Nonprofit Corner: House of the Good Shepherd. Page 8B.
SportsBiz: Harris Beach launches collegiate-sports practice group. Page 11.
BUSINESS JOURNAL C
Vol. XXVIII • No. 13
March 28, 2014 • $2.00
NUAIR pilots Northeast UAV testsite
Cuomo pushes property-tax plan in DeWitt BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF
BY NORMAN POLTENSON JOURNAL STAFF
SYRACUSE — Headlines around the world: “UN report calls for independent investigation of drone attacks”; “UN report reconstructs civilian death toll from drone strikes”; “Obama’s itchy trigger finger on drone”; “U.S. targets its citizens for drone attack.” Drones, technically known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), have earned a reputation for military action. The first UAV was used by the Austrians, who, in the mid-1800s, released bombladen balloons to attack the Venetians. The U.S. military didn’t ramp up UAV development until 1960, when Francis Gary Powers and his U-2 were shot down over Soviet territory. Within days of the international incident, America launched
NORMAN POLTENSON/THE CENTRAL NEW YORK BUSINESS JOURNAL
Bob Knauff, CEO of NUAIR Alliance, a 501(c)(4) corporation, sits in the offices of CenterState CEO. NUAIR plans to move its temporary office soon to its permanent offices at the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) test site at Griffiss.
the “Red Wagon” program to conduct surveillance with unmanned aircraft. Today, the UAV military market is huge: UAV Market Research estimates that the Department of Defense (DoD) will spend $86.5 billion over the next five years. It’s not surprising that the public equates UAVs with the military and unsavory activities, ranging from assassination to invasion of privacy. In December of last year, however, America heard a different slant on UAVs when Jeff Bezos, the president of Amazon, introduced a “60 Minutes” TV audience to Amazon Prime Air. His company contemplates delivering packages under five pounds with a fleet of sky robots. The idea is to deliver the
package to your doorstep faster than your Chinese take-out order. While Bezos’ idea raises more questions than it answers, America suddenly saw a use for drones other than the military one. In early March, rumors began swirling that Facebook is in negotiations to buy Titan, a drone manufacturer, for a reported $60 million. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, says he wants to bring the Web to the world by connecting the 5 billion people who have no online connection today. At last, the public is coming to understand that UAVs have a variety of applications other See NUAIR, page 6
DeWITT — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 25 outlined his proposal to cut property taxes during a visit to the DeWitt Community Room. Cuomo also encouraged local governments to reduce their costs during his presentation in the facility at 148 Sanders Creek Parkway near Carrier Circle. Cuomo appeared in DeWitt as talks on the state-budget proposal continue in Albany. The next spending plan is due April 1. “We’re literally down to the final moments,” Cuomo said during his comments. As of press time, Cuomo and state lawmakers had not yet reached final agreement on a See CUOMO, page 7
Speaking in support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal are (from left to right) Edward Michalenko, supervisor, town of DeWitt; Chris Haywood, homeowner, town of Manlius; and Cuomo.
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2 • The Central New York Business Journal
CNYBJ BRIEFS News of note for and about Central New York businesses
Brian Houseal named director of the Adirondack Ecological Center Brian L. Houseal, executive director of the Adirondack Council for the past 10 years, has been named director of the Adirondack Ecological Center at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) Newcomb campus. That’s according to the Winter 2014 issue of InsideESF magazine. Houseal is a professional landscape architect and regional planner with extensive environmental experience. He received his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and master’s degrees in landscape architecture from ESF and regional planning from Syracuse University. Houseal has worked on establishing national parts and biosphere reserves throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, from Chile’s Patagonian region to Mexico’s border with the United States, according to InsideESF. The Peace Corps, U.S. Agency for International Development, World Bank, UNESCO, and the Nature Conservancy’s International program have supported his work. “I have had unique opportunities to live and work in some of the most remote and beautiful places in our hemisphere,” Houseal said in InsideESF. “The Adirondack Park, with its mix of wild lands, local communities, and working farms and forests, served as the model for that work. It is a privilege to work with ESF while also living in the Adirondacks.”
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Correction The article, entitled “Sustainable Office Solutions targets former Will & Baumer warehouse as future home,” in the March 21, 2014 issue of The Central New York Business Journal contained an error. The company’s product offerings include pre-owned and new office furniture. Sustainable Office Solutions purchases the new office-furniture products, which represent nearly half of the firm’s business, from manufacturers.
March 28, 2014
VNA Homecare, Upstate HomeCare sign preferred-provider agreement BY JOURNAL STAFF
SYRACUSE — Utica–based Upstate HomeCare and VNA Homecare of Syracuse have signed an agreement allowing Upstate to supply the infusion, oxygen, and medical equipment that VNA patients need. The organizations on March 24 announced their “preferred-provider relationship” in a joint news release. VNA Homecare views the agreement as a chance to “enhance” its delivery of care to patients, M. Kate Rolf, president and CEO, said in the release. “Partnering with a larger, more diverse and progressive post-acute care services company enables us to do so. Upstate has an excellent reputation. Their size and outreach can better support the needs of
our patients and keep the cost of care more affordable,” Rolf said. Gregory LoPresti, CEO of Upstate HomeCare, shared the same sentiment. “Our organization is continually looking for ways to enhance our services and delivery of care for the communities we serve,” LoPresti said in the news release. The organizations say they’re also working to develop additional services for the community, such as a care-transition program. Such a program would involve presenting a more detailed, clear assessment of the patient’s clinical status at the time of discharge and “reduce hospital readmissions,” the organizations added. Founded in 1985 and headquartered in
Utica, Upstate HomeCare provides infusion, specialty medications, respiratory, and medical-equipment services. The organization, which employs nearly 150 people, has a service area that extends to Syracuse, Canandaigua, Rochester, and Buffalo, according to the news release. VNA Homecare provides home care that ranges from prenatal care to care for young families to rehabilitation, long-term and end-of-life care, the organization said. VNA includes seven corporate entities and describes itself as “the oldest and one of the largest home-care systems in the Central New York region,” according to the news release. The organization’s clinical staff includes nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, home-health aides, medical-social workers, a diabetic educator, and a dietician, it said. q
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The Central New York Business Journal • 3
March 28, 2014
Masonic Care Community: 121 years of charity By Norman Poltenson Journal Staff
UTICA — The Masonic fraternity, the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world, focuses on community service and charitable work as its principal activities. In the United States, Masonic organizations spend more than $2 million every day on charitable services. In the Mohawk Valley, the Masons established the Masonic Home in May 1893, fulfilling a dream first expressed in the ante-bellum period. The founders of the Masonic Home chose a site on Bleecker Street in Utica, which now comprises 400 acres. The New York State Masonic Community wanted to build a home to care for the indigent Mason, his wife, widow, and orphan. They chose Utica, because it was in the center of the state. The Masonic Care Community of New York is owned by the Trustees of the Masonic Hall and Asylum Fund, a New York corporation established in1864. In April of this year, the trustees will celebrate 150 years of service. “The first structure erected in 1893 housed everything and everyone, providing the basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and education,” says Kathy Contino-Turner, director of communications and marketing at the Masonic Care Community. “As the need grew, so grew the structures on campus. The Booth Memorial Children’s Building was first in 1898, followed by the Knights Templar in 1916 for girls, and a two-story brick structure for young children in 1923 … The Scottish Rite building … originally housed the older boys in 1924 and Wiley Hall in 1928 was constructed as the boys’ dormitory.” What started as a haven for a few has morphed today into a complex that houses more than 500 elders. “In the 1970s, the trustees made a decision to focus on care for the elderly and to open our community to both Masons and non-Masons,” notes Robert J. Raffle, the executive director of Masonic Care Community. “We changed the corporate name in 1992 from the Masonic Home to the Masonic Care Community of New York. If you tour our campus, you will find independent living in Acacia Village; senior care, which includes long-term care, adult residential care, and home care; short-term rehabilitation; and child care. Our skilled-nursing facility houses 320 beds, of which 10 percent is dedicated to short-term rehabilitation therapy … Acacia Village has 135 apartments … Our child-care center caters to children from the age of six weeks to 5 years and is open both to staff and to the community.” Masonic Care Community is a major contributor to the local economy, with an operating budget of $50 million and 900 employees. In addition to the campus in Utica, which encompasses more than a million square feet, the Trustees own property in Woodgate and Tappan, N.Y. and in New York City. According to the trustees of the Masonic Hall and Asylum Fund’s 2011 990form, the corporation has net assets in excess of $250 million. The Masonic Care Community is the original charity of the New York State Masonic Fraternity, and its operation continues to see challenges. According to Raffle, “Today, 70 percent of our reimbursements come through Medicare and Medicaid. New York state has
Robert J. Raffle, the executive director of the Masonic Care Community, leads a large health-care organization located on 400 acres in eastern Oneida County. signaled that it can’t sustain the growing cost of Medicaid, and the federal government continues to put pressure on Medicare reimbursements. Coupling the declining reimbursements with the fact that the Oneida County community is aging rapidly puts added pressure on us to adapt. “We continue to be challenged to do more with less,” notes Raffle,” which is largely due to the continued strain on our state and federal reimbursement structure. We have become more creative and adaptive in our approach to problems and have reached out to our community partners to form new relationships. We need to be able to adapt, and the only way to do that successfully is to anticipate the trends and changes [in our industry]. We can never sacrifice quality, so we need to be one step ahead. That’s why the executive team is always looking three to five years into the future to plan our course. One example of looking ahead was the decision to enter the home-care field in 2004 by buying a local home-care agency. Our executive team focuses on developing strategic initiatives to take full advantage of opportunities to expand and strengthen our Masonic Care Community.” Raffle attributes Masonic Care’s growth over the years to its employees. “In our industry, there is a lot of turnover each year,” states Raffle. “We work hard to identify employees committed to quality and who care about their work. We have a complex interview process, but the result is a passionate … [workforce] that’s dedicated to caring for our residents. As a result, we have a much lower turnover rate than the average and a strong recognition of our quality and family culture.” Raffle was born in Ilion and graduated from SUNYIT in 1996 with a degree in health-services administration. He worked in Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina garnering experience with a for-profit, health-care group. Raffle returned to the Mohawk Valley in 2002 where he was the administrator at a nursing home in Rome. The Ilion native joined the Masonic Care Community in 2004 as the assistant executive director and assumed the duties of the executive director in 2012. He lives in Ilion with his wife Amy and three children. “Our residents and staff live charity every day,” avers Raffle. “Our seniors in the Health Pavilion participate in numerous activities and raise thousands of dollars. To name a few: residents of Acacia Village hold an annual “Souper Bowl” to raise funds for the Child Care Center. The Resident Council holds bake sales, garage sales, and basket raffles throughout the year. The Masonic Care Community will hold its second annual fundraiser — ‘The Mighty Run’ — on the campus in September … The campus itself plays host to a number of local, nonprofit organizations. In 2013, various charities utilized our campus to hold fundraisers that generated more than $500,000. That’s a pretty impressive record … We live charity every day.” q Contact Poltenson at firstname.lastname@example.org
4 • The Central New York Business Journal
Michael Rotella: A Shining Example of the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Upstate N.Y.
s entrepreneurship flourishes in upstate New York, more examples of success are popping up on the landscape. Achievement comes in many forms and is made up of many different ingredients. However, perseverance is a common theme among successful entrepreneurs. They never give up and they find a way to succeed no matter the obstacles. Michael Rotella, an upstate New York entrepreneur, is a great example of the start-up scene and epitomizes the word “perseverance.” We thought Rotella’s story was so intriguing, we asked him to tell it in the first person. Here is his story of entrepreneurial determination and success.
March 28, 2014
A REGION OF ENTREPRENEURS
Rotella tells his story
My name is Michael Rotella and
I’m the founder of SyracuseGuru.com. We’re an independent media site, founded in June 2011, that is the authority on the best things to do in Syracuse. We are the ultimate lifestyle guide to Central New York, covering food, concerts, arts, theatre, and more. The website has grown to be a strong, recognizable brand and one that is on a constant upward trajectory. I’ve personally invested almost three years of tireless work into Guru and we’re now in the process of monetizing the site’s growing traffic and expanding the organization. Many people I talk to seem confused when I tell them that, yes, I personally run the entire operation. Others have reached out to me with words of encouragement and/or gratitude, saying things like, “Thanks for making Syracuse cool again.” I’ve never liked to call myself an entrepreneur but the more work I do the more I understand exactly what that word means. I’ve also learned how one goes about being an entrepreneur in Syracuse. All of this while technically being a Whitman School of Management Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) dropout. I could say that we don’t have substantial access to investment capital, we don’t keep our talent here, and New York state taxes aren’t exactly new-venture friendly. I could name about 10 other things that make
Syracuse a horrible place to do business. But, I’d be missing a key point if I said all that. The fact is that Syracuse is the perfect place to do business. Our isolation from national trends means Rotella we, as entrepreneurs or just creative thinkers, have the ultimate environment for innovation. Organizations such as the Syracuse Technology Garden, Start Fast Venture Accelerator, and Terakeet have taught us that innovation does happen locally and often on a grand scale. We have so many “old” or traditional industries here that allow a relatively simple concept like Guru to be truly disruptive. Do some Google searches on local event-related terms and you’ll see what I’m talking about. So what do you think CNY lacks? Do you have the talent or more important, the personal drive to fill that gap? Well, what are you waiting for? Syracuse is your personal innovation sandbox. Start playing. With my venture, I enjoyed a degree of luck before I even started and I credit part of my so-called success to that. I went into my venture with one of the area’s most talented graphic designers as a fam-
ily member, I graduated from likely one of the best and most underrated programs at Syracuse University, I had experience with search-engine optimization, and those I previously had as friends became mentors and advisers when I stumbled upon and took action on my sudden vision. But, not all my luck has been good in the traditional sense. I have also suffered major setbacks in my constant pursuit of progress — a serious disability for one. Beyond the normal difficulties of business, I also have to deal with the additional issues of having muscular dystrophy. This pretty much means I can’t work a normal 9 to 5 schedule, require special accommodations for office space, special equipment for my vehicle, and much more. I also have to improvise in social situations and while networking. When people first meet me there’s potential that they might be extra surprised with my achievements. “Oh, you’re the Guru?” or similar remarks reflect this. Concern with going to pitch an ad contract and showing up on a mobility scooter is a major hurdle, make no mistake about that. “What will they think of me?” and similar sentiments do not belong in the entrepreneur’s mindset and this is something I still battle. In business and personal See rotella, page 6B
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The Central New York Business Journal â€˘ 5
March 28, 2014
Valpak targets Syracuse as a franchise market in 2014 BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF
alpak, a Largo, Fla.â€“based company that specializes in direct mailing of local print and digital coupons to consumers, recently announced it is targeting the Syracuse area as one of 18 areas to add franchise territories in this year. Valpak is the doing-business-as name (or dba) of Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, Inc., according to its website. The company said the other areas itâ€™s targeting include Miami, Fla.; San Diego, Calif.; New Orleans, La.; and Corpus Christi, Texas. The Syracuseâ€“area territory will include four counties â€” Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, and Madison, says Greg Courchane, Valpakâ€™s new director of franchise sales â€œThe potential is for about 220,000 houseCourchane holds. The opportunity would probably start with 30[,000] or 40,000 and then grow,â€? Courchane says. For the size of the franchise market, Valpak is seeking one person to hold the territorial sales rights and wants to award the franchise this year. â€œWeâ€™re hoping as soon as we can find a candidate thatâ€™s interested in doing this type of a business,â€? Courchane says. Valpakâ€™s primary product is a blue-colored envelope full of offers from local and national merchants that is mailed to households in a given franchise market. The products could include everything from pizza to automotive accessories to home improvement, he says. â€œThe franchise owner would be working with small and medium [-sized] businesses in the greater Syracuse area soliciting their advertising dollars,â€? Courchane says. Valpak sells advertising for both print and digital media. At the start, the franchise owner will work as a sales representative for Valpak, while the parent company helps with printing and mailing the envelopes, according to Courchane. Initially, the individual will work from his or her home to avoid the expense of maintaining an office, he says. Ideal candidates for Valpak-franchise ownership should have the desire to work within a franchise system, develop relationships with local businesses, and have a comfort level with selling new, digital technologies, Courchane says. Franchisees should also possess a minimum liquidity of $75,000, and a minimum net worth of $150,000, he adds. Valpak also waives start-up fees for returning military veterans, making it easier for them to go into business for themselves. Valpakâ€™s offering is part of â€œOperation Enduring Opportunity,â€? a program developed by the International Franchise Association with the goal to hire and recruit 75,000 veterans as franchise business owners by 2014. Interested candidates can visit the companyâ€™s website, www.valpakfranchising.com Valpak closed out 2013 with the signing of 13 franchise agreements, which increased household circulation by 2 million additional homes, the company said. Those markets included San Francisco; Coastal Carolina; Floridaâ€™s Atlantic Coast; Lake Charles, La.; Eastern Suffolk County, N.Y.; Kent & Sussex County, Del.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Rockford, Ill. Markets, including those in New York,
Louisiana, and Delaware, are new territories for Valpak and residents in these areas will receive the companyâ€™s blue envelope for the very first time, the company said.
About the company
Specializing in cooperative direct mail, Valpak mails more than 20 billion coupons to over 40 million demographically targeted households per month in more than 100 markets in 45 states and four Canadian provinces, according to a Valpak news release. In addition to its blue envelope, the brand offers its business customers a portfolio of dig-
ital-advertising products including smartphone apps, which are also integrated into the Samsung Wallet, iOS Passbook, Google wallet and Windows phone wallet, along with online coupons to reach consumers at home and elsewhere. Launched in Clearwater, Fla. in 1968, Valpak operates a 470,000-square-foot manufacturing center in St. Petersburg, Fla., enabling the company to mail material to more than 500 million homes in North America. Cox Target Media, Inc. owns and operates Valpak with nearly 170 franchises across the U.S. and Canada that delivers
coupons to nearly 40 million households each month, according to the website of Cox Target Media. Annually, Valpak will distribute some 20 billion offers inserted in more than 500 million envelopes, the website says. Cox Target Media is a subsidiary of Atlantaâ€“based Cox Media Group, which is owned by Cox Enterprises, Inc., one of the largest media companies in the U.S. with holdings in newspaper, television, radio, cable, and Internet/interactive industries. q Contact Reinhardt at email@example.com
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6 • The Central New York Business Journal
March 28, 2014
NUAIR: Saab Sensis Corp. concurs that the industry is poised to expand Continued from page 1
than military. The shift in public awareness couldn’t be better timed. Enter NUAIR, which stands for the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, Inc. (UAS is an acronym for unmanned aircraft systems.) NUAIR is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation comprised of more than 40 public and private entities and academic institutions cooperating to operate the new FAA-designated UAS test site in New York and Massachusetts, one of only six in the country. The organization’s mission is to help make skies safe for routine UAS operation in commercial space. The goal is to establish the Northeast as a national leader in UAS research, development, testing, evaluation, and business development. The UAS testing infrastructure includes the 174th Air National Guard Attack Wing in Syracuse, the Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield at Ft. Drum near Watertown, the Air Force Research Lab facility at Stockbridge in Oneida County, the Massachusetts Military Reservation at Cape Cod, the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, and Plattsburgh Air Force Base. “We expect to begin integrating unmanned aircraft into the FAA commercial system by the end of 2015,” says Robert A. Knauff, CEO of the NUAIR Alliance and a retired two-star, Air Force general. “Of the six sites chosen, NUAIR is focusing on ‘sense-and-avoid’ technology [to ensure no air or ground collisions]. The challenge is the complexity of the system as a whole. On the one hand, a drone on a predefined mission is predictable, but a UAV that integrates a system of logic with commands from ground-based personnel and systems is more difficult to predict. These UAVs will be sharing the same airspace as manned flights in our national air space, a project that can’t be implemented overnight.” Currently, the U.S.
air space is home to 85,000 daily flights. NUAIR has five employees: Knauff; Anthony B. Basile, director of operations; Dr. Raymond Young, CTO; Lawrence H. Brinker, Esq., executive director and general counsel; and Andrea Bianchi, program manager. The corporation is currently sustained by contributions and loans from its members while it seeks economic-development grants. The projected 2014 budget is $600,000. NUAIR’s major revenue stream will be generated by renting the test site, which is expected to initiate testing this spring. The fee structure is not yet established … Several companies have already reserved time. “The opportunities for commercial and civil applications [of UAVs] are practically unlimited,” asserts Knauff. “Initially, 80 percent of the growth will come in agricultural uses and another 10 percent in public safety. But think of the needs in environmental monitoring, cargo delivery, disaster response, accident investigations, mapping for planning and zoning, pipeline and infrastructure monitoring, and cellular communications, just to name a few. As for the economic impact of the UAS industry, NUAIR’s test site alone should generate more than $145 million in New York state over the next three years and produce more than $10 million in tax revenue. The industry impact on the state is projected to be another $443 million and 2,276 industrial jobs.” Data from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) projects that the UAS industry will create 70,000 new U.S. jobs by 2017 and more than 100,000 by 2025. The total U.S. economic impact will reach $82 billion by 2025. Regionally, according to data from Hickey & Associates, LLC, the Syracuse, Binghamton, and Utica–Rome Metropolitan Statistical Areas should produce $388 million and 733 jobs by 2023. Tax revenue over the same period should generate another $46.8 million. New York is projected
to be ninth in the nation in terms of economic impact and job growth from UAS integration. The Global UAV Market research reports project that the military, commercial, and civil UAV market worldwide will generate nearly $115 billion annually within a decade. The U.S. DoD procurement will expand at a compounded average growth rate of 12 percent. The U.S. and Israel will garner most of this revenue. “This industry is poised to explode,” opines Knauff. “It’s like the Wild West … There are over 4,000 platforms in use with off-the-shelf products. This region is well positioned to benefit from the expected growth because of the infrastructure of engineering industries already advanced in sensor and radar development, academic institutions doing research in areas such as nanotechnology and imaging plus training and certifying the work force in civilian and commercial UAS operations, and military and [underused] former-military installations to support testing. Our region has the potential to become the UAS Center of Excellence. The only thing holding back the industry now is domestic policy and regulations surrounding UAS integration into the National Airspace System.” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D–NY) echoes Knauff’s vision by hoping to call Upstate the “Silicon Valley of drones.” Saab Sensis Corp., a founding member of the NUAIR Alliance and a major supplier of airport-safety systems located in the town of DeWitt, concurs that the industry is poised to expand. “This [UAV] industry is ready to go,” says Kenneth Kaminski, company president and CEO. “We are seeing all kinds of innovation … It’s still too early to talk about investment and expansion [at Saab Sensis] until the policies and regulations are in place … The direction of the industry certainly bodes well for Central New York with its talent pool of engineers and academic institutions … UAVs will catalyze [substantial] change; they will
be transformative. This company is well positioned to build on our experience in airborne and ground safety, and we plan to utilize the new test site once it’s operational.” While the public is finally awakening to the commercial and civil potential for UAVs, these unmanned vehicles are still stigmatized by many as drones. “Vigils” and even intrusions at Hancock Field Air Force Base in Syracuse seek the total suppression of drones for assassination. The ACLU is a national leader in voicing concern about privacy and the “inevitable” intrusion by gaggles of circling UAVs able to clearly detect a human image from 20,000 feet. Syracuse became the fifth city in America to pass a resolution banning drones from municipal airspace. While the city Common Council’s resolution is merely symbolic, the idea is to push NUAIR and the FAA into addressing privacy concerns, even though they are not within their jurisdiction. “NUAIR is the point of the spear,” muses Knauff. “While we are not specifically charged with creating policy guidelines for privacy, we recognize that we need to operate with the public’s approval. The FAA is currently seeking guidance in this area … The AUVSI has posted guidelines on its website.” Knauff is a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. His 33-year, Air Force career included both flying and command assignments, sprinkled with combat duty. He commanded the 174th Fighter Wing at Hancock Field between 1996 and 2003, before becoming chief of staff and then commander of the New York Air National Guard. Knauff resides with his wife in Cazenovia. Knauff has no doubt that unmanned flight is not only here to stay, but also that it’s a transformative, beneficial technology. His vision of the cockpit of the future is encapsulated in the story of the pilot and the dog. In short, if the pilot touches anything in the cockpit, the dog bites him. q Contact Poltenson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Central New York Business Journal • 7
March 28, 2014
CUOMO: About 207,000 Central New York homeowners could benefit during the second year of proposal Continued from page 1
budget plan. Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, DeWitt town supervisor Edward Michalenko, Onondaga County Legislator Daniel Liedka, and Chris Haywood, a property owner from the town of Manlius, joined Cuomo for his presentation. “I believe the issue we’re talking about today is the most important issue that is in the budget,” Cuomo said. Cuomo’s plan would freeze property taxes for two years in communities where the local government also takes steps to consolidate and share services, and would provide relief based on an individual homeowner’s ability to pay. About 207,000 Central New York homeowners could benefit during the second year of Cuomo’s freeze proposal, with total savings of as much as $44 million and an average benefit of $215, according to Cuomo’s office. Under the circuit-breaker proposal, about 129,000 households will qualify for an average real-property, personal incometax credit of $375, totaling $48 million in savings to Central New York residents, the office added. The “burden” of increased property taxes year after year has “started to take its toll,” Haywood said during his remarks. And having “little to no control” over his
Usherwood opens new branch office in Jamestown BY JOURNAL STAFF
JAMESTOWN — Usherwood Office Technology announced that it opened its new 3,500-square-foot office in Jamestown on March 1. The new branch is located at 1376 East Second St. and will serve Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Alleghany counties. It includes a showroom exceeding 1,500 square feet of space, the company said in a news release. Terry Norris, a native of Chautauqua County, has joined Usherwood Office Technology to lead the new office as branch manager. He brings 27 years experience in the office-technology industry, the release stated. Usherwood Office Technology is locally owned and operated in upstate New York. It provides local sales and service for digital copiers/MFPs, laser printers, computer networks, IT services, and advanced-application software. q
property-tax bill is what he called the “most frustrating part.” “This year, I will pay about $8,500 in property taxes. For me, that means I pay [about] 11 percent of my annual salary in property taxes. That [is] on top of what we pay to various local government and administrative districts that have sprouted up around our community,” Haywood said. Haywood sees the property-tax proposal as “great news.” “The hundreds of dollars in savings that we would receive under this plan could be put toward the cost of continued education for my family,” he added.
Haywood, a father of four, has one child attending college. Cuomo’s office also released a statement on March 26 indicating more than 260 local elected officials across New York support his plan. Upstate New York has 13 of the nation’s 15 highest taxed counties by percentage of home value, Cuomo said in his remarks during the DeWitt event. “Why are the property taxes so high? Because we spend a lot and because we have a lot of government,” he added. New York has 10,500 local governments statewide, Cuomo said. That means 10,500
offices with light switches resulting in a costly “bureaucracy” of local offices, he added. Onondaga County has 941 local governments, according to a slide graphic that accompanied the governor’s remarks. “Each one is a bureaucracy unto itself,” Cuomo said. He added that New York needs to get the cost of local government “under control” to curb property taxes in order to “get this state’s economy running the way we need to.” q Contact Reinhardt at email@example.com
8 • The Central New York Business Journal
March 28, 2014
Business Journal C e n t r a l
N e w
Y o r k
Outlining the Priorities for a Final State Budget
Volume 28, No. 13 - March 28, 2014 NEWS Editor-in-Chief........................Adam Rombel firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor.............Maria J. Carbonaro email@example.com Staff Writers.............................. Eric Reinhardt firstname.lastname@example.org ....................................................Norm Poltenson email@example.com Columnists..................................... Gail Kinsella Brian M. Kolb Tom Morgan Contributing Writers................Traci DeLore Mei Wang Creative Director . ............................Erin Zehr firstname.lastname@example.org Research Manager.................. Nicole Collins email@example.com SALES Sr. Account Manager.......Mary LaMacchia firstname.lastname@example.org Account Manager................... Daniel Buddie email@example.com Gustav Hoffmann firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing .......................BBB Marketing Inc. CIRCULATION Circulation Management....(315) 579-3927 Administrative President....................................Marny Nesher email@example.com Business Manager..................... Kurt Bramer firstname.lastname@example.org
The Central New York Business Journal (ISSN #1050-3005) is published every week by CNY Business Review, Inc. All contents copyrighted 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Cover Price $2 Subscription Rate $89 per year Call (800) 836-3539
HOW TO REACH US MAIL: Send letters to: Editor, The Central New York Business Journal 269 W. Jefferson St. Syracuse, N.Y. 13202-1230 EMAIL: email@example.com PHONE: (315) 579-3902
s New York legislative leaders representing both the Assembly and Senate discuss and debate their goals for the upcoming state spending plan, with an April 1 deadline looming, a number of ideas have been put on the table. I recently urged my legislative colleagues to consider the following items that have statewide ramifications.
brian m. kolb
Final budget needs to be responsible
First and foremost, the final state-budget agreement needs to reflect the interests of 19 million New Yorkers — not simply what might fit the political agenda of the newly elected mayor of New York City. Since January, the financial and legislative wish-lists of Mayor Bill de Blasio have received a great deal of attention, from both the media and Albany lawmakers. But as statewide representatives, we need to be responsible to all New Yorkers. To do so, budget discussions should keep these priorities in mind: n Education is always one of the most-
discussed budget issues, and this year is no different. The tragically flawed implementation of the Common Core standards has hurt children, parents, and school districts. We need to address it now. n As new education proposals surface, like universal pre-kindergarten, we should first fulfill our commitment to restoring the school-aid cuts of 2011 in the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). School districts across the state have waited long enough for this critical funding to return to prior levels. n Despite several complex tax-relief proposals, no one has addressed the true driver of skyrocketing property taxes — unfunded mandates. For years, Albany has forced local governments to pay the costs of implementing state policies. As those forced costs have risen, so have property taxes. Mandate relief is the only sure and sustainable way to lower the tax burden of homeowners. n It is never more evident than at the end of winter that our local road and highway departments need help. New York has an aging infrastructure, and we should provide the necessary resources to ensure the roads, bridges, and highways our families travel on are safe and properly maintained.
n Job-creating small businesses are the backbone of our local and statewide economies. Unfortunately, New York’s “TaxFine-Harass” mentality has driven jobs and businesses away. The final state budget needs to include assistance for small businesses, and implement policies that dramatically improve the toxic environment that has plagued our state for too long. n As true community assets, local libraries provide services and programs that are invaluable to children and families. They are a foundational part of learning and discovery for people of all ages. Albany’s financial commitment in library aid in the final state budget should be reflective of how critical these institutions are in every corner of the state. As we approach the April 1 budget deadline, I will continue to fight for commonsense programs and a responsible state spending plan — one that represents the taxpaying public rather than personal politics. q Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C–Canandaigua) is the New York Assembly Minority Leader and represents the 131st Assembly District, which encompasses all of Ontario County and parts of Seneca County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Another Day, Another Calamity G rowing old can have its advan tages. One is that you can shrug off the latest calamities — because you have seen so many other calamities over the years — and you know they fizzled. This makes you look good. Younger people complain about the latest calamity. The world is running out of … fill in the blank. This disease is so rampant we will face a new plague. Global cooling will exterminate the human race. Wait a minute. Global warming will exterminate the human race. Wait a minute. Climate change … You tilt your head and rub your chin over this news. You nod a few times. You offer a money few hmms. Inside you talk think, “Ho hum, another calamity. This is number 55.” Outside, you appear wise and thoughtful. Such meanderings came to mind when I saw a report about population trends recently. If you are old like me, you will know that humanity has collapsed already. Because the world has too many people. Billions are starving. Hordes of the starving are storming homes of the rich to find food. They are chowing down on their pets. Pestilence reigns. This is what alarmists of a few years ago
assured us would happen by now. They absolutely guaranteed it. Because too many babies were being born. The population calamity. Well, I guess you have noticed it did not happen. Some alarmists have not yet received the word. They still rant about how the population bomb will soon explode. It ain’t happening. You can explain to alarmists that birth rates in all the developed countries have fallen dramatically. You can show them that in those countries the population bomb isn’t even a firecracker. “Yeah, but how about the poor countries? People are breeding like rabbits in the poor countries.” Right. The item I read this week noted that birth numbers in the poorest countries are plummeting. Women in Thailand averaged seven babies each in the 1970s. Today, it is 1.6. A quick math lesson here: A country needs a birth rate of “2” to keep its population from shrinking. A little more than that, to allow for early deaths. Brazil, Mexico, parts of India and Southeast Asia are racing in the same direction of Thailand. China has already arrived. Already more than half the world’s people live in countries whose population is shrinking. Various countries are so worried about this they are offering incentives to folks to have more babies. Money, bonus miles, coupons — that sort of thing. Russia, South Korea, Chile, France, Australia. They are all pushing their people to turn off the TV and turn up the soft music. Ditch the birth con-
trol, pop open the bubbly. They are doing this for practical reasons. One is that they need more young workers to support the growing numbers of oldies. Another is that they don’t feel it is a good idea for their countries to vanish. Don’t laugh. Italy and Japan’s birth rates point to extinction in the next century. Travel ads your greatgrandchildren will see: Spend two weeks in Italy and meet all the Italians who are left. But hurry: Offer ends when Italy does. So now you can stow the population bomb predictions in your calamity locker. Alongside the calamitous forecasts of old. You know, the plagues and droughts. And the end of forests. And farmlands eroded into the sea. And you can prepare yourself for the next calamity: Population shrinkage. Alarmists will soon fire up the anxiety boilers over this. Already some Thai economist is proposing punitive taxes on single people and childless couples. It could happen here. Our birth rate is dismal. And politicians forever look for reasons to whack us with more taxes. We may start funding Planned Parenthood to promote babies instead of abortions. At least it won’t have to change its name. Stay tuned for this calamity to arrive. From Tom...as in Morgan. q Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and new TV show. For more information about him, visit his website at www.tomasinmorgan.com
The Central New York Business Journal • 9
March 28, 2014
APRIL 1 n Skaneateles Speaker Series Features SU’s DR4WARD from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Lodge at Welch Allyn, 4355 State St. Road, Skaneateles Falls. William Ward, aka DR4WARD, will speak on “Social Media and the Future of Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses.” Welch Allyn is presenting sponsor of the event, and the program has been organized by the Professional Services Committee of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce. Everyone is welcome to attend. Tickets are $25 for members of the Skaneateles Chamber and $30 for nonmembers, with payment requested at time of registration. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (315) 685-0552, by email to: email@example.com or by paying online at https://www. skaneateles.com/gift-shop/category/22-chamberevents n CASE 30th Anniversary Conference: Cyber, Big Data, and Information Systems from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sheraton Syracuse University Conference Center. Meet international leaders and gain valuable insights into future trends, opportunities, and challenges in information-intensive disciplines. Conference tickets cost $100 for the day, including lunch, reception, and dinner. Register online at case.syr.edu. For more information, call (315) 443-1060 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APRIL 2 n F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse event honoring Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation as the 2014 F.O.C.U.S Wisdom Keeper from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter. The cost is $100 per person/ $150 for patron ticket. Contact Jennifer Creighton at email@example.com or call (315) 448-8732 with any questions. n Women TIES Quarterly Strategic Networking and Educational Luncheon: “The Secrets of Becoming a Financially Stronger Businesswoman” for women entrepreneurs in the Greater Mohawk Valley from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chesterfield’s Restaurant, Utica. The event features Linda Fake, president of Uniquely Yours Interior Design. The cost of the event is $29. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.womenties.com or call (315) 708-4288.
APRIL 3 n CCMR Facilities 101Tours & Demonstrations from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Check-in at 700 Clark Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca. This is an introduction to the shared instrumentation available at the CCMR. Meet one on one with the technical staff managing these facilities, take walking tours of the labs, see demonstrations of the equipment, and discuss your particular interests with an expert. For details, visit http://www.ccmr.cornell.edu/industry/facilities101
APRIL 4 n CNY ASTD Breakfast Club from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Gem Diner, 832 Spencer St., Syracuse. This is an informal group for discussions on areas of expertise in learning and development roles. Topic: Evaluating learning impact. For further information, call (315) 546-2783 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Business alendar C
ginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Syracuse/ Liverpool. To nominate someone, visit cnysme.org or email: email@example.com. The winning individuals will be recognized by your organization and CNYSME at the awards ceremony. For tickets, call (315) 876.1868 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nonprofit Board Basics Seminar from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the University Downtown Center, 67 Washington St., Binghamton. Offered by Binghamton University’s College of Community and Public Affairs, the seminar is free. The workshop reviews the basic aspects of board membership and provides participants with the information they need to participate effectively as a nonprofit organization board member. The seminar is open to all nonprofit board members. Registration is required, and seating is limited. To register, visit http:// tinyurl.com/pvmemsu. For questions, contact Joann Lindstrom at (607) 777-9178.
APRIL 17 n Entrepreneurial Society of Central New York April Program from 3 to 5 p.m. at The Century Club, 480 James St., Syracuse. The speaker will be Renée Downey Hart, Ph.D., and the topic will be “GenY 2.0: Celebrating the First Global Generation.” Pre-registration is required; email: kevin@ theeventscompany.com or call (315) 422-9400. Programs are open to owners of businesses with annual revenue exceeding $500,000.
APRIL 29 n Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series – Friends of the Central Library present Neil Gaiman at 7:30 p.m. at the Syracuse John H. Mulroy Civic Center Theater. For ticket information, visit www. foclsyracuse.com or call (315) 435-1832; call the Oncenter Box Office at (315) 435-2121; or contact Ticketmaster at (315) 472-0700.
May 1 n The Critical First 10 Seconds Workshop from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the The Palace Theatre, 2384 James St., Syracuse. CNY ASTD will hold a workshop with actions and tips for providing initial trust with new acquaintances. The cost is $25 for members and $40 for nonmembers. To register, visit www. cnyastd.org, or call (315) 546-2783, or email: info@ cnyastd.org n SOHO Syracuse from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Oncenter Convention Center. If you have a product or service for small business, register at www.sohosyracuse.com
n The Power of Email Marketing & Social Media Marketing Made Simple Workshop from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Institute for Human Services, Inc., 6666 County Road 11, Bath. Grow your organization with email and social media This workshop is designed to give small nonprofit organizations some simple ideas for growing their organizations using email marketing and social media. The presentation, called, “Simple Strategies for Better Event Marketing” will help you grasp the best practices needed to utilize and maximize the growing trend of online event marketing. Sponsored by the Institute for Human Services, register at: http://bit.ly/IHS040914
n CNY ASTD Breakfast Club from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at The Gem Diner, 832 Spencer St., Syracuse. This is an informal group for discussions on areas of expertise in learning and development roles. The topic at this meeting is integrated talent management. For details, call (315) 546-2783 or email: email@example.com
APRIL 10 n 38th Annual Crystal Ball and Sales and Marketing Excellence Awards Ceremony be-
May 15 n Entrepreneurial Society of Central New York May Program from 3 to 5 p.m. at The Century Club, 480 James St., Syracuse. The speaker will be David M. Aitken, DestinyUSA, and the topic will be “Driving the Big Picture.” Pre-registration is required; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315) 4229400 Programs are open to owners of businesses with annual revenue exceeding $500,000.
n CCMR Symposium. The event will cover understanding and controlling spins at the nanoscale advances in memory, logic, and sensing technologies through nanoscale spin systems commercial impact and production of nonvolatile magnetic memories, sensors, and imaging device lectures, poster session, and networking opportunities for industry and academia 2014. Sproull lecturer is Dr. Albert Fert, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics. Speakers include those from IBM, NYU, MIT, and faculty and students from Cornell University. For more information, visit http://www. ccmr.cornell.edu/symposium/ n Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series – Friends of the Central Library present Eric Schlosser at 7:30 p.m. at the Syracuse John H. Mulroy Civic Center Theater. For ticket information, visit www. foclsyracuse.com or call (315) 435-1832; call the Oncenter Box Office at (315) 435-2121; or contact Ticketmaster at (315) 472-0700.
May 28 n Central New York’s Best Places To Work Event from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the SRC Arena. Visit bizeventz.com for more information or to submit your company for consideration for an award. Or, call Joyl Clance at (315) 579-3917.
June 10 n A Time To Build Awards Program from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SRC Arena. Nomination deadline is April 4. Visit bizeventz.com for details or to nominate. Or, call Joyl Clance at (315) 579-3917.
June 19 n Entrepreneurial Society of Central New York June Program from 3 to 5 p.m. at The Century Club, 480 James St., Syracuse. The speaker will be David Reed, Reed CNY Business Law, and the topic will be “Thinking Outside the Box.” Pre-registration is required; email: email@example.com or call (315) 422-9400. Programs are open to owners of businesses with annual revenue exceeding $500,000.
ONGOING EVENTS n Every Tuesday, Cayuga Club Toastmasters from 6 to 7 p.m. at Cornell University, Ithaca, Rhodes Hall, 6th Floor, Conference Room #655. Free and easy parking is available nearby at Peterson Lot. For more information, contact Julia Reich, (315) 364-7190 or email: juliareichdesign@ gmail.com n Every Tuesday, Gung Ho Referral Group from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, 3220 Erie Blvd., DeWitt. The cost is $10 and includes lunch. For more information, contact Paul Ellis (315) 475-0392 or email: Paul. Ellis@ComfortSystemsUSA.com or go to www. GungHoReferrals.com n Every Tuesday, Syracuse Business Connections from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Hummel’s Office Plus, 6731 Old Collamer Road, DeWitt. The group meets to network and exchange referrals. For more information, email: Deb Angarano at firstname.lastname@example.org n Every Wednesday, Small Business Development Center at OCC from 4 to 6 p.m., Introduction to Business Startup at H-1 Hall.
Please call 498-6070 or visit www.onondagasbdc.org n Every Wednesday, Syracuse Business Networking from 6 to 7 p.m. at Barbieri’s Restaurant (upstairs level) located on Main Street in the village of North Syracuse. For more information, call Kim Bachstein at (315) 414-8223 or email: info@SyracuseBusinessNetworking.com n First Wednesday of each month, Business Innovation Days meetings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Tech Garden, 235 Harrison St., Syracuse. Entrepreneurs and small businesses can meet one-on-one with a counselor from the SBDC for advice and customized assistance opportunities. Scheduled by appointment, call (315) 474-0910 or email: email@example.com n First and Third Wednesday of each month, Preferred Toastmasters from noon to 1 p.m. at Golden Artist Colors, 188 Bell Road, New Berlin. Contact Jonie Bassett at (607) 847-6154, x1217. n Fourth Wednesday of each month, Preferred Toastmasters from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Chenango County Council of the Arts, 27 W. Main St., Norwich. Contact Jonie Bassett at (607) 847-6154, x1217. n Every Thursday, Empire Statesmen Toastmasters meet at 6:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday on Erie Boulevard in DeWitt. For more information, visit http://1427.toastmastersclubs.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org n Every Thursday, Free Business Counseling with SCORE from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce, 80 North Ave., Owego. Contact the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce to make an appointment at (607) 687-2020. n Every second and fourth Thursday of the month, The North Star Toastmasters from noon to 1 p.m. at C&S Companies, 499 Col. Eileen Collins Blvd., near Hancock Airport. For more information, contact Sandy Jurkiewicz at email@example.com or call (315) 470-1802. n Third Thursday of each month meet CNY ASTD Meet the Leadership Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m. at Coleman’s, 100 S. Lowell St., Syracuse. Monthly informal networking with the CNY ASTD leadership team and other learning and development professionals. For more information, call (315) 546-2783 or email: info@cnyastd. org n Every Friday, 40 Above: Workers in Transition from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the library in North Syracuse (NOPL) at 100 Trolleybarn Lane, North Syracuse. Helping workers/job seekers aged 40 and above in search of work. Contact John A. Cruty at (315) 569-3964, or at crutij@ yahoo.com n Every Friday, Tip Club of Syracuse, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel, 801 University Ave., Syracuse, 8 to 9 a.m. Call Bernie Bregman at (315) 430-5249 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org n First Friday of each month, Toolkit Day with SCORE by appointment at The Tech Garden. Counselors provide free, confidential, individual business mentoring to prospective or current business owners. For more information or to make an appointment, contact Lynn Hughes at (315) 579-2862 or email Lynn@TheTechGarden. com n Every second and fourth Friday of each month, The SUN Group (Sustainable Upstate Network) meets from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Tony’s Family Restaurant, 3004 Burnet Ave., Syracuse. For more information, contact Andy Picco at (315) 657-0135 or email: andrewpicco@gmail. com To have your meetings or events in the Business Calendar, email them to email@example.com
10 • The Central New York Business Journal
March 28, 2014
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: new hires & promotions advertising agencies Pinckney Hugo Group has promoted Trisha Bombardo to senior art director. She was previously an art director in the agency’s creative services department. Prior to joining Pinckney Hugo Bombardo Group four years ago, Bombardo worked as a designer and art director in New York City on a variety of national brands. She earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising design from Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts.
automotive Morgan Backus joined Burritt Motors recently as a service lane coordinator, a newly created position. She is a native of Mexico, N.Y. and has two years experience in the automotive industry. Backus previously Backus worked as a delivery specialist, certified tech expert, and car and leasing salesperson.
health care Oneida Healthcare has added Stephen Dubin, M.D. to the hospital’s Surgery Department. He received his bachelor’s degree in science and his medical degree from University of Pennsylvania. Dubin Dubin completed postgraduate training in general surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and in otolaryngology at SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is board-certified in head & neck surgery by the American Academy of Otolaryngology.
insurance Brown & Brown Empire State has added Bradley Sullivan and Pam Dumont to its insurance team. Sullivan will serve as a P&C producer. He holds his life, accident, and health license. Dumont will serve as a client service representative having 25 years experience in the insurance industry
through various divisions such as retail, carrier, and consulting. Her most recent position as an associate broker was with an excess & surplus lines MGA for seven years. Dumont has obtained her AINS, CIC, and CRM designations. Anthony Lutrario has also joined the insurance team. He is a graduate of Rochester’s Monroe Community College where he earned an associate degree in business administration. His background includes a position as marketing sales representative in the telecommunications industry with technology manufacturer Nokia, and a regional sales manager for T-Mobile. Lutrario also held a position as a P&C agent with Paychex where he set multiple sales records. Brown & Brown Empire State has also hired Nicholas Napolitano in its Syracuse office. He is a 2009 graduate of Boston College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. Napolitano joins Brown & Brown after a three-year tenure with the Paychex Insurance Agency as a sales manager. Catherine McArdle was recently promoted to field sales manager at Preferred Mutual Insurance Company. She joined Preferred Mutual in January 2012 as a field agency manager. McArdle, a graduMcArdle ate of St. John Fisher College, has more than 22 years of sales and management experience. Prior to joining Preferred Mutual, she held various management positions for several national and super-regional insurance carriers. McArdle is a licensed property and casualty agent in New York State.
Northwestern Mutual has appointed three new financial representatives in its Syracuse–area office. Jonah Coburn, Matthew Govendo, and Caitlin Titus will be associated with Northwestern Mutual in the Dodd Network office of East Syracuse. Before joining NorthwestTitus ern Mutual, Coburn was a financial representative specializing in strategies for
wealth at Guardian in Watertown. He received a degree in psychology from SUNY Oswego. Before joining Northwestern Mutual, Govendo was a sales specialist at Romano Toyota in East Syracuse. He received a degree in business from SUNY Potsdam. Titus previously was the campus recruiter at Northwestern Mutual in East Syracuse. She received a degree in sociology with a minor in human services from SUNY Potsdam.
manufacturing Indium Corp. has promoted Anne Bazan to senior marcom specialist. She joined Indium in 2011 as a part-time assistant coordinator and was promoted to a full-time position in 2012. Bazan has more Bazan than 25 years of marketing communications experience. Her creativity and attention to detail make her a valuable member of the Marcom team, as well as an important partner to the many vendors with whom she works. Bazan has an associate degree in advertising design and production from MVCC, and a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical communication from SUNYIT. She was also an adjunct instructor at SUNYIT, teaching report writing and technical communication.
cial media marketing plans. Nowey brings marketing and visual design experience to the position, which includes management of the growing Plan & Print Facebook page at facebook.com/plananNowey dprint. She earned her bachelor’s degree in photographic illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
CXtec announces the hiring of Joey Cassalia, Susan Hughes, and Kelly Parker. Cassalia joins CXtec as a sales associate. Prior to joining CXtec, she was employed by Sutherland Cassalia Global Ser vices. Hughes joins the company as an archive manager. She will be responsible for managing the CXtec archive department, serving as director for the American Pomeroy Historic Genealogical Association, and servHughes ing as an ambassador for the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. Hughes previously held roles as processing archivist at Syracuse University and as regional archivist at the Central New York Library Parker Resources Council. She earned her master’s degree in history from Bowling Green State University and her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Delaware. Parker joins CXtec as a human resources associate. She previously held positions as human resources manager at Intersurgical Inc. and human resources coordinator at Peaceful Schools. Parker holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Oswego. q
Plan & Print Systems has named Autumn Nowey as director of social media. She will complement her existing responsibilities in the color graphics department with development and implementation of so-
Send your People-on-the-Move news via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
nonprofits The Boulder Institute of Microfinance has announced two additions to its team in Syracuse. Belkis Capeles, Ph.D. has been selected as vice president of programs. She joins the institute from ValMark Securities, Inc. where she was the director of conferences. Capeles holds a Ph.D. in foundations, leadership & administration from Kent State University. Karly Grifasi joins the team as director of communications and events. She comes to Boulder Institute from the American Cancer Society in DeWitt, where she served as director of corporate relations and special events, and she previously worked as a production manager at NBC’s Today Show.
Business Card GALLERY Mark Pietrowski
Professional Employer Consultant 149 Northern Concourse North Syracuse, NY 13212
Cell: 315-506-8863 Fax: 315-641-3601 800-31-STAFF (78233) email@example.com
We let you concentrate on the business you know best.
Stacey White Stacey White
Attract More More Customers Attract Customers Online Online — — Easily! Easily! Video Video Marketing Marketing Our Our Specialty! Specialty! 315-254-6445 firstname.lastname@example.org www.swsonlinemarketing.com
The Central New York Business Journal • 11
March 28, 2014
BUSINESS JOURNAL NEWS NETWORK
Harris Beach launches collegiate-sports practice group BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF
arris Beach PLLC, a Rochester– based law firm with an office in Syracuse, has introduced a national Collegiate Sports practice group. The USA Collegiate Sports practice group provides a range of legal services related to the compliance and operational issues of running a college-athletics program. The nine attorneys involved have worked on these matters previously, says Brian Mahoney, a partner in Harris Beach’s Buffalo office, who leads the USA Collegiate Sports practice group. “We just decided to … formalize our collective experience with this practice group and that has come about … this month,” Mahoney says. He practices in the government compliance and investigaMahoney tions team and the commercial-litigation practice group. He also handles National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) matters including compliance and student-athlete eligibility issues. Martin, David Two attorneys in the Syracuse office, David Martin and Donald Martin, who are brothers, are also part of Harris Beach’s new collegiate-sports practice group. The firm can also call upon other attorMartin, Donald neys in the local office or other Harris Beach offices for matters that fall into this legal area, if need be, Mahoney says. The practice group is composed of attorneys from several disciplines to address issues related to NCAA regulations, Title IX compliance, student-athlete eligibility, club sports, coach-player conduct, sponsorships and contractual arrangements, staffing and personnel, risk management and liability issues, drug testing, hazing, and other topics.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal statute that was created to prohibit sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal-financial assistance, according to the website of the NCAA. Nearly every educational institution is a recipient of federal funds and is required to comply with Title IX, the website says. Besides Harris Beach attorneys, the practice group also includes Bridget Niland, an attorney with “extensive experience working at the NCAA,” according to Mahoney. She worked at the NCAA office in Indianapolis for a number of years, handling compliance and other issues, he says. Niland, who is also a professor at Daemen College in Buffalo, still works on matters pertaining to the NCAA and serves
as a consultant on Division I membership issues for Harris Beach on this practice group, Mahoney says. Harris Beach has also started a USA Collegiate Sports Blog on its website as a forum to discuss issues affecting colleges and universities, athletic directors, coaches, administrators, and trustees, the firm said. Founded in 1856 and headquartered in Pittsford, near Rochester, Harris Beach has more than 200 lawyers in offices that include Syracuse, Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Saratoga Springs, Uniondale, and White Plains, along with New Haven, Conn. and Newark, N.J. Syracuse–based Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC is another area law firm that has a collegiate-sports practice group. On its website, Bond says its practice group represents colleges and universities in
The USA Collegiate Sports practice group provides a range of legal services related to the compliance and operational issues of running a college-athletics program. NCAA rules compliance, eligibility, and infractions matters. q Contact Reinhardt at email@example.com
12 • The Central New York Business Journal
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March 28, 2014
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Law/Accounting SPECIAL REPORT
Bonadio plots further growth as it moves up the Top 100 list By Traci DeLore contributing writer
SYRACUSE — The Bonadio Group, upstate New York’s largest independent CPA firm, recently ranked as the 50th largest U.S. tax and accounting firm in Accounting Today’s Top 100 Firms list. Bonadio, which ranked at number 55 in 2012, is the highest-ranking firm from upstate New York on the list, which recognizes the top revenueproducing firms from among the nation’s 45,000 CPA firms. Accounting Today is a bi-weekly magazine for the accounting industry. “We’re very proud to be on the Top 100 list coming from the markets we come from,” says Thomas Bonadio, CEO and managing partner. The Bonadio Group, headquartered in Rochester, does not have a significant presence in major markets like New York City, he says. Rather the firm is the big fish in a small pond, with offices in numerous mid-size markets across New York including a 10,000-square-foot office at 115 Solar St., Syracuse, where the firm has between 45 and 50 employees. Accounting fees are traditionally lower in the markets Bonadio serves, he says, which makes the company’s revenue achievement even more significant. On top of that, the markets are not ones that have seen a great deal of economic growth, he adds. The Bonadio Group, on the other hand, has produced revenue growth. The firm’s projected revenue of $66.29 million for fiscal year 2014, which ends April 30, is well ahead of
the revenue goal of $60 million it set in its last three-year strategic plan, which runs through next year. Tom Bonadio says he expects revenue in the $75 million to $80 million range for the coming fiscal year, as it will include the three mergers Bonadio closed on this fiscal year. The firm is also generating internal growth. “We’re not growing just through mergers,” he notes. “We’re up about 8 percent organically.” That growth comes from winning over new clients as well as doing additional work with existing clients, he notes. The potential is out there for even more growth, Bonadio says, and he has his eye on two markets for the coming year. The Central New York/ Syracuse area, as well as Manhattan, is on his radar for future growth. “We won’t be happy until we’re the number one firm in Syracuse,” Bonadio says. The firm has a goal of reaching 100 employees at each of its offices, he says. That size gives the firm enough staff to find and focus on areas of expertise as well as provide the best level of service to clients. One area of expertise the Syracuse office has honed is providing internal-audit services to banks and credit unions. “That practice has been growing great guns,” Bonadio says, setting the Syracuse office apart as almost a sole provider of that service in New York. “No one else has the expertise.”
specific plans regarding mergers, Bonadio says the firm is in some stage of talks with potential merger targets in every market where Bonadio Bonadio has an office. It would be surprising if the firm didn’t have news of a merger in the Syracuse area in the coming year, he says. “The whole industry is in merger mania,” Bonadio says. Figures show there are 45,000 CPA firms in the nation today, but experts estimate that number will drop to fewer than 20,000 over the next decade through mergers, retirements, and other changes. Many small firms, with owners looking to retire, are interested in joining forces with another firm that can keep the business going, Bonadio says. In addition, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for smaller firms to successfully compete with their larger competitors, especially as clients require more and more specialized services instead of general accounting services. With 11 offices and nearly 500 employees, The Bonadio Group (www. bonadio.com) serves more than 17,000 clients in New York and several other states. Founded in 1978, the firm provides accounting, business advisory, payroll, and personal financial services. Offices are located in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, Geneva, Perry, Utica, New York City, and Rutland, Vt. q
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N.Y. AG settles with MVP Health Care for wrongly denying mental-health benefits The insurer may have to pay more than $6 million in restitution By Eric Reinhardt Journal Staff
ew York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on March 20 announced a settlement with Schenectady– based MVP Health Care after an investigation uncovered “widespread” violations of mental-health parity laws. The probe found the health insurer denied mental-health benefits to “thousands” of New Yorkers, Schneiderman’s office said in a news release. Schneiderman’s office estimates that more than 3,000 MVP members may be eligible for reimbursement for denied claims, including for residential treatment. The settlement requires the health insurer to reform its review process for behavioral-health claims; cover residential treatment; and charge the lower Schneiderman primary-care co-payment for outpatient visits to most mental health and substance-abuse treatment providers. The settlement also requires MVP to submit previously denied mental health and substance-abuse treatment claims for independent review. That review could mean MVP will return more than $6 million to its members, according to Schneiderman’s office. MVP Health Care did not respond to requests for comment by press time. MVP Health Care covers more than 44,000 members in Central New York. The figure is part of more than 500,000 members in a New York service area that also includes the Albany region and the Hudson Valley. State lawmakers enacted New York’s mental-health parity law, known as Timothy’s Law, in 2006. It requires that insurers provide mental-health coverage at least equal to coverage provided for other health conditions. Schneiderman’s health-care bureau conducted an investigation that found MVP Health Care, through its behavioralhealth subcontractor, Value Options, issued 40 percent more denials of coverage in behavioral-health cases than in medical cases since at least 2011. In one case, the investigation found that MVP repeatSee suit, page 7B
2B â€˘ The Central New York Business Journal
March 28, 2014
Centolella, colleagues launch new business-law firm by eric reinhardt journal staff
SYRACUSE â€” Five attorneys, who were formerly part of the Bousquet Holstein PLLC law firm in Syracuse, have formed their own firm. Centolella Lynn Dâ€™Elia & Temes LLC is now operating in a 4,000-square-foot temporary space on the 17th floor of Axa Tower I at 100 Madison St. in downtown Syracuse. The firm plans to move into a permanent 4,000-square-foot space on the buildingâ€™s 19th floor in early May. The firmâ€™s office opened for business on March 3. The attorneys involved include Jason Centolella, who is the firmâ€™s managing member. In addition, the attorneys include Kathleen Centolella, who is Jasonâ€™s wife; Tim Lynn, Anthony Dâ€™Elia, and David Temes. All five attorneys are considered members of the LLC, but Centolella declined to disclose what percentage of the firm each attorney owns. Jason Centolella spoke with The Central New York Business Journal on March 21. Centolella describes all the LLCâ€™s members as good friends, about the same age, and â€œvery entrepreneurial.â€? â€œEach one of us has always had the desire to try and go out on their own and start their own law firm, we decided now is the right time,â€? Centolella says. The firmâ€™s practice areas include general
photo courtesy of centolella lynn dâ€™elia & temes llc
Members of a new business-law firm Centolella Lynn Dâ€™Elia & Temes LLC include (from left) David Temes, Tim Lynn, Jason Centolella, Kathleen Centolella, and Anthony Dâ€™Elia. The firm opened in temporary space on the 17th floor of Axa Tower I on March 3. business or corporate law, health care, commercial real estate and litigation, financial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, and economic-development incentives. Centolella calls the Centolella Lynn
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Dâ€™Elia & Temes firm a â€œboutiqueâ€? businesslaw firm. â€œWeâ€™re going to focus on business issues,â€? he says. The firmâ€™s clients include hospitals, medical practices, manufacturers, and businesses. Besides the attorneys, the firm also employs two full-time legal assistants. As for any additional employees in the year ahead, the firm is taking a â€œwait and see approach,â€? says Centolella. Some law firms are a â€œone-stop shop,â€? with several attorneys and practice groups. But Centolella Lynn Dâ€™Elia & Temes isnâ€™t organized that way. â€œIf we donâ€™t do it [handle a certain legal area], we will â€Ś work with the client to find the best person to handle that specific issue outside of the firm,â€? Centolella says. Centolella practices in health-care law and general business, which includes merg-
ers and acquisitions, general contracting, joint ventures, he says. Dâ€™Elia focuses on commercial real-estate matters. David Temes is a creditorsâ€™ rights, bankruptcy, and commercial litigator, Centolella adds. Tim Lynn is a business attorney, tax attorney, while Kathleen Centolella practices in the areas of tax, general business, and employee benefits. The firm will provide clients access to its attorneys during evening hours, early morning, and weekends, according to Jason Centolella. â€œItâ€™s become a 24-hour business. Issues come up at all hours of the day and clients want immediate response. Thatâ€™s one of our principals. Always be responsive to the client,â€? he says. The firmâ€™s members have watched downtown Syracuse â€œtransformâ€? over the past five years, noting young entrepreneurs in technology that are taking chances and starting companies, Centolella says. â€œWe wanted to take that chance,â€? he added. After discussing the possibility in the early weeks of this year, the five members informed Bousquet Holstein of their plans in late February and their previous employer â€œcouldnâ€™t have been more supportive,â€? Centolella says. â€œWe share mutual clients. We talk almost daily. We will continue to work like that. We will send work back and forth,â€? he adds. Michael Durkin of CBD Brokerage in Syracuse helped Centolella find the new firmâ€™s operating space in Axa Tower I. â€œItâ€™s open space. Itâ€™s kind of a shell,â€? he says. CBD Construction is building it out into conference rooms, offices for the attorneys, a break room, file room. Centolella declined to provide specific figures but indicated the firm has â€œprojected revenue goals.â€? â€œI feel confident that we can â€Ś meet those goals,â€? he says. q Contact Reinhardt at email@example.com
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March 28, 2014
CPA addresses issues entrepreneurs face as startup-business owners BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF
SYRACUSE — A partner at Dannible & McKee, LLP on Jan. 31 spoke at the Syracuse Tech Garden, addressing entrepreneurs on issues they are facing in the startup phase of their business. Michael Reilly spoke on topics that included the accounting impact of their choice of operating entity and the tax implication of knowing how to classify their workers as either employees or independent contractors. Attorneys from the Wladis Law Firm, P.C. joined Reilly for the presentation. Reilly also spoke with The Central New York Business Journal in a follow-up conversation on March 21.
Choice of entity
Reilly addressed the accounting advantages and disadvantages of four types of business entities, including a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation (either a C corporation, or an S corporation,) or a limited-liability company. If someone starts a business as the sole owner, he/she can choose to form a sole proprietorship, and the accounting is “relatively easy,” Reilly says. The owner can use the cash-basis method of accounting, depending on the business. “All the information gets reported on their personal return, using a form Schedule C,” Reilly says. However, the problem with a sole proprietorship, he notes, is the owner faces the
potential for liability issues because the individual isn’t protected from the business because they are one and the same. “For example, if the business got sued, you as the owner would Reilly also be involved in that lawsuit,” Reilly says. He describes a partnership as an entity that is similar to a [sole] proprietorship, except that it has two or more owners. The owners are required to file a separate partnership return, Form 1065, making it a “little bit more complicated,” and the liability issue remains, Reilly says. If the partnership faces a lawsuit, each of the partners would be liable, he adds Entrepreneurs concerned about liability could consider forming a corporation, according to Reilly. He explained that one of the differences between a C corporation (a regular corporation) and an S corporation is that a C corporation pays its own taxes on all the income it earns. “And then when those earnings are distributed, the shareholder would pay taxes on them again,” Reilly adds. For example, if a person bought stock in Microsoft, the firm pays its own taxes and then the shareholder gets a dividend. The shareholder pays taxes on the earnings again in a regular C corporation. In an S corporation, however, all the earnings
effectively flow through the owners, so the owners pay taxes on the earnings. “So it’s a one-time tax,” Reilly says. Forming an S corporation is similar to a partnership in terms of taxation, he says. In a partnership, the partners are taxed on all the earnings, and same process applies to an S corporation. The difference between an S Corporation and a partnership are the limited-liability issues, Reilly says. “If the corporation got sued … that entity would be sued but the individual shareholders would not be sued unless they were personally negligent … Therefore it gives [an entrepreneur] liability protection,” he adds. And that’s the primary reason why an entrepreneur would choose to form a corporation, so whether you’re a C corporation or an S corporation, you’ve got limited liability. The fourth possible type of entity is a limited-liability company (LLC), which is “kind of a hybrid,” he says. “It’s really a partnership that’s got limited liability like a corporation,” he adds. If a partnership faces a lawsuit, the individual partners are also liable. A lawsuit against an LLC can target its assets but not the individual members, which makes it similar to an S corporation. Entrepreneurs like the partnership format, but they don’t like the liabilities involved, so that is why some choose the LLC option. LLCs provide corporate protection, but entrepreneurs are taxed in the same
way as a partnership, Reilly says.
Employee or independent contractor
Reilly also discussed what qualifies a worker or service provider as an independent contractor rather than an employee, and the tax implications involved. Business owners can use a 20-factor test that’s part of the IRS ruling 87-41, Reilly says. The factors involve an employer’s control over the individual, he says. If the owner controls when the person arrives for work, what tools the person uses to complete the job, and the space the person needs to execute the work, then that individual is under the company’s control. “Then the IRS can come back and say … they’re an employee, not an independent contractor,” Reilly says. The IRS could then reclassify that worker as an employee, if the owner was choosing, just arbitrarily, to treat the person as an independent contractor to avoid the payroll taxes, he adds. At the same time, if that worker operates another business or works for someone else and the entrepreneur just needs a job completed, then the independent-contractor qualification will likely apply. “We’re not going to control, direct, or supervise you. You just take care of it. In that case then, they’re going to be more in the nature of an independent contractor,” Reilly says. q Contact Reinhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org
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March 28, 2014
Raising Capital Via Crowdfunding: A Step Closer to Reality
â€‚ he JOBS Act (short for Jumpstart â€‚ Our Business Startups Act) became â€‚ law in April 2012. One of the more controversial provisions in the JOBS Act was the creation of a new â€œcrowdfundingâ€? exemption from federal and state securities-law registration available for startup and early stage businesses seeking to raise capital. Crowdfunding is the name given to raising money via the Internet. Someone raising funds through crowdfunding typically seeks small amounts from a large number of individuals. Crowdfunding existed prior to the JOBS Act, but the funds typically came in the form of viewpoint donations â€” either to support a cause or an artistic endeavor without any expectation of a financial return from the donation. Sometimes the contributor received a token gift for his or her contribution, such as a product sample. In the United States, crowdfunding has not been used by businesses to raise capital from individual investors because of limitations imposed by federal and state securities laws. Offering someone an ownership interest in a company in exchange for an investment involves the sale of a â€œsecurity,â€? and current law does not allow the solicitation of equity capital from the public-at-large via the Internet without going through the process of fully registering the offering with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). The JOBS Act crowdfunding provisions set out to change that by allowing businesses to raise capital using Web-crowdfunding techniques. The goal was to facilitate the raising of capital by
making relatively low-dollar offerings of securities less costly. The crowdfunding exemption created by the JOBS Act allows companies to seek small investments from an unlimited number of investors, subject to certain conditions imposed by Congress. Those conditions include: 1. The total amount raised during any 12-month period cannot exceed $1 million. 2. An investor cannot invest more than the greater of $2,000 or 5 percent of the investorâ€™s net worth or annual income, if the investor has a net worth or annual income of less than $100,000. If the investor has a net worth or annual income greater than $100,000, the investor may invest up to 10 percent of the investorâ€™s net worth or annual income, up to a total investment of $100,000. 3. The investment must be sold through a registered securities broker-dealer or a registered â€œfunding portal.â€? 4. The company may not advertise the offering other than the publication of a notice directing the public to the brokerdealer or funding portal managing the offering. 5. The company must file with the SEC certain disclosure information about the company, its business, and its officers and directors. The crowdfunding provisions of the JOBS Act are not self-implementing. Congress directed the SEC to adopt regulations implementing the crowdfunding exemption within 270 days of enactment of the JOBS Act. That deadline came and went, but on Oct. 23, 2013, the SEC issued a proposed â€œRegulation Crowdfunding.â€? The regulation is more than 50 pages long and is contained in a release totaling 585 pages. The proposed regulation expands on some of the requirements included in the JOBS Act and adds several new requirements not included in the JOBS Act pursuant to authority delegated by Congress
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to the SEC to promulgate regulations implementing the Act. The public disclosure of business and financial information about a company selling securities is a fundamental component of the current regulatory scheme governing securities offerings, so it comes as no surprise that Congress and the SEC require the disclosure of specific information. Within the JOBS Act itself, Congress required companies raising money through crowdfunding to disclose information such as the names and addresses of the companyâ€™s officers, directors, and 20 percent shareholders, and a description of the business or anticipated business of the company. The SEC, in its Regulation Crowdfunding, requires the following additional information be disclosed: (a) the business experience of officers and directors, (b) the compensation being paid to intermediaries for the offering, (c) the number of employees, (d) risk factors, (e) material indebtedness, and (f) related-party transactions. Congress also mandated in the JOBS Act that specific financial information be provided to potential investors. Companies raising less than $100,000 must disclose their most recent tax return and provide financial statements certified by the CEO. Businesses raising between $100,000 and $500,000 must provide financial statements reviewed by an outside CPA firm. Companies raising more than $500,000 must provide financial statements audited by an outside CPA firm. In its Regulation Crowdfunding, the SEC added the requirement that companies must also provide a narrative discussion of its financial condition, including a narrative discussion of its historical financial results (if it has an operating history), liquidity, and capital resources. The SEC also specified that, for offerings in excess of $100,000, the financial statements must consist of a balance sheet,
income statement, cash-flow statement, and statement of changes in ownersâ€™ equity for the past two years. In order to facilitate the disclosure of information required by the JOBS Act and its regulation, the SEC proposed a new Form C on which a company may supply the required information. In its release announcing the proposed Regulation Crowdfunding, the SEC said it was mindful of the costs of complying with the crowdfunding requirements and sought to strike a balance between making crowdfunding affordable for small businesses and protecting the interests of investors. The SEC estimated that the upfront costs of complying with the crowdfunding requirements were between $13,500 and $18,500 for an offering of less than $100,000; between $40,500 and $70,500 for an offering of more than $100,000 but less than $500,000; and between $77,250 and $152,250 for an offering exceeding $500,000. The bulk of these estimated costs are for compensation payable to the broker-dealer or funding portal managing the offering and for fees payable to CPAs for obtaining reviewed or audited financial statements as required for offerings in excess of $100,000. The SEC invited public comments on its proposed Regulation Crowdfunding. In its release announcing the new Regulation Crowdfunding, the SEC identified about 300 specific issues on which it solicited comments. Public comments were due in early February. Until the SEC issues Regulation Crowdfunding in its final form and it becomes effective, companies may not utilize the crowdfunding exemption contained in the JOBS Act to raise capital. Ronald C. Berger is a business and corporate attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC. Contact him at (315) 218-8216 or rberger@ bsk.com
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What is a taxpayer to do? M
ark Twain said, “What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin” and Barry Goldwater reflected, “The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government.“ Einstein and Churchill had their own lowly views on the topic. While we may chuckle and agree with the sentiments of these famous gentlemen, we can neither run from nor ignore the unsavory topic. Perhaps more so ACCOUNTABILITY than ever, the many facets of the U.S. tax system are a tough pill to swallow. For de-
cades taxpayers have been grousing about the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). And while AMT remains an important consideration for understanding your income-tax liability, there is now a longer list of things to keep in mind. Let’s take inventory of the current state of affairs — the regular tax along with new tax brackets, the alternative minimum tax, and the net investment-income tax. Each holds a myriad of details. Read on for a primer on what each may mean to you. The regular tax now has seven brackets ranging from 10 percent to a maximum of 39.6 percent. Essentially, this means both a higher maximum rate as well as numerous increments to consider. Many taxpayers in the lowest brackets are living at roughly the poverty level. Other taxpayers are affected by both tax bracket as well as personal exemption phase out and limitations on item-
ized deductions. The impact will be felt by individuals with adjusted gross income as low as $150,000 for married taxpayers filing separately. Those filing single will see the effect at $250,000 and the threshold is $300,000 for those married filing jointly. AMT consideration begins at modest income levels and includes various phase-outs, add backs and limitations as well as interplay with maximum capital-gains rates in certain situations. Suffice to say, complications abound when it comes to AMT. As for capital-gains rates, there are three to consider (ranging from 0 percent to 20 percent) plus special rates for depreciation recapture and gain on collectibles. The highly publicized net investment-income tax is a boot in the pants not just for individuals with net investment income, but for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income in excess of $250,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly ($125,000 if filing separate) and $200,000 for other taxpayers. Many individuals are surprised when they see the impact of the tax even though they have little or no gross investment income. On the posi-
The Central New York Business Journal • 5B
tive side of the equation is the allowability of certain deductions from gross investment income including investment interest expense and certain investment-related fees. While it is important to understand how your current tax liability is being calculated, a forward-looking perspective is critical in terms of timing of income and deductions. Did you know, for example, that a ROTH distribution does not increase either net investment income or modified adjusted gross income but distributions from traditional IRAs do increase modified adjusted gross income? Clearly, as you work to maximize what you keep after taxes, future tax brackets are extremely important as is the type of income. All this consideration requires a bit of diligent homework. What is a taxpayer to do? Consult with your CPA to get a clear picture of how all the details apply to your tax situation — both now and into the future. q Gail Kinsella is a partner in the accounting firm of Testone, Marshall & Discenza, LLP in Syracuse. Contact Kinsella at gkinsella@ tmdcpas.com
Syracuse Heart Walk raises $450,000 BY JOURNAL STAFF
SYRACUSE — More than 3,000 fundraising runners and walkers from across Central New York joined the 30th anniversary Syracuse Heart Walk on March 22 and
helped raise $450,000 to fight heart disease and stroke, organizers say. The Syracuse Heart Walk is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, whose missions are to build healthier
lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Over the past three decades, the Heart Walk in Syracuse has raised more than $5 million for lifesaving research, education, training, and advocacy programs, according to a news release from
the associations. This year’s event was held at the Onondaga Community College campus and included blood-pressure screenings, healthy demonstrations, a Fun Run for kids, and entertainment. q
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March 28, 2014
ROTELLA: Networking isnâ€™t something you do at a sanctioned â€œnetworking eventâ€? Continued from page 4
life, disability can be an absolute hell, but itâ€™s being an entrepreneur and demanding that respect that has taught me how to handle the negativity. My life is an extension of the venture I started and vice versa. Letting anything come between my goals in business and what I love to do is something I find unacceptable. Now how does someone with my unique set of gifts and often-profound issues like disability succeed at a venture? Surely, if I can do it, then 10, 20, 50, maybe even 100 other young people can decide to stay in Syracuse and single-mindedly hustle like all the other local entrepreneurs and I do. We all have our immovable hurdles, and itâ€™s up to us to be clever enough to get around them â€” thatâ€™s the definition of innovation, isnâ€™t it? Iâ€™m not saying this is all you need, but I think I have a few things figured out. Entrepreneurship is less about specifics and more about a mindset. Each person has a different goal and passion, but some principles hold true across the spectrum.
1. Have and follow a strict vision â€” Syracuse Guru was a simple concept that just hit me. Within the first few days, I fleshed it out into an entire vision. Before I wrote my first article, I envisioned where I am today. Now, I envision where I will be in another three years. This is key. I always say that belief is three-quarters of success â€” action being the final step. Belief in your mission and product is up there, but belief in yourself is number one. Can I â€” by myself â€”create and run the best media source in Central New York from nothing? Do I believe in my own vision? I said yes. 2.â€‚ Never give up â€” This age-old clichĂŠ is the most powerful thing you can harness. The stubbornness to stick to a vision, to see it through, and to make your life and work one and the same means more than you can imagine. This is what I do every single day. Itâ€™s what you have to do. Be stubborn and fight for the right to make your own mistakes. Donâ€™t take too much advice. You will know if itâ€™s actually time to throw in the towel, but a real entrepreneur does not just
stop. He or she moves on but keeps this attitude in reserve for the next venture. 3.â€‚ Network â€” Networking isnâ€™t something you do at a sanctioned â€œnetworking T:10.5 in event.â€? That notion is completely wrong. Networking is something you do every single day of the week. Networking is making friends and itâ€™s as simple as being social on your way through life. As I said, your friends often turn into huge supporters and even mentors once you launch a venture. Networking is doing favors more than asking for them. Itâ€™s setting up constant meetings to brainstorm about how you might work together. Think of networking as a lifestyle. Something you just do. Donâ€™t confuse real networking with clicking, â€œAdd Connectionâ€? on LinkedIn. Iâ€™ll add that even though I have these words of wisdom for you, almost my entire existence is based upon uncertainty. As Iâ€™ve mention above I have a disability, which has a major effect on my life. Often skewed self-perception, living-arrangement issues, struggles with my peer group, uncertainty about the future, and worst of all â€” fear. These things come with my situation. I am not going to be clichĂŠd and say what doesnâ€™t kill you makes you stronger but I do believe that character is measured by how each of us grapples with our realities. You can give up or you can embrace everything good
and bad and never slow down. A few years ago, I chose to demand more of myself and create my own momentum. I often wonder where I would be without them but I know that these challenges are where Guru came from. My personal history is one of adapting amidst fear and uncertainty. So in a way, disability taught me everything I know about entrepreneurship. Itâ€™s not as simple as the â€œif I can do it then anyone canâ€? narrative. What I will say is that you must intensely learn from difficulties no matter what they may be â€” no matter their severity. Take your biggest struggles and divert the frustration into creating a venture and building something real for yourself in Syracuse. Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve done and itâ€™s imbued all my efforts with a strength and drive I previously thought impossible. For more information about Rotella, please visit www.syracuseguru.com. Contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. q Robert M. (Rob) Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO. Contact him via email at:Â email@example.com.Â Kyle Blumin is a serial entrepreneur, with multiple business exits, based in upstate New York. He is passionate about driving personal and professional success through entrepreneurship. You can follow Blumin on Twitter @ KyleBlumin.
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NOTES 1. Company did not respond to this year’s survey. Employee and client numbers from 2013 submission.
Ranked by No. of FT Employees Rank
1. 2. 3.
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WHAT CONSTITUTES THE CNY REGION? Central New York includes Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.
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The Central New York Business Journal • 7B
March 28, 2014
4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
Name Address Phone/Website Matrix Integrated Facility Management 19 Avenue D Johnson City, NY 13790 (607) 766-0700/cleanforhealth.com ABM Industries Inc. 6171 E. Molloy Road East Syracuse, NY 13057 (315) 431-4552/ABM.com The Night Shift 2721 E. Main St. Endwell, NY 13760 (607) 748-7794/thenightshift.com Property Management Group 2260 Dwyer Ave. Utica, NY 13501 (315) 724-9891/htcorp.net Cleantec 1232 Tulip St. Liverpool, NY 13090 (315) 463-5353/cleantec.us Brophy Services, Inc. 1972 Teall Ave. Syracuse, NY 13206 (315) 434-9676/brophyservices.com LCS Janitorial Service & Supply, Inc. 6680 Martin St. Rome, NY 13440 (315) 336-4383/lcscleaning.com Visible Solutions Inc. (VSI) 670 Thompson Road Syracuse, NY 13211 (315) 463-5319/vissolutions.com Genie Services, Inc. 6878 Greenfield Road Rome, NY 13442 (315) 336-2948/genieservicescleaning.com DOHL Development Corp. 210 Court St., Suite 5 Watertown, NY 13601 (315) 788-2347/dohl.com Vencor Services, Inc. P.O. Box 814 DeWitt, NY 13214 (315) 446-4647/vencorservices.com Viking Cleaning Service, Inc. 3071 Irish Hill Road Cazenovia, NY 13035 (315) 662-3705 MLS Cleaning Service 80 Center Road Pennellville, NY 13132 (315) 263-5191
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SUIT: MVP Health Care has agreed to overhaul its claims-review process Continued from page 1B
edly denied coverage for the treatment of a young woman with a “very serious history” of substance-abuse disorder, even though her providers had prescribed inpatient rehabilitation, residential, and outpatient treatment. As a result, the woman’s family spent a “great deal of time on a long series of appeals,” and paid more than $150,000 out of pocket for her treatment, the office said. Ensuring that New Yorkers have adequate access to mental health and substance-abuse treatment “should be a priority” for the state, Schneiderman said in the news release. “Insurers must comply with the law to ensure that individuals with mental-health conditions are treated no differently than those with physical ailments and that they are getting what they pay for from insur-
ers. With this settlement, MVP Health Care commits to greatly improving treatment services available to thousands of New Yorkers,” Schneiderman said. Under the settlement, MVP Health Care has agreed to cover residential treatment for behavioral-health conditions, including eating and substance-abuse disorders. It has also designated $1.5 million for reimbursement of members’ past residentialtreatment claims that had previously not been covered. MVP Health Care has agreed to overhaul its claims-review process by removing visit limits for almost all behavioral-health services; classifying claims correctly so that it conducts reviews “expeditiously” and it affords members full appeal rights; and by removing the requirement that members “fail” outpatient substance-abuse treatment before receiving inpatient-rehabilitation treatment, according to Schneiderman’s
office. In addition, MVP will base the number of treatment days or visits approved on members’ needs instead of arbitrary limits; co-locate medical and behavioralhealth claims review staff, which will facilitate the coordination of members’ care; ensure that letters denying behavioralhealth claims are “accurate and specific,” so that members can exercise their appeal rights. Additionally, to its claims-review overhaul, MVP will continue coverage of treatment, pending the completion of internal appeals, so that treatment is not interrupted, according to Schneiderman’s office. MVP Health Care has also agreed to provide members with an independent review of claims or requests that were denied as not medically necessary from 2011 through present, which could result in more than $6 million in reimbursement
to members. The plan will also allow members to submit claims for reimbursement for residential-treatment services since 2011, which could result in MVP providing refunds of up to $1.5 million to members. Under the settlement, MVP Health Care will also submit to monitoring and will pay $300,000 to Schneiderman’s office as a civil penalty, the office said. The agreement with MVP is the second that Schneiderman’s office has reached so far this year and stems from a “broader, ongoing” investigation into health-insurance companies’ compliance with mental-health parity laws. The office on Jan. 15 announced a similar settlement with Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI). q Contact Reinhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org
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8B • The Central New York Business Journal
1550 Champlin Ave. Utica, NY 13502 Phone: (315) 235-7600 www.changingchildrenslives.com KEY STAFF Robert J. Roberts $197,576 Carol Farley Zygmunt Malowicki
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS Alan Leist, III Edward Shafer George Whitton David Manzelmann Jeffrey Reale
PRESIDENT Strategic Financial Services LLC 1ST VICE PRESIDENT CTE Technical Assistance Center of NY 2ND VICE PRESIDENT retired TREASURER M&T Bank SECRETARY Getnick, Livingston, Atkinson & Priore, LLP
BOARD MEMBERS Jennifer Bartlett Resource Center for Independent Living Robert Bradley GPO Federal Credit Union Thomas Curnow Cerebral Palsy of Westchester James Humphrey Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare Alan Leist, III Strategic Financial Services LLC David Manzelmann M&T Bank David Mathis Workforce Development William Read Day, Scarafile & Read, Inc. Jeffrey Reale Getnick, Livingston, Atkinson & Priore, LLP Edward Shafer CTE Technical Assistance Center of NY Audrey Snow Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare Thomas Squires Mohawk Valley Community College George Whitton retired
MISSION “The House of the Good Shepherd provides care that changes children’s lives.”
SERVICE AREA Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Seneca, and Steuben counties, with service concentration in Utica and Watertown
PROGRAMS & SERVICES The House of the Good Shepherd is a comprehensive human-services organization providing in-patient psychiatric care, residential programs on campus, special-educational services, diagnostic and non-secure detention programs, foster care, and community-based prevention care with in-home behavior management. The agency, headquartered in the town of New Hartford, operates 12 sites serving more than 700 children and their families annually.
RECENT ORGANIZATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS Restructured foster home care as the largest provider of those services for children in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York. Earned Joint Commission accreditation renewal for the maximum survey period. Trained more than 125 local educators in therapeutic crisis intervention to improve outcomes for students in crisis. Introduced a Crisis Respite Program for youth referred by local hospitals and clinics offering crisis resolution and coordination with community providers to accelerate the return home.
PLANNING/ FUNDRAISING OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Continue providing the best care available for traumatized children. Ongoing commitment to community-based services representing 85 percent of the children currently in care. The nonprofit says 2014 will serve as a critical year for positioning it for managed care.
Revenue Sources Contributions & Grants Program Services Investment Income Other Total Revenue
$459,429 $22,221,682 $146,441 -$9,339 $22,818,213
Expenditures Salaries & Employee Benefits Other Total Expenses Deficit for the Year
$16,369,940 $7,316,565 $23,686,505 -$868,292
Profiling local nonprofit organizations
Executive Director Previous Executive-Director’s Compensation Associate Executive Director for Operations Assistant Executive Director
Fiscal year ending June, 30 2012
rof r np ne No or C
The House of the Good Shepherd
March 28, 2014
Roberts begins tenure as House of the Good Shepherd leader BY NICOLE COLLINS JOURNAL STAFF
NEW HARTFORD — The House of the Good Shepherd — a nonprofit provider of treatment, education, and support services to children — recently welcomed a new executive director after being under the same leadership for nearly four decades. On Jan. 1, Robert J. Roberts replaced William Holicky as the agency’s new top executive. Holicky, who retired at the end of 2013, served The House for 36 years. Prior to taking his new job, Roberts was the Roberts executive director at another Utica–area nonprofit, Kids Oneida. His affiliation with Kids Oneida spanned more than 10 years, including serving as executive director since January 2010 until his departure. According to Roberts, the two agencies have similar missions. A nonprofit with more than 140 years of providing services in Central New York, The House of the Good Shepherd is a regional provider of residential and community-based care for more than 700 children and families annually. “The organization provides several layers of care ranging from inpatient psychiatric care to community-based
The House of the Good Shepherd facts n Founded: 1872 n Full-Time Employees: 350 n Volunteers: 210
“The organization provides several layers of care ranging from inpatient psychiatric care to communitybased prevention and foster care,” says Roberts. prevention and foster care,” says Roberts. Kids Oneida, which has since appointed Steven Bulger as interim CEO/executive director, works with at-risk youth and their families to keep them from out-of-home placements. If the agency couldn’t prevent that from happening, Roberts says the children would be sent to The House of the Good Shepherd, which provides foster care for children. Beyond the missions, Roberts says, the size, framework, and organizational structures of the two agencies are different. Roberts is now at the helm of an organization that says it employs 350 full-time people and generated $23.2 million in revenue in its 2013 fiscal year. More than 90 percent of the House of the Good Shepherd’s revenue goes toward program funding. Previously at Kids Oneida, a newer organization that began in 1996, Roberts managed about 100 employees and an operating budget of $6.7 million. Now, slightly more than two months into his new position at The House, Roberts says the transition has been smooth. But he notices his leadership role is slightly different.
“Given its magnitude and complexity [at The House], I have to delegate and rely on our management team to handle issues that previously I may have been involved in,” says Roberts. “We have a great team in place and that’s crucial.” He says the staff has been very welcoming and that he has received support from the board of directors. Because of the history of collaboration between Kids Oneida and The House, Roberts says he had a relationship with many of the staff members at The House and they knew him prior to his taking the helm. The new position, Roberts says, provides him an opportunity with greater responsibilities in the local nonprofit arena. He finds his biggest challenge is to figure out how to implement change. Currently, he’s focused on this year’s goals. “The House is committed to looking for new and innovative ways to provide trauma informed care,” says Roberts. “The House will also be focused on strategic positioning with managed care and health homes on the horizon.” With roughly 82,000 square feet of total property, The House operates 11 locations in Oneida County and one site in Jefferson County. The main campus is located at 1550 Champlin Ave. in the town of New Hartford. The nonprofit rents one property in Utica and another near Watertown, which is a foster-care office located in the Partridge Berry Office Park on Route 3. It owns all of the other properties, says Roberts. Though the agency has offices in two counties only, it provides services to children in 21 counties in Central New York. q Contact Collins at email@example.com
Published on Mar 28, 2014