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Nonprofit Corner: Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. Page 17.

Special Report: Construction & Real Estate. Page 9.







Vol. XXV • No. 22






Woodbine Group lines up next project: Copper Beech Commons JOURNAL STAFF

SYRACUSE — Just a few weeks after opening another hotel in Syracuse, the Woodbine Group is readying its next project. This time it’s apartments. Work on Copper Beech Commons, an upscale, $18 million student housing project, is set to begin this month. The 133-unit, 302-bed development is expected to be complete and ready to open in August 2012. Woodbine opened its latest hotel in Syracuse, Hotel Skyler, in May. The 180,000-square-foot, student-apartment complex will be located across the street from an-

other Woodbine hotel, the Genesee Grande, on East Genesee Street. Woodbine has owned the Copper Beech property, which is current■ For ly occupied by more on an abandoned arconstrucmory that dates tion & real to 1940, for about estate, see six years. our special report. The comPage 9 pany originally planned to transform the site into a meeting and convention center to complement the Genesee Grande, Woodbine President Norman Swanson says. Rather than compete for business with the publically supported See WOODBINE, page 16

Norman Swanson, president of the Woodbine Group, outside the Skyler Hotel during its renovation. The company is set to begin work on Copper Beech Commons this month.



Upstate Shredding stays laserfocused on growth BY NORMAN POLTENSON JOURNAL STAFF


Adam Weitsman, president of Upstate Shredding, LLC, outside the company’s Owego headquarters.

OWEGO — “To survive, Upstate Shredding must grow,” says Adam Joel Weitsman, president and sole stockholder of a vast and growing metal-recycling business headquartered in Owego. Incorporated in 1996, Upstate See SHREDDING, page 5

Mohawk Global Logistics expands with new Chicago office Also, plans to add 25-50 jobs here in the next five years BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF



June 3, 2011




SYRACUSE — Mohawk Global Logistics of Syracuse is expanding again, this time with a new

office in Chicago. The location will serve the company’s growing client base in the Midwest. Mohawk Global handles domestic and international shipping logistics. The firm is based in Syracuse and has branch offices in Albany, Rochester, and Buffalo, in addition to salespeople in Cleveland and Boston. See MOHAWK GLOBAL, page 19







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• The Central New York Business Journal


June 3, 2011

Blog tackles New York’s startup scene By Kevin Tampone

News of note for and about Central New York businesses

N.Y. egg production rises 8 percent in April Egg production on New York farms totaled 98 million eggs in April, up 8 percent from last year, according to King Whetstone, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office. The number of hens and pullets of laying age, totaling 4.07 million, increased 7 percent from April 2010 and the rate of lay increased slightly from last year, the field office reported. U.S. egg production totaled 7.61 billion during April 2011, up slightly from last year, the USDA says. Production included 6.56 billion table eggs, and 1.06 billion hatching eggs. The total number of layers during April 2011 averaged 340 million, down slightly from last year. April egg production per 100 layers was 2,236 eggs, up 1 percent from April 2010, the USDA says.

Tompkins Financial insurance subsidiary closes on acquisition ITHACA — The insurance subsidiary of Tompkins Financial Corp. (NYSE Amex: TMP) has acquired an Ithaca–based insurance agency. The acquisition of Olver & Associates Insurance, Inc. by Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc. became effective June 1. Neil Olver, Olver president and CEO, will serve as a senior vice president at Tompkins Insurance. His wife, Lisa Olver, will continue in her role as commercial lines account manager. Olver’s other three employees were also retained. The firm will operate from its current location at 414 E. Upland Road until it relocates to the Tompkins Insurance office on Craft Road in August. “This is a fantastic addition to our team,” Tompkins Insurance President and CEO David Boyce said in a news release. “I’m excited that this acquisition will not only further solidify our presence in Central New York, but it will also enhance our ability to grow our business in Ithaca with the addition of another proven talent to the organization.” Tompkins Insurance has 21 offices in Central and Western New York. Its parent company, Tompkins Financial, operates 45 banking offices in the New York through three subsidiary banks: Tompkins Trust Co., The Bank of Castile, and Mahopac National Bank. The company also owns a wealth-management subsidiary. Tompkins Financial, based in Ithaca, earned $8.8 million, or 80 cents a share, in the first quarter.

email your company news to

Journal Staff


  blog launched earlier this year   covering the state’s startup land  scape is setting up shop in the Syracuse Technology Garden. UNYstartups came online in March. Julian Baldwin, the site’s founder, just graduated from Binghamton University with degrees in bioengineering and philosophy. Baldwin is spending this summer working from the Tech Garden as part of its Student Sandbox program, he says. He started the site, www.unystartups. com, after spending about two weeks in early March researching startup activity in upstate New York. It wasn’t a school project, just an interest. “That’s just kind of my own obsession,” he says. Baldwin quickly realized after visiting hundreds of websites that there was a lot of information out there, but it was fragmented. photo courtesy of unystartups “The problem is it’s hard to feel any sense Julian Baldwin, founder of UNYstartups, speaks to a group of people at a recent of community or ecosystem,” Baldwin says. Although the site began with a focus on event. Baldwin started the site,, after spending about two Upstate, it has since expanded to include weeks in early March researching startup activity in upstate New York. the New York City area as well. The effort’s content includes stories tors, business-plan competitions, and en- Binghamton, Rochester, and Buffalo . on young companies and their founders tries from experts like Zachary Shulman, Baldwin says his main goal is to help and coverage of events, such as Dennis managing partner of the Cayuga Venture entrepreneurs connect with each other and Crowley’s convocation address at Syracuse Fund. inspire each other. In addition to the site’s University’s School of Information Studies. The site also features news targeted 64141 MH Land Use Ad for CNYBJ- 7.5" x 6.375" BW See blog, page 22 The blog also features posts on area men- at individual cities like Syracuse, Ithaca,

STATE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW (“SEQR”) REGULATIONS SEC. 617.7 DETERMINING SIGNIFICANCE (a) THE LEAD AGENCY MUST DETERMINE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ANY TYPE I OR UNLISTED ACTION IN WRITING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION. (1) To require an EIS for a proposed action, the lead agency must determine that the action may include the potential for at least one significant adverse environmental impact. (2) To determine that an EIS will not be required for an action, the lead agency must determine either that there will be no adverse environmental impacts or that the identified adverse environmental impacts will not be significant. (b) FOR ALL TYPE I AND UNLISTED ACTIONS THE LEAD AGENCY MAKING A DETERMINATION OF SIGNIFICANCE MUST: (1) consider the action as defined in subdivisions 617.2(b) and 617.3(g) of this Part; (2) review the EAF, the criteria contained in subdivision (c) of this section and any other supporting information to identify the relevant areas of environmental concern; (3) thoroughly analyze the identified relevant areas of environmental concern to determine if the action may have a significant adverse impact on the environment; and (4) set forth its determination of significance in a written form containing a reasoned elaboration and providing reference to any supporting documentation. (c) CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING SIGNIFICANCE. (1) To determine whether a proposed Type I or Unlisted action may have a significant adverse impact on the environment, the impacts that may be reasonably expected to result from the proposed action must be compared against the criteria in this subdivision. The following list is illustrative, not exhaustive. These criteria are considered indicators of significant adverse impacts on the environment: (i) a substantial adverse change in existing air quality, ground or surface water quality or quantity, traffic or noise levels; a substantial increase in solid waste production; a substantial increase in potential for erosion, flooding, leaching or drainage problems; (ii) the removal or destruction of large quantities of vegetation or fauna; substantial interference with the movement of any resident or migratory fish or wildlife species; impacts on a significant habitat area; substantial adverse impacts on a threatened or endangered species of animal or plant, or the habitat of such a species; or other significant adverse impacts to natural resources;

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(iii) the impairment of the environmental characteristics of a Critical Environmental Area as designated pursuant to subdivision 617.14(g) of this Part; (iv) the creation of a material conflict with a community’s current plans or goals as officially approved or adopted;

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The Central New York Business Journal • 3

June 3, 2011

SubCat Music Studios opens up shop in Syracuse by eric reinhardt journal staff

SYRACUSE — SubCat Music Studios, LLC on May 24 announced the completion of its new recording facility at 219 S. West St. in Syracuse. The company is now part of the “219 West” Project (formerly known as The Gateway Building), which seeks to develop the block between Armory Square and the Syracuse Art, Life, and Tech (SALT) District. The SALT District is a project of the Near West Side Initiative, Inc. aimed at creating a new epicenter of artistic and cultural development in the Syracuse and Central Upstate New York area, according to the website SubCat wanted to be closer to Syracuse to make it easier for customers to come to the studio, says Ronald (Ron) Keck, photo courtesy of subcat music studios an audio engineer and principal owner of The drum room at SubCat Music Studios in Syracuse. The company announced the SubCat Music Studios. completion of its new recording facility at 219 S. West St. on May 24. “When we started looking for a location, our first thought was to get closer to our market [Syracuse],” says Keck. SubCat had operated in the 1,800-squareHe also says SubCat is still working on Jeremy Johnston, another audio engi- foot basement of a medical office in final details on the company’s lease with the neer, co-owns the business with Keck, but Skaneateles since the company launched building owner, 219 South West, LLC, but Keck declined to disclose the share each in 2000. Keck says SubCat will operate in its current man owns. The company started doing business space for at least five years. SubCat learned the Near West Side from its new Syracuse space during the SubCat secured a “substantial” loan for Initiative was seeking arts-related business- first week of April. SubCat moved from its upgrades on its amplifiers, cables, guitars, es to move into the area, Keck says Skaneateles location at the end of January. computers, and printers, but Keck declined “We thought it was a perfect fit for us,” The business was closed in the interim, to disclose the dollar amount or how the Keck says.COB Cicero Grand Opening Ad for CNY Business KeckJournal says. 1/2 Page Horiz 10"x6.375" ODD-CNY-Horiz company 65462 BW secured the loan.

The new space will allow SubCat to expand its services in musical and commercial recording, compact-disc (CD) duplication, and graphic-art design, Keck says. The Syracuse location offers about 16,000 square feet of space, which spans four floors of 219 S. West St. It includes two control rooms, four tracking rooms, an artist lounge, an instrument suite, and four administrative offices, Keck says. The new space also allows SubCat to hold recording sessions during daytime hours. SubCat was limited to recordings in the evening and overnight hours at the Skaneateles location because it operated below a medical office, he adds. The company currently employs four full-time people, including the owners, Keck says. SubCat declined to disclose revenue totals, but says revenue rose between 10 percent and 15 percent in 2010, compared to 2009. SubCat’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but Keck says SubCat considers its studio available “24 hours a day.” But he also notes engineers need to book the studio time in advance. The studio has worked with national artists that include John Walsh, host of Fox TV’s “America’s Most Wanted” and Larry Gatlin from the Gatlin Brothers Band, Keck says. It has also worked with local musical See subcat, page 4

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• The Central New York Business Journal

June 3, 2011

Advion opens Indianapolis lab By Kevin Tampone Journal Staff

ITHACA — Advion BioServices, a subsidiary of Advion BioSciences, Inc., has opened its new 22,000-square-foot lab in Indianapolis. Advion provides contract research for drug companies. The company also has a line of products used in lab analysis. Advion will focus on earlier-stage drug

discovery at its new facility. The firm previously concentrated mainly on later stage work. The new site, announced in March, employs 50 people. “For our existing clients, the additional services offer a broader and more comprehensive approach to utilize earlyaccess scientific knowledge and transfer this to later stage analysis,” Advion President and CEO David Patteson said

in a news release. “This should allow us to offer what the clients want, when they need it, while ensuring the scientific integrity and quality are maintained at Advion’s high standards.” The new lab is the result of a contract Advion won from pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY). Financial terms were not disclosed. Lilly is transferring its earlier stage work to cut costs, improve productivity, and speed up the flow of medicines through its pipeline, according to the

company. It’s part of a long-term strategy to integrate other collaborators into Lilly’s business. Lilly is a longtime customer of Advion. Based in Ithaca, Advion employs 188 people companywide, including 139 in its BioServices division. The company has its 33,000-square-foot headquarters on Brown Road. q Contact Tampone at

Oneida Ltd. enters new brand-development deal By Journal Staff

ONEIDA — Oneida Ltd. has entered an agreement with Los Angeles–based brandmanagement and business-development

firm Brand Sense Partners LLC to license and further develop the Oneida brand into additional areas of the home on a worldwide basis. Brand Sense Partners will develop a

strategic growth plan to launch Oneida into new categories and territories such as kitchen appliances, home décor and accessories, textiles, bathroom accessories, kitchen carts/islands, lighting, and table-

top-cleaning products. Oneida is a marketer of stainless steel and silver-plated flatware for both the consumer and food-service industries along with dinnerware, crystal, and glassware.

SUBCAT: SubCat Music Studios is occupying four floors of the 19,000-square-foot building Continued from page 3

acts such as Brand New Sin, Greg Hoover, and Los Blancos. SubCat charges $60 per hour for recording, mixing, and mastering, $300 to prepare a demonstration recording (referred to as a “demo” in the business), and $75 for the graphic design of a CD cover, according to Keck. Besides recording, SubCat also offers

CD and DVD duplication and a graphicdesign service for the CD covers. SubCat Music Studios will host an open house and provide tours of its new office and studios on June 11 from Noon to 3 p.m.

Building renovations

SubCat Music Studios is occupying four floors of the 19,000-square-foot building. The building is also home to the upcoming Montage Café, which opens in June; Black

Lagoon Productions, an audio production company that handles film scores and hiphop music; and Ultimate Cut Productions, a video-production company. The “219 West” project is next door to the Red House Arts Center. The Red House is a nonprofit organization that presents and produces new works in theatre, film, visual art, and music. VIP Structures, Inc. of Syracuse handled the renovation work but used subcontrac-

tors for additional work. New York City–based Fiedler Marciano Architecture handled the design work for the project. The Central New York Business Journal was unable to reach 219 West Street, LLC before press time for information on the project’s total cost. q Contact Reinhardt at

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June 3, 2011

SHREDDING: Weitsman has powered his growth largely through cash flow from operations Continued from page 1

Shredding, LLC generated $3 million in revenue in its first year. This year, Weitsman projects revenue of $500 million, which makes Upstate Shredding and its sister companies the largest, privately owned, full-service, scrap-metal processor and recycling center on the East Coast. Growth has required an expanded footprint. The company now has nine locations in New York and Pennsylvania: Owego (two sites), Binghamton, Ithaca, Syracuse (Solvay), Liberty, Jamestown, Rochester, and Scranton. Weitsman is currently in negotiations to acquire a dealer in Buffalo and eager to find a water-port in either Albany or New Jersey to handle his growing volume of exports, bypassing brokers and exporters. The firm’s growth is also evident in the volume of metals processed. In 2011, Upstate Shredding expects to handle 800,000 tons of ferrous metals, including copper, brass, steel, tin, and lead. The company also expects to process 150 million pounds of non-ferrous metals. The expanded footprint and volume have required it to boost its work force to 250. Upstate Shredding represents the wholesale side of the metal-recycling business. The company receives a constant stream of old cars, appliances, radiators, motor blocks, and other metals ready for scrap and literally shreds them in mega, industrial shredders. It then segregates the pulverized output and sells it to industrial plants and manufacturers for re-processing.


Machinery moves scrap material from place to place at Upstate Shredding, LLC’s Owego facility. Ben Weitsman & Son, Inc., a series of sister companies, represents the retail side of the business, collecting scrap metals from industrial and residential customers. The recycling centers feed the shredders, which are located in Owego, Rochester, and Scranton. Current plans call for adding a shredder in Jamestown, which will service Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. Because of the high cost of freight,


the shredders typically draw scrap from a maximum 120-mile radius. Weitsman’s planned expansion of the wholesale business thus necessitates a steady flow of scrap metals fed by his retail operations. Weitsman says his strategic plan calls for growth in a “down market when prices for land, corporate acquisitions, and machinery are typically low.” This accounts for the expansion of annual revenue

from $300 million in 2009 to a projected $500 million in 2011. Some of the growth comes through the acquisition of sellers’ corporate assets and some is organic growth, such as in Scranton, where Upstate Shredding built an operation from scratch. The Scranton facility opens in June. The U.S. recycling market is highly fragmented, with hundreds of small players that are family-owned businesses. Weitsman is focused on becoming a major industry player by dominating a geographical region. Weitsman’s strategy has also been fueled by the fact that metal supplies are unusually tight in a slow economy while emerging markets are simultaneously driving up demand. This imbalance of supply and demand has driven up profits for scrap-metal recycling companies in the U.S., which is the world’s largest scrap-market exporter. Recycled metal is cheaper than mining and producing virgin products, which require 60 percent more energy to create. Weitsman, alluding to the Old Testament, calls the current period “the seven fat years.” Weitsman has powered his growth largely through operating cash flow. He does retain one line-of-credit with M&T Bank to make inventory purchases and occasionally commits to short-term loans, where a machinery manufacturer may offer a special deal. According to Weitsman, his business holds no long-term debt on its balance sheet. Upstate Shredding is eager to recycle 100 percent of the scrap it receives. The See SHREDDING, page 8

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• The Central New York Business Journal

June 3, 2011

Government Regulations Don’t Make You Safer T

he United States has three sectors of the economy suffering under regulatory red tape: financial services, energy, and now health care. I’m certain the financial-services regulations have caused more harm than good. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 introduced complex and costly regulations that make it more difficult for American companies to compete globally. Passed after the Enron scandal, it burdens all publicly traded companies with added accounting tasks. One of the side effects of Sarbanes-Oxley MAROTTA ON MONEY has been to drive companies to list on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London stock exchange where they are not subject to these regulations. Another has been the reduction of initial public offerings on U.S. stock exchanges. Sarbanes-Oxley was supposed to ensure we would never be surprised again by a large company suddenly becoming insolvent or financially troubled. But as we all know, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Washington Mutual, Wachovia, and AIG proved otherwise. Conservative estimates put the compliance burden of Sarbanes-Oxley at around $33 billion annually. To put that in perspective, investors lost just under $11 billion


from the height to the bottom of the Enron scandal. Sarbanes-Oxley costs your investment portfolio three Enrons annually. And it still did not protect you from the financial meltdown of 2008. I believe regulations in the health-care and energy sectors are equally useless at protecting workers and consumers. Most of the so-called safety violations in the mines are paperwork violations rather than actual safety violations. Now that there are more third parties who must sign off on the implementation of deep-water emergency cutoff values, does anyone think the additional paperwork makes the environment safer? Americans are slowly realizing that more regulation simply means more paperwork, not more safety. Nor does it mean better consumer protection. In most cases it is as useless as passing a law stating that planes can’t fly within 800 feet of tall buildings. Or one that requires people to show their pilot credentials before taking the controls of a plane. Harry Markopolos, author of “No One Would Listen,” filed five complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exposing Bernie Madoff as the operator of a Ponzi scheme years before his admission. As his book title reveals, no one would pay heed to his warnings. Markopolos suggests this happened because the SEC is filled with lawyers, not financial professionals. Their investigations found Madoff’s bookkeeping in order, and they never bothered to match his paperwork against reality. Contrast that with the fact that more than 95 percent of SEC examinations of


registered investment advisors identify at least one deficiency. The vast majority is incorrect paperwork. The financial-services world may very well be filled with sharks who want to separate you from your money. But even teams of regulators can’t replace your own vigilance and education. Those same teams of regulators couldn’t find the biggest Ponzi scheme in history even when it was handed to them on a silver platter. Nor could the reams of regulations in Sarbanes-Oxley enforce the correct valuations of unbacked mortgages in the financial system. The costs of compliance are greater than the disaster. These regulations are a permanent drag on our economy, eating away at the productive capacity of innovative and hardworking Americans. And many in Congress want to regulate the Internet, the last bastion of American ingenuity. Last month, Net Choice released its list of the worst proposed state or federal legislation at Its website stated, “Kneejerk, overly prescriptive laws can destroy entire business models or stifle innovative new forms of communication before they have a chance to develop. Too many laws are proposed without considering unintended harm they may cause to thousands of Internet companies and millions of Internet users.” Unfortunately, what is true of the Internet is also true of energy, finance, and health care. Technology is what America does best, partly because of our lack of regulation, which allows and encourages innovation. Historically, health care was the second-best

performing sector of our economy for the same reason. Last year health care was the second-worst sector of the stock market because of the new health-care regulations. Sarbanes-Oxley has been in force long enough to see many of the unintended consequences that could not have been anticipated before the law was passed. William A. Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute and the contributing editor of “After Enron: Lessons for Public Policy,” called SarbanesOxley “unnecessary, harmful, and inadequate.” He said it was harmful “because the [law] substantially increases the risks of serving as a corporate officer or director, the premiums for directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, and the incentives, primarily for foreign and small firms, not to list their stock on an American exchange. The ban on loans to corporate officers eliminates one of the most efficient instruments of executive compensation. And the [act] may also reduce the incentive of corporate executives and directors to seek legal advice.” Until voters recognize the unintended costs of regulations, politicians will continue to gain political capital and power by passing such feel-good legislation. Voters have to cultivate a mindset of freedom and deregulation rather than first thinking, “There ought to be a law.”  David John Marotta is president of Marotta Wealth Management, Inc., which provides feeonly financial planning and wealth management. Contact him at or visit

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The Central New York Business Journal • 7

June 3, 2011

How to Avoid Increasing Your Chances of an IRS Audit T

he dreaded Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit is of concern to all businesses. While there is no guaranteed method to avoid an audit, there are a variety of situations that may increase the chances for examination. Even though IRS officials are naturally reluctant to share details of the audit-selection process, it makes sense to direct attention to the areas where they’ve focused attention with the “Market Segmentation Specialization Program” (MSSP). The IRS has developed industry guides to assist auditors in the pursuit of enforcement. These audit-technique guides are highly detailed and reveal the considerable investment made by the IRS. These public documents are available on the IRS website (, and while the IRS won’t provide a roadmap to avoiding an audit, there is certainly adequate information on the “areas of interest” and therefore seemingly, audits risk. The Market Segmentation Specialization process aims to develop highly trained examiners in specific areas to ensure taxpayer compliance. The website also includes an easy link for informants and whistleblow-

ers. People can obtain substantial monetary benefits for providing specific and credible information to the IRS if the information results in the collection of taxes, penalties, interest, or other amounts from the noncompliant taxpayer. Common wisdom tells us that tax returns ACCOUNTABILITY have a higher likelihood of being selected for examination if the tax filer has involvement, or potential involvement, in abusive tax-avoidance transactions. In other words, returns may be selected for audit based on information obtained by the IRS through efforts to identify promoters and participants in these sorts of transactions. Returns are often selected when a company is involved as a related party or party to general transactions with other businesses, partners, or investors whose returns were selected for examination. The IRS utilizes a Discriminate Function


System (DIF) to correlate return statistics based on a company’s return with past IRS experience or similar returns using the Unreported Income DIF (UIDIF). A return’s DIF indicates the potential for questionable issues. The highest-scoring returns are often subject to selection for evaluation of items requiring review. Local-compliance projects may increase the likelihood for audit as may the sheer size of the company. Many large corporate returns are examined annually and there seems to be an indication that the cash basis of accounting could bring Uncle Sam around for a sniff at the substantive reasons for selecting the cash method. Like so many rules and regulations, there are always exceptions, but if the IRS is talking about it, then you should be thinking about it. Getting at taxable income in foreign accounts is a key initiative of the IRS. The recent Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative was designed to bring offshore money back into the Untied States tax system and likely provides additional data for the IRS selection matrix. The IRS also has information-sharing

agreements with the states. If you are audited at the state level and owe additional taxes, then that information is shared with the IRS. This information may prompt the IRS to contact you, asking for additional information or audit your return in depth. Businesses should avoid claiming deductions that are inappropriate or unsupported, but if a business is entitled to a tax deduction — even if “high” compared to the amount of income — it should claim the deduction. The 2012 federal budget calls for expanding the IRS auditor ranks in an effort to shrink the nation’s “tax gap” — the difference between the amount of taxes owed and paid. The IRS has estimated this gap at nearly $300 billion. With revenue of this magnitude at stake, rest assured that enforcement and collection initiatives will remain at a high level of interest for the IRS. As with many things, the best offense is often a good defense. So be sure to consult with a reputable CPA.  Gail Kinsella is a partner in the accounting firm of Testone, Marshall & Discenza, LLP. Contact Kinsella at

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• The Central New York Business Journal

June 3, 2011

Shredding: Weitsman contends that Upstate Shredding is more nimble than big rivals Continued from page 5

company just unveiled an $8 million capital investment at the Owego yard to separate automobile wiring that currently goes into landfills. This investment is part of a capital-improvement effort company-wide well north of $50 million just in the past two years. Weitsman is also reviewing technology to recover glass and plastic. Upstate Shredding’s investments come with no tax abatements, credits, or grants from any governmental agency. Company policy is neither to ask for nor accept any monetary incentives. Today, Upstate Shredding’s competitors are large companies, such as Sims Metal Management, Ltd. (NYSE: SMS), Triple M Metal, LP, and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCHN). Weitsman contends that Upstate Shredding is more nimble than its competitors and stays on top of industry trends. The company also bankrolls its scrap dealers by paying them on the day of delivery. According to Weitsman, “Upstate’s secret is to be a low-cost, efficient producer.”

What strikes this reporter when touring the Owego yard is the company’s huge investment in paving, fencing, drainage, water-purification, structures to minimize run off of contaminants, and even industrial sweepers to collect debris. The old image of the dirty, smelly junk yard has been replaced by a new image of a communityminded enterprise that’s going green. Weitsman says he is determined to create a business generating a billion dollars annually, debt-free. He says that “… finding

markets is not hard … The key is to ensure the flow of scrap through the retail operations to the shredders and to attract and retain talent to run the various operations.” Typically, Upstate Shredding encourages the sellers of the acquired scrap yards to stay on and run the business under an employee contract. The strategy is paying off. “… [A]void speculation and focus on hitting singles, rather than home runs,” avers Weitsman. At the current pace, he should hit his goal inside of three years.


Family business

Adam Weitsman is the third generation of Weitsmans to run the scrap-metal business. His grandfather, Ben, started the company in Owego in 1938, selling used auto parts. Adam’s father, Harold, worked in the business until he retired in 2005. Adam joined the firm in 1996 and became president in 2005. He hopes his two-year old daughter will continue the tradition and represent the fourth generation. Weitsman says that exporting is now at least 75 percent of his business. His goal is to reach 90 percent through exports. Upstate Shredding services customers in Korea, China, India, and Turkey. Weitsman, who will be 43 in June, is an Owego native who attended CW Post, Long Island University, and New York University. He majored in finance and fine arts. Weitsman spent a year in federal prison in 2004 for writing worthless checks in 1998-99 in order to obtain cash to operate the business, which was then heavily in debt. The feds also fined him $1 million. The experience clearly focused him to avoid speculation in the commodity markets and to concentrate on operations. In his words, “prison made me a stronger person.” Weitsman also confesses that, when younger, he “… was lazy and lacked a work ethic.” No longer. Upstate Shredding’s president is never off his smart-phone and shuns vacations. A few days at the family’s Skaneateles pied-a-terre (forecast to cost $20 million when completed) is as far as he goes from the business. Weitsman loves his work, family, and Owego. He has no plans to move corporate headquarters or to sell, even though he says he’s been offered $300 million. He also is a fan of New York State, although he wouldn’t be averse to lower taxes and less regulation.

The Central New York Business Journal Call (800) 836-3539 today to subscribe

Weitsman doesn’t say what happens after the company hits the billion-dollar revenue goal. One can speculate, however, that his rapid growth in small metropolitan areas parallels the Sam Walton strategy: One day, Kmart woke up to find the company the number-two retailer in the country behind Walmart. Are Upstate Shredding’s competitors paying attention? q Contact Poltenson at

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

Private Companies ($10-$50M) Stephen Surace • Basloe Levin & Cuccaro Adjusters International Michael Cartner • Currier Plastics, Inc. Priscilla Alden • King + King Architects Mark Fuller • United Radio

Private Companies ($2-$10M) Jeffrey Friedman • Natur-Tyme, Inc Maria Armstrong • Sugarman Law Firm, LLP

Nonprofit Organizations (More Than $15M) Sandra Radziwon • ACHIEVE Pamela Johnson • Community General Hospital Anthony Visconti • Herkimer Area Resource Center

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Special Recognition Recipients Eric Stickels • Oneida Financial Corp. Nicholas Sciotti • Seneca County Pamela Johnson, of Community General Hospital, finalist in the Nonprofit Organizations (more than $15 million) category is notified she is a finalist. Christine Cancro Sauve, of South Side Innovation Center, is notified she is a finalist in the Nonprofit Organizations (less than $5 million) category.

The Central New York Business Journal • 9


June 3, 2011


& real estate

Landmark Theatre renovations target bigger shows by eric reinhardt journal staff

SYRACUSE — People driving south on Clinton Street and along West Jefferson Street in Syracuse have been able to follow the progress of the renovation work at Syracuse’s historic Landmark Theatre. The $16 million project aims to help attract touring Broadway performances and double the annual number of visitors to the theatre and to downtown Syracuse. The Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. announced the effort last October. The venue is located at 362 S. Salina St. in Syracuse. The project, set for completion in October 2011, includes demolition of the existing backstage area and reconstruction of a new, larger stage house that can accommodate more performances. Originally built in 1928 as a movie palace, the Landmark Theatre’s most-recent stage could not accommodate full-scale Broadway productions, according to the Downtown Committee. Landmark Theatre officials decided to expand the stage in three directions, toward the north, the south, and toward the west (Clinton Street), says Aaron Walter, project manager for Hueber-Breuer Construction Co., Inc. of Syracuse. Hueber-Breuer is serving as the construction manager for the project. Crews expanded the stage about 15 to 20 feet to the west, 20 feet to the south, and about 10 feet to the north, Walter says. “At this point… the [interior] foundations are all complete and we’ve started erecting structural steel [on the stage-house expansion],” Walter says. Most of the steel is in place and crews will next focus on the steel for the roof, he adds. The grey-colored steel framing is visible from Clinton and West Jefferson Streets. The framing is heavily braced and looks “massive” in scale “because we’re going up 80 feet, but there are no internal floors at the second level, third level, fourth level to brace it all,” Walter adds. The expansion required the use of space on West Jefferson and Clinton Streets. The project led to the closure of Clark’s Ale House at 122 W. Jefferson St. last September. In order to obtain more than $2 million in historic tax credits for the project, Hueber-Breuer is required to maintain the building’s façade, Walter says. The historic tax credits are through New York’s State Historic Preservation Office (which is part of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation) and also the U.S. National Park Service, he


Work continues on the renovation project at the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse. The $16 million project aims to help attract touring Broadway performances and double the annual number of visitors to the theatre and to downtown Syracuse. adds. The historic tax credits, coupled with state funding arranged by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) and Assemblyman William Magnarelli (D–Syracuse) totaling $7 million, comprise $9.6 million of the project’s $16 million total cost, according to the Downtown Committee of Syracuse. Walter says the only evidence the general public will see in the work that’s ongoing is the larger shows the effort is aiming to attract. “So, they’re going to be impressed that you can do that [have the larger shows], but they’re not really going to be able to see what enabled that to happen,” he says. Besides the stage-house expansion, crews are renovating previous office space on the second floor along West Jefferson and South Salina Streets into dressing rooms. The project also includes the addition of a third floor on West Jefferson Street that will contain more dressing rooms, Walter says.

Crews are adding a new box office, box-office lobby, and two new handicappedaccessible bathrooms on the first floor on the South Salina Street side, he adds.

Subcontractors, financing

Hueber-Breuer is supervising the services of about 40 people from 25 subcontractors on the project, says Walter. The subcontractors include Allied Electronics of Geddes; Burns Bros. Contractors of Syracuse for plumbing; Century Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. in DeWitt; Martin-Zombeck Construction Services, LLC of DeWitt for the drywall work and metal studs; Davis-Ulmer Sprinkler Co., Inc. of Clay for the sprinkler work; and Schenectady Steel Co., Inc. for the metal framing that is visible from Clinton and West Jefferson Streets. Holmes-King-Kallquist & Associates, Architects of Syracuse is serving as the architect on the project, and St. Germain & Aupperle Consulting Engineers, LLP of

Camillus provided engineering services, Walter says. In addition to the state funding and historic tax credits, a consortium of local banks, including M&T Bank, KeyBank, and Alliance Bank, is also providing $6.7 million in financing, according to the Downtown Committee. Landmark Theatre Properties, LLC owns the facility, according to the website of the Onondaga County Office of Real Property Tax Services. During renovations, the theatre’s lobby area will remain open for weddings, proms, and community events, the Downtown Committee said. More than 250,000 people visit the Landmark Theatre annually, the Downtown Committee said. The facility also produces about a $14 million impact on the local economy each year. q Contact Reinhardt at


• The Central New York Business Journal


June 3, 2011

OCC adding an academic building, renovating a building into a dorm BY ERIC REINHARDT JOURNAL STAFF

ONONDAGA — Reacting to strong enrollment growth it says it’s seeing, Onondaga Community College (OCC) has announced plans to construct a new academic building on campus and renovate an existing building into a residence hall near the campus. The school on May 11 announced plans to move forward with construction of its upcoming Academic II building, which will span the gorge that runs through campus. The project will connect Ferrante Hall and the Gordon Student Center. OCC is adding the building because student enrollment has increased about 65 percent over the last several years, says William (Bill) Emm, OCC’s senior vice president of administration and finance. “Our enrollment growth has been tremendous the last six, seven years,” Emm says. Enrollment has grown to about 12,000 students, according to the school’s website. OCC expects the new building will cost nearly $19 million, which includes about $630,000 for renovation work inside the Gordon Student Center. Onondaga County and the state are providing an equal share of financing for the new building, Emm says. He expects construction to start on the 44,000-square-foot building in either July or August. He says the bidding process for con-


An artist’s rendering of the current projects going on at Onondaga Community College. The college has announced plans to construct a new academic building on campus and renovate an existing building into a residence hall near the campus. struction work on the new building is finished, but he declined to disclose the firm that will serve as the general contractor on the project because it has yet to sign a contract for its work. OCC will also solicit separate bids for the renovation work at the Gordon Student Center, says Emm. OCC has chosen Cannon Design in Grand Island, N.Y. (near Buffalo) as the architect on the Academic II project, working in partnership with the C&S Cos., an engi-

neering firm based near Syracuse Hancock International Airport. The school will seek a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) silver rating for the building, which is part of the school’s facilities master plan. Cannon Design during the bidding process recommended the upcoming building span the gorge, and the school thought it was “a unique idea,” Emm says. He notes that having the building constructed over a gorge fits into OCC’s

standards for a LEED-silver certification “because there’s less land disturbance as a result … because you’re going across the gorge.” OCC gains LEED points for having the building constructed in such a way, Emm says. The gorge itself is about 200 feet side to side, he adds. OCC is moving the school’s music department into the new building. It will have eight classrooms for either music instruction or instruction in any course, as well as 40 individual music-practice rooms, and a performance center, Emm says. The college expects construction crews to complete Academic II in late 2012. The college plans to renovate the music program’s current space in the Gordon Student Center to house its counseling services. The music program has operated in that location for 25 years, he adds. “We can’t renovate that space until the music department has moved out, which won’t be until Spring 2013, so the Gordon Student Center [renovation work] is a couple years away [from completion],” he says.

New residence hall

Nearly a week after announcing plans for the new academic building, OCC also said it has plans to renovate the vacant H3 building into a residence hall with 144 rooms for 166 students. The H3 building is located near the corner of Onondaga

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June 3, 2011

The Central New York Business Journal • 11

Bonadio survey finds challenging times for contractors By Kevin Tampone Journal Staff


  he latest construction industry   survey from the Bonadio Group   finds contractors feeling pressure from the economy and continued rising health-care costs. The construction division at Bonadio conducted the survey, which included responses from nearly 100 companies of all sizes throughout the state. Bonadio, an accounting and financial-services firm based in Rochester, also has offices in Syracuse, Albany, Buffalo, Geneva, and Perry. The economy is clearly an issue for the construction sector, says Scott Cresswell, a partner at Bonadio. And hard times for states and the federal government are eroding spending on public projects. “Most contractors are seeing decreases in their volumes,” Cresswell says. “They’re trying to adjust to keep people employed and make some money at the end of the day.” Backlogs are down across the industry,

he notes. All market segments for the construction sector are weak at the moment, he adds. Construction employment declined in 179 of 337 metro areas between April 2010 and April 2011, according to federal figures analyzed by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), an industry trade group. That includes the Syracuse, Utica–Rome, and Binghamton areas. Although there have been some recent increases in private-sector activity, public investment continues to spark layoffs at contractors, AGC said in May. And while construction spending bounced back in April from an 11-year low in March, total spending was still 6.7 percent below April 2010 levels and 37 percent down from its March 2006 peak. Construction spending increased 1.4 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $769 billion, according to AGC. All that is filtering down to New York contractors and their employees in a variety of ways, according to Bonadio’s survey.

Raises at firms in the survey ranged from virtually non-existent to a couple of percent. Most construction company employees are seeing financial rewards in the form of bonuses. But those benefits only arrive if a company is doing well, Cresswell says. Another major pressure point for contractors is the cost of health care, according to the survey. More than 85 percent of respondents reported an increase in health-care costs. Firms of all sizes are trying to redesign their plans so they can still provide benefits to employees, but at a lower cost to the company, Cresswell says. And while businesses are paying more for health care every year, many are not passing those increases on to employees. As a result, high-deductible plans are becoming more common. For younger workers with few medical problems, the plans are often attractive. They cost little, but provide protection in case of a major health issue.

But for families or those who need regular care, the plans can be challenging, Cresswell notes. That’s one reason health savings accounts are becoming more common, he adds. The accounts allow workers to set aside pre-tax dollars for health-care costs. The plans had historically been found mainly at larger companies, but are now commonplace at most construction firms, Cresswell says. The business climate for contractors probably won’t improve soon, he adds. Cresswell doesn’t believe the economy will turn around for the industry as it has after past downturns. “It’s going to be tough,” he says. “There’s a lot of changes that need to happen in government. Until some of these things start to get made and we start to see some dollars flowing the right way, it’s going to cause problems for these companies.” q Contact Tampone at

New location planned for Beacon Federal branch office By Journal Staff

DeWITT — Beacon Federal Bancorp (NASDAQ: BFED) is relocating its branch on Court Street Road in East Syracuse to a new site on Northern Boulevard in

DeWitt. “This new location was chosen with customer convenience, future growth and efficiency in mind” CEO Ross Prossner said in a news release. “We are excited about this move and the opportunities it will bring to

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has total assets of $1.03 billion and eight branches in Central New York, Texas, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. Its subsidiary, Beacon Comprehensive Services Corp., offers insurance, tax preparation, and investments. q

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• The Central New York Business Journal


June 3, 2011

ABC joins Unshackle Upstate as first statewide member BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF


major upstate business advocacy group has a new member, its first covering all of New York. The Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has joined Unshackle Upstate’s leadership team. ABC serves more than 550 members who work in every facet of the construction industry. The members employ people throughout the state. ABC is Unshackle Upstate’s

first statewide partner. “Our new partnership with ABC gives us the opportunity to spread our pro-jobs and pro-taxpayer message in new communities across the state,” Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate, said in a news release. “We stand ready with ABC to advance ideas that promote New York’s T:7.5 inand energize our construction industry economy.”

Unshackle Upstate is a coalition of more than 80 business, trade, and economicdevelopment groups representing more than 70,000 employers. Most are based in

upstate New York. “Unshackle Upstate has become the leading advocate for private sector business and taxpayers, as well as a driving force in the political election arena, and the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors welcomes the opportunity to become its primary partner to represent the construction industry and the important part we play in the revival of our economy,” ABC Empire State Chapter President Steve Lefebvre said in the release.  Contact Tampone at

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The Central New York Business Journal • 13

Staying Profitable in These Turbulent Times for Contractors


or most contractors, revenues are down, competition is fierce, and margins are tight; so how is one to remain profitable during these times? There is certainly no one answer, however, best-of-class contractors across all lines of service (general contractor, highway heavy, and subcontractors) have learned to abide by these top four tips as a way to stay profitable. Overhead: It’s easy to say cut your overhead, but in practice, it’s not easy to do. Additionally, what is overhead exactly? Is it your general and administrative costs only or does it include job overhead? We would say it’s both, and while there is no magic way to decrease overhead, successful companies implement a team approach to hit numerous angles in order to find ways to reduce costs. Build a group of key employees that can uncover every stone to find dollars. The team should include accounting, human resources, equipment managers, estimating, and office administration. Some specific items to look at should include health insurance, repair costs,

cell phones, interest rates, liability insurance, professional fees, utilities, travel, dues, meals, and entertainment. Payroll: For most contractors, payroll costs are in their topfive costs. So how do you deal with these costs and still retain the best and brightest employees? The best way is to empower your employees to watch expenses, complete jobs under the estimated man-days, and look for safety issues that could send the workers’-compensation modification rate spinning out of control. Make them VIEWPOINT accountable for getting jobs done on schedule and reward them for that.



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The more things change...... The more things change The more things change . . .

According to The Bonadio Group 2011 Contractors Compensation Survey, most companies are forgoing raises but rewarding employees through bonuses. And among those construction firms that are granting raises, most are keeping them in the 1 percent to 2 percent range. Equipment: For some contractors, equipment is also in those top-five costs. So what can you do with rising fuel prices to keep things in line? While again there is no perfect solution, you need to watch all costs and make sure that your equipment is a true profit center. For equipment that is not being utilized enough, you should sell it and turn it into cash. When bidding for jobs, factor in equipment rates to help cover all costs for that equipment. Just because you own the equipment doesn’t mean you should not put true costs into the job. Failure to watch this is a recipe for disaster. Bidding: It’s easy to be the low bidder on a job. It’s hard to be the low bidder and make your normal (historical) margins in these tight times. So, here is some advice on what you should do and not do in this area. Start by not bidding on jobs outside

of your comfort zone, and don’t bid on work just to keep people busy. Bid on jobs to make money. Take your time on bids to get your best price at bid time. Don’t think after you win the job that you can buy out the job and then make some money. That is a problem just waiting to happen. Expand your “bid team” to include the project manager and supervisor so that they understand how the job is to be done. Remember, they are the ones you have now made accountable to get the job completed on time and on budget. While there is no sure-fire way to stay profitable, make sure you keep your costs as low as possible, bid smart, and empower your employees. If you can accomplish all of that, you should be able to stay profitable in these turbulent times.  Heidi Caton is a partner with The Bonadio Group’s Commercial Division and a member of its Construction Companies Team. Contact her at; Scott Cresswell is a partner with The Bonadio Group’s Construction Team. Contact him at



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June 3, 2011

Work to revive ‘The Gem’ nears completion

Leonard (Len) Montreal (right), co-owner of Salt City Enterprises, LLC of Syracuse, and a colleague examine the exterior of The Gem (the former Doc’s Little Gem Diner) at 832 Spencer St. in Syracuse.

by eric reinhardt journal staff

Eric reinhardt/The Central New York Business Journal

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SYRACUSE — Patrons of a popular Syracuse diner that closed its doors more than a year ago will soon be able to return to the revamped eatery, which is now under new ownership. The restaurant, previously known as Doc’s Little Gem Diner, is set to open in mid-June under the name The Gem. Salt City Enterprises, LLC, the development arm of Montreal Construction Co. of Syracuse, acquired the building at 832 Spencer St. on Feb. 9 from Pathfinder Bank of Oswego for $165,000, says Leonard (Len) Montreal, president of Montreal Construction and co-owner of Salt City Enterprises. The company acquired the property to complement its holdings in the neighborhood, says Montreal. Salt City Enterprises now owns 20 properties on Spencer Street, Montreal says. Montreal felt the acquisition would be “beneficial to all of the property values” along Spencer Street and would help his company as it seeks to lease other properties in that neighborhood. Pathfinder Bank had foreclosed on the property, says Jeffrey Kelsen, a broker with Allegiance Realty in Syracuse. Kelsen listed the property, then sold it to Salt City Enterprises. Nastri Real Estate of Syracuse represented Pathfinder Bank, Kelsen says. In addition to the building, Salt City also acquired the property’s parking lot, the kitchen equipment, and the booths, Montreal says. Crews from Montreal Construction have been renovating the structure since early April, he says. Jill E. Fudo Architect of Auburn is the architect on the renovation project, Montreal says. The project is doubling the size of the restaurant to about 3,500 square feet, he adds. Under its previous ownership, Doc’s Little Gem Diner at 832 Spencer St. served its final meals on March 31, 2010. Doug Lalone, manager of Mama Nancy’s Restaurant at 510 State Fair Blvd., is the new owner of the restaurant. Lalone is op-

erating the business on a 10-year lease from Salt City Enterprises. Montreal declined to disclose Lalone’s lease payment. Lalone, as a former competitor, saw it as an opportunity for his family-run restaurant business to gain a second location. He will continue to operate Mama Nancy’s. “It was just a way to expand our business base, and we wanted to stay on the west end,” Lalone says. Lalone says that on May 31 he accepted 250 applications for employment at The Gem. He also held a second job fair in a tent near the eatery on June 1. Salt City and Lalone wanted to keep the original dining area intact. The expanded restaurant will have additional seating, including outdoor seating, and an ice-cream window. Lalone also has a temporary license to sell alcohol, Montreal says. The renovations will include new heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system, insulation, and new windows, Montreal says.

About Montreal and Salt City

Between Montreal Construction and Salt City Enterprises, the company employs about 30 full-time workers, says Montreal. He says he doesn’t expect to add any new employees in the year ahead. Montreal Construction generated revenue of $9 million and Salt City Enterprises produced revenue of $4 million in 2010, Montreal says. Montreal Construction is currently operating in a temporary 4,000-square-foot office at 835 Hiawatha Blvd. but will soon be moving to another 4,000-square-foot temporary space at 373 Spencer St. Montreal will use that space as its crews renovate the 47,000-square-foot Ventre Packaging building. Montreal Construction had previously operated in a 3,000-square foot space at 920 Spencer St., before leasing the space to nonprofit L’Arche Syracuse, Inc., which is one of 135 L’Arche communities around the globe for people “with and without developmental disabilities,” according to its website. q Contact Reinhardt at

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Trane U.S. leases building in DeWitt BY JOURNAL STAFF

DeWITT — Trane U.S., Inc. recently leased a 20,000-square-foot office/warehouse building at 6211 E. Molloy Road in DeWitt.

The Central New York Business Journal • 15

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Edward Rogers of JF Real Estate represented the landlord, Carkner Development, LLC, and Gary Cottet of Pyramid Brokerage Company represented the tenant. Financial information was not provided. 

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OCC: Renovation work is set for early September

825 E. Genesee Street Syracuse, NY 13210 (315) 476-4084 (800) 962-1458

and completion is expected about a year later Continued from page 10

(Route 173) and Velasko Roads in the town of Onondaga. Renovation work on the approximately 44,000-square-foot building is set for early September and completion is expected about a year later, Emm says. Emm couldn’t provide a cost figure for the renovation work because the bidding process is still about a month away. OCC’s Housing Development Corp., a nonprofit which oversees the school’s residence halls, will pursue a bond offering for the financing, he says. QPK Design of Syracuse will serve as the

architect on the project, Emm adds. The school originally used H3 as a residence hall, he says. Each of the building’s four floors includes a long hallway with the bedrooms on either sides. Each floor also has a common area, Emm says. H3 has been empty for more than a decade. Onondaga County once used it for storage. Emm says the building’s mechanicals need to be replaced, including the electrical wiring, and the structure also needs new windows. OCC will also pursue a LEED-silver rating for the renovated building. 

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construction & real estate

• The Central New York Business Journal

June 3, 2011

WOODBINE: Project will feature 49 apartments in the existing armory building on the site Continued from page 1

Oncenter, Swanson decided to turn the site into student housing. Recent growth at Syracuse University (SU) inspired him. Total enrollment has increased from more than 18,000 to more than 20,000 in the past 10 years, according to the university. Applications have been increasing at a strong clip for the past decade as well. SU received about 25,000 applications this year for its fall 2011 semester. That’s up from about 13,000 for the fall 2001 term. “All of this puts the pressure of additional students on outlying neighborhoods,” Swanson says. “This is a unique point in time to create a very upscale student housing facility.” Copper Beech Commons will feature 49 apartments in the existing armory building on the site. A new four-story structure will house the rest of the units. Most will be two-bedroom apartments totaling about 1,000 square feet. They’ll come with broadband access, cable television, full kitchens and dining areas, and a washer and dryer in each unit. The complex will have parking for about 200 cars. The development will also feature locked storage for bicycles as well as tune-up and washing stations. The complex will contain a health and fitness center with exercise equipment and space for Pilates and yoga as well. It will house a convenience store and a café open 24 hours.

artist’s rendering courtesy of the woodbine group

A rendering of the Copper Beech Commons, which will be built on the site of an existing armory building. Most units will be two-bedroom apartments totaling about 1,000 square feet. They’ll come with broadband access, cable television, full kitchens and dining areas, and a washer and dryer in each unit. Swanson says the design and level of comfort will be similar to his company’s other projects like the Genesee Grande, Hotel Skyler, and Parkview Hotel. Woodbine is its own general contractor. Edwin Harrington Architects, PC is designing the project. Swanson’s daughter, Charity Swanson Buchika, the owner of Elan Interiors of Syracuse, will handle interior design. A recovering economy, improved lend-

ing environment, and growth at the university combined to make now the right time to move ahead with Copper Beech Commons, Swanson says. “There is demand and definable demand in terms of needs for this type of housing,” he says. Woodbine has not determined rent pricEach generation will reap what says the es for the apartments yet. Swanson former generation has sown. it’ll be within about $10 of its competition, including SU’s own South Campus apart-

ments and the new Park Point Syracuse Each generationon willComstock reap what the Avenue. apartments generation has sown. Theformer project is named after an enormous copper beech tree that sits on the property. The tree pre-dates even the armory and would have been small in the 1870s when the site was home to an orphanage, Swanson says. q

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The Central New York Business Journal • 17

June 3, 2011

Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival


Financial Data: Year ending December 31, 2009, via IRS Form 990


Managing Director Producing Artistic Director Fund Development Manager Marketing Manager Fund Development Assistant Marketing Associate Administrative Assistant



Robert Nethercott Jack Bisgrove Mary Springer Meg Vanek

retired executive 2ND VICE PRESIDENT The Stardust Foundation of Central New York TREASURER former CFO, Andersen Laboratories, Inc. SECRETARY Cayuga County Office of Tourism


Karin Blute performing arts consultant Guy Cosentino The Stardust Foundation of Central New York Peter Emerson Fred L. Emerson Foundation Noreen Falcone formerly New York State Council on the Arts Dan Fessenden Fred L. Emerson Foundation Hugh Murphy Clark Music Company Hon. Peter Tortorici Cayuga County Legislature

Arthur Bellinzoni Douglas Ellenoff Lois Ellenoff Heather Emerson Robert Foresman Michael Hoffman Gail Homick-Herrling


Arthur J. Bellinzoni Foundation Ellenoff, Grossman & Schole Lois Claire, Inc. Tiller LLC Barclays Capital Changing Our World retired executive director, United Way Cayuga County Edward Jones J.P. Morgan Private Bank Jean Kerstetter community volunteer Peter Maciulewicz Mack Studios Daniel Meyers Al Sigl Community of Agencies Robert Moss former artistic director, Syracuse Stage/Hangar Theatre Brad Schwartz Schwartz Family Foundation Richard Scolaro Scolaro, Shulman, Cohen, Fetter & Burstein, P.C. Tom Walsh Syracuse University


“To promote the arts, to foster and advance the development of and to stimulate community interest in the musical, dramatic, and performing arts.”


Investment Income


Total Revenue


Expenditures for Finger Lakes MTF Program Services


Management & General


Fundraising Expenses


Total Expenses Surplus for the Year



Michael Chamberlain Ed Sayles Emily Fisher Megan Mullin Maria Barredo Kristin Bridges Lindsay Pizzuto

Contributions & Grants

rof r np ne No or C

17 William St., Suite 304 Auburn, N.Y. 13021 Phone: (315) 255-1305 Website: Email:

Revenue Sources for Finger Lakes MTF

Profiling local nonprofit organizations


Getting ready to make music in Auburn BY JULIE SHARKEY JOURNAL STAFF

AUBURN — Starting May 23, 2012, the city of Auburn will play host to the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. Operating for 12 weeks each summer, the festival will offer multiple performances in different locations throughout the city. And once fully operational, the festival is projected to bring 150,000 visitors to the region each year, positioning Central New York and the Finger Lakes region as one of the key centers for musical theater in North America, organizers contend. The idea for the musical-theater festival originated in November 2006 when a committee of 23 community members (now known as the Blue Print group), facilitated by New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio, were assembled to design a blueprint for Auburn’s future. Tasked with brainstorming ideas to enhance economic development, the group decided that cultural development was critical to revitalizing Auburn and the region. Ed Sayles, producing director of Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, and also one of the members of Blue Print group, suggested researching the feasibility of an annual musical-theater festival in Auburn — an idea he had thought up many years ago. According to Sayles, Merry-GoRound Playhouse already attracts nearly two-thirds of its more than

60,000 patrons from outside Auburn and Cayuga County each season. The idea of expanding operations and building upon the success of the Playhouse made sense. In 2007, Musical Theatre Festival, Inc., a nonprofit corporation was formed. The organization’s board of directors hired University of North Carolina’s Institute for Outdoor Drama in January 2008 to study the viability of such a festival in the Finger Lakes region. After reading the study group’s final report, it became clear that an annual musical-theater festival would help rebrand the region as a cultural and arts tourism destination. According to organizers, the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival is projected to bring 150,000 visitors to the region each year, contribute $30 million annually to the local economy, and create more than 400 new jobs. “The Festival aims to use everything we have to get the growth and development that Auburn needs,” says Sayles, also producing artistic director of the festival. Following the model of the Shaw Festival on Niagara-on-the-Lake, The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, produced by Merry-GoRound Playhouse, will stage more than 250 performances at different venues in and around Auburn every summer. Next year, the festival will utilize three local theater spaces, with

Finger Lakes MTF Facts  Year Established: 2007  Full-Time Employees: 7  Volunteers: 27  Goal: The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival was established to create a multi-venue, musicaltheatre festival that will draw more than 150,000 visitors annually to the Finger Lakes and Central New York Region. The festival is designed to position itself as one of the top destinations for summer musical theatre in the nation and in the process have a transformational economic and entrepreneurial impact on upstate New York.  Recent Organizational Highlights: • Hired additional staff to help support festival-launch logistics. • Unveiled new name, logo, and slogan for festival in mid-May. • Collaborating with Cayuga Community College to build a new state-of-the-art, 384-seat Arts Education & Performance Center.  Planning/Fundraising Outlook for 2011: • As of May 1, the festival has raised more than $7.5 million towards its $12 million campaign goal. • Kicking off annual fundraising campaign this fall. • July 13-Aug. 6: Pilot show, “Cooking with the Calamari Sisters: Manga Italiano!” at Auburn Public Theater



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• The Central New York Business Journal

June 3, 2011

TOP RANKS: OFFICE-FURNITURE DEALERS Ranked by Total No. of Employees in CNY Rank

Name Address Phone/ Fax Website

Total No. of Employees in CNY 130

Percent Customers Business Services Types of Furniture Industries — 1 2 Offered Residential Available Brands of Furniture Carried Served IN, LP, OD, custom-made, AIS, Community, DARRAN, HON, Global, Group Four, JSI, ED, HC, IN, OF 100% SP new, Marvel, Maxon, Hale, Highpoint, Eurotech, Inwood, Mayline, KI, — remanufactured remanufactured Herman Miller, Sentry Safe, Smith System 0%


Year Estab. 1989


Village Office Supply 110 Hiawatha Place Syracuse, NY 13208 (315) 463-1112/ 463-4577


Hummel's Office Plus 25 Canal St. Mohawk, NY 13407 (315) 866-3860/ 866-0393


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, RP, SP new, pre-owned

Herman Miller, Global, Mayline, HON, Royal Seating, La-Z-Boy, ED, HC, IN, OF Virco, Offices To Go

90% — 10%

Chip Hummel, President Justin Hummel, Vice President Daniel Stalteri, VP Contract Furniture Timothy Hall, VP Contract Sales Melissa Pine, HR Manager



Robert's Office Furniture Concepts, Inc. 7327 Henry Clay Blvd. Liverpool, NY 13088 (315) 451-9185/ 451-9325


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, Steelcase, Herman Miller, Haworth, Chromcraft, Cramer, Zoom, ED, HC, IN, OF RP, SP new, pre-owned, National, Cramer, Millwork, Case Goods & Custom Built-ins refurbished, remanufactured

95% — 5%

Robert Barcza, CEO Scott Barcza, President Patrick Anson, Executive Vice President



Sedgwick Business Interiors 100 W. Court St. Syracuse, NY 13204 (315) 424-1500/ 474-4611


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, RP, SP new, pre-owned, refurbished, remanufactured

95% — 5%

Douglas Sedgwick, President & Owner Scott Koepke, VP Ops. Matthew Skinner, Director of Sales



Syracuse Office Environments 375 Erie Blvd. W. Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 476-9091/ 476-9094


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, RP, SP new, pre-owned, refurbished, remanufactured


95% — 5%

Vincent Sweeney, President David Sweeney, CFO, EVP Kevin Sweeney, VP



Stevens Office Interiors 1449 Erie Blvd. E. Syracuse, NY 13210 (315) 479-5595/ 428-1688


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, RP, SP new, pre-owned, refurbished, remanufactured

Steelcase, Kimball, National, OFS, Coalesse by Steelcase, HON, ED, HC, IN, OF Harden, Softcare Healthcare, La-Z-Boy

95% — 5%

Thomas A. Maugeri, President Patrick G. Lewis, Vice President



Superior Office Interiors 225 Wilkinson St. Syracuse, NY 13204 (315) 422-1076/ 422-0620


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, RP, SP new, pre-owned, refurbished, remanufactured

Allsteel, OFS, First Office, Krug, Logiflex, Carolina Healthcare, Humanscale, HON, Lacasse, United Chair, KI


95% — 5%

Melissa Losty, Owner & President Steve Vaga, VP of Sales and Ops. Pamela Losty, Treasurer



Hurbson Workplace Furnishings/ Just The Right Stuff 6017 Tarbell Road Syracuse, NY 13206 (315) 474-6801/ 472-7647


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, RP, SP new, pre-owned, refurbished, remanufactured

Knoll, Global, and more than 100 of the industry's finest manufacturers


98% — 2%

Neil Greeson, President David Prior, General Manager Shareen Stewart, Office Manager



roi Office Interiors One Webster's Landing Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 410-7970/ 410-7973


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, RP, SP new, refurbished, remanufactured

Teknion, KI, Global, Harden, Hale Manufacturing, Allseating, Humanscale, Versteel, SitOnIt


95% — 5%

Robert Angelicola, President



Upstate Office Furniture 718 Azon Road Johnson City, NY 13790 (607) 722-9234/ 722-3148


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, RP, SP new, pre-owned, refurbished, remanufactured

National, HON, OF/USA, Krug, Logiflex, KI, Paoli, Lacasse


85% — 15%

Sylvia Kerber, Founder, Owner Wayne Kerber, Founder Keith Westen, Marketing Manager



Race Office Equipment Co., Inc. 123 E. State St. Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 273-1011/ 273-5473


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, RP, SP new, pre-owned

HON, Trendway, Balt, Safco, Virco, Alera, Maxon, Bush, Tennsco, Edsal, Tiffany Industries


85% — 15%

Thomas Pine, President



Arlott Office Products, Inc. 820 Charlotte St. Utica, NY 13501 (315) 732-5106/ 732-3681




HON, Global, Safco, Tiffany


90% — 10%

James D'Onofrio, Pres. & Owner



FTS Office Supply 308-310 Oneida St. Fulton, NY 13069 (315) 592-4604/ 592-4604



custom-made, new

Herman Miller, HON, La-Z-Boy, Global, Basyx, Colecraft, Seating ED, HC, IN, OF Inc., Buss, Global, Mayline, Safco, Lesro, Iceberg, Bush

90% — 10%

Roger M. Falconer, President Janet M. Falconer, Vice President



Southern Tier Contract Incorporated 805 Hatch St. Elmira, NY 14901 (607) 737-0644/ 737-3680


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, Teknion, Global, Allseating, JSI, Smith Systems Design Options, ED, HC, IN, OF RP, SP new, pre-owned, Hale, Datum refurbished, remanufactured

99% — 1%

Dan Aber, President/Store Manager Karen Aber, HR Manager



Hayes Office Products, Inc. 6 E. Main St. Norwich, NY 13815 (607) 334-8222/ 334-3042


IN, LP, OD, new, pre-owned RP, SP


100% — 0%

Christopher Hayes, President Michael Hayes, VP Sales and Marketing Melissa Hayes, CFO Nettie Roberts, COO



Sustainable Office Solutions, LLC 1815 Lemoyne Ave. Syracuse, NY 13208 (315) 657-0135


IN, LP, OD, custom-made, Global, 3H, Seating Inc., Mayline, Roberts O.C. Remanufactured ED, HC, IN, OF RP, SP new, pre-owned, Furniture, Lencore Sound Masking, 3M Window Film refurbished, remanufactured

90% — 10%

Andrew J. Picco, Owner Keith Kalette, Operations Manager



Smith Interiors Contemporary & Scandinavian Furniture Ltd. 3184 Erie Blvd. E. DeWitt, NY 13214 (315) 446-2020



5% — 95%

Malcolm G. Smith, President John Lewis, Store Manager


custom-made, new

Herman Miller, DIRTT, Simo, Nemschoff, Humanscale, SitOnIt, ED, HC, IN, OF First Office, OFS, Carolina, Lowenstein, Krug, Jordan, Logiflex, ERG, Nucraft, Geiger, Harden, Vitra, Aceray, Allermuir, Bernhardt, Davis, Spacefile, izzy, fixtures, JSI, Community, Global Haworth, HON, KI, Humanscale, Lacasse, Gunlocke, Nucraft

HON, KI, JSI, Community, Design Options, Seating Inc., AIS, Colecraft, Southern Metal

Jesper Office, Sun, Dyrlund, Tvilum-Scanbirk, Humanscale, Via, ED, HC, IN, OF Rybo

Information was obtained from representatives of listed organizations and their websites. Others may have been eligible but did not respond to requests for information. 1

Company Executives Robert Mallin, President James Entwistle, Vice President

IN=Installation, LP= Leasing Program, OD= Office Design, RP= Rental Program, SP= Space Planning ED= Education, HC= Health Care, IN= Institutional, OF= Office

Central New York includes Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.


The Central New York Business Journal • 19

June 3, 2011

Mohawk Global: Firm has plans to grow its work force by 50 to 75 people countrywide Chicago has been on Mohawk Global’s radar screen as a possible location for several years, Gar Grannell, president and CEO, says. “We’ve got quite a good number of clients throughout the Midwest,” he says. “Our business is as competitive as ever and we know that our clients like having us in their backyard.” Chicago, Grannell notes, is a strategic gateway to the Midwest. All rail connections run through the city and it’s a major hub for air freight as well. A location in Chicago will allow Mohawk Global to reach further into cities like Milwaukee and Minneapolis. It will also serve the firm’s clients in Ohio, business that is now handled from Syracuse. “Not being there is a disadvantage,” Grannell says. “It opens up new opportunities now that we have a sales team in

Chicago making sales calls on prospects.” The Chicago office will employ about 10. Companywide, Mohawk Global has 85 employees, including 55 in Syracuse.

More local jobs on the way

Mohawk Global has plans to grow its work force by 25 to 50 people in Syracuse and 50 to 75 people companywide in the next five years. The growth is occurring throughout Mohawk Global’s business, according to the company. The firm began working in domestic shipping several years ago and in 2010 launched a consulting division, called Mohawk Global Trade Advisors. The division specializes in training and compliance. Consultants work with clients to ensure they’re following the host of international trade and security regulations involved in modern shipping. The consulting business also strengthens Mohawk Global’s relationship with cur-

Career Opportunity

Research Manager The Business Journal is seeking a research manager to compile the Top Ranks lists for its publications. The research manager uses software and various research tools, such as in-house and industry databases, to produce and maintain up-to-date statistical information on Central New York businesses. This full-time position requires a candidate with computer-research proficiency in addition to editing and writing skills. Accuracy, attention to detail, and the ability to think critically are musts. This position is based in our Syracuse office and offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Please send résumé, cover letter, and salary requirements to Editor-in-Chief Adam Rombel at or to 269 W. Jefferson St., Syracuse, N.Y. 13202. No phone calls please. The Business Journal is an EOE employer.

rent customers, company leaders say. Most of the firm’s business in the Midwest is focused on international, overseas trade, Grannell says. One goal for the new office is to expand those relationships to include domestic work as well. The office will also focus on growing Mohawk Global Trade Advisors in the region. “Most of the Midwest clients don’t know about that,” Grannell says. “So we will spend the next several months talking about those services in addition to logistics.” The firm is relocating its headquarters to the former US Airways Reservation Center at Syracuse Hancock International Airport. Mohawk Global should be in its new home, located at 123 Air Cargo Road, by October,

Grannell says. The company is currently based in 10,000 square feet of space at 152 Air Cargo Road. The new building totals 25,000 square feet and Mohawk Global will occupy about 15,000. The company plans to lease the rest. Mohawk Global announced a lease-toown agreement with the city of Syracuse on the building in January. The city acquired the building after US Airways shut down its reservation center in Syracuse after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The center was one of several the airline closed nationwide after the attacks. Contact Tampone at

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• The Central New York Business Journal

June 3, 2011

FINGER LAKES MTF: The new performance center is slated to open for the festival’s 2013 season Continued from page 17


a fourth venue opening in 2013. The festival’s tagline, “On Off & Beyond Broadway,” aims to communicate the synergy between the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and the festival, but also identifies how the two complement each other to bring audiences more shows and more variety, says the organization. “Each venue is going to have its own look and its own feel,” says Michael Chamberlain, managing director of the festival. The existing Merr y-Go-Round Playhouse, a 501-seat theater located at Emerson Park on Owasco Lake, will anchor the festival and continue to perform recent and classic Broadway hits. As the largest musical theater in upstate New York, the Playhouse will extend its reach to downtown Auburn, giving the festival the visibility it needs to become successful, organizers say. The recently renovated Auburn Public Theater, a 200-seat space, will be home to the festival’s edgier productions, designed to give audience members the feeling of Manhattan’s off-Broadway experience. And the Carriage House Theatre, a small 115-seat space positioned behind the Cayuga Museum, will eventually host the festival’s new play-development series by presenting original musicals in order to examine their potential before a live BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Business Plans, Financing Packages and Pro formas: We can help you pull this all together. Considering Selling? Free CPA valuation of business worth. Ready to Exit? Qualified buyers looking for manufacturing, service or distribution companies in New York State. Need Capital for expansion? We work with private equity groups.

audience. Slated to open for the festival’s 2013 season, the new state-of-the-art, 384-seat Arts Education & Performance Center — a collaborative project between Cayuga Eleven picturesque lakes nestled among the Community College, Cayuga County, and valleys and vineyards of Upstate New York. The 4th-largest making region the city of Auburn — iswine scheduled to be the United States, with hundreds of constructedin on State Street at the site of wineries and tasting rooms the former Kalet’s department store. Enjoy restaurants, cafés and bistros, The deteriorating building was torn offering everything from world-class cuisine down in late April, with favorites. the Stardust to locally-grown Foundation of Central New York and the Thriving arts and cultural events, museums, Fred L. Emerson Foundation reimbursing galleries, shopping and historical attractions. the city of Auburn up to half the cost of the demolition. Currently, festival organizers and Cayuga Community College officials are working with JMZ Architects and Planners, P.C. of Glens Falls on the design of the new theater complex. “It’s going to have completely modern capabilities that will allow us to do stuff that’s a lot more cutting edge,” says Chamberlain.” The Arts Education & Performance Center will be used by Cayuga Community College’s theater program as a learning and performance space during the academic year and as one of the festival’s venues during the summer months. In addition, the festival season will offer internships and training programs for Cayuga students in areas including theatre technology, performance, design, lighting, management, sales and marketing, and other operations. Half of the $4.8 million project will be funded by the State University of New York (SUNY) Construction Fund, with the remaining funds coming from local and private investors. According to Chamberlain, the festival has “nearly completed” its goal of raising $2.4 million to capture the SUNY matching grant. Although the college will own the facility, festival organizers have signed a 25-year agreement outlining matters such as the use of the building, program collaboration, naming rights for the physical facilities, upkeep, and insurance.

Preparing for 2012

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With less than a year until the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival debuts, organizers are busy readying for the 2012 season. Auburn Public Theater is in the

process of having upgraded box-office equipment and software installation, tying in ticketing at the various locations with the Merry-Go-Round’s box office. Additionally, as part of its long-range capital improvement plan, the Cayuga Museum of History and Art completed exterior renovations to the Carriage House Theatre last fall, and is currently renovating the theatre’s interior space. Enjoy a lifestyle that only New York State’s glorious Finger Lakes region In January, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse can offer! spent nearly $1 million to purchase two By hosting Festival in in this Auburn apartment the buildings order to region, our audience will belocation able to to establish a single, consistent professional musicalchoreogratheatre house enjoy its actors, directors, thestaff relaxed and intimate settingseaphers, in and during its theatre of the beautiful Finger Lakes. son, and to shelter the Playhouse’s Youth Theatre actors and staff during the balance of the year. Prior to investing in its own housing, the theater sheltered most of its employees during the summer in Cayuga Community College’s Lattimore Hall dormitory, but needed to vacate those rooms in midAugust when the students arrived for the semester. Purchasing the apartments is a step toward the Playhouse and the festival more easily managing housing arrangements for some of the more than 150 actors, designers, technicians, and other workers it plans to utilize for the festival every season. In addition, according to Chamberlain, Learn more at a new Hilton Conference Center, located just a few blocks from the Arts Education Email: & Performance Center, is currently under construction and projected to open next spring or summer. And this summer, as a precursor to the festival’s launch, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse will present “Cooking with the Calamari Sisters: Manga Italiano!” from July 13 through Aug. 6 at Auburn Public Theater, at the same time as it runs productions at its theater in Owasco. The pilot show will help festival organizers better understand the requirements of running simultaneous productions at multiple venues, as well as identify and address any operational issues that may arise. Along with Cayuga County and the city of Auburn, the Stardust Foundation of Central New York, the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, the Allyn Foundation, and the Schwartz Foundation have been “key seed

funders” of the festival, says Chamberlain. As of May 1, the festival had raised more than $7.5 million towards its $12 million fundraising goal. The organization plans to kick off its annual fundraising campaign this fall. Chamberlain says that the festival anticipates following a business model similar to that of the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse by generating a large portion of its operating budget through ticket sales. With seven full-time employees and almost 30 volunteers, the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival occupies a 1,000-square-foot suite located at 17 William St. in Auburn, part of a larger space that houses Merry-Go-Round Playhouse’s administrative staff. q

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The Central New York Business Journal • 21

June 3, 2011


Business Journal C e n t r a l

N e w

Y o r k

Data signals economy relapsing

Volume 25, No. 22 - June 3, 2011 NEWS Editor-in-Chief........................Adam Rombel Assistant Editor..............Maria J. Carbonaro Staff Writers........................... Kevin Tampone (Online Editor) ............................................................Traci DeLore .........................................................Eric Reinhardt Columnists..................................... Gail Kinsella David John Marotta Production Manager.......................Erin Zehr 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


  f you feel like the economy   is slipping back into another   other coma, you’re not alone and there is plenty of recent statistical evidence to back you up. A whole swath of the latest reports on the health of the nation’s economy has come in much below expectations. On June 1, ADP reported that private-sector employers in the U.S. added just 38,000 jobs in May, the fewest in eight months. The figure was also nowhere near the 170,000 to 190,000 private jobs that economists and market fore-

casters were expecting. On the same day, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that its index of national factory activity tumbled to 53.5 in May from 60.4 in April. The ISM index hit its lowest level in about two years and missed economists’ forecasts for a reading between 57 and 58. These two reports followed a spate of other recent economic-data downers, like disappointing readings on consumer confidence, home prices, consumer spending, unemployment claims, and durable-goods orders.

The final reading for first-quarter GDP, issued May 26, also came in under expectations at 1.8 percent, when economists were looking for 2.0 percent. The big question is how long will this recent trend of renewed economic weakness last? And the follow-up is what will monetary and fiscal policymakers try to do about it? Stay tuned. q   Adam Rombel is editor-in-chief of The Central New York Business Journal. Contact him at

adam rombel rombel on business

“HIT” Tax Endangers Small Businesses


  mall businesses embody the   promise of America: that if you have   a good idea and are willing to work hard enough, you can succeed in our country. When President Obama recently proclaimed National Small Business Week with those words, he should have mentioned that small businesses not opinion only have to work hard but they also have to be vigilant about fending off threats from their own government.  If the president seriously sought to “honor and celebrate the individuals whose inspiration and efforts keep America strong,” he would have called a press conference to ask Congress to roll back his new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the massive new health-care law that saddles small businesses with a wagonload of cost increases.  His statement that “entrepreneurship is essential to the strength and resilience of our economy and our way of life” rings hollow when you realize that this law will soon slam small-business owners with an unprecedented tax burden that is certain to sap their entrepreneurial strength and undercut their ability to create new jobs.  Aptly named “The HIT,” this health-insurance tax is actually levied on insurers, but they’ll treat it like a hot potato, quickly

dan danner

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

tossing it into the laps of unsuspecting small-business owners to pay. Dipping deep into small-business pockets beginning in 2014, the tax will drain $8 billion from them that year alone and steadily increase to more than $14 billion in 2018 and thereafter. The tally for years 2014 to 2020 could be as high as $87 billion.  One of the largest single assessments ever aimed at Main Street, the tax will fall on 12 million workers and self-employed entrepreneurs who purchase their own insurance as individuals, as well as 26 million more workers whose small employers pay their medical benefits.  Annual family coverage is expected to leap by $500 a year when the tax kicks in. One former head of the Congressional Budget Office, Doug Holtz-Eakin, estimates that over a decade, the tax will siphon $5,000 from the average family. And that’s in addition to what small businesses must pay.  Exempt from the hot-potato game are unions, state and local governments, and big businesses. They have the ability to self-insure.  For decades, small-business owners have been unsuccessfully pleading to Congress for help to provide affordable health insurance. What they got is a health-reform law that won’t succeed, and worse, a tax that makes a mockery of their long-standing contributions to the nation’s economic stability.  • 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, making your key points. We find that lists

“Annual family coverage is expected to leap by $500 a year when the tax kicks in.”

In addition to challenging the constitutionality of the president’s entire healthreform law in federal court along with 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is now making plans to build support for bi-partisan legislation just introduced by Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana, and co-sponsored by Representative Dan Boren of Oklahoma, that seeks to repeal the HIT. If this tax and the law that delivers it are not halted, the long-sought economic recovery will remain far beyond our grasp and many of those small businesses that were honored by the president recently as “the cornerstones of America’s Promise” won’t be around to celebrate many more National Small Business Weeks. q Dan Danner is president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which represents 350,000 small-business owners in Washington, D.C. and every state capital. 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: letters@cnybj. com


• The Central New York Business Journal

June 3, 2011



Pinckney Hugo Group has promoted Adam Jwaskiewicz to director of interactive services and Matthew Chatham to art director. Jwaskiewicz was a senior interactive designer at Pinckney Jwaskiewicz Hugo Group and has worked at the firm for three years. He also gained experience at several marketing agencies in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the New York State College of Ceramics and the Chatham School of Art & Design at Alfred University. Chatham earned his bachelor’s degree in studio art with a specialization in graphic design/illustration from Nazareth College.

Bruce Wurz has rejoined C.T. Male Associates, P.C. as a business-development coordinator and project manager in the Land Services Division. Wurz previously worked for C.T. Male from 1974-1999 as a project surveyor. He brings more than 25 years experience in the consulting field to his position. Before rejoining C.T. Male, Wurz was a program associate for the New York State Governor’s office of Regulatory Reform, working on the Semi-NY, Build Now NY, and Shovel Ready Certification programs. Wurz holds a bachelor’s degree in surveying engineering from Oregon Institute of Technology and an associate degree in surveying technology from SUNY Agricultural & Technical College at Alfred.

CONSTRUCTION McClurg Remodeling & Constr uction Services has hired Fred Jacques as a project consultant. Jacques has worked in both residential and light-commercial construction for more than Jacques 30 years. Most recently, he worked for Francis Harvey, a high-end remodeling firm in the Boston area. Jacques recently relocated to Central New York.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Andrew Nedoshytko recently joined Annese & Associates, Inc. as a contract administrator in the company’s Syracuse of fice. Nedoshytko holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Nedoshytko Onondaga Community College. Previously, he worked as a customer-service representative for Northside Collision/United Auto Supply in Syracuse.

INSURANCE Sinclair & Andrews Insurance Inc. recently appointed William Dee as president of the Syracuse–based independent insurance

agency. Dee began his insurance career at the firm 25 years ago. The agency specializes in business and personal insurance as well as group retirement plans. Avery Sinclair has retired as president after Dee 40 years, but will remain with the firm as an agent and broker. USA-TPA, Inc. recently hired Rosemarie Wagner as senior claims examiner. Wagner holds a NYS general adjuster’s license. She is currently attending Bryant & Stratton College Wagner for medical assisting. Wagner was previously employed by local and national insurance companies and brings a total of 23 years claim-handling experience to USA-TPA, Inc. Kemesha Lewis has joined USA-TPA as a Lewis medical-billing specialist. Lewis is a certified professional coder with 10 years of combined insurance and medical experience. The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. has appointed Steve Cibelli as assistant regional vice president for personal lines. He will be responsible for all aspects of the personal-lines business for the company’s upstate New York territory. He will be based in the Syracuse office. Prior to joining The 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.

OFFICE FURNITURE Roberts Office Furniture Concepts has hired Bart Holstein for its office-furniture sales team. Holstein graduated from Le Moyne College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing. He has worked in sales for more than 20 years and has extensive knowledge of office furniture. Holstein previously specialized in SUNY and New York State contract projects. Laura Familo joined Roberts as part of its design and consulting team. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Cazenovia College. Familo was previously a teaching assistant for two semesters and was a junior designer at an interior-design firm. She also worked for an architectural firm, where she gained a working knowledge of millwork and architectural layouts. Raveendra Ramdihall joined the Roberts remanufacturing team after almost 30 years in manufacturing with Steelcase Canada. Ramdihall’s OEM (original equipment manufacturer) actual line experience and knowledge have already made an impact on the Roberts remanufacq turing processes.

Send your People-on-the-Move news via email to:

BLOG: The long-term goal is for the site to become a resource that area entrepreneurs can tap Continued from page 2

news content, he’s gathering data on resources for startups. One project nearing completion is an interactive map that will allow users to easily search for the state’s numerous business incubators, startup services, mentors, and potential investors. Baldwin is also developing the site’s internship board. The site currently lists about 20 internships at startups. That could eventually grow to hundreds, Baldwin says. The idea is to show students that they don’t need to intern at a big firm like

Lockheed or IBM. There are opportunities for them at startups that are sometimes even more valuable, Baldwin says. The long-term goal is for the site to become a resource entrepreneurs can tap. “We just want to get the stories together in one place so people know it is possible,” Baldwin says. He’s working on the site with the help of a few others, including Oren Bennett, a student at Ithaca College, and Rian Shams, another recent graduate of Binghamton

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University. Baldwin is working on the site full time and says he’s saved up enough money to run it through its first year. He says he’s focusing mainly on content at this point. “For now, the profit isn’t really from generating revenue,” he says. “It’s building this community and ecosystem.” That doesn’t mean he hasn’t given thought to how he’ll support the effort in the long run. Baldwin says he’s already been approached about running advertising

on the site, but has deflected those requests so far to focus on fostering UNYstartup’s content. He says he wants to make sure whatever advertising appears on the site is relevant to entrepreneurs, such as ads for law firms or other professional-services firms with experience working with startups. “That is a possibility,” he says. “Right now, I don’t see the need to rush into it. I think people appreciate not being inundated by advertising.” q Contact Tampone at

The Central New York Business Journal • 23

June 3, 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. 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: dianne. 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) 4701997 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 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 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 Syracuse-Liverpool. Awards are given to

Business Calendar OF EVENTS

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.CenterStateCEO. com

June 16 n Web Design for PR Pros seminar from 8:00-9:45 a.m. at Syracuse Technology Garden, 235 Harrison St., Syracuse. Darren Sanefski, founder of DMS Design Studio and assistant professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, will host this second session in the twopart series offered by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)-CNY. The cost for PRSA-CNY members is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Non PRSA-CNY members pay $30. Students (PRSSA members) are charged $20. To RSVP, email: program@ or go to

June 21 n Syracuse Chapter of International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) meeting at 6 p.m. at The Maplewood Inn, 400 Seventh North St., Liverpool. The topic will be “My Miracles,” presented by Jennifer Humphrey of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and the Syracuse Chapter IAAP secretary. The program cost is $10 for nonmembers and no charge for IAAP members. RSVP by June 17 at noon to Pam Coleman at (315) 882-1700 or email: For more information, visit

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 www.

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 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 www. or contact Donna Herlihy at (315) 579-2871or email: dherlihy@nyfbc. org

AUGUST 2 n Social Media Marketing Conference from 8:15 a.m. (registration) to 4 p.m. at the Comfort Inn & Suites, 6701 Buckley Road, Liverpool. For more details or to register, call (800) 873-7545, visit www.skillpath. com, or email:

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 www. 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@ft.newyorklife. com 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: info@

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. 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: president@estm. 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: 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: andrewpicco@ n Every week, Syracuse Networking Professionals. Five meetings to choose from. For details, call Kevin M. Crook at (315) 439-1803, or email or visit

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


• The Central New York Business Journal

June 3, 2011


SWITCH TO TIME WARNER CABLE BUSINESS CLASS AND GET THE SUPPORT YOU DESERVE SO YOU CAN STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR BUSINESS. At Time Warner Cable Business Class, we offer tailored Internet and Phone solutions that meet your needs. And that comes from giving you the


ongoing, personal attention your business deserves. So lighten your load — and call us today.






WWW.TWCBC.COM/NORTHEAST | 1.877.583.5750 INTERNET | PHONE | CABLE TV | ETHERNET New business customers only with a minimum two-year agreement. Includes one line of Business Class Phone with free Voicemail and unlimited local and nationwide long-distance calling with the purchase of 7Mbps Internet service. Additional unlimited local and nationwide long-distance lines are $34.95 each per month. Standard installation rates and construction costs (if applicable) apply. Offer not transferable and may not be combined with any other offer. Time Warner Cable Business Class Phone customer premise equipment is electrically powered, and in the event of a power outage or network failure, Enhanced 9-1-1 (“E911”) services may not be available. Additional charges apply for taxes, fees, Directory Assistance, Voicemail, Special Calling Features, Operator Services and calls to international locations. Offer valid for business customers in Business Class Phone serviceable areas. Early termination fee may apply. Offer not available in all areas. Some restrictions apply. Expires 7/31/2011. Time Warner Cable Business Class is a trademark of Time Warner Inc. Used under license. ©2011 Time Warner Cable. All Rights Reserved.

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Central New York Business Journal 6/3/2011  

Central New York Business Journal 6/3/2011 Issue