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Nonprofit Corner.


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Bonus Time: Turning Stone hands out $5M in employee bonuses. Page 3.













Vol. XXV • No. 48






December 2, 2011


Study: 44 percent of upstate N.Y. emergency-room visits are potentially avoidable



New executive director settles in at county bar association





early half of hospital emergency-room visits in upstate New York could be potentially avoidable, and patients with minor medical conditions can save the region millions of dollars by visiting physicians’ offices instead of emergency rooms. Those are the findings of a new report from Rochester–based Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Central New York’s largest health insurer. The insurer used a New York University formula that classifies emergency-room visits to analyze 2009 hospital data collected by the New York State Department of Health. Across upstate New York, patients made 702,598 potentially avoidable emergency-room visits in 2009, according to the report. That is 44 percent of all emergency-room visits. Potentially avoidable emergency-room visits include “non-emergent” visits where immediate medical care was not needed within 12 hours, according to Excellus. Non-emergent visits made up 25 percent of all upstate New York emergencyroom activity, the report said. Potentially avoidable visits also include “emergent/primary care-treatable” visits where treatment was needed within 12 hours but could See STUDY, page 14


Ziwei Huang, SUNY Upstate’s new associate vice president for research partnerships and international collaborations, a new position. See story, page 2.

SYRACUSE — The new executive director at the Onondaga County Bar Association has plans for technology improvements and is aiming to connect better with the region’s younger attorneys. Jeff Unaitis was named executive director in September. He started work in October. The association has seven employees and 1,500 members. Unaitis was vice president of communications for Time Warner Cable in DeWitt before See UNAITIS, page 5

SU aims to connect local companies with international students BY KEVIN TAMPONE JOURNAL STAFF

SYRACUSE — Syracuse University (SU) in recent years has been helping area businesses hire more international students after graduation.

The efforts grew out of the industry co-op program at the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering (CASE) at SU. The program launched in 2006. The program focuses on graduate

students in fields like engineering and information technology. It’s been successful, placing more than 300 students with companies since 2006. Because of the fields involved, many See SU, page 4


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Horizons FCU, Manley’s Mighty Mart ink ATM deal Horizons Federal Credit Union (FCU) has partnered with Manley’s Mighty Mart to expand its ATM network. Under the agreement, Horizons FCU members can use their debit, ATM, or Visa cards at any Manley’s ATM without incurring fees. The agreement adds Manley’s 23 locations in Binghamton, Endicott, Endwell, Glen Aubrey, Harpursville, Ithaca, Johnson City, Vestal, and Windsor to Horizons FCU’s current ATM locations at 120 Main St., Binghamton, and 3701 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal. Horizons also has a branch on Washington Avenue in Endicott. “We are always looking for ways to build the financial relationship with our members and are pleased to offer the greater convenience and cost-savings of these additional ‘No ATM Fee’ locations,” Horizons FCU President Mario DiFulvio said in a news release announcing the deal. Founded in 1937, Horizons FCU is open to anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Broome County. According to the National Credit Union Administration, Horizons has 11,422 members and assets of $94.7 million.

SRC, Syracuse school district start new student mentoring program CICERO — SRC, Inc. and the Syracuse City School District are launching a mentoring program to help raise student performance, specifically in math and science. Students in the Corporate Campus Academic Mentoring Program (CCAMP) will travel to SRC offices where volunteer employees will provide academic mentoring for one hour a week. “CCAMP is very important for not only the success of SRC but the success of our community,” SRC President Paul Tremont said in a news release. “Our employees will benefit from this program just as much as the students. They are truly excited to experience the joy of enriching the life of a student.” SRC is a nonprofit research and development company. SRC and its for-profit manufacturing subsidiary, SRCTec, together employ more than 1,100 people at 14 locations in Colorado, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. The firms are headquartered in Cicero and also have an office in Rome. They work mainly on defense-related projects.

December 2, 2011

New SUNY Upstate Medical University position to focus on collaborations By Rick Seltzer Journal Staff

SYRACUSE — The State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University has created a new position to increase its efforts to expand regional and international research partnerships. SUNY Upstate named Ziwei Huang to fill the new post of associate vice president for research partnerships and international collaborations. Huang is also director of the university’s Cancer Research Institute and a professor and chair of its Department of Pharmacology. He will continue to serve in those positions, which he has held since first joining SUNY Upstate in 2009. Huang says his new role will have him working to bring together researchers and clinicians within SUNY Upstate. The goal is to turn laboratory discoveries into clinical applications that can assist patients, he says. He will also try to promote collaborations between SUNY Upstate and the medical industry, Huang says. Currently, industry partners often offer research contracts to individual researchers, he says. “We are looking to develop a more unified or generally applicable platform so

Huang will make efforts to streamline SUNY Upstate’s collaborations with other state institutions, such as SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, Binghamton University, University at Albany, Syracuse University, and Cornell University. Huang

that we can bring in a more comprehensive research agreement with one or more industry partners,” he says, adding that it is too early to name specific industry partners. In addition, Huang will make efforts to streamline SUNY Upstate’s collaborations with other state institutions, such as SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, Binghamton University, University at Albany, Syracuse University, and Cornell University. “We want to build the collaboration according to the disease category,” Huang says.

International collaborations

Developing international collaborations makes up the second part of Huang’s new role. SUNY Upstate is currently planning a partnership with Oxford University in the United Kingdom, he says. Collaborations with Oxford will likely cover several areas, including research and commercializing research, according to Huang. New initiatives could be up and running in 2012, he says. The two universities are already colSee huang, page 19

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The Central New York Business Journal • 3

December 2, 2011

Oneida Indian Nation awards employees $5M in bonuses By Traci DeLore Journal Staff

VERONA — With the holidays and the season of giving thanks in mind, Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter thanked the Nation’s 4,500 employees during Thanksgiving week by handing out more than $5 million in bonuses. At a time when many businesses are still struggling to stay afloat and keep people employed, it’s even more important for the Nation to continue its tradition of thanking its employees by awarding bonuses, he said at a Nov. 21 media event to announce and distribute the employee bonuses. “Many corporations in this region and across the state have been reluctant to invest in jobs and infrastructure because of the unstable nature of the economy,” Halbritter said. “Unlike many of those companies, the Oneida Indian Nation has a different mandate. We believe that by investing in our employees and in our community, we will truly be successful as a business and as a people.” It hasn’t always been easy for the Oneida photo courtesy of the oneida indian nation Nation, which is the third-largest employer in the 16-county region that makes up Jim Caufield, a pastry chef at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, working on the Central New York. There have been years resort’s eight-building gingerbread village. Oneida Indian Nation handed out $5 when the Nation wasn’t sure it would be million in bonuses on Nov. 21. able to manage the bonuses, which are incentivized and salary-based to encourage which include Turning Stone Resort and about it,” Halbritter said. performance, Halbritter says. Casino, the Sav-On chain of gas stations and To spread the celebration a little bit But, for 18 years, the Nation has man- convenience stores, several hotels, an RV further this year, Halbritter said the Nation aged to thank its employees for contributing park, marinas, and more. was bundling the bonuses with information to the 66905 success Q4 of its business enterprises, a cause for celebration, 10”w no doubt from local COB Commercial Loan Ad –“It’s Size ODD-CNY-Horiz: x 6.375”h BWretailers and encouraging em-

ployees to spend their bonuses locally. William Guglielmo, president of the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, said the bonuses and the push to shop local are a potentially big boost for the area, heading into the holiday retail season. “It’s going to be a big shot in the arm for local businesses,” he said. The Rome Area Chamber is in the midst of its 10th annual Shop Rome First promotion, which encourages people to shop at Rome retailers through discounts and other specials, entertainment, and more than $11,000 in prizes for those who opt to shop in Rome. For employees like Ken Martin, a casino shift manager at Turning Stone, the bonus is a nice way to be acknowledged for his work. Getting the bonus in time for holiday shopping is the icing on the cake, he said. “It takes away some of the burden and stress,” he added. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. said the bonuses will be a tremendous economic injection into the community during some tough times, as the region and the nation work to come out of the recession. “It’s a benefit all the way around,” Picente said. After awarding the bonuses, the Oneida Nation continued its theme of giving thanks by participating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the fourth year with its “True Spirit of Thanksgiving” float. q Contact DeLore at






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• The Central New York Business Journal

December 2, 2011

SU: The total number of international students at SU has increased more than 12 percent since 2001 Continued from page 1

dents to the payroll, DiMaggio explains. So, he began guiding them through the process and referring them to area immigration attorneys when necessary. “It’s not as difficult as some people think it is,” he says of hiring international students. “We try to demystify the process.” Students in fields related to science, technology, and mathematics can work after graduation without visa sponsorship for up to 29 months, DiMaggio notes. And even if an employer decided to sponsor a student for a visa, the fees range from

$1,500 to $2,500 plus another $2,000 to $3,000 in legal fees. That may sound like a lot, DiMaggio says, but the alternative might be to pay a search firm to fill the position. And new employees must be trained, he adds. Those factors can quickly balance out the cost of sponsoring a visa, he says. DiMaggio also says that the recession tempered demand for visas. Before the economic slowdown, the total number of H-1B visas available for a year would often be snapped up in just a day. But since hiring nationwide has slowed

of the students who take advantage of the co-op program are international, says David DiMaggio, the industry co-op program’s manager. After the program picked up and companies in the area were routinely connecting with students, questions about hiring began to trickle in. Naturally, if a co-op student did a good job for a local company, the firm might want to hire that person after graduation. But many were uncertain about how to proceed with adding international stu67225 NYSERDA Measurable Results Building Ad for CNY Business Journal Trim: 7.5” x 9.875” non-bleed 4C

in the past few years, there have been visas available for months. DiMaggio says he’d love to have a person at CASE dedicated to working with companies on international hires. He says he’s probably helped area firms hire about 20 international students in the past three years. Companies are slowly beginning to realize that those students are a viable option, he adds. Their numbers are certainly growing. The total number of international students at SU has increased more than 12 percent since 2001 to more than 3,400, according to data from the Lillian and Emanuel Slutzker Center for International Services. China has been a particularly strong source of new international students. In 2005, SU had just five undergraduate students and 232 graduate students from China. Today, those numbers total more than 500 undergraduates and more than 675 graduates. Local companies that have sponsored international students for visas include C Speed, the C&S Cos., InfiMed, Anaren, PPC, and US Beverage Net. DiMaggio is hopeful those numbers will keep increasing. Ultimately, international students can help strengthen local companies and grow the local economy, he says. “I think there’s a misunderstanding or a lack of understanding about this process,” he says. “We’re trying to change that.” q Contact Tampone at

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Wild Orchid owner buys property on Fayette Street in Manlius By Journal Staff

MANLIUS — Nicholas Panarites, owner of the florist Wild Orchid of Manlius, recently bought a 1,547-square-foot commercial property located at 117 Fayette St. in the town of Manlius. He purchased the property from Ferguson Family Trust in September 2011. The new owner will be looking for opportunities for this corner of Fayette and Pleasant Streets in Manlius, according to Pyramid Brokerage Company. The sale was brokered by Lee Salvetti of Pyramid Brokerage. Terms of the sale were not provided. q

The Central New York Business Journal Call (800) 836-3539 today to subscribe 11/10/11 9:55 AM

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December 2, 2011

UNAITIS: His plans for the bar association in 2012 include a membership survey Continued from page 1

his position was cut in February. Before joining Time Warner, he was vice president of communications for the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce. Unaitis says he considered enrolling in law school himself after his position at Time Warner was eliminated. “This is the next best thing,” he says. Unaitis says he brings experience in the association world from his time at the chamber and knowledge of customer service from his tenure at Time Warner. His plans for 2012 include a membership survey. He says he wants to ensure the bar association is providing what its members need. Unaitis also has plans for an overhaul of its website and hopes to make it as interactive as possible. The bar began publishing its newsletter electronically last year and Unaitis says he wants to put its membership directory available online as well. The association’s continuing legal education courses could also benefit from improved technology, he adds. The association currently records the sessions to tape, but Unaitis says the goal is to eventually make them available as digital audio files. The website, he says, could house an entire online library of the association’s classes. All of that will help the association reach more younger attorneys, Unaitis says. The environment for young lawyers is challeng-

photo courtesy of the onondaga county bar association

Jeff Unaitis, new executive director of the Onondaga County Bar Association. Unaitis has plans for technology improvements and is aiming to connect better with the region’s younger attorneys. ing, he adds. Providing opportunities for them to network with their peers and connecting them with more experienced mentors can help young lawyers get started, he says. The bar previously had an active mentoring program and Unaitis says he’d like to re-

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start it. “It’s a tough time to be starting out in business,” he says. “The legal profession is sort of dependent on the general business climate.” Some of the association’s programs can help young lawyers gain experience and

get training in the ins and outs of being an attorney. The local bar offers a course that helps new lawyers in the area get their bearings and includes information on the nuts and bolts of local courts. But, doing pro-bono work or volunteering in landlord-tenant court can help as well, says Deborah O’Shea, a bar staff member who coordinates its community programs. Volunteers in those programs, whether new or experienced lawyers, often end up working in practice areas outside their comfort zones. That can help established attorneys in their daily work and provides a chance to gain experience for new lawyers, O’Shea says. In addition to young attorneys, Unaitis says he hopes to do more for small law offices and solo practitioners. Those bar members are also small-business owners, he says, and might need help with the business aspects of running their practices. Attorneys are also feeling the pressures of the global economy. Some legal work is being outsourced to overseas attorneys, Unaitis says, and there is no shortage of software available to help people do their own legal work. “I think recognizing that we need to do a better job of talking about why it’s good to actually engage a lawyer when you’re dealing with something like a will or health-care proxy or end-of-life issues,” he says. q Contact Tampone at

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December 2, 2011

Cloud computing provides business benefits By Traci DeLore Journal Staff


  n the wake of the recent flood   damagethat many businesses   suffered across the state, now is the perfect time for all businesses to look at cloud computing and see if it’s the right option to protect their data, says a local computer expert. “Cloud computing really is a lot of things,” says Michael Polce, president of M.A. Polce Consulting, Inc., in Rome. Perhaps the big-

gest thing it is, however, is more common than people realize. Many businesses already use cloud computing, Polce says. If they use email, that’s a form of cloud computing. If the company has a Facebook page, that’s cloud computing. If it shares videos on YouTube, that’s cloud computing, too. “These are all cloud-computing apps,” Polce says. However, the true power of cloud computing comes through when a business can use the cloud for more than just email,

he says. A business really benefits when it can use cloud computing to not only keep its technology costs down, but also keep its data and information safe. In the most common cloud use, a business contracts with a data-management company for space on its server to store its information, Polce says. Then, instead of maintaining its own server and having its own IT staff, the company’s data is all stored with the data-management company on its server. The benefits are multiple, Polce says.

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First, this enables a business to focus on what it does best and lets the datamanagement company focus on keeping that information safe and accessible. Second, in the event of damage to the company’s physical location, that information is still safe and accessible because it is stored offsite with the data-management company. “Very few organizations have a disasterrecovery plan in place,” Polce says. But using cloud computing will keep a company’s data and information safe even if its building is destroyed. Third, it helps keep technology costs down. Adding or upgrading a server can cost a company $20,000 or more, Polce says. And, that technology will need to be upgraded about every three years, plus the business will have to hire an in-house IT person or contract with another company to provide service in case something goes wrong. However, all of that is included in the monthly price of leasing space in the cloud. The data-management company takes on the burden of upgrading technology like software as newer versions come out, Polce says. An average monthly price for leasing cloud space is about $1,200, but the price varies depending on how much space a business needs and other factors. “At the end of the day, it becomes more convenient for them,” Polce says of cloud computing. Cloud computing offers a fourth benefit as well, he notes. “What makes cloud computing, cloud computing, is elasticity,” Polce says. Most providers offer a pay-asyou-grow fee system, making it easy for businesses to expand their technology as their business grows — without the hassle of having to buy it themselves, he says. Almost any business can benefit from some degree of cloud computing, Polce says, but there are certain cases where he feels cloud computing is absolutely necessary. Service providers that have employees out on the road — for example, companies such as Safelite Auto Glass, where technicians make house calls to repair auto glass — will certainly benefit from cloud computing as it allows their employees to access the company’s information and technology from remote locations, Polce says. Another example is a business that has multiple branches. While it’s common for one location to serve as headquarters, if all the technology is housed in that location and there is some sort of disaster, the entire company will be offline, Polce says. However, if that business used cloud computing, all the branches would be able to access it no matter what, he says. That way, if there was a disaster at one branch, the other offices could remain open. The biggest concern with cloud computing typically is security, Polce says, but rules and regulations are already on the way to safeguard consumers. Companies also need to do their homework and make sure they are working with a reputable organization. q Contact DeLore at

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The Central New York Business Journal • 7

December 2, 2011

5655 Thompson Drive DeWitt, NY 13214 Phone: (315) 445-2040 x130 KEY STAFF Executive Director: Executive Director’s compensation

Linda Alexander $32,340

Lynn H. Smith Edward S. Green Sheldon B. Kruth

CHAIR Gilberti, Stinziano, Heintz, & Smith, PC VP FINANCE Edward S. Green & Associates LLC SECRETARY/TREASURER Kruth, Stein, Squadrito, & Liberman

BOARD OF TRUSTEES 20112012 Cantor Francine Berg Temple Concord William P. Bernstein Retired I. Stephen Davis G &L Davis Edgar L. Galson Galson & Galson Consulting Engineers, Retired Neil A. Goldberg Raymour & Flanigan Victor J. Hershdorfer Greene, Hershdorfer, & Sharpe Alexander E. Holstein Syroco, Retired, Civic Trustee David R. Hootnick, M.D. Orthopedic Surgeon Leslie L. Neulander SU Hillel Board of Governors, JCC Trustee Marilyn L. Pinsky President, AARP NY State Norman Poltenson CNY Business Journal Phillip D. Rubenstein United Radio Cheryl E. Schotz Realty USA Debrah A. Shulman, Ph.D. President, Drug Quiz Show Steven L. Sisskind Sisskind Funeral Service Paul M. Solomon PJ Equities LLP John E. Sonne Manlius Veterinary Hospital Gershon Vincow, Ph.D. Syracuse University, Professor Emeritus Warren D. Wolfson Hancock Estabrook LLP

PROGRAMS AND SERVICES “We administer both donor-advised funds and endowment funds. Donor-advised funds allow a donor to give current annual gifts to their favorite charities. Endowment funds are permanent funds invested for growth with the principle left intact and the interest able to benefit the donor’s favorite charities into perpetuity. In addition, we work with teens in the community who establish B’nai Mitzvah funds and learn about teen philanthropy.”

RECENT ORGANIZATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS In this past fiscal year, the foundation’s assets have increased by $1 million. As of June 30, 2011, it has more than 220 funds with assets totaling more than $5.5 million.

PLANNING/FUNDRAISING OUTLOOK FOR 2011: “We hope to continue to encourage more donors to use the Foundation for their current and long-term giving — a one-stop shop for all their charitable giving, both Jewish and non-Jewish.”

Revenue Sources

Contributions & Grants Program Services Investment Income Other Total Revenue


Grants paid Salaries & Employee Benefits Other Total Expenses Surplus for the Year

$1,001,334 $0 $171,593 $4,160 $1,177,087

$594,906 $40,499 $43,869 $679,274 $497,813

Profiling local nonprofit organizations




Year ending June 30, 2010, via IRS 990 form

rof r np ne No or C

The Jewish Community Foundation of CNY

Jewish Community Foundation Builds One Donor at a Time BY NICOLE COLLINS JOURNAL STAFF

DeWITT — The Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York, Inc. has reached a milestone. The foundation, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has grown to more than $5.5 million in assets with a total of 226 active funds and another 36 legacy funds promised through bequests. “We build our foundation one donor at a time, and it is with individual meetings with each one, as everyone has different philanthropic needs and concerns,” says Linda Alexander, executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York. She describes the foundation as a simple way to handle charitable giving in one stop and an opportunity to leave something behind in your name. One of the reasons donors like the foundation so much, says Alexander, is that they decide which charities will receive the funds, while the foundation takes care of all the distribution of the checks, investing the funds, recordkeeping, and financial information. Donors, who do not have to be Jewish to open a fund, have two giving options: a donor-advised fund and an endowment fund. A donor-advised fund, described as a “charitable bank account,” allows donors to participate in the grant-making process. A minimum gift of $2,500 is needed to open and maintain this fund, and the proceeds are immediately tax deductible. The fund generally bears the name of the donor, and the donor chooses the charities that will receive the gift. The charities do not need to be Jewish or local; they can be national or global in scope. The foundation currently manages 96 donor-advised funds, with 16 funds opened in the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Also during this year, the foundation distributed $507,762 to 146 nonprofits in Central New York and around the world. In the past 10 years, the foundation has distributed more than $5 million in grants to nonprofits. Among those nonprofits,

85 percent of them were in Central New York. With an endowment fund, the donor can restrict the use of the fund to a single organization, agency, or synagogue. Each year, the income is distributed to the designated charity, but the principal is left intact to be invested and grow. A minimum of $10,000 is required to open this kind of fund, and the foundation currently has 43 active endowment funds. Alexander likes to compare the endowment fund to a fruit tree. You plant the tree, it produces fruit, you can eat the fruit every year, and it will continue to grow and produce fruit for years to come as long as you do not cut down the tree. While the funds the foundation provides are not necessarily geared toward a younger generation, it does offer a B’nai Mitzvah Fund to teach young people about philanthropy. At the time of a Jewish youth’s Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, he/she can open a B’nai Mitzvah fund with a minimum of $250. This fund works like a donor-advised fund, and the youngster chooses which charities he/she would like to support. This year, the fund distributed $5,836 to 12 programs. When Alexander attended a training session with the Jewish Federation of North America to start the foundation in Central New York, an interesting fact she learned was that the main reason people would leave a gift to the community is simply because they were asked. The Jewish Federation of North America is the umbrella organization that represents all the Jewish federations and foundations in the United States. As of just a few years ago, the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York was one of the youngest, most recently established community foundations among Jewish communities in the United States. A few others have been set up since then. And while the CNY foundation has been successful, Alexander says “we should have [started] it 25-30 years ago. We lost a lot of potential donors.” The foundation has a 25-member

Jewish Community Foundation facts  Year Established: 2001  Full-Time Employees: 1  Mission: “To provide donors with opportunities that are meaningful to meet their philanthropic interests while at the same time ensuring the continuity of Jewish life in CNY into the future. Our efforts are to encourage permanent gifts to the community through planned giving, allowing donors to designate their charitable giving to their favorite nonprofits.”

volunteer board of trustees and a volunteer investment committee that handles the investment of the funds. The committee meets every two to three weeks, and does not charge a management fee. Under its advisement, the foundation’s investment portfolio showed a 24.14 percent return for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Alexander is the only employee at the foundation. She also serves as the interim president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. “Each has a different mission, but with my heading up the fundraising for both organizations, it’s just our first step in collaboration,” says Alexander. Currently, one way the groups are collaborating is with the federation’s staff helping with some of the foundation’s work. The Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York’s office is located at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Syracuse. The JCC, which was the former Genesee Hills Elementary School, also houses the JCC Early Childhood Center, Syracuse Hebrew Day School, Jewish War Veterans, and the Jewish Federation of Central New York. Editor’s Note: Norman Poltenson, publisher of The Central New York Business Journal, is a member of the Jewish Community Foundation’s board of trustees.  Contact Collins at


• The Central New York Business Journal

December 2, 2011

What Does Your Exit Planning Advisory Team Look Like? H

  ave you ever received “the call?”   The one from that cheery   business broker who proclaims, “I’m from ABC Brokerage and I have a buyer for your business!” What was your feeling when that happened? Did you think you’d won the lottery? Did you believe it was a crank call? Did you wonder if the broker was psychic because you were in fact thinking about the next phase of your life? Or, were you ready for the call because you had done the three to seven years worth of planning necessary for your inevitable exit from your business? Let’s imagine for the business a moment that you exit planning have completed the essential planning advisor steps, as outlined in “Exiting Your Business, Protecting Your Wealth” by John Leonetti: 1) thinking deeply about and recording your financial, personal, and business

bruce G. grieshaber

goals, dreams and aspirations; 2) developing a range of values for the business and comparing that to your personal financial retirement needs; 3) determining your mental readiness for an exit; and, 4) learning, in detail, all the options that may be available to you for the transition or sale of your business. Then let’s imagine that you have spent the past three to five years working with your advisers so that you can maximize the value of your business and minimize the transition costs. What would that adviser team look like and what can each member bring to the table? There is, before we do that, however, one thing that your advisers are not allowed to bring to the table — ego. Who would be included on your list of trusted advisers? Probably your accountant, because he or she measures what has transpired financially in the past fiscal quarter or year and helps you to minimize taxes. Potentially your attorney if you have ongoing legal matters with your business. Perhaps your financial planner/wealth manager because he/she regularly reviews your financial goals, where you are in relationship to them, and how to close the gap. Maybe you include your life-insurance agent, who

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has spent such valuable time helping you to determine the risk management necessary to keep your family/business going forward without you generating the income. And, there is always your best buddy from school who acts as your one-person board of directors. All these folks are very valuable to your success in their own field of expertise. They are “expert advisers.” Who is not on the list, generally, is what John Leonetti calls a process consultant. While the expert adviser provides you with a specific service in an area of expertise, the process consultant provides a structure and a framework through which the business owner can change his thinking in a new direction and on a consistent basis. Every business owner needs someone to help him form his own conclusions with his own definition of success, says Leonetti. Do you have an adviser who can prepare a comprehensive exit strategy that may include assessment and rating of all your current management team to make sure that you have the right people in the right seats on the bus called your business? Owners must have bench strength to be able to transition by either sale to a third party (equity group or individual) or transfer inside the organization (management buyout,

ESOP, family gifting/sale). Having quality managers doing the right things does not, however, make them leaders. Moving managers from management to leadership is a giant task that must begin early and continue through new ownership no matter the exit option you choose. Who will manage that process? How will your company’s strategic vision and mission become the backbone of your company’s culture if you don’t have a process manager? You will have a direct positive result in your bottom line if you make leadership development in your organization a priority. Your revenue will increase if you have clarity of vision and mission and hold everyone accountable to each other and to the business. Then make sure that you work with a collaborative team of trusted advisers who are looking out for your best interests financially, strategically, legally, mentally, and personally. Then when you get “the call,” you will smile and confidently give the appropriate answer for what is best for you. Bruce G. Grieshaber is a certified business exit consultant/senior consultant for Grenell Consulting Group, specializing solely on exit planning. Contact him at bruce@grenell. com

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The Central New York Business Journal • 9

December 2, 2011


& Year-End Tax Planning

Health-insurance tool won’t replace brokers, insurance professionals say By Rick Seltzer Journal Staff


  he federal government has   expanded its   website to include a tool that aims to let small-business owners compare locally available health-insurance plans. But while the new tool may offer a glance at regional health-insurance markets, it lacks some important information, says Robert Relph, co-owner and CEO of Relph Benefit Advisors, which is based in Pittsford, near Rochester. Relph Benefit Advisors offers employee-benefits consulting, advisory services, and benefits administration throughout upstate New York. “I don’t think it will completely replace the broker/agent world any time soon,” Robert Relph says. “Really being able to do the analytics necessary to assess risk and assess pricing and assess the benefit variations takes someone who does that all the time.” The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services collected data from more than 530 insurers nationwide to build the tool, which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Nov. 18. The tool includes information on more than 2,700 health-insurance plans, HHS said. Business owners can use the tool, available under the “Find Insurance Options” tab at, to view insurance

options available within a specific ZIP code. Owners can sort available insurance products by out-of-pocket limits, average cost per enrollee, whether a plan is eligible for a health savings account (HSA), and whether a plan offers prescription-drug coverage, according to HHS. The tool shows a summary of cost and coverage for small-group products. That summary includes deductibles, co-pay options, and benefits. “This new information will help business owners navigate what has traditionally been a complicated and confusing decision,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release. “Both owners and their employees can feel more confident that their plans offered will be the best to suit everyone’s needs.” Business owners should not plan on using the site as their sole resource for selecting health-insurance plans, Relph says. It does not include information on regulatory issues, such as setting up health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), he says. Also, information on specific carriers is often too generic to make an informed decision, Relph contends. “In too many cases, there’s a lot of, ‘Your actual cost or your actual plan design will vary,’ ” he says. Relph Benefit Advisors is part of the Benefit Advisors Network, a national net-

work of independent employee-benefit brokerage and consulting companies that is researching insurance-exchange tools similar to one HHS has developed. Software companies are working on tools that will include specific information better tailored to certain regions, Robert Relph says. “The difference is that these [tools under development] tend to be targeted,” he says. “Whereas HHS has this broad brush that they’ve painted across the country.” Jeffrey Wittig, senior vice president of employee benefits at Brown & Brown Empire State in Syracuse, echoed Relph’s concerns about the health-insurance tool. Brown & Brown Empire State’s Syracuse office is located in Suite 200 at 500 Plum Street. The firm is a regional office of Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE: BRO). “This is a positive step in providing information and support and disclosure,” Wittig

Accountants offer year-end tax-planning tips By Kevin Tampone Journal Staff


  he end of the year is approaching   and local accountants say there are a   few things that business owners and leaders should mull over in anticipation of next year’s tax bills. One major change on the horizon for 2012 is a dip in the amount that businesses can write off immediately for new equipment purchases. Current law would decrease the write-off from 100 percent to 50 percent next year, says Heather Leggiero, a partner at the Bonadio Group, an accounting firm based in Rochester that also has an

office in Syracuse. So, companies considering buying new equipment might want to speed up their plans to take advantage of the larger writeoff, Leggiero says. It’s possible Congress could act to extend the higher amount, she adds. President Barack Obama has proposed doing so. The potential creates some planning challenges for businesses, Leggiero notes. “It wouldn’t be a surprise if that goes through,” she says. “I think business owners are pretty much used to that uncertainty.” In late November, Obama also signed

into law tax credits to encourage hiring veterans. Earlier credits aimed at increasing the hiring of unemployed veterans expired in 2010. The new law provides a credit of up to $2,400 for employers who add to their payrolls veterans who have been unemployed at least four weeks, according to the White House. Employers who hire veterans out of work longer than six months are eligible for a credit of up to $5,600. The law includes incentives for hiring veterans with service-related disabilities as well. Employers who bring on disabled veterans who have been unemployed longer than six months can get a credit of up

says. “However, at this point, there are some limitations, and a small-business owner needs to understand what those are.” Search results do not currently appear to show a comprehensive list of insurance options, according to Wittig. He says he used the HHS tool to search for insurance options in the Syracuse area and did not receive information on any plans from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the region’s largest health insurer. And the site does not include the actual cost per enrollee, Wittig points out. It only includes an average cost. “Based on the information that’s out there to date, I think it will be important for the small-business owner to work with their consultant and broker to help them evaluate the options or costs,” he says. q Contact Seltzer at

“That’s probably the last, best tax shelter that’s out there,” Killory says of taxdeferred contributions to 401(k) plans. to $9,600. Companies should always make sure they consider the business case for actions in their tax plans, says William Killory, a partner at Syracuse–based Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs, LLC. It’s not a good idea to buy a new piece of equipment or See tips, page 13


• The Central New York Business Journal

insurance & year-end tax planning

December 2, 2011

CDHPs popular among upstate employers, Mercer survey says By Rick Seltzer Journal Staff

“There is this 3 to 5 percent [savings] that can only be attributed to people acting differently when they see costs and have to manage money”


  early one-third of employers in   upstate New York offered consum  er-directed health plans (CDHPs) in 2011, mirroring the plans’ national popularity, according to a new survey. In upstate New York, 32 percent of employers offered CDHPs, according to the survey, completed by Mercer, a humanresources consulting, outsourcing, and investment firm. Nationwide, 32 percent of companies with 500 or more employees also offered CDHPs in 2011. CDHPs are medical-benefit plans where employees use spending accounts like health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). The plans have been growing in popularity among employers in recent years — nationwide in 2010, just 23 percent of employers with 500 or more workers offered CDHPs, according to Mercer. The data comes from Mercer’s 2011 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, which the firm conducted late this summer. The national survey reflects results from 2,844 public and private employers with at least 10 employees and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. Mercer also breaks out localized results from the survey, including information for upstate New York. Mercer’s upstate region includes all of New York State north

n Thomas Flynn, principal at Mercer’s Rochester office of Westchester County. Nationally, HSA-eligible CDHPs were less expensive than health-maintenance organizations (HMOs) or preferred-provider organizations (PPOs). HSA-eligible CDHPs cost an average of $7,787 per employee in 2011. HMOs cost an average of $9,467 per employee, while PPOs cost an average of $9,385 per employee. Part of CDHP’s lower cost comes from differences in plan designs and cost-shifting to employees, according to Thomas Flynn, principal at Mercer’s Rochester office, which covers upstate New York. But CDHPs also encourage different behavior among individuals, he says. “There is this 3 to 5 percent [savings] that can only be attributed to people acting differently when they see costs and have to manage money,” he says.

Local survey results

Total health-benefit costs among upstate New York employers rose by 4.9 percent

in 2011, according to the Mercer survey’s local results. Costs averaged $10,362 per employee. But Flynn cautions that the local data, which reflects responses from just 57 employers, is not as statistically accurate as the national survey. “It’s statistically credible on a national scale,” he says. “On a local scale, you lose that because we’ve got a much smaller participant pool.” Flynn says his experience at Mercer’s Rochester office indicates upstate employers are experiencing slightly higher healthbenefit cost increases than those reflected in the local survey. While a few companies faced no jumps in cost, some experienced 8 percent or 9 percent increases, he says. In other local survey results, upstate respondents estimated their costs would rise by 9.4 percent in 2012 if they made no changes to their current health-insurance plans. However, employers expected to hold cost increases to 7 percent by modi-



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fying their plan designs or changing vendors, the survey said. In addition, 57 percent of upstate New York respondents intend to shift costs to their employees in 2012 to help keep down their health-care expenses. Cost-shifting strategies include raising deductibles, increasing co-pays, elevating out-of-pocket maximums, and boosting employees’ share of premium contributions. Upstate employers said 74 percent of employees are enrolled in PPO/point-ofservice (POS) plans, 7 percent are enrolled in HMOs, 13 percent participate in CDHPs, and 6 percent are enrolled in traditional indemnity plans. The average monthly employee contribution for employee-only coverage is $103 for a PPO/POS plan, $176 for an HMO, and $66 for a CDHP, according to the local results.

National survey results

Mercer’s national survey results indicated that total health-benefit costs grew 6.1 percent in 2011, bringing the average yearly health-benefit cost per employee to $10,146. The 6.1 percent increase is lower than in 2010, when health-benefit costs rose 6.9 percent per employee, according to the survey. Employers are predicting that healthbenefit costs will grow at a slower rate next year. Respondents said costs will likely rise 5.7 percent in 2012, according to the final survey. “It’s definitely been slowing down,” Flynn says. “We’re seeing good news as far as drugs coming off patent. We’re seeing good news as far as people picking up incentive programs.” Incentive programs are designed to save money in the long run by encouraging employees to participate in healthy behaviors like taking biometric screenings or participating in walking programs, Flynn says. Health-insurance plans may pay employees incentives of several hundred dollars. “You’re putting more employee dollars into the mix,” Flynn says. “They’ve got skin in the game.” Mercer has 20,000 employees in more than 40 countries. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of New York City–based Marsh & McLennan Cos., Inc (NYSE: MMC). q Contact Seltzer at

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December 2, 2011


Year-End Brings Taxing Thoughts


s 2011 comes to a close, it’s time to revisit your tax planning with an eye toward minimizing individual and business taxes. Beyond the typical considerations looms the potential that current laws, including the recently enacted estate-tax changes, are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. If Congress does not act, most of these tax benefits will disappear, and taxes will automatically increase to pre-2001 levels in 2013. In addition, a host of additional taxes are coming down the pike for 2013, including a new Medicare hospital insurance tax and 3.8 percent tax on investment income for certain high-income individual taxpayers. What can business owners do to potentially minimize taxes? For the remainder of 2011, both the Section 179 and bonus-depreciation deductions for business-equipment purchases are opportunities for businesses. Either of these provisions can result in immediate tax benefit for ACCOUNTABILITY the cost of new and used tangible personal property. Both of these opportunities are scheduled to disappear after 2011, unless Congress acts to extend. Research and development (R&D) tax credits are also scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2011. The good news here is that R&D tax-credit programs already exist that may reward your business’ efforts to produce an improved product. This is an often-overlooked concept that you should thoroughly explore. Health-insurance tax credits are aimed at helping small businesses to offer medical coverage to their employees. In order to benefit, you must have fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages under $50,000. Individuals also have a number of things to consider regarding income-tax planning. If you are lucky to have appreciated assets, you need to keep in mind the differing tax rates for short-term versus long-term holding periods. From a federal-tax perspective alone, long-term gains (held over one year) are taxed at 15 percent, while short-term gains’ holding periods can result in rates as high as 35 percent. If you — and in this case a child or parent — have taxable income of less than $34,501-single or $69,001-married, then the tax rate on capital gains and dividends may be reduced to zero. Appreciated capital assets may be gifted to a qualifying charitable organization. You will avoid paying taxes on any appreciation and also deduct the fair-market value of the longterm capital-gains property to the charity. Charitable contributions can be made from IRAs under a provision that is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2011. If you are 70 and one-half years old or older, you can have contributions made directly to a charity by your IRA custodian. However, there is no deduction for the contribution (but the distribution is not included in your taxable income), the donation is limited to $100,000, and the contribution to the charity counts toward required minimum distributions. While on the topic of IRAs let us not forget about the importance of saving for retirement with an IRA, ROTH IRA, Simple IRA,


“The bottom line is to focus on your marginal tax rate, or the highest rate at which your last or marginal dollar of income will be taxed.” or 401(k). You should strive to maximize these savings each year. The 2011 limits are: IRA $5,000 (or $6,000 if over age 50); 401(k) $16,500 (or $22,000 if over age 50); and SIMPLE IRA $11,000 (or $14,000 if over age 50). If you contribute to a retirement plan at work — 401(k) or 403(b), 457, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or a traditional IRA — and your income is less than $56,500 for married couples, or $28,250 for singles, you may qualify for the saver’s credit with the maximum credit being $1,000. The bottom line is to focus on your marginal tax rate, or the highest rate at which your last or marginal dollar of income will be taxed. If you expect the rate to be higher in 2012, consider accelerating income into 2011. Conversely, if you think your rate will be higher in 2011, look for ways to defer income. Your best resource for this analysis is your CPA.  Gail Kinsella is a partner in the accounting firm of Testone, Marshall & Discenza, LLP. Contact her at

The Central New York Business Journal • 11


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• The Central New York Business Journal

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December 2, 2011

IRS: New rules on earned-income credit prep on horizon, new exam coming for tax preparers BY JOURNAL STAFF


he Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said in November it is moving to a new phase in its effort to improve the tax-preparation industry with launch of a test of tax-preparer competency. The test is part of a larger initiative to increase oversight of the tax-preparation industry, the agency said. The IRS last year began requiring all paid tax preparers to obtain an identification number. Those preparers required to take the test must pass it by the end of 2013. Those who pass will be given a new designation as a registered tax preparer, according to the IRS. To maintain the designation, they must renew their identification numbers annually and complete 15 hours of continuing education each year. Certain individuals, including attorneys and certified public accountants, are exempt from the new rules since their professional credentials already include stringent guidelines, the IRS said. The fee for the competency test is $116. It covers preparation of the 1040 form and related schedules. More than 750,000 tax preparers have obtained identification numbers. The IRS estimated that about 350,000 people may be initially subjected to the testing requirement. “This is another major step forward in our effort to enhance tax preparation service to

millions of taxpayers,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a news release. “People should feel assured that the person they hire to prepare their federal tax returns has a working knowledge of the tax code. The majority of tax return preparers are reputable professionals but the few bad apples cause great harm to taxpayers and the industry.” The agency is also studying ways to require certain preparers to undergo a background check. The IRS said it will offer additional guidance on background checks in the coming months. In October, the IRS issued proposed regulations to require paid tax preparers to file a due-diligence checklist with any federal return claiming the earned income tax credit. That’s the same form required to be completed and retained in a preparer’s records. The due-diligence requirement is meant to reduce errors on returns claiming the earned income credit. Congress enacted the rule more than 10 years ago, according to the agency. The IRS created the checklist form to help preparers meet the requirement. The new rules would require them to file the form starting in 2012, rather than just keeping it with their records. Some taxpayers who claim the earnedincome credit do so incorrectly or are ineligible, according to the IRS. Tax professionals prepare close to 66 percent of the claims involving the earned-income credit.

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December 2, 2011

The Central New York Business Journal • 13

Ithaca business contributes to tax-credit legislation BY JOURNAL STAFF

ITHACA — Performance Systems Development (PSD) of Ithaca helped develop a new proposed federal tax credit aimed at encouraging energy efficiency in homes. The new legislation would create the first residential performance-based tax credit for homeowners who make energy-efficiency improvements, according to PSD. Bills creating the credit have been introduced in

the House and Senate. Homeowners who make energy-efficiency improvements and reduce their heating, cooling, water heating, and lighting energy consumption by 20 percent would receive a $2,000 credit under the proposal. They would receive an additional $500 for every additional 5 percent reduction, up to $5,000. PSD said it was a key contributor to the general framework and specific details of the proposed legislation. CEO Greg

Thomas and PSD staff provided expertise on issues including required standards for utility bill calibration, energy modeling tool certification, and quality assurance, according to the company. “This legislation is a monumental step

forward for both homeowners and the home performance industry,” Thomas said in a news release. “By providing financial incentives for real energy savings, the tax credit will save energy, save money, and create jobs. This is a real and sustainable growth opportunity for our industry and real savings for the American homeowner. This is a win-win-win for America.” PSD specializes in providing software, training, engineering, and consulting to the building energy-efficiency industry. 

TIPS: Congress has passed temporaty patches in recent years to insulate people from the effects of the AMT Continued from page 9

make a hire just to obtain a tax benefit, he notes. Business owners should also evaluate how those moves will affect their companies in the long run. Killory, who leads the tax department at Dermody, Burke & Brown, doubts there will be much meaningful tax-change legisla-

tion on the federal level next year. Election years, he notes, aren’t usually conducive to making major policy changes. On the individual front, he says he advises his clients to maximize their contributions to 401(k) plans. “That’s probably the last, best tax shelter that’s out there,” Killory says. Individuals must also consider whether they’ll be hit with the alternative minimum

tax (AMT). The tax eliminates savings that come from many common tax-planning techniques, according to the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Killory says he’s been seeing more of his clients hit with the AMT in recent years. The tax was originally aimed at highincome levels, but was not indexed for inflation and so its reach has been growing. Congress has passed temporary patches

in recent years to insulate some people from the effects of the AMT. Leggiero, of Bonadio, says the best thing clients can do to help their accountants prepare for next year’s tax season is get organized and establish good systems that are in use throughout the year.  Contact Tampone at

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• The Central New York Business Journal

December 2, 2011

STUDY: Central New York had 127,404 potentially avoidable emergency-room visits Continued from page 1

Types of upstate New York ER visits

savings, McCall says. It could lead to better quality of care for patients who need to be in the emergency room as well as those with minor ailments who eschew the hospital in favor of their own physicians. “If they can go to a physician’s office where their care is well documented, they will get the most cost-effective care,” she says. “And those patients that really do need the emergency department can get better care.”

have been provided in a primary-care setting. Emergent/primary care-treatable visits 19% made up 19 percent of emergency-room Non-emergent trips in upstate New York, according to Potentionally 25% Emergent/primary Excellus. avoidable care-treatable 4% “We like to use the potentially avoidable term because much of this is for necessary care,” says Dr. Marybeth McCall, Excellus Emergent/ER care needed 8% vice president and chief medical officer. but preventable/avoidable Examples of problems that prompted Emergent/ER care needed potentially avoidable emergency-room visPublic-health campaign and not preventable/avoidable its in 2009 included back disorders, acute Excellus is joining the medical societies upper-respiratory infections, ear infections, of Monroe, Herkimer, and Oneida counand sore throats, according to the Excellus ties and the Finger Lakes Health Systems Unclassifiable 44% report. Agency in a public-service campaign aimed source: excellus bluecross blueshield Excellus BlueCross BlueShield analyzed at reducing potentially avoidable emergenemergency-room trips in five different up-Thethink cy-room visits. it’s gotten to be that this is a certain times patients may think their conditions NYU ER formula was applied to 2009 upstate New York data from SPARCS to determine the state regions and found that each region had behavior that people have,” McCall says. are more serious than they actually are. The campaign, which launched Nov. different types of ER visits. The analysis looked at ER visits when the patients were treated and a similar percentage of potentially avoidable “The cost analysis would be very similar for “We’re looking at things in retrospect,” 29, is taking place in the Rochester and released on the same day and not admitted into the hospital. According to the analysis: emergency-room visits. all regions.” McCall says. “Does someone [going to the Utica areas. It is modeled on a campaign Central New York had 127,404 potentially • Excellus estimates thatinaupstate patient New who York emergency room] know that their respira- run by the Memphis, Tenn.–based Baptist 44 percent of ER visits were potentially avoidable. avoidable visits making up 44 percent of all visits a physician’s office instead of an emer- tory infection was not pneumonia?” Memorial Health Care hospital system and – One out of four visits to upstate New York ERs were for “non-emergent” cases in emergency-room stops in the area. Hospitals gency room for a non-emergent issue saves If 5 percent of potentially avoidable emer- includes television and radio advertisewhich the person didn’t need care within 12 hours. in the Southern Tier hosted 38,148 potential- $600 to $750. The insurer estimated that a gency-room cases were instead seen in phy- ments. Those advertisements urge patients Another 19 percent of instead visits were medical conditions need care within ly avoidable visits representing 44 percent of patient –visiting to call their physicians for non-urgent media physician’s office of for sicians’ offices, upstate that Newdid York would the region’s emergency-room use. 12 hours, could have been treated in a million primarytocare an emergency roombut for emergent/primary save $8.1 $10.7setting. million, according cal issues. The Utica/Rome/North Country region care-treatable visits saves $750 to $1,050. “True emergencies belong in the [emerto the report. If 10 percent of potentially New York avoidable results areemergencyabout on paravoidable with results in other states. offices, The Massachusetts was home to 156,035 potentially avoidableThe upstate gency room],” Dr. Frank Dubeck, Excellus If all potentially casesseen moved to physicians’ Health Finance and Policyofand the theregion Rutgers Center State $16.2 Health Policy, for trips, or 46 percent of all emergency-roomDivision viceexampresident and chief medical officer for room of visits wereCare shifted to physicians’ would savefor between million ple, found that about 40 percent of outpatient ER visits were for issues that were non-emergent visits. The Finger Lakes region had 172,870 fices, upstate New York would save between and $21.4 million. medicalor policy, said in a news release. “But havemillion been and treated in million, a primary care office.17 potentially avoidable visits that totaled 43could $161.8 $214.2 according And, if 25 percent of cases shifted from most sore throats and earaches, for expercent of that area’s emergency-room activ- to the study. the emergency room to physicians’ offic- ample, should be seen by your primary-care ity. Western New York hospitals were homeThe figuresBut, all potentially avoidable es,health upstate New York would save between doctor. Your doctor will likely see you more on thiseliminating page include all visits, regardless of whether the patient had insurance. to 208,141 potentially avoidable visits consti- emergency-room trips is unlikely, McCall $40.5 million and $53.5 million, according to quickly, and your co-pay for a doctor visit will tuting 43 percent of all trips to emergency says. Sometimes patients have to visit the the Excellus report. be less.” q rooms. emergency room because they do not have Reducing potentially avoidable emergen“The regions all look the same and I access to physicians’ offices, she says. Other cy-room visits has benefits other than cost Contact Seltzer at


Harold Miller, Author


CORPORATE BONDAGE 4 of 11 Fall 2011

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ABOUT THE BOOK Memoirs of an Entrepreneur is a revealing insight into corporate America. The book tells the story of a sales executive who climbs the ladder of corporate success only to find frustration with the dogeat-dog atmosphere and the complete lack of humanity which pervades many companies today. Longing for freedom from corporate bondage, endless transfers, and a better lifestyle, Miller took the plunge in 1969 to start his own business. This chronicle reveals the step-by-step process of building a business from “notations in a dogeared file kept for sentimental reasons” to a $40 million a year enterprise. It distills the knowledge and experience of a person who would not settle for whatever comes along. The author tells of mistakes as well as triumphs noting that “Good judgment is the result of experience which is the result of bad judgment.” Written in storybook fashion, “Memoirs” is not just another how-to book but rather a fascinating profile of business, marketing, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Chapter Ten is a biographical sketch of Herbert L. Laube, a little-known entrepreneur who shaped Miller’s business career and re-shaped the entire air conditioning industry. If you have ever wanted to jump out of the rat race and “be your own person,” this book should be in your planning kit.

Available in Hard Copy or electronic version

The Central New York Business Journal • 15

December 2, 2011



Name Address Phone/Fax Website

No. of CNY Employees

No. of Tractors 7 over-road, 10 local

Warehouse Square Footage 400,000

Moving Services packing, crating, short-term storage, long-term storage, portable storage containers

Specialties warehousing, distribution, relocation services, transportation services, document destruction, record storage, media vault storage, rigging service

Trucking Agent United Van Lines

Year Estab. 1947


Rogers Service Group 245 Clinton St. Binghamton, NY 13905 (607) 797-7333



Greater Syracuse Moving & Storage Co., Inc. 6255 E. Taft Road North Syracuse, NY 13212 (315) 458-9080/ 458-9046




packing, crating, short-term storage, long-term storage

household goods moving & storage, North American Van Lines commercial office relocations, record storage, warehousing and distribution of telecommunications and computer equipment

Jonathan Cleland, President Sean Cleland, Vice President Al Kaval, VP Sales/Marketing



Delaney Moving & Storage, Inc. 7045 Interstate Island Road Syracuse, NY 13209 (315) 453-7800/ 453-2294




packing, crating, short-term storage, long-term storage, portable storage containers

local and long-distance residential packing and moving services; employee relocation services; office and industrial moving, portable storage solutions

United Van Lines

Art Delaney, CEO Juleen Delaney, VP Marketing



Dimon & Bacorn 93 Industrial Park Blvd. Elmira, NY 14901 (607) 734-2937/ 732-4338


10 tractors, 7 straight trucks


packing, crating, short-term storage, long-term storage

moving and storage, machinery moving, export packaging

North American Van Lines

Daniel F. Dimon, Sr., CEO Daniel F. Dimon, Jr., President Michael A. Dimon, Vice President Don Beizwenger, Controller Leonard I. Haines, Sr., General Manager



Lincoln Moving & Storage, Inc. 3955 Eastbourne Drive Syracuse, NY 13206 (315) 433-5333/ 433-2707




packing, crating, short-term storage, long-term storage

office relocations, local and long-distance moves; packing, storage, crating, logistics, and distribution

Atlas Van Lines

Timothy Palisano, CEO Karen Toole, Syracuse General Manager



EJA Services 310 E. Chestnut St. Rome, NY 13440 (315) 335-0516/ 336-0306




packing, crating, short-term storage, long-term storage

commercial and residential local-and long-distance moving; furniture and appliance delivery, logistics and warehousing

EJA Services

Edward J. Alsheimer, III, CEO Beau Zanker, Vice President Jason Miller, General Manager Maurice Perry, Manager Concetta Scalise, Office Manager



Pelligra Moving & Storage 4077 New Court Ave. Syracuse, NY 13206 (315) 479-5311/ 479-5160




packing, crating, short-term storage, long-term storage

piano & organ moves

Interstate Agent for Stevens Worldwide Van Lines

Tom Fragola, Owner



Note: Information was provided by representatives of listed organizations and their websites. Other groups may have been eligible but did not respond to requests for information. 1

Key Executives Ron Rogers, President Walt Weaver, General Manager Michelle Zemanick, Vice President Mike Rogers, Vice President Therese Gerchman, Controller

Information as of 12/10

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

For your packaging needs contact

Empire State Container

When you need to


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• The Central New York Business Journal

December 2, 2011


Business Journal C e n t r a l

N e w

Y o r k

Consumer Confidence, Spending Rebound, But Will It Last?

Volume 25, No. 48- December 2, 2011 NEWS Editor-in-Chief........................Adam Rombel Assistant Editor..............Maria J. Carbonaro Staff Writers........................... Kevin Tampone (Online Editor) ..............................................................Rick Seltzer ............................................................Traci DeLore Columnists...........................Bruce Grieshaber Gail Kinsella Production Manager.......................Erin Zehr Research Manager.................. Nicole Collins SALES Sr. Account Managers....................................... Bernard B. Bregman Mary LaMacchia Marketing .......................BBB Marketing Inc.


  merican consumers are feeling   much better about the state of the   U.S. economy and opening their wallets at the cash register as we head into the meat of the holiday season. On Nov. 29, the Conference Board reported that its U.S. Consumer Confidence Index soared to 56.0 in November from 40.9 in October. That’s the biggest monthly increase in the index since 2003. “Consumers’ apprehension regardrombel on ing the short-term business outlook for business conditions, jobs and income prospects eased considerably,” Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in

adam rombel

CIRCULATION Circulation Management....(315) 579-3927 Administrative Publisher..........................Norman Poltenson Chief Operating Officer......Marny Nesher Business Manager.....................Kurt Bramer

The Central New York Business Journal (ISSN #1050-3005) is published every week by CNY Business Review, Inc. All contents copyrighted 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.


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

Also, the economy still has significant problems such as a stubbornly high unemployment rate hovering in the 9 percent range. Then there is the continuing drama over the debt crisis in Europe and what that might do to the U.S. economy. Finally, this entire, so-called “economic recovery” that we’ve been in the last couple years has been beset by fits and starts. Almost every time positive signs emerged in the form of improved economic indicators, they would reverse and hopes for a robust economic recovery would be dashed again. It’s like the “Peanuts” cartoon, where Lucy continually would pull the football away from Charlie Brown just as he was about to kick it. We’ll see if this time is different and the latest economic momentum can build and continue. q Adam Rombel is editor-in-chief of The Central New York Business Journal. Contact him at

Medicaid Takeover Would Reduce County Tax Burden

  recently became a sponsor of a bill   that, if passed, would require the state   to gradually take over Medicaid and the costs associated with the program. This will reduce property taxes and remove many costly mandates that have been passed down by the state to counties over the years. The cost of Medicaid to counties often consumes more than half of the counties’ budgets. In Oswego County, the cost is estimated at 66 percent of the total opinion budget. In Onondaga County, costs are estimated at $100 million in 2011 — the largest portion of its budget as well. These costs

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the report. “Consumers appear to be entering the holiday season in better spirits, though overall readings remain historically weak.” This comes on the heels of news that retail sales on Black Friday (Nov. 25) rose almost 7 percent from the previous year and Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) sales soared more than 20 percent compared to last year. “There’s a pent-up demand from consumers,” Sony Electronics President Phil Molyneux said in a Nov. 30 article on “There’s a demand, and consumers need to feel that they can spend again.” The concern among some analysts though is that all the discounts, new promotions (many stores opened on Thanksgiving night, for example), and other special deals retailers utilized simply soaked up the shopping dollars that would have otherwise been spent later in the season. And as a result, retail sales numbers for the latter part of the season will not be quite as robust.

are unsustainable. New York is one of the few states that require county taxpayers to pay a share of Medicaid. This shared cost structure has likely contributed to the growth of this program. The circumstances surrounding this bipartisan legislation make it more likely that it will pass. For one thing, it’s a good bill in that it makes takeover feasible. The phasein process and financial shift would last until total takeover in 2019. Another reason we need to pass this bill is because last year, state lawmakers passed a property-tax cap. This was a huge victory for those of us who have been saying we need to contain the growth of property taxes. One thing that did not happen in the last legislative session was mandate relief. Though we passed a property-tax cap, the mandates are still there, many of which are costly to localities. Medicaid is the biggest

state mandate for counties and does not give counties the option to design a more affordable way of offering the insurance. As a result, property taxes increased over the years. Due to the property-tax cap now in place, counties are faced with cutting essential services. This bill would help “right-size” Medicaid and change it from a benefit-rich program that we might not be able to afford. Costs for Medicaid are $52 billion. That number is only expected to increase if we do not act. q William (Will) A. Barclay is the Republican representative of the 124th New York Assembly District, which encompasses parts of Oswego and Onondaga counties, including Oswego, Fulton, Camillus, and Skaneateles. Contact him at or call (315) 598-5185.


The Notion that the Top 1 Percent Doesn’t Pay Fair Share of Taxes is ‘Misguided’ To the Editor:


  orm Poltenson’s] “Defining   the 1 Percent” opinion piece   [in the Nov. 11, 2011 issue of The Central New York Business Journal] was a pleasure to read. The misguided notion that folks in this income bracket do not pay

their share of the taxes is painful to hear. Most lies are. Pressing this viewpoint may literally threaten the American Dream. I might add that even in the case of a C-Corp., the tax tables punish a professional-services firm (it has minimal assets to write off) for holding cash within the company. This encourages these firms to profit

share most of the money at a lower tax rate (say 45 to 35 percent). If the company later needs that cash, who do you think takes the first and largest pay cut? Thank you for taking a bold and untraveled position in this debate! q Daniel C. Bower, Horseheads

December 2, 2011

ACCOUNTING Firley, Moran, Freer & Eassa, P.C., Certified Public Accountants, announced the addition of the following individuals to the firm. Christopher M. Battaglia joins as a staff accountant in the audit and accounting department. He is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo, where he also earned his master’s degree. Kathryn Hofbauer comes aboard as a staff accountant in the audit and accounting department. She is a graduate of SUNY Oswego, where she also earned her master’s degree. Steven P. Kelley joins as a staff accountant in the audit and accounting department. He is a graduate of St. John Fisher College and received his master’s degree from SUNY Oswego. Brian J. Snepenger has joined as a staff accountant in the audit and accounting department. He is a graduate of Nazareth College and received his master’s degree from Syracuse University. Jamie Busch, a CPA, comes aboard as an advanced staff accountant in the tax department. She has more than one year of national publicaccounting experience. Busch is a graduate of Syracuse University, where she also earned her master’s degree. Elizabeth Gardner, a CPA has joined as an in-charge accountant in the tax department. She has

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: NEW HIRES & PROMOTIONS more than five years of public-accounting experience. Gardner is a graduate of Le Moyne College.

ADVERTISING AGENCIES Pinckney Hugo Group has hired Rochelle Bilow of Liverpool as a receptionist. Bilow has a bachelor’s degree in communication from Le Moyne College and also graduated from The French Culinary Institute.


BANKING & FINANCE The board of directors of Tompkins Trust Company has promoted Shannon L. Terry to corporate internal audit officer. Terry has been with the Trust Company since 2009, most recently serving as corporate internal auditor. Her promotion


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The Central New York Business Journal • 17

furthers her ability to provide independent and objective assurance designed to add value, improve operations, and enhance the organization’s control environment, the company said. Terry earned her bachelor’s degree in American studies from Cornell University. Tompkins Trust Company has hired Greg Smith as vice president of information-technology security. Smith is responsible for the company’s information security program, information security risk management, seSmith curity strategy, disaster recovery and business continuity, and protection of customer information. Smith has more than 25 years experience in information technology. He holds numerous industry certifications including certified information systems security professional, certified in risk and information systems control, and certified information systems auditor. Previous positions include director of information security and chief executive officer. Smith graduated from Baker University in 2007, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree. He received his master’s degree in management information systems from Kennedy-Western University.




EarQ has announced that Ford VanTyle and Brian Simmons have recently been added to the staff. VanTyle joined EarQ as a sales administrator. He graduated from the University of Colorado’s Leed School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Simmons was hired as a graphic designer. He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

INSURANCE Robert Stamm, of Baldwinsville, has been hired as an agent by New York Life. Stamm has worked in the insurance profession for more than 30 years.  You’ve grown your business by thinking outside the box. When it comes to moving, we’d like you to think inside the box. Reusable, plastic packing system for environmentally friendly office moves. Efficient, secure and green. Storage Containers provide affordable, convenient solutions for office/ employee moves, excess inventory, home staging, disaster recovery and renovating.



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• The Central New York Business Journal

December 2, 2011

december 6 n Business BEFORE Hours event from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Fleet Feet Sports, 5800 Bridge St., East Syracuse. Attendees will receive a coupon for $10 off a shoe purchase and 10 percent off all apparel (excluding sale items). Bring plenty of business cards and join CenterState CEO members at this event to network and build relationships. Please register by Dec. 5 by visiting

december 7 n Talent Management in Changing Times program from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at The Palace Theatre, 2384 James St., Syracuse. CNY ASTD celebrates Employee Learning Week with this program, discussing learning and development opportunities and approaches for managing talent in times of change. The cost is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Visit for more information, or call (315) 546-2783, or email: n ex works, The Exporters False Friend discussion from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at CenterState CEO, 572 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Many exporters like to sell under the ex works, because it seems to require the least obligation or responsibility for the seller. Learn why exporters should use caution when selling under ex works. Presented by Jim Trubits of Mohawk Global Trade Advisors, this event is free and breakfast is included. Please call (315) 552-5478 or email: for reservations.

december 8 n Annual Technology Showcase from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Doubletree by Hilton Syracuse, near Carrier Circle. Showcase is presented by Presentation Concepts Corporation. Vendors will show their latest products and seminars are offered in interactive-communication technology for government, education, health care, and corporate. For more information and to preregister online, visit n Le Moyne College Signature Series session: “China and India: Why it’s Imperative to Tinker with Success” from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the MBA Conference Room, located in Grewen Hall. The session will be led by Bernard Arogyaswamy, professor in the School of Business at Le Moyne. He teaches strategic management, international business, and entrepreneurship at Le Moyne. Arogyaswamy was a Fulbright Professor at the University of Warsaw, Poland in 2002-03, and is a visiting professor at that institution. He has published numer-

Business Calendar


ous journal articles and book chapters. The session is free and open to the public, although reservations are suggested. For more information, or to RSVP for the session, call (315) 443-4280. n Eighth Annual Best Practices for Nonprofits for Executive Staff and Board Members from 7:30 a.m. to noon. The featured speakers are Ann Costello, foundation director, Golisano Foundation, and Matthew Babcock, Esq., assistant Medicaid inspector general compliance, NYS OMIG. The registration fee is $50 for Bond, Schoeneck & King and Bonadio Group clients ($35 for each additional person) and $65 for the general public ($50 for each additional attendee). Register online at n CenterState CEO Member Orientation from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at CenterState CEO, 572 S. Salina St., Syracuse. There is no cost, however, reservations are requested. Light refreshments will be available. Call (315) 470-1997 for reservations and details.

december 14 n Social Media Community Discussion Group from 9 to 10 p.m. at SUNY Center for Professional Development, 6333 Route 298, Suite 102, near Carrier Circle. Hosted by CNY ASTD, this is an informal group for discussions on social media in a research, experience sharing, and learning environment. This meeting’s topic is QR codes. For details, contact ASTD at (315) 546-2783 or email:

december 15 n Introduction to Small Business Start Up class from 1 to 3 p.m. at Onondaga Community College, H-1 Hall. This class was designed to create awareness and introduce the topics relevant as you start your business. It covers legal issues, business plans, financing, marketing, and the realities of being a business owner. The cost is $30. For more information, or to register, email: or call (315) 498-6070. n CNY ASTD Member Orientation from

7:30 to 9 a.m. at Sandler Training/DB&B Peak Performance Management, 443 N. Franklin St., Suite 100, Syracuse. CNY ASTD will discuss why and how to make the most of membership in CNY ASTD. No cost to attend. To register, visit For more information, call (315) 546-2783 or email:

january 19 n Economic Forecast Luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter. The cost is $55 for CenterState CEO members, and $65 for nonmembers. The registration deadline is Jan. 6, 2012. For more information, contact Member Services at (315) 470-1800 or email:

ONGOING EVENTS n Every Tuesday, Gung Ho Networking Group from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, 3220 Erie Blvd E., DeWitt. Possible referrals for you; this is not a tip club. First visit free. Contact Paul Ellis at (315) 677-0015 or visit www. n Every Wednesday throughout 2011, Salt City Technical offers free consultation to entrepreneurs or inventors who would like to have their product ideas evaluated by a staff of trained engineers. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (315) 456-8461, or visit 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) 4740910 or email: n Second Wednesday of each month, Salt City Technical assistance by appointment at the Tech Garden; free consultation to entrepreneurs or inventors who would like

to have their product ideas evaluated by a staff of trained engineers. For details or an appointment, call (315) 474-0910 or email: n Every Thursday, Empire Statesmen Toastmasters meet at 6:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday on Erie Boulevard in DeWitt. For more information, visit or email: president@estm. n Every second and fourth Thursday of the month, The North Star Toastmasters from noon to 1 p.m. at C&S Companies, 499 Col. Eileen Collins Blvd., near Hancock Airport. For more information, contact Sandy Jurkiewicz at or call (315) 470-1802. n Every Friday, 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 (315) 569-3964, 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: 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 CNY Connects is a networking organization that currently offers 12 groups from which to choose. If you are interested in visiting or joining any group, please contact Amy Kaschel of AK Consulting at akconsult@ or call (315) 882-6127 for more information. To have your meetings or events in the Business Calendar, email them to

The Central New York Business Journal • 19

December 2, 2011

New York egg production rises 9 percent in October BY JOURNAL STAFF


gg production on New York farms totaled 109 million eggs in October 2011, up 9 percent from a year ago, according to King Whetstone, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)

National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office. The number of hens and pullets of laying age, at 4.36 million, increased 10 percent from October 2010 but the rate of lay decreased slightly to 2,498 eggs per 100 layers, according to the field office.

United States egg production totaled 7.78 billion during October 2011, up 1 percent from last year, the USDA reported. Production included 6.74 billion table eggs, and 1.04 billion hatching eggs, of which 968 million were broiler-type and 70 million were egg-type. The total number of layers during October 2011

averaged 336 million, down slightly from last year. October egg production per 100 layers was 2,317 eggs, up 1 percent from October 2010, according to the USDA. 

HUANG: SUNY Upstate already has a framework for international collaboration laborating on an individual laboratory level, Huang says. And Oxford Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton serves as scientific adviser to the Upstate Cancer Research Institute. Hamilton spoke at SUNY Upstate’s President’s forum on International Cancer Research Collaboration in January 2011. SUNY Upstate already has a framework for international collaboration, according to Huang. Its International Institute of Biomedical Sciences and Technology

(IIBMST) includes international faculty from National Cheng Kung University in Tainan City, Taiwan and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. However, it is too early to say whether collaborations with future universities will fall under IIBMST, Huang says. “When we explore and develop the collaborations with Oxford as well as many other institutions around the world, I think it’s quite possible that some of this future collaboration may be placed within the framework of IIBMST,” he says. “Some might be. There might be some other mechanism.”


PROGRESS Let us know what’s new at your company! The Business Journal will soon publish its Progress Edition, highlighting the corporate achievements of 2011 and the future outlook for 2012. This is a free listing.

As Huang tries to build collaborations with new universities, he will look to leverage his personal connections, he says. “I’ve been working on translational pharmaceutical research for more than 20 years,” he says. “The research in this field has to be highly collaborative, so I have been collaborating with many people in this country as well as other parts of the world.” It is too early to name specific international universities that could partner with SUNY Upstate, according to Steven Goodman, the university’s vice president for research and dean of its School of

Instructions: 1. Please email completed information in a Word document attachment to 2. Deadline is end of business Dec. 30, 2011. 3. Put “CNY Progress Report: Your Company Name” in the subject heading of your e-mail. 4. Incomplete, late, or non-electronic entries will not be included. 5. You’re welcome to submit a photo.

Information Required:  Name of Business  Address  Website  Products/Services  Total Employees  Top Executive

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Graduate Studies. The IIBMST network could grow within a few years from its three founding members to include up to 30 institutions, he says. “I’m asking [Huang] to establish new research and graduate education partnerships specifically in Asia and Europe,” Goodman says. “I’m taking advantage of the fact that he is somebody who is very well known in those parts of the world and has already started establishing partnerships.”  Contact Seltzer at


Continued from page 2


• The Central New York Business Journal

December 2, 2011

Want a bank committed to small business? Raise the green flag.

M&T Bank: #1 SBA Lender in Central New York 5 years in a row Now more than ever, small businesses need the support of strong, stable banks to succeed. That’s what you’ll get with M&T Bank. When you partner with M&T, not only will you benefit from local decision making, you’ll have the number one SBA lender in Central New York* on your side – a bank with an unwavering commitment to small business. So raise the green flag for a full range of banking services built for business.

To learn more, call 315-424-5056 or visit

*According to statistics for the Syracuse SBA District (which includes Albany, Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Warren and Washington Counties), released by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for total approved loans through SBA’s 7(a) lending program during the federal fiscal year ending 9/30/2011. ©2011 M&T Bank. Member FDIC. ret006932_SBAad_CNY_10x12.75.M.indd 1

11/3/11 12:36:42 PM

10 x 12.75”

Central New York Business Journal 12/2/2011  

Central New York Business Journal 12/2/2011 issue

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