■ Our latest feature publication devoted to technology in business.
New Treatment Option: Beacon Center opens in Utica. Page 3.
BUSINESS JOURNAL M
Vol. XI • No. 5
The Inn at Stone Mill owners plan growth, more projects BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF
BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF
See SBA, page 7
March 7-20, 2011
Syracuse SBA begins recruiting for executivetraining program 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. “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.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INN AT STONE MILL
Left to right: David Taylor, co-owner of The Inn at Stone Mill; William Calli, Jr., attorney; and Gary Roback, VP of GPO Credit Union, at the closing for financing for the inn. The inn is pursuing more growth and projects.
LITTLE FALLS — Nestled on the third floor of an old stone mill building in Canal Place is an inn that represents both the dream of its owners and the frustration they say they have faced as small-business owners in need of financing in the Mohawk Valley. Partners David Taylor and Richard Vogt purchased the building at 410 Canal Place in Little Falls in 2005. They renovated the 6,500-square-foot first floor and, for a time, operated the Little Falls Antique Center before deciding they wanted to do something more with the four-story building. These days, the first floor houses The Mustard Seed gift shop, Stone Mill Antiques, and Ole Sal’s café, which lease space from Vogt and Taylor. The second floor of the building is full of office space leased to businesses such as Lecky Integration along with The Black Box Theatre. See INN, page 5
Shuttle Logistics relocates to Sherrill BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF
SHERRILL — Shuttle Logistics, Inc. has a new location that gives the third-party logistics firm room to add new employees and new services to clients.
On Feb. 4, the company moved from a tiny office of about 150 square feet in Rome to 800 square feet of office space plus 300,000 square feet of warehouse space in the Sherrill Manufacturing, Inc. building at 94 E. Seneca St. in Sherrill.
The company says the move minimally impacted its five employees, inSee SHUTTLE, page 12
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March 7-20, 2011
Federal grant meant to help New York manufacturers pursue new technologies by eric reinhardt journal staff
Beacon Federal posts 44 percent profit increase in Q4 DeWITT — Profit at Beacon Federal Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: BFED) jumped 44 percent in the fourth quarter to $1.4 million, or 23 cents per share. The banking company announced its latest results Feb. 10 after the market closed. For the full year in 2010, Beacon Federal earned $5.4 million, or 88 cents per share, up 52 percent from 2009. “Along with the rest of the community banking industry, we are facing increasing pressure on net interest margin due to the prolonged period of low interest rates adversely affecting asset yields,” Beacon Federal President and CEO Ross Prossner said in a news release. ”With the cost of funds likely near the lowest expected level, we will continue focusing on minimizing any decline in asset yields and the quality of our assets, while working to maintain the gains we’ve made in lowering the cost of funds this year. “We anticipate a temporary decline in assets through 2011 in order to maximize our net interest income in the current interest rate environment.” Beacon Federal has total assets of $1.03 billion and eight branches in Central New York, Texas, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. Its Mohawk Valley offices are in Marcy and Rome.
Oneida County, Rome to apply for consolidation grant UTICA — Oneida County and the city of Rome plan to apply for a New York State Department of State Local Government Efficiency Grant, applied to the Rome school district, for a feasibility study on the consolidation of some county, city, and school-district services. In particular, the study will focus on sharing services related to purchasing and accounts payable, maintenance and grounds, parks and recreation, technology services, and other business functions such as insurance or payroll administration. The $50,000 grant, if secured, includes a local match of $5,555, split among the three entities.
Excellus named a top health plan UTICA — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is one of five health plans in the United States credited by a national study released by The Commonwealth Fund for achieving both high quality and low cost. The top five were selected based upon a series of analyses of 118 health plans conducted by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. The Urban Institute, which conducted the study, selected the top five performing health plans to conduct case studies to indentify best practices. Some of those success factors include a physician-plan partnership, providing physicians with quality and cost data, and infrastructure support. Excellus received praise for its Nurse Navigator Program and the Hospital Performance Incentive Program. The full report is available at www.commonwealthfund.org.
.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) last month announced the New York State Foundation for Science Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) will use a federal grant of more than $1.3 million to help “strengthen and grow” the state’s manufacturing industry. New York has lost more than 160,000 manufacturing jobs since 2001, or nearly one-quarter of its manufacturing base, according to Gillibrand’s office. In addition, the statement also breaks the figure down further, noting that 52 of New York’s 62 counties have shown “significant” manufacturing job losses since 2001, with the rest only showing “short-term, unsustainable gains.” The manufacturing job losses in the last 10 years include more than 11,000 in Onondaga County, over 4,300 in Oneida County, and more than 6,300 in Broome County, according to the website of the New York State Department of Labor. The National Institute of Standards & Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership program (MEP) under the U.S. Department of Commerce is allocating the funding. MEP is the only public private program dedicated to providing technical support
and services to small and medium-sized manufacturers, according to Gillibrand’s office. It is a nationwide network of resources that enables manufacturers to compete globGillibrand ally, supports greater supply-chain integration, and provides access to information, training, and technologies that improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability, according to the statement from Gillibrand’s office. The Mohawk Valley Applied Technology Corporation (MVATC) in Utica serves as the MEP center for Oneida, Herkimer, Schoharie, Montgomery, Fulton, and Hamilton counties, according to the NYSTAR website. It is also one of New York’s 10 Regional Technology Development Centers (RTDC) — independent, non-profit organizations that cultivate the growth of high-tech industries and help smaller manufacturers modernize, the NYSTAR website says. The $1.3 million in funding will help encourage the creation and adoption of improved technologies and provide resources to develop new products that respond to changing market needs, according to the
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About the NYSTAR grant
NYSTAR’s Technology Acceleration Project is one of 22 projects nationwide to receive NIST funding, Edward Reinfurt, NYSTAR executive director, said in a news release. The project will work to leverage the state’s prototyping and technology facilities to help manufacturers in their quest to develop new products, Reinfurt added. The grant will pay for the development of RTDC services in two areas “critical” to helping New York manufacturers commercialize the new products and processes essential for their survival and growth, Jannette Rondó, NYSTAR director of communications and intergovernmental affairs, said in an e-mail message. Companies will not be able to apply for direct funding, she added. First, it will allow the RTDCs to develop a process for matching new technologies with manufacturers who are interested in and capable of commercializing them. In addition, the grant will help RTDCs create a new product design and prototyping service that will help manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and investors get products to the market more rapidly and efficiently. The service is designed to help users access cutting-edge equipment and resources that already exist among New York manufacturers, universities and design consulting firms, Rondó said. The grant will pay for the RTDC staff, who will develop these services and work with companies to implement them, NYSTAR has also hired two managers to work statewide on the tech matching and prototyping projects, Rondó added. The NYSTAR officials will work with each RTDC, including MVATC, to identify companies in their regions who are interested in pursuing these growth opportunities and utilizing the product development services.
Speaking in Syracuse, Gillibrand called the funding “a great investment for New York’s manufacturing industry.” “We’ve lost thousands of manufacturing jobs over the last few decades, thousands and thousands. We need to restore those manufacturing jobs, but in different industries where the real hope is — nanotech[nology], biotech[nology], energy technology, Department of Defense manufacturing,” Gillibrand said while speaking with reporters. The Democrat spoke after a Feb. 11 roundtable discussion on helping unemployed military veterans, held at the South Side Innovation Center at 2610 S. Salina St. in Syracuse. The projects address one or more of five areas MEP has identified as vital for strategic growth in U.S. manufacturing. They include responding to evolving supply chains; accelerating the adoption of new technology to build business growth; implementing environmentally sustainable See grant, page 5
The Mohawk Valley Business Journal • 3
March 7-20, 2011
Buffalo company opens treatment center in Utica By Traci DeLore Journal Staff
UTICA — A western New York chemicaldependency treatment center has opened a new location in Oneida County to help meet the needs of area residents seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Buffalo Beacon Corp., which does business as Beacon Center in Buffalo, recently leased just over 3,700 square feet of office space at 1508 Genesee St. in Utica to house an outpatient treatment center. Pyramid Brokerage Company and Accent Realty brokered the lease transaction. The center opened Jan. 3 after Beacon Center received its operating certificate from the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, says Jacqueline Nicastro, CEO. Beacon Center also operates an outpatient clinic and a residential-treatment facility in Herkimer. “We were getting a lot of individuals coming to us from Oneida County,” Nicastro says of Beacon Center’s Herkimer outpatient facility. While there are a number of treatment facilities in Oneida County, such as Insight House, the demand seems to outnumber the providers, she notes. “We hope to serve quite a large number of people,” at Beacon Center, a private treatment agency, she says. Beacon Center accepts payments through traditional health insurance, Medicaid, and also private payment on a sliding scale. She declined to provide specific figures about client projections, but did say the goal is to have a full caseload without a waitlist. Nicastro also declined to release revenue figures. Along with general services for people dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction, the new Utica location specializes in substance-abuse treatment services to women, adolescents, and those needing intensive treatment. Nicastro says the center offers programs during the day, evening, and even some weekend programs to make them accessible to everyone. “We really spend a lot of time making sure our patients don’t fall through the cracks,” she says. Beacon Center employs four full-time counselors, one part-time nurse, and has a physician medical director on staff, Nicastro says. Companywide, Buffalo Beacon Corp. employs about 50 people at its seven locations.
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The building at 1508 Genesee St. in Utica, the new home of Beacon Center. It’s a chemical-dependency treatment center, opened to help meet the needs of area residents seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. The company (www.beaconcntr. com) has outpatient treatment centers in Buffalo, Amherst, Lockport, Niagara Falls, Herkimer, and Utica, and a residentialtreatment house in Herkimer.
Herkimer native Faith Nichols Peterson, company president, founded Buffalo Beacon Corp. in 1990. Peterson is a statecredentialed alcoholism and substanceabuse counselor and has worked in the
substance-abuse prevention and treatment industry since 1983. q Contact DeLore at email@example.com
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• The Mohawk Valley Business Journal
March 7-20, 2011
Gillibrand proposes farm support as farm numbers decline By Traci DeLore Journal Staff
.S.Sen.KirstenGillibrand(D–NY)re sponded to recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) news that New York lost nearly 25 percent of its dairy farms from 2002 to 2007 with a multi-pronged plan to provide support to dairy farms. According to USDA data, New York lost 1,705 farms during the five-year span, or about 23 percent of its total number of farms. As of 2010, the state had 5,400 dairy farms remaining. In Central New York (including Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and Otsego counties), the number of dairy farms fell from 1,635 farms in 2002 to 1,240 farms in 2007, according to Gillibrand’s office, citing the latest figures available. “Our dairy farmers are facing a real crisis, and we simply cannot wait until the Farm Bill to find solutions,” Gillibrand said in a release announcing her plan. The first item in her dairy agenda is to prevent cuts to the federal Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC), which provides a safety net for farmers when prices fall below $16.94 per hundredweight of milk. Prices are currently hovering just above that level as dairy farmers in the Empire State received an average of $17.20 per hundredweight of milk they sold during January 2011. Starting in September 2012, the MILC reimbursement rate is set to decrease from 45 percent to 35 percent of the difference between the $16.94 trigger price and the
tmvbj file photo
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY) has introduced farm-support programs to help local farms as their numbers decline. actual Class 1 Boston milk price. Gillibrand said she is working to prevent this cut. She is also urging the USDA to collect and publish data on alternative measures of dairy pricing, such as competitive-pay pricing, so that everyone can clearly see if it would be a better way to price milk. A competitive-pay pricing system would base the price of milk on a survey of prices paid to farmers for milk used in cheese production in a competitive market. New York is one of
only three states with competitive counties. In noncompetitive areas, the existing federal Milk Marketing Order system would take effect with base prices established by the competitive-pay pricing system. Gillibrand said using such a system would benefit New York because of its proximity to competitive markets and would be a more transparent and direct way of pricing milk based on the actual prices that farmers receive. The senator said she is also leading an
effort to limit somatic cell counts (SCC), a basic measure of milk quality, from the current standard of 750,000 cells per milliliter down to 400,000. Lowering the SCC would benefit both producers and consumers, Gillibrand said. Milk with low SCC has a longer shelf life and greater cheese yield. Studies have shown that for every doubling of somaticcell counts in a herd, milk production drops by 400 pounds per cow per lactation. In 2008, the average SCC in the U.S. was 262,000 cells/ml, far below the current 750,000 limit and well below the 400,000 proposed limit, she noted. Gillibrand is introducing legislation that would make reporting USDA Natural Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) coldstorage reporting mandatory and gives the USDA authority to audit warehouse inventories to help bring more stability to dairy trading prices. Inventories of certain types of classified cheeses have the ability to significantly influence trading activity on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. However, cold-storage facilities are not currently required to report their inventories to the NASS and only do so on a voluntary basis. Finally, Gillibrand said she also supports efforts to increase transparency into dairy cooperatives and provide dairy farmers with more information. Gillibrand is introducing the Democracy for Dairy Producers Act, which would require dairy cooperatives that engage in bloc voting to provide their member farmers, when votes See farms, page 12
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The Mohawk Valley Business Journal • 5
March 7-20, 2011
INN: With the financing issue out of the way, Vogt says they are now free to grow business at the inn Continued from page 1
In 2009, as part of a Little Falls Urban Renewal project, Taylor and Vogt worked to convert the vacant third floor into an inn and conference facility, and that’s where the duo hit their first financial stumbling block. The pair lost their anticipated financing partway through the construction and resorted to borrowing money from friends and using their own funds just to make ends meet. The end result was the beautiful nineroom Inn at Stone Mill and a mountain of debt, says Vogt. While he declined to say how much debt they faced, he spoke freely about the troubles he and Taylor encountered when seeking financing. The partners spent 16 months meeting with just about every area bank, Vogt says, but had no luck until meeting up with Karen McDonnell, a business-programs specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development office. McDonnell, in turn, helped Taylor and Vogt obtain federal stimulus-backed financing through GPO Federal Credit Union. Vogt declined to release financial information, but a report in the Credit Union Times listed the loan amount at $650,000. McDonnell, in a news release announcing the funding deal, said a lot of the problem was poor timing and the recession. “They were trying to get restructured and everything when the banks were basically pulling back and not wanting to do business,” she said.
GRANT: ‘Any funding
“We were so thankful GPO came through for us,” Vogt says. The funding, which the partners closed on in late December, allowed Vogt and Taylor to refinance the existing mortgage on the building and consolidate all the construction costs. With the financing issue out of the way, Vogt says they are now free to devote their energies to growing business at the inn and finalizing plans for the fourth floor of the building. “Right now, we’re pretty occupied running the inn,” Vogt says. “We have our hands in the theater, too.” The inn’s occupancy rate has been 60 percent or more, he says. In fact, there wasn’t a sin-
gle night at least one room wasn’t booked from last March through this January, he adds. The inn (http://www.theinnatstonemill. com), which accepts guests only age 21 or older and does not accept pets, does a strong business with several area businesses that frequently bring executives or guests to town. That includes Little Falls Hospital, Herkimer County Community College, Redco, and Burrows Paper Corp. “We’re more of a business-oriented place,” Vogt says. He believes the inn appeals to these business guests for several reasons, ranging from the quiet, kid-free space to a conference room to free Wi-Fi and plenty of work space. “We have kind of adapted to
what their needs are.” Currently, Vogt and Taylor are the only two employees at the Inn at Stone Mill, but Vogt is hoping to change that really soon. “We’d like to have a full-time housekeeper,” he says. If they can achieve that goal this spring, he’d like to eventually add another employee to manage the front desk, which would give Vogt and Taylor some free time. Currently, one of them must be at the inn full time whenever there is a guest. Further down the road, Vogt says they plan to renovate the fourth floor into apartments, including one for them. q Contact DeLore at firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s An Easier Way From Here To There
that helps manufacturers in their recovery is good news’ Continued from page 2
processes; establishing and enabling strong work forces for the future; and encouraging cultures of continuous improvement, according to the NIST website. Any funding that helps manufacturers in their recovery is good news, says Randall Wolken, president of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY). “We’re one of only 22 projects nationwide, Wolken so it’s a good group to be in to have additional resources available to manufacturers,” Wolken says. The funding will help companies use technology and manufacturing innovation to spark growth, he adds. Between 2000 and 2003 in New York, the network of 10 independent, nonprofit organizations that NYSTAR oversees led MEP programs that helped New York manufacturers create or save more than 4,100 jobs, and earn $587 million in new revenue, cost savings, and capital investments, according to Gillibrand’s office. q
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• The Mohawk Valley Business Journal
March 7-20, 2011
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The Mohawk Valley Business Journal • 7
March 7-20, 2011
SBA: Agency will select all the companies for participation by the end of March
of April 11 and conclude with graduation in November. “It is entirely free,” Paprocki The SBA Syracuse district office used the event to launch its recruit- said, adding that space is limited to one C-level executive per business. ment period. The participating executive has The executive-training program seeks to help Syracuse–area busi- to agree to attend a total of 13 nesses that are at least three years classes at the Tech Garden. Each old, have at least one employee session will last three hours and other than the owner, and are gen- meet every other week during the erating between $400,000 and $10 program. The only exception is the first class that will last four hours, million in revenue per year. “I want to be clear this train- Paprocki said. Entrepreneurs involved in the ing is not for startup businesses,” Paprocki said, noting it targets ex- class are expected to devote more ecutives from companies that have than 100 hours of work, includthe potential to grow and create ing 40 hours in the classroom, 40 hours in homework and reading, jobs. The classes will focus on sub- and 20 hours engaged in peer-tojects that include developing in- peer mentoring. The SBA will hire the instructor novative strategies for growth, acquiring financing, and accessing for the program, Paprocki added. The agency has partnered with new markets. The application deadline is nine local business organizations March 18. The SBA Syracuse dis- to launch the program, including trict office didn’t specify any limit the Central New York Technology Organization; to the number of applications it will Development CenterState CEO; the Falcone consider. Interested small-business owners Center for Entrepreneurship at can learn more about the program by Syracuse University’s Martin J. contacting Cathy Pokines or James Whitman School of Management; xpanding your footprint. Whatever the Manufacturers Association of Quackenbush at the SBA Syracuse Central New York; the Onondaga district office at (315) 471-9393. ot only shares youronbelief in your Small Business Development Further details the program Center; the State University of New are available at www.sba.gov/e200. o life. We think you deserve that The agency will select all the York College of Environmental companies for participation the Science & Forestry; Syracuse ney. The power of First by Niagara. SCORE; the Syracuse Technology end of March. The program will start the week Garden; and the WISE Women’s Continued from page 1
t l y.
ERIC REINHARDT/THE MOHAWK VALLEY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Bernard J. Paprocki, director of the SBA Syracuse District office, outlines details of the agency’s e200 Emerging Leaders program during a news conference held Feb. 23 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 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 smallbusiness 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. Contact Reinhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org
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• The Mohawk Valley Business Journal
Congratulations to this year’s honorees
March 7-20, 2011
EXECUTIVE OF YEAR Charlotte “Chuckie” Holstein F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse Jeremy Klemanski Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare Larry Leatherman Museum of Science & Techology Joseph O’Hara P.E.A.C.E., Inc. Rick Sebastian Human Technologies Corporation (HTC) Thomas Slater Food Bank of Central New York Cynthia Smith-Gordineer American Red Cross South Central Region BOARD LEADERSHIP David Bowles • Kane, Bowles & Moore, CPAs for Liberty Resources, Inc. Paula Deckman • Testone, Marshall & Discenza, CPAs for Landmark Theatre Anthony Malavenda • Duke-Malavenda Group for Hiscock Legal Aid Society Richard Pratt • Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Eric Stickels • Oneida Financial Corp. for Madison Cortland ARC BOARD DEVELOPMENT Jeﬀ Crouse • Bresee Chevrolet for Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare Timothy Foley, Esq. • The Foley Law Firm LLC for Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Denis Wickham ACHIEVE IMPACT AWARD Peter Dunn Central New York Community Foundation Robert Herz South Side Innovation Center Dr. Michael Kelberman Kelberman Center Christine Steenstra • Eric Mower & Associates for Vera House, Inc. CAREER ACHIEVEMENT Charles Antzelevitch Ph. D. Masonic Medical Research Laboratory Charles Beach Vera House, Inc. James Hayes • Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP for ACHIEVE Jim Hill Human Technologies Corporation (HTC) Frank Lazarski United Way of Central New York
March 28, 2011
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REGISTER TO ATTEND! Celebrate the exceptional work done in our community by the vast number of nonprofit groups in Central New York, the Mohawk Valley Region, and Greater Binghamton.
www.bizeventz.com Ticket prices: $35/each or a table of 10 is $350 ($315 with honoree at table) Presented By:
For more information, contact Marny Nesher at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315) 579-3925
March 7-20, 2011
The Mohawk Valley Business Journal • 9
& FINANCIAL PLANNING
Brown & Brown adds employees, boosts revenue goals BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF
ROME — It’s been about seven months since Brown & Brown of New York, Inc.’s Rome profit center acquired Meridian Group of New York, Inc., a move Meridian’s former owners say set the stage for accelerating growth at the insurance agency. “Things have been moving along swiftly and positively,” says Ross Kraft, former co-owner of Meridian and now managing director of employee benefits at Brown & Brown. When Brown & Brown acquired Utica–based Meridian, its goal was to use Meridian’s strength and expertise in employee benefits to bolster that department at Brown & Brown, Kraft says. The company, which operates from about 3,000 square feet of space at 117 W. Liberty St., in Rome, has now taken the next step and hired a new employee to strengthen the agency’s voluntary-benefits offerings. Darlene Mahady joined Brown & Brown in early February, bringing more than 15 years of experience in employee benefits, particularly with voluntary benefits, Kraft says. Voluntary benefits are a growing business segment that includes products such as disability, group life, and accident coverage offered by insurance carriers such as Aflac. With more people living paycheck-topaycheck these days, such benefits, many of which pay out cash in situations where a person couldn’t earn his regular paycheck,
PHOTO COURTESY OF BROWN & BROWN
Brown & Brown of New York, Inc., Rome profit center Vice President of Employee Benefits Andrew Biernat, left, and Managing Director of Employee Benefits Ross Kraft, center, welcome new employee Darlene Mahady, who brings more than 15 years of employeebenefits experience. Mahady has a great deal of experience in the voluntary-benefits segment, which is a growing business area for the Rome agency.
are becoming more popular, Kraft says. Voluntary benefits are attractive to employees because they can fill that income void in emergencies and don’t cost very much, he says. Often, the cost for such voluntary policies can be as low as $4 or $5 a week. The voluntary plans are attractive to em-
ployers because they can offer employees added benefits at virtually no cost during a time when they’ve had to cut back on other benefits due to high costs. Typically, the employee pays for the voluntary-benefit coverage, but the employer can negotiate good rates if enough employees sign up, Kraft says.
“As budgets are constructed, employers are doing their very best to keep these programs affordable,” says Andrew Biernat, former Meridian co-owner and now Brown & Brown’s vice president of employee benefits. “These programs are seen as a value-add for the employees.” Mahady’s years of experience with voluntary benefits are an asset to clients and Brown & Brown, he says. Along with hiring Mahady, Brown & Brown plans to hire an account-service representative in early March, bringing the total number of employees at the Rome insurance agency to 14. With those 14 employees, Kraft says the goal is to significantly grow revenue, which reached $2.2 million in 2010. “We’re forecasting for 2011 somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million to $4 million,” he says. Brown & Brown acquired Meridian in July 2010. The company also acquired the Carbone Insurance Agency in November in a move to expand the agency’s personallines insurance offerings. Brown & Brown of New York is a subsidiary of Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE: BRO), based in Florida. The company has 188 locations, which it calls profit centers, across the country. The company reported 2010 fourth-quarter earnings of $32.1 million, up almost 36 percent from $23.7 million a year earlier. Brown & Brown reported full-year earnings of $973.5 million in 2010, up slightly from $967.9 million in 2009. Contact DeLore at email@example.com
A Global Economy Requires Global Protection I
n today’s world, we are all truly operating in a global economy. Does your company’s insurance program correspond with how and where your business conducts operations? Even if a company doesn’t have its own physical property or operation in a foreign country, today’s global economy has the potential to put any business — even a local familyrun business with a single location — at GOING risk to international GLOBAL exposures. Ask yourself the following questions about your business. Do you have employees traveling
internationally? Are you selling products outside the United States? Where are you shipping your products? Is your business receiving raw material from foreign suppliers? How would your firm handle a kidnapand-ransom situation? If there is a political uprising, how are you going to get your employees out? Do you have U.S. employees on the board of directors of a foreign company? How do you transfer funds from the payment of a claim? If these questions have left you feeling concerned, then it is time to step back and take a look at your overall businessinsurance program to make certain you are properly protecting your assets, property, people, board members, and yourself as an individual.
Most businesses would agree that employees are their most vital asset. Businesses that are sending employees abroad generally are sending their top employees to handle those sales and negotiations. There are “increased stresses” that accompany international travel. Employees that are traveling could experience anything from a sickness, an auto accident, a theft, to a political uprising, all while being in unfamiliar surroundings. As a business owner, you want to make certain that your employees receive the necessary resourc-
es and assistance to make a speedy recovery from the situation and return home safely to their families and your business. All of these situations can be addressed by securing the proper insurance coverage. Even basic business practices such as selling products outside of the United States could result in unexpected liabilities. Your business is exposed to risk created by the foreign legal environment and liability laws of other countries. Many business owners believe that their coverage will protect them in these scenarios, but the territories and coverage responses can differ greatly from carrier to carrier. And, without the proper structure, your business could be left unprotected. It is important to keep in mind that standard insurance policies have coverage territories to include the United States of See GOING GLOBAL, page 11
INSURANCE & FINANCIAL PLANNING
• The Mohawk Valley Business Journal
March 7-20, 2011
Conduct a Business-Insurance Check-Up Annually I
t’s interesting, really. Most of us visit our doctor for an annual checkup, wouldn’t dream of missing our child’s well-child visit, or having the furnace serviced regularly, but we don’t give the same attention to our business insurance. Each and every business should perform a periodic insurance checkup. In many cases, policies are chosen based upon premiums, and an objective review provides the opportunity to “kick the tires” when the pressure of renewal is not present. As a first step, review deductibles and
exclusions and assess whether the potential loss is at a level you can afford. Another step involves checking your insurer’s quality ratings and coverage disputes. In terms of insuring for risks associated with daily operations, you should evaluate all policies for coverage of computers, software, inventory and the like — at full replacement cost. And remember, floods do, upon occasion, occur in Central New York, so be sure your property is adequately covered. Evaluate policies covering disaster recovery or business interruption for ap-
plicability related to natural disasters or something as simple as access limitation due to power outages. Coverage under these scenarios can be complicated, so a thorough analysis is necessary. Assess policy coverage using the “worst case scenario” and remember that ACCOUNTABILITY an insurance policy is a contract; read each clause carefully. Think of this type of insurance as disability insurance for your business. Insurance for automobiles, product liability, and errors and omissions should be reviewed periodically to ensure coverage is appropriate and adequate. The premise of a policy review has application beyond day-to-day business coverage. When looking at “key-employee” life or disability insurances consider whether coverage is adequate for the value each key employee provides. How much would the company stand to lose if one of the primary employees was unable to work either temporarily or permanently? Life-insurance policies should be adequate to cover the cost of replacing the deceased. Too often the needs of the business in case of death of a principal
Earn a master’s__________________________________________ degree part-time, full-time, on-campus, online (Print Name)
1 year membership with Campaign, also ner/Networking / ogo in all promotional age ad in event ases, banner at event -
agreesChoose to sponsor the Genesis Regional Golf from more than a dozen graduate offerings Tournament on June 4, 2009, at Sponsor level: including MBA, MS and Advanced Certificate programs
___________________________________________ Please contact the Graduate Center for more information: (Print Sponsor Level). firstname.lastname@example.org 1 (866) 2 SUNYIT or (315) 792-7347 www.sunyit.edu/graduate_center
We understand that at this level, we will receive benefits offered from this sponsor opportunity. We will send a check in the amount of $____________ Engage the future. Change the world. to The Genesis Group, SUNY IT PO Box 3050, Utica, NY 13504.
are ignored because it is an uncomfortable subject. Lack of follow-through on insurance policy review likely stems from complacency due to current good health and confusion. Life insurance has a language of its own — one with which you should have a working knowledge. Policy options include term, universal, variable, and whole life. Some policies may be convertible. The recent economy and changes in policy options make a review of policy structure a must for all business owners. Life insurance is often a component of a buy/sell agreement. Coverage for this purpose should be evaluated for adequacy in connection with business valuation. Policies issued in connection with estate planning must be evaluated with regard to the related estate’s value. You need to assess both the needs of the beneficiaries and potential tax liabilities. This is ever more challenging given today’s climate of tax change and economic pressure. Because the process of reviewing insurance needs goes beyond reading the policy, it is important to involve your team of advisers in the process to ensure all aspects of estate and succession planning are considered. Your CPA can assist you with the process. Gail Kinsella is a partner in the accounting firm of Testone, Marshall & Discenza, LLP. Contact Kinsella at email@example.com
ner/Networking/ Looking For a Way to DANIEL T. DREIMILLER, CPA P.C. ogo in all promotional Promote Your Business? Signature: _________________________________ age ad in event Certified Public Accountant ases, banner at event Date:______________________________ income tax planning/preparation corporate/individual/
Mail sponsorship small business/trusts
form & payment to: SPONSOR AGREEMENT The Genesis Group SPONSORSHIP OOPPORTUNITIES F T H E M O H AW K VA L L E Y R E G I O N financial statements/bookkeeping/ SUNY IT payroll/outsourcing Support the 7th Annual king/Social, recognition PO Box 3050 Daniel T. Dreimiller certified quickbooks pro advisors Genesis Group Golf Tournament al materials, hole Utica, NY 13504 Monday May 23rd ~ 12 pm Shotgun Start ~ 5 pm Dinner Phone: (315) 749-7076 program.430 Court Street, Suite 103 Dear Community Friend,
The “5th Annual Genesis Regional Golf Tournament,” on Thursday June 4, 2009 at Cedar Lake Golf Club, Clayville, NY. Genesis is a community based organization that unites individuals and organizations to grow, promote and celebrate the Mohawk Valley region.
Utica, New York 13502 E-mail:FINAL.eps firstname.lastname@example.org NAI-0211-024 quintin business 1 2/21/11
Genesis has projects and programs in areas of Education, Healthcare, Tourism and Technology that are designed to create positive 11:04 impact AM and growth for the region!
Fax: (315) 749-7085
WHAT DOES THIS GROUP OF BUSINESS OWNERS gn and ¼ page ad in HAVE IN COMMON? t.
With the Mohawk Valley region home to some of the best golf courses in the world, Genesis rotates its tournament each year to showcase a different course. Golfers are united with business and community leaders from across the Mohawk Valley region to enjoy a quality tournament and networking opportunities.
They all have unique plans from To assist us in making this a successful tournament, we invite you and your business to Nationwide Insurance.® become a Sponsor. Various levels of sponsor
opportunities are available. Your local Nationwide Insurance agentThank will work you, with you through every Steering stage of growth so that Committee you never have toChair worry about Eric Bjornland, anything except successful. Vincent Coyne being Kelly Callari
BRANDING $ 2,500.00
Naming rights to the tournament, 1 year membership with benefits from the Genesis Friends Campaign, also includes 4 Players (Foursome), Dinner/Networking / Social, recognition with company logo in all promotional materials, hole sponsor sign, full-page ad in event program, mentions in all press releases, banner at event inside & outside.
n and ¼ page ad in t.
Raymond J. Durso, Jr. James R. Kellmurray Mary Lou Manchester Niels Mortensen Patricia Zammiello
Quintin Insurance & Financial DAVID QUINTIN email@example.com 3859 Oneida Street New Hartford, NY 13413 (315) 736-2935
___________________________________________ (Print Sponsor Level).
We understand that at this level, we will receive benefits offered from this sponsor opportunity. We will send a check in the amount of $____________ to The Genesis Group, SUNY IT PO Box 3050, Utica, NY 13504.
Teugega Country Club, Rome, NY
Includes 4 Players (Foursome), Dinner/Networking/ Social, recognition with company logo in all promotional materials, hole sponsor sign, full-page ad in event program, mentions in all press releases, banner at event inside & outside.
Signature: _________________________________ ~ Become a Major Sponsor ~ Sponsor a Hole or Flag Date:______________________________
Mail sponsorship form & payment to: ~ Offer a door prize The Genesis Group
PO Box 3050 ~ Or play a round of golf withUtica, your NY 13504peers on a prestigious private golf course SPONSORS:
Includes 3 players, Dinner/Networking/Social, recognition with company logo in all promotional materials, hole sponsor sign, ½ page ad in event program.
For more information contact event chairperson Eric Bjornland Includes 2 players, hole sponsor sign and ¼ page ad in event program, recognition at event. by calling 315.292.2366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
SkinnerAuto.Com William Edwards Richard Lupia Michael Parsons Laurie Toussaint Louis Steppello
__________________________________________ (Print Name) agrees to sponsor the Genesis Regional Golf Tournament on June 4, 2009, at Sponsor level:
Includes 1 player, hole sponsor SPONSORED BY:sign and ¼ page ad in event program, recognition at event.
Sponsor a Green or Tee:
Casab’s Deli Café
Compson, Eannace & Pierro Law Firm
©2011 Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Nationwide Life Insurance Company. Home office: Columbus, Ohio 43215-2220. Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark and On Your Side are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Not available in all states.
The Genesis Group ~ www.TheGenesisGroup.org
insurance & financial planning
March 7-20, 2011
GOING GLOBAL: Many agents rely on the insurance carrier’s advice in handling international exposures Continued from page 9
America, Puerto Rico, and Canada. If your business operations extend beyond these borders, your business likely has a need for an international insurance package. An international foreign-package policy can be tailored to expand your insurance coverage to cover your operations outside the United States. Depending upon your operations, these policies are relatively inexpensive and coverage can include: n Property — for salesperson samples and exhibition property n Foreign general liability n Foreign auto liability n Foreign workers’ compensation n Travel/accident, sickness and health insurance From a property standpoint, coverage can be structured to protect your financial interests in inventory and stock on a worldwide basis by purchasing transit coverage, ocean-cargo insurance, and contingentproperty coverage. A type of coverage that businesses often overlook is trade-credit insurance. As you generate more business revenue overseas, what happens if your customers do not pay you? How are you managing your receivables and determining the credit terms that you offer? Trade-credit insurance is a mechanism that can be evaluated to help control your financial interests and exposures in this area. As your business expands and develops in the international markets with physical locations, your insurance program needs to evolve as well. Losses can be caused by perils that do not exist in the U.S. and Canada, such as political risk including terrorism, political unrest, endemic disease, and local climate considerations that can trigger various weather events. You will want your insurance coverage to protect your business from financial exposures and be compliant with the local regulations. Often, companies may rely on their local general manager to place insurance coverage for the U.S. division doing business in a foreign country. The general manager may not have a good understanding of the insurance coverage needed, resulting in an inadequate local insurance policy being placed. Business owners need to be aware that just because local coverage is placed in a specific country, you may not have adequate protection for your business. Your firm could still be exposed to financial risk if your coverage is not properly analyzed on a worldwide basis and structured to meet local regulatory requirements. It is important to consider not only what coverage you’re buying, but also how the coverage is put into place. Companies with foreign operations need to be cognizant that each country has its own unique laws, customs, and regulations. In order to properly evaluate your foreign exposures and transfer the risk associated with them, your adviser needs to be well versed in how to structure a program that meets your needs and is considered compliant.
The Mohawk Valley Business Journal Call (800) 836-3539 today to subscribe
Insurance coverage can be placed on an “admitted” basis (licensed to do business in that country) or “non-admitted” basis (not licensed to do business in that country). So what does this mean to you? Let’s take China as an example. Non-admitted insurance is not allowed in China as the law provides that insurance must be purchased from insurance companies licensed to operate in China. Therefore, if your insurance coverage is placed with a non-admitted insurance carrier, your business could find itself facing policies deemed void, fines, penalties, or tax consequences. So not only is it important to understand your international exposures, but it’s also important that your broker understand the local regulations of the countries in which you are doing business. The pitfalls of having an inadequate insurance program covering your international operations could mean: n Uncovered claims n Gaps in coverage n Duplications in coverage n Unforeseen taxes or penalties n Difficulty in transferring claims payments to rebuild from a loss It’s not uncommon in our industry to speak with business owners who have been advised that their coverage will apply on an international basis. While many times the statement in general may be true, the coverage may be far from what you require to
meet your needs. The policy may respond in a claim’s situation, but it may involve you paying costs up front and being reimbursed after the fact. Many insurance agents and brokers strictly rely on the insurance carrier’s advice in handling international exposures. Be very cautious with this approach. Having local representation where you do business is invaluable. It is important that as your business grows, you work with professional brokers that can represent you where you do business and act as your advocate when needed. It is in your best interest to have local resources, on the ground, who know the culture and environment, should you have a claim. While many of the items mentioned in this article may seem overwhelming and cost prohibitive to your operation, they don’t have to be that way. You might be surprised to find out that it is possible to broaden coverage, increase limits, and still cut costs. A global audit of your operations and your coverage can determine if this is feasible. Take the time to give yourself piece of mind and make certain that you, your employees, your board members, and your assets are adequately protected on a global basis. q Tracy Cifra is the director of global placement with Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc. Contact her at email@example.com or visit www.haylor.com
We save our customers… We save our We save our customers… customers… GEM Agency BUSINESS I AUTO I HOME GEM Agency Insurance GEM BUSINESS |Agency AUTO | HOME BUSINESS | AUTO | HOME Megan Peckham, Peckham, Agent/Owner Agent/Owner Megan Insurance Insurance
Megan Peckham, Agent/Owner Megan Peckham, Agent/Owner
4299 Middle Settlement Rd, New Hartford | (315) 735–1771 www.insurewithgem.com | firstname.lastname@example.org 4299 Middle Settlement Rd, New Hartford | (315) 735–1771 www.insurewithgem.com | email@example.com ERIE® Insurance service are provided by one or more of the following insurers; Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, ERIE® Insurance service areCompany provided(home by oneoffi or ces: moreErie, of the following insurers; or Flagship City Insurance Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Erie Insurance Insurance Company, Company Erie of New York (home office: Rochester,Company, New York) or Flagship City Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York)
The Mohawk Valley Business Journal • 11
• The Mohawk Valley Business Journal
March 7-20, 2011
TOP RANKS: MOHAWK VALLEY TECHNOLOGY-BASED COMPANIES Ranked by Number of MV Employees Rank
Name Address Phone/Fax Website
No. of 2010 MV Sales Revenue Employees ($ millions)
Products and Services
Parent Company — Headquarters
ConMed 525 French Road Utica, NY 13502 (315) 797-8375/ 797-0321 www.conmed.com
medical-technology company with an emphasis on devices and equipment for minimally invasive, arthroscopic, general surgical, and gastrointestinal procedures
same — Utica, NY
Joseph J. Corasanti, CEO Robert D. Shallish, CFO
PAR Technology Corp. 8383 Seneca Turnpike New Hartford, NY 13413 (315) 738-0600/ 738-0562 www.partech.com
provides hardware, software, and services including point-of-sale systems, propertymanagement systems, logistics-management systems
hospitality industry including hotels, restaurants, transportation, govt. agencies
same — New Hartford, NY
John W. Sammon, Jr., Chair, President & CEO Ronald Casciano, CFO Charles A. Constantino, EVP Tim Votaw, SVP Sales & Mkt.
Indium Corporation 34 Robinson Road Clinton, NY 13323 (315) 853-4900/ 853-1000 www.indium.com
solders, performs, and fluxes; brazes; sputter electronics assembly, targets; indium, gallium, and germanium semiconductor fabrication chemicals and sourcing; NanoFoil and packaging, solar, thin film, and thermal management
same — Clinton, NY
Gregory P. Evans, CEO Leslie Schenk, CFO Wayne Hosey, VP Ops. Ross Berntson, VP SM
Prevalere Life Sciences, Inc. 8282 Halsey Road Whitesboro, NY 13492 (315) 768-2500/ 736-2460 www.prevalere.com
consulting & analytical-testing services, electronic data capture (EDC) processes and systems
ICON Development Solutions — Dublin, Ireland
Mario L. Rocci, CEO Barry McArdie, COO Paula M. Jardicu, SVP Bioscience
Alion Science and Technology Oneida Financial Center Rome, NY 13341 (315) 356-7082 www.alionscience.com
Alion Science and Technology — McLean, VA
Dr. Bahman Atefi, Chairman & CEO David L. Russell, VP Ops.
ShipRite Software, Inc. 1312 Genesee St. Utica, NY 13502 (315) 427-2422/ 733-6194 www.shiprite.net
point-of-sale hardware & software, retail shipping system, credit-card processing software
same — Utica, NY
J. Mark Ford, CEO John C. Ford, CFO Wang Hong Ju, VP SM Gary G. Ford, VP Product Development
Critical Technologies, Inc. 1001 Broad St., Suite 400 Utica, NY 13501 (315) 793-0248/ 793-9710 www.critical.com
design of wireless networking, data storage, signal processing, and data security products
commercial and military customers
same — Utica, NY
David J. Schroeder, CEO Howard R. Stevenson, CFO Stuart W. Card, VP Michael Joseph, VP SM
naval architecture & marine engineering; Dept. of Defense, civilian defense operations; modeling and simulation, federal agencies, and information technology and cybersecurity; commercial companies materials, manufacturing, and reliability; energy & environmental sciences
Note: Information was provided by representatives of listed companies. Other groups may have been eligible but did not respond to requests for information. 1
Business Journal estimate
RESEARCH BY JULIE SHARKEY 03/11 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mohawk Valley includes Herkimer and Oneida counties.
SHUTTLE: Firm hasn’t done much advertising or social-media promotion, but hopes to do so soon Continued from page 1
cluding its three partners — Jeffrey Smith, Wayne Southworth, and Arthur Bittel — while providing plenty of room for current needs and future expansion. “It allows us the opportunity to add additional staff at minimal cost,” Bittel says. “Second, we can also offer the addition of warehouse space [to our clients].” Previously, Shuttle Logistics could not regularly offer warehousing to its clients, although it did occasionally arrange warehousing when the need arose. Having its own warehouse space allows the company to go after larger clients with larger loads, Bittel says. Now, Shuttle Logistics can accept a whole container load of freight and arrange segmented delivery over time, he noted. Right now, the company has between 40 and 50 regular clients, a number Bittel says he’s looking to grow. He declined to disclose
Shuttle Logistics’ revenue figures, but says he’s aiming for growth of 25 percent to 50 percent this year with the larger space. He also hopes to add one or two employees this year. “We’re getting busier,” Bittel says. The firm needs more people to not only manage the existing workload, but also to serve the many new clients it hopes to gain. Shuttle Logistics’ clients come from all over the United States, with some as far away as San Diego and Miami. Bittel hopes to expand the company’s customer base in New York to include more clients in Albany, Binghamton, and Rochester. As a third-party logistics provider, Shuttle Logistics doesn’t own any trucks or employ any drivers. Instead, the company acts as a broker between clients who need freight shipped and the shipping companies providing that service. Working with a third-party provider benefits businesses in several ways, Bittel con-
tends. First, the company isn’t footing the bill for maintaining a trucking fleet in the days of gas prices that are well above $3 per gallon. Second, clients benefit from hiring Shuttle Logistics, instead of arranging freight shipping on their own because Shuttle Logistics can negotiate volume discounts with shippers. If several of Shuttle Logistics’ customers have their goods shipped by the same provider, they generally get a better price than they would going directly to the shipper on their own, he says. This is particularly true if the loads are less than full truckloads, which means goods from several clients can often be combined to create a full load, he says. Shuttle Logistics is seeing good growth for similar reasons, Bittel says. “As a lot of companies are trying to cut costs, a lot of times, one of the first places that gets cut is transportation.” Much of the company’s business comes
through word-of-mouth recommendations from existing clients, and Bittel says he and his partners are constantly building their networks of contacts because you just never know when someone will need some freight shipped. Shuttle Logistics has not done much advertising or social-media promotion, but hopes to do so in the near future, Bittel says. Smith and Southworth founded Shuttle Logistics (www.shuttlelog.com) two-and-ahalf years ago, and Bittel joined in July of 2010. Combined, the partners have more than 80 years of transportation experience. Smith is the company’s president, while Southworth and Bittel are vice presidents. Competitors include firms such as Lynn H. Scott, Inc., a trucking and logistics company based in Blossvale. q Contact DeLore at email@example.com
FARMS: New York had an estimated 36,300 farms comprising 7 million acres of land in 2010 Continued from page 4
occur, with written notices that include contact information for the milk-marketing order information clearinghouse and a point-of-contact within the cooperative to provide members with information about upcoming bloc voting.
The bill would also require each milkmarketing order to establish an information clearinghouse to provide information about any proposed milk-marketing order reforms. Gregory Wickham, president of Syracuse– based milk cooperative Dairylea, Inc. did not respond to inquiries about the proposed
legislation before press time. According to the USDA, New York had an estimated 36,300 farms, comprising 7 million acres of land in 2010. The USDA said there were 1,750 farms with annual sales exceeding $500,000, and 1,450 farms with sales between $250,000 and $499,999. New York had 3,400 farms
with sales between $100,000 and $249,999, and 10,700 farms with sales between $10,000 and $99,999. The USDA says the U.S. had an estimated 2.2 million farms in 2010, virtually unchanged from 2009. q Contact DeLore at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mohawk Valley Business Journal • 13
March 7-20, 2011
Small-business survey shows neutral confidence BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF
he HSBC Small Business Confidence Monitor, a survey of 300 small businesses in the United States, recently found that small businesses’ confidence at the end of 2010 was down from mid-2010 levels but up slightly from late 2009. The latest Small Business Confidence Monitor’s confidence index was 108, up from 106 in late 2009, but down from 120 in mid-2010, according to a report released by HSBC Jan. 20. The index produced from the survey ranges from 0 to 200, with 200 representing the highest confidence level and 100 being neutral. The neutral result isn’t necessarily a bad one in the wake of a lengthy recession, HSBC officials say. “The good news here is it’s up from a year ago at this time,” says Mark Luppi, executive vice president and head of business banking for HSBC North American in New York City. According to the report, 80 percent of small businesses expect the economy to remain the same or improve in the next
MVCC unveils fundraising campaign
six months, while 14 percent expect the economy to get worse. The survey also found that few small businesses plan to do any hiring in the next six months, while 76 percent expect to maintain existing staffing levels. Stay the course seems to be the overriding trend in the report, Luppi says, but there are a number of bright spots. The Central New York region — including Syracuse, Utica, and Binghamton — is “cautiously optimistic,” he says, and HSBC branches in those areas are seeing about a 50 percent increase in loan applications. Companies in the region seem particularly interested in taking advantage of affordable real-estate prices and low interest rates to invest in buildings, Luppi says. Luppi declined to name the businesses, but says a solar-energy parts manufacturer in the Syracuse area, a computer recycler in Binghamton, and a number of dental practices are among the businesses planning for capital expenditures in the near future. Nationwide, about 32 percent of businesses surveyed plan for an increase in capital expenditures over the next six months. Another 16 percent expressed plans for
Business Development Centers also offer workshops on the subject of international business. Along with staying the course and expanding internationally, the third top priority for 2011, as expressed by HSBC’s survey respondents, is to attract and retain talent. Businesses might not plan on hiring in the near future, Luppi says, but they want to make sure they retain the employees they currently have. TNS conducted the survey in December 2010, including 300 small businesses with annual sales of less than $30 million. Contact DeLore at email@example.com
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BY JOURNAL STAFF
UTICA — Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) recently announced its new $7 million Challenge and Opportunity fundraising campaign, the first comprehensive major-gifts campaign in the college’s history. The campaign targets investments in four priority areas: creating student opportunity with a focus on endowed scholarships; breaking barriers to education through a Fresh Start Fund for people returning to college after getting their lives back on track; revitalizing the economy by expanding services and programs for entrepreneurship and creating an education center in the Cornhill neighborhood of Utica; and launching several new degree and certificate programs in high-demand health-care fields. MVCC launched its internal faculty-andstaff campaign last August and began its donor outreach for lead gifts in the fall. With a contribution of $250,000, Stephen Mandia, a 1985 graduate, is the campaign’s first large donor. MVCC is currently soliciting six-figure donations from the community’s leading businesses, nonprofits, and individual philanthropists. The college has more than $1 million in its coffers to date. The next phase will be the major gifts phase, followed in 2012 by the public and final phase of the campaign.
cross-border trade and international activities, an area where HSBC predicts plenty of growth opportunities for small businesses. The Asia-Pacific region, along with South America, shows the most potential for international growth, Luppi says, adding that even small businesses can capitalize on growing international demand as less-developed nations continue to modernize. The top international concerns that businesses expressed are lack of demand in overseas markets and lack of knowledge, contacts, and experience, he says. However, HSBC and the federal Export Import Bank of the United States have teamed up to provide information to businesses. Area Small
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• The Mohawk Valley Business Journal
March 7-20, 2011
Business Journal M
Wisconsin: It’s all about the money
Vol. 11, No. 5 — Mar. 7-20, 2011 Associate Publisher...........William Randall 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.................................Gail Kinsella Production Manager.................. Erin Zehr firstname.lastname@example.org Research Manager................... Julie Sharkey email@example.com
SALES Advertising Manager....William Randall firstname.lastname@example.org Sr. Account Managers.......................................... Bernard B. Bregman email@example.com Mary LaMacchia firstname.lastname@example.org
CIRCULATION Circulation Management....(315) 579-3927
ADMINISTRATIVE Publisher..........................Norman Poltenson email@example.com Chief Operating Officer......Marny Nesher firstname.lastname@example.org Business Manager................ Kurt Bramer email@example.com
The Mohawk Valley 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: $37 per year Call (800) 836-3539
HOW TO REACH US MAIL: Send letters to: Editor, The Mohawk Valley Business Journal 31 Clintonview Blvd. New Hartford, N.Y. 13413 E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE: (315) 624-0861 FAX: (315) 624-0863
he last time I saw unions this riled up was when President Ronald Reagan fired 11,000 striking airtraffic controllers. The year was 1981, a time when one in five workers was a union member. Today, union membership in the private sector has dropped to 6.9 percent of all workers. By contrast, union membership in government jobs has grown to 36 percent of all public-sector workers. In 2009, the number of union members in the public sector exceeded those in the private sector. On to the birthplace of American progresfrom the sivism — Wisconsin. publisher How ironic that this state, which first enacted collective bargaining for state, county, and municipal employees in 1959, is now the national battleground for the U.S. labor movement. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has made both employee compensation and collective bargaining a fiscal issue. The governor not only points to overly generous salaries and benefits paid to public-sector employees but also to the unions’ bargaining position and its power to collect dues. Walker’s concern is the direct pipeline that government unions have to our tax dollars. Union leaders sit across the negotiating table from the voters’ representatives and have an equal say in how the government spends its money. In short, unions redirect tax dollars to themselves. The governor’s message, unfortunately, is not coming through clearly. He would be better served to quote New York City labor leader Victor Gotbaum, who in 1975 said: “We [public-sector unions] have the ability … to elect our own boss.” Walker’s efforts to roll back compensa-
tion and to restrict public-sector bargaining “rights” has attracted union heavyweights. Richard Trumka, the president of the national AFL–CIO, joined hundreds of union members and sympathizers in a takeover of the Wisconsin statehouse. President Barack Obama also joined the fray by calling the governor’s actions “an assault on unions.” Union protests have now spilled over into other Midwest states. What precipitated the Wisconsin crisis is a realization among voters in the 2010 elections that our national profligacy must end. While most of the public’s attention is focused on the ballooning national debt, states and municipalities have racked up $2.4 trillion in debt, according to the Washington Post. Other reports suggest that the Post’s figures are too conservative: the debt is closer to $4 trillion. The public is finally understanding the warnings issued by labor’s patron saint, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1937, President Roosevelt penned a letter to the president of the National Federation of Federal Employees stating that, “… All government employees should realize that the process of bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into public service … The very nature and purpose of Government make it impossible for officials … to bind the employer … Militant actions have no place in the functions of any organization of government.” The unions are in attack mode to protect their very existence. Think of unions not as the protectors of the workers but as big business. In Wisconsin, the publicsector workers are compelled to pay dues as a matter of employment. Multiply the number of workers by the average annual dues collected and we are talking a $100 million annual business. Now, expand this to the rest of the country and you get a sense of the vast size of the union empire. Where does the money go? In 2008, unions nationwide spent $400 million on advertising and get-out-the vote efforts to
elect Democrats to public office. Gerald McEntee, the president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Workers, boasted that his union spent $91 million alone “… entirely, or almost entirely, [on] Democrats.” What the unions want is bigger and more expensive government, which translates into more dues in their coffers. This means more money for Democratic candidates. The payback, of course, is legislation favorable to union members. Compensation and benefits are always a major issue but so is job security. President Obama’s stimulus package included $160 billion for states and local governments to retain their public-sector employees. The Obama Administration’s Department of Labor has also shielded unions from reporting their activities, thus denying transparency of union activities. Gov. Walker’s proposed legislation would strip unions of their unimpeded revenue stream by denying compulsory dues and by changing the rules for publicsector collective bargaining. He wants to change the current system to put taxpayers back in the driver’s seat. The unions respond by saying the governor is restricting the workers’ right to association. The corollary, of course, is the right not to associate. In this epic struggle, there is really only one issue important to the unions and to the Democratic Party. Money. It is the lifeblood of the unions and of the politicians who receive it. To the American people, the issue is not just control of their government but also not creating two classes of Americans — those public-sector workers insulated against the vagaries of the economy and those private-sector workers exposed to life’s realities. The public cannot afford to lose the showdown in Wisconsin. q Norman Poltenson is the publisher of The Mohawk Valley Business Journal. Contact him at email@example.com
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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 • 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 letters@ tmvbj.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 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 Utica is managing partner at Doe Wood Smith LLC. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. • 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: email@example.com
The Mohawk Valley Business Journal • 15
March 7-20, 2011
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
Business Calendar OF EVENTS
The Rome Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced the promotions of Suzanne Jenks and Alexa Drake. Jenks, who was hired in 1998 and had been the account administrator since 2004, has been promoted to business manager. Drake, who started at the chamber in 2004, has been promoted from information-services representative to information manager.
EDUCATION & TRAINING Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) has appointed Elizabeth Loftis of Utica as financial-aid assistant, effective March 7. Loftis comes to HCCC from the New York State Department of Labor in Utica, where she was employed as a senior auditor. Prior to that, she worked at SUNY Institute of Technology for 20 years as a college accountant, internal control coordinator, assistant bursar, and calculations clerk. As the assistant bursar for six years, Loftis worked closely with the financial-aid staff. Loftis holds an associate degree in accounting from Mohawk Valley Community College, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and a master’s degree in business administration from SUNYIT.
HEALTH CARE Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH) has named Marianne Baker director of quality care management for Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH). Diana Laymon has assumed the role of lead Baker quality care consultant for FSLH’s Quality Care Management Department. Steve Magnussen has been named manager of security operations for FSLH. In addition, he has been named the assistant safety offiLaymon cer. Magnussen holds certificates in homeland-security exercise evaluation and planning, FEMA incident command systems, behavior management training, basic life support instructor, management of aggressive Magnussen behavior, practical and tactical handcuffing, and verbal judo. He is currently pursuing certification as a certified health-care pro-
n State of the County Address at 8:30 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel, Utica. The presentation will be given by Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. To attend the 8 a.m. breakfast buffet, the cost is $15. For more information, call the MV Chamber of Commerce at (315) 724-3151 ext. 227. n E-Commerce and Information Technology Seminar from 6 to 9 p.m. at SUNYIT, 100 Symour Road, Utica, Kunsela Hall, Room A-227. Call the MV SBDC to register at (315) 792-7547.
MARCH 15 n Accounting and Taxation Seminar from 6 to 9 p.m. at SUNYIT, 100 Seymour Road, Kunsela Hall, Room A-227. The seminar provides an overview of accounting requirements and the practical application of accounting in business operations, including state and federal tax requirements. The cost is $20. Call the SBDC to register at (315) 792-7547.
MARCH 16 n Financing & Incentive Programs seminar from 6 to 9 p.m. at SUNYIT, Kunsela Hall, Room A-227. The seminar presents multiple methods of financing an enterprise, as well as economic-development incentives and assistance. The event fee is $20. Refreshments are included. Call the MV SBDC to register at (315) 792-7547.
MARCH 25 n Social Gets Down to Business seminar at 8 a.m. at the Utica School of Commerce, 201 Bleeker St., Utica, Room 122. Learn how to understand, integrate, adopt, and adapt social media and make it work for your business. Co-sponsored by the Mohawk Valley Small Business Council Partnership & Romanelli Communications, the fee is $15 for Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce members and $25 for nonmembers. Call the MV Chamber to register at (315) 724-3151 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APRIL 30, MAY 7, 13, 21 n Fast Lane to Cybersecurity Training Program from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (all classes) at the Utica Campus of USC … The Business College. Presented in partnership with Mohawk Valley Community College CyberJobs Program and the Workforce Investment Board, this is a free, 32-hour training program for residents of Herkimer, Madison, and Oneida tection administrator. Chris Kilmartin has been named Securitas account manager. His official FSLH title is Security Department manager. Kilmartin, who has worked with Securitas at FSLH Kilmartin since June 2004, began his FSLH Securitas career as a security officer, then was promoted to sergeant and most recently was promoted to lieutenant. Kilmartin previously supervised the second shift and was responsible for a variety of administrative duties for the department. Kilmartin holds certificates in FEMA incident command systems, management of aggressive behavior, and practical and tactical handcuffing.
INSURANCE Erich G. Salie has been promoted to director of project management at the Utica
counties. For registration information and details, call (315) 733-2309, ext. 2237.
MAY 5 n 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 n Second and fourth Monday of every month, The Roman Orators Chapter of Toastmasters International meets from noon to 1 p.m. at the Griffiss Institute, 725 Daedalian Drive, Rome. For further information, visit www.romanorators.org n Every Tuesday, The Greater Utica Sunrise Rotary Club at 7 a.m. at USC The Business College, 201 Bleecker St., Utica. For further information, contact Bruce Davis at (315) 794-0895. n First Tuesday of each month, SCORE Chapter 198 of Central New York counseling sessions from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, 139 W. Dominick St., Rome. For information or to set up an appointment, call (315) 792-7553. n Last Tuesday of every month, The Mohawk Valley Ad Club meets at 5 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, Downtown Utica. Visit mvadclub.org for details. All programs are open to the public with a $30 fee for nonmembers. E-mail reservations to email@example.com n First Wednesday of each month, SCORE Chapter 198 of Central New York counseling sessions from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce, 200 Genesee St., Utica. For information or to set up an appointment, call (315) 792-7553. n First and third Wednesday of every month, CNY Biztalkers, from noon to 1 p.m. at Gilroy, Kernan & Gilroy. Information concerning Toastmasters can be found at www.toastmasters.org n Second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, The Mohawk Valley Chapter of Toastmasters International at the Heritage Home at Sunset and Burrstone Road. No dinner served, but members can bring their own. n Third Wednesday of each month, Mohawk Valley Business Women’s Network dinner meeting and program, beginning at 6 p.m. at various restaurants in the Mohawk Valley. Call Olga Grandinette at (315) 794-1554 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat no later than the Thursday prior to the event. The fee is $20 per person. Visit www.mvbwn.org for more information. To have your business meetings or events in the Business Calendar, send them to email@example.com
National Insurance Group in New Hartford. He is responsible for applying disciplined methods to manage company projects, from development through completion, while addressing Salie budget, time, resource, and technological factors. Salie began his career with Utica National in 1985 as a programmer in the information technology department, was named programmer analyst two years later and senior programmer analyst in 1989. He was named information systems auditor in Utica’s internal audit department in 2007, and project management oversight coordinator in 2009, the position he held prior to his most recent promotion. A graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Salie also holds a certificate in general insurance and the certified information systems auditor designation.
LIGHTING Meyda Lighting and Donnybrook Sales have announced the appointment of Max Cohen to upstate New York area sales manager for the company. Cohen will continue to serve as manager of Meyda’s Cohen factory showroom in Yorkville. Cohen is the son of Meyda CEO Robert Cohen and grandson of co-founders Meyer and Ida Cohen. Cohen has worked with the company for the past five years, offering sales support in the factory showroom and special projects. He has also represented it at major trade events throughout the nation including LightFair International, Hospitality Design Expo, the American Lighting Association Convention, and the International Lighting Market and has been featured on regional television shows that covered trends in lighting, home decorating, interior design, and related topics. q
• The Mohawk Valley Business Journal
March 7-20, 2011
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