Page 1

Lily-Pad Strategy: Upstate Shredding accelerates acquisitions. Page 3.

Nonprofit Corner: Food Bank of the Southern Tier. Page 9.









Vol. IX • No. 1









February 14, 2014 • $2.00


Walsh family bets big on casino license for Traditions

Tioga State Bank: 150 years of navigating a community bank BY NORM POLTENSON JOURNAL STAFF

SPENCER — How do you mark your 150th birthday? If you are Tioga State Bank (TSB), you celebrate for an entire year, starting with a ribbon-cutting, press conference, and gift of $20,000 to local food banks. The kick-off event took place Jan. 28 at the bank’s headquarters in Spencer. During 2014, TSB will promote a travelling display about the bank, launch contests for adults and children, publish a cookbook with


JOHNSON CITY — The Walsh family is thinking big, really big. That is the mantra behind the recent push to obtain a new casino license from New York state to create the Traditions Resort and Casino. Flash back to last summer when Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed the “Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act,” an initiative designed to boost the Upstate economy by awarding casino licenses. Four table-gaming licenses were designated in three regions: Albany–Saratoga, the Catskills/ Hudson Valley, and the Southern Tier/ Finger Lakes region. Seven years later, the state would grant another three licenses Downstate. The only impediment was a vote by the citizens to amend the constitution in order to permit state casinos. The voters responded in the affirmative on Nov. 5, 2013. What’s the next stop? “The process now moves to the [New York] State Gaming Commission, an agency that regulates the lottery and horse racing,” says William Walsh, a principal and owner of the Walsh & Sons Construction Co. and of the Traditions at the Glen Resort and



See TSB, page 8

William Walsh, center, flanked by his sons Matt, left, and Peter, right, stand in the old IBM Homestead, now renamed Traditions at the Glen Resort & Conference Center. The Walsh family is applying for a gambling license to convert Traditions into a resort and casino. Conference Center. “The commission is tasked with creating a Gaming Facility Location Board, a panel that has 90 days to issue a request for proposals. The final step is for the board to review the applications and grant the licenses. The process may take six to 12 months.” The bids will be evaluated based on three criteria: projected economic impact counts for 70 percent, local support is 20 percent, and other issues such as hiring practices represent 10 percent. Peter Walsh, a third-generation Walsh

employed at Walsh Construction and who sits on the board of Traditions, says the decision could have a big impact on the region. “If Traditions receives a license, it would rejuvenate the greater Binghamton area,” he opines. “Everybody knows that Broome [County] needs an economic boost that will create jobs and tax revenue. This is really a golden opportunity.” Matt Walsh, Peter’s older brother who returned from a stint as an investment See WALSH, page 10


Bob Fisher, president and CEO of Tioga State Bank, greets staff and guests at the bank’s 150th anniversary celebration.










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2 • The Greater Binghamton Business Journal

February 14, 2014

Al Cleinman focuses on optometrists’ vision


ing a sales pitch in Tampa to sign up on the spot. “Membership grew very quickly,� remembers Cleinman. “By 1984, the company was strapped for capital and had a negative net-worth of $600,000. I brought in investors, led by Chemical Venture Partners (now Chase Capital), which initially committed $1.3 million.� Co-Optics subsequently received multiple venturecapital investments to fuel its growth. Between 1985 and 1989, Cleinman created four new businesses within Co-Optics. “I launched Sight magazine, a quarterly, glossy publication with a circulation of over 1 million subscribers. The magazine was mailed to our members’ patients in advance of their next appointment. Co-Optics also created a lab, and the company offered managed services to HMOs (health-maintenance organizations). The fourth business was a computerized patient recall that mailed reminders to our members’ patients.� When Cleinman left Co-Optics in 1989, the company had 50 employees, between the Oneonta site and an acquired business located in Seattle. His next venture was starting Cleinman Performance Partners, Inc (CPP), an Oneonta–based consultancy specializing in the business of optometry. How would the company stand out from the crowd? “Unlike most consultants, who take a narrow focus on an industry, CPP was designed to offer a wide array of services to just one industry,� states Cleinman.

“We provide services to [industry] leaders and to organizations through six business ONEONTA — Alan H. Cleinman can’t help units: ‘Solutions’ offers it; he is a serial entrepreneur. custom consulting in At age five, he held a yard sale at his areas such as planning, home in Gilbertsville in Otsego County and organizational developsold his mother’s jewelry. (She later recovment, agreements, ered the items.) At age 13, he hawked popCleinman succession, and divescorn from a wagon at the local speedway. titure strategies; the By the time he was 16, Cleinman worked as ‘Network’ offers sharing of best practices a salesman for Brillen International Optical, and benchmarking; the ‘University’ is foselling imported eyeglass frames over the cused on education through training workphone to optometrists. He soon found himshops and staff events; ‘Resources’ is the self the national sales manager, with six empublishing arm, which includes white paployees reporting to him. At age 18, the boy pers, webinars, data-mining, and research; from Gilbertsville went off for four months ‘Services’ renders support services, such to try his hand as a carnival barker, before as IT, facilities design, real-estate developreturning to the world of optometry. ment, accounting, and merchandising; and Cleinman launched his first company the ‘Connections’ unit handles supply-side, — Co-Optics of America — when he was marketing support.â€? 23. “I had just read ‘How to Borrow Your Today, CPP is North America’s largest, Way to a Fortune,’ â€? says Cleinman. “The general-business consultancy specializing book recommended walking into multiple in the vision-care industry, according to banks on the same day to ask for a loan. I Cleinman. The company currently has a ‌ [visited] three, and two gave me $5,000 staff of 20 and another 15 professional loans. The $10,000 let me create a buying consultants in its national network. CPP is group for eye frames and lenses, so that currently looking to fill another five posismall optometrists could compete with the tions. The company operates from an 8,000large retailers whose volume purchases square-foot building in downtown Oneonta, warranted a discount. Co-Optics charged which is owned by Cleinman. The Business a one-time membership fee and took a perJournal estimates annual revenue at more cent of the purchase price.â€? than $3 million. Co-Optics pioneered a new field when it “CPP is very segmented in its marketmade its first sale. On Dec. 1, 1979, the firm ing,â€? continues Cleinman “We don’t handle was able to get 15 of 19 optometrists attendstart-ups, and we don’t consult with classic chains. We focus on those private optometry practices that generate more than $1 million a year [in revenue]. In the U.S., there are currently about 40,000 retail optical doors, with about 20 percent in our target market. Half of all practices are still independent, which gives us a large domesCounselors to America’s Small Businesses tic market. The demand for optometric services is also growing as more Americans age and as they require more eye care. In addition, the international market is exploding as developing countries like India and Need Help With: China develop a middle class. With 300 clit#VTJOFTT1MBOOJOH The Small Business Administration ents, we have barely scratched the surface Depending on the speciďŹ c challenge your business SCORE is sponsored by the SBA and is a t.BSLFUJOH of this market.â€? valuable resource partner, providing ÂŽ counseling and training to thousands of CPP’s leadership team includes Cleinman thethe power of SCORE to work for your business.â€? is facing, a team of“Put SCORE counselors will work t'JOBODF small businesses each“Put year. power of SCORE to work for your business.â€? Since 1953, SBA has helped more than 20 as the company president, Pamela Sparaco t0QFSBUJPOT million Americans start, grow and expand with your key people to identify opportunities for What Business Assistance What ISmoreISthan $200 their businesses - placing WORKSHOPS We’re Here to Help What Business Assistance What as the vice president of finance and adminisWORKSHOPS billion in direct and guaranteed loans into t#VTJOFTT.BOBHFNFOU is Offered? the hands of American entrepreneurs. improvement and suggest tactical changes is Offered? Plan, Structure,SCORESCORE offers a variety of low cost workshops, Kathleen Avery as the senior direcoffers a others varietytration, ofowners low cost workshops, some for start-ups, and for of existing t6SCBO3VSBM$PVOTFMJOH some Experts for start-ups, and others for owners of existing Create and Growbusinesses. in their respective fields conduct to Contactis a national volunteer organization SCORE COUNSELING businesses. Experts in their respective fields conduct toHowachieve growth and proďŹ tability goals. tor of client development, and Ginamarie SCORE is a national volunteer organization ofneeded SCORE to work for your business.â€? COUNSELING each seminar. of experienced business professionals who offer each seminar. Your t/PO1SPĂśUT Business of experienced business professionals who offer SCORE free, confidential counseling and low cost PRE-BUSINESS subjects include such topics as: role of senior director of client ONE-ON-ONE COUNSELING Wells in the free, confidential counseling and low cost PRE-BUSINESS subjects include such topics as: ONE-ON-ONE COUNSELING educational programs to assist new and existing for Success SMALL BUSINESS START-UP & SURVIVAL educational programs to assist new and existing servicessmall all rural andowners. urban WhatSCORE Business Assistance You tap the expertise and business WORKSHOPS SMALL BUSINESS START-UP & SURVIVAL You tap the expertise and owners. services. communities within small New business York State. collective wisdom of the HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN is Offered? collective wisdom of the There are several ways to obtain confidenHOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN entire SCORE organizSCORE offers a variety of entire low cost workshops, tial, experienced*Ă€ÂœĂ›iÂ˜ĂŠ,iĂƒĂ•Â?ĂŒĂƒĂŠqĂŠÂœĂœĂŠV>˜ business assistance: SCORE organizCleinman has spent more than four de*Ă€ÂœĂ›iÂ˜ĂŠ,iĂƒĂ•Â?ĂŒĂƒĂŠqĂŠÂœĂœĂŠV>˜ BUDGETING & CASH MANAGEMENT tofor find solutions some for start-ups, andation others owners of existing BUDGETING & CASH MANAGEMENT ation to fields find solutions - ", ĂŠÂ…iÂ?Ê“ÞÊLĂ•ĂƒÂˆÂ˜iĂƒĂƒÂś businesses.Counseling Experts in their respective to your b u s i n e s s conductAgri-Business 1. COUNSELING To find the chapter nearest you, Please - ", ĂŠÂ…iÂ?Ê“ÞÊLĂ•ĂƒÂˆÂ˜iĂƒĂƒÂś One-On-One Counseling E-Mail Consulting BANKING & FINANCE New York to your b u s i n e s s BANKING & FINANCE each seminar. visit us on theDepending web at:, on the specific challenge your business p r o b l e m s . See other Depending on the specific challenge your business p r o b l e m s . See other then enter youriszipfacing, code below the words a team of SCORE counselors will work Topics such as: sideinclude for thesuch best way to See cleinman, page 11 PRE-BUSINESS subjects as:4$03&OPXPòFSTBOBHSJCVTJOFTT ispress facing, a team of SCORE4$03&FNBJMDPVOTFMJOH counselors will work ONE-ON-ONE Topics such as: Rural Small Business "Find SCORECOUNSELING Now" andyour [Enter], side for thetopics best way to 4$03&PòFSTUIFFYQFSUJTF with key people to identify opportunities for find us. with your key people to identify opportunities for MARKETING & ADVERTISING find us.& SURVIVALQSPHSBN4FSWJDFPòFSJOHTXJMMGPDVT improvement and suggest tacticalSMALL changes BUSINESS START-UP You tap 2.theFor expertise MARKETING & ADVERTISING improvement tactical changes BOEPVSDPMMFDUJWF JTBWBJMBCMFPOUIF online and mentoring, go toand suggest & Agribusiness needed to achieve growth and profitability goals. collective wisdom of the needed, to achieve growth and profitability TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN POGBDFUPGBDFBOEFNBJMDPVOTFMJOH  PRICING PRICING XJTEPNBTBO *OUFSOFUBUHOWgoals. entire SCORE organizE-MAIL COUNSELING E-MAIL COUNSELING INTERNATIONAL SALES Program JOUIFTQFDJĂśDBSFBCVTJOFTTQMBOOJOH Call solutions SCORE's national offices toll-free at BUDGETING & CASH MANAGEMENT ii`ĂŠiÂ?ÂŤĂŠ7ÂˆĂŒÂ…\ ation to 3.find INTERNATIONAL SALES ii`ĂŠiÂ?ÂŤĂŠ7ÂˆĂŒÂ…\XXXTDPSFPSH PSHBOJ[BUJPOUP By norm poltenson





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ITHACA — The Fred L. Emerson Foundation has awarded the Ithaca College Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) a grant of $500,000. The foundation, based in Auburn, has supported “a numberâ€? of Ithaca College initiatives over the years, the college said in a news release. The grant seeks to help Ithaca College in its efforts to improve service learning and volunteerism opportunities for students in the community. “Put the power Ithaca College in 2012 established its OCE, which it says serves as the “catalystâ€? for all stuWhat IS dent civic-engagement opportunities. They include volunteer community service, SCORE is a national volunteer organization course-related service learning, and communityof experienced business professionals who offer free, confidential counseling and low cost based research. educational programs to assist new and existing small business owners. The OCE is a “significantâ€? component of the college’s IC 20/20*Ă€ÂœĂ›iÂ˜ĂŠ,iĂƒĂ•Â?ĂŒĂƒĂŠqĂŠÂœĂœĂŠV>˜ initiative, which seeks to ensure that all student commitments, both on - ", ĂŠÂ…iÂ?Ê“ÞÊLĂ•ĂƒÂˆÂ˜iĂƒĂƒÂś Depending on the specific challenge your business and off campus, are “fully for their eduis facing,utilizedâ€? a team of SCORE counselors will work your key people to identify opportunities for cational value, Ithacawith College said. improvement and suggest tactical changes needed to achieve growth and profitability goals. The Emerson Foundation awarded the ii`ĂŠiÂ?ÂŤĂŠ7ÂˆĂŒÂ…\ grant as part of the school’ s plans to establish a  t4USBUFHJD1MBOOJOH permanent endowment for the OCE, providing  t.BSLFUJOH  t'JOBODF support for staffing as as for civic-engage well t0QFSBUJPOT  t%BUBCBTF.BOBHFNFOU ment activities. SCORE Counselors can help The OCE develops “cultural competencyâ€? and at NO COST to you! orientation modules for students to prepare Are them for communityWho engagement; collaborates SCORE with community partners to identify service partnerships with community agenciesVolunteers? and SCORE volunteers are either retired or active local business owners or managers. The New organizations; and assesses the “effectivenessâ€? of York chapters have over 630 experienced men & womenand with community-service diverse business backgrounds who various service-learning are ready to contribute time and energy to activities, according solve to Ithaca College. your problems.



Emerson Foundation awards Ithaca College grant for civic engagement

Put the power of


BINGHAMTON — Two organizations have awarded the Family & Children’s Society, Inc. of Binghamton grant awards for capital improvements at its facility. The Steward W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation, Inc awarded a grant of $25,000 to remove asbestos ahead of upcoming renovations at the Society’s office at 257 Main St. in Binghamton. The renovations follow water and smoke damage at the building due to a fire next door last February, according to a news release. The fire forced the Family & Children’s Society to move its Binghamton office to 229 State St., the agency said on its website. Additionally, the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation awarded the organization $58,000 to help replace its heating and cooling system. The Family & Children’s Society says it provides assistance, care and counseling to strengthen and support individuals and healthy relationships in the Southern Tier. The agency provides counseling services at offices in Binghamton and Owego and home care services at its office in Johnson City.


Foundations award grants to Family & Children’s Society in Binghamton


News of note for and about Greater Binghamton businesses

Journal staff

Visit us online at Call (607) 772-8860 for a counseling appointment

The next issue of The Greater Binghamton Business Journal: April 18, 2014

The Greater Binghamton Business Journal • 3

February 14, 2014

Adam Weitsman accelerates his lily-pad strategy One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. — Proverb By norm poltenson Journal staff

OWEGO — On Jan. 22, Adam Weitsman, CEO and owner of Upstate Shredding, LLC. and sister company Ben Weitsman & Son, Inc., announced the acquisition of Jack’s Recycling located in Mt. Morris, Penn. Jack’s, an auto and scrap business recycling ferrous and non-ferrous materials, is located 65 miles south of Pittsburgh. Weitsman bought the scrap yard from Rick Smith in an all-cash transaction. The acquisition at Mt. Morris marks Upstate’s 17th location. The deal should close in 30 days. Even though the enterprise is known as Upstate Shredding and Ben Weitsman, each location is structured with an operating company and a real-estate company. Weitsman has ratcheted up the pace of his acquisition activity just in the last 13 months. In December 2012, the company bought the Ferromet site in New Castle, Penn., followed by the announcement in the same month of the signing of a long-term lease for 18 acres in the port of Albany. (The 20-year lease is valued at $6.8 million.) In July 2013, Weitsman scooped up Valley Recycling in Allegany County, and in August, he bought Reamer Recycling, Inc. in Ithaca. In January 2014, he closed on the Hornell Waste Material Co. in Hornell and

business journal file photo

Adam Weitsman, CEO and owner of Upstate Shredding, LLC and sister company Ben Weitsman & Son, Inc., seen atop the company’s mega shredder in Owego, announces another acquisition. announced the Mt. Morris deal and the acquisition of Capitol Scrap in Albany. Upstate Shredding is also currently negotiating a

77480_COB_BusAd -Strictly Business 4CCN T- 10” x 6.375” No Bleed 4c

deal in Wilkes-Barre, Penn. The rapid pace of acquiring scrap and recycling yards is being driven by Weitsman’s

decision to invest in new shredders. “The Albany deal is something I have dreamed about for 14 years,” says Weitsman. “Until now, the company was forced to use competitors such as Schnitzer [Steel Industries, Inc.], which controlled access to loading our materials on ships. Albany is so important to our strategy that we didn’t buy a company to start. We opened the yard in August of last year, and I was shocked with the reception. Customers lined up an hour before we even opened. I anticipated 100 to 125 customers a day, not the 350 to 400. Within four months, Albany became our number one yard based on the customer count.” The success of the Albany yard spurred Weitsman to modify his plans. “I had planned on ordering a shredder for New Castle, but the Albany demand convinced me to order a shredder for the Capital Region first,” continues Weitsman. “Upstate ordered the shredder in November 2013, and we expect to go into production by April of this year. The shredder, the infrastructure, and the downstream investment are a $25 million commitment.” Upstate Shredding commissioned the Wendt Corporation of Buffalo to build the 2,500-horsepower shredder and downstream sorting to recover wire, plastics, non-ferrous metals, and other materials. Weitsman financed the deal, in part, with a $12 million loan from a banking syndicate See weitsman, page 6


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4 • The Greater Binghamton Business Journal

February 14, 2014

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

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

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


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

Chemung Financial profit falls in Q4 By Journal Staff

ELMIRA — Chemung Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: CHMG), the parent company of Chemung Canal Trust Company, reported net income of nearly $1.5 million, or 32 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That’s down 30 percent from the $2.1 million, or 46 cents a share, the banking company earned during the same quarter in 2012. Excluding certain one-time gains and acquisition expenses, Chemung Financial’s core net income for the fourth quarter was $1.7 million, or 37 cents per share, it reported. Chemung Canal Trust Co. completed its acquisition of six former Bank of America branch offices located in Auburn, Cortland,

Ithaca, and Seneca Falls in the fourth quarter. The bank acquired nearly $178 million in deposits and $1.2 million in loans in the transaction. Chemung Financial expects the acquisition to add to its earnings in 2015. The company now operates 31 branch offices in New York and 3 branches in Pennsylvania. It’s Chemung Financial’s fourth acquisition over the past five years. For the entire year, Chemung Financial earned net income of $8.7 million, or $1.87 per share, down 21 percent from $11 million, or $2.38 per share, during 2012, the company said. As expected, 2013 was an “eventful and challenging” year as earnings came “under pressure” from net-interest margin compres-

sion, Ronald Bentley, president and CEO of Chemung Financial, said in the earnings report. “The single best strategy to combat margin compression is to grow our balance sheet, so we were pleased with the acquisition of six branch offices in contiguous markets during the fourth quarter of 2013. This transaction becomes increasingly accretive to earnings as we channel the acquired deposits into loans over the next few years,” Bentley said. Besides the acquisition, Chemung Financial generated “solid” organic growth in both loans and deposits during 2013, Bentley said. “Commercial loans increased $64.5 million, or 14.2 percent, and consumer loans increased $42.4 million, or 17.7 percent. Excluding the deposits acquired in the branch acquisition,

es, including 125 NBT Bank offices in upstate New York, northwestern Vermont, western Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire. NBT’s Pennstar Bank division operates from 32 Pennstar Bank offices in northeastern Pennsylvania. EPIC Advisors, Inc., based in Rochester, is a 401(k) plan recordkeeping firm. Mang Insurance Agency, LLC, based in Norwich, is an insurance agency. q Contact Rombel at organic growth in deposits was $40.9 million, or 3.9 percent,” he added. As of Dec. 31, 2013, Chemung Financial reported $1.4 billion in total assets and $1.89 billion of assets under management or administration within its Wealth Management Division. Those figures are up from the $1.2 billion in total assets and $1.74 billion of assets under management or administration within the Wealth Management Group at the end of 2012. In addition to retail and commercial banking products, Chemung Canal Trust provides wealth-management products, as well as trust, estate, retirement, and investment services. Chemung Canal Trust currently has 34 total bank branches in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins counties in New York and Bradford County in Pennsylvania. Chemung Financial also operates five branches, under the name Capital Bank, in Albany and Saratoga counties. q

The Greater Binghamton Business Journal • 5

February 14, 2014

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6 • The Greater Binghamton Business Journal

February 14, 2014

WEITSMAN: Funding most of his acquisitions and improvements from cash flow Continued from page 3

headed by the Syracuse office of First Niagara. Concern for bringing the Albany shredder on line has not slowed Weitsman’s appetite for other investments. “Now that Albany is coming on line, we went ahead and ordered another 2,500-horsepower shredder for New Castle, which should be operational in the fourth quarter of this year. These shredders and the 10,000 horsepower mega-shredder in Owego have a huge appetite for scrap. Our feeder scrap yards are economical if they are located within 200 miles of a shredder. In Albany, I need at least four feeder yards to keep the shredder busy. In Pennsylvania, the plan is to expand west from Scranton to Pittsburgh.” At the same time, the CEO of Upstate Shredding is in negotiations with Kinder Morgan, the third-largest energy company in North America, which holds the master lease at the Port of Newark. “I think it may take up to two years to ink this deal,” opines Weitsman. “Newark is important, because we can load our ships in Albany and top them off in Newark before they proceed down the East Coast or overseas.” Currently, 95 percent of Upstate Shredding’s sales are domestic, based on the premium prices paid for scrap materials. Weitsman’s approach to growing Upstate Shredding has been defined by business consultants as a lily-pad strategy. An entrepreneur decides that a market is large enough and the timing is right to grow

rapidly. Scrap recycling is a $100 billion business in America, and the prices for scrap are at an all-time high. In addition, except for a few very large publicly held companies, scrap recycling is a still largely a mom-and-pop business with a generation of owners looking for an exit option. The solution for the entrepreneur is to broaden the product footprint. That means jumping to the lily pad near you, rather than trying to jump across the pond, while leveraging your existing customers and creating more items to sell from the scrap processing. Weitsman is also in an excellent position to finance his growth, because he is funding most of his acquisitions and improvements from cash flow. Not only is he not burdening the company with outsized indebtedness, but he is also not distracted by spending a lot of time chasing after investors. Finally, Weitsman has been assembling a professional team in anticipation of scaling up the enterprise, including Stephen Green as the president; Joel Root as a vice president and senior buyer; Dan Innarella as CFO; Bill Dizer as a vice president for the Main Street operation in Owego; Kim Weitsman to handle accounts receivable and rail shipments; Natassia Bowman as the export manager; and Stephen Donnelly as the director of marketing and public relations. Perhaps most unusual is Weitsman’s ability to manage both the cash and human capital of Upstate Shredding without bringing in an outside CEO. The pace of Upstate’s growth is impres-

sive. When Weitsman joined his father in the late 1990s, Ben Weitsman & Son generated $3 million in annual sales. “In 2013, the company generated $750 million,” asserts Weitsman. “This year, I expect we’ll reach the $1-billion level. When I joined my father, we had 30 employees in two locations. Now we have 400 in 17 locations, and most of that growth came within the last five years. In fact, we have doubled our sales and geography just in the past three years. We currently process 100 million tons of ferrous metals and 200 million pounds of non-ferrous material.” Weitsman bought the company from his father in 2005. His grandfather started the business in 1938. Today, Upstate Shredding is the largest, privately held, scrap-metal processor on the East Coast. As Upstate accelerates its growth, the competition seems to be struggling. Upstate’s competitors include two publicly traded companies — Sims Metal Management, Ltd. (OTC: SMSMY) and Metalico, Inc. (NYSE: MEA). Sims reported a net loss of $426.6 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, following a $638.1 million net loss the previous year, according to Yahoo Finance data. Meanwhile, Metalico’s stock is trading at below $2 a share (as of Feb. 11), down about 50 percent from two years ago and off more than 70 percent from its early 2011 level above $6 a share. Privately held European Metal Recycling Ltd. (EMR) is another competitor. The UK–based company says on its website

that it employs 3,500 people at 150 locations around the world. That includes two facilities near Albany and one in Poughkeepsie.

Keys to success

Weitsman’s explanation for his success is straightforward: “I have kept my debt low, we’re a non-union company, and we’re agile, adapting quickly to changes in the marketplace.” He then adds in a blog: I like to win … We have taken a company in a town of 4,000 [people and] gone head to head with the biggest companies in the world and kicked them in the head really, really hard (Weitsman, in another blog, refers to a different part of the competition’s anatomy.) … I really get off competing against these guys who underestimated us … They can’t beat my team’s passion to win.” Weitsman, 45, has grown his business over the last 15 years without asking for any government assistance. His prospects for continued rapid growth are excellent, considering on the day I interviewed him he had on file 131 solicitations from scrapyard owners eager to sell their businesses. He is also buoyed by the prospect that the economic climate overall should improve in 2014, increasing the demand for recycled scrap. Adam Weitsman has certainly proved the proverb that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. In the process, he is shredding the competition. q Contact Poltenson at

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The Greater Binghamton Business Journal • 7

February 14, 2014

Authentic Leadership W

hat kind of leader are you? And, how do you go about making decisions that gain followers? Recently, I was reading about Teddy Roosevelt and found myself intrigued by his no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is leadership style, which at times cost him an election, while other times won him widespread support for doing what he thought was right, often without regard for the consequences. He was certainly a big personality, which brought along with it a large shadow and lots of volume. But, he was also pretty authentic. As I was reading, I found myself thinking about the select number of elected officials and business leaders I have looked up to and really respected. Sadly, there haven’t been many. But, I have known

a few who were intelligent, driven, and down-to-earth like Teddy Roosevelt. They were comfortable in their own skin to hear arguments on both sides of an issue, even as they acted upon their convictions. Not a bad way to be. Every day, we make decisions that affect our organizations. When we do, we are watched by those who are looking for some leadership, a lot more closely than we think. How we conduct ourselves can have a huge ripple effect throughout our organizations or with our constituents. People don’t expect to agree with us all the time. In fact, they often respect us more if they only agree with us some of the time, yet they see us as real people dealing with real issues in a balanced way. They want to see us as smart, driven, ethical, and open-minded, even when they don’t agree with us. Being an authentic leader does not mean we adapt an unwavering “my way, or the highway� view which is driven by our party or our historic corporate culture. It means we carefully weigh the component parts of a difficult or sensitive decision and act in a principled way simply because it makes sense to us. Not to anyone else. Most of the time, our employees and

Bank of Cooperstown to open new branch in Oneonta this year BY ADAM ROMBEL JOURNAL STAFF

ONEONTA — The Bank of Cooperstown recently announced that it plans to open a new full-service branch office on Main Street in Oneonta in mid-2014. “This expansion is a testament to the hard work that Scott White [president of the Bank of Cooperstown] and his bank team have done,� Mike Briggs, president and CEO of USNY Bank, the parent of the Bank of Cooperstown, said in a news release. Since its formation in 2007, the Bank of Cooperstown has “been able to generate consistent growth in the Cooperstown–Oneonta market,� according to Briggs. The bank currently has one branch office at 73 Chestnut St. in Cooperstown. The bank ranked fifth in deposit market share in Otsego County, with a nearly 6 percent share of the county’s total deposits, as of June 30, 2013, according to FDIC data. “We’ve had bank customers and shareholders in Oneonta for many years. We view this proposed new branch as a natural extension of our market area and a great way to better serve our existing bank customers,� he said. The Bank of Cooperstown’s application for the new full-service branch office in Oneonta has been approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), according to the news release. The new office will be located at 34-36 Main Street in the city of Oneonta. The Bank of Cooperstown recently purchased these two properties and will begin the site-preparation process soon, according to White.

“We are currently working with our architect and general contractor on this construction project. Necessary approvals have been obtained to construct a new banking facility with a drive-thru ATM and two drive-thru lanes,� White said. “We’re eager to open the branch and continue to build additional new relationships in the Oneonta market.� In the release, Briggs noted the bank’s overall strength and strong financial performance. Bauer Financial has continued to award USNY Bank a “5-star� (superior) ranking for financial soundness and SNL Financial ranked the bank among the 100 top-performing banks in the country with assets totaling less than $500 million for the past three years, he said. USNY Bank, which also operates the Bank of the Finger Lakes in Geneva, generated net income of more than $665,000 in

constituents will respect that kind of independence, even more than we think. For Roosevelt, that kind of authenticity, carried out with “openness with conviction� enabled him to make tough calls and win respect as an honest broker during a tough time. THE STRATEGIC So, the next time MINUTE you have a decision to make, think about Teddy Roosevelt and the benefit of a nononsense, down-to-earth, straightforward response. You might be surprised at the reaction you’ll receive and the breath of fresh air it provides to those around you. Are you being heard? q



Michael Meath is president of Strategic Communications, LLC, which says it provides trusted counsel for public relations, crisis communications, government relations, and business strategy. Contact Meath at

“We’ve had bank customers and shareholders in Oneonta for many years. We view this proposed new branch as a natural extension of our market area and a great way to better serve our existing bank customers.� n MIKE BRIGGS

president and CEO of USNY Bank, the parent of the Bank of Cooperstown the fourth quarter of 2013 and more than $2.35 million for all of 2013. USNY Bank says it specializes in providing banking services for small- and mid-sized businesses, professional practices, agribusinesses, farms and wineries, in addition to residential mortgage and retail lending. q Contact Rombel at

Jessica Herrin CEO and Founder, Stella & Dot

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WĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;ĨÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;DĆľĆ&#x161;ĆľÄ&#x201A;ĹŻ /ĹśĆ?ĆľĆ&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ?Ä&#x17E;ŽžĆ&#x2030;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÇ&#x2021; Ĺ?Ć?Ä?ŽžžĹ?ĆŠÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĹŻĹ?Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ĺ?ĹśĹ? Ć?ĆľĆ&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ĺ?Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;Ĺ?ĹśĆ?ĆľĆ&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x152;Ĺ˝Ä&#x161;ĆľÄ?Ć&#x161;Ć? Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;ƾŜĆ?ĆľĆ&#x152;Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x201A;Ć?Ć?Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ä?ĆľĆ?Ć&#x161;ŽžÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x152; Ć?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ç&#x20AC;Ĺ?Ä?Ä&#x17E;Í&#x2DC; tÄ&#x17E;ŽčÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x152;Ĺ˝Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć&#x161;Ç&#x2021;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161; Ä?Ä&#x201A;Ć?ĆľÄ&#x201A;ĹŻĆ&#x161;Ç&#x2021;Ĺ?ĹśĆ?ĆľĆ&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x152;Ĺ˝Ä&#x161;ĆľÄ?Ć&#x161;Ć? Ć&#x161;ŽžÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x161;Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?ŽŜÄ&#x201A;ĹŻÄ&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161; Ä?ĆľĆ?Ĺ?ĹśÄ&#x17E;Ć?Ć?ĹśÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ć?ŽĨŽƾĆ&#x152; Ä?ĆľĆ?Ć&#x161;ŽžÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ć&#x152;ŽƾĹ?Ĺ&#x161; Ĺ?ĹśÄ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x161;Ä&#x201A;Ĺ?Ä&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x161;Ć?Ĺ?Ĺś ŽƾĆ&#x152;Ä?ŽžžƾŜĹ?Ć&#x;Ä&#x17E;Ć?Í&#x2DC;

Melinda Emerson SmallBizLady, CEO of Quintessence Multimedia


8 • The Greater Binghamton Business Journal

February 14, 2014

TSB: Fisher applauds his staff for the bank’s success, particularly the management team vice providers: Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP for its legal work and the Syracuse office of The Bonadio Group for its accounting.

Continued from page 1

proceeds donated to the United Way, and participate in local parades. Celebrating your sesquicentennial with five generations of the same family guiding a company is a rare event. “Tioga State Bank has survived the Civil War, two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and numerous other events and milestones,” says TSB’s current president and CEO, Robert M. Fisher. “During these 150 years, there have been many changes in the social fabric of our communities … The one thing that hasn’t changed is our mission to provide community banking at its best.” The headwinds facing TSB today may be different, but no less difficult than in the past. “There is increased competition from other banks. We all have money to lend, but not enough borrowers, resulting in more competitive deals … Interest rates continue at historically low numbers causing compression in our margin,” Fisher says. “These low rates have a negative impact not just on TSB but also on the entire community-banking industry, which relies heavily on net-interest income for the majority of its profits … Credit unions continue to pursue more authority for commercial lending, meaning that they compete for many of the same deals we are pursuing … Technology is changing rapidly, requiring a constant investment in hardware, software, and training … [And] the regulatory burden continues to grow at a rapid pace.”

“Onerous” regulations

Fisher’s comment about the regulatory burden is best described as understatement. In an interview with The Business Journal in December 2012, he expressed concern about the recently established Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), set up to protect the “little guy” from predatory financial firms. Since then, the CFPB has moved quickly to open the floodgates of regulation. In January of this year, the regulators issued new rules clarifying when a borrower is considered able to repay a mortgage. The regulations run to hundreds of pages of opaque and complex rules, which leave lenders liable to repay all mortgage payments and precludes foreclosure on a property if regulators determine that the rules were not followed properly. Two months ago, the CFPB reached a settlement with Ally Financial for $98 million, because the bank discriminated against minority customers. How did the regulators determine this since Ally collects no information on the race or ethnicity of its customers? The answer was to extract data published by the U.S. Census Bureau using surname “geocoding” to infer the race of Ally’s customers. Based on this,

The future


Bob Fisher, third from left, president and CEO of Tioga State Bank, stands among representatives of local food banks. The bank donated $20,000 at the inauguration of its year-long sesquicentennial celebration. The presentation was made at the home office in Spencer. minorities paid interest rates 0.29 percentage points higher than those who were probably not minority customers. Next on the drawing board are rules requiring financial firms to submit plans to the CFPB confirming that their staffs and suppliers are sufficiently diverse and new rules covering small businesses which, apparently, are now defined as “consumers.” “Banking regs are onerous,” laments Fisher. “All banks are held to the same standard. I have two full-time employees who spend all their time complying with regulations and many other staff spending time on compliance. It’s very expensive.” Despite these headwinds, TSB continues to be fiscally sound and profitable. “In its latest statement, TSB Services, Inc. [the holding company that owns the bank] posted assets of about $400 million and a net income of $4.4 million,” states Fisher. “We generated these numbers from 11 locations in Broome and Tioga Counties and 97 employees, who staff the bank and a subsidiary, Tioga State Investment Services (it offers a wide variety of financial planning options, life- disability- and longterm-care insurance plans, and brokerage services.) … We achieved these numbers

even while mortgage-refinancing revenue and transactions dropped significantly, only to be offset by increased commercial lending. Our revenues are now tilting toward the commercial side over the retail side, 55 to 45 percent.” As for soundness, “Our tier-1 numbers have never been stronger,” asserts TSB’s president. “Historically, the bank has maintained an eight percent ratio; today, the number is 11 percent. (Tier-1 capital is the core yardstick of a bank’s financial strength as measured by its common stock, retained earnings, and some preferred stock.) On top of that, BauerFinancial has given us a 5-star rating for the past 22 consecutive years as recognition of our fiscally conservative policies.” Fisher applauds his staff for the bank’s success, particularly the management team. In addition to Fisher as president, Anne E. McKenna is the CFO, George Bowen serves as chief lending officer, Lisa Welch is chief credit officer, Sharon Y. Yaple is a senior vice president responsible for retail banking and business development, and Christopher P. Powers is the senior vice president for human resources. Fisher also cites support from outside professional ser-

TSB is well positioned for growth. “There is no plan to issue an IPO,” muses Fisher. “The bank has always had a long-term focus on our direction. We don’t want to be guided by quarterly results. [The holding company] … currently is closely held with the majority interest owned by the Fisher family. This allows us to control our destiny and be flexible in our decision-making. Historically, our growth has been organic, except for a merger in 1961 and the acquisition of a branch in Waverly in 1991 from Fleet/Norstar. Our branch expansion has been largely de novo, which runs contrary to the industry, but we think it’s a less expensive way to grow in the long-term.” TSB’s strategy for growth is to constantly look for opportunities. “We made the move into Broome County 10 years ago. We studied the potential carefully and then committed the bank’s resources. If we grow geographically, I assume we are looking at contiguous areas, because we know the market best. Or we could buy a mortgage company if it were a good fit … Bottom line, however, is that we really understand banking best.” Fisher says he runs a “boring” bank. A visit to any of the branches or TSB’s website would suggest otherwise. Customers have access to all the technology and features of the “big banks” with online and mobile banking, online bill paying, ACH processing, telephone banking with 24hour access, and talking ATMs. If you are looking for investments, life-, disability-, long-term-care or health-insurance, tax or estate planning, retirement planning, or business planning, Tioga State Investment Services offers a wide range of options. “In 2014, we’re adding ‘TSB Mobile Deposit Anywhere’ (e-mail checks for deposit), smart ATMs that handle both checks and cash, and ‘iChat,’ where you can talk to a real person in our service center when you are online with a problem,” adds Fisher. Is there a sixth generation in the wings? Fisher’s son Josh is currently a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. Daughter Kate is a freshman at Nazareth College. Both have already worked at the bank when not in school. Daughter Allison, who is 10, has yet to intern at TSB. Fisher says it’s too early to determine whether the family tradition will reach six generations. The 46 year-old president of TSB resides with his wife, whom he met at the University of Notre Dame and married in 1991, in Owego. q Contact Poltenson at

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The Greater Binghamton Business Journal • 9

February 14, 2014

388 Upper Oakwood Avenue Elmira, NY 14903 Phone: (607) 796-6061 KEY STAFF

BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS CHAIRPERSON Mengel Metzger, Barr & Co. VICE CHAIRPERSON Corning Incorporated TREASURER Corning Incorporated SECRETARY Lockheed Martin (retired)

Krista L. Niles-Updyke A. Joseph Antos Stephen Fowler Nancy Miller

BOARD MEMBERS John Alexander A. Joseph Antos Mark Bordeu Mary Pat Dolan Stephen Fowler Bob Grissom Tara Masters Krista Matia Patty McLellan Nancy Miller Peter Newman Krista L. Niles-Updyke William R. Powell David A. Radin Todd Reasons Robert A. Roemmelt, Jr.

The CBORD Group (retired) Corning Incorporated Broome-Tioga BOCES Tompkins County Department of Social Services (retired) Corning Incorporated WETM-TV Tompkins Trust Company Welliver Kraft Foods Lockheed Martin (retired) M&T Bank Mengel Metzger, Barr & Co. Corning Incorporated Corning Incorporated Cargill Salt Chemung Canal Trust Company

MISSION Working together to build and sustain hunger-free communities throughout the Southern Tier. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier distributes food and other grocery products to people in need through a network of more than 165 member agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other hunger-relief organizations in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins counties. The Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and a regional agency of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester. The Food Bank helps fulfill Catholic Charities’ commitment to create a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people by working together to build and sustain hunger-free communities throughout the Southern Tier.

SERVICE AREA Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins counties


The Food Bank administers several direct-service food distribution programs including the BackPack Program and Mobile Food Pantry.

RECENT ORGANIZATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS In November 2013, the Food Bank announced the completion of its first-ever capital campaign: “Strengthening The Root of Local Hunger Relief,” which raised $5.8 million to acquire and renovate its current facility and expand hunger-relief programs. In February 2011, the Food Bank relocated to its 65,000-square-foot facility located at 388 Upper Oakwood Ave. in the town of Horseheads (Elmira mailing address) The Food Bank’s former 14,690-square-foot facility was located on County Route 64 in the town of Big Flats (also had an Elmira mailing address.)

Profiling local nonprofit organizations

Revenue Sources

Food-in-kind assistance Program Fees Grants and Contracts Fundraising/Donations Other Income Net assets released from restrictions Total Revenue


Program Management and General Fundraising Total Expenses Deficit for the Year

$6,982,735 $1,405,508 $1,598,276 $1,691,926 $36,595 $279,781 $11,994,821

$11,371,001 $451,486 $339,191 $12,161,678 -$166,857


President & CEO Natasha R. Thompson (President & CEO compensation not available) COO Tim Currie Director of Marketing & Communications Gina Santodonato Director of Agency Services & Programs Matthew Griffin Director of Business Services Janet Wells Director of Resource Development Eleanor Cicerchi


Fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2012

rof r np ne No or C

Food Bank of the Southern Tier

Food Bank of the Southern Tier expands operations BY NICOLE COLLINS JOURNAL STAFF

HORSEHEADS — This month, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier celebrates three years in its new 65,000-square-foot building on Upper Oakwood Avenue in the town of Horseheads. Almost 80,000 people in the Southern Tier rely on the Food Bank, an Elmira–area organization that works to end hunger by distributing food and other grocery products to people in need through a network of more than 165 member agencies in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins counties. For nearly 17 years, the Food Bank had been located on County Route 64 in the town of Big Flats. With 14,690 square feet, the facility could hold up to 5 million pounds of food. By 2008, the nonprofit surpassed that limit when it increased its food distribution 30 percent to 6.7 million pounds to meet growing demand. “The need was greater than our ability to meet it in our previous location,” says Natasha R. Thompson, president and CEO of the Food Bank Thompson of the Southern Tier. At the former building, Thompson says the nonprofit “exhausted every nook and cranny” it could find to store food, and sometimes had to turn away volunteers and donations. In an effort to stop having to turn down donations,

Food Bank facts n Founded: 1981 n Employees: 32 full time n Volunteers: 2,000


The Food Bank of the Southern Tier headquarters, at 338 Upper Oakwood Avenue. The mortgage on the facility is already paid off. the Food Bank used storage trailers to stock some products. Based on the poverty rates in the Southern Tier, the Food Bank estimated that eventually it would need to be able to distribute as much as 16.8 million pounds of food annually. The search for a new facility began in 2008, Thompson’s first year as president and CEO. In 2010, the nonprofit’s board of directors approved of the acquisition and renovation of the Seneca Beverage Corp. facility located at 388 Upper Oakwood Ave. in Horseheads (Elmira mailing address). The Food Bank of the Southern Tier moved into the facility in February 2011. With an additional 50,000 square feet, the new headquarters has a maximum capacity of up to 23 million pounds of food. “Our new facility positions us for growth,” says Thompson. “We’re wellsuited for the long term.” In 2013, the nonprofit distributed 8.7 million pounds of food, an increase from 7.85 million pounds the previous year. The same year it moved into its new building, the Food Bank also kicked off its first capital campaign to raise $5.75 million. Of the funds raised, $4 million would go toward paying

for the new facility and the remaining $1.75 million would be dedicated to expanding current programs. By the time the campaign formally opened, the nonprofit had already raised $3.8 million in a “silent phase” of the campaign, according to Thompson. In November 2013, the Food Bank announced it had completed the campaign, raising a total of $5.8 million. In additional to meeting the campaign goal, Thompson said the organization also paid off the mortgage on the new facility in mid-2013, only two and a half years after purchasing the building. With the capital campaign complete and the Food Bank settled into the new building, the nonprofit is now working on expanding hunger-relief programs, like its Backpack Program and Mobile Pantry program. “The average donor wants to know that we are feeding the hungry, not paying down interest,” says Thompson. Additionally, Thompson says she is shifting her focus internally to see what the future looks like for the organization and to seek ways to position it for further growth. See FOOD BANK, page 11

10 • The Greater Binghamton Business Journal

February 14, 2014

WALSH: The Walsh family is working diligently on garnering public support for the project Continued from page 1

manager at Lehman Brothers and now, like Peter, spends 100 percent of his time on acquiring the license, says the family is totally committed to the project. “We have already spent a substantial amount of money on design and on studies for feasibility, local impact, and the environment. The application requires a non-refundable fee of $1 million. Traditions Resort and Casino will offer a full casino experience including slot machines and a variety of table games.” “The construction phase will add new amenities to the [existing] facility at Traditions,” adds the father, “including restaurants, fitness, and leisure activities. Our research says we can attract several thousand visitors a day to the area. The entertainment venue will have a capacity to seat 5,000 to 15,000 attendees at performances by world-class performing artists. Then, add to this 1,500 new jobs, employee wages of $60 million [annually], and $3.7 million in local tax revenue.” William Walsh notes that “… we’re not the only parties vying for a license. Jeff Gural [the chairman & CEO of American Racing & Entertainment, LLC and owner of Tioga Downs] owns a ‘racino’ in Tioga [County], which he hopes to convert to a casino. The Visram brothers [owners of Vista Hospitality whose American headquarters is in Binghamton] have also said they

would pursue the license. In December, Wilmorite … [unveiled] a proposal for a casino in Seneca County, just off exit 41.” Despite the growing competition, the Walshes feel confident that their proposal makes the most sense. “We hired Michael Soll of The Innovation Group, [a national consulting firm to the leisure and hospitality industry] back in August of last year to conduct an in-depth study of this project,” notes Peter Walsh. “Soll has decades of experience at leading hospitality companies negotiating licensing agreements, developing projects, and financing. His data shows that the benefit both to the state’s … [coffers] and to the local economy are greater with Tioga Downs and Traditions operating together and complementing our two counties. There is no doubt that Traditions’ casino would generate the most economic impact.” For his part, Gural contends that the area cannot sustain both a racino and casino 25 miles apart (See letter to the editor, published in the Jan. 17 issue of The Central New York Business Journal.)

Lining up community support

The Walsh family is working diligently on garnering public support for the project. “Community support for our project continues to build,” posits William Walsh. “The Broome County Legislature has overwhelmingly endorsed us as well as the Greater Binghamton Chamber of

Commerce. The Broome County Fire/ Police Association has also added its seal of approval.” And on Feb. 6, the Johnson City Village Board passed a resolution for a casino in the Southern Tier and voiced its “strong support for Traditions Resort and Casino … to receive the coveted license from the state.” Walsh adds, “Our focus has been on educating the local community that Traditions can be the vehicle for truly revitalizing the economy. In addition, we are partnering with SUNY Broome’s new ‘casino management and hotel/restaurant management programs’ as well as hospitality programs at Cornell, SUNY Delhi, and SUNY Cobleskill.” The Walshes are also turning to the community for investment funds. “This is a $150 million project,” William Walsh stresses. “We need to raise a third of the total, and then we can leverage the rest.”

The construction business

Walsh and his brother James are the second-generation owners of Walsh & Sons Construction Co., founded in 1956 by their father as a custom-home builder and currently headquartered in Vestal. William joined the company in the early 1970s as the third employee. The company ventured into commercial construction in the late 1970s. Walsh & Sons, a full-service construction company, is now complemented

It’s Here!

by other ventures: AuraTek, which sells security products against outdoor perimeter intrusion; DeTekion, which provides perimeter-detection security solutions; and REWJ, a real-estate development arm that owns 250,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of industrial space, and over 1,000 acres of vacant land. The Homestead Development Group, an arm of the Walshes, bought the former IBM Homestead in 2004 and renamed it Traditions at the Glen. The consolidated operation now employs 200 to 250 people and The Business Journal estimates that it generates between $30 million and $50 million in revenue annually. The purchase of Homestead included 650 acres, of which 200 acres were donated to a conservation group. The Traditions’ property currently includes a spa, a “salt sanctuary,” a conference center with lodging accommodations, restaurant, and a town-home development. Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, bought the property in 1935 as an employee country club. In the summer, up to 30,000 IBM employees of the 100-percent club camped on the grounds as a reward for achieving their sales goals. The Walsh family hopes to bring back those days when thousands enjoyed the venue. q Contact Poltenson at

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The Greater Binghamton Business Journal • 11

February 14, 2014


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

Ranked by Full-time Enrollment (undergrad./grad.) 2013-2014 Rank

1. 2.

Look for the Largest Employers list in the next Greater Binghamton issue, due out on April 18.

3. 4. 5.

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


What constitutes the GB Region?


For the purpose of this list, we included institutions in adjacent counties that serve students in our readership area. For this list, Greater Binghamton includes Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga and Tompkins counties.

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


9. 10. 11.

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


Name Address Phone/Website Cornell University 120 Day Hall Ithaca, NY 14853 (607) 255-2000/ Binghamton University P.O. Box 6000 Binghamton, NY 13902 (607) 777-2171/ Ithaca College 953 Danby Road Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 274-8000/ SUNY Oneonta 108 Ravine Pkwy. Oneonta, NY 13820 (607) 436-3500/ SUNY Broome Community College 907 Upper Front St. Binghamton, NY 13905 (607) 778-5001/ SUNY Delhi 454 Delhi Drive Delhi, NY 13753 (800) 96-DELHI/ Tompkins Cortland Community College 170 North St. Dryden, NY 13053 (607) 844-8211/ Hartwick College One Hartwick Drive Oneonta, NY 13820 (607) 431-4150/ Elmira College One Park Place Elmira, NY 14901 (607) 735-1800/ Elmira Business Institute 4100 Vestal Road Vestal, NY 13850 (607) 729-8915/ Davis College 400 Riverside Drive Johnson City, NY 13790 (607) 729-1581/ Empire State College, Binghamton 44 Hawley St., Fifth Floor Binghamton, NY 13901 (607) 721-8651/

FT Enrollment Undergrad./ Grad.

PT Enrollment Undergrad./ Grad.

Faculty: Full-Time Part-Time

21,593 14,393/7,200





14,383 12,559/1,824

1,694 438/1,256

917 635 282


6,723 6,234/489

161 103/58

785 490 295

5,795 5,688/107

260 132/128

4,043 4,043/0

2013-2014 FT Budget In-State Tuition1 Employees

President or Top Official

Year Estab.


David J. Skorton, President




Harvey G. Stenger, President





Thomas Rochon, President


494 274 220




Nancy Kleniewski, President


2,656 2,656/0

430 143 287




Kevin E. Drumm, President


2,627 2,627/0

748 748/0

423 318 105




Candace S. Vancko, President


2,387 2,387/0

924 924/0

250 72 178




Carl E. Haynes, President


1,576 1,576/0

39 39/0

201 112 89




Margaret L. Drugovich, President


1,200 1,188/12

342 220/122

185 100 85




Ron Champagne, President


475 475/0

80 80/0

60 12 48




Brad C. Phillips, President


232 232/0

163 163/0

23 8 15




Dino Pedrone, President


67 67/0

131 111/20

18 7 11




Merodie Hancock, President Nikki Shrimpton, Central New York Center Dean


FOOD BANK: Employs 32 people full time, and has a network of 2,000 volunteers Continued from page 9

Thompson’s 16-year journey in food banking started at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. After three years there, she applied for a position as program coordinator at the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and started in December 2000. Her role prior to becoming president and CEO was as director of agency services and programs.

While in the middle of completing an MBA program at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School, Thompson applied for the position of president and CEO of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. Her first year in the new role was also the start of her final year of the MBA program. Although Thompson said it was not her intention to seek an executive-level posi-

tion so soon in her career, the opportunity presented itself and she took it. Since then, Thompson says, “It’s been a wild ride.” The Food Bank of the Southern Tier employs 32 people full time, and has a network of 2,000 volunteers. The organization generated almost $12 million in revenue in 2012, a 3 percent increase from $11.6 million in 2011. Ninety percent of every dollar donated goes toward the nonprofit’s

hunger-relief programs. Financial figures for 2013 were not available as of press time. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is a member of Feeding America, a national food-banking network, and is a regional agency of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester. q Contact Collins at

CLEINMAN: According to Cleinman, CPP is a knowledge business Continued from page 2

cades in the optometry industry and has branded his name recognition not only nationally but also internationally. “When I started this business back in 1989, my telephone began ringing as soon as I let it be known that I was leaving Co-Optics. The press had already recognized my innovations in business development. I have written and continue to write extensively and blog regularly on subjects of inter-

est to our industry, including addressing controversial topics. After 42 years in the industry, I don’t believe we have any [real] competition. Yes, like the construction business where anyone with a hammer and pickup truck can call himself a contractor, optometry has many who call themselves consultants. Most come into the industry as optometrists. CPP is comprised of business people with a diversity of backgrounds and experience.” According to Cleinman, CPP is a knowl-

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edge business. “We’re a clean business, one that can operate virtually anywhere. We employ unique people from diverse backgrounds. The economic future of our area is tied to attracting similar types of knowledge businesses, businesses that can provide opportunity outside the norm. CPP has accumulated a vast storehouse of knowledge and continually seeks to monetize its asset. I’m a numbers guy. If you look at the numbers long enough, they’ll start talking to you.”

Cleinman, 57, doesn’t need to borrow his way to a great fortune. The numbers are speaking to him. As the founder of more than 25 enterprises and the creator of scores of products and services, he is always focused on creative ideas that will help his clients see their businesses more clearly. That’s what serial entrepreneurs do. q Contact Poltenson at

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