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Vol. VI • No. 5
Olin adds exitplanning services
SPACE TO FILL
BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF
BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF
WINDSOR — The New York Public Service Commission recently approved a nearly 10-mile long natural-gas pipeline to run through Windsor. The Public Service Commission approved an application for a “Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to Construct a Natural Gas Gathering Line” by DMP New York, Inc. and Laser Northeast Gathering Company, LLC, The approval, announced Feb. 17 by the
February 28-March 13, 2011
Natural-gas pipeline project approved in Windsor
PHOTO COURTESY OF INTEGRATED OFFICE SERVICES
Natalia Williams, owner of Integrated Office Services in Binghamton. See story, page 3.
AFTON — When his father died and left his company behind in his mother’s hands, Clifford Olin saw firsthand what can happen when a business leader unexpectedly exits the scene. “There was no exit planning for the business,” Olin recalls. His mother was left to navigate running the business without a map or a safety net. “It kind of burned into my memory.” That situation is what drove Olin, owner and operator of the commercial real-estate appraisal company Olin Group, LLC since 1986, to seek out training to become a certified exit planner so other businesses don’t have to go through the same thing. “Most business owners have a hard time admitting their own mortality,” he says, but the fact is that one way or another, every business owner will leave their company one day. “Having a plan will exponentially inSee OLIN, page 8
See PIPELINE, page 8
Syracuse SBA begins recruiting for executive-training program BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF
“It [Syracuse] is by far the smallest market that the SBA has brought this program to,” Bernard J. Paprocki, director of the SBA Syracuse district office, said during a news conference held Feb. 23 at the Syracuse Tech Garden. The SBA Syracuse district office used
ERIC REINHARDT/THE GREATER BINGHAMTON BUSINESS JOURNAL
Bernard J. Paprocki, director of the SBA Syracuse District office, speaks at a news conference held Feb. 23.
See SBA, page 9
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total of 18 executives from Syracuse small businesses will have the chance to participate in an executive-level training program administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Syracuse is among eight new cities nationwide that will host the e200 Emerging Leaders program in 2011. The SBA announced Jan. 25 the program will be available to entrepreneurs in a total of 27 cities across the country. The training program is aimed at entrepreneurs in “underserved markets,” according to the SBA.
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• The Greater Binghamton Business Journal
TGBBJ.COM BRIEFS News of note for and about Greater Binghamton businesses
Former Dataflow employee pleads guilty to stealing almost $1 million BINGHAMTON — A former Dataflow, Inc., employee pleaded guilty Feb. 14 to charges of grand larceny and forgery. According to a Dataflow news release, Brian Steele admitted to stealing nearly $1 million from the company. Headquartered in Binghamton, Dataflow has offices in Albany, Horseheads, Ithaca, Liverpool, Rochester, Schenectady, and Utica. Chief Assistant District Attorney Joann Rose Parry of the Broome County District Attorney’s Office investigated the charges against Steele, which included three counts of second-degree grand larceny, one count of third-degree grand larceny, and one count of second-degree forgery. According to a release from the district attorney’s office, Steele admitted that from January 2005 to June 2010, while acting as controller for Dataflow, Dataflow Reprographics, National Direct Reprographics, and Dataflow LLC, he stole almost $950,000 from the companies. Steele, currently at the Broome County Jail, will be sentenced on May 12 to a state prison term of four to 12 years. Dataflow’s owners plan to file a civil suit as well. “Brian [Steele] worked for us for over 10 years,” Dataflow Partner Dan Zimmerman said in the company release. “We considered him part of our family.” According to Zimmerman, Steele was able to bury his theft in ways that indicated mismanagement or poor performance by his co-workers. His methods including forging company checks, making fraudulent wire transfers of company funds, establishing fictitious credit-card accounts, and stealing petty cash. Zimmerman declined to disclose Dataflow’s financial figures, but said the nearly $1 million stolen did major damage to the company’s coffers. The 53-year-old privately held digital printing and document-management firm credits Julie McCormick, a partner in the company’s Rochester office, with helping the company recover from the financial disaster. McCormick worked to rebuild the accounting department and currently oversees Dataflow’s accounting functions.
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February 28-March 13, 2011
Elmira’s Hardinge reports profit, sales jump in fourth quarter BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF
ELMIRA — After a tough nine months in which the company lost about $7.2 million, Hardinge, Inc. (NASDAQ: HDNG) bounced back in the fourth quarter with a profit. The machine-tool manufacturer reported net income of $1.9 million, or 17 cents per share, in the three months ending Dec. 31, compared to a net loss of $8.3 million, or minus 73 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Hardinge sales soared 45 percent to $82 million in the fourth quarter. The company generated significant order growth in all its major market areas, Hardinge President and CEO Richard Simons said in a Feb. 17 news release announcing the earnings. Investors and traders in Hardinge shares responded favorably to the company’s improved financial results, which it reported before the opening of trading Feb. 17. That day, the stock jumped $2.41, or 26 percent, to close at $11.55. “Our global diversification, our strong brands, our product range, our financial strength, and our dedicated people have
enabled us to sur vive the most abrupt collapse in the history of the machine-tool industry, and our costmanagement initiatives have positioned us to be successful early on in the industry recovery,” Simons said during a conference call with investors and the media later that day. Simons credited the “strategic and tactical” moves Hardinge made to restructure its operations and reduced fixed costs during the downturn for helping the company. During 2010, Hardinge successfully fended off a hostile takeover bid by Brazilian company Industrias Romi S.A. but struggled with flagging orders until the fourth quarter, when orders rose 63 percent to $83 million. Hardinge closed out the quarter well above analyst sales estimates of nearly $70 million, and ended the year with sales of $257 million, easily beating estimates of almost $245 million. The company’s sales in Asia nearly doubled in 2010, and now make up almost half of its total sales. In spite of the strong fourth quarter, the
company still posted a net loss of $5.2 million for the full year, but that’s down significantly from the $33 million loss it generated in 2009. Looking ahead, Simons said he expects the positive financial trends to continue, anticipating that Hardinge will generate a profit this year. “We are in a far better place today than we were 12 months ago,” he said. “We’ve had eight quarters of sequentially increased base-level orders.” The company started the year off with a $105 million order backlog, a strong growth trend in orders, and strong order activity so far this year, he said. Elmira–based Hardinge (www.hardingeus.com) employs about 350 people in Elmira and another 700 in Asia and Switzerland. The company produces machine tools for the aerospace, agricultural, transportation, consumer goods, communications, electronics, construction, defense, energy, pharmaceutical and medical-equipment, and recreation industries. Contact DeLore at email@example.com
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February 28-March 13, 2011
Business-plan contest winner launches shared-services business By Traci DeLore Journal Staff
photo courtesy of integrated office services
Robert Woodman, vice president of Integrated Office Services, in the company’s 162 Court Street offices in Binghamton. The company, owned by Natalia Williams, uses a shared-services model, providing office and conference space, and administrative services to companies that don’t want to pay for full-time fixed office space and staff.
fessional look, feel, and location without the cost of a traditional lease or hiring staff, Williams says. “It’s definitely a great thing for new and even small businesses to pay for only what they use,” she says. The model is a good fit for a variety of businesses from homebased entrepreneurs who need occasional use of professional space to independent realtors who need a person to answer the phone, but don’t necessarily need office space, she says. Using IOS also gives businesses a professional address and location to include on business cards or other marketing material. One group that has shown interest in
the concept is businesses moving into the Binghamton area, Williams says. Utilizing IOS gives management a place to “hit the ground running” and get work done while they continue to search for a permanent location, she says. The concept, however, is still a relatively new one to the area, and Williams says she’s working to educate people about it. To help bring clients in the door, she’s offering a few free hours of office space so they can test it out. Williams leases just under 2,000 square feet of space from Abraham Lowy, and her space houses five offices, one conference room, a small break room, a copy center,
BINGHAMTON — Natalia Williams didn’t wait long at all to put her $5,000 in winnings from the 2010 EAP/BLDC Business Plan Competition to good use. Williams celebrated the grand opening of Integrated Office Services, 162 Court St., on Feb. 15 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It’s actually been about a year from when I decided I wanted to [open my business] to getting the doors open,” says Williams, a 2010 graduate of Binghamton University, where she majored in philosophy, politics, and law. A Colorado native, she worked for Intelligent Office, a virtual-office provider with locations in Boulder, Denver, and Lakewood, Colo. While that company offered services on a larger scale, when Williams moved to Binghamton about three years ago, she thought the idea could work in the Southern Tier as well. While her first step was to focus on finishing her degree, Williams began working part time for Eva Norris at Eln Financial Services in Harpursville, and Norris was the one who clued her in on the Business Plan Competition. Williams prepared her plan, presented it to the judges, and ended up walking away with the $5,000 prize. “It was like the cherry on top,” she says of the prize money, which she used in conjunction with a loan from NBT Bank to open Integrated Office Services (IOS). IOS (www.nyios.com) uses a sharedservices model, providing office space, conference space, and administrative services to companies that don’t want to pay for full-time fixed office space and staff. The concept provides businesses a pro-
a reception area, and Williams’ own office. Williams works full time at IOS and her boyfriend Robert Woodman, who owns Sit Means Sit Dog Training, works there full time and serves as the company’s vice president. “I can hold up to 50 different clients, depending on their service levels,” she says, adding that she’d like to reach that goal in the near future. She declined to say how many clients the business, which opened Jan. 15, has at present. Clients can simply use IOS for the office space or meeting room, she says, or they can make IOS as involved in their business as they care to. The more information and access a client gives IOS, the more IOS can do for them, she adds. That includes tasks like scheduling appointments and doling out information to customers. “It really gives us the ability to be as functional as their own receptionist,” she says, but at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time staffer. The fee for IOS’s remote-receptionist services start at $65 a month. Administrative-support services (which can include correspondence, data entry, and bookkeeping) starts at $15 an hour, and office-space rentals start at $50 per month for a fully furnished office space with Internet access. To help promote her new business, Williams is working with the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce and conducts classes and “how-to” seminars on using and leveraging social media for small business. Williams maintains a Facebook page for IOS, which had 59 fans as of press time. She also blogs at www.integratedofficeservices.com/blog/ q Contact DeLore at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Greater Binghamton Business Journal • 5
Lourdes Mission 2012 project moves forward BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF
BINGHAMTON — It’s been almost two years since Lourdes Hospital broke ground on a $70 million, three-year project to expand and improve its facilities. The project is not only on track to meet its 2012 completion date, but also is coming in slightly under budget so far. “It has been a great project,” David Scribner, director of Lourdes’ facilities department, proclaims. Primary general contractors, LeChase Construction Services, LLC of Rochester, and William H. Lane, Inc. of Binghamton, have already completed work on several elements of the project, dubbed Mission 2012: Building Tomorrow’s Healthcare Today. Work to double the capacity of the emergency department is done, Scribner says, and the new area is already seeing an increase in the number of patients. According to the most recent figures available on its website, Lourdes reported nearly 41,000
Construction continues on the site of the expansion project at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LOURDES HOSPITAL
emergency-room visits in 2010. That’s up from about 35,000 visits in 2007. Work is also finished on Lourdes’ new open MRI facility and two new surgical suites, Scribner says. The hospital’s new flood wall is fully functional and passed both physical and water-simulation testing, he says. The flood wall was a Federal Emergency Management Agency project
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and was funded with an $8 million grant from the agency. Progress is well under way on Lourdes’ 50,000-square-foot, ambulatory-care building, which will house the hospital’s gastroenterology suite, a registration area, an outpatient blood-draw lab, a pre-admission testing area, and the hospital’s rehabilitation department, Scribner says.
“The structure is complete,” he says. “It’s being buttoned up now.” The first portion of that building is set to open for use this August, with the rest coming online in March 2012, he adds. Overall, the project is moving forward slightly ahead of schedule and a little under See LOURDES, page 6
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• The Greater Binghamton Business Journal
February 28-March 13, 2011
Survey: U.S. businesses spend more on wellness programs By Journal Staff
espite spending more on employ ee-wellness programs in 2010, only 37 percent of U.S. employers actually measure their program’s effectiveness, a recently released global sur vey indicates. “WORKING WELL: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies,” issued by Buck Consultants, a subsidiary of Xerox (NYSE: XRX), found that employers spent 35 percent more — about $220 — on each employee who participated in a wellness program compared to 2009. These results were among the key findings of Buck’s fourth annual global wellness survey, which analyzed responses from more than 1,200 organizations in 47 countries representing more than 13 mil-
lion employees. “Organizations that measure the impact of their wellness programs are more successful at improving their employees’ health and overall wellness,” Barry Hall, a Buck Consultants principal who directed the survey, said in a news release issued Jan. 6. “However, many simply don’t know how to measure their results, or they don’t have the resources to do so.” Wellness programs continued to gain momentum last year among U.S.–based organizations as a key strategy to reduce the cost of providing health care, improve worker productivity, and reduce absenteeism, according to Buck. Globally, improving productivity is the most important objective for wellness programs, with improving work-force morale and engagement rising from the third to the second most important objective, the sur-
vey found. Among U.S. respondents, 40 percent have measured how wellness programs affect the cost of providing health-care benefits to their employees. Of those, 45 percent report success in slowing healthcare cost increases, with a typical reduction of two to five percentage points per year. The U.S. results contrast with results in other regions on the health risks that drive wellness programs. Globally, reducing workplace stress is the top driver of wellness programs, particularly in Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa. In the United States, the lack of physical activity is the top driver, and stress ranks much lower (sixth) as a health risk targeted by these programs. Other key findings of Buck’s wellness study include:
• Globally, 66 percent of respondents have a formal wellness strategy, up from 49 percent in 2007. • Wellness programs are most prevalent in North America, where 74 percent of responding employers offer them. • Eleven percent of U.S. respondents spend more than $500 per employee per year on wellness rewards, with the largest rewards reported at $3,000 per employee. • The fastest-growing components of wellness programs are technology-driven tools. In three years, employers around the world expect a six-fold increase in their use of mobile technology — such as smartphones — to support employeewellness initiatives. Buck Consultants said it conducted its survey in association with Pfizer, CIGNA, Wolf Kirsten International Health Consulting, and WorldatWork. q
LOURDES: Goal is to provide patients with a more streamlined system of outpatient care Continued from page 5
budget, he says. Scribner did not provide specific details as far as how ahead of schedule or under budget the project is currently. In addition, there have been no reportable safety injuries to date during the project. Aside from experiencing the teamwork of everyone working together on the project,
Scribner says it’s exciting seeing the hospital’s vision take shape. “You can see what it’s going to look like” he says of the facility. “It’s going to be a whole different Lourdes by the time we’re done,” adds Kathy Cramer, community-relations manager at the hospital. The goal of the project, Cramer says, is to provide patients with a more streamlined system of outpatient care. Rather than hav-
ing to wander from one end of the hospital to the other to receive various outpatient services, they can find them consolidated under one roof. For patients, that means they can get the services they need quickly. For the hospital, it means staff can move patients efficiently through the process. While emergency-room visits have increased significantly, patient numbers at Lourdes are relatively stable when comparing 2010 totals with 2007 figures. Births fell slightly from 1,200 to 1,123, surgical visits rose from 2,753 to 2,833, and outpatient surgical visits increased slightly from 17,538 to 17,905. In the next phases of the project, Lourdes will build a new two-story entrance connecting the new ambulatory-care building and the existing hospital, expand and modernize the radiology department, and, pending funding, build a three-story, 350-car parking garage, Scribner says. The project will end in March or April 2012, not including the parking garage. Lourdes is funding the project through a $6 million capital campaign, along with an
$8.7 million HEAL NY2 grant and $48.4 million from the hospital’s operating budget. Scribner did not have financial figures available, but www.guidestar.org shows that on the hospital’s 2008 Form 990, it reported revenue of $235.6 million and expenses of $228.9 million. Located at 169 Riverside Drive, Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital (www. lourdes.com) includes the main campus, 15 primary-care network locations, a mobile mammography van, a mobile primary-care van, Lourdes at Home, Lourdes Hospice, Lourdes Health Support, Lourdes Vestal Medical Services, Lourdes Sleep Disorders Lab, Lourdes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Program, Lourdes Rehabilitation Services, Lourdes Corporate Health Services, and Youth Services & Lourdes Center for Oral Health. Lourdes employs 2,311 people and has 267 licensed beds. Lourdes is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic nonprofit health network. q Contact DeLore at email@example.com
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The Greater Binghamton Business Journal • 7
New research from EBRI shows HSA/HRA growth BY JOURNAL STAFF
he number of health-savings accounts (HSAs) and health-reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) increased to 5.7 million in 2010, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). Assets in these account-based health plans increased to $7.7 billion in 2010. HSAs and HRAs can be used to reimburse participants for qualified medical expenses. They are offered by some employers in order to give their workers more control over funds allocated for health-care services, EBRI says. Growth in these accounts was tracked by theEBRI/MGA2010ConsumerEngagement in Health Care Survey, which also examined numerous other aspects about health-care consumers who use these plans, in comparison with traditional health plans. The findings are published in the January 2011 EBRI Issue Brief, “Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements: Assets, Account Balances, and Rollovers, 2006–2010,” online at www.ebri.org. Among other findings, the EBRI/MGA survey found no relationship between either account balance or rollover amounts and various cost-conscious behaviors such as checking prices before getting services, or asking for generic drugs instead of brand names, among other things. “It is expected that individuals who are given more control over funds allocated for health-care services will become more cost conscious, especially once they become more educated about the actual price of health services,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and author of the report. “However, no evidence was found to support this with respect to some of the measures used in this study of cost-conscious behavior.”
Among the survey’s findings:
• Steady growth: The number of HSAs and HRAs grew to 5.7 million in 2010, up from 1.2 million in 2006. Assets in these accounts also increased to $7.7 billion in 2010, from $835.4 million in 2006. • Average account balances: Although HSAs and HRAs continue to grow, the report found the average account balance
dropped slightly in 2010 to $1,355, down from $1,419 in 2009. Men held higher average balances ($1,525) than women ($1,321). Older individuals (ages 55-64) held higher average balances ($1,791), than those younger ($1,250-$1,400). Additionally, the study found that people who exercised, did not smoke, and were not obese held higher balances than those with less healthy behaviors. • Rollovers: Despite a decline in the average rollover amount in 2010, total assets being rolled over have been increasing; $4.2 billion was rolled over in 2010, up from $4 billion in 2009. The average rollover increased from $592 in 2006 to $1,295 in 2009, and fell to $1,029 in 2010. The percentage of individuals without a rollover decreased from 23 percent in 2006 to 10 percent in 2009 and increased slightly to 13 percent in 2010. • Race: Minorities with HRAs or HSAs have higher account balances than whites with these accounts. On average, minorities have an account balance of $1,531, while whites have an account balance of $1,387. Both experienced a decline between 2009 and 2010; however, the decline was larger among minorities. • Household income: Account balances increased with household income. The average account balance was $1,166 among individuals generating less than $50,000 in household income; $1,303 among individuals with $50,000−$99,999; and $1,742 among individuals with $100,000 or more. Account balances increased for those with less than $50,000 in household income; fell for those with $50,000−$99,999; and stayed the same for those with $100,000 or more. • Education: Education has an impact on account balances, independent of income and other variables. Individuals with a highschool degree or less education have an average of $1,219 in their account, while those with a college degree have $1,519, and those with a graduate degree hold $1,558. Only individuals with a graduate degree experienced a decline in their average account balance in 2010. EBRI is a private, nonprofit research institute based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on health, retirement, and economicsecurity issues. EBRI says it does not lobby and does not take policy positions.
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• The Greater Binghamton Business Journal
February 28-March 13, 2011
OLIN: Currently working with two exit-planning clients and two business-sale clients Continued from page 1
t lPIPELINE: y.
crease the odds of the business continuing and continuing successfully,” Olin notes. Olin, who became a certified exit-planning adviser and launched Olin Capital Advisors in 2010, says there are three main points addressed by a good exit plan. The first is to make sure the business is aligned financially with the departing leader’s goals. The second is to minimize the tax implications of any changes in ownership. The final step is perhaps the hardest one, Olin says. That last step is to help the owner mentally prepare to step away from the business and let someone else run it. For a typical company, completing all those steps can take anywhere from three to five years, Olin says. While it isn’t rocket science, it does take time and effort to put together the right plan for each business, he notes. Right now, Olin is working to spread
the word to area businesses that he can provide that right plan for exiting business leaders. To get the word out, he’s working to publish articles about exit planning, and working through contacts with other professionals who have the clients he’s hoping to reach but don’t provide exit planning. That includes financial advisors, accountants, and attorneys. Olin is also letting his real-estate clients know about his new services. Ideally, with his current staff of two advisers and one office manager, along with himself, Olin estimates he can work with anywhere from three to five businesses on exit planning, while maintaining anywhere from 10 to 20 listings for the business brokerage services that Olin Financial Advisors (www.olincapital.com) also provides. The businesses share 1,000 square feet of office space at 468 Algerine St. in Afton. Through his appraisal firm, Olin has conducted more than 12,000 residential
and 1,000 commercial appraisals since he founded the company. Clients have included banks, attorneys, municipalities, corporations, and private individuals. As part of the busiOlin ness-brokerage services, Olin says he can handle just about any kind of business sale from a merger with a friendly competitor to selling a company to an overseas investor. Olin’s clients have included the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, NBT Bank, Wilber National Bank, the state Dormitory Authority, and the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency. He’s currently working with two exitplanning clients and two business-sale clients. Olin’s short-term goal is to generate about half his revenue from Olin Capital
Advisors and half from Olin Group clients over the next two or three years, with Olin Capital Advisors eventually driving the majority of the revenue. He declined to disclose current revenue figures, but did note that Olin Capital Advisors has not generated any revenue to date. As he works to spread the word about the services Olin Capital Advisors offers, Olin is also working to finish his MBA at Binghamton University. He expects to receive his degree this May. Olin holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from SUNY Cortland. Along with being a certified exit-planning adviser, Olin is a certified mergers and acquisitions adviser, a state-certified general real-estate appraiser, a Society of Business Analysts-certified senior business analyst, and a National Environmental Balancing Bureau-certified machinery and equipment appraiser. Contact DeLore at firstname.lastname@example.org
Project will employ approximately 175 union workers during construction
Continued from page 1
company, sets the stage for Laser to begin construction of its gathering pipeline in Broome County in the near future. Laser’s pipeline will consist of about 9.8 xpanding your footprint. Whatever miles of 16-inch diameter, coated steel pipeand a gas-compressor in the ot onlylineshares your beliefstation in your town of Windsor. o life. We you submitted deserve The think two companies the that application on July 20, 2010, for the pipeline, which ney. The power of First Niagara. will tap into nine existing wells operated by Alta Resources, LLC in Susquehanna
County in Pennsylvania, as well as future permitted wells in the state. The pipeline will feed into the compressor station and metering site that, in turn, will connect to the 30-inch Millennium Gas Pipeline in Windsor. The Commission said it received about 300 public comments on the project, many in favor of it. “We are excited to begin construction on this significant project which will employ approximately 175 union workers during construction,” Laser Chairman and CEO Thomas Karam said.
Work on the line began earlier this month in Pennsylvania and Karam expects work to wrap up this summer. The total project includes a 30-mile long pipeline beginning in Susquehanna County before ending in Windsor. Laser, which has offices in Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas, said the pipeline route was selected to minimize environmental impact and avoid sensitive habitats. A map of the route and other project details are available online at www.lasernortheast.com. Laser officials said the project will ben-
efit the region in a variety of ways including: increased local tax revenues; easement payments to landowners while allowing full use of property and full mineral rights; generating between 120 and 160 jobs over the three-month-long construction period; and boosting business at area restaurants, hotels, contractors, drivers, equipment-rental firms, and office suppliers during the construction. The project will create between eight and 12 permanent local jobs. Contact DeLore at email@example.com
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The Greater Binghamton Business Journal • 9
February 28-March 13, 2011
TOP RANKS: GREATER BINGHAMTON PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE AGENCIES Ranked by No. of GB Producers Rank
1. 2. 3. . 5. . 7. .
Name Address Phone/Fax Website Mang Insurance Agency 66 South Broad St. Norwich, NY 13815 (607) 729-6243/ 352-2818 www.manginsurance.com The Partners 825 Vestal Parkway W. Vestal, NY 13850 (607) 754-1411/ 754-6463 www.thepartners.com Steve Cardell Agency, Inc. 3306 E. Main St. Endwell, NY 13760 (607) 754-5466/ 741-9918 www.stevecardellinsurance.com Brown & Brown Empire State 36 Washington Ave. Endicott, NY 13760 (607) 754-0424/ 754-0267 www.bbempirestate.com Spencer Agency, Inc. 140 N. Main St. Spencer, NY 14883 (607) 589-4456/ 589-4311 www.spencer-agency.com Phelps Agency, Inc. 2 W. State St. Binghamton, NY 13901 (607) 723-5413/ 771-0679 www.phelpsinsurance.com Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc. 585 Main St. Johnson City, NY 13790 (607) 797-2003/ 798-8313 www.haylor.com Sherwood M. Walls, Inc. 15 Hawley St. Binghamton, NY 13902 (607) 723-6359/ 722-6928 www.wallsinsurance.com
No. of GB Producers — Total GB Employees 33 — 130
2010 Premium Volume ($ millions) NA
% of % of Policies Policies No. GB Sold Sold Offices Business Personal 11 65 35
Major Insurance Companies Represented Utica, Hartford, Travelers, Hanover, NY Central, Acadia
Travelers, Hartford, Progressive, Adirondack, NY Central, Cincinnati, Met Life, National Grange, Broome Co-Operative, Midstate Mutual, Utica, Acadia, Dryden Mutual, Andover, Security Mutual, Peerless, Zurich, Guardian Travelers, Farmers, AIG, Progressive, Hanover, Met, Hartford
Year Estab. 1894
Areas of Specialization workplace market, manufacturing, wholesale & distributors, public entities, construction
Key Executives Richard Mirabito, Pres. & CEO William Mirabito, EVP Benefits Dennis Mirabito, EVP Personal Lines Thomas Farneti, VP Comm. Lines
commercial insurance, risk management, school districts, municipalities, employee benefits, life insurance, financial/investment services, personal insurance
William J. Oliver, Pres. & CEO Don D. Patterson, COO Trish Ryall, Secretary/Agency Support Mgr.
commercial, home-based businesses, motorcycle, boat, auto, home
Steve Cardell, President Rick Regal, VP Ops. Susanne Cardell, VP SM
Nicholas J. Dereszynski, President Robert S. Messina, Exec. VP George J. Schunck, Senior VP Roy S. Moore, III, Senior VP James Camp, Account Executive David A. Belair, President Patricia E. Gehen, Agency Manager
11 — 39
4 — 7
4 — 5
all major property, casualty, life, and health commercial and personal insurance, employee insurance carriers benefits, risk management services, greenbuilding techniques, surety bonding, wealthmanagement consulting
3 — 7
Allstate, Travelers, National Grange Mutual, New York Central Mutual, GMAC, Finger Lakes Fire & Casualty, Farmers, Foremost, Progressive, Secuity Mutual, Utica National
all personal lines property & casualty, small/ medium commercial lines products, life insurance, group health-life & disability
3 — 7
GuideOne, Travelers, Peerless, Preferred Mutual, National Grange, NY Central
small business, personal, religious institutions
Ronald W. Phelps, President Jerry Penna, VP Ops. Dorothy Rodney, VP HR
2 — 12
most major insurances
construction, transportation, public entities, employee benefits, manufactured housing, manufacturing, personal insurance
2 — 5
Travelers, Hanover, New York Central, Progressive, National Grange, Philadelphia
auto, home, life, business, contractors, small business, workers' comp.
Victor DiSerio, Chairman & CEO Bruce Wichmann, President Richard Howland, COO Mark McAnaney, CFO Thomas Harding, Resident VP Sherwood M. Walls, President
Note: Information was provided by representatives of listed companies and their websites. Other groups may have been eligible but did not respond to our requests for information.
SBA: Syracuse district serves 34 county area, including Southern Tier the event to launch its recruitment period. The executive-training program seeks to help Syracuse–area businesses that are at least three years old, have at least one employee other than the owner, and are generating between $400,000 and $10 million in revenue per year. “I want to be clear this training is not for startup businesses,” Paprocki said, noting it targets executives from companies that have the potential to grow and create jobs. The classes will focus on subjects that include developing innovative strategies for growth, acquiring financing, and accessing new markets. The application deadline is March 18. The SBA Syracuse district office didn’t specify any limit to the number of applications it will consider. Interested small-business owners can learn more about the program by contacting Cathy Pokines or James Quackenbush at the SBA Syracuse district office at (315) 471-9393. Further details on the program are available at www.sba.gov/e200. The agency will select all the companies for participation by the end of March. The program will start the week of April 11 and conclude with graduation in November. “It is entirely free,” Paprocki said, adding that space is limited to one C-level executive per business. The participating executive has to agree to attend a total of 13 classes at the Tech Garden. Each session will last three hours
and meet every other week during the program. The only exception is the first class that will last four hours, Paprocki said. Entrepreneurs involved in the class are expected to devote more than 100 hours of work, including 40 hours in the classroom, 40 hours in homework and reading, and 20 hours engaged in peer-to-peer mentoring. The SBA will hire the instructor for the program, Paprocki added. The agency has partnered with nine local business organizations to launch the program, including the Central New York Technology Development Organization; CenterState CEO; the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management; the Manufacturers Association of Central New York; the Onondaga Small Business Development Center; the State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry; Syracuse SCORE; the Syracuse Technology Garden; and the WISE Women’s Business Center. Paprocki believes the SBA chose Syracuse for this program because of the “confidence” SBA officials in Washington had in the district office’s ability to deliver the program based on its number of community partnerships. The SBA Syracuse district office provides credit, counseling, and contract services for small businesses in a 34-county region of upstate New York. That includes Central New York, the Mohawk Valley, and the Southern Tier.
About the program
Since its launch in 2008, the e200 Emerging Leaders initiative has helped more than 600
RESEARCH BY JULIE SHARKEY 02/11 email@example.com
Greater Binghamton includes Broome, Chenango, and Tioga counties.
Continued from page 1
small-business owners across the country grow their businesses, according to the SBA. Results gathered from a recent survey of past e200 graduating classes finds “dramatic” advances for these small businesses, the agency said. Despite the difficult economy, more than half of the businesses that have completed the e200 training have shown an increase in revenue of more than $7 million. Nearly 60 percent have reported creating new jobs in their communities. Surveyed entrepreneurs also reported having secured nearly $10 million in new financing for their businesses, with an increase in confidence when applying for government contracts. As a result, post-trainees have reported securing nearly 500 federal, state, and local contracts, worth more than $112 million. The SBA said the program has been a “catalyst” for expanding opportunities for both urban small-business owners and, more recently in 2010, added emphasis on Native American communities. The e200 Emerging Leaders program included 121 urban-area graduates in 2010 and 125 from Native American communities, with the combined 246 graduates representing the largest graduating class in the program’s three years of operation. Besides Syracuse, the eight new cities offering the training this year include Youngstown, Ohio; Fresno, Calif.; St. Louis, Mo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Farmington, N.M.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Helena, Mont. q Contact Reinhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org
IIABNY to host meeting on healthinsurance exchange By Eric Reinhardt Journal Staff
he Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. (IIABNY) recently announced it will meet with other insurance groups on March 11 in Albany to discuss the upcoming New York health-insurance exchange. IIABNY, headquartered in DeWitt, is a nonprofit trade association that represents about 1,800 independent insurance agents in New York. The gathering is meant to help the various groups agree on common approaches for influencing how the New York exchange will work and protecting the role of agents involved. Under the federal health-care reform law, every state must set up and operate a health-insurance exchange by 2014, IIABNY said. The exchanges will serve as competitive insurance marketplaces offering plans that meet certain benefits and cost standards. Small businesses and individuals whose employers don’t offer health insurance will have the option of buying coverage from the exchanges. q
Contact Reinhardt at email@example.com
• The Greater Binghamton Business Journal
Business Journal GREATER
February 28-March 13, 2011
Vol. 6, No. 5—Feb. 28-Mar. 13, 2011
Associate Publisher..................... Bob Brazill firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS Editor-in-Chief....................Adam Rombel email@example.com Assistant Editor..............Maria J. Carbonaro firstname.lastname@example.org Staff Writers............................. Traci DeLore email@example.com Kevin Tampone (Online Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org Eric Reinhardt email@example.com Columnists............................... Tom Morgan Production Manager.................. Erin Zehr firstname.lastname@example.org Research Manager................... Julie Sharkey email@example.com
ust when it looked like the economy was getting ready to roll into full gear in 2011, we have trouble on the horizon. Turmoil in Libya and the Middle East is boosting oil prices to heights unseen since the fall of 2008. The resulting soaring prices at the gas pump, if they last for an extended period, could imperil the still fragile economic recovery in several ways. If consumers are spending more to fill up their gas tanks, they will have less to spend at retailers and for discretionary goods. About two-thirds of U.S. economic output comes from consumer spending, so if it declines, the whole economy suffers. A sharp rise in spending on gas also wipes out some of the benefit of the 2 percent payroll-tax holiday enacted for 2011. Higher fuel prices lead to pricier plane
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The Greater Binghamton Business Journal (ISSN #1050-3005) is published every other week by CNY Business Review, Inc. All contents copyrighted 2010. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Cover price $1.50 Subscription rate: $38 per year Call (800) 836-3539
Rising Fuel Prices Threaten the Economic Recovery
since August 2008. Meanwhile, tickets and more expensive car the measure for prices received trips. So, if we see $4 a gallon gas was little changed, suggesting this summer, the busy tourism that manufacturers were facing season could take a major hit. pressure on their profit margins, Higher fuel and transportation according to the Federal Reserve costs also increase the cost of Bank of New York, which conmaterials for businesses, squeeze ducts the monthly survey. margins, and could cause them to Higher energy prices could also spend less and delay new hiring. worsen the budgetary problems Transportation and materials-inof state and local governments. tensive businesses are especially How high oil and gas prices affected. will go is anyone’s guess, but it The February edition of the Empire State Manufacturing rombel on could be everyone’s problem. Stay tuned. q Survey revealed some worrying business signs regarding rising input prices. The survey’s index measuring the prices Adam Rombel is editor-in-chief of The New York manufacturers paid for goods Greater Binghamton Business Journal. surged 10 points to 45.8, its highest level Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Christie has the Courage
ome people want Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run for the White House. For a simple reason: He has the guts to tell it like it is. He sees a problem many politicians see. Unlike them, Christie has the courage to face it. Further, he has the guts to speak the truth to people who don’t want to hear it. New Jersey is going broke. It cannot afford to pay the benefits that are due public-service workers and pensioners. It cannot afford to pay all the health-care premiums it promised to pay teachers, cops, firefighters, and stateagency workers. It cannot afford to raise taxes on everybody else in MORGAN order to meet these commitments. People AT LARGE and businesses have been leaving the state in droves as it is. Here is the refreshing thing about Christie: He is willing to stand before police officers and teachers and tell them this. When they complain, he suggests they complain to the politicians who cut the unsustainable deals to pay these benefits many years ago. Those people set the fuses. Now the fuses have burned down and set the building on fire. Christie says if they blame
Calling All Opinion Writers The Business Journal is seeking to provide its readers with more opinion articles and more opposing viewpoints. The goal would be to publish a set of “Points/Counterpoints” on various issues of importance to businesses. The topics could include: • Economic-development policies • Entrepreneurship • Green business • Government spending
him, they blame the wrong guy. “A whole bunch of politicians who came before me on the local level and the state level made you promises that they couldn’t keep. And they knew they couldn’t keep them when they made them. So, I understand you being angry. But I suggest to you, respectfully, don’t be angry at the first guy who told you the truth.” Perhaps some other politicians will work up the courage to speak the truth as Christie does (and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker does). We have states that ought to go bankrupt. Laws do not allow them to do so at the moment. But, they cannot afford the golden benefits they have promised their workers. We have a long list of cities in the same predicament. They can go bankrupt. Some will. That will allow them to rewrite the labor contracts that are crippling them, just as businesses do when they toss in the Chapter 11 towel. We have a nation in the same predicament. Politicians of old promised more Social Security benefits than we can afford. More Medicare benefits than we can pay out. More government-pension benefits than we can afford. They knew when they cut the deals that we would never be able to afford the largesse, but they knew they would be out of town before anybody formed a posse. A candidate who can frame this clearly • Taxes and regulations • Public-sector compensation and benefits • Unions • Health-care reform and costs Have an opinion about any of these topics or others? Please send us your opinion in the form of a letter or opinion article to email@example.com. Here are some general guidelines for how to compose your opinion piece: • Length should be no more than 800 words. • It should be written for a business audience — specifically business owners and managers. The topic must affect and appeal to this audience. • Pick a theme or trend you want to focus on and
for voters might get into the White House on the strength of that skill. By speaking the truth to voters, he/she would likely stand out. You may argue that this is only one of dozens of issues that will come up in the campaign, and that the spotlight may shift away from it by then. You may be right, but there is a good chance that several cities will file for bankruptcy protection by then. And, several states may be begging for Washington to bail them out. Most of us will not like to cough up more tax money to rescue the likes of California and Illinois. Certainly, not when they have thousands of civil servants earning huge salaries and tens of thousands retired on gargantuan pensions. And not when the country is choking on debt as it is. Christie speaks the truth. He spices it with compassion for those who won’t collect as much as they expected. He keeps his composure. He never gets nasty over this. He adds dollops of humor. At the moment, all of this could be pretty appealing to voters come 2012. From Tom ... as in Morgan. q Tom Morgan writes about financial and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and new TV show. For more information about him, visit his website at www.tomasinmorgan.com then build your opinion around that, making your key points. We find that lists and bullet points work well to get your views across to the reader. • Include a tag line at the bottom that tells the reader who you are (name, hometown, organization) and how to contact you (e-mail address). For example: John Doe of Vestal is managing partner at Doe Wood Smith LLC. Contact him at jdoe@dwsllc. com. • Article must be in Word format • The Business Journal will edit the article, including cutting out portions, to fit space as it sees fit. So whether you’re a conservative, progressive, or anything in between, please get your opinion seen and send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Greater Binghamton Business Journal • 11
February 28-March 13, 2011
(800) 829-6972 (ask for a SCORE appointment).
MARCH 230 Business Development Program – Tioga County, 5-session business workshop from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Tioga County Administrative Building, lower level - Classroom #1, 56 Main St., Owego. Sponsored by the Broome Community College Entrepreneurial Assistance Program and Tioga County Economic Development & Planning, the facilitator will be Ginny Robert, owner of Business Plans that ROCK. The cost is $35 for each participant for copies of “Let’s Write Your Business Plan,” (9th edition) and “Building Your Future in Self Employment,” (2nd edition), both written by Ginny Robert. Call Teresa Saraceno at Tioga County Economic Development & Planning at (607) 6878260 to pre-register.
MARCH 3 Conditions and Prospects for the Upstate Economy Discussion at 10 a.m. at Tompkins Cortland Community College’s Ithaca Extension Center, Room 611 at Tioga Place in the Ithaca Commons. Presented by SUNY BEST, the host will be Richard Dietz, a regional economics officer and senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The event is open to the public. Pre-registration is required. To preregister, contact Debbie Hulbert at (607) 777-2792 or at dhulbert@binghamton. edu. For more information about the meeting and topic, visit the SUNY BEST website at http://ceo.binghamton.edu/ bande/
MARCH 8 Breakfast Bytes Seminar – “Manners Matter and Courtesy Counts: Business Etiquette Basics” from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Greater Binghamton Chamber Office. Robert Shutt of RASolutions.net is the presenter. For details, contact Kathi Murphy at (607) 772-8860 or kmurphy@ greaterbinghamtonchamber.com
Every Thursday, Local and Regional SCORE Business Assistance Counseling at 6:30 p.m. in Binghamton. Call (607) 772-8860 or (800) 829-6972 (ask for a SCORE appointment).
MARCH 10 March Small Business Center Networking Luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at a location to be determined. Contact Kathi Murphy with your reservations by March 8 to get the advanced price of $18. It costs $21 at the door. Call Kathi at (607) 772-8860 or e-mail: kmurphy@binghamtonchamber. com; or visit www.greaterbinghamtonchamber.com
MARCH 14 & 21 Your Business Plan: A Blueprint for Success workshop from 6 to 9 p.m. at Broome Community College, Decker Bldg. 213, Upper Front Street, Binghamton. Hosted by Broome Community College, the instructor will be Ginny Robert. The fee is $69. Registration is required. Call (607) 778-5012 or visit www.sunybroome. edu/ce
MARCH 28 Nonprofit Awards Luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Syracuse. Presented by The Business Journal and produced by BizEventz, the awards will honor nonprofit staff, executives, volunteers, and programs. Visit www.bizeventz.com for more information as it becomes available.
MARCH 30 Human Resource Roundtable
from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at State Line Auction, 830 Tallmadge Hill Road South, Waverly. This is 31st in a Series of Human Resources Panel Discussions to Benefit Business. The subject of the meeting is: “The Health Care Reform Law: What Employers Need to Know.” The moderator will be Jim Franz, attorney with Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP. Advance reservations are requested by contacting Gwen Kania at the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce at (607) 687-2020, or e-mail: info@ tiogachamber.com
APRIL 12 CenterState CEO Annual Meeting from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena in Syracuse. The meeting will feature the $250,000 Emerging Business Competition, the Business of the Year Awards, and more.
MAY 5 A Time to Build Awards Program from noon to 2 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool on Electronics Parkway. This is a recognition program designed to honor those construction projects and partners that reflect excellence in craft and quality. Visit www. bizeventz.com for more information.
ONGOING EVENTS Every Tuesday, Local and Regional SCORE Business Assistance Counseling at 10 and 11 a.m. in Binghamton. Call (607) 772-8860 or
Every Thursday, Local and Regional SCORE Business Assistance Counseling at 6:30 p.m. in Owego. Call (607) 687-2020 (ask for a SCORE appointment). Every Thursday Morning, Local and Regional SCORE Business Assistance Counseling at the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce. Call (607) 687-2020 (ask for a SCORE appointment). Every Thursday, Counseling and Assistance in Norwich at Cornell CoOperative Extension Offices, call (607) 334-5841 (ask for a SCORE appointment) or at the Farm Bureau Offices, call (607) 334-6061 (ask for SCORE appt.) Second Thursday of each month, SBC Network Luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at various locations. Members are given the opportunity to introduce themselves and discuss their products or services and other events that may be of interest to the community. Costs are: member advance $18; member at door $21. Registration is required. Contact Kathy Murphy at (607) 772-8860 or e-mail: kmurphy@ greaterbinghamtonchamber.com First, third, and fifth Friday of each month, Morning Knights Toastmasters Club from 7 to 8:45 a.m. at The McKinley, 1701 Main St., Endicott. Improve your speaking and communication skills. Contact Tom Syrell at (607) 786-0059 for details. To have your business meetings or events in the Business Calendar, e-mail them to email@example.com
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE BANKING & FINANCE James A. Mahan has joined NBT Bank as senior vice president and dealer finance manager. In this position, Mahan will oversee the sales, underwriting and funding of indirect new Mahan and used automobile, recreational-vehicle and mobile-home loans. He will be based in Norwich. Mahan previously served Ally Financial, Inc. (formerly GMAC) for more than 24 years in a variety of sales, operational, and financial positions in both consumer and commercial lending on the East Coast and in the Midwest. His most recent positions included director of financial analysis for North American operations and senior account executive in the OEM alliance sales group. He also was a member of the adjunct faculty at National Louis University Graduate School of Business in Evanston, Ill. Mahan
earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass. He also completed several executive education courses at the Kellogg Graduate school of Management of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS David Sebastianelli has joined Brown & Brown Empire State as an employeebenefits consultant. Sebastianelli holds a life, accident and health license in both New York and Pennsylvania.
ENGINEERING Scott Beeman has joined Shumaker Consulting Eng-ineering & Land Surveying, P.C. in its civil engineering de-
partment as a project engineer. Beeman has more than 15 years of civil engineering experience and has a professional engineering license from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Beeman Hunt Engineers, Architects & Land Sur veyors, PC announced that Robert Drew has become the newest partner in the firm. With this promotion, Drew becomes the 14th member of Hunt’s Drew ownership team. Drew, a civil engineer who joined Hunt in early 2005, manages a variety of civil/environmental projects for state, education, and municipal clients. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Clarkson University and became a licensed professional engineer in 2007.
LAW Lars P. Mead became a partner in Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, effective Jan. 1. A graduate of University of Colorado School of Law, Mead joined Coughlin & Gerhart in 2003. Mead’s pracMead tice includes litigation, with an emphasis on municipal liability, including police and fire disability and retirement claims, labor negotiations, workers’ compensation and Social Security claims. Prior to joining the firm, Mead was the director of the Youth Courts of Broome County.
Send your People-on-the-Move news on new hires & promotions via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
• The Greater Binghamton Business Journal
February 28-March 13, 2011
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