Start Me Up: Currier Plastics ready to begin expansion in Auburn. Page 2.
Special Report: Employee Benefits & Human Resources/ Job Placement. Page 15.
BUSINESS JOURNAL C
Vol. XXVI • No. 20
Bankers Healthcare Group reaches $1 billion in loans
Busy summer construction season set for SUNY Oswego BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF
OSWEGO — The State University of New York (SUNY) Oswego will be humming with construction activity this summer as the school nears the end of a $300 million expansion plan that began in 2008. This summer, a $17.2 million project will begin that will connect Oswego’s two School of Education buildings. The university’s Park Hall, the second oldest building on campus, will also be renovated as part of that project. New construction linking the School of Education’s Park and Wilber halls will provide a new main entrance for the school. It will feature a three-story atrium, common-area seating, and a lounge.
BY NORMAN POLTENSON JOURNAL STAFF
See BHG, page 6
May 18, 2012
SYRACUSE — Reaching $1 billion in loans is just another milestone for a company that has averaged 2,526 percent growth over the last decade. This sustained expansion has earned Bankers Healthcare Group, Inc. (BHG) continued recognition on Inc. magazine’s list of the fastest-growing companies in America. BHG is a private-equity corporation that originates, funds, and places loans to li-
See OSWEGO, page 9 ERIN ZEHR/THE CENTRAL NEW YORK BUSINESS JOURNAL
Albert Crawford, chairman & CEO, left, and Jim Crawford, senior vice president of sales, right, look over some documents at Bankers Healthcare Group in Syracuse.
American Granby seeks growth in Canada BY RICK SELTZER JOURNAL STAFF
CLAY — American Granby Inc. has a new pipeline into Canada. It’s a line laid on March 20, when American Granby owner John Lowe acquired a group of five Canadian companies based in
Burnaby, British Columbia, near Vancouver. The Canadian firms will give American Granby, a Clay– based distributor, access to an enlarged distribution network north of the border. Lowe will run the newly acquired firms separately from American Granby, as its sister companies. But
the businesses have similarities, according to Gary Palley, American Granby’s vice president of sales and marketing. “The product portfolios are close,” he says. “We do differ because our direction and the mar-
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUNY OSWEGO
Construction under way on the Wilber Hall addition for SUNY Oswego’s School of Education.
See GROWTH, page 11
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N.Y. dairy farmers get lower prices for milk compared to last month New York dairy farmers received lower prices for milk sold in April compared to both March and a year ago, according to King Whetstone, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office. Dairy farmers in the Empire State received an average of $17.80 per hundredweight of milk sold during April, down 60 cents from March and $3.40 less than April 2011 prices, according to the field office.
Former Barden & Robeson facility sold PREBLE — The 111,000-square-foot former Barden & Robeson facility, located in the northeastern portion of Cortland County at 2188 Thomas Albert Drive in Preble, was recently sold to Suit-Kote Corporation. SuitKote is an asphalt-products manufacturer headquartered in Cortland. The 16-acre property is a multi-building office and manufacturing complex. SuitKote purchased it for $2 million in March. Pyramid Brokerage Company sales agents George W. Lee of the Syracuse office and David K. Farrington of the Rochester office brokered this transaction.
May 18, 2012
Currier Plastics ready to start expansion in Auburn Plans to add 50 new jobs over three years By Rick Seltzer Journal Staff
AUBURN — Currier Plastics, Inc. is moving forward on a 55,000-square-foot expansion project that was in limbo at the end of last year. The project is nearing a groundbreaking after Empire State Development awarded the Auburn manufacturer a $750,000 Economic Transformation Grant — a grant plugging a funding gap left last year by New York’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. photo courtesy of currier plastics In November, the Central New York Currier Plastics employees work on the production floor at the company’s Auburn Regional Economic Development Council headquarters. The company is moving forward on a 55,000-square-foot expansion recommended the state give Currier project that was in limbo at the end of last year. Plastics a $750,000 capital grant. But that grant was not included when New York ansquare feet after work is finished. Nearly entrance.” nounced regional council funding Dec. 8. The new building and infrastructure will “Everybody kind of agreed that they all of the new space will be dedicated to cost about $8 million, he says. Crews could wanted to nail down what New York State manufacturing, Currier says. Currier Plastics, which specializes in break ground by the end of the spring, and could do,” says John Currier, president and majority owner of Currier Plastics. “It’s dif- custom designs, injection molding, and ex- Currier Plastics would like the structure to ficult to bring this project together at one trusion blow molding, will acquire 9 acres be complete by Nov. 1. of adjacent land to make way for the new Construction and infrastructure improvetime.” The expansion project, which has a total construction. It also plans infrastructure ments are only part of Currier Plastics’ price tag of about $21 million, will near- improvements, including new water lines, planned improvements. The company will also invest about $13 million in new equiply double the size of the headquarters roadways, parking, and traffic patterns. “It’s a big logistical improvement for us,” ment over five years. Currier Plastics owns at 101 Columbus St. in Auburn. The facility, which is currently Currier says. “Right now we have trucks See currier, page 14 passenger inBW the same Mackenzie Hughes — CNY and Business Journal:cars 7½"coming w x 6 3⁄8"h 65,000 square feet,67804 will Labor growLaw to Ad 120,000
Komen grant to fund breastcancer outreach at Crouse SYRACUSE — Crouse Hospital will use a grant from the Central New York affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to try to increase the number of women who are tested for breast cancer. The grant of $44,300 will help fund community outreach and education programs. Those programs include outreach targeted toward Syracuse minority populations made up of refugees and individuals who are chemically dependent. Another outreach program that will use the funding is aimed at patients under age 40 who have abnormal test results or a family history of breast cancer. A final program slated to receive some of the funding reaches out to Crouse Hospital employees and their relatives. “The goal of this project is to ensure that all women in Onondaga County, including 30- to 40-year-old women, receive mammography screening as well as a follow-up appointment with a medical provider if an abnormality or problem is detected,” Crouse Breast Health Center Director Dr. Stephen Montgomery said in a news release. Susan G. Komen for the Cure Central New York made the grant to the Crouse Health Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that manages donations made to Crouse Hospital. The hospital employs 2,700 people.
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The Central New York Business Journal • 3
May 18, 2012
roi Office Interiors to open Albany location BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF
SYRACUSE — After successfully launching in the Syracuse market in 2009, roi Office Interiors is ready to expand eastward by opening a location in the Capital District. The office-furniture supplier will open its new office and showroom at 50 State St., in the heart of downtown Albany, in June, company owner Robert Angelicola says. “Things have been good for us in Syracuse and in Rome as well,” he says. After making it through a few stagnant years during the recession, the company is growing again and ready to fuel that growth even more with the new location. “Now, we’re poised to take off as the economy recovers,” Angelicola says. He selected the Albany market for several reasons. First, an Albany location will allow roi to serve customers from Saratoga to Poughkeepsie with ease, he says. Second, the market is a vibrant one with lots of growth. Finally, the market is underserved, Angelicola says. “That economy has really
An artist’s rendering of the new roi Albany office. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROI OFFICE INTERIORS
been dominated by the state for years,” he says. While other markets such as Rome and Syracuse are dominated more by business customers, the Albany market has centered on doing business with the state. That was fine, he says, until the state started cutting spending. Now, the market is dominated by about two or three dealers who have focused for years on doing business with the state, leaving plenty of room in the market for a corporate-clientfocused firm like his, Angelicola says. Other office dealers in the Albany area include Nathan Office Interiors, Kimberly Scott, Inc., and Northeast Furniture Systems. roi Office Interiors is poised to do well in the market, Angelicola says, because it has experience with corporate customers, and also , LLC has experience doing business with the state
on a number of higher-education and healthcare projects. The company, which counts the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome among its customers, is also experienced doing business with the federal government. But what really sets his firm apart, Angelicola says, is the way it works with customers. roi doesn’t carry just a few lines of office furniture and then try to fit those products to every customer, he says. His company works with a customer to get a feel for the client and its needs. “We’re building that furniture project specifically for that customer,” he says. “Every single project, we start from scratch.” It’s the same care that California–based eBoost Consulting took when designing roi’s recently unveiled new website, www.
roiofficeinteriors.com, Angelicola says. “They approached our website the same way we approach clients,” he says. That means the company asked a lot of questions and spent months just getting a feel for roi before it ever presented its first website template for review, he says. The new site, with an entire area devoted to the architecture and design fields, is designed to give people ideas and not just show a bunch of pictures of office chairs. “We just think that it shows people what we’re really all about,” Angelicola says. Included on the home page is a rendering of what the Albany office will look like once it opens, he adds. The new office and showroom will initially occupy 4,000 square feet on the second floor of the building, but the company has an option to expand into the third floor, and Angelicola expects to do so within six months. The company already hired someone to run the Albany office and one of the designers in Rome will be relocating to the Albany location as well. On top of that, roi will hire two more designers when the office opens, adding to roi’s total current staff of 17 employees. With the new Albany location, Angelicola expects sales at roi to double within two years. He declined to share revenue figures. Once the Albany office is open and running smoothly, Angelicola says he’ll turn his attention to the Rochester market as the next possible home for an roi location. Angelicola and his wife, Lynne, founded roi as Roberts Office Interiors, Inc. in 1995. Company headquarters are housed at a 5,000-square-foot facility at 144 Hangar Road in Rome. The Syracuse office is located at One Webster’s Landing. Contact DeLore at firstname.lastname@example.org
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in last May’s survey. Looking ahead to the next twelve months, respondents on average predicted a price rise of 3.5 percent. Firms reported smaller increases in prices received: the average respondent cited a 1.7 percent increase in
Employment index readings remained relatively healthy, suggesting that employment levels 4 • The Central New York Business Journal and hours worked continued to expand. Future indexes were noticeably lower than last month, indicating a positive but somewhat
A little more than 40 percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 23 percent reported that May 18, 2012 conditions had worsened. The new orders index inched up two points to 8.3, signaling a modest rise in orders. The shipments index shot up eighteen points to 24.1, its highest oflevel optimism for the according in a year. Thefuture, unﬁlled orders to the survey’s forward-looking indicators, which index remained negative, at -4.8. measure expectations for a time six months Thethe delivery into future.time index fell to zero, and thesurvey’s inventories index inchedbusiness up The future general conditions four pointsindex to 4.8.tumbled 13.9 points to
New York manufacturing conditions improve in May BY RICK SELTZER
General Business Conditions
usiness activity on New York’s factory floors picked up in May, according to a monthly survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The general business conditions index in the New York Fed’s May Empire State Manufacturing Survey jumped 10.5 points to 17.1. That indicates manufacturing activity expanded at a “moderate” pace, according to the New York Fed. It also means the index has largely rebounded from a drop last month. The index skidded 13.3 points in April. May’s survey results show that 40.5 percent of manufacturers reported improving general business conditions. Another 23.4 percent said conditions worsened, and 36.1 percent indicated conditions remained the same as last month. “Most companies are doing very well,” says Robert Trachtenberg, the president and CEO of the Central New York Technology Development Organization (TDO), a not-for-profit consulting and training organization that focuses on helping manufacturing and technology companies. “They’re exceeding previous performance,” Trachtenberg says. “It’s not the current business conditions that are concerning them.” New orders picked up speed, with the survey’s new-orders index climbing 1.8
Diffusion index 40 30 20 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40
points to 8.3. And shipments spiked, as the shipments index sailed up 17.7 points to 24.1. The unfilled orders index rose slightly, increasing 2.4 points to -4.8. The negative result shows that more manufacturers had a lower number of unfilled orders in May than had higher unfilled orders. Delivery times fell, according to the delivery-time index, which dropped 4.8 points to 0. Inventories grew, as reflected by the inventories index increasing 3.6 points to 4.8. Manufacturers continued to report increases in the prices they pay and the prices they receive. However, both the
See MANUFACTURING, page 10
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prices-paid index and prices-received index dropped in May, showing that the rate of price hikes slowed. The prices-paid index dipped 8.4 points to 37.4. The prices-received index slid 7.2 points to 12.1. Hiring stepped up slightly, according to the number-of-employees index. It rose 1.2 points to 20.5 in May. Employees also worked slightly longer hours than last month, as May’s average employee-workweek index moved up just over 6 points to 12.1.
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29.3. Even so, more respondents expected improved business conditions in six months Price — 47.6Increases percent Slow — than anticipated worse The indexes prices paid conditions — for 18.3both percent. The remaining and prices retreated in 34.1 percentreceived of survey respondents predicted conditions aboutfell the same as May. The priceswill paidbeindex they now. to 37.4. Though still eightare points Manufacturers also pulled back on preelevated and therefore indicative dictions for higher orders and shipments. of signiﬁ price increases, this 15.7 The futurecant new-orders index skidded index to has30.1. fallen the past two index points Thefor future shipments sank 19.3 suggesting points to 25.3. months, that the pace The future unfilled-orders index eroded Continued 9.6 points to 0, and the future delivery-time index crept up 1.2 points to 2.4. The future inventories index plunged into negative territory, losing 15.7 points to -10.8, showing that manufacturers predict lower inventories in six months. Prices will still be climbing in six months, according to the survey. The future pricespaid index rose 7.2 points to 57.8, while the future prices-received index registered 22.9, unchanged from last month. Survey respondents predicted increased hiring in six months, but cut back on their projected staffing increases from previous survey results. The future number-of-
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May 18, 2012
The Central New York Business Journal • 5
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â€˘ The Central New York Business Journal
May 18, 2012
BHG: Crawford projects BHGâ€™s sales â€œâ€Ś to be well north of $150 million in 2012.â€? Continued from page 1
censed health-care professionals. The company, which operates in 43 states and, to date, has served more than 50,000 clients, was started by Robert Castro, Eric Castro, and Albert C. Crawford in 2001. The trio met on Marthaâ€™s Vineyard and soon joined together in a company called Apex Financial Services. The three partners bought the company within a year and changed the name to Bankers Healthcare Group in August 2002. At the time of the launch, BHGâ€™s start-up capital amounted to a scant $25,000. Within three months, the fledgling company generated $5 million in loan sales. Corporate headquarters is located in the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. area, where the Castros oversee sales origination and funding. Crawford, the chairman and CEO of BHG, is responsible for marketing, credit underwriting, accounting, collections, and bank sales from the Syracuse office, currently located at 325 James St. Crawford projects BHGâ€™s sales â€œâ€Ś to be well north of $150 million in 2012.â€? The company currently employs 126 and projects adding another 8 to 10 workers this year. BHG typically makes loans in a $20,000 to $200,000 range with terms up to 10 years, repackages the loans, and sells most of them to a group of 400 community banks, while retaining an inhouse portfolio of $15 million to $20 million. Crawford cites BHGâ€™s business model as a major reason for the companyâ€™s success. BHG focuses only on loans needed by doctors, dentists, and veterinarians to run their businesses: working capital, debt consolidation, and equipment financing. The company makes the process easy and offers fast approval. â€œWeâ€™re like FedEx,â€?
photo courtesy of bhg
Robert Castro, president, left, Albert Crawford, CEO, center, and Eric Castro, COO, right, of Bankers Healthcare Group (BHG). Corporate headquarters is located in the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. area, where the Castros oversee sales origination and funding. says Crawford. â€œWe offer different rates and delivery times depending upon the level of service requested.â€? BHG can turn around a loan request in 24 to 48 hours and typically deliver the money in five days. In return, the client offers a personal guarantee but pledges no assets. There are no up-front fees and the loans, which are classified commercial, do not appear on the borrowerâ€™s personal credit report. BHG offers service and speed because the firm has developed a detailed credit composite of its clientele, whose annual income averages $345,000 and 10 years in business, and because it uses its own funds for lending. Crawford, 50, cites a second reason for BHGâ€™s explosive growth â€” â€œâ€Ś the staff, headed by a dynamic management team.â€? Crawford, as chairman and CEO, has a quarter-century of experience in coordinating loan/lease sales and
financing between community banks and companies. A 1984 graduate of Gettysburg College, he holds licenses as both a commodities broker and a stockbroker and is the sole owner and president of another company, A.C. Crawford Futures, Ltd. Robert T. Castro, 45, serves as BHGâ€™s president and is responsible for loan origination and sales. Before BHG, he was president of Finance Team of America (FTA), a commercial-finance institution located in Florida from 1993 until 2001. Eric R. Castro, 44, holds the office of COO at BHG, overseeing operations at the corporate office in Florida and managing the underwriting of the medical-loan portfolio. Eric Castro previously served as FTAâ€™s vice president, COO, and senior credit officer. Under the leadership of the Castros, FTA facilitated and underwrote about $350 mil-
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lion in commercial financing and became the primary origination source for four national leasing companies. The BHG management team also includes Edmund S. Durant as CFO, Chris Cali as general counsel, Chris Panebianco as the vice president of marketing, and Michelle Crawford as the senior vice president of placement and human resources. Crawford and the Castro brothers are the only BHG stockholders, each owning a third. Continued growth in BHG is not only coming from the traditional loan portfolio but also from new marketing directions. The company recently established a joint venture with a community bank in Scranton, Pa. â€” Landmark Community Bank â€” offering a credit card through BHGâ€™s Business Healthcare Group, LLC. The program markets the credit cards to its existing clients and to medical professionals who have elected not to take out a loan from BHG. Landmark owns 50.1 percent of the venture, with BHG owning the remaining 49.9 percent. The firm markets the cards in all 50 states. BHG also set up the Fund-Ex program 18 months ago to offer loans to those clients seeking funds up to $5 million at lower interest rates than those offered by direct BHG loans. These loans, with interest rates as low 0RQG as 6 percent and terms out to 25 years, qual- DWWKH ify for the Small Business Administrationâ€™s 5HJLVWU (SBA) 7(A) loan program, which guarantees 6KRWJX most of the proceeds for the purchase of land %URXJKWW and buildings, equipment, new construction, the purchase of existing businesses, and for similar expenditures. Since BHG is not an SBAâ€“approved lender, it originates and places the loans with
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The Central New York Business Journal • 7
May 18, 2012
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• The Central New York Business Journal
May 18, 2012
Going for the Gold
Security should send them checks every month. Within a few years, “we the people,” became “we the afflicted.” By the millions we did. Our backs acted up. Migraines felled us. Shoulders froze. Of course, a big percentage of us did not suddenly become disabled. Out of work, millions simply saw the gold and went for it. Millions more than before. This is why outrageous percentages of hat do these things have in firemen and police retire disabled. In cities common? Social Security and states where their contracts allow gendisability. Windmills. Food stamps. erous early retirements, we see huge numbers retire early. With bad backs, A state’s low taxes. Big contribumigraines, etc. Too many simply tions to politicians. smell the gold. And they go for it. These are linked by a basic inThis is why green ventures gredient of our nature. We go for popped up like mushrooms in the gold. MORGAN manure in this country. The govWhat prompted this thought was AT LARGE ernment held out billions in loans the number of Americans who reand grants for green projects. Guys cently signed up for Social Security disability payments. As people lost jobs in who planned to put their money into hotels this lousy economy, millions more became switched to solar-panel ventures. And winddisabled — disabled enough to claim Social mills. What the hell, they figured. If govern-
ment wants to give us a few hundred million dollars, let’s go for it. This explains why so many of these ventures crashed and so few thrived. Basically, they did not fire up the venture for the money in the marketplace. They did so for the gold offered by the government. Studies tell us most food stamps are undeserved. You don’t have to be a wizard economist to know food stamps go to millions who need them. And to millions who do not. The latter sell them for cash for drugs and booze. They use food stamps for a few necessities. So they can then afford the highly nutritious necessities like cheese puffs and ice cream. The lust for gold explains why states with high taxes lose people and businesses to states with low taxes. People work hard for their money. They want to keep more of it. Low-tax states offer them the chance to keep more. So they go for it. You know big hitters give big money to big politicians. Do you suppose this is out of the goodness of their hearts? Do you suppose
BHG: Moving to Franklin Square area
Parsons–McKenna Construction Co. to tear down an existing structure on the property. Bids for a new 19,000-square-foot, one-story building with mezzanine are expected soon with occupancy anticipated in the first half of 2013. The new structure will initially house about 55 employees, with plenty of room for additional staff. Crawford says the decision to expand in Syracuse “… is based on the fact that expansion in Florida would cost four times the cost of expanding in Syracuse.” On May 15, the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency approved tax exemptions related to the project that will save BHG nearly $95,000 on sales taxes on construction materials, furnishings and fixtures, as well as mortgage-recording taxes, according to a story on Syracuse.com.
Continued from page 6
banks such as Oneida Savings Bank, Beacon Federal, Generations Bank (formerly called Seneca Falls Savings), and Adirondack Bank. Fund-Ex generated $30 million in 2011, and Crawford projects “… revenues in 2012 of at least $50 million.” Crawford goes on to say, “we have done no marketing yet of Fund-Ex but already receive 650 applications each month.” Fund-Ex currently employs 14. Crawford and the Castro brothers also own a company called BHG Commercial Credit, which is not affiliated with the healthcare field. The company handles invoice fac-
toring, international-trade finance, and other non-health-care activities. BHG Commercial Credit works with exporters with the requirement that all transactions be part of a government-backed program. While current revenues for this company are under $1 million, the three stockholders are focusing their attention on the growth potential
Crawford anticipates rapid continued growth, especially in the credit card and FundEx programs. To deal with the growth, BHG recently bought property on Solar Street in Syracuse’s Franklin Square area and retained
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their generosity springs from a belief in the goodness of the candidates? Nah. They want something. They want laws that favor their businesses. They want contracts. They want loans and grants. It is no accident that most of the green loans of the last few years went to guys who contributed big time to the president’s last campaign. When they contributed, these birds knew what they were doing. They were going for the gold. We go for more than just the gold. Many times, I have seen millionaires at conferences push and shove to collect free t-shirts. They demand extra bars of hotel soap to pop into their Gucci suitcases. The way they covet them, you would think they were bars of gold. From Tom...as in Morgan. Tom Morgan writes about financial and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and new TV show. For more information about him, visit his website at www.tomasinmorgan.com
With $44 million in reserves, $61 million in assets, and no debt on the balance sheet, BHG plans to grow aggressively. “The future looks good,” says Crawford, “with plenty of [medical] professionals who still want their own practice and with the demand for expanding rural hospitals.” Michelle Crawford says the company has “… no trouble attracting phenomenal, young talent,” especially with the number of colleges and universities in the area. Finding experienced employees is more of challenge and requires a national search. BHG has been nominated in 2012 by Ernst & Young for the accounting firm’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.
Contact Poltenson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Central New York Business Journal • 9
May 18, 2012
OSWEGO: The work ongoing now is the culmination of years of planning Continued from page 1
Bergmann Associates of Rochester designed the structure. It will improve the flow between the buildings, previously connected by a skyway, according to SUNY Oswego. The work on Park Hall will include a complete overhaul. The building will get a new roof, mechanical systems, sprinkler system, and windows. New facilities like a webinar room and computer lab will also be added. New classrooms and offices are on tap as well. Park Hall opened in 1932, just 19 years after the campus’s first building, Sheldon Hall. The work at Park Hall overlaps with the completion of a 13,700-square-foot, $5.8 million addition to Wilber Hall that will house new laboratories for technology education and the School of Education’s field placement office. That addition will open in August. PAC & Associates, Inc. of Oswego, already general contractor for some other projects on campus, will also handle the School of Education project. In addition, work continues on one of the biggest pieces of SUNY Oswego’s development plan, a $118 million project involving renovation to the campus’ Piez Hall and a 150,000-square-foot addition that will house the university’s sciences and mathematics
photo courtesy of suny oswego
Construction is under way at the new planetarium designed for SUNY Oswego, which will be placed in the Science and Engineering Innovation Corridor, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013. programs. The building remains on track for opening in the fall of 2013, says Thomas Simmonds, associate vice president for facilities at the university. Work is also under way on a $10 million project to improve the exterior of Sheldon
Hall. New windows, brickwork, and replacement of terra cotta molding are planned for the summer, according to SUNY Oswego. Roofing and improvement of the front entrance will also take place in the coming months.
The work ongoing now is the culmination of years of planning, Simmonds says. About $200 million in funding for the projects came from the state. The remainder, which went to earlier work on residential buildings, came from residence-hall fees, Simmonds says. The school is also planning to replace its Rice Creek Field Station with a new structure. The former station, a 1960s-era wood structure will be replaced in a $5 million project, Simmonds says. The station is used for biological sciences research and teaching. SUNY Oswego is also renovating Romney Field House, the former site of its ice-hockey arena in a $2 million project. The hockey facilities moved to a new location in 2006 and the old field house will receive a new four-lane running track, a multipurpose field, and new heating and lighting. Once the current expansion plan wraps up in 2013, there is still more to do, Simmonds says. Campus leaders are already planning projects including a new home for its School of Communications Media and the Arts and a new regional information resource center that would involve Oswego’s Penfield Library. q Contact Tampone at email@example.com
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• The Central New York Business Journal
May 18, 2012
TOP RANKS: MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PROGRAMS Ranked by 2011-2012 MBA Program Enrollment
Name Address Phone Website
2011-2012 MBA Program Enrollment
2011-2012 MBA Tuition Per Credit Hour — Credit Hours to Complete MBA
Types of MBAs Offered
Distance Student to Learning Faculty Ratio Available?
Total School Full-Time Enrollment
MBA Program Director
$1,206 — 54
full-time MBA with focus in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, management, and supply-chain management; iMBA- a limited-residency online MBA program for working professionals
Donald E. Harter, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs
$1,679 — 60
two-year MBA; accelerated MBA; Johnson executive MBA; Cornell-Queens executive MBA. Dual degrees: BS/MBA, BS/MEng/MBA, JD/MBA, MA/MBA, MILR/MBA, MD/MBA, and MBA/MPS
L. Joseph Thomas, Dean
Columbia College 6001 E. Molloy Road Syracuse, NY 13211 (315) 455-0690 www.ccis.edu/syracuse
$315 — 36
Scott Vinciguerra, Director of Columbia College
SUNYIT 100 Seymour Road Utica, NY 13502 (315) 792-7347 www.mba.sunyit.edu
$425 — 48
technology management, health-services management
Robert Yeh, Department Chair
Le Moyne College MBA 1419 Salt Springs Road Syracuse, NY 13214 (315) 445-4786 www.lemoyne.edu/mba
$681 — 51
George Kulick, Associate Dean, Madden School of Business
SUNY Oswego MBA 7060 State Route 104 Oswego, NY 13126 (315) 312-2911 www.oswego.edu/mba
$425 — 36 to 57 (if foundation courses are needed)
MBA - management; online MBA; public accounting; five-year combined degree in accounting (BS/MBA); five-year combined degree in psychology (BA/MBA)
Tammie Hunter Sullivan, Program Director
$425 resident $694 non-resident — 69 for full-time, foursemester MBA
full-time MBA; Fast-Track MBA; Harpur FastTrack MBA; Watson Fast-Track MBA; fasttrack professional MBA (Manhattan); executive MBA (Manhattan); executive MBA (Binghamton) corporate track w/ optional healthcare track
George Bobinski, Associate Dean
Utica College MBA Programs 1600 Burrstone Road Utica, NY 13502 (315) 792-3111 www.utica.edu
$855 — 30
professional accountancy MBA; economic crime and fraud management MBA
Herbert E. Rau, Program Director
Clarkson University Graduate Business Program 8 Clarkson Ave., Box 5770 Potsdam, NY 13699 (315) 268-6613 www.clarkson.edu/business/graduate
$1,259 — 38
general MBA; MBA - global supply-chain management; MBA - innovation & newventure management; MBA - environmental management; MBA - accounting; online MBA
Michael Walsh, Director, Graduate Enrollment & Student Affairs
Ithaca College MBA 953 Danby Road Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 274-3197 www.ithaca.edu/gps/gradprograms/programsites/mba
$783 — 36
business administration, professional accountancy
Joanne Burress, Program Director
Syracuse University, The Whitman School of
Cornell University, Samuel Curtis Johnson
Management MBA Program 721 University Ave., Suite 315 Syracuse, NY 13244 (315) 443-9215 whitman.syr.edu/MBA Graduate School of Management Sage Hall Ithaca, NY 14853-6201 (607) 255-4660 www.johnson.cornell.edu
Master of Business Administration P.O. Box 6000 Binghamton, NY 13902-6000 (607) 777-2317 http://www2.binghamton.edu/som
Information was provided by representatives of listed organizations and their websites. Other groups may have been eligible but did not respond to our requests for information. While The Business Journal strives to print accurate information, it is not possible to independently verify all data submitted.
RESEARCH BY NICOLE COLLINS 05/12 firstname.lastname@example.org
MANUFACTURING: Selling prices haven’t gone up as quickly, manufacturers said Continued from page 4
employees index shed 15.7 points to 12.1. Meanwhile, the future average employeeworkweek index dipped 2.4 points to 8.4. Staffing is becoming more difficult for manufacturers, according to Trachtenberg. “The skills available and the skills required just don’t seem to match each other,” he says. “Getting unskilled workers is not a problem at all. But getting math skills and engineering skills is getting very competitive.” Planned capital expenditures took a hit as well. The future capital-expenditures index descended 12.1 points to 19.3. And
the future technology-spending index declined 6 points to 12.1. “That has to do with the uncertainty of the economy,” Trachtenberg says. “A lot of companies right now are doing well, but they’re nervous about the future, so they’re holding back on some of their high-tech investments.”
Year-to-year price changes
This month, the New York Fed asked survey respondents to compare prices on a yearly basis. Manufacturers reported that the prices they pay have increased by an average of 3.6 percent in the last 12 months. That’s
lower than the increases they reported in May 2011, when they said prices had climbed an average of 8.1 percent in the previous 12 months. Prices will likely continue to rise at the same rate in the next year, according to the survey. Manufacturers predicted the prices they pay will rise an average of 3.5 points in the next 12 months — down from an average 5.6 percent increase they predicted in May 2011. Selling prices haven’t gone up as quickly, manufacturers said. They reported their average selling prices have increased by an average of 1.7 percent over the last 12
months, down from a 1.9 percent average reported in May of last year. Manufacturers also said they expect their selling prices to jump 2.1 percent, on average, in the next 12 months. That’s lower than the predictions they made in May 2011, when they said their prices would probably rise 3.6 percent. The New York Fed polls a set pool of about 200 New York manufacturing executives for the monthly survey. About 100 executives typically respond, and the Fed seasonally adjusts data. q Contact Seltzer at email@example.com
The Central New York Business Journal • 11
May 18, 2012
Tax Filing FollowThrough A
t the risk of sounding like a CPA, I advise you not to fall into the trap of complacency now that the April tax deadline is behind you. Your attention is still needed. Whether you are looking to next year, or still gathering data from the past year, there are important points to consider. Filing your tax return is a complex business and you should make every effort to take all the deductions to which you are entitled, but remember that documentation
is absolutely essential to upholding those deductions should your return be reviewed by a taxing authority. The IRS is highly focused on preventing fraud, which is on the rise, and has implemented several methods to weed out the bad apples. IRS comACCOUNTABILITY puters detect potential fraud by comparing many items in each return to certain “standards.” If your data falls outside of the parameters, it increases your chances of being audited. The “red flags” are what one might expect — self-employed workers filing Schedule C, artificially low salaries, unreported income, and exceedingly high charitable-contribution deductions, high levels of income, and home-office deductions are
tops on the list. Some taxpayers have been said to be banking on the idea that a smaller budget and fewer employees at the IRS would result in fewer audits this year. To a quality-minded CPA, this sounds a bit like roulette, and not a great overall approach. I can’t help but think that a smaller number of audits means a drop in federal revenue, and fewer IRS employees translates into less help for taxpayers seeking assistance. And what about controlling identity theft and complex changes in tax law? Doesn’t it stand to reason that if all the non-filers and dishonest filers paid their dues, perhaps tax rates could be lowered for everyone? If you have already completed filing your return and believe there was an error, you could file an amended return to reflect the correction and stop the clock running on certain additional charges. If you are one of the procrastinators or have a complex tax situation that needs to be attended to, do
so now. By waiting to pay tax balances due, additional charges for interest and penalties can add up quickly. If you’re flirting with the idea of not turning in your taxes at all, you may want to think again before using what the IRS considers to be “frivolous” tax-evasion arguments, like claiming that tax forms are an invasion of your privacy or that your state isn’t technically part of the United States. The IRS does not find these amusing, and you could end up going to court and being slapped with significant penalties. Want my advice? Buckle down and get the filing beast behind you to ensure you have covered all your bases from a deductions perspective and that all income is properly reported to your CPA. q Gail Kinsella is a partner in the accounting firm of Testone, Marshall & Discenza, LLP, and serves as the president of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Contact Kinsella at firstname.lastname@example.org
GROWTH: Currently, 20 percent of the company’s sales are in Canada Continued from page 1
kets we serve are different.” American Granby distributes pump, well, pool, spa, irrigation, plumbing, and heating components. The Canadian companies manufacture and distribute products for use in plumbing systems as well as heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Their main member is CB Supplies Ltd., which handles distribution in Canada. Other members are Seymour Industries Ltd., the group’s U.S. distribution arm, Vanguard Pipe and Fittings Ltd., a plastic piping manufacturer, Canfit Industries Ltd., which makes plastic fittings, and Canip Industries Ltd., a producer of metal nipples — pipes with threading on both ends. Palley declined to disclose the financial terms of the companies’ acquisition. The acquired firms’ former owners decided to sell primarily because they were growing older, he says. American Granby will use CB Supplies’ distribution network in Canada to expand its sales in that country, according to Palley. In addition to its headquarters in British Columbia, CB Supplies has warehouse space in Calgary, Alberta, in Montreal, and in Mississauga, Ontario, near Toronto, he says. American Granby’s only current Canadian distribution location is a small warehouse operation in Toronto, Palley says. That warehouse, which has about five employees, will merge with the Mississauga warehouse, he says. “What it basically allows for is movement from one distribution center to four,” Palley says. “We’ll make American Granby products available through the entire CB Supplies network.” Plans for distributing the Canadian companies’ products in the United States are not as firm. Their U.S. distribution arm, Seymour Industries, does not have a physical presence in the country, Palley says. Instead, it coordinates distribution through sales and stocking representatives and ships directly to wholesalers, he says. Seymour Industries could be merged into American Granby, according to Palley.
But no discussions about a merger have taken place yet, he says. “It’s all in the works right now in terms of making those decisions,” he says. “Within the next six to 12 months, a lot of these decisions will be made.”
Palley doesn’t anticipate American Granby moving from its current headquarters at 7652 Morgan Road in Clay. That building, which the company owns, is about 100,000 square feet. He also does not believe there will be any changes in American Granby’s staffing levels. The company employs 45 workers at its headquarters and has seven people on the road in sales. “I doubt seriously you’ll see any headcount change in the United States,” Palley says. “We can handle more with the existing personnel that we have. We’ve made a commitment to the [Clay] location.” Palley declined to disclose revenue totals for American Granby. He projects revenue growth between 5 percent and 7 percent in 2012, up from growth between 3 percent and 4 percent in 2011. However, the 2012 growth projections do not take into account distribution opportunities coming from American Granby’s new sister companies. The firm does not yet have projections that include the potential for increased Canadian distribution, Palley says. About 80 percent of American Granby’s sales are in the United States, he says. The remaining 20 percent are in Canada. CB Supplies has a similar sales ratio — except most of its sales are in Canada, according to Warren Lowe, the firm’s vice president of corporate development. About 80 percent of CB Supplies’ sales are in Canada, and 20 percent are in the United States, says Warren Lowe, who is also John Lowe’s son. The five recently acquired Canadian companies employ a total of about 100 people, Warren Lowe says. He declined to share revenue totals or growth projections for the firms. But he did say that he expects CB Supplies’ U.S. sales to grow while American Granby’s Canadian sales expand.
“We think they will be able to sell to each other’s customers and distribute each other’s products,” Warren Lowe says. “Between American Granby and CB Supplies, we have some of the same customers. We’re just excited about the opportunity to be able to grow on both sides
of the border.” John Lowe also owns MonarchMcLaren, Ltd., based in Elkhorn, Wis. That firm manufactures industrial leather seals. q Contact Seltzer at email@example.com
• The Central New York Business Journal
May 18, 2012
May 18, 2012
The Central New York Business Journal • 13
BUSINESS CYBER FRAUD: INTERNAL THREAT Thursday, May 3, 2012 • Crowne Plaza Syracuse
Top: Moderator Matt Mulcahy, Anchor and Managing Editor of NBC 3 News and the CW 6 News at 10:00. Second Down: Speaker Carl Cadregari, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management Division, The Bonadio Group Third Down: Speaker Jim Stoddard, Senior Vice President, Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc. Bottom: Speaker Thomas Katona, Founder and Partner, Agentic Insurance LLC
THANK YOU TO THE 2012 BUSINESS CYBER FRAUD: INTERNAL THREAT SPONSORS, SPEAKERS, AND PANELISTS!
Top: Panelist Julie Myers, Chief Information Security Officer, University of Rochester Second Down: Panelist Adam Jester, Senior Network/Server Analyst, Cutco Corporation
Sponsored by: Media Sponsors:
Third Down: Panelist Mark T. Park, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Syracuse, NY Bottom: Panelist Denise L. McNitt-Lanning, First Vice President, Treasury Management Divisional Manager, First Niagara Bank
• The Central New York Business Journal
May 18, 2012
CURRIER: The company is predicting 15 percent revenue growth in 2012 Continued from page 2
The manufacturer will use the $750,000 state grant to help pay for the project, along with private financing from First Niagara Bank. It is also in line to receive $1 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. That’s because Currier Plastics expects to hire more workers as a result of the expansion. The company currently employs 100 people full time and 20 temporary workers. It plans to add 50 more full-time
employees over the course of three years, according to Currier. “We’re pretty maxed out right now,” he says. “Our guys have done a really good job of finding new work, securing it, and, most importantly, doing a lot of growth with our existing customers.” The Currier Plastics project may also receive some funding through the city of Auburn. In addition to working on a local incentive package, the city applied for $1 million in Economic Transformation Program funding from the state to put toward the project. Currier Plastics does
not yet know if it will receive that funding, Currier says. “We’re working with the city right now,” he says. “We are holding out hope for that.” The manufacturer has not yet selected a general contractor or architect for the expansion project. It is currently bidding the project, Currier says. Currier Plastics generated $24 million in revenue in 2011, up 17 percent from the prior year, Currier says. The company is predicting 15 percent revenue growth in 2012, a rate it is on pace to meet through the first quarter of the year, he adds.
Why are these people celebrating?
Currier Plastics generated $24 million in revenue in 2011, up 17 percent from the prior year Before receiving the latest $750,000 in state funding, Currier Plastics looked at potential relocation sites in Central New York and in other states. The company also purchased new equipment for its Auburn headquarters to keep up with demand. In April, it spent $1.75 million to purchase three extrusion blow-molding machines. Currier Plastics used its own cash and financing from First Niagara to pay for that equipment. John Currier is the son of Raymond Currier, who founded the manufacturer in 1982. q Contact Seltzer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Intertek to use $4.2M grant from NYSERDA to fund alternative-energy testing sites at Clarkson By Journal Staff
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POTSDAM — Intertek will use a $4.2 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to establish testing labs for solar and wind-power equipment at Clarkson University. Intertek provides testing and quality assurance services to a range of industries. The firm employs more than 30,000 people around the world. In addition to the labs, the company will partner with AWS TruePower of Albany, Rochester Institute of Technology, Alfred State College, Clarkson, and Binghamton University. The group will lead the Center for Evaluation of Clean Energy Technology, which will seek to give manufacturers of clean-energy technology access to testing equipment and expertise. “Wind and solar power are two energy resources in New York state’s diverse portfolio that help the state reach its renewable energy goals. NYSERDA is proud to support this exciting project, which will improve our understanding of how renewable energy technology performs in real-world situations,” NYSERDA President and CEO Francis Murray said in a news release. “There also is a market need for industry standards, and these sites will encourage innovation, accelerate commercialization and help drive down the cost of the equipment.” q
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May 18, 2012
The Central New York Business Journal • 15
Employee Benefits SPECIAL REPORT
human resources & job placement
Seminar: Uncertainty remains regarding health-care reform By Rick Seltzer Journal Staff
SYRACUSE — Employers have plenty of changes to keep track of this year due to the 2010 federal health-care reform law, even though it faces an uncertain future, according to speakers at a health-care seminar May 11 in Syracuse. “Two years into it, we’re still left with a lot of uncertainty and a lot of court challenges,” says Maureen Pelose, vice president for employee benefits at insurance brokerage firm Brown & Brown Empire State. “It’s going to be a challenge for health plans and employers.” Brown & Brown Empire State, which has its Syracuse office in Suite 200 at 500 Plum St., held the seminar at the Genesee Grande Hotel at 1060 E. Genesee St. in Syracuse. About 90 people attended the seminar, which was titled, “Health Care Reform — What it Means to You and Your Business.” The federal reform law faces an uncertain future, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on its constitutionality in March. The court is expected to issue a decision in June that will either keep the law in place, invalidate parts of it, or throw out all of it. Elections in 2012 add another layer of uncertainty to the law’s future — Republicans have signaled they want to unravel at least part of the reform package if they win more power in Washington, D.C. this fall, Pelose said. Even so, Pelose briefed employers on issues that are arising as the law’s reforms roll out. One of those changes has to do with the W-2 forms employers issue to their workers. Forms that large employers distribute for 2012 will have to include the aggregate cost of most employer-sponsored health benefits. “This only applies if you’re filing a W-2 for 250 of your employees,” Pelose said. “If you’re under that amount, you’re excused from that filing for the 2012 deadline.” Employers should also know about Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) documents, Pelose said. Insurers have to
rick Seltzer/THE CENTRAL NEW YORK BUSINESS JOURNAL
Maureen Pelose, vice president for employee benefits at Brown & Brown Empire State, speaking at the health-care seminar held May 11 in Syracuse. start providing SBCs, which present information about insurance plans in a standard format, for employees in new and renewing plans starting Sept. 23. Some tax changes are on the way as well, Pelose said. Starting in 2013, the Medicare hospital-insurance payroll tax for employees is slated to rise for single taxpayers with wages exceeding $200,000 and married taxpayers with wages over $250,000. The rate is currently 2.9 percent, and the new tax will tack on an additional 0.9 percent. Fully insured and self-funded plans ending after Sept. 30, 2012, will also be subject to a premium tax, according to Brown & Brown. That tax is $1 per covered life for the first year and jumps to $2 per covered life for later years. Additionally, Pelose mentioned an excise tax on high-value “Cadillac” health plans that is scheduled to take effect in 2018. The tax, which will be 40 percent, is supposed to kick in on single plans with an aggregate value
over $10,200 and family plans with an aggregate value of more than $27,500. Although few plans have that value today, price increases could make the “Cadillac” tax a possibility for more plans by the time it takes effect, Pelose said. “It’s not something that we should just brush off,” she said. “We’re watching it.” Looking further ahead, 2014 will bring an employer mandate requiring companies with more than 50 full-time workers to offer health insurance or risk paying a penalty, Pelose added. The penalty, which is $2,000 per full-time employee per year, will be levied if an employee who wasn’t offered health insurance through work purchases insurance on New York State’s planned individual health-insurance exchange — and that employee is eligible for an incomebased premium credit. The insurance exchange is another part of the health-care reform package that should be on employers’ minds, Pelose said. In
addition to an exchange where individuals can purchase insurance, there will be an exchange that is a place for small businesses to shop for coverage for their employees, she said. The exchanges will be web-based, according to Todd Muscatello, senior vice president of Rochester–based Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, who also spoke at the seminar. “Has everyone used Expedia?” he said. “At its highest level, that’s what an exchange is. It’s a website where you will be able to go as an individual or a small employer and compare health-insurance options.” The exchange will likely increase the number of health insurers a small business must interact with, Muscatello said. That’s because employers who use exchanges to offer their workers insurance won’t select a specific insurer. Instead, they will pick a benefit level and employees will be able to log on to the exchange and choose between insurance companies offering plans at that level, he said. “In today’s world, as a small employer, you likely offer only one product, maybe two, but usually with the same company,” Muscatello said. “In tomorrow’s world, that would likely not be the case.” Muscatello recommended staying tuned as New York constructs its health exchange. The state is only starting to build the exchange, since Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered its implementation in April, he added. “We’re still a little bit away from understanding how this is really going to work,” Muscatello said. “As you go forward, the best you can do is stay abreast of it. It’s going to impact you in some way.” Brown & Brown Empire State is a fullservice insurance brokerage firm that also specializes in employee benefits, estate planning, and surety bonding. In addition to Syracuse, it also has offices in Endicott and Clifton Park. It is a unit of Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE: BRO), headquartered in Florida. q Contact Seltzer at email@example.com
MVP expands self-funded insurance offerings to mid-sized businesses By Rick Seltzer Journal Staff
VP Health Care, Inc. has seen plenty of interest after launch ing a self-funded insurance option for mid-sized businesses, according to the Schenectady–based insurer’s vice president of corporate affairs. The mid-sized self-funded insurance option, which MVP launched in March under the name SelectSuite, targets companies
with between 51 employees and 149 employees. MVP hadn’t previously offered a self-funded product for companies of that size, although it had helped larger firms self-fund, according to Frank Fanshawe, vice president of corporate affairs at the not-for-profit MVP. “A lot of businesses are talking about this,” Fanshawe says. “There is significant interest in the market.” Companies that self-fund their workers’ health insurance pay directly for employees’
covered claims. They typically contract for administrative services like customer service, claims processing, and network management. MVP will be providing those services under SelectSuite. Fanshawe Mid-sized employers in Central New York and upstate New York wanted the option to
self-fund, Fanshawe says. “There’s certainly been a demand for this type of product,” he says. “We’re responding to the market demand.” It’s too early to share the number of companies that have expressed interest in SelectSuite, Fanshawe says. MVP is focusing on trying to teach companies about the benefits of self-insuring — benefits that can include lower costs, he adds. See MVP, page 23
of geographic regions, employee income levels, high-deductible plan characteristics, and proportion of employees enrolled in consumerEMPLOYEE directed BENEFITS & HR/JOB plans. ThirtyPLACEMENT of the fifty-nine firms offered a consumer-directed plan at some point
• The Central New York Business Journal
rolled in consumer-directed plans and those in traditional plans in terms of family-level cost and service use. May in 18,this 2012article in Health care costs reported cluded all covered expenses, both plan expens and out-of-pocket expense. Additional detail are available in the online Technical Appendix.
Study: CDHP growth could save $57.1 billion per year Exhibit 1
BY RICK SELTZER JOURNAL STAFF
nrollment growth in consumerdirected health plans (CDHP) could trim national health-care spending for the non-elderly by $57.1 billion per year, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation. Those savings would come if CDHPs grew to account for half of all employersponsored health-insurance plans in the country, according to the study, which was published in the May edition of the journal Health Affairs. CDHPs made up 12.4 percent of employer-sponsored plans in 2010, the study’s baseline. It’s not out of the question for half of the country’s employer-sponsored plans to be CDHPs one day, according to Amelia Haviland, an associate professor of statistics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University and an adjunct senior statistician at the RAND Corporation who was the study’s lead author. “A little bit more than half of [surveyed employers] are offering these CDHP types of plans,” she says. “We had a good distribution of enrollment rates across our employers. There were plenty that had 50 percent enrolling, 40 percent enrolling.” The $57.1 billion cost-savings estimate would represent a 4.2 percent spending decrease for the entire non-elderly population, including those who are not insured through their employers. It would be a
Savings From Growth In Consumer-Directed Health Plans To Half Of All Employer-Sponsored Insurance Percentage change in spending for: Mix of HRA/HSA 50%/50% 100% HRA 100% HSA
Savings (billions of 2010 dollars) 57.1 41.1 73.6
Nonelderly in Non-elderly in employer employer plan −7.1 −5.1 −9.1
Total Total non-elderly nonelderly −4.2 −3.0 −5.4
CHART COURTESY OF THE RAND CORPORATION
SOURCE Authors’ analysis. NOTES Assuming growth in employer-sponsored insurance to 50 percent of the nonelderly population. For estimates of cost savings, see Note 7 in text. Nonelderly heath care 7.1spending percentperdecrease for the population in you typically forfeit money if you leave the person trended to 2010. See Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Total employer-sponsored health plans. employer,” says. “There’s a different personal health care spending, by age group, calendar years, she 1987, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2004 CDHPs are high-deductible health plans kind of incentive to save with an HSA. If [Internet]. Baltimore (MD): CMS; [cited 2012 Apr 10]. Available from: https://www.cms.gov/ coupled with tax-exempt personal-health employees change the balance NationalHealthExpendData/downloads/2004-age-tables.pdf. Number of jobs, nonelderly peoplemoves and accounts health-reimbursement with them.” number inlike employer-sponsored insurance arfrom Fronstin P. Sources of health insurance and characteristics of the Washington Benefit Research Institute; rangements (HRA) and uninsured. health savings ac- (DC): TheEmployee CDHP savings would come from 2010 Sep. (EBRI Issue Brief No. 347). HRA is health reimbursement arrangement. HSAand is health counts (HSA). patients using less health care spendsavings account.study’s estimated $57.1 bilThe RAND ing less when they do seek care, the study
lion savings assumes half of high-deductible paired with an HSAMay and half 2 plans are Health A ffairs 2012 are paired with an HRA. But the projected savings would be slightly higher if more employers paired plans with HSAs, according to the study. If 100 percent of high-deductible plans were combined with HSAs, health-care spending would drop by $73.6 billion, the study found. If all plans were paired with HRAs, savings would be $41.1 billion. That’s because employees seem to have more incentive to cut spending with HSAs, according to Haviland. “HRAs are owned by employers, but
found. About two-thirds of estimated savings 31:5would result from fewer episodes of care, and one-third would come from lower spending per occurrence. The lower spending per incident is a result of patients using fewer brand-name drugs, visiting specialists less, and going to the hospital less often than patients in traditional health plans. It also comes from patients undergoing fewer preventive services — something that the study authors found concerning. “We picked out different kinds of preventive care we don’t want to go down,” Haviland says. “All of them went down.
Straight to the Point When administering employee benefits, staying current with legislative and regulatory changes is tough enough, without also having to struggle with vague guidance and ineffective solutions. At Bond, we strive to clarify your legal challenges and help you manage your fiduciary risks, with attorneys who listen and provide clear, sensible pathways to your goals. General Services
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Serving Clients’ Legal Needs Throughout New York and Beyond Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
They didn’t go down a lot — 3 to 5 percent-
age points — but they went in the wrong Study Results
Ifdirection.” enrollment in consumer-directed plans were t For example, preventive care forofcerviincrease from the 2010 baseline 12.4 percen cal cancer for females over age 20 dropped to4.7 50.0 percent of the employer-sponsored non percent in CDHPs, the study found. elderly population, the national savings in Preventive care for colorectal cancer for health would total $57.1 billion adultscare over expenditures age 50 fell 2.8 percent. That’s (Exhibit troubling 1). because many types of based on annually This estimate was preventive care can actually cost reductions in the firstsave yearmoney of consumer in the long runenrollment by helping patients directed plan and didavoid not assum expensive problems in the future, Haviland any reduction in cost trends for these enrollees says. Savings of we thiswould magnitude would account fo “It means have a short-term 7 drop percent of all but health care spending for the pop in costs, it wouldn’t be sustainable,” she “We could see costsinsurance rise ulation withsays. employer-sponsored an the line.” 4 down percent for the nonelderly population as The These dip in estimates preventive-care usethat comes whole. assume half of con despite the fact that CDHPs sometimes pay sumer-directed enrollees would remain in health for such services — even if patients have reimbursement arrangements and half in not reached their deductibles. Consumers health need to be made more aware of which preventive services their plans cover free of out-of-pocket costs, the study suggested. “These plans are placing all of the responsibility for making care choices on your employees, and they need help with making those decisions,” Haviland says. “If employers are going to offer these plans, they have increased responsibilities to help their employees understand these plans and to engage insurance companies about providing top-notch cost and quality information to their employees.” The 2010 federal health-care reform law is likely to encourage future growth in CDHPs, the study said. They are relatively inexpensive, allowing employers to avoid penalties that will be levied against firms that do not offer low-cost health insurance. And they typically include comprehensive benefits the act requires. The RAND Corporation study examined claims from 59 large employers across the United States from 2003 to 2007. Researchers cannot disclose companies that participated in the study, but they included automobile manufacturers, telecommunications providers, consulting firms, retailers, and businesses in the food industry, Haviland says. The RAND Corporation is a Santa Monica, Calif.–based nonprofit organization that aims to improve policy by providing research and analysis. Its CDHP study was funded by the California HealthCare Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Contact Seltzer at firstname.lastname@example.org
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May 18, 2012
The Central New York Business Journal • 17
Hebert brings ‘crazy, fun’ style to workplace training BY RICK SELTZER JOURNAL STAFF
LYSANDER — An energetic instructor can make any topic interesting, from customer service to sales, according to Joan Hebert. “If you ever stand up and say, ‘I know this is dull and I know this is not fun,’ you’ve just shot yourself in the foot,” says Hebert, the principal of Hebert Performance Training. “I’ve got a crazy, fun Hebert style, and people seem to relate to it.” Hebert’s company specializes in communications-related training for companies. That includes a range of topics, such as customer service, sales, leadership, team building, and presentation skills. When it comes to employees and their supervisors, Hebert takes a divide-andcommunicate approach. “I always separate the employees from the leaders,” she says. “I like to be close to the folks and have them be honest with me and open. They’re not going to do that with their boss in the room — they clam up.” While she may like to train workers separately from their supervisors, Hebert also makes sure she works with those bosses. For example, she focuses on three types of information when instructing supervisors
Whitman School’s Stith joins Aflac board BY JOURNAL STAFF
SYRACUSE — The dean of Syracuse University’s management school is now a member of the board of directors at Aflac, Inc., a Fortune 500 company based in Columbus, Ga. SU announced Melvin Stith’s appointment to the Aflac board May 14. His term began May 7. Stith is dean of the university’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Aflac provides insurance to more than 50 million people around the world. Stith has previously Stith served on the boards of GMAC, Florida Endowment Fund, JM Family Enterprises Youth Automotive Training Center, Tallahassee State Bank, Correctional Services Corp., Corporate and Estate Analysis, Inc., Keebler Foods Co., Sprint/ United Telephone Florida, and Rexall Sundown, Inc. He has been dean at the Whitman School since 2005.
in customer service, she says. “One is a condensed version of what the employees received, so the supervisors know what to enforce,” she says. “The second is a mini-coaching skills training, and they practice with me one-on-one on giving feedback. And then the third piece of that leadership customer-service program is an organizational view, looking at all the facets of serving customers.” Hebert is Hebert Performance Training’s sole employee. She founded the company in 1997 and runs it from her home in Lysander. Major clients include Time Warner Cable, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Oneida Indian Nation, National Grid, the U.S. Department of Defense, Citizens Savings Bank, and New York State. Hebert trains employees on-site, meaning she travels around the country to locations including Albany, Chicago, and Denver. New clients can come from referrals and the company’s website, www.heberttraining.com, Hebert says. She also speaks at human-resources conferences and training confabs to drum up interest and find new clients, she adds. “You’ll speak somewhere, and you may not get the call for six months to two years,” she says. “There could be a very long lead time.” Hebert tries to customize training for different companies to meet clients’ needs. That can mean putting on training sessions in the middle of the night for third-shift
“I tell clients to tell me their dirty laundry,” Hebert says. “I have clients provide me with actual scenarios and issues their leaders run into, so we can actually talk their world, their issues, their terminology.” workers, Hebert says. It could also mean addressing certain issues specific to the client, she adds. “I tell clients to tell me their dirty laundry,” Hebert says. “I have clients provide me with actual scenarios and issues their leaders run into, so we can actually talk their world, their issues, their terminology.” Hebert declined to share revenue totals for Hebert Performance Training. But she projects revenue growth of 20 percent in 2012. Companies pulled back on training as the economy tightened in the last few years, according to Hebert. Now they’re starting to show interest again, although they often take extra time before finalizing a training contract, she says. “I would say from the fourth quarter of 2011 to now, I’m seeing a lot more places starting to pursue training,” she says. “There is still a very long lead time. A lot of places, they look at it and they sit on it.”
Hebert founded her company 15 years ago, after spending the first part of her career with AT&T. She began with the telecommunications company in 1981 as an operations technician, then moved into marketing and training in the mid-1980s, and officially focused on training starting in 1989. “Where I fell in love with training was at AT&T,” she says. “I did management-development training, and it kept me on the road pretty much coast to coast. I’d go to 10, 12 cities. I developed a lot of the management training.” While at AT&T, Hebert helped develop programs to teach collections and supervisory-management courses, which included technical skills and soft skills like coaching. At the end of 1993, she decided to take a leave from the company to earn a master’s degree from Syracuse University in organizational communication. Two years later, Hebert resumed her career at AT&T, where she remained until departing and starting her business in 1997. “The timing was good,” she says. “I was ready to do it. I very much enjoy training any topic. People always tell me, ‘Joan, your energy, you are so psyched.’ I tell them, ‘If you’re not excited about your material, employees certainly aren’t.’ ” Contact Seltzer at email@example.com
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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS & HR/JOB PLACEMENT
May 18, 2012
Yes, the soft skills still matter in our high-tech world R
ecruiting has become increasingly high-tech, between the Internet, social media, content-management systems, applicant-tracking systems, and now mobile recruiting. It’s easy to assume that candidates with technical savvy are the ones we want. But have VIEWPOINT we come to rely too much on technology and not enough on personality? If you want a successful hire, cultural fit often trumps technical skills. And those soft skills can really help you decide whether you’re bringing the right person on board. “Excellent interpersonal skills” may be the biggest cliché in every job post, but they’re crucial to the makeup of a good employee. So how do you identify them? 1. Written communication. Did the candidate include a well-written, carefully checked cover letter when applying? If
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not, ask him to write one. Or provide a short writing test, or ask for a writing sample from a previous position. Any communication he has outside your department or with clients will reflect on you and your company, so even in the age of texting and email, it’s important for employees to know how to express themselves professionally — and persuasively. 2. Listening. Active listening is a skill most people don’t practice, but it’s key to success in the workplace. While studies suggest we only remember between 25 percent and 50 percent of what we hear — and possibly even less when in a stressful situation, such as a job interview — you’ll want to see whether a candidate is able to respond to each part of a detailed question. If you notice that the candidate fails to answer at least key points, it’s a red flag. It suggests that the potential employee may not follow instructions, attend to clients’ inquiries, or be able to get the job done. 3. Maintaining a good attitude.
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Everyone is on their best behavior during an interview, so it can be tough to tell whether this person is usually moody, burned out, or unmotivated. Make sure you ask a candidate’s personal and professional references about their usual personality. And, with permission from your legal department, check out their online persona. If this person is constantly complaining or negative on Facebook or Twitter, chances are he’ll be the same way in your office. We spend one-third of our lives with co-workers, so it’s understandable that a bad mood might show from time to time. But the key phrase there is “from time to time.” 4. Critical thinking. Critical thinking is defined as “disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence.” Most of us can’t assess this in an interview, so this is where pre-employment testing comes into play. Not skills tests — there are specific types of tests, such as the famous Wonderlic series, that are designed to test problem-solving abili-
ties. Establish a baseline for yourself by having your current top employees take the tests, then assess candidates’ scores against theirs. 5. Teamwork and collaboration. Just about all candidates claim on their résumé that they’re a team player. There are two easy ways to find out whether this is true. When interviewing, present candidates with some behavioral-based questions that focus on their ability to work well with others. During the reference check, be sure to ask whether this person was ever the weak link or a divisive force in his department. With all of the pressures in today’s staffing and recruiting industry, it has become more important than ever to find the right person the first time. And technology is great, but when all is said and done, it’s still the people skills that matter. This article was excerpted from the April 2012 issue of the “Staff Matters” e-newsletter, provided by and reprinted with the permission of Liverpool–based Contemporary Personnel Staffing, Inc. (CPS) and Professionals, Inc.
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May 18, 2012
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS & HR/JOB PLACEMENT
The Central New York Business Journal • 19
How to Exit Your Business When You’re the Franchise A
client and good friend asked me to write this article because he is living it. He also has a real desire to do something that will help other family and closely held business owners to cover all the bases they need to cover as they begin to think about moving to the next phase of their working life. My client/ friend, let’s call him George, has been facing, at various times and with various frequency, all the necessary THE BUSINESS tasks that must be EXIT PLANNING planned for and completed to enjoy ADVISOR a successful exit from his business. As we close in on the final three to five years before “pulling the pin,” he has reflected on all that has been accomplished, and what else needs to be done. I met George about nine years ago, when he was 56 years old. He was owner
of a successful sales agency. George had been working in the business for 30 years at that point and was beginning to reap some of the perks that come with ownership. He was beginning to think about how to more fully involve the next generation and what planning needed to be done to do that. They were beginning to look at their insurances and business agreements to make sure everything was up to snuff. But as most business owners end up doing, he dropped the ball because he was spending all his time working in the business rather than spending quality planning time on the business. Fast forward to today. George is still the owner of a successful sales agency, the next generation is still pretty much on the outside looking in after an average of 12 years apiece as employees. George has no idea what he’ll need financially to retire, what his business is worth, how to get the business to the next generation, or even if the next generation is qualified for ownership. He’s concerned about what he’ll do for health insurance, how he’ll replace the perks, what he’ll do with the real estate, and on and on. George is thrilled with the next generation’s work ethic and demonstrated
skills and abilities, but no one knows if they have the skill sets to own a business. As we began the exit-planning process to clarify all of the above and more, George was amazed at all the questions that have to be answered when he is “The Franchise.” Let’s take a look: Will vendors respect the next generation as owners? Will bankers be comfortable with the next generation? How will he retire without bankrupting the business? How can he replace the company car and expenses thereto? What about health, long-term care, and life insurance currently being paid through the business? What needs to be done to determine the next generation’s skill sets? Can we develop leaders or are they already there? Do we have a strategic plan that aligns and creates accountability throughout the organization? Will the next generation’s spouses be OK with having them put their signatures on the bottom line and maybe collateralizing their homes?
How do we integrate all the corporate and personal finances to make sure all these questions can be answered? Needless to say, George was overwhelmed. My initial advice was that you can eat an elephant — one bite at a time. We completed a retirement-needs analysis, the business is being valued by an expert in the industry, the next generation is undergoing executive assessment using industrystandard tools, the CPA has brought all the books up to today, and we are progressing — one bite at a time. The result of the process will be a business that succeeds to the third generation (part of that 15 percent that actually do) and will grow with great focus and enthusiasm. “The Franchise” will become an emeritus/ senior adviser, and the next generation of “The Franchise” will carry the ball. This time, however, all the planning will be kept up to date so that when we move this great company to the fourth generation it will be much easier to accomplish. Bruce Grieshaber is a senior consultant for Grenell Consulting Group, specializing solely on exit planning. Contact him at bruce@ grenell.com
Reach us on the Web www.bizeventz.com
June 1 & 2
Over 90 Vendors! Free Admission! Family Zone! 3 Stages of Non-Stop Music! including headliner...
Plus new this year Blues, Brews & BBQ stage! Presented by:
• The Central New York Business Journal
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IT Security Consulting and Training Consulting Services Security Audits, Vulnerability Assessment, Penetration Testing Computer Forensic Services Secure Web Site Design and Development Classes CISSP® Boot Camp & Security +® Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Engineer Secure Programming and SDLC Security Wireless Security, HIPAA Security, Linux Security
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The Central New York Business Journal • 21
May 18, 2012
Business Journal C e n t r a l
N e w
Y o r k
Volume 26, No. 20 - May 18, 2012 NEWS Editor-in-Chief........................Adam Rombel firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor..............Maria J. Carbonaro email@example.com Staff Writers........................... Kevin Tampone (Online Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org ..............................................................Rick Seltzer email@example.com ............................................................Traci DeLore firstname.lastname@example.org Columnists...........................Bruce Grieshaber Gail Kinsella Tom Morgan Production Manager.......................Erin Zehr email@example.com Research Manager.................. Nicole Collins firstname.lastname@example.org SALES Sr. Account Managers....................................... Bernard B. Bregman email@example.com Mary LaMacchia firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing .......................BBB Marketing Inc. CIRCULATION Circulation Management....(315) 579-3927 Administrative
A Time to Build. And the Winners are…
s I write this around noon on May 16, a crowd of about 250 has gathered to celebrate the “A Time to Build” awards at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool. The annual event recognizes all the skilled people it takes to complete a construction project in Central New York. In our May 11 issue of The Central New York Business Journal, we published a special section spotlighting all 22 finalists across eight categories. These are the innovative construction projects selected by a panel of four esteemed judges. So,
Business Manager.....................Kurt Bramer email@example.com
illingness to learn. Working well independently and as part of a team. Creative thinking. Effective writing, math, and problem-solving skills. Possessing a positive attitude and standing out. According to career consultant, columnist, and author Andrea Kay, these are the necessary skills that companies, large and small, most desire in their employees.
Highly skilled workers always in demand
Having worked in the private sector as president of Refractron Technologies, and as a co-founder of the North American Filter Corporation, I know that whether they are enjoying an economic boom, or weathering opinion an economic bust, employers have a constant need for highly skilled and highly motivated team members. Everything from excellent written and verbal communication to analytical problem-solving skills are important for anyone looking not only to keep their job, but also to grow and get ahead in this ultra-competitive economy.
brian m. kolb
The Central New York Business Journal (ISSN #1050-3005) is published every week by CNY Business Review, Inc. All contents copyrighted 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Cover Price $2 Subscription Rate $88 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 E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE: (315) 472-3104
Center Best Industrial Project: Fulton Thermal Expansion Best Institutional Project: SRC Arena & Event Center at OCC Best Preservation Project: NiMo Building Envelope Restoration Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. You can check out photos from the event in an upcoming issue. q Adam Rombel is editor-in-chief of The Central New York Business Journal. Contact him at arombel@ cnybj.com
adam rombel rombel on business
Building NY’s “Innovation Economy” Begins With Career Skills
Publisher..........................Norman Poltenson email@example.com Chief Operating Officer......Marny Nesher firstname.lastname@example.org
who won? For those of you who could not attend, here are the eight winners: Best Commercial Project: Island Health & Fitness, Community Corners Best Educational Project ($10M or less): OCC H1 Hall Building Renovation Best Educational Project (More than $10M): Milstein Hall Best Green Project: Centennial Hall at SUNY ESF Best Health-Care Facility: The Stardust Community Birthing
Building the “innovation economy” will create more jobs
The attributes listed above are more than just career-survival skills; they are the fundamental building blocks of what I like to call New York’s “innovation economy.” By innovation economy, I am referring to a new approach, a new way of thinking about how we view and do business in New York State. An innovation economy will empower New Yorkers to start a business, grow a business, and develop the real-world skill set they need to succeed in their chosen career, whether working as a teacher, computer technician, auto mechanic, or carpenter. More importantly, an innovation economy will empower the more than
700,000 New Yorkers who are out of work to not only find a job, but also develop a rewarding career. The innovation economy is: n Pro-growth, pro-entrepreneur, and rewards risk-takers; n Focused on growing small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups; n Emphasizes lifetime learning; n Values vocational training, places a premium on continued skills development; and, n Seeks to transform government from a command-and-control bureaucratic obstacle into a productive partner that actually helps job creators achieve their goals. Much like its name implies, innovation — the introduction of something new; be it a new method or a new way of thinking — is at the heart of the innovation economy. Building this innovation economy starts with education and involves new approaches to thinking about what we learn, and most importantly how we learn and how we apply that learning.
Core competencies to preserve America’s innovation edge
In a recent Forbes article (“Creating Innovators: Why America’s Education System Is Obsolete,” by Erica Swallow), Harvard Innovation Education Fellow Tony Wagner offered his perspective on maintaining America’s innovation edge based on two years of research and extensive interviews with recent college graduates, professors, as well as private and publicsector leaders. Wagner recommended transitioning from the current approach of filling children with knowledge through rote memorization of things like state capitals, and moving toward a new approach focused on motivating students and developing their innovation skills. To accomplish this, Wagner advocates a new education model that, recognizing the availability of and ease of access to information (via the Internet and ubiquitous smart phones), instead focuses on increasing the “skill and will” of students to think creatively and solve problems efficiently. Wagner out-
lined a set of core educational competencies that every student should have mastered prior to high-school graduation in order to continue our culture of innovation including critical thinking and problem solving; initiative and entrepreneurialism; accessing and analyzing information, and developing curiosity and imagination.
My smart solutions to build the innovation economy
New York’s schools and teachers are some of the best in the nation. Yet, as good as they are, I want them to be even better, so after establishing a strong base of the three “Rs” they develop the core innovation competencies Wagner outlined. My smart solutions include restructuring the State Board of Regents so it is accountable to the governor, and not New York’s educational bureaucracy. The state also needs to ensure that state-education aid increases go to high-needs districts and that all funding goes directly to the classroom and not administration. Promoting vocational skills — they should be renamed career skills — development so New York has the next generation of high-skilled electricians, carpenters, machinists, engineers, computer programmers, and automotive technicians is equally important. Students should know these careers are just as important — and, in some cases, more lucrative — than a traditional two or four-year college path. Fostering innovation, teaching children the basics, instructing them in applying their education, promoting lifetime learning and skills development — these educational cornerstones are the foundations for building New York’s innovation economy. q Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C–Canandaigua) is the New York Assembly Minority Leader and represents the 129th Assembly District, which encompasses parts of Ontario, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Cortland counties, and all of Seneca County. Contact him at (315) 7812030 or email@example.com
• The Central New York Business Journal
May 18, 2012 www.BizEventz.com
May 22 n 2012 CCMR Annual Symposium – Next-Generation Materials Characterization from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. will take place at the 120 Physical Sciences Building, Cornell University, Ithaca. For details and registration information, visit www.ccmr.cornell.edu/ symposium.
n Women TIES Northern New York Luncheon “Understanding the Sales Cycle” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at SUNY Canton, Roos House, Mezzanine Level, 34 Cornell Drive. Sponsored by SUNY Canton SBDC, the featured speaker will be Lynn Hidy, president of UpYourTeleSales.com. The cost is $29. Reservations are due by May 20. For details or reservations, visit www.womenties.com
marketing for business and how various technologies can help. For more information or to register, call (315) 470-1997, or visit www.CenterStateCEO.com
n Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at AMF Strike and Spare, Mattydale. The topic will be “Health Wellness, Fitness and Beauty Focus.” No cost to attend. For details, visit www.liverpoolchamber.com
n Maximize Your CenterState CEO Membership meeting from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at CenterStateCEO, 572 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Meet the CenterState CEO staff, connect with other members, promote your business, learn about educational opportunities, obtain information on programs and seminars, and sign up for committee participation. No cost to attend. Reservations are requested by calling (315) 470-1997, or visiting www. CenterStateCEO.com
n 3rd Annual North Country Technology Symposium & I.T. Expo from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Clarkson University in Potsdam. The event will feature more than 30 experts gathering to talk on a range of information-technology issues facing your business. The keynote presentation will be by Simon J. Anderson. A full-day pass costs $55 per person and includes continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments, and workshop materials. To register, visit http://www. co.st-lawrence.ny.us/NCTechSymposium/ NCTSRegister
May 24 n CPLP Information Session from noon to 1 p.m. at CenterState CEO headquarters, 572 S. Salina St., Syracuse. CNY ASTD will hold an informational session on the certified professional in learning & performance credential. For more information, call (315) 546-2783 or email: info@ cnyastd.org n The Alliance Think Tank event from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the Genesee Grande Hotel, 1060 East Genesee St., Syracuse. Presented by Chuck Bartlett and Tino Amodei, the event is designed for participants to “gain valuable, innovative, and fresh insights that can grow business immediately.” The Alliance brings together business executives from every industry to roundtable discussions for those seeking more clients and new ideas to grow their business. The event costs $45 at the door, or $40 if you pre-register. For more information, or to pre-register, visit www. formanalliance.com
May 29 n Getting Organized: Organize Your Work Space in 6 Steps workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. at Southside Innovation Center, 2610 S. Salina St., Syracuse. This free workshop discusses how to organize your workspace in six easy steps and create four operating zones. To register, email Regina Drumm at regina.drumm@ drumm-marketing.com
May 30 n Social Media, Marketing, and Technology Meet to Grow Your Business discussion from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at The Tech Garden, 235 Harrison St., Syracuse. The event will examine the benefits of social-media platforms and
June 7 n Credit Building for Entrepreneurs workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Southwest Economic Business Resource Center, 119 W. Onondaga St., Syracuse. This free workshop assists entrepreneurs with reviewing their credit scores and the understanding implications for them and their business. To register, email Regina Drumm at firstname.lastname@example.org n CenterState CEO Business Before Hours event from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the CNY Fertility Center, 195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse. Contact Lisa Metot at (315) 4701870 or email: lmetot@centerstateceo. com for additional information. n CNY BEST Learning and Performance Awards Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Syracuse, 6301 Route 298, East Syracuse. This is the fifth annual recognition of excellence in learning and performance practices in the CNY area. The cost is $65. For details or reservations, call (315) 546-2783 or email: email@example.com
june 12 n Build a Business: How to Turn Your Ideas into Realities workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Southwest Economic Business Resource Center, 119 W. Onondaga St., Syracuse. This free workshop assists entrepreneurs with developing ideas into feasible businesses. To register, email Regina Drumm at regina. firstname.lastname@example.org
june 14 n CNY ASTD Member Orientation from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Sandler Training/DB&B Peak Performance Management, 443 N. Franklin St., Suite 100, Syracuse. This is a discussion on why and how to make the most of membership in CNY ASTD. No cost to attend. Register at www.cnyastd. org or for more information, call (315) 546-2783 or email: email@example.com n What’s Market Research Got to do with it? Everything! seminar from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Syracuse. Presented by CNY Sales and
Marketing Executives (CNYSME), the speaker will be Sandy Baker, director of business development at RMS Research & Marketing Strategies. The cost is $20 for CNYSME members and $30 for nonmembers. If you have questions, call Carol Hill, VP of programs at CNYSME at (315) 4364783. To register, call (315) 876-1868 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
june 15 n CNY Society for Human Resource Management Annual Full-Day Conference “HR Bootcamp: Strengthening People and Strategy” from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Syracuse near Carrier Circle. The event includes a plated breakfast and buffet lunch, three keynote speakers, morning and afternoon breakout sessions, and a vendor area. Members, nonmembers, and students are all welcome to attend. For more information, or to register for this year’s conference, visit www.cnyshrm.org
june 19 n Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon combined with Baldwinsville Picnic at 11:30 a.m. at the Elks Lodge, located on Route 370, near Hayes Road. The cost is $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Guests are welcome. RSVP required; visit www.liverpoolchamber.com
june 20 n Opportunities for Minority and Women Entrepreneurs workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Assisi Center, 800 N. Salina St., Syracuse. This free workshop assists minority and women entrepreneurs with what programs and resources are available to them in pursuing their entrepreneurial endeavors. To register, email Regina Drumm at regina.drumm@ drumm-marketing.com
june 25 n CenterState CEO Golf Outing at Turning Stone Resort, Verona beginning with 7 a.m. registration and 8 a.m. shotgun start. Shenendoah and Kaluhyat courses. Cost is $300/person for CenterState CEO members. For registration or sponsorship information, visit www.centerstateceo.com or contact Lisa Metot at (315) 470-1870 or email: email@example.com. Registration deadline is June 22.
june 27 n Financial Executive of the Year 2012 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center, Syracuse. The Financial Executive of the Year awards are given to financial professionals in Central New York, the Mohawk Valley, and Greater Binghamton for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. The cost is $55, but there is no charge for the finalists. For nomination and registration details, visit
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: firstname.lastname@example.org n Every Tuesday, Gung Ho Networking Group from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, 3220 Erie Blvd E., DeWitt. Possible referrals for you; this is not a tip club. First visit free. Contact Paul Ellis at (315) 677-0015 or visit www. GungHoReferrals.com n Every Wednesday, Small Business Development Center at OCC from 4pm to 6pm, Introduction to Business Start-up at H-1 Hall. For more information 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-onone 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 Second Wednesday of every month, Salt City Technical offers by appointment free consultation to entrepreneurs or inventors who would like to have their product ideas evaluated by a staff of trained engineers. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (315) 4568461, or visit www.saltcitytechnical.com 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://estm.freetoasthost.info or email: president@estm. freetoasthost.info n Every first and third Thursday each month, Liverpool Linguists from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Liverpool First Methodist Church, 604 Oswego Road, Liverpool. For details, visit http://liverpool.toastmastersclubs.org or call (315) 884-2668 or 457-2581. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315) 470-1802. n Every Friday, 40 Above: Workers in Transition from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Westcott Community Center, 817 Euclid Ave., Syracuse. Helping workers/job seekers aged 40 and above in search for work. Contact John A. Cruty at (315) 569-3964, or at email@example.com n Every Friday, Tip Club of Syracuse, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel, 801 University Ave., Syracuse, 8 to Continued on the next page
The Central New York Business Journal • 23
May 18, 2012
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: new hires & promotions EDUCATION & TRAINING The Great Lakes Research Consortium (GLRC) has named an instructor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) as its associate director. Dave White is an adjunct professor at ESF and program coordinator for the New York Sea Grant Great Lakes Program. A recreation and tourism specialist, he became associate director of the Consortium in March 2012. White has already completed his first GLRC student-faculty interactive forum. In addition to being an adjunct professor at ESF, he is an award-winning New York Sea Grant educator based at SUNY Oswego. He has worked with a number of partners throughout the Great Lakes region, including boating and marine trade associations, shipwreck and diving groups, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway, and the Oneida Lake Education Initiative. New York Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York and one of 32 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The State University of New York board of trustees has appointed Carli Schiffner, Ph.D. interim president of SUNY Canton, effective Sept. 1. Schiffner is currently the college’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. Current President Joseph Kennedy will retire Aug. 31 to take a position as special adviser to the chancellor for shared services. Schiffner joined the SUNY Canton community in 2003 as a faculty member in the history department and then served as President Kennedy’s chief of staff. After serving as the dean of arts and science at Yakima Valley Community College from July 2007 through June 2011, she returned to Canton as provost and vice president for academic affairs. Schiffner received her bachelor’s degree in history from Gonzaga University, her master’s degree in cultural and intellectual history from Drew University, and her Ph.D. in American, Asian, and women’s history from Washington State University.
NONPROFITS The Central New York Community Foundation has promoted five employees. Katrina Crocker was promoted to communications officer. She has worked for the Community Foundation since 2007, where she previously served as communications associate followed by communications manager. Crocker holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Syracuse University. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, she worked for more than five years in market-
ing in the financial sector. Crocker is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse. David Kilpatrick was promoted to grants manager. He has worked for the Community Foundation since 2010, Crocker where he previously served as grants associate. Kilpatrick holds a degree from Colgate University and was a recipient of the Wegmans Scholarship Program. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, he served Kilpatrick as an intern for the chambers of U.S. Magistrate Judge George H. Lowe. Danielle Gill was promoted to program officer. She has worked for the Community Foundation since 2007, where she previously Gill served as grants manager and program associate. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Keuka College and is also a 2009 graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse. Prior to joinSephuma ing the Community Foundation, she worked as the events and awards coordinator at the New York Newspaper Publishers Association, and as the program director at the Irish American Heritage Museum Ridzi in Albany. Olive Sephuma was promoted to director, community grantmaking. Sephuma has worked for the Community Foundation since 2008, where she previously served as program officer for community grantmaking. She holds a degree from the University of Botswana and is working towards an executive master of public administration degree at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. She is also a 2004 graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, she served as director of foundation relations at Syracuse University. Frank Ridzi was promoted to director, research and community initiatives. He has worked for the Community Foundation since 2008, where
he previously served as program officer for community initiatives. Ridzi holds a master’s degree in public administration and a Ph.D. in sociology from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. He also carries a certificate of advanced study in women’s studies from Maxwell. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Ridzi served as director for the Center of Urban and Regional Applied Research at Le Moyne College, where he still serves as associate professor of sociology.
SPORTS & FITNESS The Syracuse Crunch announced that Amanda Johnston has joined the hockey club’s front office as its sponsorship-services manager. Johnston will be responsible for overseeing the activation and execution of the Crunch’s corporate partnership programs. Most recently, she served as a marketing and sales coordinator at Venture Sales Group. Johnston graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a degree in business administration. Carole Kametz has joined Aspen Athletic Clubs as corporate wellness director. She will work with area businesses to promote employee fitness. Kametz brings more than 25 years of sales, Kametz management, and customer-service experience to her position.
TECHNOLOGY Robert Gowans has re-joined INFICON as a senior design engineer. Gowans worked for INFICON previously as an embedded software engineer. Before returning to INFICON, he was a senior system Gowans engineer at JADAK LLC and an embeddedsoftware engineer at Lockheed Martin. Gowans holds a master’s degree in computer engineering from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from SUNYIT. Nicola Kelly has joined INFICON as a strategic account manager for semiconductor accounts. Before coming to INFICON, she worked for Coverity as an account manager. Kelly holds a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Massey University in New Zealand. q
business calendar (continued) 9 a.m. Call Bernie Bregman at (315) 472-3104, ext. 103 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 schedule 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: email@example.com n Every week, Syracuse Networking Professionals. Five meetings to choose from. For details, call Kevin M. Crook at (315) 4391803, or email KevinSNP@twcny.rr.com or
visit SyracuseNetworkingProfessionals.com n CNY Connects is a networking organization offering 12 groups from which to choose. If you are interested in learning more, contact Amy Kaschel of AK Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315) 8826127 or visit www.cnyconnectsonline.com To have your meetings or events in the Business Calendar, email them to email@example.com
MVP: SelectSuite will
mirror benefit packages MVP offers Continued from page 15
“There’s a significant focus on wellness and preventive care,” he says. “This selffunded arrangement can present the most direct financial benefit when you talk about the impact [of wellness programs] on the amount that a business spends on self coverage.” Self-funded plans also will not be subject to a tax on health-insurance premiums that is scheduled to start in 2014 under the 2010 federal health-care reform law, Fanshawe says. And they aren’t subject to a separate New York State Premium Tax. The New York State Premium Tax is 1.75 percent, according to MVP. The company estimates that its federal health-insurance premium tax will be about 3 percent when it starts in 2014. However, the federal government will levy that tax based partially on market share, so MVP doesn’t know its exact rate, Fanshawe says. SelectSuite will mirror benefit packages MVP offers through its traditional insurance business. Companies will be able to choose from a variety of plan types, including high-deductible plans. Mid-sized businesses choosing to selfinsure with MVP generally won’t have as many benefit options as larger businesses, according to Fanshawe. If they did, they might be overwhelmed, he says. “When you get into the large-group segment, those groups tend to seek very specific benefit-design packages,” he says. “The medium groups don’t have the ability to do that. That segment of 51 to 149 employees can’t dedicate the internal resources to developing their own plan.” MVP plans to charge a flat fee for administering SelectSuite plans. It will charge $55 per employee per month for firms with between 51 employees and 99 employees. It will charge $50 per employee per month for companies with between 100 employees and 149 employees. Although MVP is aiming SelectSuite at companies with 51 employees to 149 employees, the insurer will work with slightly larger firms who are interested in the product. So if a company with 200 employees felt it didn’t have the manpower to customize its own plan design, it could use SelectSuite, Fanshawe says. MVP would also consider administering self-funded insurance for businesses with 50 employees or fewer, he says. But firms of that size don’t generally have the financial resources to make that a good option, he adds. MVP provides fully insured and selffunded health-benefit plans, dental insurance, and ancillary products like flexible-spending accounts in New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. The company has more than 600,000 members, with 41,000 in Central New York, according to the 2012 Book of Lists. It has 1,800 employees, 65 of which are in Central New York. The company’s Syracuse office is located at AXA Tower 2 at 120 Madison St. It also has offices in Utica and Endwell. Contact Seltzer at firstname.lastname@example.org
• The Central New York Business Journal
May 18, 2012
Looking for a bank that works harder for business? Make the move to M&T. At M&T Bank, we believe when small business succeeds, we all succeed. That’s one reason we’ve been the #1 SBA lender in Central New York1 five years in a row. We’ve also been recognized by Greenwich Associates2 this year with more awards for excellence in serving small business than
sba #1 Lender
in centraL new york 5 years in a row.
than any other bank.
any other bank. Now let’s talk about what we can do for you – starting with Banking Built for Business, a package of our best products and services that can save you time and money, including more than $1000 this year.3
save more than
with banking buiLt for business.®
Stop by any M&T Bank branch, call 1-866-281-9441, or visit mtb.com/business 1
According to statistics for the Syracuse SBA District (which includes Albany, Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Warren and Washington Counties), released by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for total approved loans through SBA’s 7(a) lending program during the federal fiscal year ending 9/30/2011. 2 Based on 2011 Greenwich Associates Small Business Banking Survey. Only deposit products are FDIC-insured. 3 The Banking Built for Business package offers products and services that can be bundled to achieve various levels of savings. A bundle that includes the base package is valued at more than $350 savings. A bundle that includes the base package, plus a personal M&T Select® or MyChoice Premium checking account, Merchant Services, and Remote Check Deposit is valued at over $1000 savings. Your exact savings will vary depending on which products and services you choose to enroll in. Unless otherwise specified, all advertised offers and terms and conditions of accounts and services are subject to change at any time without notice. After an account is opened or service begins, its features and terms are subject to change at any time in accordance with applicable laws and agreements. Please see an M&T branch representative for full details. ©2012 M&T Bank. Member FDIC. ret007301 BizBankingAd_Syr_M3.indd 1
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