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People on the Move: The Mohawk Valley’s new hires & promotions. Page 6. Expansion: La Roma Pizzeria opens second eatery in Camden.

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WRITERS/EDITORS: Norman Poltenson 315.579.3916

Eric Reinhardt 315.579.3915

Adam Rombel Editor-in-Chief 315.579.3902

Pixley Falls State Park in Oneida County.

New York State park attendance rose 6 percent last year New York State parks, historic sites, and campgrounds hosted an estimated 69.3 million visitors in 2016, up 6 percent from 2015 and up 21 percent since 2011, according to a recent new release from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office. The governor’s office said park-system attendance was boosted by many factors, including major improvements to park facilities such as reopening the historic West Bathhouse at Jones Beach on Long Island

and renewal of Terrapin Point at Niagara Falls; the Connect Kids to Parks initiative offering free park entry to fourth-graders; an extended swimming season after Labor Day; record overnight visitation at State Park campgrounds; and favorable weather throughout the summer and late into the fall. Annual park-system attendance has climbed steadily from the 57.2 million visits recorded in 2011.

DeLia re-elected as chairman of Griffiss Local Development Corp. board, New Hartford Town planning board ROME — Elis J. DeLia was recently re-elected chairman of the Griffiss Local Development Corp. (GLDC) board of directors, the organization announced. The GLDC says it is responsible for promoting, faDeLia cilitating, and overseeing the redevelopment of the former Griffiss Air Force Base (which includes developing the Griffiss Business & Technology Park) in Rome and maintaining and strengthening the viability of the remaining Air Force and other federal assets. DeLia was also recently re-appointed chairman of the New Hartford Town planning board. The planning board oversees development in the town, ensuring it meets its site plan and subdivision rules and regulations, in conjunction with state law. DeLia is president of S. DeLia Corp., a private real-estate holding company.


Maria Carbonaro Associate Editor 315.579.3910

NEWS ALERTS Sign up for the Business Journal News Network’s Email News Alerts HOW TO REACH US MAIL: Send letters to: Editor, The Business Journal News Network 269 W. Jefferson St. Syracuse, N.Y. 13202-1230 EMAIL: PHONE: (315) 579-3902

La Roma Pizzeria & Restaurant opens second location in Camden CAMDEN — La Roma Pizzeria & Restaurant, a longtime Rome eatery, has opened a second location in Camden. The Camden Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 30 at the restaurant at 3 Harden Boulevard in Camden to celebrate its grand opening. The new restaurant first opened to the public on Jan. 24, according to the La Roma Facebook page. For the last 29 years, La Roma Pizzeria and Restaurant has served customers in Rome and the surrounding area. “My family and I are very excited to open the doors of our newest location in Camden,”

MVCC formally opens Rome campus following $30M renovation project ROME — Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) recently formally opened its Rome campus, completing a $30 million renovation that started in June 2015. Officials held a ribbon cutting in the Plumley Complex atrium at 1101 Floyd Ave. on Feb. 10, the college said in a news release. The renovation work included the addition of 48,000 square feet on the

Plumley Complex with two wings on either side of the building. Crews also updated classroom space with equipment to allow for expansion of programs that include educational interpreting, surgical technician, unmanned aerial systems, cybersecurity, and STEM programs. STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Crews also merged the library

Russell Digristina, owner of La Roma Pizzeria & Restaurant, said in a news release issued by the Camden Chamber. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into designing a beautiful restaurant, and we hope to continue to share our tradition of providing delicious food and a family atmosphere to our new customers in the Camden community and surrounding areas.” The new Camden location offers a similar menu to the original Rome eatery, which is situated at 600 Floyd Ave. Menu items include pizza, wings, subs, calzones, and salads. Chicken and vodka riggies, garlic bread, and fresh haddock and fries are among the other menu offerings.

and learning center into a Learning Commons, which includes four groupstudy rooms, a conference room, a computer lab, math and writing labs, a testing center, and tutoring stations. The work also included the addition of a dining room and an update of the kitchens and cooking labs for the hospitality programs. The renovations also included the addition of a 120-person communityevent room, and improvements to the parking and quad areas, along with the building entrances, MVCC said. MVCC described the renovation work as a “collaboration” with both Oneida County and New York State.


Utica Mayor Palmieri releases budget proposal with no tax increase UTICA — The proposed 2017-18 budget for the City of Utica totals $69 million and comes “with no tax increase.” Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri’s proposal increases spending by 3.5 percent compared to the City’s 2009-2010 budget nine years ago, “a testament to the City’s fiscal discipline,” the City of Utica boasted in a news release issued Feb. 16. The Utica Common Council is now reviewing the budget. Palmieri scheduled five community budget meetings to share details with residents on Feb. 21, 22, and 27, as well as March 1 and March 8. Palmieri’s budget message and the proposed budget are available on the city website at http://


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keep life simple.

In August 2015, Gary Thurston, chairman of Syracuse–based Hayner Hoyt Corp., bought the old ConMed Corp. building on Broad Street in Utica. He has renovated about 19,000 square feet of space to accommodate the thINCubator and Mohawk Valley Community College masonry and carpentry programs. Thurston is now developing another 52,000 square feet for mixed use: office, commercial, retail, housing.

Thurston transforms old ConMed building in Utica BY NORMAN POLTENSON UTICA — In the English fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk,” the young protagonist takes the family cow to the market to be sold. He meets an old man who exchanges his magic beans for Jack’s cow. The beans are thrown on the ground by Jack’s distraught mother and overnight grow into a giant beanstalk. Ascending the beanstalk, our intrepid youngster finds a huge castle replete with gold coins, a goose that lays golden eggs, and a harp that plays by itself. Once Jack dispatches the mean giant who lives in the castle, he and his mother live happily ever after supported by the riches Jack has acquired. Gary Thurston doesn’t own a cow or any magic beans. But he did go to downtown Utica in 2015 looking for a storefront and ended up buying a “castle” that has the potential to generate riches. Thurston, a native of Utica, is chairman and CEO of the Hayner Hoyt Corp., a commercial construction company headquartered in Syracuse. Anticipating future construction projects in the Mohawk Valley, he planned to open a small office to establish the company’s presence in the market. Instead, the company chairman bought an entire, city block bounded by Broad, John, Catherine, and First Streets. The 2.2 acres contains the old ConMed buildings, which are a 70,000-plus-square-foot composite of the original structure and two other buildings plus a house. Not exactly a castle, but a site that promised riches. “I saw a number of possibilities for this property,” says Thurston. “There was a high bay, ideal for warehousing or manufacturing space. The four-story, 52,000-square-foot building [at 310 Broad St.] could be configured for mixed use: office, commercial, retail, or housing. There is even a residence on the site built around 1840 that could make an ideal office. The site is conveniently located downtown and a short drive from the Marcy Center, which is the catalyst for the area’s nanotechnology sector. The block is

part of Bagg’s Square West, which has been designated as an historic district, and located within walking distance of the proposed downtown [Mohawk Valley Health System] hospital.” Thurston bought the property, which had stood vacant for several years, from the city for about $110,000 and plans to invest a total of $6.2 million to complete the project. He set up two real-estate corporations — Crane– Ballou, LLC and Bagg’s Square Partners, LLC — each owning approximately half of the property. He is the sole stockholder of both corporations. Thurston closed on the property in August 2015 and wasted no time seeking tenants. He reached out to Frank DuRoss, executive director of institutional advancement at Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC). The College Foundation, which oversees the downtown thINCubator, decided to move the operation from 106 Genesee St. to 8,400 square feet at 326 Broad St. The move was completed in May 2016. The thINCubator is a home to help build innovative, new companies by offering ideation bootcamps, a co-working facility, incubation space, networking, and equipment. To meet the demand for area trades people, MVCC also moved its masonry and carpentry programs from Rome to 10,500 square feet of open warehouse space at 316 Broad St. “We’re close to starting construction on the four-story building [at 310 Broad St.],” continues Thurston. “The drawings call for 9,000 to 10,000 square feet of commercial/ office/retail space on the first floor and 24 one- and two-bedroom apartments on floors two, three, and four. The one-bedrooms are very spacious at 1,300 feet and the twobedrooms are 1,700 feet. The apartments will be available at market rates. In addition to the businesses, the first floor will also have a gym and a community room for the tenants. There is plenty of parking available adjacent to the building. We’re currently searching for SEE THURSTON, PAGE 6


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ROME — Graham Brodock is wired. The president and CEO of Kris-Tech Wire Co., Inc. is not over-stimulated by caffeine or sugar, nor does he show symptoms of being nervous, tense, or hyperactive. But he is excited about the company’s new, state-of-the-art facility that manufactures wire for a number of commercial sectors. Located at 80 Otis St. in the Griffiss Business & Technology Park in Rome, the 72,000-square-foot plant is the key to KrisTech’s plan to grow the company.

Motivation to move

“Our old facility limited our new ambitions,” says Brodock, who is a grandson of the company’s co-founder. “The original [Kris-Tech] plant on Seneca Street, across from Revere Copper, was built in the 1910s or 1920s and had solid load-bearing bearing walls throughout the structure. Our manufacturing process involves drawing bare copper and extruding plastic resins over it. This requires a linear layout for maximum efficiency. At the old plant, our space was constrained, and the material flow was severely challenged by the building’s support structure. In addition, we were out of usable real estate, which negated any building options. If we wanted to grow and evolve, the Seneca Street site held no solutions.” In early 2014, Brodock began exploring options to move the business to a new facility. “I wanted to expand our customer base and market share, while maintaining our position as a boutique provider in the copper-wire manufacturing industry,” continues the third-generation-family CEO. “A new, larger plant, designed specifically for wire manufacturing, would provide a logi-



Graham Brodock, president and CEO of Rome–based KrisTech Wire Co., sits atop 6,500 pounds of copper conductor that will be twisted into multiple-wire gauges. The company moved into a new 72,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, which was completed in January.

cal and efficient workflow and allow us to extend our current production lines.” Kris-Tech is a vertically integrated wire manufacturer. All of the manufacturing is done in the Rome plant where the company draws, anneals (bakes the metal to enhance its utility), and twists copper conductor into multiple-wire gauges. The wires are then insulated with various plastic compounds. The finished product is wound on reels to specified lengths and shipped to distributors. The majority of the finished product is manufactured for the utility (gas/oil/water) industry, including cathodic protection, and the remainder is utilized in roadway products, building wires, solar-energy applications, direct burial, blasting wire, et al.

Kris-Tech history

Kris-Tech was launched in 1984 by twin brothers Glenn and Gerry Brodock. The former had retired from his position as president of Rome Cable, and the latter retired


Kris-Tech is wired to grow Copper mural depicts Rome’s industrial history Upon entering the lobby of Kris-Tech’s new manufacturing facility, each visitor views a 20-foot copper mural of the industrial history of Rome. The idea was spawned by Jon Brodock, recently retired president of the company. Brodock sketched his concept and brought it to Jude Ferencz of Cazenovia. The two took numerous photos of Rome’s landmarks, which Ferencz used as the basis for the mural. Some of the highlights of the “Copper City Mural” include the Oneida Nation, Fort Stanwix, Spargo Wire, Rome Cable Tower, a B-52, the Erie Canal, and cows representing Jesse Williams, who put Rome on the map as the world’s leading cheese market. The 1,000-pound mural took six months to make and incorporated four different types or colors of copper. —N.P.

from an executive position at Revere Copper and Brass. The twins got the wheels turning before handing the reins over to Gerry’s son Jon. He ran and grew the company with his team, which included Rome native and industry veteran Dave Deering, who served as Kris-Tech’s president. Graham joined the business in 2009 and assumed the role of president in 2012. What started as a project for two retirees has now blossomed into a manufacturing business occupying 72,000 square feet on 12 acres at its headquarters in Rome and another 6,500 square feet of sales and warehousing space in Norwalk, California. The company currently employs fewer than 50 people and runs the production lines 24 hours-a-day, five days a week. Kris-Tech declined to disclose its revenue information. “I was committed to staying in Rome,” notes Brodock, who also serves on the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Once the company CEO decided on the property in the Griffiss Business & Technology Park, Kris-Tech bought the land from the Griffiss Local Development Corp. for $25,000 an acre. Brodock had already interviewed contractors and narrowed the list to two candidates, who developed conceptual plans and budgets. The design/build contract for a 50,000-square-foot structure was awarded to Syracuse–based VIP Structures and its sister company IPD Engineering to construct a Varco Pruden metal building. The Oneida County Industrial Development Agency supported the project with a PILOT agreement and exemptions on sales tax and filing fees. Construction began in 2015, and in January 2016 Kris-Tech began a staggered installation of equipment in the new building. “By March, when most of the machinery was in place, I walked through the plant and

realized it just wasn’t big enough,” intones Brodock. “We were going to need more space to achieve our workflow goals. Work on a 22,000-square-foot addition began in June, even before we completed the punchlist on the first 50,000 feet. The addition was completed by January 2017.”

Demand and competition

The May 2016 “IBISWorld Market Research Report” on wire and cable manufacturing indicates that the demand for wire has grown for the past five years and is poised to continue its upward trend. A Fredonia Group study posits that U.S. insulated-wire and cable demand will rise 6 percent annually through the end of the decade when it will total $27 billion. Building wire and cable will remain the largest market segment and also be the fastest-growing, followed by power and fiber-optic wire. ThomasNet News describes the industry as mature but containing a number of growth markets. It also notes the industry’s stiff competition because of the number of producers. IBISWorld points out a medium level of industry consolidation, with the four largest manufacturers accounting for 41.2 percent of total industry revenue in 2016. The remaining portion of the industry is dominated by a large number of mediumsize manufacturers that employ between 20 and 99 workers. “This can be a very competitive business,” confirms Brodock, “but we don’t focus on our competitors. Instead, our focus is on our customers and on our team. KrisTech provides value to the market by offering short lead-times, excellent customer service, and quality products. However we grow in the future, we want to maintain our identity as a specialty, niche manufacSEE KRIS-TECH, PAGE 6

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SUNY Poly to use $1.25M grant for advanced manufacturing performance center


he SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) plans to use a federal grant of $1.25 million to help establish an Advanced Manufacturing Performance (AMP) Center. The grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) also includes $500,000 in matching funds from Empire State Development (ESD), SUNY Poly said in a news release issued Feb. 16. ESD is New York’s primary economicdevelopment agency. SUNY Poly said it expects the AMP Center to support “thousands” of current and future high-tech jobs. The support will come from “enhancing” research and development opportunities and “strengthening” high-tech career pathways within the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region’s “multi-billion-dollar advanced manufacturing-based ecosystem,” per the release. “In partnership with Edwards Vacuum, Inficon, and NY Wired for Education, we look forward to leveraging the EDA and ESD funds to support the advanced-manufacturing careers that New York State and SUNY Poly are working hard to create and sustain through its top tier high-tech education,” Bahgat Sammakia, interim president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, said. Serving as anchors, the industry partners’ goal is to grow an “even larger” cluster of companies, propelling the long-term operation of the AMP Center, which will have an added emphasis on the Mohawk Valley. Workforce-training support will be critical for the New York power electronics manufacturing consortium’s (NY-PEMC) packaging center at Quad-C, which will develop the “next-generation of more efficient and robust computer chips.” Quad-C is short for computer chip commercialization center, which is located at

Excellus awards Herkimer County HealthNet $50K grant for lead BY ERIC REINHARDT HERKIMER — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has awarded Herkimer County HealthNet, Inc. (HCHN) a grant of more than $50,000 to increase lead screening in children. Launched in 1990, HCHN operates as a New York State Department of Health rural health network, according to its website. HCHN will use the grant to facilitate the placement of LeadCare II blood-level testing systems and initial supplies in health-care practices, clinics, and physician offices to support point-of-care screening of children. In conjunction with the placement of

SUNY Poly’s Marcy campus, near Utica.

CATN2 to manage

The New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials (CATN2), which is based at SUNY Poly, will manage the AMP Center. CATN2 “supports the transition of emerging innovations in technology by acting as a bridge” between each phase in the research, development, and deployment commercialization sequence. Specifically, the CATN2 couples SUNY Poly’s “research-phase innovation” and education pipeline with “development-phase” pilot-prototype resources and “deploymentphase” scale-up capabilities, “all with an eye toward enabling high-technology economic growth” across New York state. “The AMP Center, through access to a full

suite of state-of-the-art manufacturing-scale tools and innovative data platforms, will establish three test-beds,” Michael Fancher, director of the CATN2, said in the release. “… Equipment test-beds to support the research by component, sub-system, and site-service companies and to evaluate their respective role in the manufacturing process; big-data development test-beds to support the data-analytics companies that obtain data resulting from tens-of-thousands of sensors monitoring all aspects of the fab with the manufacturing output; and, a learning-management deployment system test-bed to efficiently train the highly skilled technician-level workforce to support jobs that have been or will be announced in the Mohawk Valley.”

Research component

For the initiative’s research focus, the


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AMP Center will work with United Kingdom– based Edwards Vacuum Ltd. to study all potential impacts and end results of advanced semiconductor manufacturing. Edwards Vacuum says it is a developer and manufacturer of “sophisticated” vacuum products, abatement products and related services. The work will involve developing experiments to optimize conditions, minimize wafer variability and defects, and determine how to best eliminate them, “creating greater efficiencies for vacuum systems.” The research will happen at SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex cleanrooms and at Quad-C in Marcy. Some of the world’s “most advanced” semiconductor tools have been outfitted with numerous sensors, which can now be “fully utilized,” and partnering corporations of all sizes can use these systems to “play a role in advancing the industry,” SUNY Poly said. The development portion of the initiative, in partnership with Inficon, will integrate “discrete” data systems and establish advanced, real-time feedback and data-correlation capabilities for accelerated process development. Switzerland–based Inficon, which operates a location in DeWitt, provides advanced instruments for gas analysis, measurement, and control.


The AMP Center will also have a partnership with Albany–based NY Wired for Education, “complementing both the research and development efforts” that are part of the AMP Center. The partnership seeks to “create and provide” a technician-training portal for workforce assessment and “skills mastery.” It will work to “better align” the local and regional workforce with the technical jobs that are being enabled by the construction, operation, and servicing of advanced computer chip fabrication facilities. For example, trainees can pursue basic knowledge and develop skills related to building and testing vacuum systems; data-system installation, networking, and maintenance; nanoparticle handling; and operations and applications of analytical metrology, among other areas that can lead to technician certification. 

In recent years, the Mohawk Valley has been identified among the areas with the highest levels of childhood lead poisoning in New York.



LeadCare II systems, the organization will also use the grant to conduct a marketing campaign to inform the public of this health issue. “Early detection will result in identifying children in need of medical intervention as well as implementing environmental controls to lessen the risk for continued lead exposure,” Dr. Thomas Curnow, executive director of Herkimer County HealthNet, said in a news release.

Regional need

In recent years, the Mohawk Valley has been identified among the areas with the highest levels of childhood lead poisoning in New York, Herkimer County HealthNet said. Despite a state law requiring early-childhood testing for lead exposure, one-third of children between ages 1 and 2 in Herkimer and Oneida Counties have not had the required blood test, the organization said. Addressing lead screening in children is “critical” to a child’s success in life, Eve Van de Wal, president of Excellus BlueCross

BlueShield’s Utica region, said. “Early detection helps to minimize the impact of lead poisoning thereby lessening the long-term impact of this major community challenge,” said Van de Wal. Long-term lead exposure can result in developmental delays, learning difficulties, and behavioral issues, with “lifelong” financial consequences, HCHN said. Herkimer County HealthNet is currently a partner with The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc. in the LeadFree Mohawk Valley Coalition. The coalition’s goal is to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Herkimer and Oneida counties by 2030. The LeadCare II blood-level testing system is designed for the quantitative measurement of lead in blood. HCHN will work with Herkimer County Public Health, the Oneida County Health Department and the Lead-Free Mohawk Valley Coalition to identify health-care

practices willing to accept placement of the LeadCare II systems, thus making the test “more easily” available for families at various points of service throughout the area. Herkimer County HealthNet encourages health-care providers in Herkimer and Oneida counties to call if they’re interested in the LeadCare II system and increasing the number of children tested for lead, HCHN said.

Excellus CAMHI program

Funding for the lead-screening program comes from Excellus’s community and member health improvement (CAMHI) program. Through its CAMHI grant program, Excellus awards grants to organizations focused on improving the health of its members as well as the community at large. This program provides grants to initiatives that involve numerous community partners, span multiple years, and include specific objectives and measurable outcomes in improving health. Preference is given to efforts that focus on the areas of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, medication compliance, and/or patient safety. 

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People on the Move NEWS CONSTRUCTION JEREMY BOYER has joined Charles A. Gaetano Construction Corp. as a project manager. Before joining Gaetano, he worked for C.O. Falter Construction Corp. as a project manager and safety manager in Syracuse. Boyer has an associate degree in construction management from Herkimer County Boyer Community College.

EDUCATION & TRAINING Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) has appointed ANN HYLAND technology and access services librarian. This is a term appointment effective from Jan. 3 – May 31, 2017. She will also serve as a liaison to academic departments. Hyland has been with MVCC since 2012 as a part-time reference/instruction librarian. She holds a master’s degree in library and information sciences from SUNY Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in American

studies from Siena College. RONALD JONES was appointed to a technical assistant position in the college’s Art Department and will also serve as Juergensen Gallery co-chair. Jones has been with MVCC as a photography lab and studio technician since 2010, and as an adjunct photography instructor since 2014. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communication and information design from SUNY Polytechnic Institute and two associate degrees in photography and general studies from MVCC.

INSURANCE KENNETH CICCARELLI has joined Preferred Mutual as a business analyst. He previously served in a similar capacity for 18 years at Utica National Insurance Group. Ciccarelli graduated from SUNY Polytechnic Ciccarelli Institute, and holds the chartered life underwriter; fellow, Life Management Institute; associate,

customer service; associate, insurance regulatory compliance; associate in claims; and the health insurance associate professional accreditations.

MANUFACTURING Fiber Instrument Sales, Inc. has hired PETER JONES as VP of international sales. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and previously worked at ConMed Corp. in its international sales management department. ROBERT LICARI has joined the company as sales engineer/trainer with the company’s FIS University division. Licari is a graduate of St. John Fisher College and previously served with Fiberdyne Labs in its fiber characterization department.



Indium Corp. has hired KIM FLANAGAN as a technical support engineer at the company’s headquarters in Clinton. She was introduced to Indium through the company’s summer college internFlanagan ship program, working in the Quality Department and remained with Indium as a part-time quality engineering technician while she finished her bachelor’s degree in physics at Le Moyne College in December 2016. CHRIS NASH has been named product manager for PCB assembly materials. He has worked for Indium for more than 10 years and has served in a number of roles, including inside sales, product management, and global technical support. Nash’s most recent role was new product development manager for PCB assembly materials. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Clarkson University and holds his six sigma green belt from Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering. 

THURSTON: The investment in the 300 block of Broad Street is Thurston's first in Utica an investor to buy the project’s historic tax credits and anticipate finalizing a financial package in a few weeks. Once we begin construction, I anticipate completion in six months. I would certainly like to have tenants before the snow flies [next winter].” Thurston plans to retain a managing agent for the property. Thurston chose Bonacci Architects of Utica to redesign the four-story structure. Hayner Hoyt, which is scheduled to do the construction work, recently completed restoration of the former Hotel Syracuse, built the Yellow Brick Road Casino, and completed an expansion and renovation project for Inficon. Thurston and his son Jeremy are the principals and stockholders of Hayner Hoyt and two subsidiaries — Doyner, Inc., a masonry sub-contractor, and Lemoyne Interiors, Inc., a metal-framing, dry-wall, and acousticalceiling contractor. The Oneida County Industrial

Development Agency (IDA) has issued the developer a 10-year abatement of real-property taxes and exempted the Crane–Ballou, LLC project from sales and use taxes and/ or equipment on construction materials used in renovating the property. The IDA also waived the mortgage-recording fee. The county has encouraged the housing expansion by granting the developer $20,000 per unit up to a maximum of $250,000. In addition, the ConMed project received a $900,000 state grant through a consolidatedfunding application.

First Utica investment

Thurston’s investment in the 300 block of Broad Street is his first in Utica. “I sense a lot of optimism in Utica,” he posits. “Despite the disappointment of the ams AG announcing [in December 2016] it was pulling out of the Fab-C chip [manufacturing] plant in Marcy, the state and county have made a huge investment both in R&D and

in the nano infrastructure. I think it’s only a matter of time before another company selects the Marcy site to begin manufacturing chip wafers. Drone development is another high-tech sector that is taking off (pun intended), and Griffiss is one of only six national sites doing cutting-edge research on drones. Utica College is an internationally recognized … [institution] at the forefront of cyber-security, another high-tech sector that is poised for rapid growth. The optimism has already begun to change the [Utica] city core when you see the development in Bagg’s Square and even in the anticipation for a new [$480 million] hospital which will bring 4,000 people downtown every day to work, shop, and, for some, live.” In 1968, Thurston earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Utica College. He started his career as an outside plant engineer for the Rochester Telephone Co. before joining Nalews, Inc.,

Continued from page 3

where he rose through the ranks from field engineer to project superintendent. The Utica native left Nalews in 1978 and accepted employment at Hayner Hoyt as a field superintendent on a project in Buffalo. Over the past four decades, he has held positions as project engineer, director of operations, and president (1985). Thurston assumed the title of board chair in 2008. His son Jeremy joined the firm in 2000 and, since 2008, has served as the company president. Gary Thurston, 70, went to downtown Utica to open a small office for his company. Unlike the young boy in “Jack and the Beanstalk,” he didn’t immediately find any gold coins, golden eggs, or an automated harp. But he did acquire a “castle” with the potential to generate riches and live happily ever after. All it took was a developer’s imagination, and an understanding of how to make the goose lay golden eggs. The City of Utica is hopeful that Thurston will look for other downtown “castles.” 

KRISTECH: Brodock notes that the company’s growth will rely heavily on the team approach he and his staff promote turer providing premium customer service. Every member of our team goes out of his or her way to help our customers; it’s very much a part of our corporate culture and ethos. That’s why we don’t obsess over our competition; we prefer to obsess over our customers.”

Team-based culture

Brodock notes that the company’s growth will rely heavily on the team approach he and his staff promote at Kris-Tech. “Our success depends on a team effort,” he asserts. “A large part of my role is to create an environment where each team member can grow and develop leadership skills. We want each … [worker] to flourish here and realize their potential, whatever that means for the individual. ‘Growth-mindset’ is a phrase I use a lot at work. That means we challenge each other, ask questions, lean in on what’s possible, and pursue what we are really capable of as a company, at every level. Every member of our team is empowered to make decisions that benefit themselves, the customer, and the company. Sometimes we don’t live up to this ideal, but we don’t frown on employees’ mistakes; instead, we use them as coaching opportunities. All of this is built on open and honest communications, which is critical to fostering team trust.”

History of copper

Copper is man’s oldest metal dating back

more than 10,000 years to the Neolithic period. The Egyptians developed metallurgy 6,000 years ago when they heated copper and mold-cast it into shapes. Copper was alloyed with tin 500 years later giving rise to the Bronze Age. Being malleable, it was used for jewelry, tools, weapons, coins, cooking pots, and other household utensils. In short, copper was and continues to be ubiquitous. King Tut was buried with 168 miniature farming implements to assist him in the afterlife, and in 1797 Paul Revere produced the copper hull-sheathing, bronze cannon, and pumps for “Old Ironsides.” Four years later, he established the first U.S. copper-rolling mill. In 1873, copper first appeared on jeans manufactured by Levi Strauss & Co. for the purpose of reinforcing pockets. Eleven years later, the Statue of Liberty was unveiled covered in a skin of copper weighing 179,220 pounds. Copper also has important properties that include superior heat transfer and corrosion resistance. In the early 1800s, inventors discovered that copper wire could conduct electrical current better than any other metal except silver. In 1831, when Michael Faraday was conducting his electrical experiments, he required a stronger gauge of insulated copper wire in his galvanometer. The solution came from ladies’ bonnets, which were then wrapped in iron wire to hold up the brims. The wire industry adapted the manual machines then used by

milliners and utilized silk to cover the bare wire. The invention of the telephone and electric lights drove U.S. demand for copper wire at the end of the 19th century. The City of Rome, incorporated in 1870, garnered the name of the “copper city,” because its metal industries produced an estimated 10 percent of the country’s total copper consumption. James A. Spargo, an immigrant from England who arrived with $5 in his pocket, put Rome on the map in the 1890s as a leading copper and brass wire producer when he borrowed $1,000 to establish the Electric Wire Works. In 1897, he formed a new company — Spargo Wire Works — and in 1902 incorporated the eponymous James A. Spargo Wire Co. on East Dominick St. In 1908, Spargo established the Spargo Wire Cloth Co. to manufacture metal window screens and strainer cloth. An August 1927 story in the Rome Daily Sentinel avers that “Had his business failed …, there would be no copper-drawing business in Rome today.”

Company strategy

With construction of the new building complete, Brodock is wasting no time implementing a growth strategy. “After 32 years in the old building, KrisTech is positioned to grow. With our new layout, we have sped up our existing production lines and commissioned additional equipment,” Brodock says. “We are also fo-

Continued from page 4

cusing on improving our sales and marketing efforts, including hiring new regional, sales-team members. The company continues to focus on domestic sales, because this market offers plenty of opportunity for us. Our concern is always on adding value for our customers.” Brodock grew up in Central New York and in 2005 earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and art history from Hamilton College. Upon graduation, he took a position in Los Angeles with a finance firm, but soon left to pursue a master’s degree in classics at Cambridge University. With sheepskin in hand, he taught Latin for a year in Austin, Texas before joining Kris-Tech in 2009. Brodock became president and CEO in 2012. Brodock, 33, lives in Franklin Square in Syracuse) and is engaged to be married in March. “Kris-Tech is well positioned to grow,” the CEO predicts. “We have the team, the facility, strong industry relationships, and a great supplier base. Just as important, I’d like to think our company is both focused and disciplined regarding its future.” KrisTech is doing its part to continue the heritage passed on by the Spargo Wire Co. and Rome Cable and to ensure the future of the copper city. The growing demand for the company’s products; a new, efficient production facility; and a talented staff, set the stage for sustained expansion and explain why Graham Brodock is wired. 

I 7



THE LIST Research by Vance Marriner (315) 579-3911 Twitter: @cnybjresearch

MOHAWK VALLEY CONFERENCE & MEETING FACILITIES Ranked by Maximum Exhibit Area in Square Feet Rank

Max. Exhibit Area Max. Room (Sq. Ft.) Capacity Seated: — Banquet No. of No. of Mtg. — Sleeping Rooms Theater Rooms

Name Address Phone/Website

Meeting Equipment Available

Top Management

Year Estab.


Turning Stone Resort Casino 5218 Patrick Road Verona, NY 13478 (315) 361-7711/

29,868 — 22

1,000 — 1,632


tables, chairs, drapes, lighting, decor, AV equipment, sound equipment

Ray Halbritter, CEO



Dibble's Inn 5311 E. Seneca St. Vernon, NY 13476 (315) 829-3022/

25,000 — 4

300 — 350


available upon request

Kristin Brown, General Manager



Utica College 1600 Burrstone Road Utica, NY 13502 (315) 792-3111/

14,000 — 50

250 — 400


full-service media center to accommodate all conference/meeting equipment needs

Laura Casamento, President



The Beeches Inn and Conference Center 7900 Turin Road, Route 26N Rome, NY 13440 (315) 336-1700/

10,648 — 10

1,069 — 800


overheads, screens, PA systems, DVD players, LCD projectors, easels, and more

Orlando J. Destito, Owner & Operator



Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel 4229 Stuhlman Road Vernon, NY 13476 (315) 829-3400/

10,000 — 6

350 — 500


board room and meeting facilities, AV equipment

Scott Freeman , President and General Manager Tioga and Vernon Downs Casino



Hart's Hill Inn 135 Clinton St. Whitesboro, NY 13492 (315) 736-3011/

7,500 — 4

600 — 750


all AV equipment available

Scott David Lichorowic, President & Owner Barbara Lichorowic, Owner



Greater Oneida Kallet Civic Center 159 Main St. Oneida, NY 13421 (315) 363-8525/

6,000 — 1

400 — 700


tables, chairs, portable stage, stage curtains, concession stand, full-service bar, sound system, lighting, projector, projector screen, baby grand piano, kitchen facilities

Carli A. Rodio, Office Manager



Holiday Inn Utica/New Hartford 1777 Burrstone Road New Hartford, NY 13413 (315) 797-2131/

5,700 — 6

200 — 170


TV/DVD, screen, podium, easels, microphone, flip chart with markers, speaker phone, LCD projector

Denise Longo, General Manager



Daniele's Banquet Specialists 8360 Seneca Turnpike New Hartford, NY 13413 (315) 733-8358/

5,200 — 3

500 — 526


AV, screens, LCD projector, PA system, chairs, tables, special accommodations upon request

Jeffery E. Daniels, General Manager


Enchanted Forest Water Safari 3183 New York 28 Old Forge, NY 13420 (315) 369-6145/

4,800 — 9

1,000 — 1,000


available upon request

Zoe Gosnell, Director of Sales Joe Guido, Director of Food Service



MOHAWK VALLEY HOTELS Ranked by Total No. of Guest Rooms (Including Suites) Rank

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. Organizations had to complete the survey by the deadline to be included on the list. 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. This list includes facilities in Herkimer and Oneida counties.

1. 2. 3. 4. . 6. .

NEED A COPY OF A LIST? Electronic versions of all of our lists, with additional fields of information and survey contacts, are available for purchase at our website: aspx

WANT TO BE ON THE LIST? If your company would like to be considered for next year’s list, or another list, please email:

8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Name Address Phone/Website Turning Stone Resort Casino 5218 Patrick Road Verona, NY 13478 (315) 361-7711/ Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel 4229 Stuhlman Road Vernon, NY 13476 (315) 829-3400/ Radisson Hotel Utica Centre 200 Genesee St. Utica, NY 13502 (315) 797-8010/ Hotel Utica 102 Lafayette St. Utica, NY 13502 (315) 724-7829/ Red Roof Inn Utica 20 Weaver St. Utica, NY 13502 (315) 724-7128/ Quality Inn of Rome 200 S. James St. Rome, NY 13440 (315) 336-4300/ Ramada New Hartford 141 New Hartford St. New Hartford, NY 13413 (315) 735-3392/ Holiday Inn Utica/New Hartford 1777 Burrstone Road New Hartford, NY 13413 (315) 797-2131/ LaQuinta Inn & Suites Verona 5394 Willow Place Verona, NY 13478 (315) 231-5080/ Hampton Inn Rome 1352 Floyd Ave. Rome, NY 13440 (315) 709-0000/ Fairfield Inn & Suites 5280 Willow Place Verona, NY 13478 (315) 363-8888/ Days Inn 5920 Airport Road Oriskany, NY 13424 (800) 570-7613

Total Toll-Free Rooms Reservation — No. Suites

Meeting Rooms — Max. Exhibit Area (sq. ft.)

Guest Amenities

General Manager or Top Management

Year Estab.

wireless Internet, cable TV, business center, inroom safes, coffeemaker

Ray Halbritter, CEO


(800) 771-7711

709 — 143

22 — 29,868

(877) 888-3766

173 — -

6 — 10,000

business center, wireless Internet, boardroom and Scott Freeman , President and 1994 meeting facilities, weekday continental breakfast General Manager Tioga and Vernon Downs Casino

(800) 333-3333

162 — 3

9 — 4,600

business center, complimentary wireless Internet

Michael Fults, General Manager


(877) 906-1912

112 — 14

7 — 3,843

free wireless high-speed Internet access in all rooms, business center, free hot breakfast served daily

Charles N. Gaetano, Owner


(800) RED ROOF

112 — 0

— -

renovated with all new rooms, free wireless Internet

Bethany Petriski, General Manager


(800) 424-5423

104 — 4

1 — 144

business center, free wired and wireless highspeed Internet access, free weekday newspaper

Mansukh V. Paghdal, General Manager


(800) 2 RAMADA

104 — 4

7 — 2,800

complimentary breakfast buffet, coffee makers, irons, hairdryers, meeting facilities, wireless Internet

Sandip Patel, General Manager



100 — 4

6 — 5,700


97 — 9

1 — 1,900

(800) Hampton

94 — 0

1 — 576

high-speed Internet, 32" flat panel TVs, morning Denise Longo, General Manager 1990 newspaper, coffeemaker, microwave, refrigerator, business center, self-laundry facilities, same day dry cleaning, full-service restaurant and bar pool, hot tub, bar, lounge, free Wi-Fi, shuttle to Peter Kosha, General Manager 2012 Turning Stone Casino, business center, Julie Martin, Director of Operations complimentary continental breakfast every Courtney Galesky, Sales Coordinator morning, free parking microwave and fridge in all rooms, indoor pool, Jessica L Coleman, General Manager 2014 fitness center, free breakfast buffet, free manager's reception Sun-Thurs

(866) 580-6237

93 — 20

1 — 600

business center, complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, indoor pool, complimentary shuttle service to Turning Stone Casino

Thomas Bates, General Manager Lori Hicks, Director of Sales


(800) 570-7613

88 — 0

5 — 1,500

hot breakfast, business center, free high-speed Internet

Ken Slaminio, General Manager


8 I



Mohawk Valley

LEGACY Presented By:



The Business Journal News Network and Berkshire Bank announce the 3rd annual Mohawk Valley Legacy Awards. In the spring of 2017, we will recognize local entrepreneurs who have built thriving corporations and also generously supported their communities, both financially and with their time.

SAVE THE DATE! Thursday, May 4, 2017

Event Date: Thursday, May 4, 2017 Black Tie Optional

The Stanley Theatre, Utica

Location: The Stanley Theatre, Utica

Time: 6:00 pm-9:00 pm

6 pm-7:30 pm: Enjoy delicious food stations, open bar, networking & live music! (Please note: this is not a sit-down dinner-very limited seating, 7:30 pm-9:00 pm: social event) Awards Program (plenty of seating), Dessert For more info, & Photos contact Joyl Clance at (315) 708-3303 or

030617 mvbj flip  

Digital Edition of the 3/6/17 Mohawk Valley Business Journal

030617 mvbj flip  

Digital Edition of the 3/6/17 Mohawk Valley Business Journal