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Construction kicks off on $15M Upstate Cord Blood Bank Upstate Medical University President Dr. David Smith, speaking Sept. 17 at a groundbreaking for the Upstate Cord Blood Bank at Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus in the town of Onondaga.



ew York’s manufacturers couldn’t put together much positive news about September, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey released Sept. 17 showed business conditions deteriorating, as its general business conditions index languished below zero for a second consecutive month. A majority of the survey’s indicators measuring current conditions declined in September. The general business conditions index fell 4.6 points to -10.4. That means more manufacturers reported worsening conditions than said the business climate was improving. It was the lowest reading for the index since November 2010 and missed economists’ expectations. MarketWatch reported that economists it surveyed expected a reading of 0.0, while forecast -3.0.


September 21, 2012 • $2.00


Conditions continue crumbling for New York manufacturers




ONONDAGA — The State University of New York Upstate Medical University is preparing to deal in blood — umbilical-cord blood. Upstate broke ground Sept. 17 on a $15 million construction project that will build a public umbilical-cord blood bank at its Community Campus in the town of Onondaga. The facility will be known as the Upstate Cord Blood Bank. It will join the National Cord Blood Program in Long Island City to become one of only two public cord-blood banks in the state. The facility will be one of just 27 See CORD BLOOD, page 7B


Empower begins work on new headquarters in Salina BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

SALINA — Empower Federal Credit Union began work last month on a new headquarters that will bring together staff members now spread across three offices. The new headquarters, which will be located the former B.G. Sulzle plant in Salina, will house departments like information technology, the credit union’s call center, and

loan operations, says Rich Nave, senior vice president for administration at Empower. The site will house about 200 people total once complete. The 72,000-square-foot space will also leave room for future growth, Nave adds. The credit union could eventually have up to 300 people working at the headquarters. “Right now, we’re out of space,” Nave says.

“This is a long term solution for us.” The project will also allow Empower employees to work together more effectively. Staff members from the same departments are sometimes now located in different offices, Nave says. Empower houses some of the staff that See EMPOWER, page 6













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The Central New York Business Journal • 11




September 27, 2012 The Crowne Plaza, Syracuse • 7:30 am- 12:00pm

Agenda: 7:30 a.m. -8:15 a.m. Registration, Networking & Breakfast-LaFayette Room 8:15 a.m. –8:30 a.m. • Welcome/Introductions- KeyBank Representative • Robert Simpson of CenterState CEO to discuss the Brookings Study. 8:30 a.m. –9:00 a.m. Keynote Address - Kevin LaMontagne –Fulton Companies 9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m. Transition for attendees to Breakout Sessions: 9:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. - Breakout Sessions (Sessions held simultaneously) • Fundamental Components of International Trade - moderated by Tracy Cifra, Haylor, Freyer & Coon • Expanding Your International Sales moderated by Norm Poltenson, The Business Journal Session 1-Fundamental Components of International Trade: Skaneateles Room A Getting Paid - Topic presented by KeyBank team: Lynne Gruel, Yaminah Sattarian, and Victor Kunakowsky Marketing Resources - Topic presented by John Tracy, US Dept. of Commerce Compliance - Topic presented by Robert Stein, Mohawk Global Trade Advisors

Media Partner:

Session 2-Expanding Your International Sales: Skaneateles Room B Increasing Your Sales Through Your Website - Topic presented by Dave Bulger, Eric Mower + Associates Advanced Marketing Resources - Topic presented by Mike Nash and Dan Gaffney, KS&R Taking Advantage of Free-Trade Agreements -Topic presented by Doug Gorman, Crisafulli Gorman, PC 11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. Transition for attendees back to LaFayette Room 11:10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. “Trade Solutions” panel discussion to include Q&A--co-moderators: Chuck Miller, Mohawk Global Trade Advisors, and Lynne Gruel, KeyBank Panelists: • Indium Corporation-Les Schenk • PPC-Brian Hayes • Fiber Instrument Sales- Mike Hovey • Air Innovations-Mike Wetzel • Fulton Companies-Kevin LaMontagne 11:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Wrap up 12:00 p.m. -12:30 p.m. Attendees are welcome to stay for one-on-one time with panelists and speakers to get their questions answered

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12 • The Central New York Business Journal

Growing Global sales: balancing opportuNities and risks

September 27, 2012

Seeking Opportunity Beyond U.S. Borders T

  he United States’ slow economic include increasing export activity of the   recovery is prompting an increasing region’s top exporters, building the export   number of companies to seek oppor- capacity of small- and medium-sized entertunities beyond U.S. borders. prises, and expanding the exports of the Exports from the United States reached region’s key service providers. CenterState more than $185 billion in July according has deservedly received high praise for its to the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the leadership in spearheading this strategy U.S. Commerce Department. and is considered a leading example of In 2011, businesses in New York exported what progressive communities can and merchandise to more than 200 countries — should be pursuing. from Canada to the north to tiny Faroe However, our region is not alone in Islands in northern Europe  — according looking at exports. President Obama set a to the International Trade Administration goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015, as (ITA). The ITA also interest in international trade continues to reports that New York grow despite the lingering effects of the rebusinesses in 2011 ex- cession and ongoing instability in Europe, ported merchandise a traditional outlet for U.S. exports, for valued at approximate- several reasons. ly $84.9 billion. One reason is the growing global marNew York is in ket’s increasing appetite for U.S.-made good company when goods. The International Monetary Fund it comes to increased anticipates that 87  percent of world ecoexport activity. U.S. nomic growth over the next five years will exports have been take place outside the United States. growing at the rate of Another is the cautious optimism of the 15  percent a year. In average American consumer, who appears viewpoint 2011, exports totaled less pessimistic about the economy but more than $2.1 tril- continues to keep a close watch on expenlion  — more than 30  percent above the ditures. That means U.S.–based companies 2009 export levels. increasingly look outside the United States On a more regional level, CenterState for new business. CEO, Brookings Institution, and local busiFinally, Europe’s well-documented fisnesses have developed initiatives aimed at cal woes notwithstanding, U.S. companies doubling regional exports from $3.3 billion are finding customers for their goods in  to $6.6 billion over five years. Strategies Canada, Asia and Southeast Asia, Latin

stephen d. fournier

THINK GLOBALLY. CONNECT LOCALLY. A global outlook is no longer an option for “someday.” Whether you’re reaching out to new markets for the first time or simply looking to expand existing international efforts, you need an experienced partner who can navigate the global marketplace – today.

America, and South Africa, according to the Commerce Department. International trade poses a variety of challenges for business, whether the business is just starting to sell into foreign markets or the company is a well-established exporter that wants to expand and to develop an even better position in the global marketplace. In short, exporting involves more than just moving goods and services from one location to the other. Financing a successful export venture requires appropriate financial tools that are tailored to work in specific situations. Some typical financing challenges include needing capital to push a company’s competitive edge, leveraging assets to obtain the working capital needed to support export sales, and being able to offer financing to overseas buyers. The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) can be an invaluable resource for businesses ready to take international trade to the next level but that have exhausted the typical working capital lines. Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps to fill gaps in private export financing. The bank provides a range of financing mechanisms, including working-capital guarantees and export-credit insurance. While Ex-Im Bank does provide direct loans, the bank also works with a delegated lender — a bank with the authority to process and commit Ex-Im Bank working capital loan applications  — to help exporting businesses structure pre-export financing. This pre-export working-capital financing is 90 percent guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank. Pre-export financing is a loan guarantee on principal and interest for export-related inventory and accounts. The key benefit to pre-export financing is that it gives the exporting business more access to credit during the goods-production phases. As a result, the exporting business is more likely to increase sales and profit and expand its base of collateral. Delegated lenders that have extensive experience in export financing can also advise companies about the specific risks and benefits involved with certain businesses

and countries. U.S. companies competing in the global market place at times might be called on to extend credit terms to foreign buyers. The solution might be foreign-receivables financing that allows businesses to stay competitive by borrowing against the companies’ foreign receivables. Businesses experienced in international trade could also require support when dealing with trading partners in increasingly popular emerging-market countries. ITA data indicates significant growth in goods exported to China, Brazil, and India. In addition, Turkey, Panama, Honduras, Argentina, China (specifically Hong Kong), Peru, Chile, South Africa, and Thailand are some of the nations that have the largest annualized increase in purchasing goods made in the United States. While there is tremendous potential to add to sales by exporting products to qualified foreign buyers located in these emerging markets, U.S. businesses might be stymied in their efforts to obtain mediumterm buyer financing. That’s because in these desirable emerging markets, interest rates can be very high and local termfinancing — if available — can be difficult to obtain. In this case, the combined resources of Ex-Im Bank and one of its participating lender partners are key to success. The solution might be medium-term financing that is based on obtaining appropriate Ex-Im Bank export credit insurance that protects against a foreign buyer’s failure to pay an obligation for commercial or political reasons. Such insured medium-term financing gives U.S. exporters the ability to offer foreign customers attractive loan terms and significantly reduces nonpayment risks. Finally, it is important to think in terms of the international trade-finance solution that is the best fit for the specific business. There is no room for a one-size-fits-all approach for expanding business horizons q beyond geographic borders. Stephen D. Fournier is president of KeyBank’s Central New York district. He can be reached at (315)470-5096 or

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Growing Global sales: balancing opportuNities and risks

September 27, 2012

The Central New York Business Journal • 13



Sponsor Message

  n 2011, New York businesses exported products valued   at approximately $83 million to more than 200   countries, according to the International Trade   Association, and interest in global trade continues to grow despite the lingering effects of the recession and ongoing economic instability in Europe. Here in Central New York, we have many companies experienced in international trade and others ready to launch their first global ventures. That’s why KeyBank is pleased to sponsor the Growing Global Sales Conference in partnership with The Central New York Business Journal, Fournier to help provide useful information and solutions to area businesses seeking ways to increase their revenue and profitability. KeyBank provides international and foreign-exchange expertise delivered by product specialists who offer tailored solutions for businesses, and through our network of global foreign-correspondent banks, we help companies navigate the risks of fast-changing global markets. KeyBank’s treasury management tools and services are designed to streamline, track, and enhance cash flow and accounting functions for companies, with an eye toward improving business processes and liquidity, and guarding against fraud — in a dynamic business climate. At Key, we are committed to helping our local business community thrive, and we are well positioned to help CNY companies take advantage of their strengths and opportunities around the world.

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14 • The Central New York Business Journal


As Director of EMA Insight, the agency’s integrated research, insights, strategy, planning and analytics group, Dave helps clients achieve lasting returns in their customer relationships. He is focused on quickly identifying customer/ prospect attitudes, behaviors and perceptions, then accelerating desired behavior changes by creating conversations that enhance customer loyalty and speed up desired purchase behaviors. With 25 years’ experience and expertise in behavioral, direct and relationship marketing, Dave has helped premier healthcare, financial services, technology and consumer brands attract, nurture and retain their most valuable customers.


Tracy Cifra, director of global placement, is Haylor, Freyer & Coon’s International Gatekeeper working closely with its Assurex partners. She handles the foreign coverage issues for the firm as well as the coordination of the reverse flow business. Prior to joining HF&C as a broker in 2004, Cifra had accumulated 15 years of experience as a senior underwriter with several major carriers. Her experience and knowledge in this area, as well as her successful transition to the brokerage world, led to her being named HF&C’s lead international person. Cifra has more than 20 years experience in the insurance industry and an extensive underwriting background. Prior to joining HF&C she managed an $11 million book of workers’-compensation business, primarily in the manufacturing, health care, and service segments. In addition to her international duties, she handles a sizeable book of local business. Cifra is a graduate of Le Moyne College, with a degree in finance. She obtained her charted property and casualty underwriter designation in 1995.



Dan Gaffney is the relationship manager for KS&R and has been with the firm for more than 10 years. He focuses on supporting clients in the technology, health care, and financial-services industries. Gaffney has significant experience leveraging both qualitative and quantitative research techniques on a global basis to help clients develop, enhance, and execute against key strategic initiatives. The research that he manages ranges from one-time, single-country projects to large-scale global research programs (including a global customer-satisfaction program run continuously in more than 50 countries in more than 30 languages). Gaffney earned his bachelor’s degree at St. Michael’s College and his MBA at Clarkson University.


Douglas J. Gorman is a New York and Delaware business attorney specializing in corporate matters, emerging business, venture capital, and commercial law. He represents businesses, large and small, on a wide range of matters including start-up and choice-ofentity issues, domestic and international commercial contracting, private finance, shareholder relations and disputes, corporate governance and corporate transactions of all types. He lectures frequently across New York State on small business, finance and international trade, and his articles on small-business concerns and crowdfunding have been published both locally and nationally with Martindale-Hubbell. Gorman is a former advisory board member of the CNY International Business Alliance, a longtime participant in local business organizations and outreach programs such as the South Side Innovation Center, CenterState CEO and

the Tech Garden, and a mentor at various business incubators such as the Syracuse Student Sandbox and the Couri Hatchery. Gorman graduated summa cum laude from both LeMoyne College (B.S. Physics) and Syracuse University College of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Syracuse Law Review. He began his practice in the mergers and acquisitions department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Delaware before establishing his current practice in his native Central New York. Gorman is a founder and principal of Crisafulli Gorman, PC, a boutique law firm specializing in New York and Delaware corporate and commercial law, tax planning and disputes, elder law, estate planning, not-for-profit compliance, business succession and exit planning. .


Lynne K. Gruel, senior vice president of international trade banking for KeyBank, provides global financial solutions to companies located in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany, as well as in Burlington, Vt. and Portland, Me. She provides financial expertise, counsel, and customized solutions to help clients reach their complex goals. In addition, Gruel works with a collaborative team of client managers, product managers, sales analysts, and implementation specialists to ensure her clients have access to the extensive resources of KeyBank. Gruel joined KeyBank in 2001 and was appointed vice president of global trade services for the large corporate market in the East and Midwest. In 2006, she was elected senior vice president. She has more than 15 years of international banking experience and more than 30 years in the banking industry. Gruel started her international banking career as an assistant vice president of trade services with First National Bank of Maryland, concentrating on Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Newly Independent States (NIS). She then moved to Fifth Third Bank in Columbus, Ohio, with responsibility for trade services.

September 27, 2012

Gruel received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Denison University. At Key, with a rich combination of insight and sensitivity, her expertise is a tremendous resource for her clients.


Brian Hayes began his career with AT&T as a global accounts representative. With AT&T, he serviced customers such as the Bank of New York and 1-800-Flowers. After AT&T, Hayes joined Telergy, a local fiber optic start-up company in Syracuse. During his time with Telergy, he held multiple positions in service, quality, and operations. In 2004, Hayes joined PPC’s customer-service department. PPC is a global telecommunication manufacturer headquartered in Syracuse. He currently oversees its global customer-service operations with offices in Asia, Europe, and South America.


Mike Hovey joined FIS after graduating from Colgate University in the spring of 2007. At Colgate, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology. He also played four years of Division I football with the Colgate Raiders. Hovey is a student of the industry, staying in tune with developing industry trends and technological advancements in network equipment. He is a terrific resource for customers, helping them to find the best network hardware and test-equipment solutions available. Hovey is a sports fanatic and loves college and pro football, basketball, and lacrosse. He is also an outdoors enthusiast and spends his free time golfing, backpacking, and skiing.

VICTOR KUNAKOWSKY Victor Kunakowsky is a vice president in Key’s Corporate Foreign Exchange Department. His primary responsibilities include corporate advisory and new-business development in Key’s upstate New York region — Buffalo through Syracuse. Kunakowsky has been employed with Key since 1996, and has had various roles in the foreign exchange department including eight years with KeyBank FX in New York City. He is a 1990 graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in business and resides with his wife and son in Amherst, Ohio.


Kevin LaMontagne joined the Fulton Companies with more than 20 years domestic and international operations management, corporate finance, and sales experience in manufacturing and service industries. He has managed export sales operations as well as started up foreign manufacturing, sales, and distribution hubs. As chief financial officer of the Fulton Companies, LaMontagne is intimately involved with forming and executing Fulton’s international growth strategies. These strategies include increasing export sales, foreign acquisitions/joint ventures, and expansion of Fulton’s existing foreign subsidiaries. A native of the Hudson Valley and currently residing in Brewerton, he has lived, worked, and travelled extensively overseas and around the United States. LaMontagne holds an MBA from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam.


Chuck Miller is vice president of Mohawk Global Trade Advisors. MGTA provides project support and training in all aspects of managing global supply Continued on the next page

September 27, 2012

and distribution networks, international trade compliance, and logistics. Prior to joining MGTA, he held a number of engineering and supply-management executive positions with United Technologies Corporation. Miller also founded and operated a highly successful supplychain management consulting practice providing support to a number of U.S. and international companies in the areas of strategic sourcing, supply management, supplier quality management, and supplier risk management. He has managed strategic sourcing projects across a broad range of commodity categories with suppliers in China, Russia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. Miller also has extensive experience in supplier quality management, supplier development, supplier risk management, and early supplier involvement in new product development. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and has served on the Franklin Advisory Board for the Supply Chain and Transportation Management programs at the Whitman School. Miller is certified by the Institute for Supply Management as a certified professional in supply management. He holds a master’s degree in engineering management from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.


Mike Nash joined KS&R, a full-service market research and consulting firm, in 1994. For the past six years, he has served as principal — responsible for leading project teams and managing account relationships within the technology and telecom verticals. Nash also serves on KS&R’s board of directors, leading the firm’s overall future strategic pursuits. He is focused on a mix of B2B qualitative and quantitative activity for his clients (including ad testing, new product development, channel related conflict, and customer satisfaction). His work deals primarily with multi-country studies across both mature and emerging markets, often helping clients transition from a “product” perspective to a “services/solutions” view. Nash earned his bachelor’s degree at Hobart College and his MPA at Rockefeller College.


Norman Poltenson possesses over 47 years of printing and publishing experience. Founder of The Central New York Business Journal, he has been the publisher for 26 years. Norm started The Greater Binghamton Business Journal in 2006, and The Mohawk Valley Business Journal in 2001. He was formerly the owner and publisher of Adirondack Life magazine. Norm has extensive editorial experience as a weekly columnist and frequent roles as emcee, panelist, and moderator at various events. Poltenson was born and educated in Syracuse — a graduate of Nottingham High School. He holds a B.A. in history from St. Lawrence University and an M.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin. Norm served in the Army on active duty in Germany in the 1960s. Poltenson is active in the community, with affiliations including: St. Lawrence University Board of Directors, past president of Syracuse Jewish Federation, president of Menorah Park Campus Foundation, past president of Menorah Park Campus Nursing Facility, past board chair of Junior Achievement of Central New York, board member of Inter-Religious Council, and of the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.


Yaminah Sattarian is a vice president and senior


The Central New York Business Journal • 15

EVENT PARTICIPANT BIOS international sales representative for KeyBank, N.A. She is responsible for providing global financial solutions to companies located in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Texas. Prior to joining KeyBank in 2012, she was with The Royal Bank of Scotland as a vice president and international/domestic treasury management officer, and at PNC Bank as a global treasury management officer. She spent more than 10 years with PNC Bank, the last five years of which were in international trade and treasury management. Sattarian has a certification in export compliance from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security as well as delegated lending authority by the Export-Import Bank of the United States. She also holds a certification in business management from Case Western Reserve University. Sattarian received her MBA from Baldwin Wallace University and a bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University.

Initiatives; 5) Government Relations and Business Advocacy; 6) CenterState Chamber Services; and 7) Tourism and Regional Marketing.



Leslie (Les) E. Schenk is a vice president and chief financial officer for Indium Corporation in Clinton. Indium, founded in 1934, is a leading manufacturer of advanced materials for the solar, thin-film, semiconductor, and electronics industries. Schenk joined Indium in 1996 and has been part of a team that has helped the company achieve significant global growth, including expansion of the company’s “footprint” in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Prior to joining Indium, he served as chief financial officer for several global, technologydriven manufacturing companies in Philadelphia, the Silicon Valley, and Buffalo. He began his career on the audit staff of Arthur Andersen in Rochester and later joined the corporate financial staff of Garlock, Inc. Schenk earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Hobart College and a master’s degree in accounting from Syracuse University, where he was a graduate teaching assistant. He is also a CPA in New York State.


Rob Simpson serves as president of the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO), a private, not-for-profit regional business leadership and economic development organization. Additionally, Simpson serves as the executive director of the Central Upstate Regional Alliance and president of Syracuse’s business incubator, The Tech Garden. He previously served as president and CEO of the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York (MDA). Simpson was a driving force behind the creation of CenterState CEO, which resulted from the 2010 merger of the MDA and the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce. CenterState CEO represents 2,000 members across 12 counties and serves as the region’s primary economic, community and business development catalyst. Through his efforts, this historic partnership is a new nationally-recognized model as a more effective approach to regional economic development and business services. Since joining the MDA in 2003, Simpson directed its efforts to guide and accelerate the transformation of the CenterState New York economy from its primary reliance on traditional manufacturing to a globally competitive knowledge-based economy. He was largely responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of the Essential New York Initiative — a comprehensive regional development strategy whose programs largely led to the framework for CenterState CEO’s core focus areas: 1) Business Expansion, Retention and Attraction; 2) Innovation and Entrepreneurship; 3) Infrastructure and Urban Initiatives; 4) Talent and Workforce

A native of Utica, Tracy earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Clarkson University and a master’s degree in international transportation management from the New York Maritime College. He holds a chartering certificate from the Association of Ship Brokers and Agents and is a NASBITE certified global business professional.


Robert Stein’s extensive experience in Customs brokerage and freight forwarding is spread across a multitude of roles, giving him a unique perspective on the field. Working at the Northern border, in both release and entry roles, helped him learn a great deal about cross-border trade and NAFTA. His work as a regional FDA trainer and vice president for a brokerage/freight forwarding firm gave him a deeper understanding of trade compliance. Stein is also an active speaker to the trade community, lecturing throughout the year on Incoterms, import compliance, and NAFTA. He is a licensed Customs broker, certified Customs specialist, and vice president, Customs & Trade Compliance for Mohawk Global Logistics.


Michael Wetzel is the president and CEO of Air Innovations, Inc. He and his father, Larry Wetzel, acquired controlling interest in Floratech Industries in 1996, and after expanding, the parent company changed its name in 2001 to Air Innovations, Inc. to better reflect its mission. As president and CEO, Mike Wetzel has grown Air Innovations from a company focused solely on floral coolers to a leader in specialty air conditioning, refrigeration, and environmental-control solutions for end-users and original-equipment manufacturers around the world. In fiscal 2012, the company built its largest products to date, which included a $1 million contract for environmental-control systems that will protect sensitive equipment prior to launch to the International Space Station. Prior to Air Innovations, Wetzel was based in France and worked four years for a multinational company building cleanrooms in Europe and the Middle East. Stateside before that, he was employed in the HVAC construction industry at various firms in project-, design- and field-engineering capacities. Wetzel received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University and is the holder of seven U.S. patents. Wetzel, who speaks fluent French, is a licensed professional engineer.

John Tracy is an international trade specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce whose primary mission is to help U.S. companies increase their international business. Prior to coming to Commerce, he worked for an international logistics, freight-forwarding and Customs brokerage company in Rochester, for a Hong Kong–based steamship line in New York, and managed international logistics for a chemical manufacturing company in New Jersey.

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16 • The Central New York Business Journal

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2 • The Central New York Business Journal

September 21, 2012

New business competition, Startup Labs Syracuse, to award $350K By Journal Staff

SYRACUSE — Startup Labs Syracuse, a new business competition unveiled Sept. 18, will award $350,000 in cash and prizes to five teams. Syracuse is the first U.S. city to host the Startup Labs program. “Startup Labs is thrilled to bring our well tested program to CenterState New York. We are looking forward to working with the region’s incredible entrepreneurial talent,” Clint Nelson, Startup Labs founder, said in a news release. “The investment partners for this program are dedicated to helping these teams succeed. The region’s entrepreneurs will see how this program facilitates their growth and accelerates their potential.” Organizers will choose five teams for the program through an application process and two rounds of judging. Those groups will then move on to participate in a five-day boot camp that introduces them to the program and mentors. A 22-day program of work with mentors and advisers to advance their business plans follows. Each of the five teams will receive $30,000 in seed funding and office space at The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse for six months. The teams will then pitch on a demo-day competition. The groups will compete for a cash prize of $150,000 and $50,000 in marketing and branding services from the

ad agency Eric Mower and Associates. The winner of the competition will be announced at the CenterState CEO annual meeting in April 2013. In addition, when one of the five final companies receives a future investment, Startup Labs will lead the investment by providing 20 percent of the capital raise, according to CenterState CEO. Companies who complete the program will also become part of Startup Labs’ network, connecting them with other companies, investors, and

Congratulations JIM FELLOWS

mentors from its international programs. Startup Labs is partnering with CenterState CEO and Excell Partners of Rochester to bring the program to the region. Each partner invests an initial $50,000 to start the program. An additional $200,000 of support is provided by the competition’s 10 private sponsors including lead sponsor, National Grid. Other major sponsors include M&T Bank and Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Attracting a national organization like

Startup Labs to Syracuse speaks to the quality of entrepreneurial talent in this region,” CenterState CEO President Robert Simpson said in a news release. “This region is rightly being recognized as an emerging market, ripe for venture-capital investment. We are proud that Syracuse is the first in the nation to host a Startup Labs program. It is a tremendous opportunity for our region’s emerging companies.” Startup Labs grew from the Startup Weekend program, which brings together entrepreneurs weekend-long events around the world aimed at developing new business ideas. The Tech Garden has hosted the events in the past. Startup Labs is based in Seattle and has run its program in Turkey, Taiwan, Mexico, Brazil, and India. Startup Labs Syracuse replaces the Creative Core Emerging Business Competition, which began in 2007 and awarded a total of more than $1 million to area companies over the course of six competitions. That contest’s grand prize grew to $200,000. Winners included MicroGen  Systems, Sound Reading Solutions, Widetronix, e2e Materials, and Mezmeriz, all based in Ithaca. The winner of the 2011 competition,, is based in Syracuse. More information and applications for Startup Labs Syracuse are available at The application deadline is Nov. 16. q


You are cordially invited to a Gala Celebration of the



Recent inductee to the

National Electronics Industry Hall of Fame On July 27 our Director of Technical Development was inducted into the Electronics Industry Hall of Fame by the National Electronics Service Dealers Association (NESDA). Jim began his career at United Radio in 1970 and throughout his more than 40-year career with United Radio, he has consistently contributed to the advancement of technology in our industry with his long, distinguished career of outstanding performance in the industry. He has earned the industry’s highest accreditations as a Certified Electronics Technician, a Certified Service Manager, and a Master Technician. Jim served as NESDA’a President from 2003–2005, received the NESDA Person of the Year Award, the President’s Award, the M.L. Finneburgh Award of Excellence and he was the first recipient of the Gerry McCann Memorial Award. Locally, Jim has served on the OCC Advisory Committee, the BOCES Advisory Committee, and on the board of directors for Projects with Industry for many years. He has also served as an adjunct professor at ITT.

Thanks Jim for all that you’ve done, all that you do, and all that you are yet to achieve!

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The Central New York Business Journal • 3

September 21, 2012

ZeroPoint powering advances in biomass-gasification plants By Rick Seltzer Journal Staff

POTSDAM — A performance warranty has set ZeroPoint Clean Tech, Inc. charging toward the commercial market. The biomass-gasification technology company, headquartered at Clarkson University’s Peyton Hall Incubator in Potsdam, is working with a German firm to build turn-key biomass power plants. The plants are a big step because they will come with warranties guaranteeing the amount of power they will produce, according to ZeroPoint CEO John Gaus. “Our commercial joint effort represents the first biomass-gasification power plants offered into the marketplace with a performance warranty, which will make the plants infinitely more financeable,� he says. Power plants are typically built with performance warranties by a prime contractor or engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) vendor, according to Gaus. But biomass-gasification plants have not carried those warranties because EPC vendors were not comfortable with the new technology’s ability to deliver the promised amount of energy. That in turn made it difficult to find financing for biomass-gasification projects. For ZeroPoint, that’s changing as the firm works with Essen, Germany–based Envirotherm GmbH. Envirotherm is a subsidiary of Allied Resource Corp. of Wayne, Pa., with a focus on engineering. The two companies are designing stan-

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dardized turn-key power plants as small as 2 MW and as large as 14 MW that feature ZeroPoint’s technology, according to Gaus. Envirotherm will be the EPC vendor behind building the plants, he says. “It’s all thermal-chemical conversion of biomass into gas,� Gaus says. “ZeroPoint is providing that enabling biomass-gasification technology.� Eight of the standardized power plants are currently slated to be built — six in Europe and two in North America. Construction is set to begin on one of the plants before the end of the year, and work is likely to start on another four plants next year, according to Gaus. Confidentiality agreements prevent him from releasing more information on the projects, he says. Biomass-gasification plants typically cost about $4 million per megawatt of installed capacity, Gaus says. That price can differ depending on variables such as the power plant’s site, though. Two plants in Europe already operate using ZeroPoint’s technology, Gaus adds. They are located in Germany and Ireland and are approved to generate up to 5 MW. However, they were not built using standardized turn-key designs and do not carry performance warranties. The existing and planned biomass-gasification generators utilizing ZeroPoint’s technology run on woody biomass. Woody biomass includes chipped wood, recovered waste wood, and virgin wood, according to Gaus. Interest in biomass gasification is strongest in Europe but will likely grow in

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at its U.S. headquarters, and Gaus expects the firm to hire three or four more people within six months. Its headquarters is about 500 square feet leased from Clarkson University that is largely used for payroll and administrative work — employees currently spend most of their time onsite at the company’s projects in Europe. The biomass-gasification firm also has 15 employees based in a satellite office at Schwarze Pumpe Industry Park near Spremberg, Germany. That satellite office was added in an acquisition ZeroPoint completed six months ago, according to Gaus. He declined to share any other details about the transaction. Gaus also declined to disclose revenue totals or projections for ZeroPoint. He founded the company six years ago as a research project at Clarkson University along with Philip Leveson, who has a doctorate focused on oxygen enrichment of combustion systems. In addition to its woody-biomass technology, ZeroPoint is testing palm biomass and working on upgrading sewer sludge and digestate from anaerobic digesters for gasification. The company contracts primarily with New York companies to produce components for its technology, according to Gaus. “We’re doing business with New York state manufacturers and exporting,� he says. q

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4 • The Central New York Business Journal

September 21, 2012

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Headphones retailer, distributor leases space in DeWitt By Journal Staff

DeWITT — VoxLinc LLC a retailer and distributor of AfterShokz bone-conduction technology headphones, recently leased 1,495 square feet of flex space located at 6311 Fly Road in DeWitt. VoxLinc offers three models of ear-free headphones: AfterShokz Sport, AfterShokz Mobile, and AfterShokz Game. Unlike conventional headphones

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September 21, 2012

the prices they charged had risen by about 1 percent over the past year and were expected to rise by just under 2 percent in the year ahead. Last September’s survey pointed to similarly modest price increases.

moderate increases in input prices, while the prices received index hovered a little above zero for a fourth consecutive month. The index for number of employees fell noticeably but remained just above zero at 4.3, suggesting a slower

down marginally for the month at 2.8, and the unfilled orders index slipped to -14.9. The delivery time index, however, roseBusiness more than The Central New York Journal • 5 nine points to 2.1—its first positive reading since April—indicating that delivery times lengthened slightly. The inventories index rose to zero, going forward,” Deitz says. suggesting noand change in inventory New orders shipments will be on the levels. manufacturers anticipated. The fuupswing,

MANUFACTURING: The number-of-employees index plunged 12.2 points to 4.3 in September Continued from page 1

In September, 28.8 percent of manufacturers indicated business conditions worsened, while just 18.4 percent said they improved. The remaining 52.8 percent of survey respondents thought conditions remained the same as they were last month. “The headline index has been negative for the past several months, and it’s been trending downward for the past several months,” says Richard Deitz, assistant vice president, regional analysis function at the New York Fed. The general business conditions index hit a 2012 high point of 20.2 in March. It vacillated between losses and gains over the next few months before beginning its current three-month slide in July. New York manufacturers reporting getting fewer new orders, as indicated by the survey’s new-orders index slipping 8.5 points to -14. Unfilled orders followed suit, eroding by 4.3 points. The unfilled-orders index notched -14.9 in September. Shipments also slid, although the shipments index managed to stay above zero. It slipped 1.3 points to 2.8. In contrast, delivery times increased in September, according to the delivery-time index. It jumped 9.2 points to reach positive territory at 2.1. Manufacturers said they paid higher prices and received higher prices for their goods in September. The prices-paid index crept up 2.7 points to 19.2. The prices-received index edged nearly 3 points higher to 5.3. Hiring took a hit, along with the number

General Business Conditions Seasonally adjusted Diffusion index 40 30 20 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40






of hours manufacturers asked employees to work. The number-of-employees index plunged 12.2 points to 4.3 in September, while the average employee-workweek index skidded 4.6 points to fall below zero at -1.1.

Positive future expectations

Manufacturers didn’t predict as much gloom in the future. Nearly all of the survey’s forward-looking indicators, which measure expectations for a time six months from now, moved up. The future general business conditions index swelled by 12 points to 27. Over twofifths of survey respondents, 41.4 percent, predicted better business conditions in six months, and 44.4 percent thought conditions will remain the same. The final 14.2






percent of respondents expect general conditions to worsen. “The level of optimism has been generally declining throughout almost all of 2012,” Deitz says. “So to some extent, the increase in the future general business conditions index does show that the level of optimism did improve somewhat. But that level is still well below where it was earlier in the year.” The future general business conditions index topped out at 54.9 this year. It reached that point in January and has been falling since then. September marked the first time manufacturers drove the future index up between two months in 2012. “It’s very likely they’re factoring in some of the information they already have, information about what their orders might be

ture new-orders index ballooned 14.7 points to 17, and the future shipments index rose Selling Prices Hold Steady, Hiring 4.5 points to 12.8. Activity Slows Unfilled orders, on the other hand, are The prices index rose by set to wane,paid according to manufacturers. slightly less than three points The future unfilled-orders index in dipped 4.3 points to 19.2, suggesting September, Manufacturers continued to predict lower continued modest price pressures. delivery times and inventories. But they The prices received index edged tempered their projections, pushing up the up to delivery-time 5.3—a rise ofindex almost future by three 3.1 points to points the month, -7.5 andfor increasing thesignaling future inventories index by almost 5.2 points to -4.3. The future prices-paid index inflated by Continued 8.7 points to 40.4. It was joined by the future prices-received index, which ascended 9.3 points to 23.4. Payrolls will swell, according to the survey. Manufacturers pushed the future number-of-employees index up by nearly 5 points to 8.5. They drove the future average employee-workweek index out of negative territory with a 10.4-point rise to 2.1. Manufacturers didn’t predict much change in the level of capital expenditures. The future capital-expenditures index edged down 0.2 points to 12.8. The future technologyspending index inched up 1.6 points to 7.5. The New York Fed polls a set pool of about 200 manufacturing executives in the state for its monthly survey, and about 100 executives typically respond. The Fed seasonally adjusts data. q Contact Seltzer at

6 • The Central New York Business Journal

September 21, 2012

EMPOWER: The former B.G. Sulzle building is being completely gutted Continued from page 1

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will move to the headquarters in one of its branch buildings at 515 Erie Blvd. West in Syracuse and at an office just across the parking lot from there. The credit union also leases space at the Learbury Centre building on North Salina Street. The lease on the Learbury space is up next year, Nave says, and the newly free space at the Erie Boulevard location will allow for needed expansion at that branch. He says Empower leaders expect to develop a long-term plan for the Erie Boulevard office next year. “We need to start thinking about expanding that branch,� Nave says. The former B.G. Sulzle building is being completely gutted. The new space will feature an open floor plan to encourage collaboration, Nave says. Construction crews are working on demolition now and the project should wrap up in March or April. Empower staff members will then move in next spring and summer. Syracuse–based Hayner Hoyt Corp. is

the construction manager on the project and Syracuse–based QPK Design is the architect. Empower formed in 2007 from the merger of Empire Federal Credit Union and Power Federal Credit Union. At the time, both credit unions had about $300 million in assets, according to Empower. Assets at Empower totaled more than $1.1 billion as of the end of June 2012, up from just more than $1 billion a year earlier. The credit union has more than 110,000 members. Empower reached 100,000 members for the first time in 2011. Empower had total loans of more than $777.5 million at the end of June, up from $713.3 million a year earlier, and total deposits of more than $1 billion, up from $916 million a year earlier. Net income through the first half of 2012 totaled $5.8 million at the credit union, up from about $4 million through the first six months of 2011. ď ą Contact Tampone at

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The Central New York Business Journal • 7

September 21, 2012

Business Journal C e n t r a l

N e w


Y o r k

Volume 26, No. 38 - September 21, 2012 NEWS Editor-in-Chief........................Adam Rombel Assistant Editor..............Maria J. Carbonaro Staff Writers........................... Kevin Tampone (Online Editor) ..............................................................Rick Seltzer ............................................................Traci DeLore Columnists....................................Tom Morgan Production Manager.......................Erin Zehr Research Manager.................. Nicole Collins 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 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Cover Price $2 Subscription Rate $88 per year Call (800) 836-3539

HOW TO REACH US MAIL: Send letters to: Editor, The Central New York Business Journal 269 W. Jefferson St. Syracuse, N.Y. 13202-1230 E-MAIL: PHONE: (315) 472-3104

Upstate Economy Pays the Price for Health-Care Law O

  n March 21, 2010, the U.S. House   of Representatives passed the   president’s health-care bill by just seven votes. Two days later, the president signed the bill into law. As a result of this law, medical-device companies will be required to pay a 2.3 percent tax on the sales of medical devices beginning in January 2013. Recently, Welch Allyn, a global medical device and solutions company headquartered in Skaneateles, opinion announced that it would lay off 275 employees, or 10 percent of its work force, over the next three years as a direct result of this new tax. This tax, one of 21 in the president’s health-care law, unfairly burdens medicaldevice companies and, as demonstrated by Welch Allyn, will drive jobs from our local community. During these challenging economic times, the government should be implementing policies that help the economy grow jobs and keep American

ann marie buerkle

workers employed. The medical-device tax is an egregious, misguided policy that damages the Central New York economy and negatively affects our local community. Members of the House of Representatives rightly recognized the impact that the tax will have on the medical-device industry and, in June of this year passed H.R. 436, on a bipartisan basis, to repeal the tax. The Senate has failed to take up the bill for consideration. The medical-device tax is a clear example of the detrimental effect the health-care law is having on businesses and hardworking Americans across the country. It also makes a strong case for why healthcare reform, while undoubtedly needed, cannot be achieved in a massive 2,000 page bill. Reforms must be developed incrementally so that we ensure we are not further burdening small businesses and are actually increasing access to quality, affordable health care. Last April, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4, which repealed the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 1099 reporting requirement for small businesses. At the time, I commended him for doing the right thing. Once again, the U.S. Senate and president have an opportunity to stand for small

businesses and repeal another onerous aspect of the ACA, the medical-device tax. I have urged President Obama and Senate leadership to pass this vitally important legislation and sign it into law before this tax does any further damage. No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity, but with the implementation of the medical-device tax looming, we now see that a nation can tax people into unemployment. As I said in one of my recent town hall meetings, as a member of Congress, if something is not good for your district, you do not vote for it. It’s that simple, because at the end of the day, this is not about politics; this is about saving upstate New York jobs. It is about investing in American manufacturing; it is about protecting small businesses and health-care providers. Most importantly, it is about saving lives. We must repeal this ill-considered tax and keep our medical-device companies, like Welch Allyn, alive and prospering. q Ann Marie Buerkle (R–Onondaga) represents the current 25th Congressional District of New York, which will become the 24th District. The new district encompasses all of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Wayne counties, and part of Oswego County.

Get Government Off My Back D   o you get tired of politicians   talking about how many jobs they   have created? Or how few jobs their opponents have created? The president claims his administration has created so many million jobs. And Gov. Romney says his policies will create so many million jobs. They speak rubbish. If government creates a job, it does so with money it takes from someone. It takes it from individual taxpayers. It takes it from businesses — as taxpayers. What do you suppose people and busimorgan nesses would have at large done with the money that government took? Would they have baked it into casseroles? People would have spent it, which would have created jobs. People would have invested it, which would have produced jobs. Businesses would have done the same, thus creating jobs. But they did not, because government took that money and tried to create jobs with it. There have been many studies that have concluded this: Government is

tom morgan

the least efficient in creating anything, including jobs. Individuals and businesses are far more efficient than government. So why not leave more money with them? And stop taxing it away? The best way government can help an economy is by getting out of the way of its people. By getting off their backs. By truly reducing the regulations and red tape. This is not brain surgery. Everywhere you look, government slows business. It impedes business. It does not mean to, but it does. You want to make a few bucks braiding hair for your neighbors? Hey, you could start a business braiding hair. Nope, it’s against the law. You must take some courses, get a certificate, and pay for a license — to braid hair. You want to leave your job to start a business? You don’t dare, because you would have to leave your health insurance behind. Who says you cannot take it with you? Government. Why is basic health care so expensive? Because governments insist that healthinsurance policies cover 10,000 different ailments and services. You ought to be able to pick and choose from basic ingredients in a policy. Maybe you don’t want to pay for coverage of illnesses and diseases that only a tiny number of people get. Well, there ain’t no maybes. Governments

force you to pay. And, governments won’t allow a less costly policy from Idaho to be sold to you in New York. All this government interference makes insurance too expensive — for employers, for small-business owners. These are the people we expect will create jobs for us. Here is another reason your business will cost more than it should. You have to pay huge amounts for liability insurance. Why huge? Because government won’t reform the laws that let people sue you for millions when they stub their toes on your sidewalk. In thousands of ways, government impedes business. And thereby, it lowers the growth of our economy and the growth in the number of jobs. The politicians jabber on about jobs, jobs, jobs. The best thing they can do for jobs in this country is to shrink, shrink, shrink government. Trim its tentacles, and get it out of the way of thousands of corners of the economy where it impedes. From in Morgan. q Tom Morgan writes about financial, political, and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and new TV show. For more information about him, visit his website at

8 • The Central New York Business Journal

September 21, 2012 Hall. For more information, please call 4986070 or visit

september 25 n Networking Mixer from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Ruby Tuesday Restaurant located at 3220 Erie Blvd East, DeWitt. The event is free. Beer, wine, and food will be served. Please bring plenty of business cards to pass out and to win door prizes. Come network with other professionals from Central New York. Hosted by Gung Ho Referrals, CNY’s premier networking group since 1999. For additional information, contact Paul Ellis at (315) 475-0392 or n Veterans Seminar Series — Serving Those Who Serve: Insights and Innovative Ideas from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Syracuse University’s Life Science Building, 107 College Place. This is the first in a series of five seminars. No cost to attend. For more information, call the Syracuse University’s Veterans Resource Center at (315) 443-9297 or visit its website:

september 27 n Growing Global Sales: Balancing Opportunities & Risks Conference from 7:30 a.m. to noon at The Crowne Plaza, Syracuse. This event is focused on helping area businesses expand their global sales. For details or to register, visit

october 1 n EdEnergy Day 2012 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ithaca College. Anyone whose job is affected by energy use should attend. No charge to attend. To register online, visit www.ithaca. edu/edenergy/register/

October 2 n From Combat to Kentucky, an oral history project from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Syracuse University – Life Sciences Building, 107 College Place, Syracuse. This is an award-winning oral history project documenting the stories of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as they pursue post-secondary education in Kentucky. The interviews highlight the difficult transition from military to student life and the workplace. No cost to attend. For more information, visit

October 5 n CNY ASTD Breakfast Club from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Gem Diner, 832 Spencer St., Syracuse. CNY ASTD hosts an informal group for discussions on areas of expertise in learning and performance roles. Topic: Managing the learning function. Call (315) 546-2783 or email:

October 10 n Employee Learning Week Information Session from 8 to 9 a.m. at AXA Equitable, 100 Madison St., Tower 1, Syracuse. CNY ASTD will hold a discussion on activities that organizations and individuals can engage in to celebrate their commitment to learning and development. Call (315) 546-2783 or email:

October 11-13 n The 12th Annual Symposium on Environmental and Energy Systems. On Oct. 11, the symposium will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel; on Oct. 12, at 7:30 a.m. at the Oncenter Complex; and on Oct. 13 at 8:30 a.m. at SyracuseCoE headquarters, 727 E. Washington St., Syracuse. Organized by SyracuseCoE, the event features the latest results from collaborators across New York State that are developing innovations in clean technologies and processes. For

Business Calendar


more information, including the full program, visit

October 12 n Social Media for Training Workshop from 7:30 a.m. to noon at Aspen Dental Management, Inc., 281 Sanders Creek Parkway, DeWitt. CNY ASTD will host this workshop on social media as a tool to enhance and extend the learning experience led by Jane Bozarth, author of “Social Media for Trainers.” The cost is $79 for CNY ASTD members and $89 for nonmembers. To register, visit, call (315) 546-2783, or email:

October 16 n “Mix ‘n’ Mingle” with Sales and Marketing Executives Event from 5 to 7 p.m. at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Main Banquet Room, 246 W. Willow St., Syracuse. Join CNY Sales & Marketing Executives (CNYSME) as well as several major companies for an evening of BBQ and networking. The event is free to CNYSME members and $12 for nonmembers. Please RSVP to n Veterans Seminar Series, Health Care for Homeless Veterans: VA’s Five-Year Plan to End Homelessness from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Syracuse University – Life Sciences Building 107 College Place. Presented by Syracuse University’s Veterans Resource Center, Adam Ormsby will discuss the VA’s plan to provide more support services to increase employability and independence for veterans. Free admission. For details, visit www.Salute.syr. edu/seminars or call (315) 443-9297. n Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce’s 103rd Annual Dinner “Tour Cayuga” at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 75 North St., Auburn. The keynote speaker will be Judy L. Randall, of Randall Travel Marketing. The cost to attend is $55. To register by Oct. 10, email, call (315) 252-7291, or visit

October 17 n Social Media Community Discussion Group from 9 to 10 a.m. at SUNY Center for Professional Development, 6333 Route 298, Suite 102, East Syracuse. CNY ASTD hosts an informal group for discussions on social media in a research, sharing experiences, and learning environment. The topic will be “Creating Interactive.” For details, call (315) 546-2783 or email:

October 18 n Pass it On: Estate Planning to Preserve Family Wealth from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at 445 Electronics Parkway, Suite 206, Liverpool. NYFBC members are prepaid; nonmembers pay $25. To register, contact NYFBC at (315) 579-2871 or email:

October 20 n Liverpool Leadership Seminar – Developing Your Leadership Skills & Working in a Team Environment from

10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Are leaders born or made? Find out by attending this two-part seminar. This is a Toastmasters’ seminar and will be conducted by experienced Toastmasters. The fee is $25 and includes materials and refreshments. Register early as there is a maximum of 10 participants. For details, or to register, call (315) 457-2581 or (315) 271-5152 or email: or

October 25

n Every Wednesday, Syracuse Business Networking from 6 to 7 p.m. at Barbieri’s Restaurant (upstairs level) located on Main Street in the village of North Syracuse. For more information, call Kim Bachstein at (315) 414-8223 or email: info@ n First Wednesday of each month, Business Innovation Days meetings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Tech Garden, 235 Harrison St., Syracuse. Entrepreneurs and small businesses can meet one-on-one with a counselor from the SBDC for advice and customized assistance opportunities. Scheduled by appointment, call (315) 474-0910 or email: info@ n Every Thursday, Empire Statesmen Toastmasters meet at 6:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday on Erie Boulevard in DeWitt. For more information, visit http://estm.freetoasthost. info or email: president@estm.freetoasthost. info

n CenterState Business Showcase at the Oncenter in Syracuse. Build your B2B network, meet new customers, and connect with business leaders from across the entire 12-county region. To register for the showcase, visit

n Every Thursday each month, Liverpool Linguists from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Liverpool First Methodist Church, 604 Oswego Road, Liverpool. For details, visit http://liverpool. or call (315) 884-2668 or 457-2581.

n Retirement Accounts: Planning Optimal Outcomes for Family, Charitable, and Tax Objectives from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the Genesee Grand Hotel, 1060 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. This free workshop will be presented by Christopher R. Hoyt, J.D., a professor of law at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law. Hosted by the Central New York Community Foundation. To register and see more topic details, visit or call (315) 422-9538.

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.

October 30 n Excellence In Health Care Awards recognition event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at The Oncenter, Syracuse. Excellence in Health Care recognizes our region’s top health-care industry leaders, innovators, and companies. Nominations are open. Visit to view the categories and event details. Nomination deadline: Friday, Sept. 14.

november 8 n NEXT 2012 – The Event for Technology, Manufacturing & Innovation at the Holiday Inn Convention Center Syracuse-Liverpool. The keynote speakers are Robert Tucker, president, at the Innovation Resource, and Jeremy Rifkin, president, Foundation on Economic Trends. The event also offers education workshops in four concurrent tracks. To register, visit

ONGOING EVENTS n Every Tuesday, Cayuga Club Toastmasters from 6 to 7 p.m. at Cornell University, Ithaca, Rhodes Hall, 6th Floor, Conference Room #655. Free and easy parking is available nearby at Peterson Lot. For more information, contact Julia Reich, (315) 3647190 or email:

n Every Friday, 40 Above: Workers in Transition from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Westcott Community Center, 817 Euclid Ave., Syracuse. Helping workers/job seekers aged 40 and above in search for work. Contact John A. Cruty at (315) 569-3964, or at crutij@yahoo. com n Every Friday, Tip Club of Syracuse, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel, 801 University Ave., Syracuse, 8 to 9 a.m. Call Bernie Bregman at (315) 472-3104, ext. 103 or email: n First Friday of each month, Toolkit Day with SCORE by appointment at The Tech Garden. Counselors provide free, confidential, individual business mentoring to prospective or current business owners. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Lynn Hughes at (315) 579-2862 or email n Every second and fourth Friday of each month, The SUN Group (Sustainable Upstate Network) meets from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Tony’s Family Restaurant, 3004 Burnet Ave., Syracuse. For more information, contact Andy Picco at (315) 657-0135 or email: andrewpicco@gmail. com n Every week, Syracuse Networking Professionals. Five meetings to choose from. For details, call Kevin M. Crook at (315) 4391803, or email or visit

n Every Tuesday, Gung Ho Networking Group from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, 3220 Erie Blvd E., DeWitt. Possible referrals for you; this is not a tip club. First visit free. Contact Paul Ellis at (315) 6770015 or visit

n CNY Connects is a networking organization offering 12 groups from which to choose. If you are interested in learning more, contact Amy Kaschel of AK Consulting at akconsult@ or call (315) 882-6127 or visit

n Every Wednesday, Small Business Development Center at OCC from 4pm to 6 p.m., Introduction to Business Start-up at H-1

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

September 21, 2012

EDUCATION & TRAINING Cortland Research LLC has named Mike Gibbons as its new sales and marketing manager. He will be in charge of spearheading the sales and marketing expansion of the company’s POUNCE Energy Conservation System. Gibbons, who had been sales manager at JC Publishing in Binghamton, has more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the telecommunications, advertising, publishing, and mobile marketing industries.

ENGINEERING IPD:Engineering has added two new staff members. Dan Schafran joins the company as an electrical design engineer. He has more than five years experience in electrical-engineering Schafran design, with considerable experience in educational and health-care projects throughout New York State. Dave Haman has more than 20 years experience in all phases of mechanical-system design including plumbing, fire Haman protection, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. His project experience includes

The Central New York Business Journal • 9

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: NEW HIRES & PROMOTIONS a broad range of educational, institutional, and industrial projects. Haman is also experienced in using and generating drawings in AutoCAD 2000 and 2006 formats.

Webb has the primary responsibility for the maintenance, housekeeping, grounds, and repairs to the center’s facilities.


ENTERTAINMENT WonderWorks, a scientific amusement park for the mind that is opening at Destiny USA in November, has named Todd Buchko general manager of WonderWorks at Destiny USA. As Buchko general manager, he will be considered the “lead scientist” at this attraction. Prior to joining WonderWorks, Buchko was the general manager at Maplewood Inn in Liverpool and worked in sales and marketing at several Central New York hotels. He has a bachelor’s degree in food, hotel, and resort management with a minor in business management from Keuka College and has completed professional-development training in effective leadership and guest services.

HEALTH CARE Larry Webb has been appointed by the Office of the President to assume the responsibilities and duties of facilities manager at Syracuse Community Health Center, Inc. He began his career with Syracuse Community Health Center in April 1991.

Syracuse–based ICTG has announced the addition of Cory Sullivan as businessdevelopment director. He brings ICTG 13 years technical knowledge and will develop products such as website development and hosting, custom applications, hosted Exchange and cloudSullivan driven storage solutions.

LAW Jeffrey B. Koehne has been named executive director of Hiscock & Barclay, LLP. A CPA, he will utilize his finance background and decade of experience managing professional-ser vices Koehne businesses to oversee all administrative departments firmwide. Koehne joined Hiscock & Barclay in October 2011 as deputy executive director and was promoted to executive director following the

passing of the firm’s long-time Executive Director John M. Nice. Koehne graduated from New York University’s Stern School of Business with an MBA in finance and Hamilton College with a bachelor’s degree. Prior to joining Hiscock & Barclay, Koehne was chief financial officer at Ariston Global LLC in Pittsford, and prior to that, he was controller of Europe sales channel for France Telecom in London and senior VP, finance and operations for The Corporate Presence, Inc. in New York.

VIDEO PRODUCTION Otto Media, a full-service video-production company, has hired Marisa Audley as an associate producer. Before Otto Media, she studied broadcast TV production at Iona College and Oswego Audley State University. Prior to earning a bachelor’s degree from the School of Communications Media and the Arts at Oswego State, Audley worked in the broadcast department as a teaching and lab assistant for video-production courses. 

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Mackenzie Hughes seminar tackles election-year HR headaches BY RICK SELTZER JOURNAL STAFF

DeWITT — Business human-resources departments should be ready to head off potential problems resulting from this year’s heated political-campaign period, attendees of a recent Central New York seminar heard. “It’s election season,” said Christian Jones, a partner in Mackenzie Hughes LLP’s business department. “Along with that season can come some difficult issues for employers with respect to politics in the workplace.” Jones spoke at a Labor Law Review seminar that his Syracuse–based law firm held at Drumlins Country Club in the town of DeWitt. Nearly 30 people attended the event. A common question tied to the politi“First cal-campaign Amendment period is cenon free rights apply to tered speech, Jones governmental said. Freedom of speech does actions,” not necessarily apply to Jones told employees exattendees. pressing politiviews in the “As a private cal workplace, he employer, you continued. “ F i r s t can, generally A m e n d m e n t rights apply to speaking, gover nmental actions,” Jones prohibit told attendees. political “As a private emyou can, speech in the ployer, generally speaking, prohibit poworkplace.” litical speech in the workplace.” Public-sector employers face a trickier situation, he added, as employees of


Christian Jones, a partner in Mackenzie Hughes LLP’s business department, speaks at a Labor Law Review seminar that his Syracuse–based law firm held at Drumlins Country Club in the town of DeWitt. Nearly 30 people attended the event. governmental agencies have greater First Amendment protections. But public-sector workers still don’t have the right to disrupt their workplace, harass fellow employees, or antagonize other staff members. Both public and private employers can step in when an employee is harassing or antagonizing others, Jones said. Private employers even have the right to lay down policies against political discussions in the workplace if they see political discussions getting out of hand. “Not everyone wants to go that far, and, let’s be honest, a lot of people can discuss political issues in a completely civil manner,” Jones said. “At a minimum, if someone’s viewpoints and activities are getting to the point where it’s interfering with work, it’s interrupting your whole process, it’s infringing upon your business objectives, you have the right to take some type of disciplinary action.” Jones cautioned employers to be care-

ful when taking such action, however. Enforcement of policies against harassing others must be evenhanded, he said. Employers should not act only against workers who do not share their own political points of view. Later, Jones talked about political campaigning. Private employers can generally restrict political campaigning at work, he said. Employee handbooks commonly have rules against solicitation and distribution during work hours and in work areas — rules that would cover such actions undertaken as part of a campaign, he said. Again, he stressed the importance of across-the-board enforcement of such rules. “You can’t just enforce it with respect to campaign materials and union materials,” Jones said. “You have to prohibit all solicitations during working times and in work areas.”

Picking and choosing which distributions to ban would make a no-distribution rule invalid, he added. If it were applied only to union materials, it would be considered an unfair labor practice by the National Labor Relations Board, Jones said. State law does prohibit employers from acting against employees for their legal political activities away from work, according to Jones. Unless a political activity could cause a material conflict of interest related to the employer’s business, an employer cannot discipline a worker for running for public office, campaigning for a candidate, or participating in fundraising activities away from the office. Another state law entitles employees to take time off from the job so they can vote if they do not have sufficient time to do so outside of working hours. The rule only comes into play if an employee does not have four straight hours before work or after work when the polls are open. An employee can take off as much time as he or she needs to vote, but employers can ask for an explanation of why the time is needed. Employees can take off as much time as they can justify. And up to two hours of that time off must be granted with pay, according to Jones. Employees wishing to take time off to vote have to inform employers between two days and 10 days before the election, Jones said. “You probably have some type of bulletin board with all of your notices up,” he said. “It’s probably a good idea to do a posting [of this law.] And you have to do it at least 10 days before Election Day.” Other speakers at the seminar included Mackenzie Hughes business department partner Jacqueline Jones, who discussed National Labor Relations Board rules on confidentiality and investigations, and partner Mary Anne Cody, who covered regulations related to fees associated with retirement plans.  Contact Seltzer at

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2B • The Central New York Business Journal


September 21, 2012

Employers need to adapt to changing retirement landscape

Mercer: Healthbenefit costs in line for 6.5percent rise


mployers anticipate the cost of health-insurance coverage will rise slightly faster in 2013 than it has in recent years, according to early results from an upcoming survey. The average per-employee cost of health coverage will rise by about 6.5 percent in 2012, preliminary responses to an annual health-benefits survey show. The humanresources firm Mercer is conducting the survey and released its advance results on Sept. 11. Health-insurance benefit costs posted an actual increase of 6.1 percent in 2011, Mercer found. Last year, its polling predicted a 5.7-percent increase for 2012. The 2013 anticipated increase reflects responses submitted by about 2,000 employers nationally through Sept. 4. They are likely close to cost increases that Flynn will be felt in upstate New York, according to Thomas Flynn, a principal at Mercer’s Rochester office, which covers the Upstate region. “I think when you look at percentages, we’re probably pretty close,” he says. “The average increase is similar, but we’ve got a lower starting point in most cases. Those premiums that you’re going to see [when the national survey is released] are much higher than we pay in upstate New York.” Employers said health-benefit costs would increase by about 8 percent if they made no changes to their current plans. That’s slightly lower than the cost trend in recent Mercer surveys, which averaged 9 percent. Health-benefit costs won’t be jumping by 8 percent in part because many employers are shifting costs to employees. More than half of employers, 58 percent, said they planned to hold down their own cost increases by shifting costs to employees. “I think over the last couple of years people have tried to keep that as steady as possible just because of the state of the economy,” Flynn says. “Now people are saying, ‘I have to focus on the budget this year, and I’m going to have to take one of two actions to manage my costs.’ One is to pass them along to employees.” The other strategy employers are using to blunt spiking health-insurance premiums is moving workers to high-deductible health plans (HDHP), Flynn says. Those plans, which carry deductibles in the thousands of dollars, are typically paired with healthsavings accounts or other medical-spending accounts controlled by an employee.






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he difficult economic and financial landscape of the last few years has led many employees to postpone retirement a few years in order to build up an adequate source of income for when they do finally leave the work force. That means employers are having to adapt to an increasingly older work force with its eye on retirement planning. “We are facing a time where we need to redefine what retirement is and how employers structure their benefits to match up with an aging work force,” says Brian Schmidt, a financial planner with United Advisors in Endwell. “As we all live longer, our current systems are getting strained under a ‘normal retirement age’ of 65.” For some workers, he says, increasing the “normal” retirement age by say, five years to 70 is all that’s needed to meet the gap in savings for retirement. Others need a more comprehensive solution. Recent research by Washington, DC– based Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) shows that for one-third of households between the ages of 30 and 59 in 2007, working those five extra years will not be enough to fund their retirement sufficiently. The result is that a large number of retirees are likely to run short of what they need to cover their general expenses and uninsured health-care expenses following their working years. “It would be comforting from a public policy standpoint to assume that merely working to age 70 would be a panacea to the significant challenges of assuring retirement income adequacy, but this may be a particularly risky strategy, especially for the vulnerable group of low-income workers,” Jack VanDerhei, EBRI research director, said in EBRI’s report. This is where employers can come into play and help their workers prepare in advance for retirement, Schmidt says. United Advisors ( urges employers to help their employees look at both sides of the retirement equation — expenses and income. “Too much focus has been on the income side, and employers are very hesitant to discuss the spending habits of their work force,” Schmidt says. Still, working until a later age is a good option for many people that provides some additional benefits. EBRI research shows that nearly two-thirds of households aged 50-59 in 2007 would be considered ready for retirement at age 70, compared with 52 percent of those same households if they were

See MERCER, page 5B


September 21, 2012

Labor-law experts: Employers should consider antibullying policies BY TRACI DELORE JOURNAL STAFF

UTICA — Most people have been bullied at one point or another in their lives. For many, that sort of teasing and harassment takes place during the school years, and recent awareness of the pervasiveness of bullying at school led to the passage of the state’s Dignity for All Students Act on July 1. The law seeks to create a school environment free from discrimination and harassment, but what happens when students leave school and eventually enter the workplace, but the harassment doesn’t stop? While there currently aren’t any laws on the books in New York addressing anti-bullying in the workplace, this is an issue where employers really should be proactive and consider adopting an anti-bullying policy, attorney Joseph DeTraglia says. DeTraglia is a partner at the Utica law firm of Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP (www., where he heads up the firm’s labor and employment practice group. “As an employer, you want to be proactive about these issues because you can’t assume it only happens to other employers,” DeTraglia says of workplace bullying and the issues that can arise from it. Workplace bullying, at its most basic description, refers to the repeated acts of an employee intended to intimidate and humiliate a co-worker or a subordinate, according to a news release from JusticeNewsFlash. com, a Florida–based legal news website. In the release, Dallas law firm Clouse Dunn LLP offers some more specific examples of acts that could be construed as bullying including: falsely blaming an employee; treating a worker differently than the rest of the group; swearing at an employee; physically threatening or intimidating an employee; teasing an employee; spreading gossip and rumors about a worker; and excluding the employee from work or social functions. What makes policing workplace bullying difficult, DeTraglia says, is that while most can agree those sorts of behaviors are offensive, in most cases they are not illegal. But the impact of bullying is very real, he notes, and the reactions can become severe. “Bullying in a workplace that’s left unchecked could escalate into workplace violence,” he says. That’s why he encourages employers to meet with their legal counsel to review current policies in place and draft new ones if necessary. All employers should have policies in place to prevent harassment and discrimination under federal laws that prohibit discriminating against employees on a number of classifications including gender, race, age, or sexual orientation. Many actions that could be interpreted as bullying may fall under those policies, DeTraglia notes, “but you don’t have to stop there. You can have your own code of

An employer can set forth a policy that outlines what behaviors will not be tolerated in the workplace and what disciplinary actions will result from violating the policy, DeTraglia says. DeTraglia

conduct.” An employer can set forth a policy that outlines what behaviors will not be tolerated in the workplace and what disciplinary actions will result from violating the policy,

DeTraglia says. Such a policy can go a long way toward creating a pleasant and productive workplace, he adds. The basics of any good policy will include three elements, he said. They are provid-

The Central New York Business Journal • 3B

ing an avenue for complaints, investigating those complaints, and taking corrective action where necessary. “That’s your best defense to a lawsuit,” DeTraglia says. “That you actually have a policy and you take it seriously.” Along with providing protection from lawsuits, having a good policy in place can benefit employers by increasing morale and productivity and cutting costs associated with replacing and training new staff members when others leave due to bullying behavior, the Clouse Dunn firm said in the release. The bottom line? “You want to have a workplace where people are not feeling threatened or intimidated,” DeTraglia says. Contact DeLore at


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4B • The Central New York Business Journal


September 21, 2012

EBRI: Consumer-driven health plan members growing more content BY RICK SELTZER JOURNAL STAFF


atisfaction with consumer-driven health plans is trending up, even as contentment with traditional plans

wanes. Those findings are part of a report from the Washington, D.C.–based Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). They come from an analysis of the 2011 EBRI/ MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey, as well as annual versions of that survey dating back to 2005. EBRI defined consumer-driven health plans, or CDHPs, as insurance plans that have deductibles of at least $1,000 for individuals or $2,000 for families. To qualify as a CDHP in the report, a plan also had to be paired with an account like a health-savings account or health-reimbursement arrangement that plan members could use to pay medical expenses. Plans labeled as traditional coverage featured either no deductibles or deductibles below CDHP levels. They were not paired with health-savings accounts or health-reimbursement arrangements. Plans falling under that definition include health-maintenance organizations, or HMOs, preferredprovider organizations, or PPOs, and other managed-care plans, according to EBRI. Satisfaction with those traditional plans has eroded since 2005. The portion of survey respondents listing themselves as extremely satisfied or very satisfied with their overall traditional plans slipped from 61 percent in 2005 to 57 percent in 2011. CDHPs, on the other hand, did an in-

creasingly better job of satisfying consumers over the seven-year period. Just 41 percent of survey respondents said they were extremely or very satisfied with their CDHPs in 2005, a reading that rose to 46 percent in 2011. The diverging trends are likely due to changes in out-of-pocket costs, according to Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research Education Program and author of the report. Those with traditional health insurance feel changing out-of-pocket costs more directly than those with CDHP-linked spending accounts, he says. “The difference is that you’ve got an account,” Fronstin says. “People build up account balances, and over time they’re less sensitive to costs.” EBRI’s surveys show satisfaction with CDHP out-of-pocket health-care costs rising over time. Just 18 percent of CDHP members were extremely or very satisfied with those costs in 2005, but 24 percent were in 2011. Over the same time frame, satisfaction with traditional plans’ out-of-pocket costs moved in the opposite direction. In 2005, 45 percent of survey respondents were extremely or very satisfied with their outof-pocket costs, compared with 41 percent in 2011. Plan members have also grown happier with the quality of health care they receive under CDHPs. While 63 percent were satisfied with their CDHP health-care quality in 2005, 71 percent were satisfied in 2011. Satisfaction with traditional plans’ healthcare quality, on the other hand, remained relatively flat. It notched 70 percent in 2005

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“Back in 2005 and 2006, just about everybody in these CDHP plans were in one for the first time,” Fronstin says. “Whereas now they’re not so new anymore, they’re not as confusing.” and 71 percent in 2011. “Back in 2005 and 2006, just about everybody in these CDHP plans were in one for the first time,” Fronstin says. “Whereas now they’re not so new anymore, they’re not as confusing.” Although CDHPs are satisfying members at a higher rate than before, traditional plans still have higher overall satisfaction readings, Fronstin points out. And CDHPs continued to stoke higher levels of dissatisfaction, he says. In 2011, 17 percent of CDHP members were not too satisfied or not at all satisfied with their plans, down from 26 percent in 2005. Yet a mere 10 percent of traditionalplan members voiced those levels of dissatisfaction with their health insurance in 2011, and only 8 percent did so in 2005. Similarly, CDHP members were less likely to recommend their health plan to others or stay with it if given the opportunity to change plans.

In 2011, 41 percent of CDHP members said they would recommend their plans to others, which is lower than the 49 percent of traditional plan members who said they would do so. Meanwhile, 49 percent of CDHP members indicated they would stick with their current plans if given a chance to change, compared to 58 percent of traditional-plan members. Fronstin has yet to find a reason for that discrepancy. “I’m not sure what to make of that difference,” he says. “It’s something that I still find interesting.” EBRI also broke out a third type of plan in its report — plans it dubbed high-deductible health plans, or HDHPs. Members falling into that category had insurance similar to CDHP members, but without paired accounts for health spending. HDHP members expressed lower satisfaction across the board. For example, 37 percent were satisfied with their overall health plan in 2011, but that was up from just 31 percent in 2005. Members without spending accounts are likely to feel more pain paying their deductibles, according to Fronstin. “The biggest number of people who don’t get health benefits from work and get them directly from an insurance company are going to be in HDHPs,” he says. “They may be out of work. It may be the only thing they can afford. Some of them are eligible for an HSA and never opened one, which would imply they don’t have the money to do so.”  Contact Seltzer at



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The Central New York Business Journal • 5B


September 21, 2012

How to Get the Most Out of Your New Hires From Day One M any companies struggle with designing the right programs to effectively orient employees to the many facets of their roles. Follow these tips, and you’ll be armed with actionable strategies to obtain the peak performance you desire and deserve, straight out of the gate.


them come into the office in advance to cover guidelines, fill out the necessary HR paperwork, and get set up with IT. This way, the first day isn’t filled with unnecessary down time and waiting. By getting them set up ahead of time, you establish respect for everyone’s time.

— whether it’s researching a venue for an upcoming event or allowing them to sit in on a brainstorming meeting with you. Showing new hires that they are important and that you value their contributions will also inspire productivity and loyalty toward your business.

Engage your employees on day one

Be a mentor, and help them foster relationships

Every position has its share of mundane tasks. But day one is not the time to throw them all at your new employee. First impressions matter, particularly for members of Generation Y (also known as millennials) who make decisions about whether or not to stay with a company long-term during their first days on the job. Reinforce that they have made the right decision to work for you by getting them contributing right away. Give new employees a task on their first day that allows them to use their brain and tap into their creativity

Start the process before “Day One”

Day one can be overwhelming for new hires and a waste of your VIEWPOINT time and theirs if you’re not prepared for them. Contact your new hires prior to day one to communicate what they can expect on the first day. If possible, have

First-day lunch is one of the most important experiences to get right for new employees. It can solidify that they are a culture fit or reinforce that they are not. To encourage the former, set your new hires up to have lunch with colleagues or if it is appropriate, take them to lunch yourself. After day one, make it a regular occurrence to ask new hires about their working style and how you can support them in their position. Let your new employees get to know you too. Being a mentor is a two-way relation-

ship. When you act as that mentor for your employees, particularly your young professionals who may be in their first job, you are inviting them into the company family. You have the opportunity to create a significant, long-lasting, positive impact on your new hires by following these simple and effective tips. The most important thing is that you get to it by day one. What are your strategies for making day one a success for you and your new hires? How do you get your newest employees oriented, integrated, and delivering results as efficiently, effectively, and energetically as possible?  Alexia Vernon is an author, speaker, certified coach, and trainer who specializes in helping organizations recruit, retain, educate, and grow their young professional work force. This article was provided by and is reprinted with the permission of Liverpool–based Contemporary Personnel Staffing, Inc.

MERCER: Early survey results also found that few employers are ready to stop offering health plans reform law, according to Flynn. And many employers use some of the cost savings from HDHPs to make contributions to employees’ medical-spending accounts. Employees who directly control part of their medical spending could have an incentive to manage their health better, he adds. But it’s important that employees in HDHPs know that preventive care like a physical is covered in full even before they reach their deductible, Flynn says.

Continued from page 2B

“These are things people have been saying they’re going to do and haven’t done for the last four years,” Flynn says. “This year people actually pulled the trigger because it fits nicely with a longer-term health-reform strategy.” Setting up HDHPs as a base plan allows employers to offer their workers health insurance that will meet affordability requirements under the federal health-care

“You go to any [company] and you’ll have a few employees who think, ‘I’m not going to get a physical done, I’m fine and I don’t need to pay $150,’ ” he says. Early survey results also found that few employers are ready to stop offering health plans after the federal reform law is fully in place. Just 6 percent of large employers with 500 or more employees said they would terminate coverage, and 16 percent of small employers with 10 to 499 employees said they would do so.

Mercer’s full survey will likely come out within a few weeks of Thanksgiving, Flynn says. It will include responses from 2,700 employers and will break data down by region of the country. Mercer has 20,000 employees in over 40 countries. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of New York City–based Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE: MMC).  Contact Seltzer at

RETIREMENT: Schmidt: “For some, retirement may mean working only two days a week”

their work force will begin to address these questions and adapt their benefit programs,” Schmidt says. EBRI’s full report, “Is Working to Age 70 Really the Answer for Retirement Income Adequacy,” is published in the August 2012 EBRI Notes and available online at www. EBRI is a private, non-partisan, nonprofit research institute based in the nation’s capital that focuses on health, savings, retirement, and economic-security issues. 

Continued from page 2B

to retire at age 65. Another option employers can put on the table is transitioning employees to retirement by allowing them to continue as part-time workers. “For some, retirement may mean working only two days a week,” Schmidt says. The bottom line, he says, is that the concept of retirement needs to change to match current economic realities. “While there are no regulatory mandates to do so, employers that truly want to help

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6B • The Central New York Business Journal

employee benefits & hr/job placement

September 21, 2012


1. 2.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. . 9. 10. 11. 12. . 14. . 16. 17. 18. . 20.

Name Address Phone Website Brown & Brown Empire State 500 Plum St., Suite 200 Syracuse, NY 13204 (315) 474-3374 Vanguard Risk Managers Bailey, Haskell & Lalonde Reagan Companies 5232 Witz Drive Syracuse , NY 13202 (315) 457-1830 Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc. 231 Salina Meadows Parkway Syracuse, NY 13221 (315) 451-1500 Gilroy, Kernan & Gilroy 210 Clinton Road New Hartford, NY 13413 (315) 768-8888 Marsh, Inc. 507 Plum St., Suite 110 Syracuse, NY 13204 (315) 425-4000 Mang Insurance Agency, LLC 66 S. Broad St. Norwich, NY 13815 (607) 337-4444 The Partners 825 Vestal Parkway West Vestal, NY 13850 (607) 754-1411 Day, Scarafile & Read, Inc. 125 Otsego St. Ilion, NY 13357 (315) 894-3131 POMCO Group 2425 James St. Syracuse, NY 13206 (800) 934-2459 Crown Risk Management, LLC 221 S. Warren St., Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 428-3830 Eastern Shore Assoc. Insurance 101 Cayuga St. Fulton, NY 13069 (315) 598-6000 First Niagara Risk Management, Inc. 126 N. Salina St., Suite 400 Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 461-1282 Dominick Falcone Agency, Inc. & Falcone Associates. Inc 901 Lodi St. Syracuse, NY 13203 (315) 422-6128 Synapse Risk Management 360 Erie Blvd. East Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 475-3700 Perry & Carroll, Inc. 100 W. Church St. Elmira, NY 14901 (607) 734-4291 Scalzo, Zogby, & Wittig, Inc. Campion Commons New Hartford, NY 13413 (315) 792-0000 CH Insurance 100 Madison St., Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 234-7500 The Eagle Insurance Agency 202 Walton St. Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 479-8237 EBS-RMSCO, Inc. 115 Continuum Drive Liverpool, NY 13088 (315) 448-9000 Spencer Agency, Inc. 140 N. Main St. Spencer, NY 14883-0327 (607) 589-4456

No. of CNY Agents 60

Total CNY Employees 85

No. of CNY Offices 2

% of Policies % of Policies Sold Sold Business Personal 90 10











construction, transportation, public entities, employee benefits, manufactured housing, manufacturing, personal insurance

Victor A. DiSerio, Chairman James D. Freyer, CEO Mark McAnaney, CFO Bruce Wichmann, President







commercial lines/risk management, employee benefits, financial services, personal lines

Lawrence T. Gilroy, President Bill Walker, Executive Vice President Donald Polczynski, CFO







risk-management services, insurance brokerage, employeebenefit services, transportation, public entities, higher education, health care & life science, construction, real estate, environmental, manufacturing

Robert Connor, Managing Director & Office Head Michael E. Swan, Managing Director & Risk Management Leader







workplace marketing, car wash program, DJ program, construction, bonds, workers' compensation, disability, general liability, commercial auto, employee benefits, life, home, auto, personal watercraft, personal liability































Areas of Specialization safety programs & training, green-sustainable building techniques for contractors and building owners, environmental, OSHA compliance, risk transfer language, contingency planning

Key Executives Nicholas J. Dereszynski, President Eileen M. Clinton, VP Risk Mgmt. Cheryl Roe, SVP Commercial Lines Roy S. Moore, SVP

commercial and personal insurance, risk management, John Haskell, CEO, BHL employee benefits, financial services, health care, social Pierre Morrisseau, President, BHL services, manufacturing, construction, municipalities, general Robert Galusha, EVP & Chief Sales Officer, BHL insurance J. Michael Reagan, President, JP Reagan Agency Edward Reagan, VP, Reagan Agency

Year Estab. 1905


Richard R. Mirabito, President & CEO 1894 Dennis Mirabito, President, Personal Lines Division William Mirabito, President, Benefits Division Thomas Farneti, EVP, Commercial Lines Richard Campagna, CFO commercial, risk management, school districts, William J. Oliver, President & CEO 1937 municipalities, personal, financial/investment services, group Don D. Patterson, COO benefits, tax preparation Trish Ryall, Secretary/Agency Support Manager all personal lines, commercial lines for small to mid-level companies, special programs for schools, fire departments, contractors, habitational including large apartment complexes, accounting services coordinated with insurance for broader risk management self-insurance, claims mgmt., workers' comp., general & auto liability, return-to-work programs, medical-bill audit & negotiation

David Read, President Nicholas V. Scarafile, VP William Read, Treasurer Timothy M. Day, Secretary


Robert W. Pomfrey, CEO Terrence C. Dowd, Jr., CFO Donald P. Napier, COO


employee benefits, 401(k) plans, workers' compensation, property & casualty

Michael D. Cronin, President Jean M. Sabourin, Principal Douglas J. Cronin, Principal



risk-management services for schools (public & private), municipalities, contractors, & nonprofits, commercial lines, workers' comp




risk-management services, employee benefits, moving & storage, construction, wholesalers, manufacturing, health care, real estate

Robert K. Wallace, CEO & Chairman Martha Murray, President Regina Lunkenheimer, COO/SVP Mary Jones, VP, Personal Lines Melissa Calvarese, VP, Finance Kirk Jensen, CEO Gretchen Deeley, COO Kevin Delaney, Regional Manager




commercial lines, employee benefits, and personal lines






environmental insurance, liability transfer, real-estate transaction support, environmental-property management, sustainable-property practices






contractors, municipalities, school districts, manufacturers, transportation, employee benefits

David J. Falcone, President Chris Marshall, President-Falcone Associates, Inc. Dominick Falcone, IV, EVP Michael J. Lavalle, EVP David T. MacLachlan, EVP Renee Guariglia, EVP Eckardt C. Beck, Managing Partner Vita DeMarchi, Managing Partner Daniel I. Beck, Partner Brian Macrae, Partner Ken C. Burrell, Partner John M. Holleran, Chairman of the Board Daniel J. Manuel, President James H. Rogers, Vice President Robert S. Moore, Secretary/Treasurer






risk assessment for businesses, individuals, and not-forprofit organizations

Gary D. Scalzo, President Stephen R. Zogby, Executive Vice President







manufacturing, service organizations, nonprofits, distributors, health care, retail, technology, construction, personal lines program, benefit division, services for deaf/ hard of hearing community, home-inspector program












hospitals, utilities/alternate energy, large property, builders risk, workers' compensation, hospital professional & excess/ umbrella liability, directors & officers/employment practices, liability pollution/environmental liability, contract review, cyber/privacy liability all

Joseph Convertino, Sr., President & CEO Joseph Convertino, Jr., Executive VP Michael Donovan, Controller Michele Beard, Corporate Marketing Manager Doug Ross, Marketing Executive Timothy D George, President-Member Elvira Phelps, SVP-Marketing Manager Thomas Lynch, VP of Claims







Gregory Cohen, President Steve McCarthy, VP Marketing & Sales Kim Buck, VP Information Technology Scott Ehrlinger, VP Finance Jeannette Flowers, Director - Client Services David A. Belair, President

property & casualty, personal & commercial lines, life insurance, annuities, group health

Information was provided by representatives of listed organizations and their websites. Other groups may have been eligible but did not respond to our requests for information. While The Business Journal strives to print accurate information, it is not possible to independently verify all data submitted. 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 • 7B

September 21, 2012

CORD BLOOD: The center will try to draw

blood from hospitals across upstate New York Continued from page 1

such banks in the nation, according to Upstate Medical University. The cord-blood bank is set for space at 4900 Broad Road in the town of Onondaga — the former Community General Hospital site, which is now known as Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus. Upstate hopes to have the blood bank open by the third quarter of 2014. Umbilical-cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells that can be used to treat certain cancers, metabolic disorders, and immunodeficiency diseases like sickle-cell anemia. It can be drawn from an umbilical cord and placenta after a baby has been delivered and the cord cut and clamped. The blood can then be preserved at extremely low temperatures for later use. Medical institutions typically discard the blood as waste, according to Upstate Medical University President Dr. David Smith, who spoke at the blood bank’s groundbreaking ceremony. That won’t be the case if a family donates umbilical-cord blood to the medical university’s blood bank, he said. “Nothing is wasted,” Smith said. “We’re going to be able to save that, utilize that. Not only for patients, but when it’s not being used for patients, we can use it for research.” Not all umbilical-cord blood is suitable for treating patients, according to Thomas Quinn, Upstate’s senior vice president for health system development. The Upstate Cord Blood Bank will designate blood that is not qualified for patient use for research, he says. The center will try to draw blood from hospitals across upstate New York, but it will be able to send it to compatible patients at transplant centers throughout the world. It will list its umbilical-cord blood units on the “Be The Match” registry operated by the Minneapolis–based National Marrow Donor Program. Upstate Medical University hopes its umbilical-cord blood bank will eventually take donations from 10,000 births a year. It does not yet know exactly how many units of blood it will store at the facility at one time, Quinn says.


The blood bank will span two stories and contain between 10,000 square feet and 15,000 square feet of space, depending on its final design, Quinn continues. Francis Cauffman of New York City is the project’s architect. Rochester–based The Pike Co. will be its construction manager, and Kansas City, Mo.–based CRB is filling the role of engineer. About 150 construction workers will help build the facility. Surveying and other work to prepare the site will run through the end of this year. Construction is slated to start around the beginning of next year. Upstate Medical University plans to hire 10 new employees to staff the cord-blood bank when it opens, Quinn says. It could

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later grow to 15 or 20 employees, he adds. The project has been in planning stages for about six years, according to Quinn. Funding comes from grant money built into the New York State Budget and SUNY funding, he says. The building’s $15 million price tag includes design fees and the cost of equipment it will hold. Upstate Medical University must work with hospital leaders and obstetrics and gynecology physicians to start donation programs, Quinn says. It has to reach out to mothers so they will agree to donate umbilical-cord blood, he adds. “I think right now the most important thing to do is to get the word out to families that this is coming,” Quinn says. “A lot of people know about private cord banking, which does not have the same utility as public cord banking.” As a public umbilical-cord blood bank, the center will not charge fees for donating cord blood. That’s a different model than private umbilical-cord blood banks, which are forprofit organizations charging fees for storing cord blood. Private banks also reserve blood for use of the family making the donation, according to Upstate Medical University. “There’s odds of 1 in 2,600 that one’s own cord blood will be used in one’s child,” Quinn says. “It’s much greater that it can be used for the public good.” 


October 30, 2012

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8B • The Central New York Business Journal

September 21, 2012

Central New York Business Journal 9/21/12