WEEK OF AUGUST 24, 2009 www.hvbizjournal.com is LIVE! Hudson Valley
August 24, 2009
s believe they nt of American Only 41 perce ion status n to pre-recess will ever retur
Books! Books! Books! Page 19
up stick their heads have begun to “happy days economists tentatively out. Still, it’s hardly are still unemin as many quarters, – be bottoming second slight gainin a generation may – at last a recession, technically, millions analyst is suggestof GDP posted its As the country’s suggest that the worst recessionWhile we mau be coming out d not even the most optimistic credit markets do and and American workers. in the official statistics….an of what the stock market out of the sand for millions of counted – regardless recesare here again” yed…or not even job growth any time soon by the current significant seriously impacted expect their houseployed and under—emplo going to see any describe being adults of U.S. adults ing that we are 41 percentof all poll finds one-third “devastated.” Also, only . Another signifthat a new Zogby have been about recovery. It is hardly surprising who say their households and less optimism conditions. 14 percent to pre-recession recession impact sion, including error is +/higher levels of The margin of situations to return affiliation. hold financial July 2-27, 2009. households reported questions was political from income Adults in lower responded to both survey of 41,175 adults conducted in how people Interactive icant variable come from a Zogby These findings 0.5 percent. scale, with “five” and gave a five-point poll shaped up: had on your household,” Here’s how the U.S. economy changes in the have the recent “no impact.” “How big an impact and “one” being being “devastating”
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(4+5) Major impact (1+2) Little or no impact
finances Expect personal ion status to return to pre-recess Yes No Not Sure
on Deadline nears buyer’s first-time home credit Page 24 Contact Us: ments: Story ideas/com email@example.com Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org submissions: Newsmaker email@example.com s: Datebook submission m firstname.lastname@example.org hvbjdateboo
41% 31% 27%
declines variable, as optimismwill fully believe they Age is also a significant household income.of First GlobalsTM (ages 18-29) yes increases with cir55 percent their financial of those answeringage groups. For example, The percentages oldest by party that believed 65 and older). the youngest to of Privates (age Here are the percentages steadily from to just 27 percent a significant factor. recover, comparedquestion, party affiliation is As in the other go back to pre-recession status. cumstances would percent • Democrats 51 percent them financially, 33 • Republicans or nearly devastated is also not much 40 percent There has devastated • Independents say the recession Great Depression. perceptions about pera third of adults period of hardship since the impacts “When more than affiliation even serious how much party the nation’s most Pollster John Zogby: has indeed been their losses. It’s also striking this that recoup you know nation.” people will ever remain a highly polarized optimism that showing that we visit: release: sonal finances, news this survey, please full l statement on 411 the methodologica eth.cfm?ID=1 view to For a complete odology/readm below gby.com/meth link http://www.zo the click m?ID=1731 Please /ReadNews.cf gby.com/news http://www.zo
It’s gonna be a long way back Page 15
Conferences and Meetings Pages 25-26
Ulster’s sales tax nightmare page 6
‘Adaptability’ reviewed page 8
Clydesdales at the Polo Picnic? page 11 Since 1986, the only regional business publication produced and printed in the Hudson Valley.
INDEX The Bookworm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Open Mike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Letters to the editor . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Small Business Resources . . . .16-17 Media & Marketing . . . . . . . .18-19 Banking & Finance . . . . . . . . . . .20 Healthcare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Newsmaker's . . . . .11 and ONLINE Datebook . . . . . . . .12 and ONLINE Chamber Listings . . . . . .ONLINE!
Volume 19, Number 33
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Ball goes to bat on healthcare reform BY DEBBIE KWIATOSKI
Tempers grew as hot as the temperature inside a packed room at the Hotel Sierra in Fishkill last Wednesday, as well over 200 mainly angry and mainly senior people turned out for what was dubbed as an “open forum” to discuss the healthcare reform legislation cycling around Congress this summer. Organized by NYS Assemblyman Greg R. Ball, a Republican, who is bidding to unseat Rep John Hall, a Democrat, this fall, the forum – like most of those being held around the country this long, hot summer – was pretty much a platform for those opposed to any kind of sweeping healthcare reform that Congress might want to tackle this year. Ball also made a big point of calling Hall out on his own reluctance to hold such town meetings over the August recess, suggesting that Hall was ducking the issue with constituents. “The Congressman was invited,” said Ball. “ We have challenged Hall to come tonight. I am one of his constituents and, if he does show up, I will sit down and hand him the mike.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Rep. Hall actually had a town hall meeting scheduled to discuss healthcare reform on Thursday, August 20th in Beacon…too late to be included in this issue). Yet, as the angry accusations that the bills currently being proposed by either the House or the Senate contained provisions for everything from rationing to death panels; wholesale government takeovers to long waits for lifesaving treatments, Ball tended to settle himself squarely in the eye of the storm around him and kept repeating his call for proposed solutions to the problem. “We want to move healthcare is a positive direction,” Ball stressed. “And we want your ideas on how to do that. The ideas that come out of this forum…and many others like them…will be taken to the Blue Dog Democrats and the Moderate Republicans to see if we can come up with a real solution to fix the things that are wrong with healthcare in sensible ways – without some big government takeover of the whole system.” Whil eteh room was clearly slanted towards the status quo, a few in the room made the point that the federal government has been running a variety of national healthcare plans for decades- among them, Medicare, Medicaid and the V.A. system. “And it’s not true that we have no experience setting up a government healthcare system,” said Vince Surrey of Wallkill. “We have Medicare, which looking around the room, I believe many of you have some direct knowledge of …and we have the V.A. My uncle, a Vietnam veteran, has gotten excellent care in continued on page 5
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NYS Assemblyman Greg Ball wades into the healthcare reform fray
New Math: What healthcare insurance could cost in a decade nationalized programs aside, very little attention has been publicly to what is most likely to happen if the status quo remains the status quo, when it comes to paying for the stuff. There really is a basic lesson in the economics of health insurance’s private, for-profit business model that ever-growing numbers of employed, middle-class Americans are setup to learn the hard way, unless basic, effective changes to the current system are not made. According to the Milliman Medical Index (MMI), healthcare insurance is going to become increasingly more difficult for Americans to pay for and, within a decade, it could actually become out So far, the angry rhetoric over healthcare reform has centered of reach for millions of families who are both working more of delivery issues than financing the status quo. full-time and currently covspecifically – how much we will be paying, ered. The MMI looks at key components of if no changes are made to the current system. Angry outbursts at town meetings all actual medical spending and charts the over the country have pretty much mirrored changes in these components over time, the angry comments by the chattering class including cost changes for employers and from both sides of the aisle, but the so- employees. In addition to national cost called “discussions” have almost complete- trends, the MMI includes results for 14 ly focused on “Death Panels,” “rationing” major American metropolitan areas to illusand the “creeping threat of socialism….” If trate how widely medical costs can vary by any sort of National Healthcare Program region. The MMI offers useful context that can was ever approved. Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans’ health programs and other continued on page 27 BY DEBBIE KWIATOSKI
What’s getting lost in the debate over healthcare in America is the fact that reforming the way healthcare is delivered in this country is a different discussion than how we may be paying for it and – more
August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley Business Journal
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Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
August 24, 2009 -3
The Nevele Grand goes on the auction block BY CHRIS MILLER
The lights have been turned off to the once premier Nevele Grande resort in Ellenville. Plagued by past due taxes and lawsuits from customers, agencies, former business partners, and contractors alike, the Catskill resort is going to auction September 1 and Ulster County Comptroller Elliot Auerbach is leading an initiative to recoup funds owed by owner, Joel Hoffman. Auerbach has launched a coordinated effort with Ulster County Attornet Bea Havranek and County Executive Michael Hein to collect on back taxes and fees that collectively totals more than $600,000. “We have brought to the County Executive and County Attorney’s office attention the exposure that not just the county has in unpaid taxes and payments in lieu of taxes but also the Town of Wawarsing, the Village of Ellenville, Ellenville School District, and Ellenville Public Library,” explained Auerbach. He stated that the collaboration is necessary so that each entity could take any legal steps required to ensure collection. Ulster County is currently owed 2008 and 2009 payments and an estimated hotel / motel bed tax payment for the past year. Ellenville Central, alone, is owed taxes to the tune of $250,000 and the Nevele owes the Village of Ellenville $155,000 for its unpaid water bill. By reviewing the Nevele’s 2008 and 2009 records, the comptroller’s office found that resort had, at the time, a payHudson Valley
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ment in lieu of taxes or “PILOT” agreement with the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency (UCIDA). The agreement was an economic development initiative in exchange for job creation and tourism business. “The first thing we did was a routine audit to look at all the payments in lieu of taxes that the county was owed,” said the comptroller, noting that 20 to 25 other businesses throughout Ulster County have PILOT agreements. In the Nevele’s case, the comptroller’s office found that the resort was in arrears in both 2008 and 2009. In addition, the 2007 money they owed was collected a
year later – a portion of which belonged to the Town of Wawarsing. “In regards to the payment in lieu of taxes, to our knowledge they paid everything they were supposed to at the time the PILOT agreement was terminated,” said Lance Matteson who joined UCIDA as Executive Director in 2007. “All the relevant taxing authorities have to certify to that. We do not close out the project until we are satisfied until they made the PILOT payments.” Matteson said that trouble most likely began once the PILOT agreement was terminated and the Nevele was placed back on the tax rolls and charged the full
amount of property taxes. He said what happens at that point is up to the county and it’s out of UCIDA’s hands. “This is in the context of a fairly troubled financial situation over a protracted period of time. The Nevele had trouble making payments on village water bills and I believe they had trouble keeping up on their PILOT payments in the past, so they had to be changed down for those payments,” said Matteson. “The truth is that even the PILOT payments are made to the assessor, not to the IDA.” The Nevele was enrolled in the PILOT program and it terminated for the first continued on page 27
August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
Great Lakes Capital Fund focuses on affordable housing in the Hudson Valley Birchez Associates LLC, a developer of affordable housing in the Hudson Valley, has joined with government officials, community leaders and regional bank officers to introduce a new funding vehicle with the goal of increasing investment in affordable housing in the region. Officers from Great Lakes Capital announced an equity fund that will target smaller community financial institutions as investors in a Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The new offering is called the Upstate New York Community Fund (UNYCF). The new fund provides an option for financial institutions to invest in their own communities that was previously unavailable if they did not have the means to
invest $1 million in a tax credit fund. The UNYCF will target smaller investors whose investment amount can start as low as $250,000, fitting the profile of many community banks. The fund is designed to help satisfy the current dire need for tax credit equity that makes these projects feasible. Speakers explained the opportunity for local and regional banks to take advantage of tax credits while also helping to create high quality, safe and affordable housing for lower income residents in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York. Local bankers, government officials and community representatives attended the meeting at The Birches at Esopus, one of several senior living communities built
by Birchez Associates. Speakers included Steve Aaron, founder and managing partner of Birchez Associates; Deborah VanAmerongen, Commissioner of New York State Division of Housing & Community Renewal; Congressman Maurice Hinchey, NYS 22nd District; and James L. Logue, III, chief operating officer, Great Lakes Capital Fund. Modeled after larger national equity funds, the Upstate New York Community Fund will help investors keep their investments local and add to the vibrancy and economic stability of their own communities. “Through this fund, upstate New York’s economically strong local and regional banks have a double bottom-line
opportunity to do well by doing good. They can get a good economic return on their investment through tax credits and strong interest rates, and an important social return by supporting affordable housing, stimulating job creation and economic activity, and fulfilling CRA requirements,” Great Lakes Capital’s Logue said. As Commissioner VanAmerongen noted, there is currently a serious shortage of tax credit investment in the upstate region. This shortage “is not about the product – default rates are extremely low for this type of housing. And it is not about the need – there are long waiting lists for affordable housing. But the economic crisis has jeopardized the ability of developers to secure funding from some traditional sources. That’s why we are encouraging our local and regional banks to participate in the Upstate New York Community Fund,” she said. Birchez Associates’ Aaron explained, “As a developer, I can tell you how important it is to keep the pipeline of investments flowing. There is an urgent housing crisis facing senior citizens and working families in our region and the only way to address it is through increased funding.” Congressman Hinchey congratulated Commissioner VanAmerongen, Logue and Aaron for their efforts to create affordable housing. “Few issues are more important than having a roof over your head,” he said. “The need for more excellent facilities, like the Birches at Esopus, is critical. I also want to thank the bankers for doing their part by supporting this new investment fund.”
Grants available to nonprofits serving Dutchess County The Community Foundation of Dutchess County is now accepting applications from tax-exempt organizations serving residents of Dutchess County for the Fall 2009 Grant Cycle. Application information and grant guidelines are available on the Community Foundation’s Web site at www.cfdcny.org. All applications must be submitted to the Foundation by the respective deadline date. If you have any questions regarding our grant programs, application guidelines or the application process, please contact Nevill Smythe, Vice President, Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 845452-3077. Below is a list of available grant programs. Community Response Grants Dutchess County - The current focus of these grants is to build the capacity of organizations and the community, including but not limited to: equipment to improve office operations, professional development for staff and/or board members and programmatic areas. Application deadline is September 30, 2009. John T. Sloper Community Fund Grants and Scholarships - Grants in Southern Dutchess and Putnam counties for EMT training and emergency medical equipment. A limited number of grants to other organizations serving the rest of Dutchess County may be considered. Application deadline is September 30, 2009. Bertha Effron Fund Grants - Established to preserve and strengthen Jewish culture and Jewish institutions in Dutchess continued on page 17
Hudson Valley Business Journal
August 24, 2009 -5
Frontier Communications and Walden Savings Bank join forces to feed the hungry Debbie Bogdanski, general manager for Frontier Communications, and David Cocks, president and CEO of Walden Savings Bank are partnering to help feed
the hungry in Orange County from August 17 – September 30. As part of Frontier’s Great Frontier DONATE program, collection bins are
located in the lobbies of six Walden Savings Bank branch offices. Everyone is welcome to contribute non-perishable items to this joint food drive at one of these bank locations: 2108 Route 302, Circleville 99 Clinton Street, Montgomery 15 Scotts Corners Drive, Montgomery 50 Boniface Drive, Pine Bush 2 Bank Street, Walden 127 East Main Street, Washingtonville
(left to right) Linda Shuback, Frontier medium account manager; Debbie Bogdanski, Frontier general manager and David Cocks, president and CEO, Walden Savings Bank.
Healthcare reform V.A. hospitals . You might say that he’s already taken advantage of a public option – an dit saved his life.” The crowd booed him and the room got tense. “Let him speak,” said Ball. “We need to be polite and to listen to every voice here…nt just th eones you want to hear.” Dennis O’Hara, a cancer survivor and organizer of a Prostate Cancer Survivor’s support group, insisted that a national healthcare system such as they have in Canada or Great Britain would mean that there would be long waits for cancer care – and that routine screenings for prostate cancer and breast cancer (in women) would be dropped from coverage. (EDITORS NOTE: In fact, preventative care – including routine screenings for breast cancer and PSA tests for prostate
continued from page 1 cancer - would continued to be covered under any legislation currently under discussion). “I have a news clipping here,” said O’Hara, “ about a woman in Great Britain who wanted to have an abortion….and they told her that the waiting list for that would be nine months!” The crowd roared in approval, but O’Hara never cited the source of the story. “People are freaked out because there’s a lot of bad information and misinformation being put out there by opponents of health care reform,” Emory University health policy expert Kenneth Thorpe has explained regarding other similar town hall meetings. “The anger is genuine, some of it is based on misunderstandings of actual proposals.”
Mercy College named ‘Military Friendly School’ for 2010 G.I. Jobs magazine announced that Mercy College has been named a Military Friendly College for 2010. This designation ranks Mercy College in the top 15 percent of colleges and universities nationwide for military students. “Mercy College is very pleased to be recognized as a military friendly college. We help to make the transition from life in the military to the pursuit of a college degree as seamless as possible. With a number of veterans on campus that understand this transition, and faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping them succeed, we know that Mercy College is the right choice for those who have served our country so honorably,” says Mercy College President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline. The rankings are the result of an extensive survey that included questions on scholarships and tuition discounts for military students; veteran clubs, networking events, and counselors on campus; and the institution’s participation in the Montgomery GI Bill, the Post-9-11 GI Bill, and the Yellow Ribbon programs. According to Andy Person, who is a former surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy and senior veteran PACT advisor at
Mercy College, “Every day, our nation’s military veterans put their country first. Now with the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits they earned on active duty, they can also put themselves first with a Mercy College undergraduate or graduate degree at no cost for eligible veterans. At Mercy College, we support military veterans every step of the way.” Mercy College offers active military and veterans a number of advantages, such as professional mentors, flexible study options, and an affordable, highquality private education. In addition to being one of the most cost-efficient private colleges in the nation, Mercy College advisors work closely with military students to ensure that they receive optimal GI Bill educational benefits. Mercy College also offers an innovative PACT program that aligns students with professional mentors to ensure a smooth transition between military and student life. These mentors provide sound advice and customized support through the college experience, as well as helping students with course selection and internship procurement in leading industries.
All items donated will be distributed to food pantries to serve the needs of the local community. Back-to-school supplies will also be accepted and used to help needy students get ready for the new school year. “Walden Savings Bank continues to support programs that will benefit the communities that we serve, and the food drive is a great way for our customers to join with our bank and Frontier in our efforts on behalf of local food pantries,” said Cocks. Frontier employees will also collect food donations and back-to-school supplies at the Orange County Chamber Business Expo on September 16 at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor. Through its program, The Great Frontier DONATE – Let’s Talk Up a Cause! Frontier is also donating a portion of the monthly revenues generated by residential and small business customers in Orange County who use Frontier Long Distance to purchase supplies for local food banks. The program runs through October. To date Frontier has donated $4,500 to the Orange County United Way. That
money has been allocated to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley and shared with 13 different food relief agencies in Orange and Sullivan counties. “We are pleased to partner with the employees of Walden Savings Bank on this community effort. We recognize that families and relief agencies are struggling in this economy. Frontier and Walden Savings Bank are here to help,” said Bogdanski. “If you’d like to help us in this endeavor, please call 845-344-9801. Thank you in advance to everyone who takes the time to drop a few cans or a small bag of groceries in the food drive bins.”
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August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
Ulster County face Sales Tax Nightmare BY GREG DRAISS
The city of Kingston is facing a sales tax deficit of almost one million dollars for this fiscal year. According to Mayor Jim Sottile, the next budget for the city of Kingston is in dire straits. The mayor said there is a good possibility of layoffs of city workers mirroring the offers of early retirement offered to both city and county workers. The economic woes, however, are only looming larger as Ulster County announced recent sales tax receipts have plunged almost one million dollars just for the months of June and July vs. the same period last year. The sales tax receipts for the county plunged more than 16% for the period. County officials say this is one of the largest drops in recent memory and certainly the largest for this year. In addition to the large drop in tax revenues by the county the county also is worried it cannot
make the budget for the current year. Based on current projections of sales tax revenue, the county will fall well short of revenues should the decrease in sales tax receipts continue much longer. Ulster County’s budget director Art Smith is predicting a shortfall in revenue of more than 8 million dollars by fiscal year end. The total sales tax revenue for the year is projected to be in excess of 85 million dollars. Adding to the woes of funding shortfall is the pending increase in the county’s commitment to the state retirement system. During the boom years of the stock market in the early part of the decade, towns and municipalities did not have to contribute to the public pension system. However, after the crash in 2001 and now in 2008, municipalities are now having to make up the difference and it will cost them plenty. The cost to Ulster County
alone is estimated to be $600,000 for 2009. This amount does not include what the city of Kingston or the towns and villages in the county will have to pay.
one percentage point of sales tax at the county level. The county’s base sales tax rate is three percent. In 1993 the county added the additional 1 percentage point to
Another worry on the horizon for not only Ulster but municipalities statewide is the expected acceleration in retirements of state employees, not to mention county and municipal workers as well. With early retirement incentives on the increase, early retirements will only add to the amount of pension money leaving the system. County republicans warned Ulster legislators about predicting too rosy a tax revenue scene. The estimate for 2009 came to light after the county received more tax revenue in 2008 than predicted. The total received for 2008 in sales tax revenue was slightly more than $84 million. The amount projected for the 2008 budget year was $83 million. Despite the sales tax revenue drop predicted for 2009 the county is seeking to petition the state to keep in effect its extra
the sales tax to help stem a large increase in Medicaid payments. Under state law, counties seeking to increase the sales tax rate must get state approval. In addition to seeking state approval in the first place, it must be renewed every two years. Ulster County received approval to keep the current county tax at 4% which is the same as the state amount of 4%. The total sales tax in Ulster is 8%. Ulster does not have to collect sales tax for funding the MTA in New York City. Ulster also lucked out and is not included in the new payroll tax enacted this spring that also is for funding the MTA. There are currently at least five different taxes collected on such items as payroll, cell phone, land line and energy consumption, that go directly to support the MTA.
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Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
August 24, 2009 -7
Meeting the challenge of creating a level executive benefits playing field––world-wide BY CHRISTOPHER R. KRISTIAN
Most U.S. corporations are justifiably proud of their sophisticated systems for delivering benefits to their executives, whether they are located in the U.S. or in various countries around the globe. While accommodations may be required in specific situations, the overall process generally operates efficiently and meets the expectations and needs of the executives involved. However, the executive benefits picture is changing for more and more corporations as they take steps to grow their executive ranks to include more foreign nationals. No matter how hard they try to provide international life insurance and disability income protection for their third-country national key associates, they run into walls that form virtually insurmountable barriers. “There’s no question about it,” said Daniel Walsh, President of First Choice Armor & Equipment, Inc. “As companies take advantage of indigenous executive talent, the question of benefits parity can be a major issue. Everyone expects to receive the same benefits.” Like many other companies today, a well-known consulting firm with offices in 27 cities around the globe recently dealt with this problem, after having a growing number of international associates express dissatisfaction with the current benefit arrangement. They felt slighted, as their counterparts in the U.S. seemed to have better disability and life insurance benefits. Although serious efforts had been made to solve the inequity issue, the firm was ready to conclude that there was no satisfactory solution. Despite their best efforts, the corporation could not obtain a comparable program for these employees. The best they could do was to set up programs in several countries, which provided an unequal hodgepodge of benefits, and certainly no increased good will with their key associates. As firms continue their global expansion, the disparity issue becomes more apparent. As is the situation with so many other U.S. companies, valuable associates are often left on their own to find their benefits as best they can, creating both an inconsistency from country to country and a never-ending stream of employee complaints. Clearly, the solution to this situation is to provide an insurance benefits program that includes two key components: 1) the benefits must be comparable to those provided to U.S.-based employees, and 2) they must be payable in local currency denominations. Needless to say, such programs create enormous good will among international associates and serve as an extremely valuable recruiting and retention tool overseas. Since reaching global benefits parity continues to frustrate the employment policies of a growing number of companies, here are questions and answers on how to breach the impasse: Q. “We have key international associates in several countries that we would like to offer the same benefits as their U.S. counterparts. How can we accomplish this objective?” A. With life or disability insurance, organizations typically start by attempting to replicate the benefits of their U.S. associates as closely as possible. This means providing the benefit amount in U.S. dollars or other currency, i.e., Euro and con-
verting it to the local currency at the time the benefit is paid. Q. “How is a ‘measurement currency’ selected?” A. Most U.S.-based firms gravitate to the U.S. dollar as the “standard,” it seems as if most international associates prefer either the Euro or the Pound. By using these two foreign currencies, the insurance program has a greater international flair. As international currencies fluctuate, so will the benefit amount that is paid to the beneficiaries. Therefore, it is extremely important to explain how these benefits are designed. Q. “What about ‘Local Socialized Benefit Programs’?” A. Many foreign countries provide socialized life and disability insurance benefits. It appears that some U.S. firms assume that these local programs provide sufficient coverage to meet the needs of their highly compensated international key associates. An analysis indicates otherwise, however. In reality, most of these insurance programs leave these associates far short of their U.S. counterparts. Although most life and disability programs do not integrate perfectly with those of the local country, the benefits of the programs generally far outweigh the minor inconvenience of perhaps the recipient’s individual tax liability in the case of an untimely disability or death. Q. “What is the key to designing a truly international insurance program?” A. Each program presents unique challenges. It is important to ensure that the program design is practical, and addresses each firm’s corporate culture and philosophy regarding international associates. Virtually every program has a few nuances designed to meet the objectives of
that particular plan. A program designed for key management personnel that integrates well with the domestic program is frequently the most successful and well received. Q. “We are currently expanding overseas with ex-patriots and find that our domestic program will provide limited coverage. How can we address this issue?” A. This is the other side of the same coin. The usual pattern is for U.S. firms to expand initially with ex-patriots. Companies are quite surprised when U.S.based group coverage does not extend
coverage to these individuals or they discover they have truncated benefits after arriving at their new location. This creates significant challenges for U.S. firms. However, there are strategies similar to those implemented for foreign nationals that are applicable in the case of employees arriving from the U.S. There are a number of programs available that make it possible for ex-pats to receive similar benefits to those provided to their U.S. counterparts. In many cases, these programs are set up to cover ex-pats while overseas. Coverage usually ends continued on page 12
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8- August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
Opinion “AdaptAbility” By M.J. Ryan c.2009, Broadway Books
$18.99 / $23.99 Canada
Three-forty-two a.m. That’s when you woke up this morning, but what are you gonna do? Every day, you deal with mandatory furloughs, bank accounts heading toward minus, homeowner woes, and high prices against low paychecks. So when it’s time to turn in for the night, you can’t shut your brain off, and you know you simply can not handle this any more. You’re done. You didn’t ask for this stress, but you’ve got it. So why not get some help dealing with it? Pick up “AdaptAbility” by M.J. Ryan, and get some smart advice about resilience.
Once upon a time, author M.J. Ryan had everything she wanted. She was the owner of an upand-coming book publishing company with a bestseller on its roster. She was happily married and life was good. Then, one by one, everything fell away and Ryan was faced with change she didn’t see coming and didn’t want. Between then and the time she built a flourishing new career as a consultant and coach, she says that she learned a lot about change and how to deal
Before bashing healthcare reform – get the facts Among newspaper, broadcast, and Internet coverage of health care reform as well as in heated discussions, there has been much misinformation especially about The Advance Care Planning Provision (section 1233) in the House’s current health care reform bill. As the leading provider of end-of-life care in our community, the staff of United Hospice of Rockland (UHR) has walked
side by side with thousands of individuals and families facing advanced illness. We, therefore, feel an obligation to provide some commentary and clarification of this particular provision of the bill. Far too often, we have seen family members who were placed in the position of having to make difficult decisions about the care of their loved one without ever having had a discussion with them
Kiwanis Club deliver Meals-On-Wheels While the Kiwanis Club of Poughkeepsie is best-known for serving their mission to help children, area senior
citizens also appreciate the club’s work. This notoriety stems from the Kiwanis long-standing efforts assisting the Poughkeepsie Meals-On-Wheels program. One day each month Kiwanis members meet at the 1st Presbyterian
Church of Poughkeepsie building. There they pick-up the hot and cold meals they’ll deliver to upwards of 15-20 residents along Meals-OnWheels’ Route #5. Pictured (L-R in the photo) are Club Secretary Peter Cantline, meal-recipient Mary Scopoli of Fox Hill and club member Pierrette Ruhland. Kiwanis is a world wide children’s service organization for individuals desiring personal involvement in the leadership and improvement of their communities. Through fundraisers such as Rose Day the Kiwanis Club of Poughkeepsie supports numerous children’s programs & scholarships and other select causes, such as Meals-OnWheels. The club meets at 7:45AM each Thursday morning at the Palace Diner. For information about the Kiwanis Club of Poughkeepsie and to join, call 845486-7100 and/or visit www.poughkeepsiekiwanis.org.
By Terri Schlichenmeyer with it. First of all, change is perhaps the only thing you can count on in life. Good or bad, nothing stays the same and it’s not “all about you”. When faced with monumental change, you’ll go through the classic stages of grief, but you also learn that you’re more resilient than you think you are. In fact, change is not your enemy, but fear is - and in the end, your “youness” is what pulls you through. One of the first things you’ll do when change hits you – and it’s natural – is to worry yourself half to death. Ryan advises you to put the brakes on obsessing about everything all the time. Instead, give yourself 15 minutes a day to worry. Knock yourself out wringing your hands during that time, then accept what’s happened, stop “milling”, and move forward. Still having trouble? Ryan says to find gratitude and look for good luck in your predicament. Try to see small gifts in your loss. Complain, but not forever. Get your Three C’s in place (Challenge, Control,
and Commitment). Stop being stoic and ask for help. And understand that temporarily taking an undesirable opportunity to “get by” is okay and won’t last forever. Been to the self-help section of your library or bookstore lately? So many of the books there are happy-happy Pollyanna-ish tomes that wind up being of little help. Then, along comes a book like “AdaptAbility”… Author M.J. Ryan uses her own story and those of her clients to illustrate how changing a few mind-sets can help you deal with “change you didn’t ask for”. While some of the exercises seem simplistic and a few are downright goofy, even the most down-in-the-dumps reader can take a stab at the things that Ryan gently suggests doing to shake the badness that can come with unwelcome change. If you’re drowning in worry, stop treading water and read this book. “AdaptAbility” may just be the lifeline you need.
Open Mike BY Amy Stern Executive Director, United Hospice of Rockland, Inc. and without the benefit of executed documents that might provide some insight or guidance regarding the type of choices to be made. Let’s first focus on the answer to the question, “What is advance care planning?” It includes understanding possible healthcare choices and thinking about the choices in light what is important to you and your values. It should include talking about your health care decisions with your loved ones. Finally, these decisions should be written down in documents that are known as advance directives. It is important to note that advance care planning is best done over time and not in a single conversation. Decisions like these are best considered BEFORE there is a health crisis. Changes to your plans can be made at any time. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and those you love is planning ahead for your health care. If you were to read the Advance Care Planning Provision, you would see that the intent of the bill is to give individuals information that will help them make their own informed decisions about their care. It covers the broad spectrum of care and options available when facing a life-limiting illness. The consultation is with a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner and, in many cases, may be the same health care professional who has been the individual’s provider of care for many years. This consultation would be voluntary; it is NOT required. It would be reimbursable to the provider, like other consultations. You could choose to have the consultation once every five years or when you face an important health care
situation. One of the most frequent comments from individuals and their caregivers that we continue to hear is, “Why didn’t we know about Hospice sooner?” Hospice would be just one of the options discussed as part of an advance care planning consultation and would help to ensure that patients and caregivers know about it earlier. What most people don’t know is that the 1991 Patient Self Determination Act (PSDA) already allows for and encourages advance care planning and stresses the importance of the wishes of the individual. Unfortunately, the PSDA does not provide for a reimbursable consultation which probably contributes to the lack of information conveyed by health care providers on this subject. The advance care planning consultation is NOT about: (1) limiting care (2) hastening death (3) having choices made by others who are not empowered to make decisions on the individual’s behalf and (4) saving money. This provision is designed to ensure that Americans have the tools to make their wishes known (whatever those wishes may be) and to assist healthcare providers in honoring those wishes. Don’t wait for health care reform before seeking additional information about advance care planning. Information is available on two of our websites, www.hospiceofrockland.org <http://www.hospiceofrockland.org/> or w w w. a s s u r i n g y o u r w i s h e s . o r g <http://www.assuringyourwishes.org/> . You can also contact UHR to arrange to speak with one of our staff by calling 6344974.
Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
August 24, 2009 -9
Letters to the Editor Stop treating the Mid-Hudson region as an ATM for the MTA This past May, Governor Paterson, Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senator Malcolm Smith rammed through the legislature a bailout of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which they estimated would cost the taxpayer about $2 billion but will likely cost more. Included in this bailout was a .34 percent payroll tax on hospitals, not-for profits, the self-employed, and area businesses; a $25 increase in vehicle registration fees;
and a $25 increase in driver license fees. This bailout and the fee increases associated with it were in addition to the 25 percent increases to those same fees already contained in the fiscal year 2009-10 budget. I voted against this plan because of the devastating effects I knew it would have on Orange and Rockland county residents, many of whom do not even use the MTA. Unfortunately, this plan passed despite a vocal bipartisan opposition and, once
Manufacturing tax credits will create jobs, boost wind power The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) welcomes the release of details for the renewable energy manufacturing tax credit, which was enacted earlier this year as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The legislation allows a tax credit of 30 percent for investment in new renewable energy manufacturing facilities, as well as retooled or expanded facilities. Wind power is a bright source of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. today. With this incentive and with the right policies in place, it can become an even much larger source of jobs tomorrow. The share of domestically manufactured wind turbine components has risen to 50 percent in the wind turbines installed in the U.S. in 2008, up from less than 30 percent in 2005. The domestic share can increase further with the stimulus funding now beginning to flow, coupled with a strong, long-term policy commitment—if Congress passes a strong RES. In 2008 alone, 55 wind energy manufacturing facilities were announced, opened or expanded. While the current
economic conditions have dampened demand, the tax credits are expected to boost the opening of new facilities. Further information about the tax credits and how to apply for them can be found at the Energy Department’s website. Applications are now being accepted. Denise Bode CEO American Wind Energy Association The AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry, with more than 2,000 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA Web site. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA’s blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver will be greatly missed Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics and executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, offered joy and self-esteem to individuals with developmental disabilities. She created opportunities for their accomplishments and tenacity to be witnessed worldwide. When her sister Rosemary was born with an intellectual disability, families were encouraged to discard such children,
and they were routinely warehoused in dehumanizing institutions. Today, while stereotypes and prejudice persist, the world is dramatically different. Individuals with developmental disabilities work in the community, pay taxes, and vote. Shriver’s role in this was immense. She will be missed. Bernard A. Krooks, Esq. President, Special Needs Alliance Founding Partner, Littman Krooks LLP
Hold a public hearing in the Mid-Hudson regarding new MTA chair ( I ) have requested that a public hearing considering the Governor’s nomination for MTA Chairman be held in the MetroNorth Region. In a letter to the Chairs of the appropriate Senate Committees, ( I ) contend that should a hearing be held in the city of New York to consider the Governor’s nominee, Jay Walder, Hudson Valley residents should be offered the same opportunity to attend a hearing in the northern counties of the Metro-North region. Mr. Walder’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation. For too long, the MTA has siphoned money from Dutchess County to support a poorly mismanaged transit system that has proven time and again to have wasteful spending habits that continue to dig a
deeper fiscal hole. Dutchess residents and businesses want a Chairman who will put an end to MTA’s reliance on taxpayers in the Metro-North region. Senate Democrats displayed not only abhorrent disregard for all local governments, schools, colleges, hospitals, libraries, businesses and not-for-profits in the Metro-North region with their payroll tax, but compounded pain with their increased motor vehicle fees on motorists, the vast majority of whom don’t even use the system. It is critical that they and the Governor recognize the Hudson Valley has a strong voice and will not support a candidate who will not release us from the burden of serving as revenue hostages. NYS Senator Steve Saland R,I,C – Poughkeepsie
again, Mid-Hudson voters are being used as an ATM for the MTA. My office has received numerous calls and e-mails from outraged motorists who feel blindsided by these fees and demand action. I renew my call for a forensic audit of the MTA, especially since they have not been audited in years. When those footing the bill are the taxpayers, not those using the MTA’s services, there must be accountability and transparency in how money is given to and spent by the MTA.
When the legislature is called back to Albany to trim the enacted state budget as a result of decreased revenues, I will be sure to bring this issue to the table on behalf of my overtaxed, overburdened and irate constituents who are just innocent bystanders in Albany’s fiscal shell game controlled by three men representing the interests of New York City. NYS Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun R,C – Blooming Grove
Remembering Rose Friedman Rose Director Friedman passed away Tuesday, August 18, 2009, in her home in Davis, California, of heart failure. While the exact date of her birth is uncertain, she is believed to have been 98 years old. She will be remembered both as a talented economist and an influential advocate of freedom. Her economic work helped to discredit the idea of government management of the economy, rolling back policies that were hindering wealth creation and thus helping extend the blessings of prosperity to millions around the world. And as a standard-bearer for human liberty, she contributed to the galvanizing of public opinion – especially in the 1980s – against the growing encroachments of intrusive government. She will also be remembered as both the professional partner and beloved wife and friend of her late husband of 68 years, Milton Friedman. She was born in a small village that was then located in Russia and is now part of Ukraine. Her birth records are lost, but she believed she had been born during December 1910. When she was an infant, her mother took her and her siblings and left for America, where her father had already moved to escape threats against his life arising from anti-Semitism. They left just before that part of the countryside was devastated during World War I. Her most important contribution was the 1980 book Free to Choose, which she co-wrote with her husband, and the accompanying ten-part PBS series. Both were highly successful – the book topped the bestseller list for five weeks – and had a profound impact on the public under-
standing of freedom. At a time when the nation’s confidence in its founding ideas was at an all-time low, Free to Choose played a decisive role in restoring America’s faith in liberty. Rose Director met Milton Friedman in 1932 when the two were seated next to each other in alphabetical order as graduate students at the University of Chicago. In their memoir of their lives together, Two Lucky People, Milton acknowledged Rose as having been a crucial partner in nearly all his economic and public policy work. And, in addition to her many other accomplishments, Rose had the distinction of being the only person ever known to have won an argument against Milton Friedman. In 1996, the Friedmans founded the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation to promote school choice policies, which allow parents to choose the public or private school that is best for their children. From then onward, the Friedmans concentrated their efforts on promoting educational freedom through school choice. Rose Friedman is survived by her son David and daughter Janet, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. In accordance with her requests, her body will be cremated and the ashes scattered at sea. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers or gifts, contributions be made in her honor to the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation. Joe DiLaura Director of Communications Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
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Could you be the next ‘Business Idol?’ Could your business use thousands of dollars worth of marketing, promotional and organizational assistance? If so, you should seriously consider applying for this year’s Orange County Business Idol. This year’s prize is better than ever before and still includes free membership in the Chamber for 2010 and a free booth at next year Chamber EXPO...plus much, much more. All you have to do is complete an application and fax (845-457-8799) or mail it to the Chamber together with the $25 application fee (unless you’re an EXPO exhibitor, in which case the fee
is waived). The Chamber’s Marketing Committee will review all the applications and select a maximum of 20 businesses, each of which will be scheduled to make short (2 to 3-minute) presentations on their businesses and why they should be our next Business Idol. These presentations will be made during the Chamber’s 2009 EXPO, which will be held on Wednesday, September 16 at Anthony’s Pier 9. Don’t wait to apply! The deadline on the application calls for all applications to be in by August 21, but we’ve extended the deadline to August 31.
August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
Newsmakers Gary Willard, MD joins Hudson Valley Hospital Center Gary Willard, MD has joined the staff as the Medical Director of the Institute for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at the Hospital. Dr. Willard is board certified in hyperbaric medicine and certified in wound management. “This is a wonderful opportunity to build an exciting program at the Hospital,” said Dr. Willard. “Hudson Valley Hospital Center will have the most technologically advanced wound care and hyperbaric medicine therapy available.” Willard comes to HVHC from California, where he spent six years as the medical director of the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine program at Southwest Healthcare Systems. He received his undergraduate education at
New Horizons relocates its Newburgh office Steven Gleason, Managing Partner at New Horizons Asset Management Group, LLC., announced that the firm has relocated its Main office to Suite 3 at 11 Racquet Rd. Newburgh. New Horizons moved into the Suite that was previously occupied by the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Gleason stated that the firm has expanded every year since they were established in
2000 and that the firm needed more office space to meet their growing needs. New Horizons, a member FINRA Broker-Dealer and is an Investment Management firm that also specializes in group employee benefits, headquartered in Newburgh, NY at Suite 3 11 Racquet Road and at 2622 South Avenue, Wappingers Falls, NY.
Carolyn Hoffman wins a Six Sigma ‘Green Belt’ Carolyn Hoffman, Vice President of Quality and Education at HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley has become a nationally Certified Professional in Health Care Quality (CPHQ) this year and was awarded a “Green Belt” in the Six Sigma quality improvement initiative. As a Six Sigma “Green Belt” recipient, Hoffman is trained to apply scientific methods to measure and recommend performance improvements in healthcare environments. Six Sigma especially focuses on improving satisfaction and hospital quality of care for patents, and other hospital customers and stakeholders by minimizing costs, waste and variability in processes, improved time management and
decreasing error rates. Hoffman is now pursuing her “Black Belt” in the Six Sigma program. After she has completed the next level of training, Hoffman will be proficient in advanced statistical methods, quality program organization and advanced quality project management. She hopes to submit her “Black Belt” project analysis and report with the next few months. “We are very proud of Carolyn to accomplish both the CPHQ and “Green Belt” in the Six Sigma. Her expertise will assist in the hospitals quality management methods and business processes,” said Dr Alfred Frontera, Chief Medical Officer of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley.
Baylor University in Texas, and his medical degree from the University Autonoma of Guadalajara. Willard completed both his internship and residency at the University of Southern California, School
Martinelli-Slocum Publishing wins Apex Award Martinelli-Slocum Publishing has won a Grand Award in APEX 2009, the 21st Annual Awards for Publication Excellence Competition, for a publication it produced for Amtrak in 2008 titled New York By Rail. The Grand Award was won in a custom publishing category of “Magazines & Journals”. There were only 100 Grand Awards presented to honor outstanding work in 11 major categories drawing a total of 3,785 entries in an exceptionally intense national competition for communications professionals sponsored by Communications Concepts of Springfield,
Directors at Mount Kisco Child Care Center. Goodwin is Founder and Managing Partner of Bluefin Holdings,
LLC, a privately held broker-dealer specializing in exchange-traded derivative market making. Prior to establishing Bluefin Holdings, Goodwin served as Managing Director for Deutsche Bank and National Westminster Bank in the derivative trading departments. Dottie Jordan, executive director of Mount Kisco Child Care Center, believes that Michael’s financial expertise will be an asset to the Center. “As we plan for MKCCC’s future, we look forward to tapping into Michael’s knowledge as well as his assistance in helping us to develop new collaborations with other likeminded organizations,” Jordan said. Goodwin works with a number of charitable organizations, including Neighbor’s Link, Mount Kisco; Robin Hood, New York City; and Trinity Church, Greenwich, Conn. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Goodwin holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting.
Virginia. The judges had the following comments about Amtrak’s New York By Rail “Beautiful spreads make the most of photos and typography. In-depth captions involve and interest the reader, and reinforce the inviting copy. A wonderfully appealing travelogue“. Amtrak’s New York By Rail has been published by Martinelli-Slocum Publishing annually since the 2004 inaugural edition. Thomas Martinelli and Gil Slocum are the publishers of Martinelli-Slocum Publishing located in Poughkeepsie and Loudonville.
Goldstein Lieberman & Company Participates at New York State Society of CPA’s Conference Mark Moskowitz, CPA with Goldstein Lieberman & Company LLC, the fastestgrowing certified public accounting and business advisory firm in the region, attended the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants Closely Held and Flow-Through Entities Conference on July 22, 2009. The conference was designed to enhance the participants’ knowledge, competence and understanding of the complex issues involved in these transactions. “I am proud of Goldstein Lieberman’s commitment to maintain its position in the industry through continuing education,” remarked Moskowitz. “I walked away with even greater expertise in these essential accounting issues.
Dr. Arnel Hechanova, MD joins Crystal Run Healthcare Arnel Hechanova, MD has joined Crystal Run Healthcare in its pediatric divison. He is board certified in Pediatrics.Dr. Hechanova received his Medical Degree from Cebu Institute of Medicine, Cebu, Philippines. He completed postgraduate training at the Metro Cebu Community Hospital, and joined a Clinical Fellowship in Neurosurgery at the Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Hechanova completed a Residency in Pediatrics at The Long Island College Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Center, New York. “Crystal Run is excited about and committed to bringing new healthcare services along with the best physicians to our area to care for our patients and residents living in the communities we serve,” said Michelle A. Koury, MD, Chief Operating Officer, Crystal Run Healthcare.
Michael J. Goodwin joins Mount Kisco Child Care Center Board of Directors Michael J. Goodwin of Bedford Corners recently joined the Board of
of Medicine. Willard is a member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. He also speaks Spanish.
Holly L. Reinhardt joins Tarshis, Catania, Liberth, Mahon & Milligram, PLLC Holly L. Reinhardt has joined the firm of Tarshis, Catania, Liberth, Mahon & Milligram, PLLC as an associate. Reinhardt possesses substantial experience in all phases of family/matrimonial litigation as well as appellate practice and residential real estate transactions. She
received her A.A. in Communications from Orange County Community College, her B.A. in Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and her J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law. She is licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey.
Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
August 24, 2009 -11
Clydesdales at the Polo Picnic The eighth annual event at Blue Sky Polo Club in Middletown to benefit Elant’s Rehab Revolution The Elant Foundation announces the addition of world-class Clydesdales to the festivities planned for the Eighth Annual
Elant Polo Picnic to be held on Sunday, August 30 at 12:15pm at the Blue Sky Polo Club in Middletown. The award-winning team of Clydesdales and a carriage that seats up to six are generously being donated by Bill Goodwin’s Stoney Creek Clydesdales, Inc., of Honesdale, Pa.. The team will be available to take spectators on tours of Blue Sky and for photographs. “We are so thankful for the generous donation made by Stoney Creek owner Bill Goodwin,” said Elant President &
CEO Donna G. McAleer. “These are such beautiful animals and simply the perfect compliment to what is expected to be an outstanding day of polo.” Polo spectators will also enjoy an elegant cocktail party, music, and a luncheon served under tents. This year’s event will feature a live auction (with auctioneer Mark Vail) and a contest for most original hat. Charlie North, the president/CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, will act as Master of Ceremonies. Proceeds from this year’s Polo Picnic will benefit ELANT’s Rehab Revolution, dedicated to the continued expansion and enhancement of ELANT’s rehabilitation and sub-acute care programs. These programs provide comprehensive, in-patient care for those recovering from an acute illness or injury following a hospital stay. John Potter, a 26-year-old patient enrolled in ELANT’s rehabilitation program, will speak about the care he has received from ELANT and his successful recovery fol-
Put on your best spaghetti face! The IMAX Theatre at Palisades Center is giving your child a chance to be seen on the big screen! IMAX will host a “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” Spaghetti
Face Contest for children 13 and younger. Parents can submit photos of their kids eating spaghetti and all photos will be posted on the big screen during the run of the film. The Spaghetti Face Contest is sponsored by Fuji Film. Winners will be chosen at random to receive 2 tickets to see an upcoming IMAX film. Winners will be notified by email and the contest will run from August 17, 2009 through October 15, 2009. Parents can submit photos to email@example.com. Parents must include their name, contact information, the name of the child or children in the photograph,
and their home town. By submitting their photo, the parent agrees that IMAX Theatre at Palisades Center and its parent company has all rights to the use of the photo for any purpose. Parents are only to submit photos of their own children. Columbia Pictures’ and Sony Pictures Animations’ Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will open September 18 and will be the most delicious event since macaroni met cheese! Inspired by the beloved children’ book, the film focuses on a town where food falls from the sky like rain. Parents and kids should check the IMAX website ( w w w. i m a x . c o m / p a l i s a d e s ) , Facebook and Twitter for special promotions and events. Visit our website ( www.imax.com/palisades) and Facebook page (IMAX Theatre Palisades Center) for details about “magical” special events and promotions occurring at select” Harry Potter” shows. IMAX Corporation is one of the world’s leading entertainment technology companies, specializing in immersive motion picture technologies. IMAX Theatre at Palisades Center is located on the top floor in the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack near Target. For information on tickets and show times, visit www.imax.com/palisades.
Flea Market Vendors wanted for bowling benefit Holiday Bowl on Route 9 in Wappingers Falls will be holding several outdoor flea markets to raise money for the LaGrange Challengers Bowling League, a league for special needs children. We are looking for vendors (no open food vendors) for September 12 and 26,
October 3, 17 and 31 and holiday flea markets November 7 and 21st. The fee is $25 per space/prepaid, prime Route 9 location. You can book all six for $125, a $25 savings. You can call 845-559-8925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
lowing an automobile accident. Carol Holbert of Montgomery and Barbara Riemer of the hamlet of Wallkill will be honored during the event for their humanitarian spirits and notable contributions to their communities. Holbert, co-founder of Holbert’s Catering and a member of the ELANT Foundation Board since 2002, will receive the ELANT Flame of Excellence Award for her decades of inspired leadership and dedication to improving the lives of others. Barbara Riemer, a native of the Hudson Valley, an entrepreneur, and passionate philanthropist, will be honored
with the ELANT Signature Award for her commitment to enhancing healthcare and housing services through philanthropy. This year’s team sponsors include the Ottaway Family, Employee Family Protection, and Donna and Gordon McAleer. Mallet-level sponsors include the ELANT System Management Team, Med-World Pharmacy (an OmniCare Company), O’Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins, LLP, Provident Bank, and Hudson Valley Investment Advisors. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, contact the ELANT Foundation at (845) 291-3836.
ORVIS has a blast with scouting The Rip Van Winkle Council of Boy Scouts has announced its first-ever Sporting Clays for Scouting tournament will be held Friday, September 25th at the prestigious Orvis Sandanona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook, NY. The action-packed fundraising event is being underwritten by the Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union and will serve to support more than 3000 area youth active in the council’s Scouting programs. Sporting clays has been described as “golf with a shotgun,” where clay targets are thrown in a variety of trajectories, speeds and elevations. “But you do not have to be an experienced shooter or even own a shotgun to participate in this event- it is for shooters and non-shooters alike,” said Scout Executive, Ray Braun. “Instructors will be available at the shooting stations to assist novices and shotguns can be shared by teams, or rented at Orvis Sandanona,” noted Braun. The Orvis Sandanona course is the oldest permitted shooting club in the country
and was listed in Esquire magazine as one of the top ten courses in the United States. The cost of the tournament is $250 and participants will be served breakfast and lunch, and receive shells for the course. Scoring will be conducted using the Modified Lewis Class System, with prizes awarded for different skill levels. All proceeds from the tournament will be used to directly support youth and Scouting programs in the Hudson Valley. The Rip Van Winkle Council provides leadership development programs for more than 3,000 area boys and girls through its Scouting and Explorer programs in Ulster and Greene counties. The council also provides yearround camping opportunities for Scouts and other community groups at Camp Tri-Mount, its 480-acre camping facility in East Jewett, NY. For further information or to reserve a place in the tournament, contact the Council Scout office by phone at (845) 339-0846; by email at email@example.com; or visit the council’s website at: www.rvwbsa.org.
After-School program teaches about Native ways Beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 22 or were used for food and learning games Wednesday, Sept. 23 the Hudson that they played. This program will also Highlands Nature Museum will offer a include animal stories and a short hike in fun and educational sixsearch of these creatures week after-school prowhile exploring the gram that will teach kids native way. This all about Native Ways! at Pathfinders program will the Outdoor Discovery take place on six consecCenter, entrance on utive Tuesdays starting Muser Drive, across Sept. 22 or Wednesdays from 174 Angola Road, starting Sept. 23. The Cornwall. Pre-registraprogram will meet from tion is required. 3:45 pm until 5 pm at the This Native American Outdoor Discovery program will teach chilCenter, entrance on dren in kindergarten Muser Drive, across from through 2nd grade about 174 Angola Road, what is was like to be a Cornwall. Native American child Native American Replicas. Cost is $90. Members: 400 years ago in the Photo by Marian Goldin. $75. Space is limited. Hudson Valley. Children Pre-registration required will join Environmental Educator, Carl by calling 534-5506, ext. 204. For a listHeitmuller, to learn all about the fascinat- ing of more programs visit the Museum’s ing life style of the Lenape by: making website at www.hhnaturemuseum.org . rope, using nets, identifying plants that
August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
More than $13 Million recovered for insurance consumers $13.6 million was recovered from insurance companies between April 1 and June 30, 2009, for almost 3,000 consumers and health care providers who filed complaints with the New York State Insurance Department. This is up from $8.5 million recovered in the first quarter of 2009, for a total of $22 million for the first half of the year. “With so many affected by the economic downturn, we will continue to work to make sure New Yorkers get full value for their insurance dollars,” said Governor David Paterson. “Insurance is a promise to protect us at our most vulnerable, and New Yorkers can rely on us to protect them if insurance companies do not keep their promises.” Acting Insurance Superintendent Kermitt J. Brooks said: “Governor Paterson’s commitment to consumers is one shared by the Insurance Department and we will continue to work to make sure they are treated fairly. If you have a problem with an insurance company, let us know. In these difficult times, every New Yorker should know they have some place to turn for insurance help.” Cases where the Insurance Department recovered money from insurance companies for consumers include the following: Life insurance: After attempting to claim her late husband’s group life insurance for over a year, a New York City widow turned to the Insurance
Department’s Consumer Services Bureau for assistance. Her husband endured a long-term disability that created a financial hardship, which the nonpayment of the life insurance benefits compounded. She submitted a complaint that appeared to prove her late husband owned life insurance coverage while employed and the coverage remained in force after he left his job. The Department was able to resolve the issue, leading to the process of the claim that would have otherwise gone unattended. The company ultimately determined that she was in fact entitled to a $30,000 death benefit. Long Term Disability: A man was unable to work as a result of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and cognitive deficiencies and applied for long term disability benefits. His insurance company denied his application and stated a lack of sufficient medical documentation to support the decision. After the man contacted the Department, an independent medical exam was conducted and supported the insured’s claim. A check in the amount of $75,225.94 was issued for the period of July 19, 2007 through March 31, 2009. In addition, future benefits will be issued on a monthly basis to the insured. Health: A consumer, while hospitalized, underwent a change in coverage from one insurer to another. Both carriers refused to pay for the hospital stay from the date the policy changed. As a result,
the hospital placed a judgment against the patient for the charges. After the Department intervened, the first carrier made payment in the amount of $96,529.97 in full satisfaction of the hospital claim. Another New Yorker complained to the Department that payment of a hospital claim was taking too long. The Department investigated and the company acknowledged an error in delaying payment. Not only was the claim processed and paid at the contracted rate of $73,624.34, but the insurer also paid $1,379.71 in late pay interest. Governor Paterson recently signed legislation enacting a series of managed care reforms that help consumers receive the care they need and more easily resolve inappropriately delayed or denied claims, including: Prohibiting insurers from treating an in-network provider as out-of-network simply because the referring provider was out-of-network; Extending current protections for consumers in HMOs to consumers in “HMO lookalike” plans - health plans that operate the same as HMOs but are not licensed as HMOs, such as “exclusive provider organizations” or EPOs; and Reducing the time frame for health insurers to pay claims from 45 days to 30 days for electronically submitted claims. In addition to the amounts recovered, the Insurance Department, during the first
Executive benefits when they complete their assignment and are integrated back into the U.S. program. There are a number of ways that a U.S. company can meet the challenges of providing benefits to their executives overseas. For example, one consulting firm was able to offer life insurance benefits based on €2,000,000, which is convertible in local currency at the time of claim. This particular program covers executives in eight different countries and has been extremely well received by the overseas associates, creating a tremendous amount of goodwill for the employer. For the first time, the firm was able to offer equal executive benefits to key associates located anywhere in the world. Benefits inequity has long been a source
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six months of 2009, successfully worked on behalf of 247 consumers to have their insurance policies reinstated after companies canceled those policies. While there was no dollar amount related to these reinstatements, the policy continuation provided the consumers financial preparation for future claims. Consumers were offered the reinstatement of their policies and coverage for any claims that occurred during the period of lapsed coverage. Consumers who had a lapse in their automobile insurance and thus paid a fine to the Department of Motor Vehicles had their fines refunded. These types of complaints sometimes result in other consumer policies being eligible for reinstatement. The Insurance Department handles about 60,000 complaints and 200,000 calls to its hotline annually. The Department investigates each complaint, and, depending on the result of that investigation, the Department may direct the company involved to compensate the consumer. Consumers with insurance questions or concerns can call the Department’s consumer hotline at 1-800342-3736. The hotline is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Consumers may also ask questions or file complaints at the Department’s website, www.ins.state.ny.us.
continued from page 7 of dissatisfaction among U.S. employees working overseas, as well as their indigenous associates. Neither is willing to believe the problem cannot be satisfactorily resolved. Fortunately, what seemed beyond an acceptable solution is now both possible and practical. Christopher R. Kristian is Executive Vice President and Managing Director of The Westport Group. A specialist in the analysis and planning of supplemental executive benefits, he is one of the developers of the firm’s Executive Income Assurance™, the firm’s proprietary disability income plan. He holds two degrees from Norwich University, Northfield, VT. Christopher may be contacted at 781-3801017 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
National Inclusion Project awards grant to Frost Valley The National Inclusion Project recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the Frost Valley YMCA to implement Let’s ALL Play‹Inclusion in Recreational Programs. The grant will allow children with developmental disabilities to enjoy a successful
summer camp experience in an inclusive setting at the camp, which has served children with special needs for over thirty years. The National Inclusion Project has been actively developing its Let’s ALL Play
Program since the program’s inception in 2004. Today, the Project supports over 35 recreational programs across the country. Providing this grant to Frost Valley YMCA is another exciting step toward National Inclusion Project¹s goal of full
The Hudson Valley “Business Journal brings readers in-depth local business news and shares strategies that are working for companies in our communities.
Yitty Gutner Senior Vice President, Hudson Valley/Metro NY District, KeyBank N.A.
“It’s a good source for keeping up with business trends in the region.”
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It’s more than just business to us. 845-298-6236 • hvbizjournal.com
inclusion. “We feel that partnering with Frost Valley will help us further our mission to open doors in communities nationwide for children with disabilities to experience everything life has to offer,” says Jerry Aiken, Executive Director. Through the Let¹s ALL Play Program, the Project supports recreational programs in their efforts to implement inclusive camps by providing a program model, funding, and training. Let’s ALL Play helps bring an inclusive recreational experience to children with disabilities. It gives children with developmental disabilities the same experience as those without. Children with disabilities and their peers who are typically developing come together to participate in recreational activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, community service, physical fitness and more. In 2008, the organization enlisted the services of The Center for Social Development and Education at the University of Massachusetts-Boston to assess the implementation of Let’s ALL Play. Overwhelming evidence showed that children with disabilities improved self-esteem, social skills, confidence to participate, and sport and motor skills. Campers of all abilities were equally likely to develop friendships with each other. “We are very excited to work with National Inclusion Project to further open Frost Valley’s Day Camp program to children with disabilities,” said Dale Whittaker of Frost Valley. “This will help enable us to give more children the chance to participate in activities they and their families may have never thought possible.” About The National Inclusion Project: The National Inclusion Project provides services and financial assistance to promote the full integration of children with disabilities into the life environment of those without. The Project strives to create awareness about the diversity of individuals with disabilities and the possibilities that inclusion can bring. To learn more about National Inclusion Project or ways to get involved visit their Web site at www.inclusionproject.org. Celebrating its 51st year in the valley, Frost Valley YMCA Camp and Conference Center in Claryville, is just 2.5 hours drive from metro NY/NJ and about 1 hour from Kingston. Established in 1901 as one of the nation’s first summer camps, Frost Valley provides four seasons of outdoor, experiential and educational opportunities including summer camps for children, environmental education, yearround activities for families and conference and retreat facilities for groups and businesses. For additional information or to register for one of these weekends, please call (845) 985-2291, e-mail: email@example.com or visit: www.FrostValley.org. Frost Valley YMCA camp and conference center is located in the Catskill Mountain high peaks.
Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
August 24, 2009 -15
Inside story Only 41 percent of Americans believe they will ever return to pre-recession status
Books! Books! Books! Page 19
As the country’s GDP posted its second slight gain in as many quarters, economists tentatively have begun to stick their heads up out of the sand and suggest that the worst recession in a generation may – at last – be bottoming out. Still, it’s hardly “happy days are here again” for millions of American workers. While we mau be coming out of a recession, technically, millions are still unemployed and under—employed…or not even counted in the official statistics….and not even the most optimistic analyst is suggesting that we are going to see any significant job growth any time soon – regardless of what the stock market and credit markets do . It is hardly surprising that a new Zogby poll finds one-third of U.S. adults describe being seriously impacted by the current recession, including 14 percent who say their households have been “devastated.” Also, only 41 percentof all adults expect their household financial situations to return to pre-recession conditions. Adults in lower income households reported higher levels of recession impact and less optimism about recovery. Another significant variable in how people responded to both questions was political affiliation. These findings come from a Zogby Interactive survey of 41,175 adults conducted from July 2-27, 2009. The margin of error is +/0.5 percent. Here’s how the poll shaped up: “How big an impact have the recent changes in the U.S. economy had on your household,” and gave a five-point scale, with “five” being “devastating” and “one” being “no impact.”
Jammin’ with Dave MacFarland Page 20
Recession Impact 5 – Devastating 4 3 2 1 - No impact
% 13% 21% 36% 22% 7%
Major impact (4+5) Little or no impact (1+2)
Adults with lower household incomes reported being harder hit by the recession, as one half of those with household incomes below $25,000 chose the two highest levels of financial devastation; and that percentage gradually declines as incomes rise. However, 21 percent of adults with family incomes above $250,000 reported a “four” or “five” on our scale. As for party affiliation, Republicans were most likely to indicate the highest levels of impact. Here are the percentages from both major parties and Independents who chose either a “four” or “five” on our devastation scale: • Republicans 40 percent, • Independents 36 percent • Democrats 28 percent. “Do you believe your household financial circumstances will ever go back to where they were before the recent changes in the U.S. economy.”
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Expect personal finances to return to pre-recession status Yes No Not Sure
% 41% 31% 27%
The percentages of those answering yes increases with household income. Age is also a significant variable, as optimism declines steadily from the youngest to oldest age groups. For example, 55 percent of First GlobalsTM (ages 18-29) believe they will fully recover, compared to just 27 percent of Privates (age 65 and older). As in the other question, party affiliation is a significant factor. Here are the percentages by party that believed their financial circumstances would go back to pre-recession status. • Democrats 51 percent • Republicans 33 percent • Independents 40 percent Pollster John Zogby: “When more than a third of adults say the recession has devastated or nearly devastated them financially, you know that this has indeed been the nation’s most serious period of hardship since the Great Depression. There is also not much optimism that people will ever recoup their losses. It’s also striking how much party affiliation even impacts perceptions about personal finances, showing that we remain a highly polarized nation.” For a complete methodological statement on this survey, please visit: http://www.zogby.com/methodology/readmeth.cfm?ID=1411 Please click the link below to http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1731
August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
Small Business Solutions Automated sales order processing: How manufacturers improve customer service while cutting costs BY JEAN-MICHEL BÉRARD WORLDWIDE CEO, PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, ESKER, INC.
Automation has its roots in the manufacturing industry. In fact, the term was first coined by a manufacturing engineer at Ford Motor Company. But as automation has continuously revolutionized the manufacturing of all kinds of products, management of customer orders for those products has lagged far behind in sophistication and efficiency. Today, even some of the world’s largest corporations with the most advanced manufacturing processes still rely on the most antiquated manual processes for getting orders into their ERP systems. Maintaining control of customer order documents is essential for any high-performing business, and particularly in an industry where the type and volume of orders connects crucial links in the supply
chain. Production and delivery depend on quick entry and validation of incoming orders. Manufacturers need to have a clear view of what is being ordered by whom and where each order is, and they need to be able to access documents easily. And of course, the more efficiently orders can be entered, the faster they can be fulfilled and the sooner the company can receive payment. Paper is so 20th Century Despite the availability of mature and proven technology to automate sales order processing, manufacturers across the country and around the world still have customer service staff spending hours every day on activities like picking up, collating, distributing, entering and retrieving paper orders. Accuracy suffers from incorrect entry of orders, and manufacturers pay the price in returns, restocking, credit notes, write-offs, wasted materials, additional shipping costs and cus-
tomer dissatisfaction. Managing a paper-based sales order process is labor-intensive and time-consuming with little or no visibility into dayto-day activities. Orders, or parts of orders, can easily get “lost in the system.” Making a simple change to an order is often a source of frustration for both the buyer and the seller. When a customer sends in an order by fax or mail and then calls to make sure it was received, trying to track down the order (on the fax machine, at the printer, with a customer service rep or order entry clerk, entered into the ERP system, or any number of other possibilities) can throw an expensive wrench into the system. Certain orders may have priority over others but still go through the same first-in/first-out process. As a result, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to have order entry backlogs of several days. And a company must maintain order processing staffing at sufficient levels to handle all of the orders it receives. When manufacturers look at the fact that its sales order process is manual and paper-driven, they see it not only costs money but takes time away from answering phones and entering new orders. Many manufacturing companies have customer-focused supply chain initiatives centered around the overriding principle of making it easy to do business with them. Sooner or later companies act on the knowledge that to support these initiatives they must quit paper. Only then can they free the necessary time for customer service to take more phone calls and enter more orders. Proficiency at what cost? By necessity, most manufacturing companies have become highly proficient at processing paper orders. But the cost is high — not only in operating expense (a paper order can cost as much as $60 to process and up to $200 to reprocess when there are data entry errors or documents get lost), but also in customer satisfaction. In short, using paper will only cost more and more money — while bringing no value to customer service. Economic forces and new sources of competition are compelling manufacturers to address the dilemma of how to cut
costs and improve customer service. With order volumes down and market share more precious than ever before, nearly every manufacturing company is looking to cut operating costs quickly and deeply. Forward-looking companies also know they need to be ready for the upturn with operational efficiencies that give them a competitive advantage. Along with the high cost of processing paper sales orders, manufacturers recognize the impact of paper on customer service. Today it is crystal clear to manufacturers of all types and sizes that every order counts, and they simply cannot afford to lose customers. Hard cash Today’s leading-edge automation technology enables companies to capture up to 100 percent of orders electronically — even including those received by fax and email. Along with bringing control to handling of exceptions such as blocked orders or invalid part numbers, preventing mismatches of customer and payment terms, and eliminating lost or misplaced orders, this reduces operational costs associated with paper orders by up to 70 percent in large part as a result of minimizing the labor required for order processing. According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of document process automation provider Esker, Inc., the $20 billion multinational manufacturer studied will save five million dollars in labor costs over three years, above and beyond savings from reduced paper consumption and document storage, by automating its sales order process. The same company immediately eliminated 12 fax machines dedicated to inbound orders. Smaller manufacturers achieve similar results through automation. Recalling the factors that drove his company’s sales order process improvement project, Stacy Duncan of Century Furniture said, “Our focus was to effectively remove the inbaskets. The cost and labor associated with paper was an obvious negative. But also, access to the data was all manual. So if customer service got a call with a question, they would have to call back with an answer after they found the documentation. A request to see the original order for continued on page 17
Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
August 24, 2009 -17
Small Business Solutions Automated sales order processing confirmation would require pulling the file and copying, faxing or printing the pages — and sometimes all three.” The most comprehensive automation solutions deliver additional cost cuts by consolidating sales order processing on a single platform. Such a platform can eliminate the expense of maintaining the complicated mix of point-to-point systems for faxing, imaging, OCR, data capture, formatting, validation, workflow, exception handling, EDI, data conversion and archiving that is a common characteristic of IT environments in manufacturing companies. Soft savings Automated sales order processing boosts productivity exponentially, multiplying the number of orders that can be processed per person per hour — which helps manufacturers avoid costs of recruiting, hiring, and replacing one of their most valuable assets: CSRs. Quitting paper leads to a better customer experience by enabling increased speed, responsiveness and customer care. Order entry accuracy can rise to virtually 100 percent with automation, resulting in less reprocessing and fewer returns that hit the bottom line hard. Reporting capabilities of automated sales order processing solutions can also enable monitoring of vital metrics such as time and volume. Managers can see the number of orders that have been entered each day, how many have been received but not processed, how long ago each order was sent in, the amount of time it takes each CSR to enter an order, which customers are using correct product or pricing information and which are not. Automated sales order processing can reduce the cost of meeting service level
agreements and assuring that orders get out on time. One of the most common outcomes of sales order process automation by manufacturing companies is to go from an order entry backlog to same day order entry. And as orders come in from customers in different markets and across geographic regions, they can be assigned a priority based on customer status, location, product, distribution point, and other parameters built into business rules that the automation tool uses to govern processing of sales orders. When the National Office Furniture division of Kimball International was introducing a new product that had a very short lead time, the company replaced its fax server system with a more flexible solution to automate processing of sales orders received via fax. Kimball also wanted to be able to identify other special orders for priority processing. As a result, the company is able to enter all fax orders within the required 24-hour window, and the majority in less than 12 hours. “Now we can prioritize the inbound orders according to our specifications,” said Steve Snyder, the company’s IT director. “With a complete document workflow platform for automation, we soon realized that we could not only implement fax automation for this initiative but its use could be expanded in the future.” In the areas of archiving and regulatory compliance, automated sales order processing solutions provide electronic archiving capabilities that lower the costs of off-site storage and data retrieval for auditing to satisfy requirements such as those of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. On premise or on demand In an economic landscape where budgets are subject to the sharpest scrutiny,
Grants County. Grants are given for programs and organizations that promote this goal. Application deadline is September 30, 2009. Ann and Abe Effron Fund Donor Advised Grants - Funding priority will be given to organizations involved in arts, culture and education with special consideration being given to grants that would make facilities and events more available to young people and senior citizens. Tax exempt organizations located in or providing services to residents of Dutchess County are eligible to apply. Application deadline is October 7, 2009.
continued from page 16 companies have options to gain the operational efficiencies and customer service advantages of automated sales order processing within their objectives to lower capital expenses. Esker, for example, makes all the benefits of automated sales order processing available either as an onpremise server platform or as an ondemand service leveraging the capabilities of that platform without the up-front costs of implementing software. The SaaS model offers immediate ROI with quick, enterprise-wide deployment of an easy-to-use tool to streamline the process of entering, approving, archiving
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continued from page 4 Robert R. Chapman Fund Grants Established to promote and/or provide international and cultural learning experiences for youth. Nonprofit organizations, public agencies or community organizations in Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster Counties that provide services to youth are eligible to apply. Application deadline is October 15, 2009. Irving and Gloria Schlossberg Family Fund Grants - Established to preserve and strengthen Jewish culture and Jewish institutions in Dutchess County. Grants will be given for programs and organizacontinued on page 19
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and accessing sales orders — without adding IT complexity or maintenance costs. Manufacturers also benefit from the platform’s capabilities to automate additional business processes throughout the order-to-cash and procure-to-pay cycles, including customer invoicing, e-purchasing and vendor invoice processing. No matter which of these approaches a company takes to automate its sales order process, the roots of automation in manufacturing hold the key to solving the dual dilemma of cost reduction and customer service improvement.
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August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
Media & Markets
The dragon and the phoenix As the Daily Freeman comes out of bankruptcy, Readers’ Digest files for Chapter 11 BY DEBBIE KWIATOSKI
The Readers’ Digest, once one of the most successful publishing franchises in United States filed for Chapter 11 bank-
ruptcy protection last week. They are $1.6 billion in debt and are hoping to move the ownership of what has always been a family business to its lenders. At practically the same time, the Daily Freeman’s owner, The Journal Register Company, announced that it had emerged from its own Chapter 11 Journey to be “reborn” under the ownership of its secured lenders, mainly JP Morgan Chase & Company. By doing so, it was able to have its own debt knocked down from $696 million to $275 million. The move took out the common stock
owners, although buried in Judge Allen Gropper of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court (Manhattan) decision is a clause that there will be an “incentive plan” to benefit the company’s top management after the restructuring. No such provisions were in the decision to benefit the company’s regular employees, who Gropper admitted in his decision, had been forced to take pay cuts, or had been cut from the company’s payroll entirely. “Although the court understands such concerns and sacrifices that many employees have made, it has no legal authority to order the debtors to provide a different incentive plan.” $35 million in exit financing was also secured in the decision from Wachovia Bank. It will be used as seed money to move forward. JRC big wigs have made a few concessions to their straightened circumstances, however. They did pull out of their lease for a luxury suite at Lincoln Financial Field, how of the Eagles. That left the ball club on the hook for $758,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. JRC hopes to settle that unpleasantness for around $149,000. It will also be paying some of its unsecured trade creditors…something…. According to JRC restructuring point man, Robert Conway. As a class they are owed $6.6 million. Locally, while the JRC closed some 14 community newspapers (including the
Taconic Press publications and two newspapers in Columbia County), the Freeman, publisher Ira Fusfeld has insisted all along, has not been under water at all. In all, the JRC is now calculated by Lazard Freres as being worth around $300 million, with JP Morgan Chase now owning about $275 million of its debt. The company plans to repay that at an interest rate of about 15% per annum and to knock it down in around 4 to 5 years. At the Reader’s Digest, the planned restructuring is shaping up to be just as complex. Two-and-half years ago, a private equity firm, Rpplewood, led a buyout of Reader’s Digest for $2.6 billion. The problem at this stage is that Reader’s
Digest does not make money. In a digital world, where the average readers is significantly younger than the magazine’s demographic, there has been a huge problem with the “New media” aspect of its business planning. With its 1940s and 50s editorial style and “quaint” (some would say “stodgy”) reputation, the publication that was found in most bathrooms and bed stands in America is simply losing market share almost as quickly as its readership base is dying. While the Chapter 11 filing is being put out in the media as a “planned and prearranged” bankruptcy, there are many media and financial analysts who see the magazine as headed more for Hospice than for reHab.
Furthermore invites applications for Fall 2009 book grants The Furthermore grants-in-publishing program is now accepting grant applications for fall review. The grants, ranging roughly from $2,500 to $15,000, are awarded twice annually. They assist publication of nonfiction addressed to the general informed reader. Furthermore, which is a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, is one of the very few sources of grant support specifically earmarked for printed books. It has assisted more than 760 publishing projects and disbursed almost $4.4 million since it was founded in 1995. The program is headed by Joan K. Davidson, former New York State parks commissioner, who is now serving as chair of the Hudson- FultonChamplain Quadricentennial Commission. Recipients of the Furthermore grants are located throughout the U.S. and
abroad but mainly in New York State and New York City. They include museums, libraries, civic and academic institutions, university presses, and other nonprofit publishers. The grants have been awarded largely to books on the arts and cultural history and the natural and built environment. They apply to such specific project components as writing, research, translation, editing, indexing, design, illustration, photography, and printing and binding. While grant recipients must have 501(c)3 status, the book projects assisted by Furthermore grants often result in trade publication. Recent grant recipients include* — Bard College Graduate Center (New York NY) $6,000 for photography for studies of international commerce arising from the examination of the death invencontinued on page 19
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August 24, 2009 -19
Media & Markets
Tri-State Associated Services becomes Color Page Provides authors with customized publishing BY DEBBIE KWIATOSKI
Book audiences come in all shapes and sizes – so why shouldn’t books? That’s one of the questions Frank Campagna,
owner of Tri-State Associated Services began asking years ago. Campagna has been in the lithography and book binding business for decades and, as the industry has changed, he has been changing his business model to stay with the times. And these days, the fastest growing segment of the entire publishing industry is something called “indie publishing” …..that’s where authors become their own small imprint and self-publish smaller runs of their books than a large commercial publisher would take on. The advantages of indie publishing are many, says Campagna. “The biggest advantage is that an author can bring a book into being that would have too limited a readership for a large publisher to be interested in. Yet, some-
times, these books are pretty successful in the long run.” Being successful in the indie press world is, indeed, a longtail game. Where a main stream publisher might want to sell hundreds of thousands of books in a few month’s press run and then “remainder” the rest of the run off to the bargain bin, small presses are able to print small runs of specialty books – but through the wonder of digitization – keep them actively in print for years at a time. Digitization of the small press business also allows Campagna’s company to really work with an author to customize their book. “It’s not a one size fits all concept,” he explained, proving his point with a totally custom book just off the press, with each page different in form, texture, composition and even material from the next; an “art book” produced by a fashion design firm in the city, who plans to use it in their international marketing campaign. “No mainstream publishing house would even attempt this,” said Campagna. “It would be too costly. But we can.” Even those “Print On Demand” websites are limited in what sorts fo books they can produce, he added. While they might be able to offer authors a good deal
Dominican College launches BA in communication studies Dominican College announces the BA in Communication Studies Program. Communication Studies at Dominican College is a broad based liberal arts program balancing theory and practice. It prepares students to be effective communicators, ethical leaders, and innovative media practitioners. Communication Studies course work assists students in developing competencies of critical thinking, problem solving, media and message design, oral performance, relational interaction, and cultural communication. The Communication Studies program has a direct connection to other programs at Dominican College including the Business, English, Criminal Justice, and Political Science programs. This 120 credit program includes a choice of one of two tracks: Media Communication – including Introduction to New Media, Communication Technology, Visual Communication, and Mass Communication Organizational Communication and
Leadership – including Business and Global Communication, Public Relations, Communicating Change, Crisis Communication, and Leadership Upon graduation, communication majors are strong candidates in areas of administration, public relations, human resources, advertising, sales, marketing, media production and design, public affairs, video production, corporate media production, training and development, special events planning, and journalism. Semester-long internships will be available to support learning and provide practical experience in the primary area of interest. This program will begin in the Fall of 2009 and will be available both in the traditional day format and as part of evening College. Applications are being accepted for the fall semester. For more information about Dominican College’s Communication Studies Program call (866) 4DC-INFO or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
on small runs, many of the companies also produce texts that are “lookalikes” on the shelves. “Our new digital operation allows us to produce just about anything, anyway the author wants it to look,” said Campagna. “We can put color anywhere, on any page. We can put pictures anywhere, in color, we can do inserts…whatever is needed to make the production look the way an author wants it to look.” So much has changed about the way
Grants tions that promote this goal. In awarding grants, priority will be given to the presentation of programs or activities and/or the strengthening of Jewish institutions in Dutchess County. Consideration will be given to underwriting the study of some aspect of Jewish life in Dutchess County by a qualified organization. Application deadline is November 15, 2009. The Community Foundation seeks to be a responsive and proactive community partner that works strategically to address existing and emerging community issues. The Community Foundation has invested millions in the form of grants to nonprofit organizations. Organizations recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and/or qualified
Book grants tory of a New Netherlands shopkeeper. Quadricentennial project to be published by Yale University Press, London; hardbound, 8½ x 11, 384 pp., 385 illus. — Temple University Press (Philadelphia PA) $3,500 for indexing and printing and binding a study of the evolution of Rittenhouse Square and its interactive relationship with the larger Philadelphia neighborhood. Clothbound, 8 x 8, 272 pp., 50 illus. — Van Alen Institute (New York NY) $6,000 for photography for a study of the 26,000-acre Gateway National Recreation Area as a global model for observing the modern city in relation to its surrounding ecosystem. Quadricentennial project to be published by Princeton Architectural
Tri-State is now producing indie books that Campagna is even changing the company’s name. “We’re changing it to “Color Page’,” he explained, adding that the name will really reflect the way the new digital era of book production works. There will be more changes down the road, he hinted. In the fall, Campagna plans to have another announcement about where his company will be heading.
continued from page 17 government entities located in or providing services to residents in Dutchess Putnam and Ulster counties are eligible to receive grants. Established in 1969, the Community Foundation of Dutchess County has been a driving force of affordable philanthropy in our region. Currently, the Foundation administers more than 425 charitable funds established by donors who primarily live in Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster counties. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $14 million in grants and scholarships has been awarded to our community. For more information about the Community Foundation, call 845-4523077 or visit www.cfdcny.org.
continued from page 18 Press; hardbound, 11 x 9½, 208 pp., 350 illus. September 15 deadline Program information and an application form are accessible online at www.furthermore.org; by mail from Furthermore, PO Box 667, Hudson, 12534; and by telephone (518/828-8900). Applications must be mailed and postmarked no later than September 15 to qualify for 2009 grant consideration. The grant awards will be announced in late December. The next application deadline will be March 15, 2010. *Special consideration is being given to projects relevant to the New York State Quadricentennial celebration in 2009. See other side for complete list of Spring 2009 recipients.
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Banking & Finance Things you might not have known about Dave MacFarland The Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce honored Dave MacFarland, president and CEO of Riverside Bank in Poughkeepsie, with the Commitment to Community Award at Uncorked, the GSDCC’s ungala held August 15 at Millbrook Winery. MacFarland was cited for his business achievements, demonstrated leadership and community service. MacFarland volunteers his time with numerous local non-profits and is actively involved in the economic development of the Hudson Valley, extending his knowledge, dedication and friendship to all. The event, catered by Lola’s Café & Gourmet Catering with music by Big Joe Fitz, was sponsored by Riverside Bank Board of Directors, Central Hudson, Entergy, Health Quest, IBM and M&T Bank.
Dave MacFarland, president and CEO of Riverside Bank and a former bass player with The Storm Kings in the 50s, was presented with a guitar signed by John Hall, Pete Seeger and John Plantania. Picutred with him from left, granddaughter Olivia Rose, wife Bevalie and Devon Belonga.
The ‘Cat Van’ is coming! Ulster Savings Bank will be hosting the Travelers Catastrophe Response Unit’s “CAT Van” outside at their 180 Schwenk Drive, Kingston headquarters on Friday, August 28 from 9am to 3pm. The public is invited to tour the CAT Van, one of five used throughout the country, and receive information on home
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You gotta have heart Corporate giving, strategic planning and the communal good BY DEBBIE KWIATOSKI
Creating healthier waterfronts on the Hudson Page 24
Ulster BOCES students celebrate success Page 26
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At the 2002 Council of Foundation’s annual conference, Kent (Oz) Nelson, the CEO of United Parcel Service, famously observed that all giving – including corporate giving – should “come from the heart;” at which point Reatha Clark King, then president of the General Mills Foundation was said to comment that the finding of a corporation’s heart was, actually, the real problem. Yet, in a world where government policies; the general cost of living; and an seemingly unusual (and endless) round of natural and manmade disasters have stretched public resources to the breaking point; there has rarely been a more necessary time to look to the private and business sector for community support. King, it also seems, was not just wisecracking about the state of “souless corporation” in America today, she was pointing out that the real trick for the foundation directors was to figure out exactly what the “corporate heart” of a given company actually was. Was it the pet projects of the company’s CEO or its board of directors? Was it the societal needs of its employees? Was is what community in which it resided wanted? Did it come from the collective wisdom of its foundation board? Did it have to be tied in some way to the company’s general mission? What was it, where was it to be found – and how to articulate it through the grants they made has been the bane of nearly every foundation director since the end of World War II, when the whole concept of organized corporate giving became popular. It wasn’t that there weren’t some stellar examples of businesspeople giving back to their communities or taking an interest in causes and social needs that directly impacted their employees. Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, all gave quite a bit of their wealth to causes they were attracted to funding. Lane Bryant – whose founded her large company on designing the first maternity clothes that women could wear out in public – took a string personal interest in her employees’ personal needs, going so far as to give any woman employee a full new wardrobe, if their was destroyed in a flood or fire (a pretty common occurrence at the turn of the last century, actually). She also contributed heavily to various Jewish philanthropies. Maggie Lena Walker, the founder of the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Virginia in 1905, became the first woman bank president in the United States. She supported many African American charities of the day and encouraged all her friends and associates to do likewise. Myra Bradwell founded the Chicago continued on page 26
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Marist and HVCFI discuss collaboration BY CHRIS MILLER
Go Big Red!
At the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon on November 9th Emcee Michelle Taylor, Host of the Mid-Day Show on 92.1 Lite FM, Chairwoman Leah Cerkvenik, Executive Vice President of Bon Secours Community Hospital, and Keynote Speaker Dr. Edward Lundy, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the Active International Cardiovascular Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital, are dressed in red to celebrate the fight for women and heart disease. For more information on the Go Red For Women Movement visit www.GoRedForWomen.org.
Corporate giving, strategic planning and the communal good page 15
Media critic speaks at SUNY New Paltz page 4
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INDEX Business Beat . . . . . . . . . . . .…8 Marotta on Money . . . . . . .…9 Joel Greenwald . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Open Mike . . . . . . . . . . . . . .…9 William A. Brenner . . . . . . .10 Letters to the editor . . . . . . .10 NEWSMAKERS . . . . . . . .…11 NEW BUSINESSES . . . . .…11 DATEBOOK . . . . . . . . . . .…12 CHAMBER LISTINGS . .…13 REAL ESTATE . . . . . . . .16-17 EDUCATION . . . . . . . .…18-19 TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . . . . .20 HEALTHCARE . . . . . . . .…21 BANKING & FINANCE . . .23 SMALL BUS SOLS .……24-25
A partnership between the Center for Collaborative and On Demand Computing (CCODC) at Marist College and the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation (HVCI) is being discussed in the valley. The strategy, proponents say, would reduce technology costs and increase business visibility and market-edge. These and other ideas were on the table last week at a luncheon co-sponsored by Marist and the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation. Since 2004, the CCODC has been recognized by NYSTAR (New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research) as a College Applied Research and Technology (CART) center to encourage greater collaboration between New York State’s industry and New York State’s colleges. New York State (NYS) has approximately 315 colleges and universities – more colleges and universities than any other state. Twelve of those colleges and universities are designated as NYSTAR research centers. Marist College is the only school on NYSTAR’s list that is a college and not a university. “We fit in with that particular group because of what we have in terms of technology at Marist College,” said Roger L. Norton, Dean of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics at Marist. “A lot of that has to do with our strong relationship with IBM.” The mission of the CCODC is to work with NYS companies – helping them to apply and understand new information technologies. Norton noted the work must have some economic benefit for the company or the state. “We contract with companies. We have about $750,000 a year, in terms of budgeting, from the state to work with companies,” Norton said. “We work with companies throughout New York State. Our mission is not simply supposed to be working with companies in the Hudson Valley.” The CCODC program bridges graduate and undergraduate students together based on skill requirements for the project at hand. The Marist faculty manages and mentors the students in a real world environment. “The students have the opportunity to get sensitized to real businesses where their actions result in consequences that may involve real money, all the while being supervised by us,” explained Alan Labouseur, CCODC Manager and Marist faculty member. Areas such as data bases and applications, ecommerce, grid systems, cell phone network utilization, graphics programming, business continued on page 20
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Roger L. Norton, Dean of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics at Marist College. Of the 13 schools on NYSTAR’s research center list, Marist is the only school that is not a university.
HVBJ founder, wife, lauded in Warwick BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
Ed Klein’s hard work and visionary ideas have earned him legendary status in the Warwick neighborhood and now it’s earned him a rare honor; State Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt read Klein’s name in thanks on the floor of the State Assembly in early November. Klein is the Hudson Valley B u s i n e s s Journal’s founder, current roving editor, and pioneer of many media projects ranging from print publishing to radio to television and cable. Phyllis and Ed Klein He and his wife (and, for years, his editor and “partner in crime”) have also spent a great deal of time, energy and money furthering a wide range of community causes and needs. Typically, being recognized and thanked on the floor of the state’s government is an
honor earned posthumously, but Rabbitt seized on the opportunity to honor Ed and Phyllis on the 60th anniversary of their marriage. “I met Ed after I became an Assemblywoman three years ago. Everyone in Warwick knows Ed Klein. He’s done so much. I am glad I had the opportunity to read his name and also to appreciate the accomplishment of 60 years of marriage. I hope to celebrate that myself, some day,” said Rabbitt. The Klein’s romance begain in 1946 when Phyllis was hired as an editor for Ed’s newspaper, The Home News in Oakhurst, N.J. On September 12, 1947 they married at the home of Klein’s parents in Deal, N.J. They worked their way through a few continued on page 23
Since 1986, the Hudson Valley Business Journal has developed a solid reputation for delivering a loyal readership of the valley's professionals and key decision makers to companies who target a B2B client base - and companies who want to capture the attention of individuals who average a significantly higher net worth than the general reader of the area's other print media. • The HVBJ's subscriber list is a dynamic and finely-tuned database that is systematically reviewed and updated to ensure that it accurately reflects the region's active business community. (Subscription price: $35/ year...52 issues). We do not buy unverified mailing lists, nor is ours available to any other party. • Most subscribers report that they read the Business Journal at work, accounting for a significant "pass-around" readership rate. • While the majority of our subscribers live and work in the Hudson Valley, we also have many subscribers/readers in the Metropolitan area, New Jersey and Upstate New York
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and auto insurance through our carrier, Travelers. Representatives from Ulster Insurance Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Ulster Savings Bank, will be on hand to answer any home or auto insurance questions during the event. “We’re excited to have the CAT Van here,” said Gerald M. Brown, LUTCF, Senior Vice President of Insurance Operations at Ulster Insurance Services, Inc. “It’s an extraordinary vehicle and has served so many people that have experienced tragedies throughout the country. This is a great opportunity for the public to learn about the Van and home and auto insurance products and services available to them.” During emergencies, Travelers utilizes the CAT Van at affected areas for claims. These first-in-the-industry vehicles were developed as a result of lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew, which devastated parts of Florida in 1992. For more information, contact Gerald Brown at (845) 338-6000, ext. 3915.
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August 24, 2009 -21
Healthcare Northern Dutchess Hospital offers enhanced technologies Northern Dutchess Hospital is implementing three new technologies designed to enhance patient experience, safety and communications. An innovative communications device, “Vocera,” is transforming patient care in the Hospital’s clinical setting. Implemented to meet national patient safety goals, “Vocera” operates over a wireless network that enables Hospital staff to simply say a person’s name, department, or role to be automatically connected to the proper party. The small device can also access a team of speciallytrained professionals with one voice command that automatically summons all appropriate staff members to the patient’s
Bike for Cancer gears up The Sixth Annual Bike for Cancer Care to benefit the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund will be held on Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. The event will start and finish at Ulster Savings Bank on Schwenk Drive in Kingston. The event features a 5-mile family ride and a 25- and 50-mile ride throughout Ulster County. Riders and volunteers will enjoy breakfast, fully supported rest stops, a BBQ lunch and ice cream at the end of the ride donated by Hannaford Supermarkets and Gillette Creamery. Prizes and awards are given to the top fundraisers. The Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund, in partnership with the Thomas A. Dee Cancer Center at Benedictine Hospital and the Benedictine Health Foundation, provides financial assistance to cancer patients undergoing treatment in Ulster County who are in financial need. The fund provides for products and services not covered by medical insurance, such as nutritional products, prostheses, and gift cards to purchase groceries and gas. “On July 28th of last year, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I had just started a new job and was not yet eligible for benefits. Shortly after my diagnosis, I was forced to take leave from my employment. Everywhere I turned for help, I ran into a road-block until I found the Rosemary D. Gruner Fund. Always being an independent person, asking for help does not come easy for me. When the envelope arrived with gas and grocery cards, I felt as though I was getting my independence back. I was able to purchase so many items that people often take for granted. The Gruner Fund opened my eyes and renewed my faith in our society. It brought me comfort and allowed me to focus on my healing. To receive a “gift” from people who don’t even know me has touched me deeply,” said Al Hackbarth of Hurley, N.Y. For further information on the Bike for Cancer Care, visit www.bikeforcancer.org, or call the Benedictine Health Foundation at (845) 334-3017 or Dan Gruner at (845) 4171865. The event is sponsored by River Radiology, Cumulus Media, Ulster Savings Bank, Colonial Roofing, Timely Signs, Hannaford Supermarkets and Rondout Savings Bank, and Anita Williams Peck.
Fi” and visitor/patient access to up-to-theminute information. The service is available via guests’ personal laptop computers. According to Denise George, President and CEO of Northern Dutchess Hospital,
bedside. This is particularly beneficial during times of critical changes in patient status requiring a dedicated healthcare team response. The system is slated to be complete this August. Another innovation, Alaris pumps, are the latest generation of infusion pumps that deliver intravenous (IV) medications to patients. Known as “Smart Pumps,” they feature software that can be customized for each patient, automatically double-checking the dosage, duration, and delivery rate of prescribed medicines. The pumps also allow medical staff to program customized dosage alerts, thus further reducing the possibility of human error. An average of 90% of hospital patients receive medications via IV, therefore “Smart Pumps” are a technological enhancement that meets 2009 national patient safety guidelines. As an added feature, the software also tracks and measures system performance. The pumps will be installed this October. Lastly the Hospital is currently wired to provide complimentary wireless internet access in all patient rooms and common areas- answering today’s demand for “Wi-
“Our mission is to ensure our patients receive outstanding care during their stay. We continually invest in new technologies that will enable us to provide the safest, highest quality care.”
Advanced technology for eye surgery at ORMC Orange Regional Medical Center has enhanced its eye surgery services with a state-of-the-art, advanced, surgical technology for vitreous eye surgery at the Orange Regional Medical Pavilion located at 75 Crystal Run Road in Middletown. This new technology allows surgeons to work closer to the retina to make micro-incisions that are small enough to self-seal, eliminating the need for the surgeon to close the incision which in turn helps the patient heal faster and more comfortably. The Ophthalmologists using this latest technology treat patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy, vitreous hemorrhage, hemolytic glaucoma, central vein occlusion, macular holes or
tears and other retinal detachment disorders that cause damage or disease to the eye. This micro-surgery technology enables the surgeon to work close to the retina, which is located near the back wall of the eye, by removing the vitreous gel located in the middle of the eye in order to repair the damaged portion of the eye. Patients are likely to experience a more comfortable surgery, quicker recovery and restoration of visual acuity. To learn more about Orange Regional Medical Center’s services or to find a retinal surgeon, call the Orange Regional Health Connection at 1-888-321-ORMC (6762) or visit www.ormc.org.
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August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
Technology Central Hudson applies for federal funds for ‘Smart Grid’ Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is seeking funds through the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support a smart grid project. The initiative will test and evaluate smart grid applications to increase electric system operating capabilities, reduce operating costs, improve service reliability and provide customers with real-time information on energy use and prices. The project will be implemented in a limited area to help determine the costs and benefits of installing a smart grid system throughout the entire Mid-Hudson Valley region. “Our proposal recently received approval from the New York State Public Service Commission, pending receipt of federal funds that will pay for half of the investment,” said Charles A. Freni, Senior Vice President of Customer Services. The 30-month project will test smart grid equipment on select distribution circuits, install 10,000 smart meters on homes and businesses, and offer some residences the opportunity to have Home Area Network equipment installed to monitor and control energy usage in real time. The initiative also funds installation of a small number of recharging stations for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Freni indicated that the project, which involves 10 of the approximately 275 distribution circuits in the utility’s MidHudson service area, is expected to annually save 6,500 megawatt-hours of electricity and $562,000 in electric purchases through improved operating efficiencies, reduce operating and maintenance costs by $260,000, and reduce carbon emissions by 3,600 metric tons. “This initiative is the first step in bring-
ing the latest smart grid technology to the Mid-Hudson Valley, and will provide new
ways of exchanging information with our
tion times during power outages.” The improvements would also facilitate connection of distributed generation, such as renewable energy, to the electric grid. If approved, the federal funding would pay $8.6 million of the $17.3 million proposed project. “This is a unique opportunity to access federal funding for an important initiative that should prove to lower costs, improve service, and benefit the environment,” said Freni. “The project offers solutions for increasing operating efficiencies and addressing capacity constraints, which could delay the need for installing new infrastructure and prepare the system for future load growth.” The Department of Energy will be providing $3.9 billion to smart grid projects across the nation. Responses to applications are expected within 90 days.
Dutchess County snags #2 national tech ranking Dutchess County Government has jumped to a #2 national ranking as one of the most digitally-advanced county governments in the country. The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties (NACo) listed Dutchess County #2 in the 250,000499,000 population category in the 2009 Digital Counties Survey. This is the sixth consecutive year the County has been awarded a top ten ranking (2004-2009). Last year, Dutchess County was ranked #8 in the nation. “We continue to make Dutchess County Government more accessible and easier to navigate for county residents through the use of technology,” said County Executive William R. Steinhaus. “We have built an award winning computer infrastructure system that allows residents to get what they need without having to drive to county offices and allows county employees to be more productive and efficient. This has been a key priority for county government and we continue to reap the benefits of our technological
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customers and monitoring the electric system itself,” said Freni. “Two-way communications, for example, can provide customers with realtime information on electricity usage and prices, and Central Hudson with instantaneous and more specific information on conditions with the electric distribution system. This will help our customers make more informed decisions about their energy use, improve system operating efficiencies and shorten restora-
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investment.” New online initiatives, including voice enable and language translation services on the County website www.dutchessny.gov, helped push up the County’s national ranking to #2. Online visitors can have web pages “read aloud” by simply clicking the “Listen to Content” button at the top of the page. This feature benefits those with sight impairment, low literacy, dyslexia as well as those for whom English is a second language. Additionally, users are just one click away from having Web site text translated in a variety of languages. As Dutchess County’s population becomes more diverse and more visitors access the county website from around the world, this feature has become more important. No special software is required for either of these services. The ever-growing online services available to the public at www.dutchessny.gov have clearly made the County website a popular internet destination. Over the past five years, “web pages served” have
increased from approximately 60,000 to 985,000 per month, an astounding 1,700% increase. Popular e-government applications such as ParcelAccess, which in just the past year was utilized by ten-of-thousands public and business users with more than 8 million processed transactions, have contributed significantly to the website’s popularity. Office of Computer Information Systems Commissioner Timothy Mahler emphasized that there are full spectrum of computer technologies, ranging from internal county applications to streamlined procedures that add to operational efficiency for the county, that led to Dutchess County’s impressive ranking. The Digital Counties award recognized Dutchess County’s efforts to achieve equipment energy savings through the use of small footprints PCs, copiers as printers and server consolidation. It also recognized the County’s recent investment in a high speed, cost effective “Dark” Fiber Optic network that has increased reliabilicontinued on page 25
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Education Learn about solar energy with DCC photovoltaics course This fall, Dutchess Community College is once again offering Introduction to Photovoltatics, a popular course that filled to capacity when it was made available for the first time last year. The field of photovoltaics uses solar cells for energy by converting sunlight directly into electricity. The course will introduce photovoltaic applications, design, and practices. Topics covered include industry history and trends, solar radiation, characteristics of solar cells and modules, system components, system sizing and design, economic analysis, electrical and mechanical integration, applicable building codes, regulations and safety, and utility interconnection.
Introduction to Photovoltaics will be taught by Mark Courtney, P.E., who gained experience with photovoltaic projects throughout the U.S. and Europe as former chief engineer with Atlantis Energy Systems, a designer and manufacturer of building integrated photovoltaic solar panels. The class will be held Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Taconic Hall, Room 300 on DCC’s main
Poughkeepsie campus beginning September 3. To register for the course, visit www.sunydutchess.edu/registration/index .html. Please provide the four-digit index number (3267), the section (610), the course ID (ELT904), and the number of credits (3) when registering. The tuition and fees for the course are approximately $395. The prerequisite for the course is ELT 106 (AC Circuits), another equivalent class, or permission of the instructor. Contact Mark Courtney at email@example.com with any questions about any necessary preconditions.
Ulster BOCES RMA students raise $4,000 for Hospice Shattering last year’s fundraising record, Ulster BOCES Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) students raised nearly $4,000 for Hospice Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides comfort-oriented care for people experiencing a life-limiting illness with a six months or less prognosis. The same ten students who rallied their friends and
and the president and chief executive officer Richard J. Trocino. During this visit, the students proudly presented the organization with a check from their Walk-aThon. “This means a lot to us in many different ways,” Trocino addressed the students. “This money will support an intern in music therapy for six months, which in
students with a comprehensive overview that includes theoretical and clinical concepts as well as the financial/administrative functions within a medical office and
a 120-hour clinical internship in a medical office/facility. For more information, contact Dianne Sleight at 845-331-0902, or visit the website at www.ulsterboces.org .
Richard J. Trocino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hospice, Inc., is presented with a check for his organization by Dianne Sleight (center), healthcare coordinator for Ulster BOCES, and Mary Weinberger, an Ulster BOCES Registered Medical Assistant instructor (left), along with the Ulster BOCES Registered Medical Assistant class of 2009. Ulster BOCES hosted a Walk-a-thon for Hospice, raising over $4,000 for this local not-forprofit organization, which provides comfort-oriented care for people experiencing a lifelimiting illness.
family to raise money for this charitable cause also recently celebrated entering into the medical workforce. Despite challenging economic times, Ulster BOCES students were able to raise over a thousand dollars more than the previous years’ amount during the third annual Walk-a-Thon at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. RMA students, family, and friends “walked the walk” as they took strides to raise needed funds for the organization that promotes dignity and quality of life for its patients. “Your class has had the enthusiasm and drive to go the extra mile,” Dianne Sleight, healthcare coordinator at Ulster BOCES, told students. Sleight also credited the RMA instructor, Mary Weinberger, with motivating the class and leading the successful fundraising effort. RMA students learned about the results of their volunteerism when they received a special visit from the director of the Hospice Foundation, Inc., Mike Murphy,
turn will help many patients with pain management and stress relief. Alternatively, this money could provide medication for a patient for over 500 days.” Trocino said the students’ efforts were greatly appreciated. “It is wonderful to be adopted by such a caring group of spirited individuals. Thank you.” The year was capped by an emotional graduation ceremony, where ten RMA students proudly wore their white lab coats as they graduated from the Ulster BOCES program and entered into a new career. “As you begin your medical careers, you will find that what you give comes back to you three-fold,” Sleight told students. “I hope you will carry not only the lessons you have learned here in the lab at Ulster BOCES with you, but the spirit of generosity you cultivated here in the classroom.” The Registered Medical Assistant program is an 840-hour course that provides
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Fall classes begin Monday, August 31. www.sunydutchess.edu (845) 431-8000 or DCC SOUTH 298-0755
August 24, 2009 Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
Real Estate Time is running out for first-time homebuyers’ credit Since Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act earlier this year, many have seized the opportunity offered by the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. When you factor in today’s historically-low interest rates and housing affordability with the financial incentive from the government, it’s easy to see why so many first time buyers have taken advantage of this chance to realize their dream of homeownership. However, the ability to utilize this $8,000 tax credit will not be available to would-be homeowners much longer. To receive the tax credit, a first-time buyer must purchase and close on a principal residence before Dec. 1, 2009. Since closing on a home generally takes anywhere from 45-60 days, that leaves prospective buyers a little more than a month to take advantage of the this financial opportunity. “It’s hard to imagine a better time than right now to be a first-time buyer,” said Jim Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors, one of the nation’s largest independently owned real estate companies. “Mortgage rates and home prices are all favorable, recent economic news is encouraging and the government is providing a large financial incentive. If I was a first time buyer I wouldn’t let an opportunity like this slip through my fingers.” In addition to taking advantage of the
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tax credit, another reason for first-time buyers to consider making a purchase now
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are the recent signs of a stabilizing real estate market. Last week, the National
second quarter of the year compared to the first. Last month, the S&P/Case-Shiller
index showed an increase in the monthly value of homes for the first time in nearly three years. Buying a home now might not only be the opportunistic thing to do but also the more practical decision. In many instances, renting can actually be more expensive than buying. By choosing a fixed-rate mortgage, individuals can lock in to a lower payment that will stay the same unlike rent which can increase yearly. First-time buyers, as well those who haven’t owned a home in more than three years, who purchase a home by Dec. 1, may be eligible to claim all or part of the tax credit based on their income level. Congress will even allow individuals to still claim the credit as part of their 2008 tax return if they file an amended tax return. Individuals can also elect to receive the credit on their 2009 tax return. As with any tax law, individuals should check with a tax advisor to discuss any specifics regarding the use of this provision.
Gov. Paterson signs historic rehabilitation tax credits Governor David Paterson has signed legislation that greatly improves the New York State Rehabilitation Tax Credit program. The measure (A.9023Hoyt/S.6056-Valesky) provides more effective incentives and program features for developers and municipalities seeking to rehabilitate historic buildings, and will advance redevelopment and economic stimulus goals throughout New York State. “We have every reason to believe that the New York State Rehabilitation Tax Credit will prove one of the most effective economic and community development programs in the state,” said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League of New York State, the not-forprofit organization that led the charge for enhanced tax credits. “We are enormously grateful to Assemblymember Hoyt and
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Senator Valesky for shepherding this important Smart Growth initiative through their respective houses and to the leadership of the Senate and the Assembly for their vision in passing this legislation. We thank New York’s mayors, county executives and other municipal leaders who have shown unwavering support for this effort. Finally, we express our great admiration for Governor Paterson for signing these historic tax credits into law today.” Commissioner Deborah VanAmerongen of the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal said, “The Rehabilitation Tax Credits will foster new private and federal investment where it is most needed: our economically distressed downtowns and commercial districts, main streets, and older residential neighborhoods. Further, these incentives will encourage the use or reuse of existing affordable housing resources. I’m delighted that we now have a more powerful tool for revitalizing communities across New York State. “ Catherine F. Schweitzer, chair of the board of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, said, “With the expanded tax credit program, projects to reuse our high quality existing buildings - plans that were not feasible before - will move from an elusive dream into the active planning phase. Many will actually be completed because now the financing gap can be filled through this program. Our talented, hardworking local laborers and crafts people will find jobs in our city and region because of new private investment. This incentive could not come at a better time.” “The visionary leadership of Senator Valesky, Assemblymember Hoyt, and Governor Paterson has led us to a key moment of transition for the positive future of our New York State communities,” said Joanne Arany, executive director of The Landmark Society of Western New York, a regional preservation organization that provided critical advocacy to support the tax credit legislation. “Formal recognition of the value of investing in New York State’s outstanding historic resources has been long overdue, and our
trustees and staff were proud to work with the Preservation League to engage the support of the City of Rochester and our upstate region to achieve this important success. We can’t wait to work alongside our constituents to help them take advantage of this important legislation.” Hoyt, the Lead sponsor of the bill in the Assembly, stated, “I applaud Governor Paterson for signing this legislation, which will spark economic investment in businesses and homes across upstate New York. I also want to thank the Preservation League of New York State for their extraordinary leadership in advancing this important initiative. This program will enhance and preserve our existing vacant, underutilized, and deteriorating buildings while honoring our unique architectural assets, and it will do so in a way that is cost-effective for New York State.” According to Valesky, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, “This is a crucial victory for Upstate New York and our economic development efforts. The Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit has the potential to draw developers back to our Upstate cities and villages, to reignite economic activity on our Main Streets, and to bring people and businesses back to our communities. This was one of my top legislative goals for the year, and it is a major win for all of Upstate New York. I want to thank Assemblyman Sam Hoyt for sponsoring this legislation in the Assembly, and Governor Paterson for recognizing its importance and signing it into law.” John T. McDonald, Mayor of the City of Cohoes, said “As the economy begins to show signs of a rebound, we have a unique opportunity to direct new investments to our older, industrial cities to make them healthier, safer, and more prosperous. The Rehabilitation Tax Credit is tailor-made to encourage developers to invest in our downtowns, putting the brakes on sprawl growth and leading to the revitalization of our city centers.” New York’s first-ever rehabilitation tax credit was adopted as Chapter 547 of the Laws of 2006, but limitations of both the continued on page 25
Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL -August 24, 2009-25
Conferences and Meetings ‘Prior Preparation Prevents Pretty Poor Performance’ BY ROBIN HENRY
Because if you don’t get it right, every one of the participants will know you have dropped the ball. The first necessity is to know exactly what you want; will you provide lunch, include accommodation, include freebies such as brief cases, package the conference with discount airfares, hire cars and a trip to a local tourism venue? What about spouses and partners, will they be included? Once you know exactly what you want ... and it’s a sound idea to contact several venue providers to ask what they will do for what cost, make sure you have a written agreement about: what you want
when you want it where it will happen at what cost who will carry out the various roles/activities what will happen if something goes wrong (contingency plan) Once you have agreed what you want and the venue provider has agreed to provide it, you are on your way. Or are you? You aren’t, because there is much more to do ... like communicating with the intended participants ... the reason for the conference. You need to be explicit in what the conference offers, who should attend, how they will pay, when it will start and so on. In fact what you should do ... mentally, is think through the various ways and options for people to attend. Go through each step and ask yourself, ‘What happens here, how will it be handled?’ Imagine yourself writing a check to pay your fee ... where will you send it, what will happen once it is received? By doing this mental thing, you can identify ‘fail points’, which may prevent embarrassment and inefficiencies somewhere down the track. For example, incorrect payee details on a check will require you to contact the sender and have another check sent ... all valuable time and resources wasted. Make sure participants are fully aware of what they are expected to do and what you, the organizer will do. Don’t allow
Dutchess is well-wired
continued from page 22
It’s called the ‘6P rule’ and remembering this tongue-twister (and applying it) can mean all the difference in the world, when it comes to planing a conference or important meeting. Why?
ty and performance. “Residents may not be able to see many of the improvements we have made to our computer infrastructure, but it is these “behind the scenes” capabilities that allow us to produce such a quality product for public use,” Commissioner Mahler said. “Our goal is to use technological innovation to meet service needs and improve usability for both the public as well county employees,” said Commissioner Mahler. “As part of County Executive Steinhaus’ “Dutchess Goes Green” agenda, these innovations have the added benefit of allowing people to be able to access services and information from their home
or business without the need to travel to county offices; saving time, money and energy.” The 2009 Digital Counties Survey is an annual study by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties (NACo). Thousands of U.S. counties were invited to participate in the annual survey. The survey focused on more than 100 measurements and data points about online service delivery, infrastructure, architecture and governance models to identify how the county provided for innovation and change to transform business processes.
Historic rehab credits
continued from page 24
commercial and residential programs failed to provide sufficient incentives to deliver economic and community revitalization to municipalities in need. An economic impact study recently conducted by HR&A Advisors of New York, an industry leader in economic development, real estate and public policy consulting, predicts that the enhanced rehabilitation tax credit will spur over $500 million dollars of economic activity in New York State and create some 2,000 jobs over its initial five-year lifespan. “This expanded rehabilitation stimulus program is just what New York needs to encourage re-use of existing infrastructure, address affordable housing needs, and stimulate new private investment in
the redevelopment of urban cores,” said DiLorenzo. “We have long known that these tax credits would promote economic stimulus, but Governor Paterson needed to know that this bill was fiscally sound before he would approve it. We are gratified that he has signed off on this important program which will help fuel the revitalization of New York’s downtowns and neighborhoods.” The act will take effect on January 1, 2010. For more information on New York’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit Programs, call the New York State Historic Preservation Office at (518) 2378643 or visit http://nysparks.state.ny.us/shpo/investment/index.htm
any room for errors. Some specific points to watch for are: When you arrange food, such as lunch and morning and afternoon tea, make sure you know what size and composition the food portions are. If necessary get photos - ask for descriptions or have a look at what you are buying. It’s easy to buy sandwiches for 250 and find that the last 50 people don’t get a sandwich because the first 200 took too many. Nothing is more off-putting to clients than missing out on food or receiving what they consider small portions. Make sure you know what you are paying for and that you get it on the day (quality control!) Ensure everyone knows where and when sessions are and how to find them (provide a map) or written instructions If spouses and partners are accompanying members, consider arranging some discounted prices for meals, car hire, trips etc - you can ask for a commission If you are presenting, make sure you know what technology will be available and that your version of software is compatible - have a contingency plan for technology just in case it fails at the critical moment. Tell other presenters what is available Some of the little things matter; catering for vegetarians, ensuring water jugs
are sitting on something that will absorb condensation so that participants don’t get droplets of water on their paperwork or clothes, seat comfort, adequate breaks, good air conditioning or heating, no distractions from outside noise etc Finally, when people book their attendance, send them a letter confirming accommodation, specific events for which they are booked, timings, and give them a contact number of someone who can handle last minute cancellations, changes or problems that arise The secret to successful conference organization is good planning and meticulous attention to detail. If you aren’t a ‘detail’ person, think about hiring a conference organizer who is or get a conference planning checklist and use it. Copyright 2006 Robin Henry | First published Jan 2006 Robin Henry is an educator, human resources specialist and Internet entrepreneur. He helps small and home-based businesses and individuals improve performance by applying smart technology and processes and developing personally. He runs his business Desert Wave Enterprises from his home base at Alice Springs in Central Australia, although at present he is working in the United Arab Emirates. http://www.dwave.com.au
New chair to lead Business Advisory Council The School of Business at the State University of New York at New Paltz is pleased to announce that Tom Sipos, agency marketing director of Emery & Webb, Inc., will chair its Business Advisory Council (BAC). Sipos will replace Carl Meyer, president and chief operating officer of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, who led the council for four years. The Business Advisory Council consists of senior executives from the business community who provide input to the School of Business to insure that students are taught the skills, knowledge and ethical behaviors required for successful and satisfying business careers. “It is an honor to be named chairman of the Business Advisory Council and I look forward to building on the work of my predecessors, Taylor Thompson, Sr. and Carl Meyer,” said Sipos. “From its inception, the council has worked to be a resource for the students, faculty and staff of the School of Business. It is critical, given the extraordinarily dynamic economy we are in, that today’s students gain an education that is cutting edge, will give them the leadership skills and tools required to compete in the marketplace, and to do so while operating with the highest standards of integrity and ethics.” “The BAC is an invaluable link between the school and business commu-
Find HVBJ Media Kit online @ www.hvbizjournal.com
nity which is critical to the success of our program,” said Hadi Salavitabar, dean of the School of Business. “I am pleased that Tom has agreed to lead the Council. His untiring efforts and unbelievable commitment to our students’ education and their level of integrity and professionalism have already taken our students and the School of Business to a much higher level.” Meyer shared Salavitabar’s enthusiasm. “I am delighted that Tom has agreed to step into the vital role of chair of the BAC,” he said. “Tom brings to the School of Business a passion for business excellence, including a renewed drive to restore ethical behavior in the business community at large. In Tom’s very capable hands, the school graduates will continue to benefit from the continued integration of academic and business interests, which is such an important aspect of the business school’s mission of preparing the graduates for successful careers in this challenging business environment.” College President, Steven Poskanzer, said, “Tom is a wise man, with invaluable experience strengthening the fabric of the local economy and a genuine passion for the transformative power of education. He’s been a driving force for excellence in our business school and I look forward to benefiting from his leadership of the BAC.”
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The Nevele time before Matteson was on board with UCIDA. He stated that the second termination was during his tenure. Matteson said at the time the final PILOT agreement was terminated that UCIDA had to make sure all payments were current before they could give the Nevele the paperwork it needed. He said that UCIDA has done everything it should do in administering the PILOT agreement and terminating it and that the deed was recorded properly at termination. According to Auerbach, the resort failed to fulfill a portion of the PILOT agreement such as job creation, under which they received incentives and benefits. “All the administrative requirements and responsibilities on the IDA were carried out promptly and on time but I’d like to add that we were disappointed in the performance of the project itself, Matteson expressed. “So to the extent that it’s an IDA project and people have been laid off – that’s not a successful project. In terms of the administrative side, the IDA did all it could.” A PILOT agreement is a way by which taxpayers agree to invest in a project that is fiscally beneficial for the community and “should not cost taxpayers any money out of existing revenue streams and should be on new taxable value generated by the project itself, stated Matteson. “That’s where the temporary tax break comes from – and it’s important to emphasize temporary.” He said PILOT programs need to be well targeted with many jobs attached to them, as there were with the Nevele Grande. He said in the resort’s case that the problem was sustaining those jobs. Although every PILOT venture is not 100 percent successful, the UCIDA executive director stated a majority of the cases are, noting the creation of over 1,000 jobs over the course of the last decade using such agreements. “The PILOT agreements have been a great investment,” expressed Matteson. “We’ve produced far more income than we’ve cost taxpayers.” The Nevele Grande’s 500-acre spread was the contiguous properties of two former hotels – the Nevele Hotel and the Falls View Hotel. In 2006, the Nevele Grande went to UCIDA wanting to sell off the Falls View portion of the property and to be released form that portion of the
pen,” he said. Hoffman’s Stratford Business Corporation bought the Nevele’s property for $15.8 million in 2000. He failed to respond to a call placed to his Hempstead, Long Island office. Hoffman’s attorney Joseph O’Connor said that although his client might have slight dispute with some of the amounts owed that for the most part the tally is accurate. “I know our client is informed – he’s trying to pay everyone that he owes,” said O’Connor. “It’s a very difficult economic climate to get a qualified buyer.”
agreement. “That’s really what complicated matters,” expressed Auerbach. “It got mired in the sale of the Falls View property, the fact that the Nevele was still in a payment in lieu of taxes with the county, but more importantly the fact that there was no agency charged with policing those PILOT agreements.” Auerbach said his office’s efforts are centering on telling UCIDA, the Commissioner of Finance’s office, and the County Executive office that some sort of policing mechanism should be put in place for every one of the payments in lieu of taxes. He said it would help to ensure that the county and the municipalities are receiving what’s due to them. “We’re coming out with a report listing every payment in lieu of taxes that’s currently on the county’s books, who they’re for, who is responsible for them, and what their current status is,” he said. Auerbach said another issue his office raised was that, if unpaid, the burden of the taxes and fees would land on the shoulders of Ulster County taxpayers. “The Nevele is going into an auction the first of next month so we have legally inserted ourselves through a notice of claim letting any potential buyer and the seller know that prior to any clearing of title that the county and other entities are owed money,” he explained. “That’s really what prompted us to expedite this in early August.” According to the comptroller, they have been very successful recouping taxes in their county auctions. In the Nevele’s case, if the property sells, before the sale could close either the seller or buyer would need to meet the outstanding financial obligations. “If they sell we’re in a great position,” said Auerbach. “If they don’t sell, we’re going to have to use every legal recourse we have to recoup the monies owed to us. If it goes out long enough we could end up owning the property and auctioning it off ourselves. That would be 36 months down the road and no one is a winner in that respect. Matteson said the big picture is that there is a distressed property that wouldn’t be up for auction unless there were some obvious financial difficulties. “Hopefully, when the dust settles, everybody will get paid. That is certainly what the owner said he wants to have hap-
On Wednesday, August 12, Inspire hosted the Grand Opening of its newest Inspire Kids Preschool located at 45 Gilbert Street in Monroe, New York. Many came out to show their support at the ribbon cutting ceremony and to tour the preschool dedicated to the memory of Joshua Stamm, a long-term client of Inspire and friend to all. The Inspire Kids Preschool will open to students in September and offer full day classes, an integrated half-day class, a creative curriculum, a full-time nurse, committees on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) evaluations on-site, yoga, music and an outdoor play area! Inspire Kids Golden Apple will offer an integrated classroom in which typically developing preschoolers and children with developmental delays learn in the classroom together. Inspire Kids will continue to offer
cost-sharing trends were more modest. According to Princeton professor, Uwe Reinhardt, what this all means in “real terms,’ is that healthcare insurance premiums for that same family of four has risen at a compounded rate of 8.4 percent each year. If this continues through the next decade, that would mean that, by 2019, that same insurance premium would cost $36,000. “And (most) economists are convinced that this $36,000 would come virtually all out of the financial hides of employees, even if the employer pretended to be paying, say, 80 percent of the employmentbased health insurance premiums,’ said Reinhardt. This, he stressed, would be because the increases in an employers’ benefits costs have to come from someplace and that “someplace” will most likely be in that raise you don’t get each year or the desk next to you that remains vacant (and whose responsibilities you are now picking up…for free). For smaller employers – and their workforce - the scenario is even more
grim. Faced with a doubling of healthcare premiums in ten years, a growing number will simply choose to stop offering health insurance at all. This, of course, will push millions more Americans into trying to buy healthcare in the private marketplace. And, with no public option in effect, that private marketplace could be even higher priced than anything previously offered by small employers. “It would be a major problem for families with an income of less than $100,000 a year,” said Reinhardt. In 2007, the last year for which figures are available, only 25 percent of Americans earned $100,000 a year or more. Nearly 60 percent of us made less than $75,000. Any chance that, as healthcare insurance costs rise that rises in our incomes will even it out? Not likely, said Reinhardt. The fact is that middle class salaries in America have actually stagnated over the past decade in nearly every employment sector that is measured. High unemployment rates have made any significant gains in income even less likely –
Inspire Kids preschool opens in Monroe
Taking part in the ribbon cutting from left to right: Inspire President and CEO Marcel Martino, School Administrative Assistant Therese Maier, Education Director Michelle O’Loughlin, V.P. of Education Edna Cintron, Director of Physical Rehabilitation Deborah Engle, Dr. and Mrs. Mark Stamm, and Inspire Board Chairman Tom Fay.
Healthcare insurance inform the cost discussion by offering a cost benchmark for employer-provided coverage, which remains a primary source of healthcare insurance. What this index has shown is that, between 2001 and 2009, healthcare insurance premiums, on average, rose from $8,414 for a family of four to $16, 771. Put simply, they doubled. For 2009, key MMI findings include: The total 2009 medical cost for a typical American family of four is $16,771, compared with the 2008 figure of $15,609. This is a 7.4 percent increase from 2008 to 2009. This is the third straight year of decreasing cost trends. Even so, the $1,162 increase is the highest since the 2006 increase of $1,169, when cost trends were at 9.6 percent. Every category of costs except inpatient and outpatient facility care experienced lower cost trends than last year. This is the third consecutive doubledigit percentage increase in the amount that employees spend for healthcare services. This is primarily due to increased employee contributions, as out-of-pocket
continued from page 3 Hoffman’s attorney, who noted he wasn’t sure if he’d be representing Hoffman much longer and hasn’t had close contact in 45 –60 days, said the Nevele has a lot of interest and perspective buyers but that it’s very difficult to get a commercial mortgage at this time. He said that Hoffman has put the Nevele up for private auction most likely as a general business decision and it’s not due to any debt, past taxes, or liens. “Mr. Hoffman is trying the best he can to do the right thing, as far as getting everybody paid and getting enough money to do that,” said O’Connor.
preschool services in Goshen and Newburgh as well. For information, or to register your child, please call (845) 2948301. Inspire is a non-profit charitable organization, officially known as Orange County Cerebral Palsy Association, Inc., celebrating 60 years of service to residents of Orange County in 2009/2010. Inspire specializes in early childhood development & outpatient diagnostic services for people of all ages. Inspire Kids is a special education preschool for children ages 2 ½ to 5 years of age with developmental delays. Inspire also provides Medicaid service coordination, respite, social programs, and more. For more information, please visit Inspire online at www.inspirecp.org and view a 7minute DVD highlighting its services.
continued from page 1 and there is virtually no evidence coming from any economist that currently suggests unemployment rates are going to fall dramatically as we – technically – come out of the current recession. All signs, in fact, are pointing to this pretty much being a “jobless recovery.” More competition for fewer jobs has never been viewed as a recipe for rising compensation rates. So, as Americans keep on screaming at each other about pulling the plug on Granny or following the rest of the “developed” First World economies and creating a National Healthcare Strategy, perhaps realizing what keeping the status quo is actually going to cost Middle America might be something to be more thoughtfully considered. “It is a pity that this central issue seems to have been shoved aside by the mendacious distortions from Sarah Palin, Betsy McCaughey, Rush Limbaugh and other extremist commentators seeking to frighten Americans with their prattle,” Reinhardt observed.
28-August 24, 2009
Hudson Valley BUSINESS JOURNAL
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