technology An estimated 8.65 million workers will be needed to work in STEM-related jobs in the United States by 2018 Since the Internet emerged more than 25 years ago, technology growth has focused primarily on the consumer. This clearly impacted the development of computer science and engineering programs in higher education, according to SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley. “However, business in every industry sector looks to technology to facilitate their needs and transformations, and this has created an explosion of demand for technology workers, particularly in STEM- (science, technology, engineering and math) related jobs,” she said. STEMconnector.org projects an estimated 8.65 million workers will be needed to work in STEM-related jobs in the United States by 2018, with one of the largest shortage of employees with necessary STEM skills in the manufacturing sector. The technology sector traditionally includes businesses that manufacture electronics or create software, computers or products related to information technology. Regardless of the industry, the region is witnessing “tremendous growth” in technology research and innovation, and this has created an emergence in platforms that deliver a new set of opportunities across all sectors, Stanley said. “SUNY Oswego and other higher education institutions continually track emerging platforms that impact career and industry trends as we navigate the landscape of delivering relevant coursework,” she noted. For New York state, STEM jobs are a critical component of economic growth as they bolster innovation and improve MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Coursework backs initiative SUNY Oswego has also introduced new coursework to help students understand next-generation technologies in close proximity to those sectors. A master’s degree in biomedical health informatics was recently approved by SUNY and the New York State Education Department, and plans are under way to develop a biomedical and health informatics research lab, and a biomedical instrumentation- teaching lab at SUNY Oswego, which will be affiliated with engineering and computer science. Additional coursework that has been developed in partnership with Upstate Medical University includes medical imaging, where the fundamentals of image processing, or digital signal processing, has particular emphasis on problems in OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
biomedical research and clinical medicine, Stanley noted. “The aim of this course is to enable students to develop a basic familiarity with several major medical imaging techniques employed in neuroimaging and modern hospitals, such as X-ray imaging, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and nuclear isotope imaging,” Stanley said. “It will also provide a more in-depth understanding of magnetic resonance imaging and the image processing problems arising in neuroimaging research and clinical applications.” Another technology trend that is being developed at SUNY Oswego is the college’s first dedicated virtual reality lab in the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation through Crytek’s VR First academic initiative. Crytek will also provide state-ofthe-art VR headsets and the company’s CryEngine platform for software development. “Our established programs and ongoing innovation in developing new courses and degree options in STEM fields have had a genuine impact on student interest and enrollment at SUNY Oswego,” said Adrienne McCormick, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “We have experienced a significant increase in declared STEM majors over the last five years.” Such growth can be seen in biochemistry (39 percent), computer science (103 percent), software engineering (123 percent) and electrical and computer engineering (532 percent). Stanley said robotics and mechatronics innovation is also a technology trend that blends a range of disciplines, from engineering to computer science to information and communications technology. In 2016, a collaboration among Exelon Corp., the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Power Station and the SUNY Oswego Department of Technology was initiated where applications for robotics in the nuclear power generation and storage industries were developed and tested. Exelon is the owner and operator of units 1 and 2 nuclear power facilities at Nine Mile Point in Scriba. “The underlying goal in this project was to develop, test and maintain ro69
botic systems with high mobility in an industrial setting where students were also exposed to safety education and the many challenges of working in the nuclear industry,” said Mark Hardy, chairman of the Department of Technology at SUNY Oswego. Stanley said SUNY Oswego offers affordable, high-quality degree completion opportunities in STEM disciplines that are both interdisciplinary and offer an applied approach. “Integrating education into a paradigm with real-world application helps students become competitive in their careers,” she said. “Creating opportunities for job growth in leading-edge technology meets the mission of SUNY Oswego as we assist in building and expanding a vibrant and globally connected region,” she added.
Tourism County registers highest level of occupancy tax collections in its history thanks to tax increase In 2016, Oswego County registered the highest level of occupancy tax collections in its history. Total occupancy tax collected between Dec. 1, 2015 and Nov. 30, 2016 was $470,641.44. The Oswego County Legislature approved a 1 percent increase in the occupancy tax rate that went into effect in December 2015. However, even without the increase in the occupancy tax rate, occupancy tax receipts would have grown 7 percent over 2015, according to Janet Clerkin, Oswego County tourism and public information coordinator. The county saw improved charter boat success for key species on Lake Ontario, improved conditions for sports fishing on the Salmon and Oswego rivers, the arrival of Super DIRT Week, and increased promotion of heritage sites associated with Oswego County’s bicentennial celebration in 2016. Also, outdoor recreation such as pad-
Progress dling and campground visitation remain strong, she said. “We continue to see increased visitation to our website from new visitors and from international visitors, indicating that fishing interest remains very high and our marketing efforts continue to be productive,” she said. County tourism officials are heading into 2017 in robust fashion. “We’ll be working with Visit Syracuse and other Central New York counties to support and promote our unique winter activities such as cross-country skiing, fat bike events and snowmobiling,” she said. “We’re optimistic that this holds tremendous potential as a growth area.” However, Clerkin cautioned there is a projected increase in the price of gasoline, and other factors beyond the county’s control, such as weather, can have a dramatic effect on the tourism economy. Oswego County will be leading a cross-regional marketing campaign in excess of $250,000 that is designed to promote sports fishing in the eight counties in the Lake Ontario region over the next two years. In addition, the recent designation of the Erie Canal as a national historic site and activities promoting the 200th anniversary of the canal will draw significant attention to recreational boating and paddling on the Oswego River Canal, Clerkin said. “We’ll be working with local partners to promote activities that celebrate the canal’s bicentennial,” she said. The Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning was recently awarded a consolidated funding grant from New York state to develop a car-top boat launch on the Oswego River south of Oswego. Work will begin on this project this year, Clerkin said. Also on the 2017 agenda is the second edition of Super DIRT Week at the Oswego Speedway that is expected to generate new visitors and renewed interest in Oswego County’s racetrack facilities. “We’re also planning activities to increase promotion of outdoor recreation sites such as Winona Forest through enhanced social media and print advertising in regional publications that appeal to outdoor recreationists,” Clerkin said. “This also ties OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
in with the regional ‘official home of winter’ campaign launched by our neighboring partner, Visit Syracuse.” Clerkin said the county is also looking at other new opportunities with its regional partners in the Thousands Islands and CNY regions.
‘Promise and concern’ David Holder, president of the Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau, characterized the tourism sector in the Central New York region in 2016 as “cautiously optimistic.” “It is a fragile, competitive world we play in and external forces from weather to Brexit all seemed like ominously potential influencers,” he said. Holder said the Canadian dollar, a past negative factor, seemed to become more accepted. On Jan. 11, $1 in Canadian currency equaled 76 cents in U.S. currency. Holder said projections in terms of the tourism industry in 2017 are packed with “promise and concern.” “There is tremendous opportunity for the region as we embrace winter in a different fashion, see more product development, reach new audiences and pursue greater levels of visitor interaction,” he said. Holder noted it is imperative to embrace the regional claim of Central New York being the “official home of winter.” Creating the logistics to make these goals happen is critical for overall success, he noted. Holder said there are several major projects and initiatives in the wings that bode well for the tourism industry in CNY in the years to come. Among these is the continued expansion of the product mix at Destiny USA, a Mecca for shopping, dining and entertainment in Central New York. More than 26 million people visit Destiny every year. Holder noted the integration of a new regional hotel supply is also a tourism goal. “There needs to be a co-mingling of our urban and rural, inside and outdoor product mix,” he said. Holder is also looking forward to maximizing the potential of new state investments in the Oncenter, the Lakeview Amphitheater and the New York State Fairgrounds.
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Workers assembling units of Intellipure Ultrafine 468, HealthWay’s first made-in-American portable air cleaning product.
Pride in Pulaski HealthWay Home Products flying ‘Made in America’ banner as company opts to manufacture new product locally instead of at its China facility By Lou Sorendo
ntelligence and purity equal a winning combination. HealthWay Home Products, a family-owned manufacturer of medical-grade air cleaning and filtration systems, recently unveiled Intellipure, its first made-in-America portable air cleaning line of products. The longtime manufacturer of air purification systems is making its newest product in the village of Pulaski instead of its factory in Shenzhen, China. Spearheading the effort is the father-son team of CEO/chairman Vincent Lobdell and Vinny Lobdell Jr., president of HealthWay and PURE Global. Intellipure is the first portable air purifier manufactured in the United States. The company considered building MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
its new air purifier in China, but decided Oswego County would be a preferable location. Costs have significantly risen in China, while the market is leaning toward U.S.-built products. The “Made in the U.S.A.” label is associated with high quality in China, Vincent Lobdell said. HealthWay, which employs 39 people at its Pulaski facility, has been manufacturing commercial air cleaning systems for the past three years. Now it has formed Intellipure, an entity that will serve as its consumer-facing brand. “Ultimately, we plan to put another 25 to 45 workers over the next 12 to 18 months,” Lobdell said. Lobdell said the new development OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
cost in excess of $2 million, and that includes preparing the facility, the design, development and testing of the product, and tooling and inventory. “What we are doing is taking the HealthWay indoor air quality brand and selling it through water treatment distributors such as Culligan, RainSoft and EcoWater Systems. They are selling water in homes where they can also sell air products under HealthWay,” Lobdell said. HealthWay also does a significant amount of manufacturing at its China facility. There, products are made for seven different original equipment manufacturers’ private labels. These labels are distributed through multi-level marketing companies such 71
HealthWay recently began manufacturing its Intellipure air filtration units at its Pulaski headquarters. Spearheading the effort at HealthWay are, from left, Yinyin Blodgett, regional sales manager-Asia; Joe Hurd, director of manufacturing; Al Rayyes, vice president, research and development; HealthWay CEO/chairman Vincent Lobdell; and Olivia Ivison, brand strategist.
as Amway, Royal Prestige and Nu Skin Enterprises. These types of companies have their own distribution network. About 57 percent of HealthWay’s business is private label, while the balance goes through channels such as water treatment dealers and indoor air quality companies. Vincent Lobdell said the product runs on an electrically commutated motor and fan, which provides higher airflow while being quieter and using significantly less power versus traditional AC motors. He said it is four times more efficient than what is necessary to meet Energy Star guidelines. Its sheet metal provides solid housing while its LED touch button control panel is a reflection of the latest in technology. “Part of the reason for using the Intellipure brand is we’re looking at moving into products such as sensors, which provide the ability to show that the air quality is good to a given standard. Basically, it can be set for whatever country the unit goes to,” Lobdell said. “Even though we’re talking about manufacturing a product here, our company is actually a solution provider. What we do under HealthWay is provide 72
a solution for poor air quality,” Lobdell said. “So if it’s a hospital environment, they have a different level of concern than an office. If it’s a clean room, they have a different level of concern than if it’s a hospital or office environment.” HealthWay sells solutions and products in 32 different countries. The company employs about 130 worldwide. On the heels of making its portable air filtration units, HealthWay will be relocating its manufacturing capabilities to a 20-acre parcel that was the former home to the F.X. Caprara dealership off I-81 in Pulaski. Plans call for using its Maple Avenue location for executive offices while all manufacturing processes and development will be done at the new location. The $2 million project will feature an addition to the former dealership of 25,000 square feet of space.
Vincent Lobdell said about 95 percent of products in the marketplace feature HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) technology. He notes HEPA filters particulate matter and lowers bacterial levels in the air. However, HealthWay features DFS OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
(disinfecting filtration system) technology that removes particulates 40 times smaller than what a HEPA filter can do. “What we’re dealing with are considered ultra-fine particulates,” said Lobdell, noting whatever HEPA filters don’t capture is absorbed into one’s respiratory system. Viral contaminants are ultra-fine particulates with a size of 20 nanometers. The Intellipure system collects down to two nanometers, or 10 times smaller than the virus itself, Lobdell noted. The units filter major contaminant groups of particulates, ranging from large particles to ultra-fine. It also filters organisms such as bacteria, mold, and fungus down to the smallest of viruses. Lobdell noted many other companies only deal with larger bacteria. The ultra-fine collection of particulates has the capability of directly invading the bloodstream. “They can make you sick quite quickly,” Lobdell said. Lobdell said the company does not sell on price. “If you try to compete on price, you will not win,” said Lobdell, noting the product is being shipped from Pulaski overseas. “We wouldn’t be able to build it here in the U.S.” MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
The new residential units are priced from $799 to $999. Lobdell said the unit is designed to be more efficient than others on the market, with the ability to filter a 1,000-square-foot space about four times per hour. Lobdell said it is quality, performance and technology that differentiate his company’s products from the rest. “In China and India, people like to buy foreign brands because they know a lot of the foreign brands — especially if built in the U.S. — are higher quality brands,” he said. Interestingly, the company’s first sale of the Intellipure product was to China. Lobdell said China and India are two countries that are “really a driving force for us.” “You don’t have to educate them about poor air quality. The reason is their air quality is so bad,” he said.
New awareness regarding air quality
Lobdell said there has been plenty of publicity regarding the impact of poor air quality on one’s health. “Buildings have gotten tighter because of concerns for energy and there’s discussion on green buildings and having a healthy building,” Lobdell said. This has spearheaded demand for HealthWay’s products. Over the past five years, there have
HealthWay is offering 40 percent off the purchase of its new Intellipure Ultrafine 468 air purifer made in Pulaski. Offer is limited to CNY residents. See ad on page 9 been outbreaks of swine and bird flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and Legionnaire’s disease. Now, there are concerns about the spread of tuberculosis. “People are becoming more aware of air quality here in the U.S. as well as globally,” he said. An extreme demand exists in foreign countries, mostly due to inadequate air quality. China’s air quality is so bad, scientists estimate the health problems associated with it claim 1.6 million lives a year, or about 4,000 a day. The U.S. is a more sophisticated country when it comes to air quality, Lobdell said. “These countries realize they are 10
times worse than U.S. standards, and have to begin to do something to remedy the situation,” he said. In places such as China, Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia, the air quality is poor due to manufacturing processes as well as the use of two-cycle motorcycles and auto rickshaws. Lobdell said foreign governments are now setting restrictive guidelines for air quality, but now it takes them a lengthy period of time to be able to bring that air quality to an acceptable level. “The education for the need isn’t difficult because they already found they have a lot of sickness and respiratory problems,” he said. Conversely, Lobdell said many other air filtration companies in these countries also see opportunity as well. Because the need is there, there is a lot of competition. “You have a motor manufacturer that will throw a filter in with a fan and put it in a box, then because there are strong monitoring systems, will make claims that are equivalent to what someone else has,” he said. “Our job is to do our best to differentiate the product and its performance, and explain why it is designed and built the way it is.” HealthWay uses laser particle counters to show the difference between the quality of incoming and outgoing air. For more information, visit www. healthway.com.
HealthWay: Using Social Media to Sell Products on Global Scale
ealthWay Home Products in Pulaski is using an innovative mode of marketing to sell its new air purification system, Intellipure. With the Intellipure brand, it gives the company the ability to reach consumers through direct access. This is revolutionary for a company that has traditionally manufactured products for private labels as well as marketed through multi-level marketing companies. Olivia Ivison is the brand strategist at HealthWay. Ivison has pioneered a social influencer marketing campaign of approximately 10 social experts to build credibility and recognition for Intellipure. Ivison is focusing on building the product and brand using the Internet MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
and social media. The first step is reaching out to “mommy bloggers” and influencers within HealthWay’s target market. “These mommy bloggers are the parents who care about feeding their child or family organic food and all-natural products,” Ivison said. “Those people are also going to care about breathing pure air. “It’s perfect to reach out to these people and say, ‘Hey, let us send you one of these units in exchange for a blog post and some social media posts. Some of these people have 75,000 unique monthly visitors to their blog. We can reach probably 2 million people within a couple of months just by associating ourselves with one person.” Ivison noted she is networking with OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
a well-known actress who has 500,000 likes on her Facebook page. “If she mentions Intellipure once, we are guaranteed to get a lot of views on that. With that being said, that is going to be our cornerstone,” Ivison said. From there, the company is going to move into an affiliate program. “When they blog about our products, those influencers are now going to provide a link to our shopping cart on our website, driving direct sales. That influencer gets a cut or commission, and now they are making money and are going to care even more,” she said.
Educating the unwary
Ivison said the challenge in the United States is educating consumers. “People here don’t quite understand 73
that we do have air pollution problems, especially indoors, even though you might not realize it,” Ivison said. “So there is a strong need for education, and that’s where content marketing comes in.” Content marketing is selling information, or telling information to people, and is a huge part of marketing today, Ivison said. “It’s a subtle way of selling people. People don’t like to be sold to anymore, not that they even did. Now, when you see a blog from one of our influencers, let’s say she blogged about ‘five tips to reduce indoor air pollution.’ One of those on her list was buying a high-quality portable air cleaner recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. “She calls out Intellipure by name and provides a link directly to our site. In addition, she is also telling people to open their windows and doors and let outdoor air come in and clean out the indoor air. Because of energy efficiency issues, people lock their windows and doors. She may also tell people to clean their bed sheets to get rid of dust mites and allergens. Little tips like that make people feel that she is helping them and not trying to sell to them. Ivison said this is when content marketing plays into direct sales that are going to generate as a result of educating
people on the actual problems of indoor air pollution. “You have to educate them and help them understand that you’re just trying to improve their health,” Ivison said. “We are positioning the Intellipure brand as your true health and wellness solution. “People eat organic and all-natural ingredients. Well, they don’t want to be breathing inorganic, toxic air. “We’re human. We don’t like to be sold to. We trust word of mouth. We trust what our family and friends feel. The benefit of the Internet is celebrity bloggers that people follow. They feel personally tied to these people and they think of a celebrity or blogger that they follow as a friend,” she noted. “It’s advanced word of mouth essentially,” she said. Vincent Lobdell, CEO/chairman of HealthWay, said Intellipure is tied in with two other brands — HealthWay and PURE Solutions — for marketing purposes. “This is what is giving us access and ability to show the experience we have in this industry and market and where the products have been sold,” Lobdell said. Because Intellipure is tied to the HealthWay brand, it is associated with a longtime company that has been in the air quality business for many years and provides air quality solutions for
companies such as medical facilities. It has also installed full systems in full buildings and universities. While HealthWay is associated with air quality and providing solutions to take care of poor indoor air quality, what it has is the PURE brand for the hospitality industry. PURE provides solutions for environmental quality and creates allergen free spaces. “For every indoor environmental install, there has to be an air cleaner, being that air is part of the solution,” Lobdell said. “The air purification units get recognized by not only the influencers but also the millions of people a year that stay in hotel rooms. That gives us the opportunity to show its attributes and the new technology of the product being built here.” Lobdell noted HealthWay is also putting units into doctors’ offices in the area. Robert Kiltz, board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, is familiar with problems associated with poor air quality as it relates to pregnancy. As a result, he is presenting HealthWay’s air purification units at CNY Fertility facilities. Kiltz explains the need for the product in a way customers can relate to, Lobdell said, and further inquiries are directed back to HealthWay headquarters for follow up.
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MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Progress “The truth is, Central New York has not seen any major growth curves for several decades. That holds true for our position relative to the nation, and when compared to our peer communities across Upstate.”
Region on the Rise Central New York rides momentum of promising economic development projects By Lou Sorendo
Growth at Destiny The $48 million Embassy Suites by Hilton Syracuse — Destiny USA will open in the fall. It will be the first hotel located in the shopping center and will feature an onsite restaurant and pool. “As with any investment made in MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
supporting tourism, the Destiny hotel project further enhances our region’s ability to create a welcoming and world class designation for business and leisure travelers,” said Robert Simpson, president and chief executive officer of CenterState CEO Equally as important though, Simpson said, is the investment happening OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
around Onondaga Lake, such as the Lakeview Amphitheater and improvements at the New York State Fairgrounds. “We expect more investments to continue to highlight the value of the lake as a tourism asset and to our overall economy,” he said. “These investments will likely come in the form of additional enhancements at the fairgrounds and the continued growth of Onondaga County’s loop-the-lake trail system.” Simpson said CNY “is a great place to do business because we have a diverse economy, and business and community leaders willing to roll up their sleeves and work together to address key opportunities and persistent challenges. “We have a central location, a wealth of natural resources, a strong quality of life and a well-educated talent base to support local industry.” “But what’s particularly impactful is the data demonstrating that our members are growing here,” Simpson added.
Positive Expectations Each year, CenterState CEO takes the pulse of members of the business 75
community and then shares their insights through its economic forecast report. “Overall, 68 percent of our forecasters say they anticipate overall sales and revenue growth in 2017 — slightly higher than what they projected for 2016,” Simpson said. A year ago, 63 percent of survey respondents forecasted revenue growth for 2016, and 75 percent of survey participants reported that they did in fact grow last year, Simpson said. Last year, 47 percent expected corporate profits to increase, and this year’s projection is 49 percent, he added. In 2017, 53 percent expect to be hiring, with just 8 percent projecting job losses, Simpson said. The CenterState CEO head said the CNY region can experience economic growth in 2017, “but we must work for it.” “The predictions and sentiments shared by our forecasters repeat a prediction of steady, yet slow, growth, which echoes what we’ve heard from them the past few years,” he said. “The truth is, Central New York has not seen any major growth curves for several decades. That holds true for our position relative to the nation, and when compared to our peer communities across Upstate.” Simpson said to accelerate the slow growth the CNY region is experiencing, its leaders have to recognize that present circumstances do not define future
conditions. “We cannot simply ‘hunker down’ and wait for things to change. We have to work for it,” Simpson said. “That means refusing to meet the new opportunities with dysfunction and inaction. It will take leadership and action from all of us. We must embrace a collective responsibility to work together to craft a better economic future for the region.”
Aggressive Region The 2016 Regional Economic Development Council awards were distributed recently, and the CNY region continued its tradition of reaping some solid financial backing. Six years into the program, the region has received the most funding to date — $906.8 million, including winning $500 million last year for its strategic plan, “CNY Rising,” through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative — out of all 10 council regions. “From an economic development standpoint, all investments are important as they not only have a direct impact on the projects themselves, but allow for the further implementation of the region’s strategic plans for growth,” Simpson said. The state’s $62.2 million investment for 77 projects in Round 6 furthers CNY’s strong track record of success in the regional council process, Simpson noted. Steri-Pharma, LLC, a manufacturer
of antibiotics used internationally to treat complicated bacterial infections, will expand operations at its Syracuse facility thanks for CNYREDC funding. Also in Round 6, Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, an effort to improve the urban vitality of city centers across New York state by investing $10 million in 10 municipalities statewide. The DRI awarded $10 million to the city of Oswego as part of Round 6. The funds allow the city to leverage more than $50 million in additional private investments and create and retain approximately 200 jobs. Projects and expansions such as those planned for CIDEC, Northeast Information Discovery, Beak and Skiff and Crouse Hospital are important to many of the key industries driving growth in Central New York, Simpson added. “It should also be noted that several of our strongest projects supported by enhanced funding from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative all hold significant potential,” Simpson said. These include the redevelopment of the Hotel Syracuse; the expansion and job creation at Welch Allyn; and the governor’s recent announcement of the relocation of Saab’s North American headquarters to the CNY region, including 260 new jobs. “Collectively, these projects and initiatives continue the region’s forward momentum for the long term,” he said.
Rob Simpson: ‘Work Train’ Program to Help Prepare Workforce By 2020, an estimated 350,000 positions in New York that require mid-level skills will be un-fulfilled, and many of those are jobs in advanced manufacturing. The reason? “Workers don’t have necessary skills to fill them,” said Robert Simpson, president and chief executive officer of CenterState CEO and president of Syracuse’s business incubator, The Tech Garden. One of the initiatives CenterState CEO in Syracuse is spearheading is called “Work Train.” Housed within CenterState CEO, the program is driven by a collaborative of funders and community partners that represent business, economic 76
development, philanthropy, workforce development, local government, training and education, and grassroots organizations. “The initiative is helping to address the talent gap and the challenge of un- and underemployment in Central New York by advancing efforts to train those who needs jobs for positions currently in demand,” Simpson said. Its model is based on finding solutions that benefit both businesses and jobseekers alike. “It works with employers to develop innovative solutions for industries with persistent, robust demands, while also working with community partners to provide greater access to training opportunities for workers and OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
residents,” Simpson said. In the past year, Work Train has placed 123 people in new jobs. Simpson said across the region, there has been “incredible” leadership by local employers creating a direct, positive impact on these issues as well. Simpson said companies and institutions like Novelis, Loretto, Darco Manufacturing and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center are partnering with academia and nonprofits to seek out, train, and harness untapped talent in the community. “This creates greater opportunities for the un- and underemployed, and prepares them for jobs that are going unfilled in this community,” he said.
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Wanted: Health Care Leader
Oswego Health embarks on finding perfect fit for its top administrative position By Lou Sorendo
ho will be the new torchbearer at Oswego Health? That torch will be handed to a new president and CEO in late spring or early summer as Charles “Chuck” Gijanto retires from the top position at Oswego Health. Now, a search is on for the next health care leader who can take on the challenges of a volatile industry in the midst of dramatic change. Gijanto, who was hired in September 2015, said his decision to step down was planned. “We had this role planned to be interim from the very start, and the expectation was it would be somewhere between 18 and 24 months, and we’re going to be somewhere in the middle of that when we are all said and done,” Gijanto said. “The reality is this has been a great fit for all of us.” Adam Gagas, chairman of the board at Oswego Health, said when a management change was needed 18 months ago, it was determined the organization needed strong interim leadership. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Charles “Chuck” Gijanto, standing, president and CEO of Oswego Health, joins Oswego Health Board President Adam Gagas while helping to search for the next top administrator at the health care facility. Oswego Health then embarked on finding a person capable of taking an inventory of capabilities internally as well as providing an assessment of how the organization is externally in terms of relationships. The organization needed an interim leader who would assess strategic planning and whether the organization had the proper initiatives to be successful, Gagas added. “That was when we came across Chuck to do that. Part of his job was to help transition to long-term program OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
management,” Gagas said. Gijanto sees his role during the transition period as being multi-faceted. “We are pressing forward with all our initiatives, and Adam has been very explicit with the senior team, medical staff, our directors and general staff members to say there is no lame duck and we’re going to keep the pedal to the metal and keep going forward with all the things we have in the works,” Gijanto said. Gijanto is also going to continue and enhance his role as coach to senior staff. 77
He is also working with the search committee toward selecting and reaching an agreement with the next CEO.
High-level search The board’s search committee interviewed several different national search firms before deciding on Witt/Kieffer, considered one of the more reputable search firms with a focus on the health care field. Oswego Health leaders selected the firm because of its “deep personal and professional experience” in Central New York, Gagas said. The firm has done similar placements in the area as well, Gagas noted. “We felt there was a good cultural click with them,” he said. Oswego Health has also been working on developing a timeline and schedule. The agency’s staff met with different constituencies in order to better understand Oswego Health and the community. Witt/Kieffer, in essence, serves as the public face of the search when it goes out nationally and advertises the position, Gagas noted. “If the firm has a better understanding of who we are, we have a better chance of success in terms of getting a candidate who really clicks with us and understands the community and community-based health care and where we want to go in the future,” Gagas said. Candidates are being presented and narrowed down before a decision is made, most likely in late spring or summer, Gagas said. “We don’t have a hard and fast date,” he added. “We also want to make sure we don’t preclude any great candidates because they have scheduling conflicts,” Gijanto added. “Fortunately, we have Chuck committed to being here and helping us through the transition period so we aren’t exposed,” Gagas said. “We’re happy with the leadership that we have and its very effective. We’ll do the right thing and shoot for areas of time, not particular dates.” Based on input from key players in the process, Gagas said one thing is a constant: “The region feels like it is really turning a corner into positive territory for the first time in a long time. “Our challenge is how do we represent that effectively and how do we communicate that effectively.” 78
He said attitudes are changing in Central New York itself, after the region has been stuck “in a sea of negativity.” “We want to communicate that excitement, but that’s sometimes a difficult thing to do. I think we’re really attractive in so many different ways — as a position, a community, as a health care system, where we are located regionally and the services that we offer inside the community,” Gagas said. “We really have the opportunity to say good things are happening here in Oswego,” he added.
Selling points “This is going to be a hot recruit,” Gijanto said. “There is a lot of interest because of where we are. After positioning ourselves for the last couple of years, we are starting to turn the corner.” Oswego Health has developed new service lines and expanded business lines while reconnecting with the community and other partners in ways it hasn’t before, he noted. Gijanto said the right candidate will step into this environment with a clean slate and an opportunity to explore different avenues of growth. “We have wonderful health system in Syracuse that we partner with today in a variety of different ways. We have internal partners in the region such as Northern Oswego Health Services, Oswego County Opportunities, the Oswego County Health Department and the Oswego County Department of Social Services that we never had before,” Gijanto said. “If somebody likes change and to take things to the next level, this is a great opportunity and it’s hard to imagine too many CEOs that don’t like that,” he added. In terms of selling points, Gagas said there are several different strengths Oswego Health has that will prove instrumental while enticing the right candidate. “This is not a struggling or failing health care system, so it’s not turnaround issue,” Gagas said. “Given the state of health care nationally now, there’s a lot of places that are just plain troubled,” Gagas said. “We’re not troubled like that.” Gagas noted Oswego Health is “not structurally obsolete” and it is a health care system, not just a hospital. “So it’s a great opportunity to be able to work in an environment where you have all different aspects of providing OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
care in the community, but in an understandable, small, manageable footprint at the same time,” he said. “Good leadership has shown us in Chuck what is possible here with the people we have,” Gagas said. “Even in just 18 months, metrics across the board are dramatically improved.” “We are growing at a time when many systems are shrinking. Even those that are healthy, many of them are shrinking,” Gijanto said. “We have the skill sets and people who are passionate, devoted and dedicated to the idea of health care,” Gagas said. “Good leadership has unlocked a tremendous amount of potential in them in just 18 months, and that is going to be obvious to see.”
External factors apparent Gagas said health care reform has led to a “huge push” toward population health. “Health care players in the area are judged by the population, not just by who walks through the doors,” he said. “We have committed partners across the county who want to work on projects together and do innovative things.” Gijanto noted prior to his tenure and over many years, people started “voting with their feet” and going to Syracuse to attend to their health care needs. He said Oswego Health is now introducing programs or re-growing programs that were once robust. “Now people are thinking, ‘I’m going to get this done locally,’ so it provides us with an opportunity that a lot of systems don’t have now,” he said. Gijanto said many health systems are “chasing a smaller pie” because of the focus on population health. “But we have an exceptional opportunity now to say, bread and butter stuff that was leaving this community is coming back, so we have a growth mode in front of us,” he said. “While battling health care reform and sometimes draconian measures coming from the state and Washington, we still have growth in patient flow that helps fuel our revenue stream. So we are very fortunate in that regard,” he added. Gagas said the organization is looking for someone who is open, communicative, transparent, and fosters innovative thinking. He said the hallmark of good leadership involves the ability to unleash potential that is already inside an organization. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Gagas said the candidate must also be someone who thinks collaboratively and is willing to strike up partnerships with external players. Gijanto had come out of retirement before taking on the Oswego Health’s CEO position. “My wife and I are at a point in our lives where we’re looking at the future and where we want to be and what we want to do,” he said. “I had promised my wife when I retired that I was done, and when she realized I wasn’t, she was gracious enough to support me in coming out here. It wasn’t going to be a 5-to-7 year thing, and she wasn’t going to support that and I couldn’t blame her,” he said. Gijanto and his wife intend on moving back to his hometown of Ticonderoga. “I’m going to keep my options open. If I can find part-time consulting work, I would do that. I can’t take on another enterprise of this scale and be there full time because it’s not fair to my wife,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed this stretch more than any other stretch in my career. This is a great organization and community with a lot of opportunity. It’s got challenges, but find a community that doesn’t have them. This has been more fun and more professionally rewarding than any other place I’ve worked,” he added.
Changing with the Times
Oswego Health finetunes image to adapt to challenging times
swego Health is focused on continuing to build a positive culture in 2017. Charles “Chuck” Gijanto, president and CEO of Oswego Health, said the organization has developed an aggressive list of objectives for 2017, some of which are built on work that was done in 2016 and some of which are newer initiatives. “I would say the key goal for 2017 — and the one we focused on the most in 2016 — is the culture building inside the organization,” he said. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Gijanto noted senior leadership and directors spent time in 2016 “really rolling up our sleeves and getting down and digging into the issues the staff faces every single day in the organization.” He said oftentimes, there are barriers to what staff does. “Rules and regulations pile up and get convoluted at times, or perhaps some of our own policies seem to get in the way. We spent a lot of time focusing on operations and how we really can support the staff that does great work every day,” he said. The results of a recent employee engagement survey saw “tremendous growth” in employee satisfaction compared to a year ago. Gijanto said he is trying to improve not only the culture, but also the engagement of employees at Oswego Health. “We put in a new compensation and benefit program last year because we felt we had fallen behind hospitals in Syracuse. That’s been an area of positivity for employees who felt like, ‘We like it here, but you’re not paying us what other people are paying’,” he said. Gijanto said retention is a lot less expensive in the long term than recruiting. “You also build experience. Our objective is to move people through the organization. You might start in dietary, and maybe you go into environmental services or central supply, and then perhaps become a nursing assistant from there. Keeping people and growing them in the organization as the organization grows is really a key objective for us,” he added. Meanwhile, Oswego Health experienced growth in patient satisfaction. “Our goal is to provide the best patient care than anybody in this region, and we’re on our way to doing that. In terms of patient experience, we are not there yet, but we’re making big strides,” he added. “I believe in a community of our size, we have an opportunity to take care of people we know as neighbors, relatives or friends of friends,” he said. That’s a different “touch and feel” compared to a large hospital, where patients are more anonymous, he said. “Here, it’s more personal for us,” Gijanto said.
Quality, safety first Also, Oswego Health will continue working on its quality and safety initiatives. In 2016, Oswego Health was the only hospital in the region — including Syracuse — that earned an “A” rating for patient safety by Leapfrog, considered the gold standard in hospital safety nationally. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
It was the second consecutive “A” rating for Oswego Health. The organization also had the least incidences of hospital-acquired conditions in the entire region. “If your staff is on board and full engaged, and you are giving great service to patients and have the best quality and safety measures, that’s when word of mouth grows and that’s when people start coming back to us,” he said. Oswego Health is making major upgrades to its information systems. It is keeping its primary vendor, Meditech, but incorporating its latest platform that is more architecture-based. “What that means is as we get into population health management, we can start moving, analyzing and accumulating data in ways that will help us identify the needs of various segments of the population,” he said. The program will take up to about 18 months to get installed. Gijanto noted while Oswego Health is in a growth mode, it will add employees to meet the needs of its growing services. He said additional personnel will support the newly established Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists’ program as well as the planned bariatric and wound management departments. Gijanto said he likes to be cautious when discussing employment, “because I think far too many administrators say that we’re an economic engine. Oswego Health is an economic engine in many ways. But at the same time, our funding comes from business, government and individuals. So we are always cognizant of the fact that we can’t absorb more Medicare and Medicaid dollars unless we are providing value and additional service for that. Otherwise, all it does is raise taxes for people or raise premiums for businesses.” Oswego Health is the leading private employer in Oswego County with 1,240 employees. “Our objective is to bring people back to the community, keep the money local and provide more jobs,” he said. “Yes, we are a large employer and yes, I think we’re going to grow, but I also walk that fine line of respecting where that money comes from and what that does to other people’s budgets,” he said.
On the recruiting trail Gijanto said Oswego Health is fortunate to have a young physician recruiter in Oswego native Chris Mitchell. “He has hit the ground running and makes a world of difference in physician recruitment,” Gijanto said. 79
Oswego Office 9 Fourth Ave Ph: 342-4088 TTY: 342-8696 Pulaski Satellite Office 2 Broad St Ph: 298-5726
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His work led to the recruitment of world-class colorectal specialist Theresa Ruddy recently. “We haven’t had that subspecialty here before. She brings a great reputation and experience, and she’s already gaining huge traction,” Gijanto said. Primary care is an area where every region is struggling, he noted. “I think we’re better than some but not as good as others. It’s a constant source of recruitment for us,” said Gijanto, noting primary care also entails mid-tier providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Oswego Health teams with the Northern Oswego County Health Services, the federally qualified health care center in the region, as well as private practices in efforts to maximize access to primary care. Despite the allegiance with SOS, Oswego Health continues to look for more orthopedic specialists. “As much as we are thrilled with our partnership with SOS, and that’s going to continue, we need a more stable base of doctors who live and work here full time. The SOS doctors are rotating out on an occasional basis, which is very helpful, but it doesn’t build that local base,” he said. Pulmonology is another recruitment focus for Oswego Health, and one that it has struggled with. “We are potentially partnering with one of the Syracuse hospitals, but it’s too early on to be detailed about that. But that’s a big area of need for us,” he said. Oswego Health is continuing to recruit in psychiatry as well. The organization managed to land two psychiatrists — Omar Colon and Bentley Strockbine — last year, which is fortunate in light of the profession being among the greatest shortage areas in the country. Oswego Health also wants to expand its otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) department. “We have a great ENT program, but we’re maxed out,” Gijanto said. “We have two doctors — the husband-wife team of Nicholas and Melanie Groch — and they have brought a great deal of enthusiasm and contemporary knowledge to our ENT world,” Gijanto said. However, “we can’t book them out any further,” he said. As a result, Oswego Health is seeking either another surgeon or possibly a PA to make ENT service more efficient. Oswego Health also needs another OBGYN specialist, and is working with Oswego County OBGYN toward that goal. The hospital saw an 8 percent growth in
births last year, and “is really stretching on the physician front,” Gijanto said.
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
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She played many years in tournaments on the amateur level of USA Volleyball. Her volleyball career started at Canastota High School, long regarded a perennial powerhouse in volleyball. Cazenovia girls’ volleyball coach Marcia Laidlaw, thought to be the winningest coach in the history of girls’ volleyball in the Northeast, proved to be a vital mentor to DeShaw. “My hard work comes from being her athlete,” DeShaw said. “Her practices were brutal, and she has very high standards for her athletes. If you walked into the gym one minute late, you weren’t participating.” In addition, Laidlaw taught DeShaw to never give up, “no matter how much you’re down, or how many games you lost, or how many points you’re behind. Never ever give up and always dig deep.” DeShaw works out as a YMCA member and also plays softball and golf. “I work a lot, so I’m trying to balance it a little better in the sense of trying to get to the YMCA or creating time for myself,” she said. “I try to eat healthy because that makes a difference with stress.”
Dean at Cayuga Community College also serves as mayor of the village of Canastota in Madison County Governmental leader
On top of her duties at CCC, DeShaw is in her second term as mayor of the village of Canastota. She is the first female mayor of the village. “I kept saying no at first because I didn’t really know anything about being mayor,” she said. After some consternation, former mayor Todd Rouse and her mom convinced her to take on the new challenge. DeShaw said her decision to be mayor stemmed from her allegiance to the village. “I lived there my whole life except for the five years I was in college. I just felt like I had to give back and I felt, ‘OK, it’s our generation’s turn.’ I felt it was my time to give back and that the village had done so much for me.
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“Canastota is a very close-knit community. I bought a house next to where I grew up, in [former world champion boxer] Carmen Basilio’s birth home. So the village gave me the opportunity to buy my first house. I graduated from Canastota, and they gave me my first job coaching.” She was also recreation director for the village for 10 years. “It’s been awesome and I believe I’m doing a nice job as mayor. I have a wonderful team and an experienced village administrator who handles the day-to-day operations,” she added. “Before as executive dean, I would think about the educational picture and community development, but you don’t really know the ins and outs of economic development from a mayor’s perspective or from a municipality’s perspective.” DeShaw enjoys spending time at her year-round residence in Raquette Lake in Hamilton County. “I spend a lot of time with family and friends there,” she said. She calls it her “go hibernate away place.” “It’s a beautiful little village and they treat me like a local,” she said. There, DeShaw partakes in hiking, boating and snowmobiling.
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OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Jamie Persse firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales — It’s Not a Dirty Word
L “I’d like to offer you a view of sales that leaves you feeling more comfortable and at ease with how having a positive “sales attitude” can benefit your customers and help you grow your bottom line’
et’s face it. To many, “sales” seems like a service that has the potential to satisfy somedirty word. Wouldn’t it just be easier if one’s pains, needs and wants. Your job is to we could put our product and service out inspire your prospect to a point of taking action there via social media and other advertising with you. Do it ethically and with integrity. media in a passive manner, and get the phone Do it with high character. Believe that your to ring or have people knock our doors down “product” can serve your customer’s needs, and convey that confidently. Again, constantly to purchase what we offer? It’s true that effective marketing may lead ask yourself, how is your product or service to a greater level awareness of your product going to leave them better than before? And for and eventually to sales. In fact, management the love of Pete, if your product won’t satisfy guru Peter Drucker once said, “The aim of mar- their need, don’t say it will! keting is to make sales superfluous.” Drucker’s Go for the Win-Win: The negative stigma in point is well taken. Marketing should create sales comes from the perception of who the awareness of how your product or service is going to “win” in the transaction. I can help solve a problem someone has. I be- heard it long ago that one of the greatest fears lieve it falls short at times on converting that people have is that someone is going to take awareness into action. something from them that they have, or not I’d like to offer you a view of sales that give them what they want. Fostering a winleaves you feeling more win atmosphere leads comfortable and at ease to a greater customer Guest Columnist with how having a posexperience, and likely, itive “sales attitude” can more repeat and referbenefit your customers, ral business. This only and help you grow your bottom line. happens when both parties come away from Here are five key points to consider: the “sale” having their needs met. Again, unThe Know, Like and Trustfactor: People want derstanding your customer’s needs is critical to do business with those they know, like to meeting that need! Zig Ziglar once said, “If and trust. Build rapport and credibility you help enough people get what they want, with your prospect. Teddy Roosevelt said, they’ll help you get what you want” “People don’t care how much you know until Fulfill the promise: Once someone has they know how much you care”. Get to know bought from you, they are expecting them, and let them get to know you. One of the that your product or service will satisfy reasons that “referral business” has a higher their need, both now and in the future. Don’t conversion rate from marketing to sales is over-promise and under-deliver. If anything, simple: Someone has made a recommendation under-promise and over-deliver. In a lot of based on their personal experience with you industries, follow up with your customer after or your company. So, they’ve done some of the sale can provide you extremely valuable the leg work for you by recommending you. feedback. Don’t neglect that feedback! Think of Understand your customer: I’m sure you’ve the cash register experience at your latest visit heard it said — “it is better to understand to a fast food joint. On the receipt is usually than to be understood.” It starts with a number or website where they ask you to understanding your customer’s needs. Don’t share your experience with them. Could this assume you know why someone is coming lead to a greater and more fulfilling experience to you. How do we do that? Ask probing for your customer? Sure, it could. It could also questions. Seek to understand what “pain” provide you with some valuable information they are trying to solve. Understand how your to make the tweaks necessary to ensure your product or service going to leave them better continued success. Remember, nothing happens until somethan before? What was it that their last supplier didn’t satisfy for them? How did their needs go thing is sold. Without sales, there is no service, unmet? Truly valuing and satisfying the needs no accounting, no operations, etc. You need of your customer is critical in developing long customers, otherwise you have no one to serve. As I usually say in my articles, these are term customer relationships Sales is about the heart: Sales is influence. not earth-shattering and new ideas. SomeIt starts with a heart check. Do you truly times, it’s just back to mastering the basics. believe that you can help someone satisfy Just turning the wheel one notch can often their needs? You are a provider of a product or yield great results.
2. JAMIESON C. PERSSE is the founder and CEO of JC Persse Consulting. For more information, visit www. jcpersseconsulting.com and send an email to jamie@ jcpersseconsulting.com. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
By Lou Sorendo
Headquarters of C&S Companies, 499 Col Eileen Collins Blvd., next to Syracuse Hancock Airport.
C&S Companies Employee-Owned Company Makes Indelible Mark on the Central New York Landscape
oup to nuts. While this phrase certainly applies to the culinary world, it also describes the tasteful work of C&S Companies in Syracuse. For nearly 50 years, C&S has evolved from a fledgling municipal engineering firm to a full-service national design, planning and construction services firm. John Trimble, president and CEO, oversees the employee-owned company that has made an indelible mark on the Central New York landscape.
C&S services both the public and private sector. The company has seen an increase in the desire for integrated project delivery, Trimble said. “Instead of just doing the design or just doing the construction, we take a design-build approach, or integrated product delivery approach, where we are combining all the services we offer into one package.” This way, the owner can completely turn the project over to C&S. Traditionally, particularly on OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
public multi-prime projects, an owner would hire a design firm to design the project and develop plans and specs. Contractors would then bid on the project and manage the work. “All told, you had six to seven different entities and an owner had six to seven different contracts to get one job done,” he said. “There is a desire now to simplify that and go with, ‘I just want one contract, one company responsible and I’ll turn it over to you.’ That’s really what we are geared to do.” C&S is a privately held company. At the end of 2016, there were approximately 85 owners out of its workforce of 400. Individuals who run significant parts of the business are the owners. “It was an easy decision because in our business, the people who make it happen and are providing services are the ones who should have stake in the game. That’s how we operate,” Trimble said. C&S has also resisted becoming a MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
public company. “We feel individuals who live in the community and have an ownership bring a higher level of commitment and passion for what they do,” he noted. “We’ve all grown up in the business together and through that individuals have identified opportunities to relocate and start C&S businesses in other parts of the country,” Trimble said. “That’s been our model. In every case, people have started here in Syracuse, worked here for a number of years, and decided to relocate and start a new operation in another location in the country. So that’s what’s really driven it.”
Steady as she goes
Trimble said the company’s performance has been consistent over the last three years. “However, nothing’s easy. There’s no layups and we’re working hard for everything we get,” he said. “When you look at our total business, and I tend to share this because people may think the margins are much better than they are in our business, we might run 5- to 7-percent return on our business, and that’s in a good year,” he said. Trimble said the company has hired several individuals who were clients in the past. “We’re very open with numbers, and when they saw that, I remember one individual saying, ‘I had no idea. I thought you guys were making 15 to 20 percent’,” he said. C&S has increased revenues year after year, but has not increased its staff count because the company is doing more with the same amount of people. “That’s the trend whether it’s industry, government or professional services,” he added. “It’s all getting automated.” Trimble said the company makes decisions that are more employee-and community-focused versus what the percent of return and profitability are. “As far as priorities, when you talk about how much we give back to the community, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Trimble said. “I think it builds good will in the community. It’s the right thing to do and part of our culture,” said Renee Lane, marketing director, in regards to what motivates C&S to give back. “I think we are recognized as a MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Matt Geitner, left, who heads up business development/government affairs at C&S Companies, Syracuse, joins John Trimble, president and CEO of C&S, during a recent strategic planning session. player and good stewards in the community. Is it measurable? Not really. I don’t think it matters. It makes us happy and feels good that we’re able to give back,” she said. Trimble said because C&S is concentrated heavily in the public sector, it has an obligation to give back because funding for projects is through taxpayer dollars. “So many companies like ours are being bought out by larger national and international firms that don’t have headquarters in the area,” Trimble said. “We’re the opposite. We’re staying privately held by people who live in the area and we’re doing work outside the area that is bringing money back. That’s not the case with many of the organizations around here.” Trimble said the company has been able to do that because “we have successfully managed the business to OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
a modest profit so that our backs are not up against the wall. “We got a team leading the company that is pretty much in synch. We’re not always in agreement, but we usually are in general alignment with where we are headed and we all agree we want to control our own destiny.”
Trimble said the company takes a practical approach to sustainability and does it in a three-pronged manner. “You need to balance people, profit and the planet,” he said. “If the project is not serving the community or people in an organization, there is less need to do a project. Without an economic reason to do a project, such as financial or profit, the project won’t move ahead. The third part is you have to do it in a way 85
that’s environmentally conscious and is something that isn’t short-term at the expense of the environment. “We look at almost every project in these terms. Those drivers all need to be in balance.” Trimble said the one niche that C&S fills that differentiates itself from others is industrial and process engineering. “It’s an area where there are fewer companies that do it, and we’re one of the few,” he said. That expertise is applied in Oswego County at facilities such as Novelis, Sunoco, Huhtamaki, Exelon, Entergy and Dynegy. “Not everybody does that type of work, whereas there are many firms that do public work, such as highways and bridges,” he said. “Fewer firms do high-technology industrial process and manufacturing.” Matt Geitner, who heads up business development/government affairs at C&S, said it hasn’t always been that way. “With the downturn in manufacturing, there are some other firms like us who were in that space who are not anymore. We’ve fallen into that space a little bit more,” said Geitner, a native and resident of Fulton. Trimble said it’s the company’s relationships and people that give it a competitive edge. “Ninety percent of our work is repeat business, so once we get in somewhere and we prove our worth, we usually establish relationships and trust that turn into repeat work,” he said. Another key is the company’s diversity, he said. “Within C&S, there is literally very little that we can’t do, whether it’s construction related, operations, maintenance or design involving a wastewater treatment plant, an industrial process improvement, a clean room, a highway or bridge, or whether it’s a building or airport. We really do just about everything,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of people really realize that either. It’s hard to market and talk about that until you worked with us, then you realize the diversity is there,” Lane said. Overall, 35 percent of clients C&S serves are in the private sector with the balance being public sector work. Within that 35 percent, the vast majority is concentrated in the industrial-manufacturing sectors within New 86
York state. C&S uses many skilled trades people from Oswego County, and commends a workforce that has evolved from the days of constructing nuclear power facilities. “We pull guys from Oswego County who can compete globally with their skills,” Geitner said. Trimble noted C&S uses 50 to 100 union tradesmen on any given day for its construction operations. They include millwrights, pipefitters, iron-workers and electricians.
Rolling with market
Geitner said local government is being asked to do more with less, be it personnel or operating and capital budgets. This means C&S’ design process has to be quicker, more adept and more creative, he added. C&S leaders are excited about progress on the Bridge NY program, which promises funds for culverts and bridges, as well as Cuomo’s initiatives regarding Upstate airports. C&S has been involved in several projects backed by the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council. “Governor Andrew Cuomo has done a decent job in creating regional economic development councils and trying to prioritize region by region the highest needs,” Geitner said. “The government has had to get tighter and prioritize more.” President Trump’s pledge to direct $1 trillion toward infrastructure is also promising to companies such as C&S. “There is a long way to go on that to get through Congress and how that is going to be prioritized in terms of roads, bridges, wastewater treatment facilities and airports,” Geitner added. From a private sector perspective, manufacturers “want us to get in quickly and get out quickly and do it cheaply. Often our manufacturers are trying to turn on a dime given the global economy. You saw it with Novelis with aluminum and the CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] standards. You have to quickly respond to the market, be it consumer trends or environmental regulations,” he added. In terms of the private sector on the manufacturing side, Trimble said everybody gauges economic improvement by jobs. “The reality is, especially in the industrial sector, technology OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
is where the improvement is taking place. In many cases, they are not going to lead to more jobs, but lead to that business being sustainable,” he said. He said even some of the economic incentive programs from the state are strictly focused on jobs. “That’s important, but sometimes they overlook the idea that we just need to make these existing places sustainable, or we’re going to lose them altogether,” he added. “It’s not just about new jobs, it’s about retaining existing jobs.” In his 26 years in the business, Trimble said he has noticed there isn’t the job creation that’s coming from projects like they used to be because technology is offsetting that. Also, municipalities don’t have the funds to do projects like they used to. When Trimble broke into the business, the city of Syracuse — one of C&S’ major clients — would regularly have a capital program that was funded by local dollars and didn’t depend on state or federal money. “Now, I can’t count on one hand the number of projects that they take on themselves in a year. And their emergency projects are very small in scale and not anything significant, and that’s a huge difference,” he said. For example, in Phoenix, until the village expands its wastewater treatment plant, the county’s hands are tied in terms of more development in that area because the municipality is not accepting any new wastewater flow.
C&S Involved in High Profile Projects in CNY
or C&S Companies, performance and results speak for themselves. C&S Companies is and has been involved in some of the more upscale and high profile projects in the Central New York region. A design and construction firm headquartered in Syracuse, it primarily serves local, state, and federal governments; industry and manufacturing; and private businesses. It provides planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance services. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
C&S Companies was the program and construction manager for Lakeview Amphitheater on Onondaga Lake, which opened last summer. The company took the concept from its inception all the way to the opening Miranda Lambert concert and beyond John Trimble is the president and CEO of C&S. In terms of future projects, C&S is doing an environmental impact statement on the planned intermodal commerce center, or inland port, that has been buoyed by $500 million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding. The state Department of Transportation is doing a study on the project and momentum is expected to build following that step. The lead agency on the project is the Port of Oswego Authority. C&S is also on the design team for the Interstate 81 project in Syracuse. “We’re involved in the environmental piece of that now and the public participation piece. Once a decision is made, it’s going into design and construction, so we’re going to have involvement in that one,” Trimble said. Another major Upstate Revitalization Initiative project that C&S is involved in is an unmanned aerial system testing facility as well as radar tracking corridor. Akin to the intermodal commerce center, C&S is playing a similar role in the unmanned aerial system project in site selection through the environmental impact statement process.
C&S has taken on some significant projects in both the private and public sectors. In the private sector, projects with Novelis and Sunoco in Oswego County represent some of C&S’ largest recent projects. At Novelis, C&S provided design and construction management services for the $50 million automotive alumiMARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
New headquarters of GA Braun, a 125,000-sq.-ft. facility located in the town of Salina. The company is a large scale laundry equipment manufacturer. C&S did the entire project design-build for the GA Braun. num recycling facility, and construction management services for the $120 million continuous annealing solution heat production line expansion. At Sunoco, C&S is providing design-build services for the $12 million malt house operation, the 1886 Malt House, which will provide malting processing for New York state-grown crops used in the craft brewing industry. C&S also upgraded the entire slurry blending system to reduce excessive water and enzyme usage recently at the Sunoco biofuels plant in Fulton. The American Council of Engineering Companies, New York Chapter honored the project with its Diamond OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Award — the highest award given at the state level — in its annual engineering excellence competition. In the public sector, some of C&S’ largest projects include expansion projects at the Port of Oswego Authority. C&S also recently completed an energy performance contract for the Oswego County administration and public safety buildings; designed east side and west side wastewater treatment plant upgrades for the city of Oswego; and provided construction management services for the $35 million renovation at the Center of Instruction, Technology & Innovation, formerly Oswego County Board of Cooperative Educational 87
Services. The company is using an energy performance contract to design and construct improvements to the Oswego pumping and treatment facilities operated by the Metropolitan Water Board. “It’s exciting to work with local leaders, private and public, to help execute visions for projects that benefit our local community,” Trimble said.
C&S is center stage
Outside of Oswego County, C&S has been involved as a design team member for the I-81 viaduct improvements project in downtown Syracuse; program and construction managers for Lakeview Amphitheater on Onondaga Lake; and, lead structural engineer for a new $1 billion terminal facility at Orlando International Airport. In addition, C&S has been the longtime general airport consultant for the Oswego County Airport in Fulton, and has provided project specific highway and bridge design and construction inspection services for Oswego County and the cities of Oswego and Fulton. C&S leaders expressed elation at being the lead on the amphitheater project. “The most gratifying aspect of that was Onondaga County, on its most significant project of that time, turned to C&S and said, ‘We want you to just handle it and take the lead’,” Trimble said.
C&S is an employeeowned company. At the end of 2016, there were about 85 owners out of its workforce of 400. It offers full-service design, planning and construction services on national scale. One of C&S’ senior principals, Bob Duclos, took the concept from its inception all the way to the opening Miranda Lambert concert and beyond. “We’re still doing some enhancements over there now. It is a significant and exciting project for us,” he added. Trimble notes C&S is always open to innovative and creative ideas. “One of our engineers was at a sporting event at the Carrier Dome when he looked up at the roof and said, ‘What a good opportunity for rainwater harvesting.’ We were able to get with Syracuse University and the state got involved and we did a rainwater capture facility there,” Trimble said. Over 5 million gallons of water come off that roof in a year. Before the
capture system, it went directly into the storm water system. It would overwhelm the wastewater treatment plant, and now that the capture facility is functioning, less fresh water is needed from Skaneateles Lake for use in toilets. Trimble said his company closely tracks the CNY economy and expects a similar demand for its services experienced over the last two to three years. “Central New York tends to be steady and doesn’t go through the highs or lows seen in other parts of the country,” he said. However, Trimble noted the company sees a “tremendous need” to re-invest in infrastructure. “As a professional engineer, I have witnessed all levels of government eliminate or radically reduce operating and capital budgets over the last 25 years.” Trimble said the needs have not gone away — only the funding has. “If the federal government can match or surpass recent renewed state funding for infrastructure, local municipalities stand a chance to maintain and replace in some cases roads and bridges, water and wastewater systems, and public buildings and facilities,” he said. President Trump campaigned that he will seek to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure, Trimble said.
Oswego’s Online MBA Ranks Highest in State
SUNY Oswego’s online MBA tied for 27th among online master of business administration programs nationally — the highest of any institution in the state, according to U.S. News’ 2017 “Best Online Degree Programs: MBA” rankings published Jan. 10. Oswego’s School of Business was the only public school in New York to crack the list’s top 100 online graduate business programs, and one of only five in the state (Rochester Institute of Technology, 33rd in the ranking; Clarkson, No. 42; Syracuse, No. 47; Marist, No. 61). “The U.S. News & World Report ranking is an affirmation of the quality of our online MBA program,” said Richard Skolnik, dean of Oswego’s School of Business. “It reflects the expertise of our faculty, the support 88
SUNY Oswego’s Online MBA Program is holding two live information sessions at 5 p.m. March 8 and at noon, April 5. To register, email email@example.com services provided by the MBA office, the quality of our MBA students, the expertise of the extended learning instructional design team and the commitment to online learning provided by the college.” The 145 matriculated students in Oswego’s online MBA program are among nearly 301 in the college’s overall MBA program, which is customized for every student, said Irene Scruton, Oswego’s MBA director. Many of these students are working professionals looking to advance their careers, she added. OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
“The students in Oswego’s MBA represent every major industry category, including manufacturing, healthcare, engineering, education, communications and technology,” she said. “At least a third of our students have master’s degrees in their discipline such as engineering, education or social sciences and are moving into leadership roles where the MBA is a valuable credential.” Scruton said the college’s most recent (2015) graduate survey found 32 percent of Oswego MBA students were promoted in their company while in the program and 20 percent were promoted upon graduation; another 14 percent of students changed employers for higher positions. For the complete U.S. News rankings, see www.usnews.com/online MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Best Business Directory AUCTION & REAL ESTATE Dean D. Cummins over 35 years experience. All types of auctions & real estate. Route 370 Cato. Call 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. More information, call 638-4444.
AUTO SALES & SERVICE Bellinger Auto Sales & Service — Third generation business. 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 orthstar 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. 184 Water St. Oswego (back of Canal Commons). 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.
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. 315-598-6025 (cell 315-591-4303).
Fisher Companies. Commercial & residential demolition. Great prices. Fully insured. Free estimates. 46 years of experience. Call Fisher Companies at 315-652-3773 or visit www.johnefisherconstruction.com.
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.
Gilbert Excavating. Septic systems. Gravel & top soil. Septic and tank pumping. 691 county Route 3, Fulton, 13069. Call 593-2472.
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.
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 Street Fulton, NY 13069, 593-7913.
HOME IMPROVEMENT Wet Paint Company. Paint, flooring, blinds & drapes. Free estimates. Call 343-1924, www.wetpaintcompany.com.
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.
Lie detection, Ex\AMS, matrimonial, criminal, custody. Call P.I.B Investigations at 315-952-1118. Liedetectionssyracuse.com. Director: W. Malcom Plummer.
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.
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.
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:
MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
Oswego County Business • P.O. Box 276 • Oswego, NY 13126 OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
By Lou Sorendo
Wellness at Work Conference to address how healthy employees are good for business Q.: What is Oswego County Opportunities’ worksite wellness program all about? Can you tell us about the upcoming Wellness at Work Conference?
A.: The Wellness at Work Conference is being organized under Oswego County Opportunities’ IMPACT (Initiatives for Multi-Sector Public Health Action) program that seeks to reduce rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. IMPACT is a regional initiative involving six counties funded through HealtheConnections, which receives funding from the New York State Department of Health. One of our goals under IMPACT is to promote nutrition standards and physical activity in worksites. The Wellness at Work Conference, sponsored the Oswego County Worksite Wellness Collaborative, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon March 15 at the River Visa Center, Fulton. Participants will learn how other local employers have implemented wellness at work strategies, and will also learn about resources available to help launch their own worksite wellness program. For more information, call me at 592-0837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q.: What are some of the more exciting aspects planned for the conference?
A.: We found an amazing, dynamic keynote speaker in Kelly Springer, who will be laying out the case for employee wellness programs, including what the benefits are to both the employer and employee, return on investment and best practice strategies. Springer is the owner of Kelly’s Choice in Skaneateles and a nutrition counselor. We are also putting together a panel of employers who have implemented a wellness strategy in their workplace to share their experiences — why they did it, what were their challenges and how effective was it. In addition, we are part-
nering with OCO’s PHIP (population health improvement program) that will be offering six $1,000 mini-grants that employers can apply for to help energize their worksite wellness activities.
Q.: How did the initiative come about and what demographic do you wish to target?
Q.: Are there any companies in the county that employ worksite wellness programs? How do they gauge how effective they are?
A.: Yes — Huhtamaki, The Fulton Companies, Entergy and Oswego Health. Gauging the effectiveness of a program is measured in several ways. Some of the most popular measures are utilization by employees, positive feedback from employees, reduction of overall health insurance costs, overall improvement in employee satisfaction, requests for additional programs and a reduction in sick days and absenteeism.
A.: We wanted to create some buzz about worksite wellness. In talking to some businesses, we realized we needed to create some excitement around the issue to attract businesses to learn more. We decided to expand our focus and pull together all the partners we could think of who have a stake in promoting health to Oswego County businesses and established the Oswego Worksite Wellness Collaborative. It includes OCO’s IMPACT and cancer services programs, Oswego Health, the Tobacco Free Network of CNY, Oswego County Health Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Oswego YMCA. Instead of focusing on just nutrition and physical activity, we are able to expand the upcoming conference to include other important employee wellness topics, such as paid leave for cancer screenings, tobacco use policies, and biometric screenings. Our target audience for the conference is any employer in Oswego County.
Q.: How do employers and employees benefit from such a program?
A.: A healthy work environment is also a safer work environment. Other benefits include lower health insurance costs, higher morale, less voluntary turnover, and employees are more likely to recommend their employer.
OSWEGO COUNTY BUSINESS
Inga Back, coordinator of administrative operations for Oswego County Opportunities’ Health & Nutrition Department in Fulton, spearheads a wellness in workplace initiative. MARCH 2017/ APRIL 2017
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