Page 1

Make It a Double: Topshelf Bartenders school opens. Page 3.

Special Report: Banking & Wealth Management.

Section B.









Vol. XXVII • No. 5





Growing Galson Laboratories expands in Hawaii, Canada

ICS is putting ‘big emphasis’ on growing its Syracuse business


people need help medically.” Nasiff Associates’ sales are strongest on the East Coast, although it considers its primary market to include the entire United States. Its products are designed for a range of standard clinical environments, from the offices of general practitioners

DeWITT — Galson Laboratories has been growing since the start of 2012 with new locations in new geographies and now, acquisitions to start off 2013. The company announced two acquisitions in January that will add to operations it established in 2012 in Hawaii and Canada. Based in DeWitt, Galson provides laboratory testing services to the industrial hygiene, occupational health and safety, and environmental industries. Galson set up shop in Honolulu last June with the acquisition of White Environmental Consultants, Inc., which also added a location in Anchorage, Alaska. Galson announced its second acquisition in Hawaii on Jan. 18.

See NASIFF, page 6

See GALSON, page 7



Roger Nasiff, owner and president of Hastings–based Nasiff Associates, Inc.


ENDICOTT — An Endicott–based information-technology firm that broke into the Syracuse market three years ago expanded its workforce in 2012 and expects more growth ahead in 2013 ICS Solutions Group added nine people to its staff last year and has already hired three more this year, says Travis Hayes, chief technology officer. The firm now employs 45 people. The company’s client base includes businesses with as few as five and as many as several hundred users. The IT business works frequently with convenience stores, dental offices, and more, Hayes says. ICS Solutions President Kevin Blake bought out ICS’ former president in 2005 and began growing the company, according to ICS. When he took over,


February 1, 2013 • $2.00


Endicott IT firm expects more growth in 2013

See ICS, page 8


Nasiff pumping up its EKG business in Hastings BY RICK SELTZER JOURNAL STAFF

HASTINGS — A small firm to the north of Syracuse is keeping its lifeblood flowing in the high-pressure medicaldevice industry. That company is Nasiff Associates, Inc. It specializes in cardiology equipment — electrocardiograms, also

known as EKGs or ECGs — in its headquarters at 841-1 County Route 37 in Hastings. “In 1989 I decided to start a company with a PC–based EKG,” says Roger Nasiff, the company’s owner and president. “Nobody else was doing that in a way that was useful in the clinical environment. And cardiology is our center, because that’s where most











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2 • The Central New York Business Journal

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

Progressive moving offices from Salina to DeWitt DeWITT — Progressive Insurance operations in the Syracuse area are moving as the month of February starts. Mayfield Village, Ohio–based Progressive was set to take over 4,800 square feet of space at 6712 Brooklawn Parkway in DeWitt on Feb. 1. It had occupied space at Salina Meadows at Plainfield Road in Salina. “We routinely look at our office space all around the country,” says Jeff Sibel, a Progressive public-relations representative. “And in this situation, it was strictly a business move. We weren’t using all the office space that we had.” No staffing changes were planned as part of the move, according to Sibel. Progressive has nearly 30 employees at the relocating office, he says. The Bell Group of Syracuse, which specializes in tenant representation, worked with Progressive to help find its new space. The insurance company did not provide any additional information about the move.

PLS launches SheFORWARD group focused on women and leadership BALDWINSVILLE — Productivity Leadership Systems (PLS) recently announced the launch of a new leadershipdevelopment program geared toward women, entitled SheFORWARD. SheFORWARD is being led by Cindy Masingill, PLS’ certified coach. “SheFORWARD is an opportunity to learn from one another and to explore how we each define and apply our own leadership vision,” Masingill said in a news release. “Most meetings will feature a guest speaker, who is a woman leader in our community. She will share her personal insights, philosophies and experiences on the topic of leadership.” The quarterly gatherings are free and open to the Central New York business community. The next SheFORWARD program is scheduled for Feb. 13 from 6-7:15 p.m. at the PLS offices in Baldwinsville. Attendees are encouraged to register by Feb. 7 online at — select the Calendar tab. Founded in 2004, PLS is a leadership and development consulting firm that offers leadership and management training, individual and group coaching, succession and strategic planning, retreat facilitations, and speaking engagements.

Correction In the Works in Progress special report in the Jan. 25 issue of The Central New York Business Journal, the coverpage caption incorrectly identified the photo. The photo actually shows the St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center Emergency Department and not what we indicated.

February 1, 2013

Binghamton gets $100,000 in grants to carry on energy-efficiency program BY MAYA GAO QIAN CONTRIBUTING WRITER

BINGHAMTON — The city of Binghamton has received $100,000 in grants to continue for a third year a program that retrofits homes and places of business to make them more energy efficient. The Energy Leadership Program secured

a $50,000 grant from the Binghamton– based Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation. It also received a $50,000 national grant from the Local Sustainability Matching Fund — a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, according to a news release from the Binghamton mayor’s office. Binghamton’s various sustainable-ener-

gy initiatives have obtained nearly $500,000 in total federal and state grants in the past three years, Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan said in the release. The city teamed up with the Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation to apply for funding from the Local Sustainability Matching Fund last summer. Binghamton’s Energy Leadership Program is one of just six in the U.S. that received this national grant award this month, according to the Funders’ Network website. “Sustainability is not just about protecting the environment, but about improving peoples’ quality of life, which is the mission of our foundation. The Energy Leadership Program does this by helping residents make their homes more comfortable while cutting their utility costs,” Catherine Schwoeffermann, the Hoyt Foundation’s executive director, said in the release. The Energy Leadership Program, initiated by Binghamton in April 2011, promotes installation of energy-efficient design features and equipment in residential homes, and in small-business and nonprofit establishments. The Energy Leadership Program recruits, trains, and deploys teams of college students to educate local leaders about the benefits of home-energy improvements, inform them about available state programs and financial incentives — like Green JobsGreen NY — and connect them with local contractors, according to the city. Partners include Binghamton University, Broome Community College, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, and the Public Policy Education Fund.  Contact The Business Journal at

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The Central New York Business Journal • 3

February 1, 2013

Topshelf trying to shake up region’s bartending classes By Rick Seltzer Journal Staff

BALDWINSVILLE — Mixology will be on tap at a new Central New York bartending school, but its course catalog also includes a long menu of other skills. “Anyone can memorize an Alabama Slammer,” says Jeffrey Rogers, the founder and director of Topshelf Bartenders. “What I’m training students in is what goes into this gin. Why is gin made of juniper berries? I’m training in the history of what they’re pouring, why they’re pouring it, and other knowledge.” Rogers built much of Topshelf’s 40-hour course around hospitality. He wants to teach would-be bartenders to be courteous to patrons, whether that means making a good first impression or sharing a quick cure for the hiccups. Small touches, like thanking people by name before they leave, can make a big difference when it comes to gaining repeat customers, he says. That emphasis helps to set Topshelf apart from other bartending schools, Rogers contends. Another unique factor about the school is where the classes are being held — in an actual bar. Classes are slated to take place at the bar in Club Sushi in Baldwinsville’s Mohegan Manor. Rogers has agreed to pay Mohegan Manor owner Dennis Sick to use that space at 58 Oswego St. It’s the only upstate bartending school that Rogers knows of that has been licensed by the state to teach at a working watering hole. He plans to take advantage of that by instructing students in transactions made

Jeffrey Rogers, fourth from left, watches bartending students mix a drink. photo courtesy of topshelf bartenders

using point-of-sale (POS) systems. “Dennis Sick is letting me use his POS system,” Rogers says. “Training new bartenders on POS is a gigantic cost to business owners.” Topshelf is slated to start holding classes on evenings starting Feb. 19. Rogers was set to begin daytime sessions on Jan. 28 until word leaked out that he was in line to receive permission to hold courses at night. The New York State Department of Education approved his bartending classes for daytime and evening hours separately, with approval for the evening sessions coming Jan. 23. “A lot of people that were signed up for the day classes have switched and are now signing up for the evening classes,” Rogers says. Daytime classes could start soon — they

could begin as soon as Rogers finds enough interested students. Six students are signed up for a daytime class, but Topshelf needs eight to run a course. The planned evening courses are proving to be much more popular. They have nearly 90 prospective students in line, enough to run classes of 12 people for four months. “A lot of young professionals are looking to do this as a side gig,” Rogers says. “A lot of restaurant employees that are working day shifts, maybe as a server, maybe in the back somewhere, they are looking to get into a night bartender position. So they can only take evening classes as well.” Topshelf courses cost $400 per person. Evening classes are scheduled to take three weeks. Day classes will last two weeks.

Rogers anticipates generating $115,000 in revenue during the school’s first 12 months of operation. He wants to grow sales by 15 percent in the following year. If all goes well, Topshelf could add instructors. Rogers is currently its only employee, and hiring will be dictated by growth. Eventually Rogers wants to expand to operate bartending classes in Rochester and Oswego, although he doesn’t have a timeline for doing so. Starting the school required paying licensing and application fees totaling about $1,500, according to Rogers. He footed those costs with his own cash. He also used his own knowledge to construct the course, writing its catalog and 172-page manual. Rogers says he started in the hospitality industry in 1991 at Drumlins Country Club in DeWitt, and he currently works as a head bartender at Empire Brewing Co. in Syracuse’s Armory Square. His curriculum vitae also includes a stint owning the Burgundy Lounge on East Fayette Street in Syracuse. Rogers wants to help Topshelf students find jobs after they complete his course. He’s agreed to an arrangement with about 30 managers in hotels, restaurants, and catering businesses who have agreed to consider hiring his students. And he’s reaching out to others he knows in the industry. “I don’t guarantee jobs after you graduate my school,” he says. “But I do guarantee that I’m going to help you out and I’m going to have places that are not going to throw out your résumé.” q Contact Seltzer at


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4 • The Central New York Business Journal

Herkimer ARC focuses on new revenues through HI division

February 1, 2013



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HERKIMER — “Not-for-profit is a tax status, not a business strategy,” quotes Kevin Crosley, the president and CEO of the Herkimer ARC, a 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1969 to enable people with disabilities in Herkimer County to achieve full potential and enriched lives. Crosley is a pragmatist who understands that necessity is the handmaiden of invention. The necessity is HARC’s $1 million Medicaid budget cut last year. “We’re under siege … In 2012, Medicaid represented 80 percent of the company’s $22 million revenue stream … The challenge faced [by HARC] is how to generate the income to continue supporting over 700 people with disabilities and the 400 employees [required] to run the operation at 38 sites … while anticipating future reductions in Medicaid reimbursements,” he says. For Crosley, the answer is to diversify the nonprofit’s income streams. At the helm of HARC for seven years, he is pursuing a growth strategy by creating partnerships both with for-profit and not-for profit-companies. In 2012, Herkimer Industries (HI), the vocational division of HARC, generated

Herkimer Industries (HI), a division of the Herkimer ARC, partnered with Fiberdyne Labs, Inc. to design and place two 14’ x 33’ LED American flag renditions in Times Square.


$3.2 million in sales. In 2013, HI budgeted an increase to $5.2 million. HI has an administrative and sales staff of 12 and 150

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workers, respectively, who Crosley calls “consumers of services.” Some of the growth comes from reaching out to area companies like Fiberdyne Labs, Inc., a privately held firm headquartered in the Frankfort Business Park. Fiberdyne, founded in 1992, manufactures fiber-optic, networking products and photonic devices for the cable and telecommunications industry, and employs 145 in its 22,000square-foot manufacturing facility. Crosley broached the idea to Fiberdyne that they become strategic partners, with HI opening sales opportunities because of its affiliation with the federal AbilityOne Program and as a preferred vendor for the New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID). The AbilityOne program is the largest source of employment for people with disabilities by providing products and services for the federal government, including the Department of Defense. NYSID acts as a broker for companies to do business with New York state agencies. HI could also offer assembly and packaging assistance to supplement Fiberdyne’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities. A recent collaboration with Fiberdyne involved the redesign of the armed-forces recruiting station in New York City’s Times Square. The project involved designing, manufacturing, and installing two LED American flags, each 14 feet by 33 feet and each containing 110,460 lights, on the sides of the walk-in station. Crosley says “… this was the most exciting project we’ve worked on in the Herkimer ARC’s history. I think the legacy of the flags will carry on for many years….” The flag project subsequently led to an LED billboard at the same recruiting station that was installed after last Thanksgiving. Crosley is encouraged that for-profit busiSee HARC, page 8

which buyers have a small but shrinking advantage over sellers whose position continues to improv study shows that New York right now is headed towards a thriving real estate market.� The Central New York Business Journal • 5

February 1, 2013

Upstate real-estate indicators strengthen in fourth quarter


4 Quarter 2012 4th

Real Estate Sentiment:

Overall Current Overall Future Sell Current Sell Future Buy Current Buy Future

th York 4New Quarter State 2012




5.1 (11.9) 27.9 (1.2) -14.8 (6.2) 27.9 (5.0) 22.9 (-5.5) 19.8 (5.0)

5.2 (10.0) 31.2 (1.6) -8.1 (8.5) 32.7 (5.1) 18.7 (-4.4) 25.4 (9.5)

1.1 (7.4) 29.2 (1.0) -23.2 (-2.3) 31.5 (4.8) 28.8 (-14.4) 16.5 (-3.2)

7.4 (16.9) 22.9 (1.5) -17.7 (8.7) 18.5 (5.1) 24.1 (-1.9) 14.5 (4.1)

( ) reflects change from previous quarter

The overall current Real Estate Sentiment score among New Yorkers in the fourth quarter of 2012 is 5.1, above th where equal percentages of citizens feel optimistic and pessimistic about the housing market and it is up 11.9 poin J S quarter. Looking forward, the overall future Real Estate Sentiment score is 27.9 (up from 26.7 last quarter) indica pstate New York’s real-estate market showed signs of N ErealO F market T H and E the S value T R of Oproperty N G Eto S T Fover I Rthe Mnext S year. Consu Newsome Yorkers expect theO overall estate increase stirring in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to new a poor time to sell with a score below breakeven at -14.8 (up 6.2 from last quarter), but as a very good time now JUST GOT STRONGER The Siena (College) Research Institute a high positive score of 22.9. (SRI) released its with real-estate sentiment scores for the fourth quarter on Jan. 24. B O N D E Overall L E C TOverall S N E Sell W P ASell R T N Buy E R S Buy They showed upstate residents’ views BY RICK SELTZER OURNAL



brightening to the point where optimism outweighs pessimism. Current real-estate sentiment in upstate New York jumped 16.9 points from the third quarter to 7.4, moving above a break-even point of zero. Scores above zero mean residents are more optimistic about the market, while scores below zero mean they are more pessimistic. “This is a huge, huge movement,� says Donald Levy, SRI’s director. “Go back a year. Look at the fourth quarter of 2011. Upstate’s assessment of the overall current market — do you think things are getting better or worse — went from a -38, which is only two points better than the all-time low, to a positive 7.4.� A score measuring sentiment across all of New York State also took a major step up in the fourth quarter. It leapt 11.9 points to 5.1, moving to its highest point in the three-year history of SRI’s real-estate readings. Both upstate and statewide markets are in line to continue improving, according to SRI’s overall future real-estate sentiment scores. Upstate’s overall future score ticked up 1.5 points to 22.9, while the state’s increased 1.2 points to 27.9. “This is one of the nicest, strongest pieces of economic news that we’ve put out in quite some time,� Levy says. “Every single one of the indicators is both moving in the positive direction and moving toward the thriving zone.� Polling by SRI also measured residents’ opinions toward buying and selling homes. It found a changing market Upstate in which buyers still hold a slight advantage over sellers. The region’s current selling sentiment score climbed 8.7 points to -17.7. That trailed its current buying score, which slipped 1.9 points to 24.1. Residents expected buyers and sellers to be on more even footing in the future. Upstate’s future selling score swelled 5.1 points to 18.5. Its future buying score added 4.1 points to 14.5. “The collective opinion is that real estate is quickly coming back to being a strong, prudent investment in which real-estate commerce is not at gunpoint but rather a See REAL ESTATE, page 6

Christopher C. NEW YORK STATE Canada

Current Future Brody D. 27.9 5.1 Smith

Current Future Rebecca M.27.9 -14.8 Speno

Current Future Clifford G.19.8 22.9 Tsan

NYC Suburbs Upstate

5.2 1.1 7.4

31.2 29.2 22.9

-8.1 -23.2 -17.7

32.7 31.5 18.5

18.7 28.8 24.1

25.4 16.5 14.5

Male Female

9.6 1.5

29.5 26.6

-8.9 -19.4

25.9 29.7

25.7 20.6

17.4 22.0

Less than $50,000 $50,000-$100,000 Mr. Canada concentrates his practice in public ďŹ nance $100,000 or more

transactions, including taxexempt ďŹ nancing of various Homeowner projects for the beneďŹ t of Renter colleges and universities, hospitals and health care institutions, municipalities and school districts to fund higher education and health care facilities, primary and secondary schools, retirement communities, public transportation facilities and other infrastructure projects in public offerings and private placements.

-9.0 20.2 7.9 30.7 Mr. Smith practices in the areas 23.6 of Environmental37.7 and Property Law. He has broad experience in many 9.1 31.1 aspects of environmental -2.8 litigation 24.9 law, including and regulatory matters. His experience includes matters involving eminent domain, mining, code enforcement, land use, zoning, permitting, the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and toxic torts.

-32.4 19.4 -15.9 32.1 Ms. Speno focuses her law practice8.2 on real property36.2 exemption and valuation issues, representing 31.3 -11.6 individuals and large -20.6 22.5 corporate property owners and lessees, municipalities and school districts in property tax assessment appeal proceedings before administrative assessment review boards and in Supreme Court. Her valuation knowledge of the Real Property Tax Law is also applied to trusts and estates, property conveyances, conservation easements, leasing, business transactions and bankruptcy matters.

12.9 19.8 30.0 26.5 Mr. Tsan handles litigation in federal33.1 and state courts14.4 and in arbitration and mediation. He has30.5 represented 18.0 clients in a broad variety 10.3 disputes,24.2 of commercial ranging from shareholder derivative actions to complex multidistrict litigation, and from commercial lease disputes to fraudulent transfer actions. Mr. Tsan has signiďŹ cant experience in both prosecuting and defending actions alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and breach of non-competition and nonsolicitation agreements.

Want to learn more? Visit dA‰Kd1hNd‰AdŠA 7‰• 1�„A‰‰k‹Ž—Ž‰0‰n‹kLo‰ŽkB[B———q












6 • The Central New York Business Journal

February 1, 2013

NASIFF: The firm hired “a couple” employees last year and could add more in the future, Nasiff says Continued from page 1

to cardiologists. Researchers also use the firm’s equipment because they can access the data it generates with ease, according to Nasiff. The medical-device company sells primarily through distributors. That allows its employees to focus on making and supporting its products, Nasiff says. “We train the distributors about the market and the technology, but at the same time, nobody knows their territory like they do,” he says. “If I’m going to call Dallas, Texas, I don’t know what the market is down there.” Fewer than 20 people work at Nasiff Associates. The firm hired “a couple” employees last year and could add more in the future, Nasiff says. He declines to be more

specific, citing stiff competition from much larger firms like Skaneateles Falls–based Welch Allyn and Fairfield, Conn.–based General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE). But Nasiff Associates’ small size can be an advantage, its owner says. He believes it is more nimble than its competition. “I stand here and I’ve got three to four of us that are focused on technology,” Nasiff says. “It’s exciting. We can respond more quickly.” In 2013, Nasiff is hoping to grow his company’s revenue by 30 percent. The firm’s annual sales growth has been as high as 20 to 30 percent in its history, although the last few years have been more of a struggle, he continues. Nasiff declines to offer specific revenue totals. “We picked up at the end of last year,” he says. “In our particular case, the growth

is due to the quality of the products being known. I think the pressures that are on us have held up the entire industry.” Those pressures include uncertainty brought about by the 2010 federal healthcare reform law, according to Nasiff. A 2.3-percent excise tax on the sale price of medical devices that is part of the law is a specific challenge that essentially forces Nasiff Associates to try to expand, he says. Other pressures include falling Medicare reimbursement rates. Those rates lead to a decline in purchasing power at medical offices, Nasiff says. And in recent years, Chinese companies have moved into the bottom end of the U.S. EKG market, he adds. But the biggest hurdle for the Hastings– based company may be name recognition,

Nasiff says. “Our challenge is getting people to know we exist, even after 24 years,” he says. “We can compete at the high end of capability.” The company’s strategy is to build around quality, value, and service, he says. “I’m just an engineer trying to say, ‘This is the way I want the world to be,’ ” Nasiff says. “We want to be the best product. We want to be the best in support of that product. And we want to offer the best value.” Nasiff Associates leases about 3,000 square feet of space at 841-1 County Route 37. The owners of that building are James O. Delelys and Roy Eastman, according to records from Oswego County’s real property database.  Contact Seltzer at

REAL ESTATE: Quarterly year-over-year statistics revealed more of a mixed picture in Central New York Continued from page 5

place where a willing seller and a willing buyer come together and everybody wins,” Levy says. “Everybody feels good.” SRI polled 2,414 New York residents over the age of 18 in October, November, and December to develop its real-estate sentiment scores. It released the scores a few days after the New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR) published data showing an increase in the number of homes

sold in 2012. Statewide, realtors closed on 93,582 sales of single-family homes, condos, and co-ops in 2012, NYSAR said on Jan. 22. That was 7 percent more than in 2011. The median price of sold homes edged up by 1.2 percent to $215,000. Statistics for the fourth quarter showed statewide home sales rising to 23,694, up 6.1 percent from the same quarter in 2011. The median sale price for the fourth quarter was $215,000, up 5.1 percent.

Quarterly year-over-year statistics revealed more of a mixed picture in Central New York, the Mohawk Valley, and the Southern Tier. The number of homes sold in the fourth quarter fell in eight of the regions’ 16 counties and rose in eight. But the median sales price increased in nine counties, fell in six, and held even in one. Broome County realtors sold 311 homes in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 16.2 percent from the year before. The median sales price also fell, dropping 2.6 percent to

$102,314. In Onondaga County, realtors sold 1,068 homes, up 8.9 percent from the year before. The median sales price ascended 1.6 percent to $130,000. And in Oneida County, realtors sold 399 homes in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 4.1 percent from the year before. However, the median sales price turned up 2.3 percent to $110,000.  Contact Seltzer at


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The Central New York Business Journal • 7

February 1, 2013

GALSON: Canada has been a growing market for the DeWitt–based firm Continued from page 1

The company acquired INALAB, Inc., an industrial hygiene and analytical services laboratory in Honolulu. Galson now has 12 people working in Honolulu. All of the staff there came from INALAB and White Environmental. The site should be helpful to the firm’s efforts to expand its business in Pacific Rim nations, says Joe Unangst, Galson president and CEO. About 9 percent of the company’s business comes from outside the U.S., including about 3 percent from the Pacific Rim. It’s a market with room for Galson to grow, Unangst says. The location in Hawaii will cut down on shipping time for Galson clients who send the firm samples for analysis. And Hawaii itself is home to plenty of talent with ties to Pacific Rim nations. Galson’s staff in Honolulu is already diverse, Unangst says, which should help the company as it pursues more business overseas.

Canadian growth

Also in January, Galson announced it acquired Occupational and Environmental Health Laboratory (OEHL) in Hamilton, Ontario. Galson first established a foothold in the Canadian market last year when it opened an office in Mississauga, near Toronto. The deal for OEHL did not add any staff in Canada, where Galson has one employee. The company acquired OEHL’s clients, Unangst says Canada has been a growing market for Galson, Unangst adds. Business there has been growing 30 percent a year. Establishing the office there last year helped further as it allows the company to serve customers without as many customs headaches. OEHL was one of Galson’s few major competitors in Ontario, Unangst says. Growing the Canadian business has been a focus for Galson, Unangst says. The company has a salesperson dedicated to the task who has been calling on clients and attending plenty of conferences and trade shows. Bolder Capital, LLC of Chicago made an investment in Galson in 2010. Financial terms were not disclosed. At the time, company leaders said the move would help the firm grow its international business. In addition to the expansions in Hawaii and Canada, Galson opened a new industrial-hygiene rental-instrument office in Houston in June 2011. Providing rental equipment is another growth area for Galson, Unangst says. Galson now employs 133 people companywide, including 99 in DeWitt. The firm employed 90 people total in 2010. Unangst expects more hiring in Central New York as a result of the latest expansions. He says the company will probably add four to five people locally. Galson has additional facilities in Charleston, S.C.; Alameda, Calif.; Seabrook, Texas; and Stevens Point, Wisc. The company is on track to increase its annual revenue to at least $24 million in the next few years, Unangst says. The firm generated $12 million in 2009.  Contact Tampone at


Rob Wilson, section supervisor for Galson’s GC/MS laboratory, loads an instrument to test client samples. The GC/MS lab grew three-fold in 2011 and continues to thrive today with the addition of thermal desorption testing. This enables the laboratory to offer the minicans, thermal desorption multi-media tubes, and summa canisters as sampling means for air work which really makes the company a full-service GC/ MS air-testing laboratory, the company says. ***PULL QUOTE (no quote marks needed): Unangst expects more hiring in Central New York as a result of the latest expansions. He says the company will probably add four to five people locally.

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8 • The Central New York Business Journal

February 1, 2013

ICS: Firm entered the Syracuse market three years ago when it acquired MicroTECH Computer Center Continued from page 1

the firm had just five employees. ICS launched in 1986. Hayes says ICS’ recent growth has been driven in part by a focus on building out its sales team and process. Some of the hiring in recent years has involved the firm’s sales team, he says. The new sales staff members have generated more projects and new customers and so the company has had to add technical employees as well, Hayes says. New business has also resulted from ICS’ telephony business, Hayes says. Company leaders see a major opportunity for that work, he adds, and in the firm’s business of selling and repairing printers and copiers. In addition to adding sales and techni-

cal staff, ICS has been adding employees for a new help-desk service at its office in Endicott. Customers can reach the firm and make service requests a number of different ways, but many clients want a personal touch and immediate response, Hayes notes. Help-desk staff members spend some time trying to resolve customers’ problems, but if they can’t take care of the issue right away, they send it up to a more senior-level technician, Hayes says. ICS entered the Syracuse market three years ago when it acquired MicroTECH Computer Center. “We’re putting a big emphasis on trying to grow our Syracuse location,” Hayes says. “We’re just starting to scratch the surface of what’s there.” The Syracuse office employs 10 people

now and one of the company’s most recent new hires was for that location, he adds. The market is home to more people and businesses than the Binghamton area, Hayes notes. “There’s just a lot more opportunity in the Syracuse market that we’re not touching yet,” he says. “And not just in Syracuse, but the surrounding communities.” The Syracuse location allows ICS to pursue work in Oswego, Auburn, and Utica, Hayes says. In fact, ICS is looking to open addition satellite locations. Oneonta, Elmira, and Utica are all potential locations for a third office, Hayes says. The company could look to add that site in 2013, but the fit would have to be right. “We don’t want to rush it just to make it happen,” he says. In addition to upstate New York, ICS

“There’s just a lot more opportunity in the Syracuse market that we’re not touching yet,” Hayes says. “And not just in Syracuse, but the surrounding communities.” also has customers in northeastern Pennsylvania. q Contact Tampone at

HARC: Crosley is encouraged that for-profit businesses are now reaching out to HI in search of collaboration Continued from page 4

nesses are now reaching out to HI in search of collaboration. “McQuade & Bannigan [a Utica-based distributor of construction tools, equipment, and products with offices in Watertown and Syracuse] initially worked with us to sell $150,000 of rain gear to the New York State Department of Transportation. The two firms now sell eye wear, ear protectors, hard-hat covers, and other safety items,” says Crosley. “McQuade & Bannigan has even convinced one of its original-equipment manu-

facturers to allow HI to add value to the products, work formerly done by the manufacturer,” says Michael Lamb, HI’s director of industrial operations. Lamb is an area native and Clarkson University graduate with a degree in chemical engineering. He worked at General Electric and Honeywell before returning to the area to join HI. In his pursuit of partnerships, Crosley reached out to Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, serving thousands in the region with employment and education, to encourage it to open a store in Herkimer, a concept

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which was not part of Goodwill’s plans. He proposed that they create a joint venture and share in the surplus. The two entities opened a 7,000-foot retail store at 129 E. Albany St. in Herkimer to sell “gently used goods,” a term coined by Crosley. HI is a 49 percent owner. The store’s sales were up 19 percent last year, and HARC’s CEO expects continued growth. The Herkimer store — renamed the Goodwill-HARC Store and Donation Center — is the only Goodwill venture to have this arrangement. While partnerships are an important component of HARC’s growth strategy, it is just one component of a broader strategy. In July 2011, HI bought Advanced Technologies, a privately held, regional, first-responder equipment distributor, from Stefano Napolitano. Advanced Technologies is now another division of HARC. While retaining the retail operation, which occupies 1,100 square feet located at 246 N. Main St. in Herkimer, HI also has an online store that went live on Jan. 14. Crosley expects to expand the Advanced Technologies business to $1 million in revenue per year within two years. The purchase was made from surplus funds, accumulated by the agency. HI also owns a large manufacturing facility at 420 E. German St. in Herkimer. The formerly abandoned plant, now called the HARC Business Park building, contains 120,000 square feet, of which HI occupies 70,000. It currently leases 10,000 feet and is looking for additional tenants to occupy

the remaining 40,000 feet. Crosley says that “… the goals of the facility are to foster the success of small and start-up businesses, to create new or maintain jobs in Herkimer County, and most importantly, to encourage and foster employment of individuals who have developmental or other disabilities.” HARC also depends on a number of annual fundraising efforts. The best-known is the New York International wine auction that grossed $255,000 in 2012. While HARC’s current ratio of revenue is 80 percent from Medicaid and 20 percent from other sources, Crosley has set a shortterm goal of changing the ratio to 70/30. His long-term goal is 50/50. To reach this mark, Crosley is assisted by the leadership team at HI. In addition to Lamb, Linda Hines is the production manager, Burt Belden is the production manager of HARC Business Park, Suzanne Bakiewicz is national business-development director, James Carroll is a contracting specialist, Joe Maiola is the state-contract sales representative, and Barbara Ulrich is the program assistant. According to Crosley, “HARC occupies approximately 300,000 square feet of space in the 38 sites combined, more than 90 percent of which it owns. There are no mortgages on either Advanced Technologies or on the HI operations in the Business Park.” q Contact Poltenson at

The Central New York Business Journal • 9

February 1, 2013

Business Journal C e n t r a l

N e w


Y o r k

Volume 27, No. 5 - February 1, 2013 NEWS Editor-in-Chief........................Adam Rombel Assistant Editor..............Maria J. Carbonaro Staff Writers........................... Kevin Tampone (Online Editor) ..............................................................Rick Seltzer ....................................................Norm Poltenson Columnists....................................Tom Morgan Production Manager.......................Erin Zehr Research Manager.................. Nicole Collins SALES Sr. Account Managers....................................... Bernard B. Bregman Mary LaMacchia Marketing .......................BBB Marketing Inc.

Negative reading for Q4 GDP stuns economists


  obody was under any illusions   that the U.S. economy was   roaring in the fourth quarter. But, people didn’t expect this. U.S. GDP actually contracted in the final three months of 2012, the Commerce Department reported Jan. 30. Okay, it was only a drop of 0.1 percent, but a decline is a decline. Economists had been forecasting GDP growth of just over 1 percent in the period, down from the fairly robust 3.1 percent growth posted in the third quarter. “I’m a little surprised,” Michael rombel on Feroli, chief United States economist at business JPMorgan, said about the GDP report in a story on the website of The New York

adam rombel

CIRCULATION Circulation Management....(315) 579-3927 Administrative Publisher..........................Norman Poltenson Chief Operating Officer......Marny Nesher Business Manager..................... Kurt Bramer


The Central New York Business Journal (ISSN #1050-3005) is published every week by CNY Business Review, Inc. All contents copyrighted 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Cover Price $2 Subscription Rate $89 per year Call (800) 836-3539

the report is all encouraging.” And for all of 2012, the economy grew 2.2 percent, up from 1.8 percent in 2011. The problem is that U.S. workers’ takehome pay was just cut at the start of the year with the ending of the 2 percent cut in Social Security tax withholding as part of the fiscal-cliff deal. A series of other tax increases also went into effect on Jan. 1. Then, there is the looming uncertainty over how Washington will handle the fight over the debt ceiling, budget, and the budget sequester’s automatic spending cuts coming soon. It all adds up to a strong headwind for the economy. I will have more thoughts on where the economy stands, including the latest jobs numbers, in a video report on Check it out in the Rombel on Business area on the right-hand side of the site. Adam Rombel is editor-in-chief of The Central New York Business Journal. Contact him at

Pretend Taxes

  hen it comes to over taxing,   people love to pretend. And,   there has been a whole lot of pretending lately. Take France, for instance. The country’s former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, is reported to be planning to move to the UK. “Move” is not the right word. “Flee” would be more accurate. Sarkozy wishes to flee France’s high taxes. The new president of France is trying to slap the rich with a steep tax increase. For fairness, I suppose. And Sarkozy, being rich, may say, “Adieu and kiss my morgan derriere.” at large One of France’s most famous citizens, actor Gérard Depardieu, has already fled. Into the welcoming arms of Russia and Vladimir Putin. You know things must be bad when a guy wants to abandon French cuisine for boiled cabbage and Putin. These guys are not alone. Evidently, a number of rich French are deserting their country over the high taxes. Meanwhile, American pro golfer Phil Mickelson grumbled about California’s high taxes. He threatened to leave that

tom morgan

Times. “It grabs your attention when you have a negative number across everyone’s screens.” This was the first time the U.S. economy shrank since the recession technically ended in the middle of 2009. Now, some economists are saying the fourth-quarter fall in GDP isn’t nearly as bad as it appears. They note that it was driven by sharp decreases in defense spending and business inventories — factors that subtracted 2.6 percent from GDP and aren’t likely to repeat next quarter. They also point to the fact that consumer spending rose a strong 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter with durable-goods purchases jumping almost 14 percent. And, business spending on equipment surged. “Frankly, this is the best-looking contraction in U.S. GDP you’ll ever see,” Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients, according to a story on on the day of the report. “The drag from defense spending and inventories is a one-off. The rest of

state. He hinted he might leave the country. And, Tiger Woods admitted that he moved from California (to Florida) to escape the Golden State’s taxes. Just as billionaire Tom Golisano beat it out of New York for Florida. Where there are no income taxes. He took a hike when New York lawmakers crafted higher taxes — in a bill that seemed to be written expressly for him. For his money, that is. Thousands of folks move from high to low-tax places. Thousands of businesses also do so. You can see this when you look at the patterns of people moving from state to state. Here is where the pretending comes in. The birds who levy the taxes pretend that people move for other reasons. Or, that those who move are selfish. And unreasonable. And ungrateful. Right. Mickelson’s state and federal taxes would come to 60 percent of his income. Before he shells out for property and sales tax. He is SO selfish to want to keep more than 40 cents of each dollar he earns. I ask you a reasonable question. Why in hell would anybody want to move to Texas? The weather is lousy in winter, lousy in summer. At least compared to the states that people desert in order to come there. Moving to Texas from, say, beautiful rural New York is like … it’s like…well, moving to Putinland from Paris. No amount of vodka can alter this. The politicians never admit their taxes

drive people away. And they usually threaten to punish those who desert the ship. Meanwhile, critics on the left pillory the Mickelsons and Golisanos for their grumbling. They can whine about them. But when these big hitters leave states, everybody else pays higher taxes. To replace what these guys no longer pay. And a lot of charities in those states pine for the days when these guys were contributing to them. The politicians who levy higher taxes pretend that people don’t change their behavior when faced with them. They will raise taxes 50 percent on certain activities. They will predict revenues from the taxes will rise 50 percent. And then, revenue goes up only 5 percent. Or perhaps goes down. Does the message get through to the tax writers? Nah. They would rather pretend that something else drove revenues down. Ah well, the French can pretend the people moving away are simply vacationing. Or no longer crave croissants. And Californians can pretend their neighbors move to Texas because they love the grit and the gnats that get swept from the desert into their lattes. 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 www.tomasinmorgan. com

HOW TO REACH US MAIL: Send letters to: Editor, The Central New York Business Journal 269 W. Jefferson St., Syracuse, N.Y. 13202

E-MAIL: PHONE: (315) 472-3104 FAX: (315) 472-3644

10 • The Central New York Business Journal

February 1, 2013

february 5 n 2013 Economic Forecast from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at The Binghamton Club, 83 Front St., Binghamton, featuring Gary D. Keith, M&T Bank. To register, visit or contact Christine Stezzi at (607) 772-8860 or email: cstezzi@

february 6

Business Calendar


n WBOC Meeting from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza. The topic is “Picking up the Pace of Creative Marketing.” The cost is $10 for WBOC members and $20 nonmembers. For more information visit

Herlihy, executive director, New York Family Business Center at (315) 579-2871 or email:

n Book of Lists Kick-Off Breakfast from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. at the Genesee Grande Hotel, Tiffany Ballroom, in Syracuse. The 2013 Book of Lists will be unveiled at this invitation-only event. Keynote speaker is E. Scott Lathrop, professor of marketing practice at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. For more information, please contact Joyl Clance at (315) 579-3917.

n IAAP Meeting beginning at 6 p.m. at VHA Empire – Metro, 5000 Campuswood Drive, DeWitt. The topic will be “An Inside Look at How the IAAP Syracuse Chapter is Run,” presented by IAAP Syracuse Chapter Vice President Theresa M. Csiga. RSVP by Feb. 14 via form/12401111357. For more information, visit or contact Theresa at

february 7

february 20

n Tioga County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Tioga Downs. Awards to be presented include Small Business of the Year, Business of the Year, Beautification Award, and Community Service Award. Cost of the dinner is $40 per person. For more information and reservations, contact the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce at (607) 687-2020. n Liverpool Linguists Meeting from 7 to 8 p.m. at Liverpool Public Library. For details, visit or call (315) 884-2668 or 4572581.

february 19

n CNY ASTD Social Media Community Discussion Group from 9 to 10 a.m. at SUNY Center for Professional Development, 6333 Route 298, Ste. 102, DeWitt. The topic will be “Tablets.” Call (315) 546-2783 or email

february 21 n CNY ASTD Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m. at Coleman’s Irish Pub, 100 S. Lowell St., Syracuse. For more information, call (315) 546-2783 or email:

february 23

n Startup Labs Syracuse Demo Day from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Syracuse Trust Building, 325 South Salina St., Syracuse.

n New Frontiers Business Development Conference & Expo at Broome Community College in Binghamton, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This event is the only business expo exclusively for ethnically, culturally, and underrepresented age/ gender specific business owners in the Southern Tier, organizers say. Conference will feature workshops throughout the day, covering topics including technological advances supporting entrepreneurship, new business, and professional development. An all-day expo allows small-business owners to gain exposure for their firms. For more information, visit or contact The Trifecta Group at (607) 205-8874.

february 12

february 27

n CNYSME Lunch & Learn from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CXtec, 5404 South Bay Road, North Syracuse. The topic will be “Asking the Right Questions to Help Close the Sale,” presented by Leslie English, President and Managing Partner of Dale Carnegie. Cost is $20 for CNYSME members, $25 for nonmembers. Lunch included. RSVP via

n Breakfast Meeting: “Every Business Should Have A Plan” from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Owego Treadway Inn and Conference Center. The Tioga County Chamber of Commerce and the American Red Cross are working together to present this event. Cost of the event is $15 and includes a continental breakfast. Reservations and payment are required by Feb. 25. Call the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce for more information at (607) 687-2020 or email: info@tiogachamber. com

n Eggs & Issues – The Business of the Arts: Understanding the Economic Impact of the Arts from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Binghamton Riverwalk Hotel & Conference Center (Endicott Room), 225 Water St., Binghamton. This event is for Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce members only. The cost is $12 advance/$15 at the door. Register with Christine Stezzi by calling (607) 772-8860 or emailing cstezzi@binghamtonchamber. com

february 13 n New York Family Business Center presents Tom Rogerson, senior managing director and family wealth strategist at Wilmington Trust, N.A. from 8 to 10 a.m. at Radisson Hotel Utica Centre, 200 Genesee St., Utica. The topic will be “5 Steps to Healthy Family Governance.” NYFBC members are prepaid; cost is $29 for nonmembers. For details, contact Donna

march 20 n Healthy Syracuse Worksite Wellness Conference at the SRC Arena & Events Center on the Onondaga Community College campus. This conference is expected to draw more than 200 corporate

decision-makers, including business owners, CEOs, human-resources professionals, benefits administrators, health-care providers, insurance carriers, and publichealth officials. For more information, contact Joyl Clance at (315) 579-3917, or email:

march 27 n 2013 Nonprofit Awards from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. at the Oncenter in Syracuse. Nonprofit leaders will be honored in five categories: Executive of the Year, Board Leadership, Board Development, Impact Award, and Career Achievement. Nominations are being accepted until Feb. 13. To nominate someone or obtain more information about the event, visit or contact Joyl Clance at (315) 579-3917, or email:

APRIL 10 n Wisdom Keeper Award event from 5 to 8 p.m. in the ballroom at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at the Oncenter in Syracuse. The award will be presented to Cornelius (Neil) Murphy, president of ESF. The cost to attend is $100-$150 per person. For details and reservation information, call F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse at (315) 4488732 or visit http://www.focussyracuse. org/2012/11/2013-wisdom-keeper

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: juliareichdesign@ n Every Tuesday, Gung Ho Networking Group from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, 3220 Erie Blvd E., DeWitt. Possible referrals for you; this is not a tip club. First visit free. Contact Paul Ellis at (315) 677-0015 or visit n Every Wednesday, Small Business Development Center at OCC from 4 to 6 p.m., Introduction to Business Startup at H-1 Hall. For more information, please call 498-6070 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-on-one with a counselor from the SBDC for advice and customized assistance opportunities. Scheduled by appointment, call (315) 474-

0910 or email: info@thecleantechcenter. com 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, 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 http://Liverpool. 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 Every Friday, 40 Above: Workers in Transition from 9 to 11 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 for work. Contact John A. Cruty at (315) 569-3964, 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) 472-3104, ext. 103 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 schedule an appointment, contact Lynn Hughes at (315) 579-2862 or email Lynn@TheTechGarden. com 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 Every week, Syracuse Networking Professionals. Five meetings to choose from. For details, call Kevin M. Crook at (315) 439-1803, or email or visit 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

February 1, 2013

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: new hires & promotions banking & finance Michele Bennett has been promoted to branch operations officer at Tompkins Trust Company’sTriphammer office. Bennett has been with Tompkins Trust Company for 17 years. She has held numerous, Bennett customer-based roles including teller, retail services, and branch manager. Her new responsibilities will focus on branch operations and supervision, coordinating referrals with business partners, and maintaining customer-service relationships.

insurance Cynthia L. Merrithew recently joined Preferred Mutual Insurance Company as a liability-claims representative. She comes to Preferred Mutual from another insurance company, where she was employed as a senior liability adjuster. Merrithew has more than 20 years of customer-service experience, including 12 years of experience in insurance claims. Merrithew has a Bachelor of Science degree from Roberts Wesleyan College. She completed all 10 Insurance Services Office claims classes, is a licensed New York State Broker, Automobile Appraiser, and attended Vale Training School for Residential and Commercial Property Appraising. She

resides in the town of Penfield. Preferred Mutual Insurance employs about 260 and is headquartered in New Berlin.

manufacturing Unadilla Laminated Products (Una-Lam), a wood-products manufacturer with a plant in Sidney and headquarters in Unadilla, has named Leif Van Cott vice president of operations, Rik Vandermeulen vice president of engineering, and Zoë van der Meulen vice president of communication. All three have worked for Una-Lam since 2005 and represent the sixth generation of the Van Cott family to have worked for the business. Leif Van Cott graduated from Boston University in 2001 with a B.S.B.A in finance. Before joining Una-Lam, he worked in human resources for Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. in New Hampshire. He also served from 2006 to 2013 on the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce board. Rik Vandermeulen graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2000 with a B.S. in civil engineering. Before joining Una-Lam, he was employed by McNamara/ Salvia, Inc., a structural engineering firm in Boston. Vandermeulen is licensed as a professional engineer in 10 states. He is the secretary of the Unadilla Rotary Club and serves on the CDO STEM Council. Zoë van der Meulen graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1998 with a B.A. in government and history. Before joining UnaLam, she was director of marketing for the Northeast Human Resources Association in Wellesley, Mass. She is past-president

of the Unadilla Rotary Club, serves on the CDO Workforce Investment Board, and is an active volunteer with other local and international organizations.

marketing research Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) has promoted Bonni Nelson to be the new team leader in the Baldwinsville–based firm’s onsite call center, QualiSight. Nelson was promoted from the position of telephone-survey Nelson associate, a position she held for the past year. In her new role, she will be responsible for assisting QualiSight Manager Lauren Krell and QualiSight Supervisor Mary BorlandWainman with the daily operation of the call center, providing leadership and support to the evening staff and on weekends as needed.

private investigators Jeffrey R. Callahan was recently hired by AMRIC Associates Ltd. of East Syracuse as a field investigator. Callahan is retired from the Syracuse Police Department and will be responsible for handling private-investigative matters in the Central New York area. He is a New York State-certified accident reconstructionist.

real estate Weichert, Realtors The Bollinger Group has announced that realtor Maureen Doody has joined the agency’s sales team. A 25-year resident of the area, she will assist homebuyers and sellers throughDoody out Central New York. Doody is a member of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors and lives in Syracuse. Pursuing an alliedhealth degree from South University, she holds certified nursing assistant (CNA), home health aide (HHA), and personal care assistant (PCA) certificates. q

Send your People-on-the-Move: New Hires and Promotions news via email to:

12 • The Central New York Business Journal

February 1, 2013








Visit to nominate & learn more! For more information, contact Joyl Clance at (315) 579-3917 or

Presented By:

Event Date: March 27, 2013 • The Oncenter


Contact Mary LaMacchia at (315) 579-3907 or email

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Q&A Editor’s note: The Investment Q&A feature will appear regularly in the Banking & Wealth Management special reports of The Central New York Business Journal, spotlighting area investment professionals and their views on the markets and investments. In this issue, Jim Burns, president of J.W. Burns & Company in DeWitt, chatted with Adam Rombel, editor-in-chief, via phone on Jan. 28. James (Jim) Burns, president of J.W. Burns & Company in DeWitt


Business Journal: What is your view on where the financial markets are headed in the coming months? Burns: I think that it’s important for investors to remember that the driving force underpinning the markets and the global economy will continue to be monetary policy. Specifically, the world’s two primary central banks — the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank — have continued to pursue extremely accommodative monetary policies that have supported asset prices and in turn, global economic growth. In 2013, I expect these monetary policies to continue. And while the Federal Reserve had previously stated that it would maintain ultra-low interest rates until sometime in 2015, it most recently tied that policy to achieving a 6.5 percent U.S. unemployment rate with no more than 2.5 percent inflation. Because I believe the Fed’s target is a ways off, I would favor risk assets over safety assets, and that would mean equities — both U.S. and international — over lowyielding bonds. In short, I believe 2013 will probably be another good year for stock investors. Again, monetary policy is the key as earnings growth will likely be moderate in 2013 — probably in about the 5-6 percent range for S&P 500 company earnings. So, my best guess would be probably a return in the 8-11 percent range for the S&P 500 index this year. [Editor’s note: In 2012, the S&P 500’s total return was 16 percent, factoring in reinvested dividends.] Business Journal: Provide specific recommendations for investments that clients should be making right now. See Q&A, page 7B


Community Bank net income slips in Q4, rises for full year fees. More than 100 other financial institutions around the country have been hit with similar lawsuits over the past three years, DeWITT — Acquisition costs and a litiga- according to Community Bank. The banking company said it had contion settlement helped push profit down at Community Bank System, Inc. (NYSE: siderable defenses against the claims, but decided to settle to avoid the cost and staff CBU) in the fourth quarter. The DeWitt–based banking company time required for litigation. DeWitt–based Community Bank System earned $18.8 million, or 47 cents per share, in the quarter, down from $19 million, or has $7.5 billion in assets and more than 180 51 cents, in the fourth quarter of 2011. branches in upstate New York and northeastern Pennsylvania. The fourth quarter The banking company, included $500,000 in parent of Community acquisition costs and Bank N.A., also operates a $2.5 million charge subsidiaries in employee related to litigation QUARTERLY REPORT benefits, insurance, insettlement, which the vestment management company said lowered and advising, and wealth management. earnings by 5 cents per share. For the full year in 2012, Community The settlement involved a class-action lawsuit over the processing of retail debit- Bank System earned $77.1 million in 2012, card transactions and its effect on overdraft an increase of 5.4 percent from 2011. BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

Community Bank

Symbol: CBU Recent price: 28.60 52-week high: 29.50 52-week low: 25.38 52-week change: 1.87% Exch: NYSE 6-month history

30 29 28 27 26 25 A12 S12 O12 N12 D12 J13 SOURCE: YAHOO FINANCE

Mark Tryniski, company president and CEO, noted that Community Bank’s main challenge in 2012 was to grow its balance sheet, keep expenses low, and increase noninterest income. Given the continuation of See COMMUNITY, page 6B

Profit increases in Q4, full year at M&T Bank shares worth more than $381 million. The bank was also able to capitalize on upheaval caused by HSBC’s exit from et income at M&T Bank Corp. the upstate New York retail market, Jones (NYSE: MTB) rose to $296 mil- said. HSBC sold its branch network in the lion in the fourth quarter from region to First Niagara Financial Group in May. $148 million a year earlier. M&T’s deposits at the end of the year Earnings per share for the period totaled $2.16, up from $1.04 in the fourth totaled $65.6 billion, up 10 percent from a quarter of 2011. Although there were year earlier. And during the third quarter, M&T no unusual items in M&T’s 2012 fourth quarter, the year-earlier period included announced plans to acquire Paramus, several one-time items that pushed in- N.J.–based Hudson City Bancorp, Inc. come down by $33 million, or 26 cents per (NASDAQ: HCBK). The $3.7 billion acquisition will bring M&T $25 billion in share, according to the bank. For the full year in 2012, Buffalo–based deposits and $28 billion in loans. Most of Hudson City’s 135 branches are M&T earned $1.03 billion, or $7.54 per in New Jersey, where share, up from $859 M&T said it will have million, or $6.35 per the fourth largest deshare, in 2011. posit share following M&T Executive QUARTERLY REPORT the acquisition’s closVice President and ing. Hudson City has CFO Rene Jones noted several major accomplishments from other branches in downstate New York throughout 2012 during a Jan. 16 confer- and Connecticut. For the fourth quarter at M&T, net inence call on the banking company’s latest terest income totaled $674 million, up from results. They included M&T’s successful exit $624.6 million a year earlier. Noninterest from the U.S. Treasury Department’s income for the period was $453 million, up Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) from $398 million a year earlier. Excluding some one-time items, nonprogram. The Treasury sold its preferred stock in M&T to the public and no longer interest income was $468 million in the fourth quarter, up from $368 million in holds any M&T shares. M&T in 2011 repaid more than the fourth quarter of 2011. The increase $700 million in TARP funds, some ac- was mainly the result of higher mortgage quired through acquisition. Those repay- banking revenues, according to M&T. Noninterest expense for the fourth ments had left the Treasury with M&T BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF


quarter was $626 million, compared with $740 million a year earlier. Loans at the end of the year totaled $66.6 billion, up from $60.1 billion at the end of 2011. Jones noted that M&T’s credit quality remains strong The provision for loan losses during the quarter was $49 million, down from $74 million a year earlier. Net charge-offs totaled $44 million, down from $74 million a year earlier. Nonaccruing loans totaled $1.01 billion at the end of the period, down from $1.1 billion a year earlier. M&T has more than 700 branch offices in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The bank has total assets of $83 billion. M&T is the leading bank in the Syracuse metro area deposit market with 30 branches, more than $2.5 billion in deposits, and a market share of 23.4 percent, according to the latest statistics from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The bank is second in the Utica–Rome area with 12 branches, $627.5 million in deposits, and a market share of about 17 percent. M&T also leads the Binghamton–area market with 16 branches, more than $1.3 billion in deposits, and a market share of more than 50 percent.  Contact Tampone at

2B • The Central New York Business Journal


February 1, 2013

Lenders prepare for new rules on mortgages BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

“Conceptually, most of it is common sense and it’s things good lenders have been doing anyhow.”


ortgage lenders across the region and country are likely to spend some time over the next year preparing for new rules coming from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB and the new lending rules it’s issuing stem from the financial crisis that began in 2008 and the actions by some lenders that led up to the crash. The bureau approved a new set of rules affecting mortgage underwriting in January that goes into effect in 2014. The regulations require mortgage lenders to take into account borrowers’ ability to repay their loans as part of the underwriting process, says Edward Spencer, a partner at Syracuse–based law firm Mackenzie Hughes, LLP. The rules mandate a structured procedure to analyze whether borrowers can ultimately pay back a loan. Lenders must consider factors like borrowers’ current income levels and assets, their current employment status and

 EDWARD SPENCER partner at Mackenzie Hughes, LLP

whether any changes are likely in that status, how their monthly loan payment compares to their income, any other existing loans or financial obligations borrowers have, and more. In reality, most lenders were already looking at those factors and making them a part of the decision process on new mortgages, Spencer says. The difference for them will be in documentation and compliance. The new rules mandate that lenders keep careful track of whether and how they considered all those different factors, Spencer says. Those records must

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be maintained for a number of years after the loan closes, he adds. Most lenders won’t need to significantly retool their operations to comply with the new rules. But they should take a step back and make sure their process is aligned with the documentation and recordkeeping requirements in the new regulations, Spencer says. The new rules will be one more item on regulators’ checklists when they visit financial institutions for examinations, he adds. “They just need to take a break and look at what they currently have in place,”

Spencer says. “Conceptually, most of it is common sense and it’s things good lenders have been doing anyhow.” The new underwriting rules shouldn’t have much real effect on consumers, he adds. They were already required to submit information on income and other factors by most lenders. The CFPB is just getting started on its rulemaking in response to the financial crisis and housing crash. A final rule is expected later this year that would combine lending-disclosure requirements from two different sets of regulations currently on the books, Spencer says. They’re redundant to some extent, but combining the two would likely require a major revamping for mortgage lenders. And consumers would notice that change as well. It applies directly to disclosure forms they receive at the time they apply for a loan, Spencer says. “For the mortgage industry, this should be an interesting year,” he adds.  Contact Tampone at


The Central New York Business Journal • 3B


February 1, 2013

New president takes over at Geddes Federal BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

GEDDES — Growing the customer base in the Manlius area is one of the top priorities for the new president at Geddes Federal Savings and Loan Association. Brian DuMond took over leadership at Geddes Federal, effective at the start of 2013. He succeeds William Hemmerlein, who retired at the end of 2012. DuMond joined Geddes Federal in November. Manlius and the surrounding area provide fertile ground for growth at Geddes Federal, DuMond says. There are large regional banks in the market and credit unions, he notes, but a lack of community banks. “Our niche isn’t being served in that market,” he says. “I see tremendous opportunity out there.” Geddes Federal opened a branch in Manlius, its second in its 60-year history, in

2011. The savings and loan is headquartered at 208 W. Genesee St. in Geddes, but also has a number of customers on the east side of the county and even into Madison County. The combination of DuMond an existing customer base and room for more growth made Manlius the perfect fit for a new office, DuMond says. At the same time, he doesn’t expect a rash of expansion for Geddes Federal. He says one of his other top priorities is to ensure the savings and loan’s existing customer base that things will continue on as they always have. “We’re going to be what we have always been,” DuMond says.

The savings and loan prides itself on a family atmosphere and the staff knows many customers by sight, he notes. Thirteen of Geddes Federal’s 40 employees have worked there for more than 20 years. DuMond was previously employed by the accounting firm Dermody, Burke & Brown CPAs, LLC of Syracuse, where he was a partner. He spent 26 years at the firm and specialized in working with financial institutions, governments, and nonprofits and was involved with the firm’s fraud, forensic, and audit work, according to Geddes Federal. In fact, Geddes Federal was one of the very first clients DuMond worked with as an accountant. He eventually rose through the ranks at Dermody to become the partner in charge of the Geddes Federal account. When he learned the top job there was open, he says he thought it was a perfect fit. Dermody and Geddes Federal have similar cultures, DuMond notes. As for the future, he says the bank could look to move into mobile banking at some

point in the future. “We’re looking at it, but we’re not there yet,” he says. “It’s certainly one of the things I think is exciting.” And while Geddes Federal has no current plans to open more branches, DuMond says that could change if the right opportunity comes along. “The Geddes model is working so well right now that adding a bunch of branches right now doesn’t seem to make sense,” he says. “We’re open to it if the right opportunity presents itself.” Geddes Federal has more than $500 million in assets, $416 million in deposits, and $470 million in loans. DuMond says 2012 was a strong year for lending at Geddes Federal and so far this year things have picked right up where they left off. Its customers are mainly consumers. It does have some commercial relationships and checking accounts, but most clients are families.  Contact Tampone at





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4B • The Central New York Business Journal


February 1, 2013

Key expects loan growth, more cost cutting in 2013 she said. “I am confident that our strategies are working and that we are on the right path forward.� et income for common shareholdKey’s stock price rose 9.5 percent in ers from continuing operations 2012, compared to the approximately 16 at KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) totaled percent increase in the Dow Jones U.S. $193 million, or 21 cents a share, in the Select Regional Banks Index. But year to fourth quarter. date through Jan. 28, Key’s shares had That’s down from $201 million, or 21 already risen 9.3 percent, compared to the cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 6 percent gain for the index. 2011. The Cleveland, Ohio–based bankKeyBank has more than 1,000 branching company took a $16 million charge es in 14 states and assets of more than during the quarter related to its latest $89 billion. cost-cutting effort. Key is the number two bank in the For the full year in Syracuse–metro area 2012, net income from deposit market with 27 continuing operations branches, more than attributable to common $1.8 billion in deposits, shareholders was $827 and a market share of QUARTERLY REPORT million, or 88 cents a 16.8 percent, accordshare, down from $857 ing to the latest statismillion, or 92 cents a share, in 2011. tics from the Federal Deposit Insurance Last year was a strong one for the Corp. The bank has two offices, more than bank, but it wasn’t enough, KeyCorp $58 million in deposits, and a market share Chairwoman and CEO Beth Mooney said of 1.58 percent in the Utica–Rome area. during a Jan. 24 conference call to discuss Loan growth was a highlight for Key’s latest results. KeyBank in 2012, with commercial and “We are focused on sustaining our posi- industrial lending leading the way, Senior tive momentum and continuing to drive Executive Vice President and CFO Jeffrey our performance in 2013 and beyond,� Weeden said during the conference call. BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF


Commercial and industrial loans rose 21 percent in 2012. The bank has had success expanding lending with new and existing clients in some focused industry segments, Weeden said. Key expects average loan balances to increase in the mid- to upper single digits this year. Commercial lending will likely drive the increase again as the bank focuses on sectors where it can deliver a full range of products, services, and advice to clients, Weeden said. Consumer loans also rose in 2012, aided by a credit-card portfolio Key acquired during the third quarter, he added. Overall, average total loan balances increased 6.6 percent to more than $51.8 billion in 2012. Cost cutting will be a continuing focus for Key in 2013, Mooney said. The bank began a broad initiative to reduce expenses last year. Key closed 19 underperforming branches in 2012 and is on track to shutter another 40 to 50 this year, Mooney say. Locally, Key closed a branch in Syracuse (and shuttered one in Dannemora in Clinton County), but also opened a new office in Manlius. Key is aiming to save $150 million to


Symbol: KEY Recent price: 9.34 52-week high: 9.50 52-week low: 6.80 52-week change: 17.96% Exch: NYSE 6-month history

9 8.5 8 7.5 7 A12 S12 O12 N12 D12 J13 SOURCE: YAHOO FINANCE

$200 million in annual expenses by the end of this year. The bank’s moves in 2012 trimmed $60 million in annual costs, Mooney said. ď ą Contact Tampone at

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The Central New York Business Journal • 5B

Charges yield lower net income at First Niagara pected and projections of elevated levels of more than 7.5 percent, according to for the foreseeable future, according to the latest statistics from the Federal First Niagara. Deposit Insurance Corp. First Niagara harges related to collateralizedThe company also recorded $3.7 million is also number four in the Utica–Rome mortgage obligations and job in restructuring charges. First Niagara market with nine branches, $405.9 milcuts helped push profit lower at cut 180 positions across its four-state foot- lion in deposits, and a market share of First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. in the print late last year. The cuts included five about 11 percent. fourth quarter. positions in Central New York. The bank is number two in the Net income available to common shareFirst Niagara President and CEO John Binghamton market with 10 branches, holders at Buffalo–based First Niagara Koelmel said managing expenses will be a $342.5 million in deposits, and a market (NASDAQ: FNFG) totaled $53.5 million, priority for the bank throughout 2013. share of 12.8 percent. or 15 cents a share, for the period. That’s “We must spend less,” he said during a First Niagara had total loans of down from $58.5 million, or 19 cents a Jan. 23 conference call on First Niagara’s $19.7 billion at the end of 2012, up from share, in the fourth quarter of 2011. fourth-quarter results. about $16.5 billion at the end of 2011. For the full year in 2012, net income The bank will continue to look for ways Deposits totaled $27.7 billion, up from available to common shareholders totaled to run more efficiently, he added. $19.4 billion. $140.7 million, or 40 Personnel costs, Net interest income in the fourth cents per share. That’s vendor expenses, and quarter was $252.3 million, up from down from $173.9 milother costs will all get $242.5 million a year earlier. Noninterest lion, or 64 cents per continued close at- income for the period totaled $91.8 milshare, in 2011. tention, First Niagara lion, up from $63.7 million in the fourth QUARTERLY REPORT First Niagara Bank CFO Gregor y quarter of 2011. has 430 branches, $37 Norwood said during Noninterest expenses totaled billion in assets, and 6,000 employees the conference call. He said the bank $238.8 million in the fourth quarter, up in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, wasn’t announcing any more specific cost- from $202.2 million a year earlier. Koelmel Connecticut, and Massachusetts. cutting moves, but would continue to said First Niagara’s goal is to reduce that During the quarter, the banking com- focus on expenses in the months ahead. total to about $225 million per quarter. pany took a $16 million charge related First Niagara Bank is number four in Net charge-offs totaled $8.9 million for to its portfolio of collateralized-mortgage the Syracuse–metro-area deposit market the period, up from $5.8 million a year obligations. The move reflects higher lev- with 21 branches, more than $808 million earlier. First Niagara’s loan loss provision els of mortgage prepayments than ex- in deposits, and a deposit market share in the fourth quarter was $21.5 million, up Mackenzie Hughes 67804 Banking Ad — CNY Business Journal: 7½" w x 6 3⁄8"h BW BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

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10 9.5 9 8.5 8 7.5 A12 S12 O12 N12 D12 J13 SOURCE: YAHOO FINANCE

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6B • The Central New York Business Journal

banking & wealth management

February 1, 2013

Pathfinder Bancorp profit rises in Q4 and for full year By Kevin Tampone Journal Staff

OSWEGO — Pathfinder Bancorp, Inc., holding company for Pathfinder Bank, earned $729,000 in the fourth quarter, up more than 67 percent from a year earlier. Earnings per share for the period totaled 25 cents a share, up from 10 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2011. The

rise in profit resulted mainly from increases in net interest income and gains on sales of securities, loans, and foreclosed real estate, according to the bank. For the full year in 2012, Pathfinder earned $2.6 million, or 87 cents a share, up from $2.3 million, or 52 cents a share, in 2011. “Quality, organic loan growth has allowed us to continue favorable and forward earnings trends despite the strong

headwinds of compressed net interest spreads brought on by excessive monetary policy intervention in the national economy,” Pathfinder President and CEO Thomas Schneider said in the earnings report. “Annual earnings of $2.6 million represent a record level for the company. “Loan growth of $29 million, or 9.5 percent, while maintaining stable and strong asset quality, has been and will continue



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to be the key driver of sustainable earnings during this tepid economic recovery. We are confident in our market position to continue our favorable trends.” Oswego–based Pathfinder (NASDAQ: PBHC) has total assets of $477.8 million and eight branches in Oswego and Onondaga counties. q Contact Tampone at

COMMUNITY: The bank saw increases in all of its loan portfolios in 2012 Continued from page 1B

MARCH 20, 2013



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low interest rates for the foreseeable future, the challenge remains the same for 2013. “We grind it out,” he said during a Jan. 23 conference call to discuss Community Bank’s latest results. Loans at the end of 2012 totaled $3.87 billion, up from $3.47 billion a year earlier. The increase includes growth in the bank’s existing business and the presence of loans picked up through recent acquisitions. The bank saw increases in all of its loan portfolios in 2012, Executive Vice President and CFO Scott Kingsley said during the conference call. Community Bank saw record levels of mortgage and auto lending last year, he added. Tryniski said the bank’s auto-lending business could be on track for another year of double-digit growth in 2013 and the bank is expecting another year of solid loan growth overall. Net interest income for the fourth quarter was about $60 million, up from $55.1 million a year earlier. Noninterest income rose $3.8 million to $26.2 million and included double-digit increases in revenue from Community Bank’s employee-benefits and wealth-management businesses and in deposit service fees. Deposits at the end of year totaled $5.6 billion, up from about $4.8 billion at the end of 2011. Operating expenses for the fourth quarter, excluding the acquisition expenses and litigation-settlement charge, totaled $53.9 million, up $6.2 million from a year earlier. The jump is the result of new operating expenses from HSBC and First Niagara Bank branches Community Bank acquired last year and an acquisition in its employee-benefits business. Net charge-offs for the period totaled $2.6 million, up from $1.8 million a year earlier. Nonperforming loans at the end of the quarter totaled $29.1 million, down from $31.4 million a year earlier. Community Bank’s provision for loan losses in the fourth quarter was $2.7 million, up $1.1 million from a year ago. q Contact Tampone at

The Central New York Business Journal • 7B

February 1, 2013



Ranked by No. of CNY Employees

Feb. 15 • P&C Agencies Feb. 22 • Cultural & Performing Arts Organizations March 1 • Technology-Based Companies March 8 • Sign Companies


1. 2. 3.

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4. 5.



Research by Nicole Collins (315) 579-3911

7. 8.

1. Pall Corp. — Company did not respond to requests for information. Employee count is a Business Journal estimate. 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. Central New York includes Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.

9. 10. 11.

Name Address Phone/Website Welch Allyn 4341 State Street Road Skaneateles Falls, NY 13153 (315) 685-4100/ ConMed 525 French Road Utica, NY 13502 (315) 797-8375/ Pall Corp. 3643 State Route 281 Cortland, NY 13045 (607) 753-6041/ Bristol-Myers Squibb Company 6000 Thompson Road East Syracuse, NY 13057 (315) 432-2000/ Norwich Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 6826 State Highway 12 Norwich, NY 13815 (607) 335-3000/ ICON Development Solutions 8282 Halsey Road Whitesboro, NY 13492 (315) 768-2500/ Transonic Systems Inc. 34 Dutch Mill Road Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 257-5300/ InfiMed, Inc. 121 Metropolitan Drive Liverpool, NY 13088 (315) 453-4545/ Digital Analysis Corp. 716 Visions Drive Skaneateles, NY 13152 (315) 685-0760/ Rondaxe Pharma, LLC 6443 Ridings Road, Suite 125 Syracuse, NY 13206 (315) 469-2800/ Vybion, Inc. 33 Thornwood Drive Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 266-0860/

Total No. of 2011 Sales CNY Revenue Employees ($ million)

Products or Services

Markets Served

Key Executives

Year Estab.

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John Mosack, Executive Director & General Manager





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Kenton Shultis, CEO Ann P. Kich, Partner




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Q&A: Burns: “I believe there are three primary risks to which investors need to be alert.” Continued from page 1B

Burns: With the Dow Jones Industrial Average literally bumping near all-time highs as we speak, you have to dig deep to find some real values. One sector that I believe is out of favor and offers investors a robust longer-term return is natural gas. Specifically, we like Apache Corp. (ticker: APA). Apache is about as close to a pure natural-gas play as you can find. Naturalgas prices have been adversely affected by the expansion of fracking as well as warmer winters in general, but that has obviously changed this year, and I believe natural gas will in fact be more widely used as a substitute for coal. Furthermore, Apache is pushing very heavily into the Permean Basin, where it expects to generate 80 percent of the company’s 5-year earnings growth, which we believe will

come in at over 10 percent per annum. Currently, Apache is selling at around $84 a share, which is well off its 52-week high of $112, and it is selling at only about 12 times forward earnings. A second company we like is DuPont (ticker: DD). The real story here is DuPont is moving away from traditional chemicals and materials and instead emphasizing agriculture, nutrition, industrial biosciences, and advanced materials. DuPont just approved a $1 billion stock buy back. It currently yields a secure 3.5 percent and has a very shareholder-friendly management team. We also continue to purchase Ralph Lauren Corp. (ticker: RL). This is just a great company. What I really like about Ralph Lauren is its innovative business model, in which it sells high-end goods to upper-end consumers, but it also distrib-

utes its lower-end goods to stores such as J.C. Penney, T.J. Maxx, and the like. And this has allowed Ralph Lauren to produce a much more consistent revenue stream than most retailers in a challenging macro environment. Business Journal: What do you see as the greatest risks investors need to be aware of and seek to avoid in the coming months? Burns: I believe there are three primary risks to which investors need to be alert. First, if the U.S. economy begins to pick up steam and unemployment approaches the Federal Reserve’s 6.5 percent targeted unemployment rate, financial markets will anticipate the end of the Fed’s ultra-low interest-rate policy, and that could trigger market weakness. So watch the unemployment rate. Secondly, policy makers in Washington could really bungle their

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efforts to achieve a credible multi-year deficit-reduction package. This worst-case scenario could shake investor’s confidence in America’s ability to lead and solve its problems, and that would cause market turbulence. I would caveat this by pointing out that many investors have already written off the prospects that the two political parties can work together and achieve a grand bargain. But I guess it depends on how acrimonious the battle becomes. The final concern that investors might consider is complacency. The American Association of Individual Investors posted a survey in January indicating that the level of bullishness among investors has just jumped to a two-year high. And with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on the verge of breaking through its all-time high, investors should be selective and seek out real value before deploying new cash. q

8B • The Central New York Business Journal

February 1, 2013


CHAMBER c o r n e r

Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Member Spotlight

Putting Community into Business: A Goal for Kashani and the Liverpool Chamber  BY SUSAN FARNSWORTH For the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce

“I like to hear from people,” says Sohyla Ziaie, owner of Kashani Home Décor and Gifts, which opened in June in the village of Liverpool. A sense of community is important to Ziaie and, for her, this is part of the appeal of owning a gift shop where visitors tend to be leisurely and ready to chat. The store also is an opportunity to share her love of beautiful décor for the home, as well as lovely items for gift giving. To build her Kashani community, Ziaie collects email addresses from her customers so she can keep in touch. When she held her “Grand Opening Open House” in November, Ziaie sent invitations to the list of those first customers. And she always sends a thank you to a new visitor following his/her first time there. Ziaie’s approach is more that of a host than of a proprietor, often walking with a customer through the shop to point out items that might suit, as she learns what the customer seeks. And no one leaves the shop without one of her beautiful “signature” gold and black business cards. Having just experienced her first Christmas season in business, one of the rewards for Ziaie’s efforts was the number of return customers that came in to shop for holiday gifts. Originally from Iran, Ziaie has been in the United States for 30 years, and has raised her sons — now in high school and college — in the Baldwinsville Central School District. In addition to careers in retail, banking, and small-business ownership, Ziaie also holds a real-estate license. She is active in the local Persian community, often helping to organize holiday celebrations. (She plans to hold an event at her shop to celebrate the Persian New Year this spring.) Over the years, Ziaie has helped many people from her home country to move to and get settled in the Central New York community. With the network she has built, Ziaie often has people reach out to her for help for a newcomer. She helps new residents find a place to live, learn their way around the area, or simply meet other members of the Persian community so they feel at home. Community is just as important to Ziaie in the business world. An early step in establishing her business presence in Liverpool was to join the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. Already, Ziaie has used the chamber’s monthly mailing service. By inserting her open-house announcements in the chamber mailing, she was able to include the chamber business community in her invitation and know the information would reach all her fellow business neighbors. Ziaie looks forward to building her relationship with the Liverpool area, and getting to know its residents. “I belong to the Chamber to help me do this,” she says. —Susan Farnsworth, for the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce

Editor’s note: The Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce provided and is solely responsible for the content of this page.

GREATER LIVERPOOL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 2013 BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE OFFICERS President — Dennis Hebert Hebert Financial Strategies/Blue Ocean Strategic Capital, Liverpool “As a resident and local business owner, I believe the chamber can and should play an integral role in the continued development of our unique and vibrant community. Working together we can foster a stronger business environment and improve the overall community environment.” 1st Vice President — Dr. Tom Conley Conley Chiropractic, Liverpool “I want to be more involved in the community and help the chamber promote business in the Greater Liverpool area.” 2nd Vice President — Cristina Morrissiey AmeriCU Credit Union, Liverpool “I enjoy working with people and my involvement with the Liverpool Chamber has provided many opportunities to meet and work with others to achieve a common goal — promoting the Liverpool area and local businesses.” Secretary — Julie Witty CNY Payroll Services, Inc., East Syracuse “ ‘Together every one wins,’ is at the foundation of networking. Believing in ‘Made in America’ will create more jobs. Trickledown economics and doing business with our members, I think, is the core of our chamber. Every business can benefit from our many forums to learn, create and grow.” Treasurer — Richard Usher Davidson & Fox Company, Liverpool ”A strong and vibrant business helps hold the greater community together. I will use my business and accounting skills to build on the good work of those who have gone before me to help the chamber achieve its mission.”

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Anthony Carangelo The Growth Coach, Verona Beach Rina Corigliano-Hart Benefit Consulting Group, North Syracuse Lou Gonzalez Primerica Financial Services, East Syracuse Jennifer Hill ITT Technical Institute, Liverpool Lynda Liberatore Saint Joseph The Worker, Liverpool Bill Pastella (Past President) Merrill Lynch, Syracuse Cory Sullivan ICTG, LLC, Liverpool

PAST PRESIDENTS — NOT ON BOARD Rand Allgaier Allgaier Law Firm, Liverpool Tamara Crowley Adecco, Liverpool

Central New York Business Journal 2/1/13  

Central New York Business Journal 2/1/13