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Special Report: Banking/Finance & Wealth Management. Section B.

SportsBiz: Credit Union Classic is a global event. Page 6.









Vol. XXVIII • No. 5






January 31, 2014 • $2.00


The Beeches: Adapting in the second hundred years BY NORMAN POLTENSON JOURNAL STAFF

Necessity is the handmaiden of invention. — author unknown ROME — On Dec. 12, 1901, Guglielmo Marconi received the first radio signal transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean. At the same time, Frank Destito was on board a ship bound from Italy to New York City — final destination: Rome, N.Y. Destito, who was newly married, followed his dream to come to America, the land of opportunity. Four years after his arrival, he brought his young wife, Michelina, and their children to join him. When the cobbler’s daughter arrived in America, she found her Rome house full of boarders, something her husband had forgotten to mention. Michelina cooked breakfast and created original dinner recipes, for which she charged the boarders a dime. In 1908, building on the experience and reputation of the boarding house, the young couple opened the Savoy



Inn & Conference Center


Startup Labs Syracuse finalists make pitches during Demo Day Orrie Destito stands in the banquet hall at the Beeches Inn & Conference Center in Rome. The room seats 800. He and his brothers Frank and Dominick own the Beeches and The Savoy restaurant. The 106-year-old family business is managed by the third generation.



Restaurant in downtown Rome, named after the royal family of Italy. Noted for its 5-cent schooners of beer, it was a success for more than four decades before the family decided to expand the business. In 1949, a newly married son, Pasquale, and his wife visited the estate of Dr. Frank M. Potter, the vice president of General Cable Corp., hoping to buy one of the cottages on the 52-acre property just north of the city. While his wife focused on acquiring a residence, Pasquale saw a business opportunity. Turning to his brothers Orlando and Rosario, the three convinced their mother that the estate could be become a restaurant. The Destito family added The (Paul Revere) Lodge in 1955, renamed the Inn at The Beeches, and a 40,000-square-foot

office building in 1985 that currently houses nine tenants. Over the decades, The Beeches Inn & Conference Center on Turin Road have both been expanded and remodeled several times. The third generation runs the family business today: Orlando (Orrie), Frank, and Dominick. Christopher Destito, a partner in the family business, died on Jan. 21, 2010. From its humble origins as a boarding operation, the Destito family “… now employs up to 140 area residents in-season, and the properties include 225,000 square feet of buildings, which are owned by the Destito Realty Co. [formed in 1989],” says Orrie Destito. “The business … [generates] between $10 [million] and $15 million See THE BEECHES, page 6

SYRACUSE — Three early-stage companies are hoping to capture the top prize in a business competition that seeks to provide a financial boost for the entrepreneurs involved. The young firms on Jan. 28 pitched their business plans during CenterState CEO’s Startup Labs Syracuse Demo Day competition. Demo Day marks the conclusion of a 22day acceleration program, which is part of Startup Labs Syracuse. See DEMO DAY, page 4


Anthony DiMare, founder of Regattable, with his sailboat before the Startup Labs Syracuse Demo Day event.


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CNYBJ BRIEFS News of note for and about Central New York businesses

January 31, 2014

Air Force transfers Griffiss building to Oneida County IDA

El Chico’s Bar & Grill formally reopens in Rome ROME — El Chico’s Bar & Grill, an area restaurant started in the 1940s, has formally reopened in Rome. The Rome Area Chamber of Commerce was set to hold a grand-opening ceremony for El Chico’s Jan. 31 at its 1,800square-foot location at 6611 Martin St. The chamber was to honor new restaurant owners John and Ann Lawson, and general manager Penny Genovese, with the First Dollar of Profit Award during the ribboncutting event. The Uvanni family opened El Chico’s in 1946 and operated it for more than 50 years, before closing several years ago due to family issues, says John Lawson. He says he began the process of buying the building from the Uvanni family estate last May and completed the purchase in October. Lawson says his plan is to continue the restaurant’s tradition of “excellent food, great service and great atmosphere.” The El Chico’s menu includes pizza, chicken wings, burgers, and sandwiches, including its signature M&M sandwich (a cube steak with mozzarella). Since its soft reopening on Dec. 6, many previous patrons have returned to El Chico’s, along with a steady stream of new customers, Lawson notes. El Chico’s is open Monday through Saturday. The restaurant currently employs six people, a mix of full time and part time, plus Lawson, he says.

photo courtesy of griffiss business and technology parl

decisions. Although this A sign marks the entrance to Griffiss Business and milestone is significant, Technology Park in Rome. The Air Force Civil Engineer the Air Force is still re- Center (AFCEC) recently transferred Building 101 at the ROME — The Air Force Civil Engineer sponsible for and looking Griffiss Business and Technology Park to the Oneida Center (AFCEC) recently transferred forward to completing the County Industrial Development Agency (IDA). Building 101 at the Griffiss Business and total cleanup of the former cludes nearly 80 businesses; the Griffiss Technology Park in Rome to the Oneida base,” McDermott said. To date, AFCEC has invested more than International Airport that Oneida County County Industrial Development Agency $170 million in BRAC cleanup actions at the operates; and several agencies of the U.S. (IDA). Building 101 is a hangar and apron area former installation. Another $11.2 million is Department of Defense, including the Air used for aircraft repair and maintenance, the budgeted to complete cleanup, the AFCEC Force Research Laboratory’s Rome Research Site, the Defense Financing and Accounting said. AFCEC said in a news release. The Griffiss Local Development Service, and Eastern Air Defense Sector. The parcel represented the last available The park presently employs about 6,200 piece of federally owned land at the park, the Corporation manages the redevelopment of the former Griffiss AFB, including Building people who work in the aviation, educaformer Griffiss Air Force Base (AFB). tion, manufacturing, office, recreation, and The Air Force is retaining about one- 101. Both the U.S. Environmental Protection technology fields, according to the AFCEC fourth of the building to be used for research Agency and the New York State Department news release. and development, AFCEC said. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, the The transfer to the IDA is a “major step” of Environmental Conservation agreed that in completing the redevelopment of the the property was suitable for reuse prior to Air Force Civil Engineer Center manages the former Griffiss AFB, one of 40 former Griffiss Business and Technology Park, the transfer, the AFCEC said. Although the property transfer is com- Air Force installations. Michael McDermott, Base Realignment and BRAC selected Griffiss for closure and Closure (BRAC) environmental coordinator, plete, the Air Force remains responsible for achieving the environmental cleanup goals, realignment as part of its decisions in 1993, said in the news release. 1995, and 2005. q “Complete ownership of all the non-federal the center added. The Griffiss Business and Technology property allows the community greater flexMackenzie Hughes Ad — CNY Business 7½" wdevelopment x 6 3⁄8"h BW that in- Contact Reinhardt at Park is aJournal: 3,500-acre ibility in the reuse and67804 futureBanking redevelopment By Eric Reinhardt Journal Staff

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January 31, 2014

CNY unemployment rates decline, job growth mixed

Unemployment Rates byRates County, Unemployment by County, New York 2013 State, New York State, December Clinton Franklin

St Lawrence


Jefferson Lewis Hamilton




Niagara Orleans


CNY regional data

The Syracuse metro area generated a net gain of 4,100 total jobs between December 2012 and this past December, an increase of 1.3 percent, according to the state data. The region picked up 3,900 private-sector jobs in the same period, a rise of 1.5 percent. The Ithaca region lost 200 total jobs yearover-year, a decrease of 0.3 percent. Ithaca’s private-sector employers lost 300 jobs between December 2012 and December 2013, a decline of 0.5 percent. In the Utica–Rome metro area, the state




obless rates continue to decline across Central New York, but the region’s job-growth picture remains mixed. Unemployment rates in the Syracuse, Binghamton, Utica–Rome, and Ithaca metro areas fell by an average of more than 1 percentage point when compared to a year ago, according to the latest New York State Department of Labor data released Jan. 28. At the same time, the data indicates a net gain in total jobs in the Syracuse and Utica–Rome regions between late 2012 and late 2013, and year-over-year job losses in the Ithaca and Binghamton regions. The jobless rate in the Syracuse area was 6.5 percent in December, down from 6.6 percent in November, and well below the 8.5 percent posted in December 2012. The rate in the Utica–Rome region was 6.8 percent in December, down from 6.9 percent in November, and sharply lower than the 8.9 percent of a year ago. The unemployment rate in the Binghamton region was 6.9 percent in December, down from 7.1 percent in November and below the 8.8 percent posted a year prior, according to figures from the state Labor Department. The jobless rate in the Ithaca area came in at 4.1 percent in December, down from 4.4 percent in November, and off from the 5.5 percent rate in December 2012, the state Labor Department said. The data isn’t seasonally adjusted, meaning the figures don’t reflect seasonal influences such as holiday hires. The New York counties with the highest unemployment rates in December include Jefferson and Hamilton at 9.1 percent and Lewis at 8.9 percent. Bronx County had the state’s highest jobless rate in December at 10.6 percent. At 4.1 percent, Tompkins County posted the lowest unemployment rate in New York during December, the state Labor Department said. The unemployment rates are calculated following procedures prescribed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the department noted.


December 2013





Fulton Saratoga


Montgomery Schenectady Rensselaer Otsego Albany Cortland Schoharie Chenango Tompkins Schuyler Greene Columbia Tioga Delaware Broome Chemung

Ontario Seneca Wyoming Cayuga Livingston Yates

Chautauqua Cattaraugus Allegany





New percent NewYork YorkState Staterate: rate6.6 = 6.6 percent figures indicate a year-over-year net gain of 1,300 total jobs, or 1 percent. The region also gained 1,600 private-sector jobs, a 1.7 percent increase, in the same 12-month period. The Binghamton area saw a year-overyear net decline of 1,000 total jobs, or a


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County Unemployment adjusted) County UnemploymentRates Rates(not (not seasonally seasonally adjusted) Rate is 9.0 percent or greater  Rate is 9.0 percent or greater Rate is 8.0percent - 8.9 percent  Rate is 8.0-8.9 Rate is 7.0 - 7.9 percent  Rate is 7.0-7.9 percent Rate is 6.0 - 6.9 percent  Rate is 6.0-6.9 percent Rate is less than 6.0 percent  Rate is less than 6.0 percent



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0.9 percent decrease. In the same time Queens period, the region’s private-sector job count remained unchangedKings between December 2012 and this past December. Richmond The state’s private-sector job count is See UNEMPLOYMENT, page 4

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January 31, 2014

MOST announces new board members, officers By Journal Staff

SYRACUSE — The Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) board of trustees and the MOST Foundation board of directors recently named new members and officers of the boards. The MOST board of trustees elected Philip Bousquet, partner at Bousquet Holstein PLLC, as chair. It also elected Edgar Galson, retired from Galson & Galson Consulting Engineers,

and Joseph Lauko, executive vice president of intelligence and information systems at SRC Inc., as vice chairs; Megan Coleman, news content manager at CNY Central media group, as secretary; Bousquet and Patrick Dooher, partner at Fust Charles Chambers LLP, as treasurer.

The MOST Foundation board of directors named two new members: Joseph Hucko, president of Washington Street Partners, and Mary Jo MacKenzie. Additionally, the foundation board elected new officers. Terrance Madden, senior vice president at O’Brien & Gere’s municipal business unit, was selected as chair; Mark Vislosky, CEO of Fiscal Advisors & Marketing, Inc., as vice chair; George McGuire, partner at Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC as secretary; and Patrick

Dooher as treasurer. “We are pleased to welcome new members to our boards, and have current members take on key leadership roles,” MOST President Larry Leatherman, said in a news release. A complete list of board members can be found at q Contact The Business Journal at

DEMO DAY: The finalists outlined their companies and products during an hour-long presentation Continued from page 1

CenterState CEO will announce the winner of Startup Labs Syracuse during its annual meeting on April 14. The winner receives a cash prize of $150,000 and a Market Ready Award from Eric Mower + Associates for a suite of marketing and branding services valued at $50,000. Startup Labs Syracuse is the region’s largest business competition with $260,000 awarded over the course of the competition, CenterState CEO said. CenterState CEO, lead sponsor National Grid, and 11 additional private sponsors are investing $260,000 in cash and prizes. The finalists — including Centscere, Crowsnest Labs, and Regattable — outlined their companies and products during an hour-long presentation at Eric Mower + Associates (EMA) at 211 W. Jefferson St. in Armory Square. EMA is Central New York’s largest advertising agency. This is the second year that Syracuse has hosted the Startup Labs business competition, Seth Mulligan, vice president for in-

The finalists

novation services at CenterState CEO, said in his remarks. “It allows us to focus on creating sustained, entrepreneurial businesses, as well as enhancing the mentor network and support network around them,” Mulligan said. The Startup Labs evolved from CenterState CEO’s emerging-business plan competition. More than 60 startup firms applied for consideration. CenterState CEO selected 20 semifinalists following their “live” pitches and selected the three finalists from that group for the 22-day program, Mulligan said. Each team earned a $20,000 investment for reaching the final round, CenterState CEO said. Representatives from each of the finalists talked about their companies and products for about 10 minutes during the Jan. 28 session.

Centscere, LLC, a company that includes several recent graduates of Syracuse University (SU), is creating a micro-donation platform that harnesses the power of everyday social-media activity to accumulate contributions to charities and causes. Crowsnest Labs of Syracuse is producing a software and hardware platform for harnessing IP-based cameras for things as fun as personal and pet blogs, to applications in building security and advertising analytics. Regattable, which is currently located at the Syracuse Tech Garden, is developing a 16-foot foldable catamaran sailboat that fits into two large suitcases for ultimate portability, making sailing more accessible. Each finalist becomes part of a global Startup Labs’ network and can connect with other companies, investors, and mentors from any of its international programs. Syracuse is the first and only U.S. city to host Startup Labs. The program is hosted worldwide in countries that include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Phillippines,

Turkey, Taiwan, Uruguay, and Vietnam, according to CenterState CEO.

About Startup Labs

Startup Labs is a global, seed-stage investment fund aiming to “disrupt the startup scene” by reinventing the traditional investment process and helping companies launch in various countries, according to its website. Startup Labs focuses mainly on emerging markets and co-invests with the top local investors in respective markets while operating post-investment boot camps with top mentors, the website says. Startup Labs is designed to prepare entrepreneurs to meet the challenges of growing their emerging business, Clint Nelsen, managing director of Startup Labs, said in the CenterState CEO news release. “The talent pool in CenterState New York is a valuable part of our growing worldwide network, and we look forward to continuing our work with this year’s finalists,” Nelsen said. q Contact Reinhardt at

UNEMPLOYMENT: The Empire State’s economy added 10,400 private-sector jobs in December Continued from page 3

based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers that the U.S. Department of Labor conducts, the state Labor Department said. The federal government calculates New York’s unemployment rate partly based upon the results of a monthly telephone survey of 3,100 state households that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts.

Statewide unemployment

New York’s unemployment rate declined

to 7.1 percent in December, from 7.4 percent in November, hitting its lowest level since January 2009. That’s according to preliminary figures the New York State Department of Labor released Jan. 23. The Empire State’s economy added 10,400 private-sector jobs in December, raising New York’s private-sector job count to more than 7.5 million, representing an “all-time high,” the department said. The preliminary December unemployment rate of 7.1 percent for New York

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is down from the 8.2 percent rate in December 2012, according to the state Labor Department data. In areas of the state outside of New York City, which includes all of Upstate and Long Island, the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in December, down from 7.8 percent in December 2012, according to the department’s data. Educational and health services added the most jobs statewide, more than 52,000, over the last year. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector was the sec-

ond biggest jobs producer, adding nearly 36,000 positions, according to the state Labor Department. The leisure and hospitality sector was third on the list, adding more than 14,000 jobs. The professional and business-services sector followed, picking up more than 11,000 jobs. The government sector led the way in job losses in December, declining by more than 13,000, in the last year. q Contact Reinhardt at

The Central New York Business Journal • 5

January 31, 2014

Federal Reserve statement on latest monetary policy decision


he Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued the following statement on Jan. 29, revealing the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest decision on U.S. monetary policy. The committee decided to reduce its monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion. The full statement reads as follows: “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December indicates that growth in economic activity picked up in recent quarters. Labor market indicators were mixed but on balance showed further improvement. The unemployment rate declined but remains elevated. Household spending and business fixed investment advanced more quickly in recent months, while the recovery in the housing sector slowed somewhat. Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth, although the extent of restraint is diminishing. Inflation has been running below the Committee’s longer-run objective, but longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable. Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate. The Committee sees the risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as having become more nearly balanced. The Committee recognizes that inflation persistently below its 2 percent objective could pose risks to economic performance, and it is monitoring inflation developments carefully for evidence that inflation will move back toward its objective over the medium term. Taking into account the extent of federal fiscal retrenchment since the inception of its current asset purchase program, the Committee continues to see the improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions over that period as consistent with growing underlying strength in the broader economy. In light of the cumulative progress toward maximum employment and the improvement in the outlook for labor market conditions, the Committee decided to make a further measured reduction in the pace of its asset purchases.

Beginning in February, the Committee will add to its holdings of agency mortgagebacked securities at a pace of $30 billion per month rather than $35 billion per month, and will add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $35 billion per month rather than $40 billion per month. The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. The Committee’s sizable and still-increasing holdings of longer-term securities should maintain downward pressure on longerterm interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative, which in turn should promote a stronger economic recovery and help to ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with the Committee’s dual mandate. The Committee will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments in coming months and will continue its purchases of Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate, until the outlook for the labor market has improved substantially in a context of price stability. If incoming information broadly supports the Committee’s expectation of ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and inflation moving back toward its longer-run objective, the Committee will likely reduce the pace of asset purchases in further measured steps at future meetings. However, asset purchases are not on a preset course, and the Committee’s decisions about their pace will remain contingent on the Committee’s outlook for the labor market and inflation as well as its assessment of the likely efficacy and costs of such purchases. To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends and the economic recovery strengthens. The Committee also reaffirmed its expectation that the current exceptionally low target range for the federal funds rate of 0 to 1/4 percent


will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6-1/2 percent, inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and longer-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored. In determining how long to maintain a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy, the Committee will also consider other information, including additional measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on

financial developments. The Committee continues to anticipate, based on its assessment of these factors, that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6-1/2 percent, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal. When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.” 

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6 • The Central New York Business Journal

January 31, 2014

THE BEECHES: Also adapting to industry changes that have boosted competition in 2010, once we had acquired a state liquor license, we created CD Food & Beverage Co. to provide alcohol to casino customers at Turning Stone.�

Continued from page 1

[annually] ‌ Our facilities include 70 guest rooms and seven, extended-stay suites plus three restaurants. Our banquet facility has 10 rooms and the capacity to seat 800 at one sitting. For decades, we grew with the community. Today, our challenge is that the city is only half the size it was in the 1950s and the populace is less affluent. (The Rome census of 2012 counted 32,840 residents.) When we built the Inn in 1955, Rome had a lot of industry: Pettibone, General Cable, and Griffiss Air Force Base. The population shift has forced us to reach outside Rome [for business] and to diversify. We now draw weddings and conferences from up to 100 miles away and catering has become a growing part of our business.â€? The Beeches is also adapting to industry changes that have boosted competition. “The hospitality industry has really changed,â€? says Destito. “There is a lot more competition from the fast-food and casualdining industry. We also need to change the fact that The Beeches is a nine-month operation. The challenge is to attract more activity in the winter months. [Historically], the secret to our success has always been our ability to adapt and to come up with fresh ideas. We look upon hardships as just another challenge. Our parents taught us that complaining about a problem doesn’t ‌ [fix] it. We need to constantly look for new trends and opportunities. For example,

Embracing change

The Destitos have long been known for their creativity and for seeing opportunities. “Uncle Pat (Pasquale) was the Cecile B. DeMille of Rome,â€? asserts Orrie Destito. “We used to have toga parties at The Beeches, including chariot races on the grounds. He always had a creative spark to attract area residents to our facilities.â€? But creativity is not the only marketing strategy employed by the family. “We are refocusing on attracting more bus tours, something we ‌ [initiated] in 1978. Also, the New York State snowmobile trail goes through our property. We are reaching out to groups from Rochester and Buffalo to join us at the Beeches for a three-day, snowmobile package. In addition, we are working with the new owners at the Snow Ridge Ski Resort in Turin to attract some of the downhill and cross-country skiers, tubers, and snowboarders to stay with us.â€? The Destitos have also brought Jay Huggins in to beef up the marketing. Huggins, a native of Lee, Mass., came to Rome decades ago to work as the general manager of the local Friendly’s restaurant. He also managed Carmella’s CafĂŠ in New Hartford before opening Teddy’s, a very popular, local, family restaurant, in Rome


in 1990. Huggins sold Teddy’s in 2005, and joined The Savoy on E. Dominick Street in 2009 as the general manager, before moving to The Beeches nine months ago. “Jay has some great ideas,â€? Destito enthuses. “This is the year of big changes, from retooling the menus to [instituting] efficiencies. Jay’s job is to generate more business, to be aggressive in marketing. This means using a variety of promotional ‌ [techniques], including social media to get the word out.â€? (The Beeches currently has more than 1,750 Facebook followers and relies heavily on Pinterest for promoting weddings.) “Orrie has already mentioned our growing catering business,â€? says Huggins. “One of the trends ‌ [propelling] our growth is barn weddings. To many, a barn is a magical setting for a wedding. You may ‌ [instinctively] think of cows, dirt, paper plates, and hay, but a number of couples think a barn is eco-friendly, [chic], and budget-friendly. Area residents have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing up their barns to be attractive venues. It’s really a hot trend, and for us, it has been a real boost to our catering operation.â€? Orrie Destito, a native of Rome, received his associate degree in mechanical-engineering technology from SUNY Canton and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern Colorado (now called Colorado State University–Pueblo). Wishing to obtain a master’s degree, he instead returned home

because his dad was ill. He joined the family business in 1978. In additional to relying on its staff, The Beeches and The Savoy also utilize area professional services. “We have banked with NBT for years,� says Destito. “For legal services, we turn to the Getty Law Firm [in Rome] and Bond, Schoeneck & King [PLLC]. Our accounting is handled by D’Arcangelo [& Co., LLP].� The Destitos are in their second century as restaurateurs. “We have seen the good times and the bad times, lifestyle changes, and the ups and down of the economy,� notes Orrie Destito.� But one thing hasn’t changed over the years — our customers’ loyalty. Our parents taught us to follow one basic lesson: Just take care of your customers and that path will lead to your success. But they taught us another lesson — the importance of family.� Every Sunday, the Destito clan gathers at the Savoy for brunch. “We often have 40 members of the family join together for Aunt Yolanda’s chicken cacciatore, Aunt Fannie’s fettucine, Uncle Pat’s zuppa di pesce, and Uncle Orrie’s baked ziti and sausage. It’s the glue that holds the family together.� The Destitos’ story is an American story. They have lived the American dream here in the land of opportunity. It may not be long before the fourth generation joins the family tradition. q Contact Poltenson at

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January 31, 2014


Credit Union Classic is a truly global event Riding High BY ERIC REINHARDT

Syracuse Orange men’s basketball standing in the polls this season (2013-14)


DeWITT — The 2014 Credit Union Classic, a Symetra (formerly Futures) Tour “Road to the LPGA” event, will attract 144 U.S. and international women golfers to Drumlins Country Club in DeWitt this summer. Organizers announced details on Jan. 10 at Drumlins. “You’ll see around the putting green ... 35 different flags from different countries. It’s a worldwide tour,” Bill Motto, director of the Credit Union Classic, said in his remarks at the Jan. 10 announcement. The golf tournament, scheduled for the week of July 28 through Aug. 3, has an annual economic impact of more than $350,000, Motto said. The Credit Union Classic, the third longest running event on the Symetra tour, is the largest professional sporting event in Syracuse, he added. “Last year, we had 60 companies involved in different aspects of the event, which is so important for us,” Motto said. Syracuse–based Empower Federal Credit Union, Rochester–based Summit Federal Credit Union (FCU), and Albany–based SEFCU are partnering with Wegmans, a Rochester–based grocery store chain, as the presenting sponsors for the third consecutive year. The Symetra Financial Corp., a financial-services firm headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., serves as the naming sponsor on the tour. The tournament is scheduled a week later this year, Mike Vadala, Summit FCU president and tournament chairman, said in his remarks. “That’s just to accommodate the entire schedule for the Northeast swing [of the futures tour], which traditionally has gone through New Hampshire, Albany, then over here to Syracuse before the girls finally get a week off,” Vadala said. The participants, Vadala notes, are competing for status on the LPGA tour. “It really makes this event special,” he adds. About 100 of the golfers coming to Syracuse will stay with host families for the week of the tournament, Motto said.


Juliana Murcia Ortiz lines up a putt at a previous Credit Union Classic event. The 2014 Credit Union Classic, a Symetra (formerly Futures) Tour “Road to the LPGA” event, will attract 144 U.S. and international women golfers to Drumlins Country Club in DeWitt this summer. Organizers are looking for additional volunteers to host the golfers and will conduct a screening process for those interested, he added. “There’s a need for that, and the people that have stepped forward, I think, have gotten a lot out of this event, too,” Motto said. Calle Nielson, a 2011 graduate of the University of Virginia and a thirdyear pro on the Symetra Tour, called Syracuse one of her “favorite stops” on the tour. Nielson spoke at the Jan. 10 announcement. She didn’t name the person she stays with during that week but says she has remained in touch with the individual. “And that’s life on the tour. This tour is taking me to where I want to be, hopefully, one day,” Nielson said. Participating in the Symetra Tour requires “a lot of traveling,” Catherine O’Donnell, a second-year pro on the tour, said in her remarks. “It took me a while to get used to ... You have to plan each week, and once I figured that out, it was good,” she said. O’Donnell is a graduate of the

University of North Carolina. The organization, The First Tee of Syracuse, which operates at Drumlins, is the Credit Union Classic’s primary beneficiary. Founded in 2007, The First Tee aims “to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf,” according to the organization’s website. The First Tee isn’t just a golf program and a golf camp, Peter Webber, executive director of the First Tee of Syracuse, said in his remarks. “We have 330 kids [between ages 7 and 17]. We’re about 60 percent minority. We’re also 40 percent girls,” Webber said. The tournament has raised nearly $500,000 for charities since its inception, organizers said. The 2013 Credit Union Classic was won by Olivia Jordan-Higgins of the United Kingdom.  Contact Reinhardt at



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8 • The Central New York Business Journal


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Volume 28, No. 5 - January 31, 2014 NEWS Editor-in-Chief........................Adam Rombel Associate Editor.............Maria J. Carbonaro Staff Writers.............................. Eric Reinhardt ....................................................Norm Poltenson Contributing Writers................Traci DeLore Mei Wang Columnists........................Gerald J. Archibald Tom Morgan Production Manager.......................Erin Zehr Research Manager.................. Nicole Collins SALES Sr. Account Manager.......Mary LaMacchia Account Manager................... Daniel Buddie Jeffrey Sydney Marketing .......................BBB Marketing Inc.

January 31, 2014


Pre-K is a failure, so let’s make it universal

  ur Democratic officials are all   reading from the same hymnal. Another State of the Union address; another call for the federal funding of universal pre-kindergarten. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has chimed in with his call for phasing in pre-k. The mayor of Syracuse has added her voice, and the Big Apple’s new mayor rode to victory on the need to immediately implement pre-k. They tell us that pre-k will level the playing field for lowincome children so that they can catch up to middle-class kids by from the the time they reach publisher kindergarten. Early intervention will mitigate some of the disadvantages of poverty. Surely, the collective call for universal pre-k is based on its success. After all, we have had the Head Start program since 1965, which currently covers 900,000 children for an annual cost of more than $7 bil-

norman poltenson

lion, or $8,000 per child. President Obama wants to double the federal expenditure and encourage the states to join him in making pre-k universal. The most comprehensive study of Head Start, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, followed 4,667 3- and 4-year-olds in a national sample covering 23 states. The study examined cognitive development, social-emotional development, health status and access to health, and parenting practices. While the children showed positive development in the program, the improvements did not carry into kindergarten or elementary grades. The only significant positive effect was an improvement in children’s attention as reported by the parents. Unfortunately, independent assessors and teachers saw no improvement. Defenders of Head Start contend that the curriculum and teacher education need to be improved to produce a high-quality program. Independent studies by Peter Bernardy and a team from the University of North Carolina headed by Diane Early find very low correlations between curriculum quality and teacher education and cognitive and social-emotional outcomes in

pre-school programs. Any rational person running a cost-benefit ratio of the program would conclude it was ineffective and a waste of hundreds of billions of dollars. Based on this, one would either abandon the program or reconfigure it to produce the desired results. I wonder whether the promoters of universal pre-k ever considered a national demonstration program to prove that pre-school for everyone actually works? Which leads me to conclude that politics is not necessarily a rational business. Too many politicians are measured by their inputs, not their outcomes. The all-toocommon answer to solving problems is to express your concern verbally and then spend money. Otherwise, how do you explain doubling down on a failed program? Pre-k has now attained the status of motherhood and apple pie. It cannot be questioned by mere reason. Whatever America does to cancel our inequality is worth the effort and cost. Excelsior! q Norman Poltenson is publisher of The Central New York Business Journal. Contact him at

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  ave you ever wondered why Big   Apple mayors rarely move up to   other offices? We have seen why in the past few weeks. Think about it. How many mayors of New York City have become governor of the state? How many have gone onto Congress, as senators for instance? How many have become president of the country? Diddly-squat. That is how many. And why is that? You might expect them to easily climb the political ladders of this state and country. After all, runmoney ning a city the size of talk New York demands a lot of executive ability. And tons of political savvy. The mayor is responsible for a $75 billion budget. And many thousands of employees. And thorny negotiations galore. Great preparations for higher office. So why do most of them drop off the political cliff when they leave office? I think we see why with the crowning of the new mayor. Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced he wants to whack the city’s biggest earners with a half-billion dollars in new taxes. I’m

tom morgan

your new mayor, watch your pockets. At first, he said the new tax grab was to find bucks to fund pre-k classes. (What better way to reward the teachers’ unions?) Then the governor said you don’t need to raise taxes. The state would pay for Pre-k. Even so, the mayor still wants to raise taxes on the 1 percent. Just to show them who’s boss. Gov. Cuomo is trying to thwart the mayor. Give him credit. He realizes there is life outside the city. He senses the rest of the state may not be too crazy about whacking the rich with more taxes. After all, we are about the heaviest-taxed state. And we keep losing rich people. They flee to Florida and other no-tax or low-tax states. When they leave, the state loses the tax dollars they used to pay to Albany. The rest of us have to make up the difference. I wrote about how the state legislature got too greedy. When it raised taxes on the likes of Rochester billionaire Tom Golisano, he fled to Florida. The state misses out on $16,000 per day he was paying in taxes. Take that, Golisano. We sure taught you a lesson for making a lot of money. Back to the Big Apple. It has been losing rich people. Now the mayor makes a big show of going after those who remain. The more he taxes them, the more will leave. Hmmm. I don’t believe the people of Jamestown or Buffalo or Utica or Binghamton want to gouge their big earners. In that respect,

they think differently than too many residents of New York City. My point? The city is not like another state. It is like another country. So many of its residents don’t know Poughkeepsie from Watertown from Elmira. The upstate wilderness to them is Westchester County. Their knowledge of the state is limited to where the subways and taxis run. They figure the U.S. has, maybe, 10 other states. There’s Boston, Philly, D.C., and a few more. A city politician run for state or national office? How about the Prime Minister of Botswana run. At least he probably knows where Syracuse is located. The jousting that is going on between the governor and the new mayor boils down to this. The governor is saying to the mayor, “We have to consider the cities and towns and taxpayers and economies of the rest of the state.” And the mayor is saying to the governor, “What do you mean state? You talkin’ about Jersey?” Some pundits suggest there will be a showdown in Albany. I doubt it. De Blasio doesn’t know where it is. From in Morgan. q Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and TV show. For more information about him, visit his website at

The Central New York Business Journal • 9

January 31, 2014

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: new hires & promotions accounting Jessica L. Page has joined Firley, Moran, Freer & Eassa, CPA, P.C. as a manager in the tax department. She has six years of public accounting experience through positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Grant Thornton. Page also has three years of private-sector experience at NBT Bank, her most recent position. She has focused much of her career on pass-through entity taxation in the financial-ser vices sector and brings additional experience Page ranging from individual to corporate planning and compliance. Page is a CPA, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, and received her master’s degree from Northeastern University. The Bonadio Group has hired Nichole Toor as an assistant accountant for the government compliance and labor team. She received an MBA in accounting from Alfred University. Benjamin Culver has been hired as an assistant accountant for the commercial team. He received an MBA in accounting from SUNY Oswego. Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs, LLC recently hired Jennifer Lawson as an associate in the Auburn office. She joins the firm with four years experience in public accounting and one Lawson year of experience in private accounting. Lawson received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology and is a Quickbooks ProAdvisor. She will be working as an associate in the audit and tax departments.

advertising agencies MPW Marketing has added Allison Liesch and Adam Lawless to its team. Liesch joins the firm as a project assistant, having recently received a marketing degree from Hofstra University. Liesch She brings experience as a marketing intern at a New York City brand marketing firm. Lawless comes to MPW Marketing with much experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. He has marketing-manLawless agement experience as the community engagement and marketing manager at United Way in Utica. A Central New York native, Lawless is a graduate of Utica College, where he earned dual degrees in public relations and journalism.

automotive Enterprise Rent-ACar has promoted Krishna Hill to senior remarketing account manager. She is responsible for remarketing sales in the Syracuse, Watertown, Potsdam, Massena, and Ogdensburg areas.


banking & finance Sharon Marziale has joined Pathfinder Bank as a retail products specialist. She has more than 30 years residential mortgage lending experience in the areas of loan origination and Marziale operations. Marziale’s career began as a loan officer at Empabanque Capital Corp. She later took a position at Chase Manhattan as assistant sales manager/trainer followed by HSBC as a mortgage sales manager covering Binghamton, Utica, Syracuse, and the North Country. Most recently, Marziale worked as a mortgage executive for AmeriCU. She is a graduate of Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in business management and a minor in finance and marketing.

chambers of commerce Gwen Kania is the new president and CEO of the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce, effective Jan. 22. She has been with the chamber since 2008 and has served as the director of operKania ations since 2009. She succeeds Martha C. Sauerbrey, who served as Tioga County Chamber president and CEO since 1999. Sauerbrey stepped down to work full time as chair of the Tioga County Legislature. Kania has a bachelor’s degree in food science from Cornell University and an associate degree in business-information management from Broome Community College. She has been a program facilitator for Leadership Tioga since 2011 and previously held positions as a teacher at Union–Endicott Central School District and as a food technologist at Grand Union and Kraft Foods.

construction Beaver Mountain Log & Cedar Homes, Deposit, announced that Francie Cook has joined the company as regional sales manager for Central & Western New York. With more than 30 years in the building industry, she has been directly involved in the designing and building of hundreds of Premium Log & Timber Homes throughout the Northeast. Cook started her career after graduating

from SUNY Delhi at Beaver Mountain as a design consultant for 10 years. She went on to become a licensed NYS Realtor and also served as a director for the Broome County Board of Realtors from 2009Cook 2013. Whelan & Curry Construction Services, Inc. has added Debra Alibrandi to the firm. She has joined as an administrative assistant/bookkeeper. Alibrandi has more than 22 years experience in accounting, contracts, and administration within the construction industry.

education & Training Lynda Hanrahan recently joined the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University as a health plan navigator for the School’s South Side Innovation Center (SSIC) to provide asHanrahan sistance to individuals, families, sole proprietors, and small businesses with enrollment in the NY State of Health Insurance Exchange. Hanrahan is the only health plan navigator working for Syracuse University, and is among the handful of navigators working for HealtheConnections, the organization sponsoring SU’s grant for the position.She brings to the SSIC extensive experience in business, nonprofits, health care, and academia coordinating learning resources and consulting for strategic planning and research. Most recently, Hanrahan was a research associate for St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. She holds an EdD in instructional design, development & evaluation and a master’s degree (TRF) from Syracuse University, a master’s degree in human service studies from Cornell University, and a bachelor’s degree in health education from SUNY Cortland.

Birdsall as project quality & service and business development manager effective Jan. 27. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business & management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Birdsall Troy and will operate out of the Baldwinsville sales office. Birdsall has extensive HVAC industry experience in project management and installation of commercial, industrial, and institutional ducted distributed air systems. Prior to joining Clark, he owned and operated a successful contracting business and worked with an HVAC contractor in Metropolitan NY on nuclear projects as well as with high end commercial renovations.

financial services Brian Conboy, a financial representative with the Syracuse office of the Northwestern Mutual, has been appointed a field director. Since 2010, he has been associated with Northwestern Mutual. Conboy attended Siena College near Albany.


health care


Oneida Healthcare has appointed Mary Parry to vice president for operations. She replaces Paul Scopac, who retired on Jan. 3. Parry earned her bachelor’s degree in health services management and Parry an MBA in technology management from SUNYIT in Marcy. Parry also holds an associate degree in respiratory therapy from Onondaga Community College and has 22 years experience in cardiopulmonary leadership. She served as clinical coordinator of respiratory care at Rome Memorial Hospital before joining Oneida Healthcare in 1998. Valley Health Services (VHS) in Herkimer recently hired Ashley Lundquist as its cardiac rehabilitation nurse. She received a bachelor’s degree from SUNYIT in psychology during 2008 and a bachelor’s degree in nursing during 2012. Prior to joining VHS, Lundquist worked on a Lundquist cardiothoracic progressive care unit. Paul Abbass has been named chief of medical physics for The Regional Cancer Center of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH), as well as radiation safety officer for the Faxton Campus. He received a bachelor’s degree in fitness and cardiac rehabilitation from Ithaca College and a second bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy from

Clark Air Systems, Inc. has hired William

Continued on page 11

engineering Ryan-Biggs Associates, P.C., a consulting firm specializing in structural engineering in Skaneateles Falls, has promoted Christopher N. Latreille to principal associate. With the firm since 2001, he manages many of the firm’s structural design projects in the educational and healthcare markets. Latreille earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Latreille He is currently designing the Smart Energy Research and Development Facility on the Binghamton University campus. Latreille holds professional engineering licenses in New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

10 • The Central New York Business Journal

January 31, 2014

Business Calendar


FEBRUARY 4 n The Making of Internet Entrepreneurs: A conversation with Alexis Ohanian and Wiley Cerilli from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center. Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, and Wiley Cerilli, a Syracuse University alumnus and founder of startup Single Platform, will speak about Internet entrepreneurship at this event hosted by the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Reception to follow. No cost to attend. RSVP at: http:// n Binghamton University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program Information Session from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in room 201 at the University Downtown Center, 67 Washington St., Binghamton. This session is free and open to the public. For questions or more information, contact Joann Lindstrom at jlindstr@ or (607) 777-9178. To learn more about Binghamton University’s Master of Public Administration program, visit https:// n Grow Your Business 2014! Class from 7:30 a.m. to noon at CXtec, 5404 South Bay Road, N. Syracuse. The cost is $49 for CNYSME members / $59 for nonmembers. For details or to register, email: or call (315) 876-1868.

FEBRUARY 5 n International Distributor Agreements, a CenterState CEO event, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Syracuse University, Whitman School of Management, Rm. 402, 721 University Ave., Syracuse. This CNYIBA session will help you understand key elements of an international distribution agreement and ensure you are equipped to avoid costly and lengthy issues. The presenter will be Philip Frankel of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC. Registration is required. For more information, visit www.CenterStateCEO. com. For general inquiries, email:

FEBRUARY 6 n Tioga County Annual Chamber Dinner & Silent Auction at the Owego Treadway Inn. This year marks the 85th anniversary of the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce. For more information, email:

FEBRUARY 7 n CNY ASTD Breakfast Club from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Gem Diner, 832 Spencer St., Syracuse. The topic will be “Learning Technologies.” For further information, call (315) 546-2783 or email:


n CNY BEST Information Session from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at MACNY, 5788 Widewaters Parkway, DeWitt. This session is about the CNY ASTD CNY BEST Learning and Performance Program and the awards application process. Call (315) 546-2783 or email:

FEBRUARY 20 n SolidWorks Hands-On Test Drive for Engineers, Drafters, and Designers from 9 a.m. to noon at CADimensions, 6310 Fly Road, DeWitt. SolidWorks 3D modeling software offers advanced innovations available to help engineers and designers. This is a free event. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, email: or call (315) 434-9787.

FEBRUARY 25 n CNY BEST Information Session from 5 to 6 p.m. at MACNY, 5788 Widewaters Parkway, DeWitt. This session is about the CNY ASTD CNY BEST Learning and Performance Program and the awards application process. Call (315) 546-2783 or email:

March 7 n CNY BEST Information Session regarding the CNY BEST Learning and Performance Program and the awardsapplication process from noon to 1 p.m. at MACNY, 5788 Widewaters Parkway, DeWitt. Call (315) 546-2783 or email: n CNY ASTD Breakfast Club from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Gem Diner, 832 Spencer St., Syracuse. This is an informal group for discussions on areas of expertise in learning and development roles. Topic: Change Management. Call (315) 5462783 or email:

March 10 & 11 n Certified ScrumMaster Workshop at University College, 700 University Ave. Syracuse University’s TEDCenter, in partnership with PMI Institute’s Syracuse Chapter, is offering this two-day workshop. Scrum is an innovative approach to getting work done through collaborative teamwork. Kate Chajka, an engineer at Lockheed Martin, is a certified ScrumMaster. Participants who complete the workshop will be prepared to take the Scrum Alliance examination to become a certified ScrumMaster. For more information or to register for the workshop, contact SU’s TEDCenter at (315) 443-5241, email:, or visit

APRIL 2 n F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse event honoring Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation as the

2014 F.O.C.U.S Wisdom Keeper from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter. The cost is $100 per person/ $150 for patron ticket. Contact Jennifer Creighton at or call (315) 448-8732 with any questions.

ONGOING EVENTS n Every Tuesday, Cayuga Club Toastmasters from 6 to 7 p.m. at Cornell University, Ithaca, Rhodes Hall, 6th Floor, Conference Room #655. Free and easy parking is available nearby at Peterson Lot. For more information, contact Julia Reich, (315) 364-7190 or email: n Every Tuesday, Gung Ho Referral Group from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, 3220 Erie Blvd., DeWitt. The cost is $10 and includes lunch. For more information, contact Paul Ellis (315) 475-0392 or email: Paul. or go to n Every Tuesday, Syracuse Business Connections from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Hummel’s Office Plus, 6731 Old Collamer Road, DeWitt. The group meets to network and exchange referrals. For more information, email: Deb Angarano at n Every Wednesday, Small Business Development Center at OCC from 4 to 6 p.m., Introduction to Business Startup at H-1 Hall. Please call 4986070 or visit n Every Wednesday, Syracuse Business Networking from 6 to 7 p.m. at Barbieri’s Restaurant (upstairs level) located on Main Street in the village of North Syracuse. For more information, call Kim Bachstein at (315) 414-8223 or email: info@ n First Wednesday of each month, Business Innovation Days meetings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Tech Garden, 235 Harrison St., Syracuse. Entrepreneurs and small businesses can meet one-onone with a counselor from the SBDC for advice and customized assistance opportunities. Scheduled by appointment, call (315) 474-0910 or email: info@ n First and Third Wednesday of each month, Preferred Toastmasters from noon to 1 p.m. at Golden Artist Colors, 188 Bell Road, New Berlin. Contact Jonie Bassett at (607) 847-6154, x1217. n Fourth Wednesday of each month, Preferred Toastmasters from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Chenango County Council of the Arts, 27 W. Main St., Norwich. Contact Jonie Bassett at (607) 847-6154, x1217. n Every Thursday, Empire

Statesmen Toastmasters meet at 6:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday on Erie Boulevard in DeWitt. For more information, visit or email: contact-1427@ n Every Thursday, Free Business Counseling with SCORE from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce, 80 North Ave., Owego. Contact the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce to make an appointment at (607) 687-2020. n Every Thursday, Liverpool Linguists from 7 to 8 p.m. First Thursday of every month at Liverpool Public Library and the remaining Thursdays at Liverpool First Methodist Church, 604 Oswego Road, Liverpool. For details, visit or call (315) 8842668 or 457-2581. n Every second and fourth Thursday of the month, The North Star Toastmasters from noon to 1 p.m. at C&S Companies, 499 Col. Eileen Collins Blvd., near Hancock Airport. For more information, contact Sandy Jurkiewicz at or call (315) 470-1802. n Third Thursday of each month, CNY ASTD Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m. at Coleman’s, 100 S. Lowell St., Syracuse. Informal networking for learning and development professionals. For more information, call (315) 546-2783 or email: n Every Friday, 40 Above: Workers in Transition from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the library in North Syracuse (NOPL) at 100 Trolleybarn Lane, North Syracuse. Helping workers/job seekers aged 40 and above in search of work. Contact John A. Cruty at (315) 5693964, or at n Every Friday, Tip Club of Syracuse, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel, 801 University Ave., Syracuse, 8 to 9 a.m. Call Bernie Bregman at (315) 472-3903 or email: n First Friday of each month, Toolkit Day with SCORE by appointment at The Tech Garden. Counselors provide free, confidential, individual business mentoring to prospective or current business owners. For more information or to make an appointment, contact Lynn Hughes at (315) 579-2862 or email Lynn@ n Every second and fourth Friday of each month, The SUN Group (Sustainable Upstate Network) meets from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Tony’s Family Restaurant, 3004 Burnet Ave., Syracuse. For more information, contact Andy Picco at (315) 657-0135 or email: n CNY Connects is a networking organization offering 12 groups from which to choose. If you are interested in learning more, contact Amy Kaschel of AK Consulting at or call (315) 882-6127 or visit To have your meetings or events in the Business Calendar, email them to

The Central New York Business Journal • 11

January 31, 2014


SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. Abbass earned his master’s degree in medical physics from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and earned board certification as a therapeutic medical Abbass physicist through the American Board of Radiology. He is also a board-certified radiation therapist and medical dosimetrist. Prior to his promotion, Abbass worked for six years as a staff physicist at The Regional Cancer Center. Abbass is also an adjunct professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University, teaching junior and senior level radiation physics courses.

INSURANCE The Reagan Companies, an insurance and risk management firm in Marcellus, has appointed Brian P. Genalo its sales director. He has a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Plattsburgh and an MBA from Syracuse University.

MANUFACTURING Thermopatch Corp. has appointed Gregory C. Garcia to the position of engineering manager. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. Garcia also completed Garcia several GE advanced engineering courses and maintains a professional affiliation with the Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers.




in the firm’s tax department, providing accounting services to a variety of clients. Luce brings eight years of accounting experience to the position and specializes in serving the real estate and conLuce struction industries. He is a CPA and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Le Moyne College.


Coughlin & Gerhart L.L.P announced that Kristen K. Luce and Robert H. McKertich have became partners in the firm. Luce joined Coughlin & Gerhart in 2007. McKertich joined the firm in 2009. He has a background in courtroom litigation and is experienced in practicing before federal, state, and local administrative agencies. Testone, Marshall & Discenza, LLP recently announced Joshua Luce has joined the firm’s Syracuse team. He is a manager

NONPROFITS Tracy Marino recently joined the Central New York chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a logistics specialist responsible for supporting the CNY chapter volunteers and staff. Marino She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has worked for more than 10 years in the hospitality industry. Nikki Bomasuto has joined the Central New York chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as Bomasuto the development director. She is a graduate of St. Bonaventure with a master’s degree in education and has worked in higher education and for local not-for-profits.

CNYBJ CANVASS Here are the results of the latest poll on

What’s your view on how business conditions will be this year, compared to last year? 2014 will be:

9% Worse

40% Better


 Visit to answer this week’s poll: How often do you visit a branch office of your bank or credit union?

The same

This survey is not a scientific sampling, but offers a quick view of what readers are thinking.

OFFICE TECHNOLOGY Usherwood Office Technology has named Jennifer Elia as director of human resources. She brings experience in both human resources and business-to-business sales. Previous human-resource specializations include general HR functions, with a focus on recruitment and emElia ployee relations. Elia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Saint Rose with a minor in business, and is a current part-time MBA candidate at SUNY Oswego. Prior to joining Usherwood, Moore she worked for Anoplate Corporation in Syracuse focusing on human resources and recruiting. Brittany Moore has been named director of inside sales at Usherwood. She holds a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in studio art and photography with a minor in business management form Cazenovia College. Prior to joining Usherwood, Moore held positions at

Rapid Response as a technical coordinator and an inside sales specialist, before moving into a senior account executive role.

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12 • The Central New York Business Journal

January 31, 2014


nonprofit A W A R D S




Hono re

e: Cat




Honor that special someone/organization who deserves this recognition!


TODAY! Nomination deadline:


2013 Community Impact Award Honoree: Food Bank of CNY

Event Date:

March 25, 2014 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM The Oncenter

2013 Youth Spotlight Honoree

Contact Joyl Clance at (315) 579-3917 or for more information.

Nonprofit Organizations do not get recognized enough for their programs, leaders and volunteers who make our community stronger. Award recipients will be awarded for excellence, leadership, fiduciary responsibilities, management practices, creativity and impact.

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Oneida Savings Bank: Diversification turns sleepy, little bank into a community powerhouse By Norman Poltenson Journal Staff

ONEIDA — One year after the Civil War ended, residents of Oneida established the Oneida Savings Bank (OSB). Chartered in New York state, the corporation was structured as a mutual savings bank, whereby the depositors were the bank’s owners. Serving clients in Oneida and Madison counties, OSB collected deposits, paid interest, and financed residential mortgages for 113 years, when the banking world suddenly turned upside down. Determined to wring rampant inflation out of the economy, then Federal Reserve chairman, Paul Volcker, slowed the growth of the money supply. Between 1979 and 1981, he also raised the federal-funds rate from 11 percent to 20 percent. The prime interest rate hit 21.5 percent in June 1982. “The recession was a … [double-whammy],” says Eric E. (Rick) Stickels, the current president and COO of Oneida Savings Bank who joined the bank in 1982. “The industry was already grappling with deregulation, which was enacted in 1980. The recession of 1981, coupled with deregulation, forced 1,617 financial institutions, of which 747 were savings-and-loan associations, to close or seek FDIC assistance between 1980 and 1994.” In July 1982, Congress enacted additional, deregulation legislation authorizing banks to offer money-market accounts, removed restrictions on real-estate lending, and relaxed the loans-to-one-borrower limits. Not surprisingly, there was a rapid expansion of real-estate lending, just at a time the real-estate market was collapsing. Where once the savings-and-loan banks represented a stable sector, it now faced competition from commercial banks as well as other S&Ls pressured to find additional income. Saddled with 30-year residential mortgages issued at low interest rates, some S&Ls rushed to finance highrisk developments such as casinos, fastfood franchises, ski resorts, junk bonds, arbitrage schemes, and a variety of deriva-

tive instruments. “When I joined the bank in 1983,” says Michael R. Kallet, president and CEO of Oneida Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ONFC), the stock-holding company for OSB, “we were still a sleepy, little bank. OSB had just offered checking accounts and adjustablerate mortgages, but it was difficult to compete. There’s no doubt that the bank took its lumps in the 1980s and 1990s.” Kallet was appointed CEO of the bank in 1989, and Stickels assumed responsibility for operations and finance.

Growth strategy

During the 1990s, the team of Kallet and Stickels crafted a strategy to grow the bank and diversify its revenue streams. In 1998, they took step one by establishing a mutual-holding company, which, in turn, created a stock-savings bank subsidiary to hold all the assets and liabilities. The parent company owned a majority of the subsidiary and was authorized to sell shares in order to raise capital. “After 12 years of growth and success, we decided to take step two,” continues Kallet. “In 2010, we shed the mutual structure and created Oneida Financial Corp., a Maryland stockholding corporation. Our second offering raised $31 million in new capital, of which we have deployed $5 million to date.” “The funds raised since 1998 have been used largely for acquisitions,” notes Stickels. “We entered the insurance business in 2000 with the purchase of Bailey & Haskell Associates, Inc. Oneida Financial concluded its eighth insurance-agency acquisition in 2012, buying McMahon, Fenaroli, and White, Inc. (d/b/a Schenectady Insuring Agency or SIA). Our merger-and-acquisition activity [since demutualization] also included two banks — the State Bank of Chittenango and the National Bank of Vernon. In 2006, we acquired the Benefit Consulting Group, LLC (BCG) located in [Clay]. BCG, formed in 1983 as Retirement Income Services, focuses on 401(k)-plan analysis, design, and administration; personal financial services; business financial


Eric E. (Rick) Stickels, left, current president and COO of Oneida Savings Bank, and Michael R. Kallet, right, president and CEO of Oneida Financial Corp., in the firm’s headquarters in Oneida. Serving clients in Oneida and Madison counties, Oneida Savings Bank has collected deposits, paid interest, and financed residential mortgages for more than 113 years. services; human-resources consulting; and health insurance and employee benefits. Altogether, the bank has invested nearly $36 million in acquisitions over the past 13 years.” In 2008, Oneida Savings Bank created Workplace Health Solutions, a company specializing in offering employers access to networks of independent medical examiners in New York state. The goal is to partner with those providers who commit to timely appointments, give objective feedback on their diagnoses, and offer treatment recommendations to return injured workers to the workplace as quickly as medically appropriate. “Our growth is not confined just to acquisitions,” says Kallet. “We create companies where we see the need for a new product or service.” Kallet stresses that the goal is not just to acquire and grow. “We need to find a good fit that will help us to leverage our assets and create synergies. The companies we target should be free to focus on selling, while our back office [of IT, marketing, and audit] supports their efforts. In the case of Bailey & Haskell and BCG, both were vendors to the bank, and we were comfort-

able that we could integrate the different cultures into the bank.” The demutualization strategy has wrought significant changes at OSB. “When Mike and I joined the bank back in 1982-1983, we had 35 employees. Today, [Oneida Financial (OFC)] has 365,” says Stickels. “In 1982, the bank’s assets were $130 million. When we … [initiated] demutualization in 1998, our assets were $220 million. At the end of 2013, OSB posted more than $750 million in assets. OFC’s consolidated [annual] revenues [Dec. 31, 2013] were approximately $58 million and our income exceeded $6 million, with most of the growth coming from our non-banking subsidiaries. (Subsidiary income rose 13.6 percent in 2013.) OSB has expanded to 11 full-service offices, and our equity exceeds $90 million, all while remaining well capitalized. At the time of our secondary IPO in July 2010, shares sold for $8.” Today, Oneida Financial shares trade above $12 (the stock closed at $12.20 on Jan. 29). See oneida savings, page 6B

2B • The Central New York Business Journal


January 31, 2014

Solvay Bank plans new branch, technology for 2014 BY TRACI DELORE CONTRIBUTING WRITER

SOLVAY — Solvay Bank has big plans for 2014 that include a new “smart branch” in DeWitt and several new technology components that will improve the customer experience, bank officials say. The bank will soon decide on a construction firm for its DeWitt branch project and expects to break ground within the next month, says Paul Mello, president and CEO of Solvay Bank. He estimates it will take about four ARTIST’S RENDERING COURTESY OF SOLVAY BANK months to build the 2,400-square-foot An artist’s rendering of Solvay Bank’s planned “smart branch” in DeWitt and several branch at 6828 E. Genesee St. in DeWitt new technology components that will improve the customer experience and another month to install equipment and prepare for a summer opening. “Our goal is to increase our market will employ five people, will include a con- check-capture app that will allow customshare,” Mello says. “We do a lot of business ference room for loan closings, a communi- ers to snap a picture of checks and deposit in that market now,” he says of the DeWitt ty room, Wi-Fi, a “smart ATM” that makes them using the app on their smartphones. check deposits immediately available, and The app is a follow-up to Solvay Bank’s 2013 area. Mello hopes the new branch will attract a coffee bar. The bank will also provide launch of its mobile-banking app. That apnew customers as well as help the bank bet- commercial banking services and may add plication was so well-received — the bank some other services such as insurance if hit its one-year user goal within six months ter serve existing customers in the area. of launching — that interest in a remote As a smart branch, the location will inte- demand warrants it, Mello says. “It’ll have some traditional elements be- check-capture app seems a given, Mello grate new technology with the type of personalized customer service Solvay Bank’s cause people still want that,” he says of the notes. “There’s no need to go to the bank,” he DeWitt branch, but will also be equipped clients expect, Mello contends. Elements of the smart branch, with its for customers who prefer to use the latest says. “That’s the future of banking.” Within the next month, Solvay Bank free-flowing floor plan, include employees technology. will unveil its redesigned online mortgage trained to perform a variety of job functions platform, which is easy to use and features in order to improve efficiency as well as Technology launches Solvay Bank will launch two new apps online profiles and portals for each of the improved technology such as using tablets later this year to benefit customers. bank’s mortgage consultants. instead of desktop computers.   First to roll out in the spring is a remote Over the summer, Solvay Bank hopes to Other features of the new branch, which

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launch a mobile-banking app designed specifically for the iPad and other tablets with a system more tailored to those platforms, Mello says. Finally, Solvay Bank is working on creating a virtual wallet, along the lines of the PayPal and Google wallets, that allows users to store information such as their loyalty program cards and credit cards right on their phones. “We think there is a huge potential down the road that this will replace your plastic cards,” Mello says. People want secure shopping transactions, he notes, but they also want easy transactions. The virtual wallet is a great tool to put all they need in one safe, secure location. “We think it has a lot of potential,” he says of the technology. Mello declined to say how much Solvay Bank is investing in the new branch and technology, but says he expects all to combine and help yield another strong revenue year for the bank. Solvay Bank generated record revenue of $22.3 million in 2013 and forecasts revenue of $23.4 million for this year. “We’re optimistic that 2014 will be a little better than 2013, and 2013 was a little better than 2012,” “There’s no Mello says. need to go Between the new DeWitt to the bank,” branch and the new technology Mello says. offerings, Solvay “That’s the Bank customers will be able to do future of business with the bank with ease banking.” whether they prefer face-to-face interaction, over the phone, on their computers, or on their mobile devices, Mello contends. “We believe in choice,” he says. Headquartered at 1537 Milton Ave., Solvay Bank ( is a full-service commercial bank with eight branches located in Solvay, Fairmount, Camillus, Liverpool, North Syracuse, Cicero, downtown Syracuse, and Westvale. The company employs 158 people and reported total assets of $663.7 million as of Oct. 31, when it announced its third-quarter results. The company also operates Solvay Bank Insurance Agency, Inc. The FDIC ranks Solvay Bank at seventh in deposit market share in the Syracuse metro area with more than $577 million in deposits, or 5.3 percent of the market’s total deposits, as of June 30, 2013.  Contact The Business Journal at

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January 31, 2014




CNYBJ: What is your view on where the financial markets are headed in the coming months? Sarenski: We have had a shaky start to the financial markets this calendar year. Often we look at markets and ask what will happen this year, when in reality they are a continuum with no beginning or end. I believe U.S. markets are looking strong for the months ahead based on Theodore (Ted) J. the Federal Reserve’s moves recently to Sarenski, CPA, CFP, reduce the bond buying they started in president and CEO of 2008, the reduction in the unemployment Blue Ocean Strategic rate, the gaining strength of the dollar, Sarenski Capital, LLC in Journal Syracuse and the passing recently of a budget by Community Bank WMG_CNY Business 1/2 page horizontal_10x6.375”

Editor’s note: The Investment Q&A feature appears regularly in the Banking & Wealth Management special reports of The Central New York Business Journal, spotlighting area investment professionals and their views on the financial markets and investments. In this issue, Ted Sarenski provides his outlook.

the folks in Washington. Europe is stabilizing and should not be a drag on markets. The emerging-market countries did not have a great 2013 and it appears they will not be robust in 2014 either. Many investors had moved fixed-income investments to foreign markets because of the very low interest rates domestically over the past few years. The 10-year U.S. treasury is approaching 3 percent, which will cause fixed-income investors to bring some of their funds back to the U.S. and hurt the emerging-market economies. The U.S. Treasury is still the safest place in the world to have investments. CNYBJ: Provide specific recommendations for investments that clients should be making right now. Sarenski: Clients should be cutting back on emerging-market investments — on both the fixed-income and equity sides. Large multi-national, U.S.–based companies should continue to fare well in the new year. Small U.S. manufacturing companies will be stronger as technology and rising wages overseas are starting to bring back many manufacturing jobs that had been

The Central New York Business Journal • 3B

sent overseas in the last 10 years. I do not believe we will have the kind of year in the U.S. that we had in 2013 [when the S&P 500 gained more than 30 percent], yet there are indications the U.S. markets will maintain and grow in 2014. Fixed-income is still not paying rates investors would like to see, so I would remain overweighted in equities and underweighted in fixedincome. CNYBJ: What do you see as the greatest risks investors need to be aware of and seek to avoid in the coming months? Sarenski: The greatest risk investors face in the next few months, in my opinion, is themselves. Markets never go up in a straight line. With such a powerful market in 2013, it is normal to see a pullback in the markets at the beginning of this year. Investors need not panic. Watch the factors, I mentioned in response to the first question. And, if those fundamentals to a good market appear to be changing for the worst, then the investor needs to be concerned and possibly reduce equity exposure in the near term. 

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4B • The Central New York Business Journal


January 31, 2014

Developing your individual strategic positioning plan “No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February.” — Suze Orman


believe that almost all studies regarding individuals making New Year’s resolutions arrive at the same conclusion. That is, most of them are broken during the month of January or may die a slow death over the remainder of the year. The celebration, pomp, and circumstance of each New Year brings boundless enthusiasm to individuals around the globe. As Americans, I happen to think we do it best. However, 2014 presents tax-exempt organizations across many, if not all, service sectors with significant challenges that must NONPROFIT be turned into opporMANAGEMENT tunities. Therefore, I have personally resolved that, no later than June 1, 2014, I will do the following. I will engage our tax-exempt clients and you, my readers, with the specific objective of developing a strategic action plan to best position your organization for success, outstanding outcomes, and fiscal viability


for 2014-16. In January, Congress passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Bill and Gov. Andrew Cuomo released the NYS 2014/15 fiscal year budget. These two documents provide most tax-exempt organizations with the rules, requirements, and revenues that establish how the business “game” for tax-exempts will be played for the near future. I offer you the following 10 information items for you and your organization to consider in developing your individual strategic positioning plan. 1. Doing more for your constituents with less government funding.  As of Jan. 1, 2014, New York state had about 6 million Medicaid-eligible citizens.  Demand for services will continue to increase. Fundamental transformation of tax-exempt service delivery will continue. 2. Continuation of the dramatic shift in favor of paying nonprofits for service outcomes and quality versus the “previous model” of fees for services rendered.  The concept of Pay for Performance (P4P) will continue to spread throughout the health- and human-services sector.  Physicians and hospitals have been dealing with P4P for a number of years.  P4P is likely to become a standard reimbursement methodology. 3. Gov. Cuomo’s budget makes it quite clear that 2 percent is the maxi-

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mum magic number for purposes of additional government funding.  We all know that 2 percent does not adequately cover cost increases occurring in many areas (example: health insurance). Therefore, further cost reductions and efficiencies must be identified.  An effective and flexible Salary Administration Program will be a fundamental requirement for success. 4. If your organization provides services to Medicaid-eligible individuals, pay particular close attention to the requirements of Executive Order No. 38 covering both executive compensation and caps on administrative costs.  In 2015, administrative costs for Medicaid providers must be below 15 percent.  Be sure to calculate this percentage in accordance with published regulations.  For executive compensation, determine whether or not you need to file a waiver application. 5. The federal government and the Cuomo Administration believe there is more than enough capacity in New York state to provide health and human services.  There is an assumption, in some ways flawed, that fewer and bigger tax-exempts will inevitably lead to more efficiency.  Read David Lapiana’s column on “Merging Wisely” —

 Expect that the “Walmarting of the tax-exempt sector” will proceed at an increased pace. 6. If you are considering a merger, acquisition, or strategic affiliation, make sure that you speak with your audit firm.  Accounting rules for nonprofit mergers and acquisitions were changed recently.  Ask your audit firm to describe the challenges associated with the requirements of FASB No. 164. 7. New dollars for purposes of funding new-service initiatives or transformation of current delivery models will be largely determined based on the success of grant applications from collaborations and joint ventures of multiple service providers.  Become familiar with the Vital Access Provider program and the Balancing Incentives program, among others.  Private and community foundations may offer an expanded opportunity for grants on the strength of the stock market’s performance. 8. Pay attention to the demographic changes that are affecting service demands.  On average, 10,000 Americans are retiring each day for the next 15 years.  The Baby Boom generation and its shift to retirement with inadequate retireSee ARCHIBALD, page 6B

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January 31, 2014

The Central New York Business Journal • 5B

Bank economists see stronger economic growth in 2014 BY JOURNAL STAFF


his year will be a breakout year for the U.S. economy as private-sector demand accelerates and fiscal drag eases, according to the Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association (ABA). The committee, which includes 13 chief economists from among the largest banks in North America, predicts inflation-adjusted GDP growth for 2014 will be 3 percent, compared to a 2.3 percent annual average since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009 and the post-recession high of 2.8 percent in 2010. “This will be the strongest economic growth since the expansion began in 2009, and the committee’s strongest forecast since 2005,� Christopher Low, chairman of the group and chief economist of First Horizon National Corp’s FTN Financial, said in a news release. “We expect faster growth in business investment and stronger job creation as the economy improves.� The bank economists believe the nation’s housing market will continue to grow in 2014 as wages increase and the unemployment rate continues to fall. The group foresees the housing sector gaining strength as home sales recover from depressed levels. The committee forecasts that home prices nationwide will rise solidly and that residential investment will increase 12.3 percent in 2014. The stronger housing sector will in turn, boost consumer spending. “When families get into new homes, they

spend more on appliances, furniture, electronics and building materials,� Low said. Consumers are also finding themselves on stronger financial footing this year and have regained confidence, according to the ABA’s Economic Advisory Committee. The group believes consumer spending will support economic growth over the year ahead. Automobile sales are also expected to stay strong. “Some consumers remain cautious due to lingering high unemployment and slow wage growth,� Low said in the news release. “Many have not benefited from the resurgent stock market and personal income growth, and are carefully watching what they spend. But, tax rates will rise much less in 2014, and household balance sheets are healthier than they have been in years. The consumer is the key; if people loosen up their wallets and pocketbooks, economic growth will be even stronger.� As the recovery improves, the committee believes underlying drivers of economic growth will broaden beyond housing and consumption. Business spending and exports should also be stronger in 2014. The Economic Advisory Committee believes national fiscal policy will exert less drag on consumers and businesses over the course of next year. The impending passage of a two-year budget agreement without big tax increases or spending cuts is a big change from 2013’s fiscal austerity, reducing economic uncertainty, according to the release. The group forecasts a federal deficit of $560 billion in fiscal year 2014 (down from

$680 billion in fiscal year 2013) and below $500 billion in fiscal year 2015. The committee says that higher tax receipts from a stronger economy will account for most of the improvement. “This year’s bipartisan budget deal will be extremely beneficial to the economy,� Low said in the release. “For the first time since 2009, businesses and consumers can plan with much less worry about disruptive policy battles.� After slowing in December, job growth will accelerate from nearly 180,000 jobs per month last year to more than 200,000 jobs monthly in 2014, according to the bank economists’ forecast. “Faster job growth will pull the unemployment rate down to 6.4 percent by the fourth quarter,� Low said. “The Federal Reserve will continue to monitor the job market and taper asset purchases accordingly. In the meantime, watch for investors to shift focus from the Federal Reserve’s asset purchases to its guidance on rate policy.� The committee expects the Federal Reserve to maintain a very accommodative policy stance, keeping the federal funds rate extremely low. The bank economists forecast that consumer credit growth will pick up this year, and that delinquencies will remain at low levels both this year and next. In 2014 and 2015, loans to individuals are expected to rise about 7 percent and loans to businesses will grow 8 percent. The members of the 2014 ABA Economic Advisory Committee are:

ď Ž Committee Chairman Christopher Low, chief economist, First Horizon National Corp.’s FTN Financial, New York; ď Ž Scott A. Anderson, SVP and chief economist, Bank of the West, San Francisco, Calif.; ď Ž Scott J. Brown, SVP and chief economist, Raymond James & Associates, Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla.; ď Ž Robert A. Dye, SVP and chief economist, Comerica Bank, Dallas; ď Ž Ethan S. Harris, co-head of global economics research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, New York; ď Ž Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist, PNC Financial Services Group, Pittsburgh; ď Ž Peter Hooper, managing director and chief economist, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., New York; ď Ž Nathaniel Karp, EVP and chief economist, BBVA Compass, Houston; ď Ž Bruce C. Kasman, chief economist, JP Morgan Chase & Company, New York; ď Ž Gregory L. Miller, SVP and chief economist, SunTrust Banks, Inc., Atlanta; ď Ž George Mokrzan, SVP and director of economics, Huntington National Bank, Columbus, Ohio; ď Ž Richard F. Moody, SVP and chief economist, Regions Financial Corporation, Birmingham, Ala.; and ď Ž Carl R. Tannenbaum, SVP and chief economist, Northern Trust Corporation, Chicago The American Bankers Association says it is the voice for the nation’s $14 trillion banking industry and its two million employees.

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6B • The Central New York Business Journal

banking/Finance & Wealth Management

January 31, 2014

NBT Bancorp net income rises nearly 37 percent in fourth quarter By Adam Rombel Journal Staff

NORWICH — NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: NBTB) reported that its net income rose to $17.9 million, or 41 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, from $13.1 million, or 39 cents, in the year-ago period. The Norwich–based banking company boosted loan growth, improved its credit quality, and benefited from

increased assets following a major acquisition completed last year. For the full 2013 year, NBT earned $61.7 million, up from $54.6 million in 2012. The banking company’s 2013 results included the impact of the acquisition of Alliance Financial Corp., a $1.4 billion financial holding company headquartered in Syracuse, last March, including about $12.4 million in mergerrelated expenses. NBT’s reported earnings per


share for the year totaled $1.46, down from $1.62 in 2012. NBT said it generated organic loan growth of 5.3 percent in 2013, consumer loan growth of 4.8 percent, and commercial loan growth of 5.5 percent. Its net chargeoffs to average loans rate was 0.44 percent for 2013, down from 0.55 percent in 2012. NBT Bancorp had total assets of $7.7 billion as of Dec. 31. The company primarily operates through NBT Bank, N.A., a full-service community bank with two geographic divisions, and through two financial services companies. NBT has 157 branch-

es, including 125 NBT Bank offices in upstate New York, northwestern Vermont, western Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire. NBT’s Pennstar Bank division operates from 32 Pennstar Bank offices in northeastern Pennsylvania. EPIC Advisors, Inc., based in Rochester, is a 401(k) plan recordkeeping firm. Mang Insurance Agency, LLC, based in Norwich, is an insurance agency. q Contact Rombel at

Archibald: Identifying new opportunities for revenue sources should always be a primary focus area Continued from page 4B

ment funds will have a dramatic effect on service demands and payment sources. n Consider the number of New Yorkers who, after retirement, move to the South for a lower or no-tax state of residence. 9. By 2020, less than six years away, those nonprofit organizations that will remain autonomous with local decision-making authority will have to continue to develop a significant private-sector fundraising effort. These development efforts will require annual success from both special events

and planned gifts. n Given the industry environment described herein, make a basic assumption of less money from government. n Replacing declining government revenue with private-sector funding and/or cost efficiencies will be key. n Identifying new opportunities for revenue sources in this changing environment should always be a primary focus area. n Don’t wait until it’s too late to consider partnerships, collaborations, or mergers for purposes of continuing your mission. 10. As a “bean-counter,” I would be

remiss if I did not give recognition to the ongoing “efforts” of the accounting profession in making your lives more difficult and complicated. The New York State Society of CPAs recently conducted its Nonprofit Annual Update training. The topics were as follows: n Developing a measure of operations n Corporate affiliations n What you need to know about ITcloud computing, the payment card industry, identity theft, and mobile options. n Accounting for contributions versus exchange transactions

n Demystifying Executive Order 38 n Addressing and implementing an effective enterprise risk management (ERM) process n Attachments to Federal Form 990 that cause the most headaches I am hopeful that you will be successful in accomplishing both your individual and organizational resolutions for 2014. q Gerald J. Archibald, CPA, is a partner in charge of the management advisory services at The Bonadio Group. Contact him at

ONEIDA SAVINGS: Success has been built on a model that closely controls the process Continued from page 1B

The next step

The day after the SIA deal closed on Dec. 31, 2012, Kallet and Stickels implemented the next step in the strategic plan: they created a new corporation — Oneida Wealth Management, Inc. “Our major concern is client services,” posits Donald J. Abernethy, Oneida Wealth’s president. “We needed to bring … a common vision … to all Oneida Financial companies offering wealth-management services: life insurance, wealth management, the broker-dealer functions, pensions, financial planning, and trust services. A perfect example of the benefits of this approach is our new, centralized [software] platform that integrates our pension, administration, and trust departments so that we can see all of our clients’ needs and respond. The name ‘Oneida Wealth’ also lets us create a single brand as we expand into new markets, such as Albany and Long Island.” Abernethy continues, “[In short,] our mission is to implement what we call the Premier Advantage, a trademarked name for providing a comprehensive portfolio of services to help our clients manage their personal and business needs while reducing their risk. The old model of utilizing multiple services and advisers is confusing and often costly because of overlapping expenses and gaps in coverage. With our new platform, all of our programs mesh

seamlessly.” Abernethy joined Retirement Income Services as a partner in 2003, following a stint at First Albany Securities. A 1994 graduate of Siena College, he holds multiple licenses and is a registered principal broker. Oneida Wealth Management also includes Chasity Jaynes, the company’s vice president and COO. Jaynes was the assistant vice president in charge of transition at Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. in Syracuse before joining BCG in 2005. She and Abernethy sit on the Oneida Wealth Management board of directors.

New location

The growth of Oneida Financial’s Syracuse–based insurance and financial services business has forced the company to seek new quarters. “We just announced that we are moving [our 110 employees] from the current North Syracuse [town of Clay] location to a building just two blocks from the Syracuse Inner Harbor,” says Kallet. (COR Development is currently planning to build a hotel, apartments, retail space, and other amenities in the Inner Harbor.) “By late 2014, we hope to occupy 28,000 square feet in the old Nabisco plant located at 706-716 N. Clinton St. Andy Breuer (Hueber-Breuer Construction Company, Inc.) and Josh Podkaminer (Emhoff Associates) are developing the former bakery into office space for medical and financial tenants.” Abernethy adds that the staff will initially occupy 20,000 square

feet, which provides room to grow. Oneida Financial’s success has been built on a model that closely controls the process. “Ours is a more expensive model than other financial-services companies that outsource many of their functions,” asserts Kallet. “We like to keep as much in-house as we can. We’re convinced that we provide better service … This means a big investment in our technology. [For example,] we were the first bank north of metro New York [City] to offer online banking. As our mobile usage increased, we deployed new software in 2012 to keep up with the changing habits of our customers.” Even with the investments in technology, it still comes down to the quality of the staff, according to Oneida Financial’s leader. “Our ultimate success is based on our people,” Kallet opines. “[Oneida Financial] … has a team of long-term employees with talent. We nurture them and invest heavily in their education. We teach them that change is a constant, and they must be facile in responding to it.” Oneida Financial’s success is also attributable to its management team, which includes Kallet and Stickels; Pierre Morrisseau as the CEO and John F. Catanzarita as the COO of Bailey Haskell/ BCG; Abernethy at Oneida Wealth Management; and Deresa Durkee as a senior vice president and CFO, and Russell Brewer as a senior vice president and chief

lending officer at Oneida Savings Bank. Kallet, 62, says Oneida Financial has already put a succession plan in place for the company and for all department heads. “Rick [Stickels] will succeed me, although we have not chosen a date. We have worked together as a team for 30 years, and he is intimately involved in our strategy and execution to diversify and grow.” Kallet, who started in the 1970s with the Bank of New York, says “[t]here has never been a better time to be a community bank. The public understands and appreciates our role as the economic engine of development in small communities. We understand the communities we serve and their needs, and we believe strongly in supporting them.” Looking back on three decades of radical change in the banking industry, Kallet says “I have never been more optimistic of the future. To me, challenges make us better.” Kallet, a 1972 graduate of St. Lawrence University and a music major who went on to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, has orchestrated a major change at what was once a sleepy bank and is now the community’s economic powerhouse. His approach seems to have avoided improvisation, even though he enjoys jazz, instead following a carefully crafted score that has made his stockholders, employees, and the Oneida community smile. q Contact Poltenson at

The Central New York Business Journal • 7B

January 31, 2014


THE LIST Research by Nicole Collins (315) 579-3911 Twitter: @cnybjresearch

Ranked by CNY FT Employees Rank

1. 2.

Upcoming Lists: Feb. 14

Cultural and Performing Arts Organizations

3. 4.

Feb. 21 Technology-Based Companies Feb. 28 Security and Alarm Companies


March 7

Commercial Printers


Now accepting submissions for local construction projects!

7. . 9. . 11. . . 14. 15. 16. .

ABOUT THE LIST Information was provided by representatives of listed organizations and their websites. Other groups may have been eligible but did not respond to our requests for information. While The Business Journal strives to print accurate information, it is not possible to independently verify all data submitted. We reserve the right to edit entries or delete categories for space considerations.

What constitutes the CNY Region? Central New York includes Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.

18. . . . 22.

Need a copy of a list? Electronic versions of all our lists, with additional fields of information and survey contacts, are available for purchase at our website,

Want to be on the list? If your company would like to be considered for next year’s list, or another list, please email

. . .

Name Address Phone/Website Eric Mower + Associates

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>;9.:2886 0;9 Mooney Marketing Group  &8A9(@ (A6@2 (E>.0A?2$-     

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8B • The Central New York Business Journal

January 31, 2014










KICK-OFF BREAKFAST n 7:30 am - Registration & Networking Reception n 8:00 am - Program Starts n Tickets: $25 Each

Get your copy in advance and save money off the cover price! This is a unique opportunity to receive the 2014 Book of Lists first. Enjoy breakfast, network with your peers in the CNY region, and gain valuable information for your company from our program.



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January 31, 2014 Digital Edition of the Business Journal

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January 31, 2014 Digital Edition of the Business Journal