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■ Our latest feature publication devoted to technology in business.

Looking to grow: Roberts Office Furniture adds employees. Page 3.








Vol. XXV • No. 21








King + King HQ earns LEED platinum certification BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF


SYRACUSE — A local law firm specializing in intellectual-property matters is winding down its business. Marjama Muldoon Blasiak & Sullivan, LLP of Syracuse expects to close by the end of May, says James Muldoon, a partner at the firm. Nearly all of the firm’s 11 attorneys and 10 support staff members have found other jobs, he Muldoon adds. Some attorneys are heading to other firms large and small, including some in Syracuse. Others are leaving Central New York, Muldoon says. Marjama Muldoon had seen some changes in its client roster lately, but still had enough business to continue, Muldoon says. The breakup is at least partially a result of a broader recent debate within the intellectual-property law


May 27, 2011


Marjama intellectualproperty law firm shutting down PHOTO COURTESY OF CENTERSTATE CEO

From left to right: John Johnston, CEO, ProTerra LED; Joe Casper, co-founder, Ephesus Technologies; and Felix Ejeckam, CEO, Group 4 Labs, discuss the new LED lighting project that created a strategic alliance to develop and market LED lighting powered by advanced electronics and nanotechnology using Syracuse as a home base.

Companies form alliance on LED lighting in Syracuse BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

SYRACUSE — Talk to anyone who runs a business incubator long enough and they’ll no doubt mention at some point the benefits of having lots of young, innovative, nimble companies all in the same place. Partnerships and joint projects are

certainly on the minds of the economic developers at CenterState CEO, which runs the Syracuse Technology Garden. A trio of businesses that met through the Tech Garden is giving the facility’s leaders reason to feel good. Toronto–based ProTerra LED, Group4 Labs of Fremont, Calif., and

SYRACUSE — King + King Architects, LLP on May 25 announced that its Syracuse headquarters has earned platinum certification in the LEED rating system’s “New Construction and Major Renovations” category more than two years after the architecture firm moved in. The building, located at 358 W. Jefferson St. on the city’s near Westside, is the first building in the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County to earn the certification, King + King said. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) rating system for green-building certification. “It was a long time coming, but it was a vision that we as partners and we as a firm … didn’t lose sight of,” Peter King, managing partner, King + King Architects, said in his remarks during an award ceremony at the firm’s headquarters. Even though the certification process lasted more than two years, learning the final outcome only took a matter of seconds. King said he had made an inquiry about a month ago to the website of USGBC regarding the firm’s certification status. A few moments later, he received an email saying the firm’s

See LED, page 9

See KING + KING, page 5





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• The Central New York Business Journal

May 27, 2011

Excellus: New generics could save Upstate $900M annually Most drug manufacturers are granted an exclusive pat  pstate New York consumers could ent to produce   see nearly $900 million in annual the brand-name   savings as a result of 42 branddrug for a fixed period. Once the patent name prescription drugs, such as Lipitor, expires, multiple companies can produce a Plavix, and Singulair, becoming available in generic version, resulting in lower costs for their generic form during 2011 and 2012. consumers, Owerbach said. About 827,000 people in upstate New The cost of a generic drug could be 50 York use the drugs that are scheduled to percent, 75 percent, or even 90 percent become available in their generic form. below the cost of the brand-name version, That’s according to a report that Excellus he adds. BlueCross BlueShield issued May 18. The biggest potential long-term savings Rochester–based Excellus is Central New in 2011 will come from Lipitor, a drug used York’s largest health insurer. to treat high cholesterol, which has 154,000 In the report, “The Facts About users in upstate New York, according to Opportunities for Generic Savings in 2011 Excellus. and 2012,” Excellus lists the brands that Generics for Plavix, which is used to are becoming available as generics by the prevent blood clots following a heart attack conditions they treat in the order of the or stroke, and Singulair, which prevents estimated month that the generic form bePotential cost savings asthma attacks, become available in 2012. comes available. In its analysis of prescription patterns The generics for all three drugs could “Consumers will see major savings from the generics in the form of lower co-pays and in 39 counties in Upstate, Excellus identi- mean potential annual savings that could those paying the larger tab of health-insur- fied 18 brand-name medicines as becoming total about $376 million, Excellus said. Other drugs with patents scheduled to ance coverage will see lower prescription- available as generics this year. The drugs cost assumptions built into future-premium are used to treat conditions ranging from expire in 2011 and 2012 include Xalatan rates,” Joel Owerbach, Excellus vice presi- cholesterol to acne and have average whole- (treats certain types of glaucoma), Levaquin dent and chief pharmacy officer, said in a sale prices that produce estimated-annual (treats infections), and Lexapro (treats despending of $340 million in the upstate re- pression). news release. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Prescription-drug spending represents gion. Once those medicines become avail- approves all generic drugs. Not all brandabout 15 percent to 17 percent of health-covable as generics, the Excellus projections name drugs have exact generic equivalents, erage premiums, the health insurer said. With nearly $1.1 billion spent annually indicate a potential annual savings of but effective generic alternatives may be available on COB these drugs in 39 upstate New York 65276 Commercial Banker Print Ad — Luke F. $272 & Joe million. S. Size: ODD-CNYHoriz-10”w x 6.375”h non-bleed B&W within the same therapeutic class, by eric reinhardt journal staff


counties, the introduction of these generics promises to provide substantial savings of up to $899 million a year once the generics become widely available. When asked why Excellus compiles the data, Dr. Arthur Vercillo, regional president of Excellus, replied that the average person has “no good way” of knowing when a medication becomes available in a generic form. Vercillo says the report is intended for the general public, not just Excellus members and business clients. “This is a benefit to our competitors, [and] this is a benefit to the taxpayers, as people who have government-sponsored programs [such as Medicare or Medicaid] start using generics,” he says.

according to Excellus.

Generic-fill rate

The generic-fill rate is the percentage of all drug prescriptions that are filled with a generic, Excellus says. From October 2008 to October 2009 (the most recent data available from Excellus), the overall generic-fill rate across 39 upstate New York counties increased to 69.5 percent, up 1 point from the previous rate of 68.4 percent. In Central New York, the rate increased to 65.9 percent, up 1.2 points from the previous rate of 64.7 percent. Excellus issued its first generic drugsavings report in late 2005. At the time, the generic-fill rate for upstate New York was 53.8 percent, almost 16 percent lower than it was in the most recent report on fill-rate data. Since October 2005, “measurable” increases in the use of generic drugs as alternatives to higher-priced brand-name drugs have resulted in savings of more than $1 billion for upstate New Yorkers, according to the Excellus analysis.


Estimates are based on extrapolation of drug-utilization data from FLRx, the pharmacy-management division of Excellus, for the last six months of 2010 (July-December). This membership includes a mix of commercial, Medicare, and safety-net populaSee excellus, page 9

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The Central New York Business Journal • 3

May 27, 2011

Roberts Office Furniture adds employees, seeks growth BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF

CLAY — Roberts Office Furniture Concepts, Inc., a manufacturer, remanufacturer, distributor, and retailer of office furniture, has added eight employees in the last six months. The company is hoping to expand its retail business and its presence as an office-furniture remanufacturer in upstate and Central New York. Roberts wants its new designers and sales representatives to educate potential clients about its role as a remanufacturer. The firm, which operates both a wholesale and a retail division, is headquartered in a 70,000-squarefoot space at 7327 Henry Clay Blvd. in the town of Clay. The newest hires bring the company’s payroll-employee count to about 65, says Robert (Bob) Barcza, chairman and CEO of Roberts Office Furniture Concepts. Barcza owns 80 percent of the company, and his son, Scott Barcza, company president, owns 20 percent, Bob Barcza says. On its website, Roberts Office Furniture Concepts says it is one of only two certified remanufacturers throughout the U.S. specializing in office-furniture products

and materials to deliver warrantied options that are “indistinguishable from brand new.” Even though Roberts’ local retail clients include National Grid, Wegmans, Raymour & Flanigan Furniture, and Beacon Federal, the majority of the firm’s customers, which its wholesale division serves, are located beyond the borders of New York. “Our [remanufacturing] processes and our products outside the state are a little bit better understood,” Scott Barcza says. Most of the firm’s current customers are part of larger industries with bigger corporate headquarters and they understand and embrace sustainability, recycling, and remanufacturing, Scott Barcza adds. Roberts’ out-of-state customers include resellers such as Holland, Mich.–based West Michigan Office Interiors, Boston–based Peabody Office Furniture, Inc., and Boston– based Office Environments of New England, LLC, Bob Barcza says.

The new employees

About half of the recent hires at Roberts Office Furniture Concepts represent a “heavy concentration” on the architectural and design aspect of remanufacturing [office furniture and systems], says Bob

president of Livingston, N.J.–based SWK Technologies, Inc. SWK had acquired Anson’s former company, AMP-Best Consulting, Inc. of Syracuse in 2006, which focused on accounting systems, Anson says.

Remanufacturing versus refurbishing


Robert Barcza, chairman and CEO of Roberts Office Furniture Concepts. The company has added eight employees in the last six months.

Barcza. The company has added a designer who is accredited in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) and two additional designers who are working to earn their LEED accreditation, Bob Barcza says. Another new hire has joined the Roberts installation team, which is responsible for assembling units at a given customer site. The company’s hires also include a veteran of the U.S. Navy

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who had mechanical and manufacturing skills, and a new member of the company’s sales force. “The sales people that we have are more educators [of the remanufacturing process] than they are sales people,” Bob Barcza explains. The new hires also include Patrick (Pat) Anson, who serves as the company’s executive vice president. Anson joined Roberts Office Furniture Concepts last October after serving as a vice

Roberts Office Furniture Concepts is aiming to highlight its work as a remanufacturer. The company sees its role as different from a company that only refurbishes office furniture. Scott Barcza describes remanufacturing as “breaking a product completely down to its finest component and rebuilding it from the ground up” and returning the product to “new condition.” “It’s a complete restoration of office furniture; it’s not just a cosmetic treatment to make it look pretty,” Bob Barcza says. Scott Barcza admits the credibility of the office-furniture remanufacturing industry is a “sketchy one,” saying thousands of companies claim they have remanufacturing capabilities. But he contends Roberts is one of only two nationwide that have had an outside third party conduct an evaluation See ROBERTS, page 11 Web Partner

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• The Central New York Business Journal

May 27, 2011

CNYBJ.COM BRIEFS News of note for and about Central New York businesses

Health-care workers at Crouse ratify new labor deal Health-care workers at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse recently ratified a new labor agreement. Members of 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East agreed to the new deal by a three-to-one margin after its bargaining committee “unanimously” recommended the pact, the union said in a news release. The new three-year agreement includes wage increases of nearly 2 percent and 2 percent in the second and third years, respectively, and a “small ratification bonus” this year, according to 1199SEIU. The 1199SEIU represents more than 7,000 workers in Central New York at facilities that include Crouse Hospital, Community General Hospital, and Rosewood Heights Nursing Home.

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Food Service Design Solutions relocates to Salina SALINA — Food Service Design Solutions, LLC, founded by Jon and Rebecca Woods, took occupancy of approximately 600 square feet of office space at 1000 Seventh North St., Suite B10, town of Salina, in April. The business was formerly located on South Salina St. in Syracuse. The new lease was negotiated by Paul Myles of JF Real Estate with the landlord, Willowood Park in Liverpool. Financial arrangements were not provided. Food Service Design Solutions is a full-service design and consulting firm offering commercial kitchen layout and interior design to the food-service industry.

Syracuse Laser Spa moves into Marshall Plaza DeWITT — Syracuse Laser Spa, LLC, a local franchise of Laser Spa, recently leased space in Marshall Plaza in DeWitt. The space was formerly occupied by GW Gorgeous. Dylan Bruns of JF Real Estate completed the deal and also exclusively represents Laser Spa nationally. Financial terms were not disclosed. Syracuse Laser Spa, which plans to open in May, performs laser hair and cellulite removal and cosmetic laser skin treatments. Laser Spa has additional locations in Albany, Rochester, Cleveland, Ohio, and Nashville, Tenn.

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The Central New York Business Journal • 5

May 27, 2011

KING + KING: The brick walls, trusses, and most of the roof deck are original to the building Continued from page 1

building had achieved LEED-platinum status. “That was an awesome feeling,” King said. King + King says it completely transformed a “dilapidated” 1920s-era warehouse off South West Street into its headquarters. The firm moved into the building from its previous Manlius location in January 2009. Contractors completed their work on the $6 million renovation project about six weeks later, Jim King, partner, said during an interview after the ceremony. When asked why the LEED certification process didn’t wrap up until more than two years later, he said, “It’s a lengthy process.” It involved the USGBC reviewing several documents from the firm, and its contractors and engineers, and then requesting additional information and clarifications, Jim King said. He also noted that “it’s not unusual” for the process to last more than a year. In the LEED for new construction and major renovations category, only eight other buildings in the entire country achieved more points than King + King, the firm said. The King + King building is one of only two in New York to have earned the highest number of points (59) in the LEED for new construction and major renovations category ratings, Peter King said during his remarks. Since its founding in 1868, King +


Pictured from left to right are Kirk Narburgh, partner; Peter King, managing partner; and Dave Johnson, partner, in King + King Architects, LLP at the firm’s office at 358 W. Jefferson St. in Syracuse. The firm announced May 25 that its headquarters has earned Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the first building in the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County to achieve the status. King has designed several buildings that make up Syracuse’s skyline, such as the National Grid building, the CenterState CEO headquarters, the Onondaga County Courthouse, as well as Manley Field House, Bird Library, and Crouse College on the Syracuse University campus.

Sustainable features

The King + King property’s sustainable features encompass air quality, natural

lighting, roofing, heat reduction, ventilation, flooring, restrooms, parking areas, and equipment, the firm said in a news release. This space has absolutely everything that every building on earth should have, said Richard (Rick) Fedrizzi, chairman and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, who also lives in Syracuse. “It is filled with daylight; the air quality is wonderful,” Fedrizzi said in his remarks before awarding the firm’s partners their

platinum certification. King + King installed photovoltaic (solar) panels on the roof, which convert sunlight to energy so the building generates some of its own power, the firm said. In addition, the brick walls, trusses, and most of the roof deck are original to the building. About 95 percent of the facility’s work and meeting areas receive natural lighting, according to the firm’s news release. A daylight-harvesting system detects natural light via sensors that dim lights when enough natural light is available, the company said. Vegetation covers sections of the building’s roof, which reduces rain-water runoff that drains to the sewer system. The vegetation, combined with light-reflective materials on the roof, help reduce heat in and around the building in warm weather, the firm said. The building uses 50 percent less energy and water than a typical new building, and the firm has reused 95 percent of the building’s original structure, according to King + King. The architecture firm also recycled or reused more than 75 percent of construction waste during the renovation project. As a LEED-certified building, energy and water bills are lower, greenhouse-gas emissions are lower, and employees and visitors have less exposure to mold, mildew, and other indoor toxins, the firm said.  Contact Reinhardt at

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• The Central New York Business Journal

May 27, 2011

Restructuring the Tax-Exempt Sector “Ninety percent of the politicians give the other 10 percent a bad reputation.” — Henry Kissinger


he earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan was, has been, and will continue to be a terrible tragedy wrought by Mother Nature. By comparison, the rather mild earthquake recently in Spain was a gentle reminder that our natural environment can be deadly. And, that is without mentioning the terrible rash of tornadoes and floods in the Southern and

Midwestern U.S. We have all learned to tolerate and eventually accept that natural disasters will occur. Manmade disasters are always more difficult to tolerate. I believe it was 10 years ago that I first wrote in a column about the impending restructuring and consolidation of the healthcare, education, and social-service sectors in this country. I have always believed that the government and our legislators would ultimately be the primary catalyst for what I refer to as the “Walmarting”

of these industry sectors. For reference purposes to support my belief, please refer to the following industries — automobile, airline, banking, financial services, retail, and most of the once-great manufacturing sector of the U.S. So, now it’s our turn to experience the chaotic dismantling and subsequent reconstruction of our health, human, and social-services infrastructure in both New York State and the rest of the country. In fact, we have been in the early stages of this “Walmarting” process in New York

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since the early and limited days of the Eliot Spitzer administration. Our current governor, Andrew Cuomo, is determined to “fix the state’s fiscal mess.” However, in the process of fixing what ails us in the state’s budget and fiscal areas, he will create both significant NONPROFIT challenges and per- MANAGEMENT haps many opportunities for tax-exempt organizations throughout this great state. Historians will refer to the end-result of this restructuring process for both government and the tax-exempt sector as the greatest change in social-services infrastructure since the establishment of the Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965. Consider the following facts as a small sample of the indicators of the massive infrastructure and sea change that will affect both your individual organization and the nonprofit service sector for the next five to perhaps 10 years.  The New York State budget passed in late March was the first year of potentially three to five years of significant spending cuts that are euphemistically referred to as “shared sacrifice.”  Mergers and consolidations in the tax-exempt and government-service sectors are increasing at a rapid pace.  For a close-to-home example, look at the recent budget passed or defeated by your local public-school district and focus specifically on the number of programs and employees that are required to be eliminated as a result of reductions in state aid and related fiscal pressures.  The federal-stimulus program has, for the most part, completed its effort to try to create jobs and stimulate economic activity in the wake of the 2008-2009 fiscal crisis and related economic recession. What’s next?  State and federal enforcement agencies, represented most notably by the federal Department of Justice, the New York State Attorney General’s office, and the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, continue their aggressive objective of “eliminating fraud and abuse in our Medicaid and Medicare programs.” In the process of enforcement and related audit recoupments, virtually every tax-exempt service provider may be subjected to a critical blow to its fiscal stability.  Our state and nation are rapidly moving toward implementation of the federal health-care reform legislation — also known as “ObamaCare” or the Affordable Care Act, by its detractors and proponents, respectively.  And, in the midst of all this turmoil, we have a nation divided by distinct political ideologies. As an example, consider the recent House of Representatives’ proposal to restructure the eligibility requirements for the Medicaid program. Estimates were performed that indicated, if adopted, this legislative proposal would increase the


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• The Central New York Business Journal

The Incredible Power of a Small Business I

  t takes a lot to knock small businesses   out of the saddle. When times are   tough, they hunker down and hang in there. The workdays get longer and the take-home pay gets shorter. Even banks shutting off the lending spigot doesn’t deter small businesspeople. They whip out the credit cards and keep going or they go online and tell their story to the microlenders to find those who will take a chance on them. Throw the little guys a curve and they’ll figure out how to hit a home run. If that sounds a bit romanticized, it isn’t. MAGNET As a follow-up to the MARKETING recent recession, look for a huge new crop of entrepreneurs, particularly women. Although small-business owners are cautious and often work very hard, they are also incredibly optimistic –– and they need to be. The small-business failure rate runs from 30 percent to 50 percent in the first five years, depending on whose figures you’re looking at. This isn’t surprising since a lack of adequate cash flow is perhaps the biggest problem. But such a huge hurdle isn’t enough to stop those who are determined to be in business for themselves. When all is said and done, there are good reasons to give a high-five to the small-business owner. It was 9:30 on a Friday evening, after a particularly busy week, when we finally pulled into our getaway place. We were looking forward to our first weekend there in three months and we were ready for it. We were preparing to put the food away, when we opened the refrigerator. In that instant, we knew the weekend was off to a very bad start. The smell of rotting food was overwhelming. The freezer section was even worse, thanks to four old cartons


of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate frozen yogurt. What a horrible mess. I know what we’ll be doing tomorrow, said Mary. Clearly, our plans had changed. We would spend Saturday getting a new refrigerator and trying to have it delivered the same day. Such naive optimism. Going online to find a local appliance store turned out to be a challenge. Several were listed, but were no longer in business. That narrowed it down to Home Depot, which opened at 6 a.m. on Saturday and we called to make sure it carried appliances. A harried woman answered and tried to be helpful. Before we hung up, we asked her a crucial question. “If we came over now and found what we needed, could you deliver it today?” The pause that followed failed to inspire confidence. “Oh, this is Saturday,” she said. “You’d have to come in and see if we had what you wanted. Then we would ask the store manager if we could deliver it today … but I can’t promise that,” she added, quickly. Hope was fading. However, it was better than nothing. Again, we had optimism. Arriving at Home Depot shortly after 8 a.m., we headed for the major appliances. With measurements in hand, none of the display models worked. Since no one was around to help us, we checked online to see if there was a Lowe’s nearby. Not on Rhode Island’s Aquidneck Island, although there was a Best Buy close by that opened at 10 a.m. With time to kill, we were headed to a favorite coffee shop when we spotted a BJ’s Wholesale store. Maybe it carried refrigerators? “Only the small ones,” the greeter said. Our next question was obvious, “Can you tell us where we might buy a refrigerator?” He thought for a few seconds, “Only at Home Depot, Lowe’s off the island, or Sears.” Surprised, we said, “That’s just a tiny store.” Since the Sears Hometown Store was almost next to the coffee shop where we were going, we stopped, even though it seemed like a waste of time. In we went

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and were totally blown away by what we saw. The place was packed with an astonishing assortment of major appliances. In less than 10 minutes, we found the perfect refrigerator. Now, came the killer question. Holding our breath, we said, “We need it delivered today.” The response was both instant and amazing. “Sure,” said the salesperson. “We sponsor a Little League team and this is the opening day. We’ll be back in an hour and be at your place a few minutes after that.” He didn’t exaggerate. By noon, the refrigerator had been delivered, installed, and the old one was on its way out the door. “Remember, don’t open the doors or you’ll be sorry,” we yelled. And delivery was free. “Fast, free delivery is our brand,” said the pleasant owner, who had recently bought the store. When I described our Home Depot experience, he smiled and said, “When people need appliances, they need them now, and we make it easy to get them. That’s what makes us different.” When Sears Hometown Store staff say they’ll deliver in 15 minutes, they mean it, unless of course, the local Little League is having its opening day. Joe Kilty, the store owner gets it right. He isn’t selling appliances — you can get them other places, including online. But Joe understands that people want convenience and service and they don’t want to wait for delivery. They want it now. And that’s what he’s selling. There’s more to it than that, of course. Customers also want to feel someone cares about them. They want follow-through and good communication. Maybe, it’s as simple as being confident that someone is taking time thinking about them as more than just a sale. And best of all, as in the case of our new refrigerator, it’s the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the ice cubes will be ready before dinner. All this adds up to a winning proposition: n It’s easy to beat the big guy if you think like a customer. Years ago, someone

May 27, 2011

taught me what he called the magic word. “Whatever the customer asks,” he said, “Just say ‘sure.’” The big guys are very good at ignoring and alienating customers. Never smile or genuinely ask if they can be helpful. Fortunately, the playing field is anything but level. n Customers are on the side of small business. They like to walk in the door and be recognized. They’ll pay more for it, too. When that happens, they talk about it to their friends and neighbors. In other words, buzz will always beat the big box every time. The worse the service from the big guys, the better it is for the little guy. n The small business makes an effort not to disappoint. If we go to a big chain or a national retailer, we almost expect to have a bad experience since it happens so often. If a small business lets us down, we’re truly disappointed. Some seem to think that the little guy is at a disadvantage, that Goliath will get David. But it’s not true. Perhaps no company feels this more deeply than Apple. When you think about it, most people perceive Microsoft as a really big company –– and it is. But that’s not how we think of Apple. Over the years, it has made sure it is perceived as personal, delivering service as if it were local. This is the genius of an Apple store. It offers the feeling of being a local store. The customer experience is friendly, helpful, reliable, and fun. Is it any wonder that Steve Jobs credits the Apple stores for making something akin to a pivotal contribution to the company’s success? Even Walmart is learning that small stores may be what is needed to grow the business. It’s not surprising that small business possesses an immense amount of power. John R. Graham is president of Graham Communications, a marketing-services and sales-consulting firm. He is a business writer and speaks on business, marketing, and sales issues. Contact him at

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The Central New York Business Journal • 9

May 27, 2011


new generics does not reflect significant savings until after the first six months Continued from page 2

tions. The total FLRx benefit membership used in this assessment in 2010 is about 1 million people. This represents about 20 percent of the total population in the 39 counties, according to the Excellus report. Typically, the cost of new generics does not reflect significant savings until after the first six months on the market. Once multiple manufacturers are producing the generic, the cost can drop substantially and reflect savings of more than 80 percent compared with the brand, the Excellus report said. In this assessment, Excellus assumed that 100 percent of the branddrug use would transition to generic and the eventual achievement of an 80 percent savings. Individual drug cost and pricing can vary in both the time interval to achieve maximum generic usage, and the final market pricing and relative savings, it says.  Contact Reinhardt at

LED: Syracuse will be the engineering center for ProTerra Continued from page 1

Syracuse–based Ephesus Technologies are forming a strategic alliance to develop and market LED lighting powered by advanced electronics and nanotechnology using Syracuse as a home base. The companies expect the effort will create dozens of jobs in the next five years. The lights will run cooler, more efficiently, and use less energy than others use, the firms contend. The businesses found each other after ProTerra landed in the Tech Garden earlier this year. Syracuse is the firm’s U.S. headquarters. ProTerra brings the LED lights to the table. The company’s roots are as a contract electronics manufacturer, but it added an engineering group in recent years as it lost business to offshoring, CEO John Johnston says. The group began developing a number of different technologies before settling on LED lights. ProTerra has developed lights for everything from warehouses to offices. The business wound up in Syracuse because the New Jersey Department of Transportation was an early customer. Company leaders wanted to be closer to the department. Johnston says he had bumped into Suresh Santanam of the Syracuse Center of Excellence at a trade show in Canada. On the way back from a trip to New Jersey, he stopped in Syracuse to meet with representatives from the Center of Excellence, CenterState CEO, and others. He was impressed. “All the decision makers were there,” he

says. “It was something that in Canada takes about two years to probably get a meeting like that because we’re not really set up the same way. It seems to be easier to get things moving [here].” ProTerra plans to establish an assembly plant for its lights in the Syracuse area in the next few years. Materials will be sourced from New York companies, Johnston says. Syracuse will also be the engineering center for the entire company. ProTerra has two people in Syracuse now, but expects to increase that to 10 to 12 in the coming months. ProTerra encountered Ephesus shortly after arriving in Syracuse. A group of former Lockheed Martin employees launched Ephesus to focus on developing nanotechnology in the area. Company leaders got an email one day about ProTerra moving in and decided to introduce themselves, says Brian Abbe, senior vice president and chief technology officer. As they talked, they realized they could help ProTerra improve their products. Ephesus is incorporating advanced electronics and control systems into the lights. They’ll provide “smart” features, such as setting the lights to connect with building-control systems. In the future, maintenance staff could use a smartphone to check on how much power is left in the lights or whether they need work, Abbe says. The firm is also working on some new cooling technology for the lights. Ephesus’ contributions will be integrated into ProTerra’s products in the next six months, Johnston says. Ephesus employs seven. The lighting project will allow Ephesus and ProTerra to create

at least 50 new jobs in the next five years, Abbe says. Suppliers and others in the area will benefit as well and so the total number of jobs created as a result of the partnership could be much higher, he adds. The final piece of the puzzle is Group4 Labs. Ephesus had connections to the company through some other projects. As they talked with ProTerra about its lights, Abbe says Ephesus leaders realized Group4’s nanotechnology was a perfect fit for LED systems. Group4 was the first company that announced plans last year to locate staff in the new nanotechnology research lab planned for Electronics Park in Salina. The firm has three people working in New York now and expects to have 50 in Syracuse in the next five years, working on the LED project and others, Group4 CEO Felix Ejeckam says. Group4’s technology involves synthetic, low-cost diamonds. The material isn’t meant for wedding rings, but rather for applications in everything from radar to transistors. In the case of the ProTerra project, the technology is used for its cooling capabilities, Ejeckam says. Diamond conducts more heat than any other known substance, he explains. Use it in an LED light and it can light brighter and with less energy. It will take another 12 to 18 months to integrate Group4’s technology into the ProTerra lights. “Luckily we’re living in a time right now where energy efficiency has become a key thing,” Ejeckam says.  Contact Tampone at

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May 27, 2011

ROBERTS: The company also maintains 80,000 square feet of warehouse space in the town of DeWitt Continued from page 3

process that can lead to a comparison with an original-equipment manufacturer. “That’s the educational part,” Scott Barcza says. “There’s a refurbisher in every market, and there’s not a remanufacturer in every market.” In its third-party evaluation, the National Center for Recycling at the Rochester Institute of Technology spent about six months evaluating all of Roberts’ processes, Bob Barcza says. Afterward, the center issued a report that not only considered the recycled content of the office-furniture products, but also the energy saved from buying a remanufactured

product instead of a new one. “So the more we can educate within New York State, certainly it’s going to help us grow within the state,” Scott Barcza says.

About the business

Besides the Henry Clay Blvd. location, Roberts also maintains 80,000 square feet of warehouse space on Lepage Place in the town of DeWitt, Bob Barcza says. In addition, the company has exclusivesupplier agreements with the Roberts Metal Fabrication Shop at 1943 Teall Ave. in the town of Salina and Roberts Millwork Shop in Williamstown in Oswego County. Bob Barcza describes both as familyowned companies, but declined to name the

families that own them. Roberts Office Furniture Concepts does not own Roberts Metal Fabrication Shop and Roberts Millwork Shop. At least not yet. The businesses, which provide Roberts Office Furniture Concepts with used parts and other supplies, are separate corporations that are owned by the individuals that manage them, Bob Barcza says. “Our intent is maybe someday we’re going to own those companies,” he adds. Though they’re not considered Roberts’ payroll employees, the firm does include the employees at each location in its total headcount, which is more than 100, Scott SBK-0411-006 Barcza says. Comm_4.8x9.8_CNYBiz:Layout 1

Roberts Office Furniture Concepts is part owner of Office Werks of Rochester, a retail location in Rochester. Roberts owns 50 percent of the operation, and Bret DeVito owns 50 percent, Bob Barcza says. Roberts Office Furniture Concepts generates between $5 million and $8 million in annual revenue, which doesn’t include revenue from its Rochester retail location, Bob Barcza says. Barcza first launched his business as Roberts Office Furniture Brokers in 1991, serving as “the middle man” between the buyers and the sellers. q Contact Reinhardt at 4/8/11 1:50 PM Page 1

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The Central New York Business Journal • 13

May 27, 2011

Business Journal C e n t r a l

N e w


Y o r k

Volume 25, No. 21 - May 27, 2011 NEWS Editor-in-Chief........................Adam Rombel Assistant Editor..............Maria J. Carbonaro Staff Writers........................... Kevin Tampone (Online Editor) ............................................................Traci DeLore .........................................................Eric Reinhardt Columnists........................Gerald J. Archibald John R. Graham Production Manager.......................Erin Zehr Research Manager................... Julie Sharkey SALES Sr. Account Managers....................................... Bernard B. Bregman Mary LaMacchia Marketing .......................BBB Marketing Inc. CIRCULATION Circulation Management....(315) 579-3927 Administrative Publisher..........................Norman Poltenson Chief Operating Officer......Marny Nesher Business Manager.....................Kurt Bramer

The Central New York Business Journal (ISSN #1050-3005) is published every week by CNY Business Review, Inc. All contents copyrighted 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Cover Price $2 Subscription Rate $86 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: PHONE: (315) 472-3104

What happened to all the smokestacks?


  s a kid growing up in Syracuse   during the 1940s and 1950s, manu  facturing was clearly the backbone of the economy. Proof was close at hand: Smokestacks were ubiquitous. Companies like Smith Corona, Carrier, Syracuse China, General Electric, General Motors, Syroco, Solvay Process, Bristol Labs, and Rockwell dotted the landscape and sustained tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs. I recalled the image of a city filled with smokestacks at the 98th annual Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) dinner in May. The dinner message, which is designed to celebrate the achievements of area manufacturers and to remind the community that even in this “post-industrial” age manufacturing is a vital component of the economy, was upbeat. MACNY reinforced the message to the attendees by distributing two publications produced by the Manufacturing Research Institute of New York State (MRI). These research pieces documented the fact that manufacturing is a major contributor to the New York economy. In 2009, New York recorded 18,888 manufacturing estabfrom the lishments, which empublisher ployed roughly 473,000 people. This ranked New York sixth nationwide in manufacturing employment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the total manufacturing jobs, nearly 300,000 were located in Upstate, which places Upstate ahead of 28 states as a manufacturing location. Manufacturing payrolls also continued to outpace most other sectors. In 2009, the average statewide manufacturing wage was $57,145 — 29 percent more than the national average of private wages. Manufacturing, which in 2010 only employed 5.4 percent of the state’s non-farm work force, nevertheless had a huge impact on the economy because of the “multiplier” effect. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, every dollar spent on manufacturing generated $1.41 in other sectors of the economy. The financialservices industry, by comparison, produced only an additional 64 cents. In many areas Upstate, manufacturing payrolls supported $1 in every $3 of wages and salaries. The MRI publications also had a sober-

norman poltenson

Calling All Opinion Writers The Business Journal is seeking to provide its readers with more opinion articles and more opposing viewpoints. The goal would be to publish a set of “Points/Counterpoints” on various issues of importance to businesses. The topics could include: • Economic-development policies • Entrepreneurship • Green business • Government spending • Taxes and regulations • Public-sector compensation and benefits

As a place where manufacturing businesses from other parts of the country would relocate Three out of four manufacturers report New York State provides a poor opportunity for manufacturing businesses from other parts of the country to relocate to


7% Good opportunity



Poor opportunity, but improving Poor opportunity Not sure


ing message outlining the long, steady decline of manufacturing in the Empire State. Industrial employment peaked in the early 1950s at more than 2 million. Nationwide, manufacturing growth continued for two more decades. As recently as 1970, the manufacturing sector employed 1.7 million New Yorkers. In the past half-century, New York lost three of four manufacturing jobs. The rest of the country’s employment in this sector only declined 29 percent, on average. According to the Brookings Institution, while some jobs disappeared due to productivity gains, most manufacturing jobs lost by Northeastern states from 1970 to 1990 moved elsewhere in the United States. Nationwide, manufacturing represented 11.3 percent of GDP. In New York, the figure was 5.4 percent, ranking the Empire State 46th among other states. A truly startling figure was the decline of investment in the manufacturing sector. States like Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, with half our population, were investing between 40 percent to 100 percent more in new plants, equipment, and upgrades. New York’s manufacturing share of employees in production was only half that of the major competitor states. The gap between New York State and its major competitors continues to widen. MRI also commissioned a Zogby International study on the state of manufacturing in New York. The report was issued in January 2011. According to Zogby’s executive summary, nine of 10 manufacturers have a negative outlook on the current state of manufacturing. Further, the report concludes that three of five think the state offers a poor opportunity for young people to begin or advance in a manufacturing career or to launch a manufacturing business. • Unions • Health-care reform and costs Have an opinion about any of these topics or others? Please send us your opinion in the form of a letter or opinion article to letters@ Here are some general guidelines for how to compose your opinion piece: • Length should be no more than 800 words. • It should be written for a business audience — specifically business owners and managers. The topic must affect and appeal to this audience. • Pick a theme or trend you want to focus on and then build your opinion around that,

By a margin of three to five, the respondents report that maintaining manufacturing business operations in New York State has gotten worse. Of all the responses to the Zogby survey, one was most depressing. To the question, “Did your business originate in New York State or did it expand to include operations in New York State?” — 96 percent responded that their businesses originated in the state. Only 3 percent of respondents expanded into the state. (One percent didn’t know the answer.) Conclusion: Despite an educated work force, world-class universities, an abundance of natural resources like water and natural gas, and proximity to markets, Empire State policies discourage manufacturers. Among manufacturers, the cry is uniform. Combined state and local taxes are onerous, the regulatory burden is both costly and cumbersome, fuel taxes are the highest in the nation, electricity costs are among the highest in the nation, the deferral of pledged business-tax credits already earned suggests that the state won’t keep its promises, and workers’-compensation issues continue to plague the manufacturing sector. The policy changes needed to correct the state’s long slide are well known and outlined in a May 2011 study by the Public Policy Institute, entitled “Let’s Make it Here.” All it takes is the political will and a sound strategy to make the Empire State more attractive to manufacturers. I don’t expect a manufacturing renaissance, but a resurgence would be welcome. Norman Poltenson is the publisher of The Central New York Business Journal. Contact him at making your key points. We find that lists and bullet points work well to get your views across to the reader. • Include a tag line at the bottom that tells the reader who you are (name, hometown, organization) and how to contact you (e-mail address). For example: John Doe of Syracuse is managing partner at Doe Wood Smith LLC. Contact him at • Article must be in Word format • The Business Journal will edit the article, including cutting out portions, to fit space as it sees fit. So whether you’re a conservative, progressive, or anything in between, please get your opinion seen and send it to:


• The Central New York Business Journal

BANKING & FINANCE The Tompkins Trust Company’s board of directors has approved four internal promotions: Ellen Rogers to loan servicing officer; Michael Bozuhoski to assistant vice president, controller; Lisa Rogers Warmbrodt to assistant vice president, senior network administrator; and Carol Burgess to assistant vice president/residential lending. Rogers has been with Tompkins Trust Co. since 2008. After graduating from Candor High School, Bozuhoski Rogers served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. Before joining Tompkins Trust Co., she was with Partners Trust Bank in its managed assets department. Bozuhoski has been with the Tompkins Trust Co. since 2008. Bozuhoski Warmbrodt graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a bachelor’s degree in management, and earned his MBA from SUNY Binghamton.

May 27, 2011


Warmbrodt has been with Tompkins Trust Co. since 1998. She graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a bachelor’s degree and earned an associate degree in applied sciences from Tompkins-Cor tland Burgess Community College. Burgess has been with Tompkins Trust Co. since 2010 and holds an associate degree. Before joining Tompkins Trust Co., she was a mortgage consultant with Wells Fargo for 16 years.

COMMUNICATIONS CornerStone Telephone Company has added Jeff Sanders as a new sales representative in the Syracuse area. Prior to joining CornerStone, Sanders was an auto-sales representative with Drivers Village – Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep. He also previously held positions with UPS and Champs Sports.

INSURANCE The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. has appointed Steve Cibelli as assistant regional vice president for personal lines. Cibelli will be responsible for all aspects of personal-lines business, including agency partnerships, for the company’s Upstate New York territory.

He will be based in the Syracuse office. Prior to joining Hanover in 2009, as territory sales manager, Cibelli held a variety of field leadership positions at the ACE Group. Previously, he served as regional underwriting manager at both Royal Insurance and the Chubb Group. Cibelli is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, with a bachelor’s degree in business.

NONPROFITS Sara D. Glauberman has been promoted to director of human resources at Unity House of Cayuga County, Inc. Glauberman was most recently human-resources manager at Unity House for six years. She Glauberman originally joined Unity House as mental-health relief staff in 1993, working her way up through residence counselor to human-resources specialist in 2002. Glauberman replaces Cathy Becker, who served as human-resources director from 1997 until her retirement on April 1, 2011. Glauberman earned a bachelor’s degree in public justice with a minor in forensic science from SUNY Oswego, and a master’s degree in organizational management with a concentration in human resources from Capella University in Minneapolis. She has been certified since 2000 as a professional in

human resources.

TECHNOLOGY David Everett has joined INFICON as a mechanical designer for the Sensor, Systems and Control Design Group. Before coming to INFICON, Everett worked for Magna Powertrain. Everett Everett holds an associate degree in mechanicaldrafting technology from Mohawk Valley Community College. Jayme Fontana has joined INFICON as a sales and service coordinator for the Vacuum Control Group. Fontana Fontana holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration/international business from Columbia College. 

Send your People-on-the-Move news via e-mail to:

ARCHIBALD: Determine your overall aggregate “grade” and initiate the changes needed to improve Continued from page 6

number of uninsured citizens by 44 million recipients of Medicaid health and socialservice supports. Fortunately, in my opinion, the proposal is not expected to see the light of day in the U.S. Senate. Ok, ok, enough already. What should our organization’s board and management do to address these challenges and turn them into opportunities? Believe it or not, in spite of my cautious pessimism, I do believe that this unprecedented period of change will create many new opportunities for those organizations that are strategically positioned and have the fiscal stability to invest in new initiatives. So, there is a silver lining in this cloud of doom you say? Absolutely. In my usual tradition of paying homage Syracuse Opera Presents

Bella Notte An Evening of Food, Fun & Music Making to benefit Syracuse Opera with

Nathaniel Peake and Douglas Kinney Frost Thursday, June 2, 2011 City Hall Commons Atrium 315.475.5915

to David Letterman and his “Top Ten” list, consider the following areas as opportunities for your organization. Evaluate your organizational readiness in relation to these topical areas. 1) State of the art technology. In most cases, tax-exempt organizations must compete on a “level playing field” with their for-profit brethren in the technology area. 2) Aggressively pursue the privatization of government services. Federal, state, and county budgets are under duress. Of the 50 states, 48 are currently operating with budget deficits. Virtually every service currently provided by governmental entities can be transitioned to the private sector. Be assertive and aggressive in your interactions with government leaders. Be able to demonstrate both a cost and service advantage that would result from “privatization” of traditional government services. For examples, look at charter schools in the education sector and solid-waste disposal and recycling opportunities. 3) Mergers and acquisitions. It is fair to say only the strong will survive in the tax-exempt sector. Look for opportunities to either merge or acquire specific program activities of other nonprofit organizations. 4) Consider for-profit and privatesector fee-for-ser vice activities. For the next 17 years, an average of 10,000 Americans each day will turn age 65.

Opportunities abound for providing services to the baby-boomer generation. Enough said. 5) Private-sector fundraising. Percentages vary and can be deceiving. However, if you are not generating at least 3 percent to 5 percent of your total revenue from fundraising and development activities, develop the strategies necessary to get there quickly. 6) Evaluate deficit-producing programs. Virtually every nonprofit has services and programs which produce deficits on an annual basis. Often times, these deficits can be a function of inadequate funding or rate reimbursement. Management and board must evaluate and determine the amount of “deficit subsidy” that can be justified and supported on a prospective basis. 7) Administrative costs. Governor Cuomo wants to cap school superintendent salaries at $175,000 per year. Government funders have appeared to target an administrative-cost percentage of 10 percent or less. Particularly for smaller tax-exempt organizations, this is a challenge that needs to be addressed. 8) Demonstrate cost ef ficiency. Providing high-quality services at a unit cost that is lower than your competitors will always provide you with a competitive advantage. 9) Maintaining regulatory compliance. As mentioned previously, there are numerous enforcement agencies prepared

and ready to dismantle your organization and create fiscal instability if you do not have an effective compliance program and culture within your organization. Regulations, when enforced, can be very difficult to adhere to, particularly if your training and employee-education program is lacking. 10) Succession planning for management and board. The baby-boomer generation is passing rapidly toward geriatric care. The ability to recruit, develop, and retain outstanding management and board talent will, ultimately, separate the successful nonprofit organizations from its weaker competitors. Ongoing strategic planning in the areas described above can represent a significant strategic advantage for your organization in maximizing the opportunities presented by these significant challenges faced by nonprofits. Take each of the 10 areas above and evaluate your organization on a 1 to 10 scale (10 as the highest). Determine your overall aggregate “grade” and initiate the changes necessary to improve the strategies and financial positioning of your organization. If you assess your organization at or above 95, do what is necessary to maintain your “best in class” status.  Gerald J. Archibald, CPA is a partner with The Bonadio Group. His office is in Syracuse. Email him at or call (315) 422-7109

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May 27, 2011

june 7 n The 4 Gs of Federal Government Contracting Seminar for Women Entrepreneurs from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cortland Country Club, 4514 State Rt. 281, Cortland. Co-sponsored by Women TIES and the Women’s Business Center of New York State, the speaker will be Roxanne Mutchler, government-contracting coordinator, NYS SBDC Procurement Assistance Center and MV SBDC at SUNYIT. The cost is $55 and reservations are due by June 2. To register, visit n Monthly Investment Seminar for Women at 5:30 at Manlius Pebble Hill School, 5300 Jamesville Road, DeWitt. The education topic for June is “Focus on Fixed Income,” presented by Chris Rheaume. RSVP to (315) 449-2282 or email: n Going Mobile seminar from 4 to 5 p.m. at CenterState CEO, 572 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices are creating new opportunities for businesses to reach consumers. Find out how your business can take its marketing mobile. The cost is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. For more information, or to register, call (315) 470-1997 or visit

june 8 n Business Before Hours event from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at Pathfinder Bank, 6194 State Rt. 31, Cicero. For details, visit or call (315) 470-1870.

June 9 n Foundation Directory Online Database Refresher Workshop from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Robert P. Kinchen Central Library (meet on Level 4 in the Pass Computer Lab). This is a refresher class on how to search the Foundation Center’s premiere database. Call (315) 435-1900 to pre-register. Space is limited. n Second Annual F.O.C.U.S. Wisdom Keeper Awards from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Oncenter. Awards will be presented to Dr. Nancy Cantor, chancellor and president of Syracuse University, and William Sanford, former chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature, New York State Assemblyman, and longtime coach of the Syracuse University men’s rowing team. For details, visit or call (315) 448-8732. n CNY BEST Learning and Performance Awards Ceremony from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Syracuse, near Carrier Circle. This is CNY ASTD’s fourth annual recognition of excellence in learning and performance practices in the Central New York area. The cost is $65. Call (315) 546-2783, or email for details.

june 13 n Informal Learning Book Discussion from 7:30

Business Calendar OF EVENTS

to 8:30 a.m. at Panera, 3409 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. CNY ASTD’s Social & Informal Learning Special Interest Group will discuss Part 2, Learners and Part 3, Cases of the book “Informal Learning” by Jay Cross. For details, call (315) 546-2783, or email:

June 14 n Financial Executive of the Year Awards from noon to 2 p.m. at the Holiday Inn SyracuseLiverpool. Awards are given to financial professionals in the Central New York region for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. Visit for more information.

June 15 n Learning the Law: Legal Tips for Women Entrepreneurs, Women TIES Syracuse Luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. at Justin’s Grill, 6400 Yorktown Circle. Christa Cook, attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, will speak. The cost is $29, and reservations are due by June 14. For reservations, visit n Business After Hours event sponsored by CornerStone Telephone from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Palace Theatre, 2384 James St., Syracuse. For details, visit or call (315) 470-1870. n We Are From The Federal Government and We Are Here To Help... Really! seminar from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at CenterState CEO, 572 S. Salina St., Syracuse. The event will feature: “The Dangers of Social Networking,” an overview of current threats and trends in cyber exploitation, and “Workplace Violence.” The cost is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. For more information, or to register, call (315) 470-1997 or visit www.

June 22 n Statewide Labor and Employment Law Annual Conference — Workplace 2011 — Managing in a Changing World from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool. Presented by Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC and co-sponsored by NYS SHRM. For more information, contact Toyo Moyo at (800) 339-8897 or email To register online, visit

n Business Impacts of Health Care Reform seminar from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at CenterState CEO, 572 S. Salina St., Syracuse. The cost is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. For more information, or to register, call (315) 470-1997 or visit

June 27 n CenterState CEO Golf Outing 2011 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Turning Stone Resort & Casino, 5218 Patrick Road, Verona. For details, visit www. or call (315) 470-1870. n Annual Family-Owned Business Education Day, Growth Through Education for the Whole Family, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at The Lodge at Welch Allyn, 4355 State Street Road, Skaneateles. TDO is collaborating with the New York Family Business Center to present this event. For more information, visit or contact Donna Herlihy at (315) 579-2871or email: dherlihy@

ONGOING EVENTS n Every Tuesday, Gung Ho Networking Group from noon to 1:30 at Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, 3220 Erie Blvd E., DeWitt. The cost is $10 which includes lunch. Contact Paul Ellis at (315) 677-0015 or visit n Every Tuesday, Networking @ Noon from noon to 1 p.m. at Justin’s Grill, near Carrier Circle. The growing networking group is always looking for new members. Email Bill Wood at whwood@ for further information. n The 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. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and small businesses to meet one-on-one with a counselor from the Small Business Development Center to obtain advice and customized assistance opportunities. Scheduled by appointment, call The Tech Garden at (315) 474-0910 or email: n Every Wednesday throughout 2011, Salt City Technical will offer free consultation to entrepreneurs or inventors who would like to have their product ideas evaluated by a staff of trained engineers. For more information about Salt City

Technical services and to schedule a consultation, call (315) 456-8461, or visit www.saltcitytechnical. com n Second Wednesday of each month, Salt City Technical assistance by appointment at the Tech Garden; free consultation to entrepreneurs or inventors who would like to have their product ideas evaluated by a staff of trained engineers. For details or an appointment, call (315) 474-0910 or email: n Every Thursday, Empire Statesmen Toastmasters meet at 6:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday on Erie Boulevard in DeWitt. For more information, visit or email: 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 or call (315) 470-1802. n Every Friday, Tip Club of Syracuse, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel, 801 University Ave., Syracuse, 8 to 9 a.m. Call Bernie Bregman at (315) 472-3104, ext. 103 or email: bbregman@ n Every Friday, The Mature Workforce Alliance from 9 to 11 a.m. at Westcott Community Center, at the corner of Westcott and Euclid streets in Syracuse. For further information, call John Cruty at (315) 569-3964 or email: n First Friday of each month, Toolkit Day with SCORE by appointment at The Tech Garden. SCORE 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. A group of local professionals, who either provide solutions in their field to customers or as an organization to educate and lead changes, sharing opportunities and emerging products and services. Contact Andy Picco at (315) 657-0135 or email: n Every week, Syracuse Networking Professionals. Five meetings to choose from. For details, call Kevin M. Crook at (315) 4391803, or email or visit

To have your meetings or events in the Business Calendar, email them to

Marjama: Details on where other Marjama employees are headed were not immediately available Continued from page 1

community. Some lawyers feel clients are better served by a boutique firm like Marjama focusing on nothing but intellectual property. Others believe it’s best to work within a larger general practice firm, Muldoon says. “Some recent changes in the client mix led us to reexamine our business model,” Muldoon adds. “After that reexamination, not all of the partners agreed upon the direction of the practice.” Muldoon and attorneys Anne Schneiderman and Barry Manna are joining the Syracuse office of Harris Beach, PLLC. Muldoon and Schneiderman are joining as partners and Manna will be an

associate. Several Marjama support staff members are moving to Harris Beach with them as well, Muldoon says. Details on where other Marjama employees are headed were not immediately available. Muldoon says those moves haven’t all been made public yet. Muldoon also stressed that the staff and attorneys at Marjama are focusing on keeping their clients’ files secure and safe during the transition. Muldoon says many of his clients have substantial legal needs beyond intellectual property. “Being in a general practice firm will help us serve our clients’ broader needs better,” he says of his decision to join

Harris Beach. He also says he expects most of Marjama’s former clients to continue working with attorneys from the firm in their new positions. For Harris Beach, adding the former Marjama lawyers brings intellectual-property expertise. Harris Beach sees intellectual property as a growth area, but didn’t yet have that capability in its local office, says David Capriotti, co-managing partner for the Harris Beach Syracuse office. The office has 14 attorneys and 16 administrative and support staff members. “It really strengthens our overall firmwide practice and gives us that ability in our Syracuse office,” he says. “We wouldn’t invest in it or bring that group over if we

didn’t see it as a good opportunity for us at Harris Beach.” Marjama Muldoon has seen its share of changes over the years. Several years ago, seven attorneys from the firm, which was then known as Wall Marjama & Bilinski, joined Syracuse–based Hiscock & Barclay, LLP. The group included Thomas Wall, a founder of the firm. Peter Bilinski, another named partner at the firm, also eventually joined Hiscock & Barclay. Hiscock had approached the Marjama firm about a merger several years earlier, but the partners voted against a deal at the time. q Contact Tampone at



• The Central New York Business Journal

May 27, 2011

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Startup launched by SU student developing “electronic skin”

(Formerly called TechBiz)


SYRACUSE — A startup founded by a graduate student at Syracuse University (SU) aims to transmit everything from Braille to karate kicks electronically. PiezoTouch, founded by Leena Chitnis, is developing an electronic-skin technology that will allow transmission of touch signals. So, a blind person could read Braille off a screen. Or two friends playing a video game could “feel” their kicks and punches through materials incorporating the skin. You could even send literal “pokes” through Facebook or get someone’s attention during a meeting by “tapping” him/her on a shoulder through a cell phone screen, Chitnis says. PiezoTouch won first place and $25,000 in the annual Panasci Business Plan Competition at SU in April. The company also won $5,000 and the contest’s Fetner Prize in Sustainable Enterprise. Chitnis, who has one year left to complete her master’s degree in business administration at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, bought the rights to the PiezoTouch technology from its inventors a year ago. She had a connection to them through a family friend. The inventors, Chitnis says, were mainly focused on software products and the electronic skin is primarily a hardware project. They put it on the backburner, but Chitnis was enthusiastic about developing the technology herself. “I don’t think they realized they were sitting on a goldmine,” she says. Chitnis is working to develop the See PIEZOTOUCH, page 10B

Inside Stuff


Vol. VI, No. 2

May 27, 2011

Cover Story

Cornell starts Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

ITHACA — Cornell University’s new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute‘s goal is to unite the school’s programming, research, and curricula in those areas into a single entity. “A bunch of us that had been doing things individually are now going to coordinate more closely,” says Wesley Sine, one of the professors involved in launching the institute. “It demonstrates that the school is now serious about this. Not that they haven’t been in the past, but this really shows it.” The institute will push for more research dollars, coordinate seminars and other programs, and aid in developing curricula in entrepreneurship and innovation. Organizers plan to hire a full-time executive director by September. “This is no longer flying under the radar,” says Zachary Shulman, a senior lecturer at Cornell and managing partner at the Cayuga Venture Fund. “We’ve made the decision to increase the programs we run and sponsor more research. And we’re doing it in a way that has full faculty and full dean support.” Shulman is heading up the programming side of the institute at the moment and Sine is the academic head. The institute, which launched six months ago, will provide a focal point for coordination with other Cornell institutes, such as See CORNELL, page 10B


Wesley Sine, Ph.D., a J. Thomas Clark Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and academic director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, left, speaks with some students in a classroom. The Institute aims to unite the school’s programming, research, and curricula in those areas into a single entity.

Getting Bigger

Overseas Expansion

Ready to Launch

 Transonic Systems expands headquarters.

 Palisade Corp. adds office in Japan.

 Ithaca company unveils new software.

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innovation & Technology

• The Business Journal

May 27, 2011

Transonic Systems expands Lansing headquarters By Kevin Tampone Journal Staff

LANSING — A major expansion is under way at Transonic Systems, Inc. as the biomedical-technology company is adding a new, 30,000-square-foot addition that will house its manufacturing operations. Transonic Systems makes flow-measurement devices used in both medicine and research. The company’s products are used in everything from heart surgery to dialysis and in research labs around the world. The company’s current 30,000-squarefoot headquarters in the town of Lansing houses its entire operation. That includes manufacturing, sales, engineering, and everything else, says Bruce Kilmartin, Transonic’s chief operating officer. There is no more room for additional manufacturing or expansion in the old building, so the company is building the addition. Once complete, the new building will house manufacturing and everything else will stay in the existing building. Transonic Systems is located at 34 Dutch Mill Road in Lansing. The expansion project began in March and is slated to wrap up in

October. Transonic Systems has been growing at a pace of 6 percent to 10 percent a year for the past 14 years, Kilmartin says. The company’s annual sales have expanded in that period from $7 million to $20 million. Transonic’s sales have been boosted by an expanding worldwide presence, Kilmartin says. The company has European and Asian divisions in the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Japan. All of those divisions have opened in the past five years with Japan launching in 2006 and Taiwan in 2007. Transonic expanded into the Netherlands last year. Kilmartin adds that the company is also in the process of closing some acquisitions that will spark the production of new products in Ithaca. He declined to provide details as the deals are still in the works. The firm employs 141 people total, including 124 in New York. As a result of the addition, Transonic will expand its manufacturing work force from 50 to 100 in the next few years, Kilmartin says.

Your local source for business news and information

Transonic President Cornelis Drost founded the company in 1983. It’s based on work he was involved with originally at Cornell University. Drost was the main researcher on a project at Cornell to adapt what became some of Transonic’s core technology for medical use. What ultimately allowed the expansion was the installation of a new sewer line. Without that, Transonic’s expansion would have been impossible, Kilmartin says. The firm previously relied on a septic system and it wouldn’t have been able to handle the larger footprint, he says. Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD) facilitated the sewer project with the town of Lansing, the village of Lansing, the companies in the Warren Road Business & Technology Park, Tompkins County Planning, and Cornell University Real Estate. The effort took more than three years. Empire State Development ultimately awarded a $400,000 grant to support construction of the new sewer line along

innovation & technology SNAPSHOT

Transonic Systems, Inc. 34 Dutch Mill Road Ithaca, NY 14850 (Town of Lansing) Phone: (607) 257-5300 Website: n Type of business: Maker of flowmeasurement devices used in medicine and research n Year founded: 1983 n President/founder: Cornelis Drost n Annual sales: $20 million n Employees: 141 n International locations: Netherlands, Taiwan, Japan

Warren Road. It will support seven companies, including Transonic, that employ more than 300 people. TCAD applied for the grant on behalf of the town of Lansing. q Contact Tampone at

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May 27, 2011

The Business Journal • 3B

Palisade expands to Japan BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

ITHACA — An Ithaca–based software company that focuses on risk and decision analysis has opened a new office in Tokyo. It’s the latest move in an international expansion that began more than 10 years ago for Palisade Corp. The company’s software is used to analyze risk in fields like mining, oil and gas, finance, insurance, energy, and more. The firm opened its first overseas office in London in 1998. Palisade added a location in Sydney in 2005 and one in Rio de Janeiro last year. Palisade began building its internaHeffernan tional business long before it started opening offices in other countries, says Randy Heffernan, vice president. As a software company, many of its leads came in through the Internet. It started winning international work as people found the company online. Palisade also benefits from working in a narrow niche. “We’re in a specialized field,” Heffernan says. “And we’ve been around a long time.” Palisade began in 1984. While it’s always a risk to open an overseas location, it helps if there’s already an established base of business there. Palisade had that when it began its international push, Heffernan says. Company leaders felt that if they were generating solid growth overseas even without physical locations, the potential would be even stronger with feet on the ground in other countries. Because the company’s field is so spe-

cialized, distributors can only do so much, Heffernan says. “We find we have more success the more often we can go direct,” he says. Palisade has also translated its software into other languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and French. About half of Palisade’s business is international at this point, Heffernan adds. In Japan, the company expects strong business with utilities, manufacturers, shipbuilders, and the nation’s nuclear industry. He notes that Palisade was getting interest from that sector even before the March reactor accident there, following the massive earthquake and tsunami. The type of risk analysis Palisade’s software provides is in different stages of adoption in various markets around the world, Heffernan says. In the U.S., it’s fully embraced. The oil and gas industry here has been using it for decades, he says. The techniques are newer to other countries. “If you go to other parts of the world, it’s considered more cutting edge, a little newer,” Heffernan says. “Japan is kind of at that level.” That’s one reason Palisade has more success overseas when it sets up its own locations, Heffernan says. Educating potential customers and strong marketing efforts are critical when entering countries where the analysis techniques are not known as widely, he adds.

The company isn’t planning any other new overseas offices at the moment. But the firm continues to develop new markets. Its Sydney office is working on new business in China, Heffernan says. And oil and gas companies in the Middle East have been showing strong interest in the Palisade’s software in recent years. “The enthusiasm is great,” Heffernan says. “It’s very high.” Palisade has also been seeing growth in India. With a highly educated middle

class there, the software is an easier sell, Heffernan notes. “The sale is very different in India than it may be in other parts of the world where you have to do more education,” he says. “You may not have to do as much technical education there to explain the benefits.” Palisade doesn’t disclose exactly how many employees it has or its annual sales. Heffernan described the company as small to medium-sized.  Contact Tampone at

Today’s intellectual property environment is tough enough without having a law firm that offers vague guidance instead of mapping clear pathways to practical and business-oriented solutions. At Bond, Schoeneck & King we strive to clarify and simplify your legal challenges with attorneys who listen and provide sensible, effective solutions to help you achieve your desired outcome. We provide full service intellectual property counseling for clients of all sizes and in a broad cross-section of industries including high-tech startups, universities, research organizations, service oriented businesses, financial institutions and established manufacturing businesses.

Palisade Corp. 798 Cascadilla St. Ithaca, NY 14850 Phone: (607) 277-8000 Website:

IP Resources  Patent, Trademark and Copyright Matters  U.S. and Foreign Patent and Trademark Prosecution  IP Litigation  Patent Validity Studies and Opinions  Patent Infringement Studies  Patentability Studies and Opinions

 Type of business: Computer-software firm  Year Founded: 1984  International locations: London, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo

Palisade Corp.’s Ithaca headquarters. The company has opened a new office in Tokyo.

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 Proceedings before the U.S. PTO  Patent and Trademark Right to Use and Clearance Studies and Opinions  Software Protection and Agreements  Technology and Manufacturing Contracts  IP Licensing  IP Policies and Audits

Central New York Contact: George R. McGuire One Lincoln Center | Syracuse, NY 13202 | 315.218.8000 | Serving Clients’ Legal Needs Throughout New York and Beyond Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.



• The Business Journal

May 27, 2011

Ithaca company launches new energy-efficiency software BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

ITHACA — Performance Systems Development (PSD) has launched a new software suite designed to manage energyefficiency programs. Green Energy Compass Suite for Programs includes modules to serve homeowners, energy-program managers, auditors, contractors, and quality-assurance providers. The system is meant to foster efficient startup and operations of energyefficiency programs, according to the company. The consumer portion includes templates, educational content, and energy- saving tips. It allows a program-management team to create and maintain an effective


Performance Systems Development 124 Brindley St. Ithaca, NY 14850 Phone: (607) 277-6240 Website:  Type of business: Provider of software, training, and consulting for the building energy-efficiency industry  President/CEO: Greg Thomas  Employees: 50  Other office locations: Philadelphia and Meadville, Pa.

public-program website, PSD says. Homeowners interested in energy audits can select from an on-screen list of service providers registered with the program. The suite’s field-audit tool is built on PSD modeling software approved by the U.S. Department of Energy. It offers fast, on-site energy simulation and savings predictions. The suite’s Green Energy Compass is its central information hub. It provides workflow management, tracking, and reporting and tools for tracking energy savings. It also provides quick feedback on performance. A customer-relationship management module provides program managers tracking and reporting along with campaignmanagement tools. The federal-stimulus bill included $20 billion targeted at energy efficiency, including the Weatherization Assistance Program, Better Buildings, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which aim to retrofit 600,000 residential homes. The funds have spawned the creation of energy-efficiency programs across the country, according to PSD. The company says it developed the Green Energy Compass Suite to provide the tools needed to create and sustain those and other energy programs. Even beyond the stimulus, energy efficiency is getting more attention, creating a market for the suite, says Greg Thomas, president and CEO of Performance Systems Development. More communities are looking at encouraging their members to engage in energy-related economic development,

he adds. “I think the stimulus money leveraged that trend and boosted that trend,” he says. “The trend doesn’t result from the stimulus money, but that has expanded and reinforced it.” Customers for the suite include utilities and other private companies and some government agencies, Thomas says. The suite was implemented as part of PA Home Energy’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. One of its modules was also chosen by a utility in the Midwest to support faster deployment of a residential energy-audit program. The Compass Suite has also been se-

lected as the core information-technology software to power the program of more than 15 “Better Buildings” program cities under the Department of Energy. Performance Systems specializes in software, training, and consulting for the building energy-efficiency industry. Last year, the company received an investment from Blue Hill Partners, LLC of Philadelphia. The amount from Blue Hill, an investment firm, was not disclosed. PSD employs 50 people and is headquartered in Ithaca. The company has additional offices in Philadelphia and Meadville, Pa. Contact Tampone at


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Is social-media networking right for my business? I

s social-media networking right for every business? Social-media ne working sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn each have unique qualities; there are also many others with their own attributes. My simple answer is, yes — find the right social network and start off by integrating it into your business advertising plan. Let’s look at two different businesses and options for social-media networking. Dr. Mary Foot is a podiatrist. Her office serves clients and is seeking to promote hours of operation, VIEWPOINT services, and specialty footwear. Facebook and LinkedIn would fit Dr. Mary’s business. Facebook’s platform has millions of users and an option for businesses with fan pages. Dr. Mary’s hours, services, and footwear offerings can be showcased via written descriptions and photos, including F-commerce for customers to purchase products right from the fan page. There are many applications that can be attached to the fan page to collect email addresses and even increase interaction. LinkedIn can showcase Dr. Mary’s education, specialties, résumé, and business offerings. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn is interactive via news and updates. LinkedIn is a dynamic rolodex and résumé rolled into one as an important part of a professional toolkit. Dedication to social media is necessary to maintain, rotate pictures, and post updates about current and future events at the office. These two networks can be interlinked so that consistent postings and updates are easy. Both are also mobile-phone friendly. Hope’s Homemade Restaurant claims to serve the best homemade dishes in the area. Hope doesn’t have a website and wants to promote hours, catering services, and weekly specials. Facebook and Twitter have capabilities that would suit this style of business. Facebook’s fan pages again can provide hours of operation and showcase specials via written descriptions and photos of servings that are easily updated. A daily tweet or two, on Twitter, of the menu with short, enticing descriptions of certain items encourages customers to dine there. Twitter followers can be targeted and acquired with resourceful websites such as www.Twellow. com, a yellow-page directory for Twitter. Targeted timing of Facebook and Twitter posts can entice people near lunch and dinner times with pre-established scheduling. The website is a popular scheduling tool. Before any business jumps into socialmedia networking, here are some steps to take.  Establish goals for social media. Know what you want to accomplish — advertising, awareness, or both  Set up topics and conversation around the goal. Encourage interaction, ask and pose questions  Nurture customer relationships.


The Business Journal • 5B


Established goals and knowledge are the most important tools to have at your disposal as you take part in any business socialmedia activity.”

Reply and respond to comments; pay attention to criticism and respond  Keep your brand in mind. Maintain a consistent message  Delegate tasks. Target an audience, set up a posting schedule, and stick to it  Be open, have real conversations across niches and topics, join groups and like other pages Businesses will see the benefits and drawbacks of social media. Benefits are increased awareness, brand affinity, awareness, and advertising in a cost-effective manner, if done right. Drawbacks are it takes time, it’s one more task to do, and it could result in quick criticism that has to be addressed promptly to prevent or limit damage. Social-media managers and news sites — such as — are a valuable resource. Established goals and knowledge are the most important tools to have at your disposal as you take part in any business social-media activity. According to the Nielsen Company (November 2010), U.S. Internet users spend three times more minutes on blogs and social networks than on email. BlogHer reported in April 2011 that 93 percent of U.S. adult Internet users are on Facebook. According to an April estimate from eMarketer, 79 percent of Twitter users are more likely to recommend brands they follow on Twitter. The fact is, social media isn’t a fad; it’s a revolution. Josh Mendelsohn, vice president of marketing at Chadwick Martin Bailey (, a U.S.– based market research and consulting firm, said, “While social media is not the silver bullet that some pundits claim it to be, it is an extremely important and relatively low cost touch point that has a direct impact on sales and positive word of mouth. Companies not actively engaging are missing a huge opportunity and are saying something to consumers — intentionally or unintentionally — about how willing they are to engage on consumers’ terms.”  Maria Snyder is a CPA and social-media manager in Cicero. Contact her at maria@ or visit



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• The Business Journal

Hannover Messe: Mother of All International Trade Shows W

hen considering how best to market the assets of New York’s Creative Core to a broad international audience, while getting the best return for our marketing dollars, I consider trade shows an important part of the appropriate marketing mix. From April 4 to April 8, I attended the mother all international GOING GLOBAL of trade shows, representing New York’s Creative Core Region, in Hannover, Germany. Since 1947, Hannover has hosted what has become the world’s largest trade fair. As described on the Hannover website, “This was an initiative of the British occupying forces in consultation with the commander-in-chief of the American zone. After the war, Germany was characterized by physical devastation, industrial ruin, and chronic food shortages. In order to show the world the kind of economic revival that entrepreneurs, workers, and politicians were capable of jointly bringing about, the British military government decreed that the Germans were to organize a trade fair from 18 August to 7 September 1947. For, the victorious Western powers had decided that the only way for Germany to become economically self-reliant again would be through exporting its own goods.” Over the decades, this has become the world’s biggest trade show. How big? This


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year, Hannover Messe attracted 6,500 exhibitors from 65 countries and more than 230,000 visitors. The show occupies 5.3 million square feet. This equates to roughly 53 Oncenter Convention Centers. It’s a lot of ground to cover, and that is just the indoor portion. One of the reasons I decided to participate this year was the availability of a unique program to provide additional focus on the presence of organizations from the United States. The program was organized and supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Commercial Service, and the Hannover Messe. This program offered assistance in a number of ways, but, most importantly it allowed us to be recognized as part of the “Invest in America Pavilion” along with five states and 20 other economic-development organizations. Companies wishing to explore the U.S. market now had a single location where they could stop to get information and have discussions with representatives from a variety of locations around the United Sates. I also found it appealing that this show would draw a large number of German companies. The appeal of Germany as a source of economic development is clear. More than 3,000 German businesses are operating in the United States, employing more than 1 million Americans. This trade works in both directions as there are also more than 2,000 U.S. companies operating in Germany, employing more than 800,000

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Germans. Another appealing aspect of this conference was the breadth of sectors that were in attendance. The Hannover Messe 2011 was actually 13 different trade shows taking place at the same time and in the same place. Some of the major focus areas were industrial automation, drive and automation technology, energy, digital solutions, comvac, industrial supply, and nanotechnology. As with all trade shows, the key to success is planning. Based on my experience, if you decide to go, there are a few things you should know in advance. First, it is impossible to cover all of the ground with only one or two people, so you should target specific sectors or companies. Ideally, you would have appointments set up with a number of companies before you embark on your trip. The best days for appointments are early in the week, for two reasons. First, this is when most decision-makers are at the show, and second, this is when traffic is the lightest. By the end of the week, the aisles become quite crowded and it becomes difficult to navigate through the 27 exhibit halls that make up the show.

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Most of the companies exhibiting at the show will have at least one person in the booth who speaks English, but this is not always the case. This year, the EDA provided one bilingual assistant for every two economic-development organizations. In our case, we worked with a German college student who also spoke English very well. If we had hired our own translators in Germany, the cost would have been $200 per day. There are also services available locally, in Syracuse, including individuals who can act as an interpreter and also help to set appointments and act as matchmaker between your company and those at the Messe. Finally, you should try to book accommodations well in advance as Hannover fills up completely for this event. Overall, I found Hannover Messe to be a good place for New York’s Creative Core to educate a large number of companies regarding our focus on the renewable energy and green sectors, manufacturing tradition, expertise, and strategic location, as well as new investments in the nanotechnology sector.  Mike Novakowski is the director of business development for CenterState CEO. He is a member of the Central New York International Business Alliance (, a regional, business organization focused on promoting international trade. Contact him at

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The Business Journal • 7B

HCCC adds new crime and intelligence-analysis degree By Traci DeLore Journal Staff

HERKIMER — This fall, students at Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) can learn how to analyze crime patterns and predict future crimes. They’ll do so in the college’s new crime and intelligence analysis associate-degree program recently approved by the state Education Department. “I’m very excited,” says Monica Hack Polkosnik, a criminal-justice instructor at the college who designed the program. “I think there will be a need for this, and I think there is a need already.” Polkosnik says she saw the need for such a program while she worked for nearly 30 years as a police officer in Gwinnett County, Ga., and she is putting her experience on the force to good use in the new program. While in Georgia, she managed the police department’s crime-analysis office, where she supervised six analysts as they examined evidence and crime scenes in search of crime patterns. Polkosnik is a Utica native who returned to the area after retiring from police work. She joined the HCCC staff in 2009 after serving as an adjunct faculty member for a year. She pitched the program to the HCCC board of trustees in January 2010 and received the necessary approval to pursue the program with the state. Such crime-analysis work is something police officers have always done, she says,

but these days there is a lot more technology involved in the process. It has also become a much more important task in the post 9/11 world, she adds. The new degree program at HCCC, which launches during the upcoming fall semester, focuses on developing research and analytical skills to use in crime analysis or intelligence initiatives within a variety of criminal-justice agencies. Law-enforcement agencies use crime analysis to help determine staffing patterns and assignment of specialized units. It allows the police department to predict where crimes might occur so it knows where to put its officers, Polkosnik says. Students in the program will learn how to predict future crimes by using statistical analysis and other specialized techniques. The crime and intelligence-analysis program will prepare students for employment in both the public and private sector, she says. Potential employers for graduates of this program include local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies; the military; and private contractors dealing with security issues. Along with the required liberal-arts classes students need to graduate, other courses include criminal-substantive law, criminal-procedure law, criminal justice, law enforcement, intelligence analysis, criminal-investigative analysis, crime analysis and crime mapping, research and analytical methods, terrorism and homeland security, and gangs.

photo courtesy of HCCC facebook page

Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) students work on a mock forensic drill at the college. This fall, HCCC will offer a new crime and intelligence analysis associate-degree program recently approved by the state Education Department. A number of the courses are existing courses that are part of the other related programs at HCCC, including criminal justices and cybersecurity, economic crimes, and forensic investigations. The college did not hire any new instructors to staff the program, and Polkosnik says she teaches the majority of the classes within the major. While it’s hard to guess how many

students might enroll in the program, Polkosnik says the college has room for 24 students each semester. Located in Herkimer, HCCC ( has about 3,600 enrolled students and offers more than 40 degree and certificate programs. q Contact DeLore at

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• The Business Journal

May 27, 2011

SmartStart Venture Forum honors upstate tech companies By Journal Staff


  he Center for Economic Growth’s   (CEG) 11th Annual SmartStart   UNYTECH Venture Forum featured 22 emerging-technology companies from throughout the state on May 18 in Albany. More than 120 investors, entrepreneurs, university representatives, and industry partners attended the event. Companies receiving special recognition at this year’s forum included: n Best Presentation: Exiscan, LLC, a Rochester manufacturer of electrical inspection and electrical safety products. (Honorable mention went to OnCore Golf Technology, Buffalo.) n Most Promising Technology: Fluorologic, Inc., a Pittsford company engaged in the de-

velopment and commercialization of minimally invasive cervical-cancer screening equipment. (Diffinity Genomics, of West Henrietta, and AptaMatrix, Inc. of DeWitt, received honorable-mention recognition.) n Most Likely to be Funded: Free Form Fibers, LLC, a Saratoga Springs company that has adapted the technology of laserassisted chemical-vapor deposition to create ceramic high-performance fibers for use in a variety of challenging applications. (Yuupon, LLC of Clifton Park received honorable-mention honors.) “All of the 22 companies who presented … represent the passion and persona of a true entrepreneur. CEG is delighted to provide a forum such as SmartStart UNYTECH to capture the excitement of growing our local companies and supporting upstate

innovation,” F. Michael Tucker, president and CEO of CEG, said in a news release. “We are pleased with the outcome of this forum and looking forward to following these companies on their journey,” he concluded. The SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum is presented by CEG and is made possible through the contributions and support of a number of public and private

contributors, the center said. Many upstate research universities also played an active role in recommending high-potential, spinout companies and contributing promising spin-out technologies to this year’s program, according to CEG. Albany–based CEG says it’s a regional economic and business-development organization dedicated to attracting high-tech talent and companies and to providing innovative services to bolster local businesses in New York State’s Capital Region and Tech Valley. UNYTECH is a collaborative effort among 11 leading research institutions in the upstate New York region. The participating universities together have research and development expenditures of more than $1 billion. q

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MARCY — SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica-Rome (SUNYIT) will launch two new degree programs this fall. The college’s new biology program will prepare students for a variety of careers in research, conservation, human medicine, veterinary medicine, computational biology, teaching, and employment with government or private firms, said Esther Bankert, provost. The program offers students three op-

tions — life sciences, bioinformatics, and biotechnology. Life sciences is for students interested in biology at the organism or physiological level. Bioinformatics is for students interested in statistics and computer science who would like to apply those interests to the biological sciences. Biotechnology is an advanced track that will launch separately in 2015 and is designed for students interested in biology on a molecular or chemical level. SUNYIT’s second new offering is a de-


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SBA introduces smartphone app BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF


he U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is rolling out a mobile app for smartphone users to obtain information more easily on how to start or grow a business. The app will be available first on the Apple iPhone, with future versions for other smartphone platforms, the SBA said in a news release. Eugene, Ore.–based Palo Alto Software, Inc. developed and donated the app as a gift, the SBA said. Users can download the free app from the SBA’s website at The SBA mobile app will make the search for resources more efficient, whether users are starting a new business or attempting to expand or grow an existing business, the agency said. The app’s “user-friendly” format will help answer questions on topics that include starting a business, writing a business plan, and securing funding, according to the SBA. The mobile app will help users connect with SBA district-office staff and SBA-affiliated counselors and mentors who can provide free, personalized small business assistance. The SBA mobile app also features a built-in startupcost calculator to help estimate the costs associated with launching a small business, plus an SBA partner locator to help users find SBA offices, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE, a nonprofit that partners with the SBA on mentoring small-business owners.  Contact Reinhardt at

The Business Journal • 9B

UVANY plans panel discussion on China in Syracuse BY JOURNAL STAFF

companies develop a strategy to become successful in the China market.” Also during the forum, entrepreneurs seeking funding will get the chance for one-minute presentations during the “Entrepreneur’s Minute.” Interested companies should sign up online when registering to attend the event at The networking reception will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the panel discussion and a question-and-answer ses-

sion. UVANY is a statewide organization formed to advance venture-capital and private-equity investments throughout New York. The organization’s gold sponsors are HSBC and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The group works to provide education, advocacy, and networking to promote the growth of entrepreneurial companies across the state.

SYRACUSE — The Upstate Venture Association of New York (UVANY) will hold an event in Syracuse June 7 featuring a panel discussion on prospects for upstate New York companies in China. The UVANY Syracuse Capital Forum will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 7 at the Tech Garden at 235 Harrison St. in downtown Syracuse. The panel will include the founder and CEO of China Business Network, the director of information technology at PPC-Online, the vice president for international business at ConMed Corp., an associate general counsel and director of governmental affairs at Welch Allyn, and more. “While China represents a huge opportunity for many Self funding your Medical, Dental and Rx Plans U.S. businesses, entering may be the solution you need. this complex market successfully requires significant preparation and education.” UVANY President Michael Have your broker call us, or call your Lasch of Pine Street Capital EBS-RMSCO representative directly, Partners said in a news reto discuss your options. lease. “The panel will help

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• The Business Journal


May 27, 2011

CORNELL: Institute will help students connect, network, and share knowledge with each other Continued from page 1B

those focused on emerging markets and sustainability. “It’s an area we have to engage,” Sine says of working with Cornell’s Emerging Markets Institute. “If you look worldwide, that’s where the opportunities are.” Entrepreneurs must be prepared for that fact, Sine adds. He also notes that Cornell at large and its Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management are home to many international students. The institute will help those students connect, network, and share knowledge

with each other and with domestic students. That will benefit all sides, Sine says. Emerging markets is just one area of growth, he adds. The entrepreneurship and sustainability institutes are partnering next year on a joint conference on sustainable enterprise. Family-owned enterprise is another area the institute is likely to focus on, Sine says. Simply allowing faculty and staff in entrepreneurship to share information more effectively will be a benefit for students, he adds. It might be easier now for students learning about a topic in a class to connect with a program or conference on the same

issue. The institute should make it easier for students to connect with areas like technology transfer, legal help, and funding assistance as well, Sine says. For faculty, it’s likely the effort will spark new research. “I’m sure that once we put this together, there will be people who apply to do things that they wouldn’t have done before,” Sine says. Long term, the institute will help advance Cornell’s reputation as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. “You’ll see lots of publications coming

out of this institute,” Sine says. “You’ll see our students throughout the world starting up businesses.” Just as important will be for those students to be known as innovative managers, he adds. “We want the most innovative companies in the world to be looking for our students,” he says. “Not just because of the good education they’ve received, but because they’re known to be risk takers and innovators.”  Contact Tampone at

PIEZOTOUCH: Reading Braille through a computer now involves connecting a bulky device Continued from page 1B

technology with a group of about 10 people. She is planning to pursue an initial round of financing in the coming months. She hopes to lock up about $2 million in funding from a single investor or venturecapital firm. Chitnis says she’s in talks with several potential funding sources now. The company so far has been financed with about $38,000 in hard cash from the Panasci competition, Chitnis’ own money, and help from friends and family. She’s also received about $150,000 in in-kind professional services. That’s mainly legal work from an ac-

quaintance, she says. Chitnis says Braille users will be a major potential market for the technology. It’s a market many ignore, she adds. “People don’t want to cater to such a niche,” she says. “People don’t think there’s any money in that market.” But those individuals need the latest technology the most, although they rarely get it. More often, they get the oldest and least useful technology on the market. “They need it the most,” Chitnis says. “They’re not last adopters by choice.” Reading Braille through a computer now involves connecting a bulky device that raises and lowers its pieces using elec-

Chitnis says Braille users will be a major potential market for the technology. It’s a market many ignore. tronic actuators. Eventually, Chitnis wants to embed PiezoTouch technology into the

screen of a cell phone or a tablet computer. It would allow a user to get a phone call and read the text of the call right from the screen. Chitnis says she’s at least two years away from commercializing the PiezoTouch concept. Eventually, she plans to license the technology to a manufacturer like Samsung. She doesn’t expect the company to produce its own devices, but rather plans to consult and work with larger firms on incorporating it into their products.  Contact Tampone at


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The Business Journal • 11B

MasterCard Survey: Consumers have sights set on mobile-phone payments BY JOURNAL STAFF


s technology continues to evolve, the mobile phone has become an increasingly important technology accessory, with younger generations driving adoption. Consumers are now poised for the next step in online commerce — using their smartphones as mobile wallets, according to a new survey released May 19 by MasterCard Worldwide. The study, conducted by Kelton Research, shows 62 percent of Americans who use a mobile phone would be open to using their device to make purchases wherever their errands may take them. “Consumers are already living a mobile lifestyle, so using their phones to make payments on a daily basis is a natural next step,” Mung-Ki Woo, group executive, mobile at MasterCard Worldwide, said in a news release. “ … 2011 is the beginning of the NFC [Near Field Communication] mobile-payments era, and consumers are eager to get their hands on the first commercial deployments in the U.S.”

Younger generations expected to drive demand

Defined as a mobile generation with its pulse on digital trends, 18-34-year-olds are especially ready to take their transactions to the next level.  According to the study, 63 percent of 18-34-year-olds would be at ease using mobile phones to make purchases, compared to those who are 35 or older (37 percent).  Consumers aged 18-34 (65 percent) feel more naked without their phones than their wallets, compared to 34 percent of those in the 35 and older group.

“Consumers are already living a mobile lifestyle, so using their phones to make payments on a daily basis is a natural next step.”  Mung-Ki Woo, group executive, mobile at MasterCard Worldwide

In a separate 2010 survey conducted by MasterCard Advisors, respondents under age 30 showed this demand has also been building for the past few years. This group is increasingly hungry for mobilepayment options and access to their funds, MasterCard says.  Between 2009 and 2010, respondents showed a 67 percent increase (15 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2010) in the number of purchases made with their mobile phones.  In this time period, these consumers also increased their daily mobile-phone access to their bank’s online-banking service by 79 percent (14 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2010).

Perception is important

The growing willingness to use a mobile phone for payments supports the role mobile phones play as a reflection of personal-

ity, and consumers’ desire not to carry a traditional wallet, MasterCard contends. According to the study, consumers value mobile phones not just for the functions they can perform, but also for what they say about them. More than half (54 percent) of respondents said that someone’s phone is more telling of their personality than their wallet. “When credit and debit cards were first introduced, consumers welcomed the improvements they made to the speed, convenience, and reliability of transactions,” said Woo. “Now with the mobile wallet ready to revolutionize this experience again, consumers have even more to gain as their phones take on additional functionality and value in their lives.”

Gender affects how consumers evaluate mobile payments

As the mobile wallet goes mainstream, gender will play a role in how it’s perceived and used, according to MasterCard. While men see their phones as functional necessities, women seem to take a more personal approach to their mobile devices. According to the survey, men tend to be more willing to use their phones for payment transactions, and they perceive the transactions in a positive way.  More men than women (51 percent vs. 40 percent) who have a mobile phone would be at ease using it to make purchases.  More men than women (49 percent vs. 45 percent) would be impressed by someone who paid a bill with a mobile application, rather than with a credit card. While women are slightly more conservative about mobile-phone purchasing

More men than women (51 percent vs. 40 percent) who have a mobile phone would be at ease using it to make purchases. decisions, they highly value the content stored on their phones, MasterCard found in the survey.  Women, more so than men (50 percent vs. 36 percent), feel more exposed without their mobile device than their wallets.  Of the women surveyed, 45 percent (vs. 34 percent of men) would rather have their phones than their wallets surgically attached so they would always remember them when leaving the home.

Trust and privacy are critical

Despite reliance on mobile devices and general consumer readiness for mobile payments, the survey revealed that overall safety is a significant comfort factor in the decision to pay by phone. The survey found that nearly two in three respondents (62 percent) said they need confirmation that their personal information is safe in order to be comfortable making a transaction. MasterCard says this underscores that trust and privacy are key factors in changing payment behaviors.  Your #1 source for breaking business news



innovation & Technology

• The Business Journal


May 27, 2011

FINALISTS Private Companies (More Than $50M) Bill Lester • Crucible Industries, LLC Kevin LaMontagne • Fulton Companies Leonard Puzzuoli • Otis Technology, Inc

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David Hazelton • Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse Christine Cancro Sauve • South Side Innovation Center - SU

Special Recognition Recipients Eric Stickels • Oneida Financial Corp. Nicholas Sciotti • Seneca County Sandra Radziwon of ACHIEVE, center, finalist in the Nonprofit Organizations (15 million and above) is notified she is a finalist. Michael Cartner, of Currier Plastics, Inc., is notified he is a finalist in the Private Company ($10-50 million) category.

Central New York Busines Journal 5/27/2011  

Central New York Business Journal May 27, 2011 Issue

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