July 15, 2012

Business briefs: July 15, 2012


---- — New associate

PLATTSBURGH — Brandon Epps has joined Coldwell Banker Whitbeck Associates as a full-time sales associate working out of the Plattsburgh office.

Prior to joining Coldwell Banker Whitbeck Associates, Epps met the New York real estate licensing requirements and completed the comprehensive Coldwell Banker training program, including Coldwell Banker Springboard and Coldwell Banker e-faststart.

“We’re happy to have Brandon on our team,” said Peter Whitbeck, broker/owner. “He has an excellent background and is extremely knowledgeable about the North Country market.”

Epps is a long-time Plattsburgh resident and Plattsburgh High School graduate. He has been a private business owner of a local restaurant, Minnie’s, and has been employed by Clinton Community College.

Coldwell Banker Whitbeck Associates, located at 20 Miller Street in Plattsburgh and 2577 Main Street in Lake Placid, has been an affiliate of the Coldwell Banker System for more than seven years.

Help for disabled

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Center for Independence (NCCI), in conjunction with funding from the TD Charitable Foundation, will be presenting a series of educational opportunities aimed at providing both basic and advanced knowledge and skill development that will enable people with disabilities to navigate and access small-business opportunities.

Part 1 of this series will focus on the basics including small business in today’s economy, types of small businesses, and advantages and disadvantages of owning a small business particularly as a person with a disability.

The event will be held at the NCCI, 80 Sharron Avenue in Plattsburgh, on Thursday from noon to 1:30 p.m. RSVP to 563-9058.

Hotel designation

PLATTSBURGH — The Microtel Inn & Suites hotel at 554 Route 3 has changed its name to Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham, according to Salmon Run Development Co. LLC.

Part of a larger, chain-wide effort by the Microtel brand, the rebranding is designed to leverage the well-known Wyndham name to grow consumer awareness.

In support of the effort, the brand has launched a new multi-channel national marketing campaign that highlights the primary differentiator for the brand in comparison to its competitors, that every Microtel hotel was designed and built from day one to be a Microtel hotel and nothing else.

Located near Plattsburgh State and Plattsburgh International Airport, the 58-room Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham offers single, double and suite accommodations. Rooms feature expanded cable television, flat-screen televisions and upgraded bedding. For the past decade, J.D. Power and Associates has ranked the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham brand highest in overall guest satisfaction in the economy lodging segment.

Consumers will begin seeing elements of the new marketing campaign and the rebranding over the next few months, particularly in advertising and on the Microtel website ( Property collateral is also being updated, with new signage at the Plattsburgh location already installed.

Business mixer

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Chamber of Commerce invites area business people to Business After Hours on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at The Elk’s Lodge, 56 Cumberland Ave, Plattsburgh.

The event will feature complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, networking and door prizes from The Elks Lodge, Eagle Country 97.5, Monopole, POD Studios, Studley Printing, PrimeLink and more. Attendees can enjoy a view of Lake Champlain, reconnect with old friends and make new business contacts.

Business After Hours is an opportunity to expand business networks and is open to all chamber members and their employees. Future members are encouraged to contact the chamber for a special-guest pass. The fee is $3 with an advance reservation and $4 without. For more information, or to make reservations, call the chamber at 563-1000.

Bank rating

PLATTSBURGH — Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Co. was recently recognized as a 5-Star Superior bank by the nation’s leading bank rating and research firm, BauerFinancial Inc. A 5-Star rating indicates that Glens Falls National is one of the strongest banks in the nation.

To earn this rating, a bank must excel in areas of capital quality, asset quality, profitability and more. Glens Falls National has earned a 5-Star rating for the last 21 consecutive quarters.

“Under the leadership of CEO Thomas L. Hoy, Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Co. is one of the U.S. banks that evokes an image of a brighter banking future for our communities. That’s good news regardless of your age and income bracket,” said Karen L. Dorway, president of BauerFinancial.

Established in 1851, Glens Falls National has been serving its local communities for 161 years. It currently operates 29 offices in five counties. More information can be found at

Affiliation announced

LAKE GEORGE — The Adirondack Brewery has entered into a partnership with High Peaks Distributing of Saranac Lake to expand their locally crafted beer distribution.

Located in the Village of Lake George, the Adirondack Brewery was solely distributed within the 11 counties of Northeastern New York State, currently serviced by DeCrescente Distributing Co. Inc.

Monday, June 26, marked the first pick up by High Peaks Distributing, a shipment of Bear Naked Ale & Dirty Blond kegs. The expanded territory will now include Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties as well as the Long Lake Township in Hamilton County.

“By working with DeCrescente Distributing, another family owned, local distributor, we have been able to grow our brand 300 percent in the last year and a half. Paired with our new greatly expanded facility and increased production, we decided now was the time to open up our distribution area and High Peaks made the most sense,” said John Carr, owner of the Adirondack Pub & Brewery. “Located in the heart of the Adirondack Park, we feel that our product will do very well in this area.”

The general manager of High Peaks, Jon Dubee, added that they are very happy to add Adirondack Brewery to their portfolio and to provide the best beer service in the Adirondacks.

High Peaks Distributing, formerly Highland Beverage, has been operating in the Adirondacks since 1977, servicing their territory longer than any other beer distributor there. They have been an advocate of craft beers since the early 1980s.

For more information about Adirondack Pub & Brewery, visit, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @AdkBrewery.

Successful fund-raiser

PLATTSBURGH — Mary Fisk-Taylor, president of PPA Charities, the charitable arm of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), has congratulated Damian Battinelli Photography as a Top 21 fundraiser among a group of 129 members who participated in the organization’s first Celebration of Smiles Day that raised $46,581 to benefit Operation Smile, its charitable partner. Operation Smile provides free surgeries for children around the world who suffer from cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

“These funds will go a long way toward meeting our 2012 goal of raising $120,000 for this wonderful organization,” Fisk-Taylor said. As of July 1, the total stands at $72,180. Because Operation Smile’s medical professionals and support staff volunteer their services, it costs only $240 to provide a cleft-lip surgery to a child in need. Therefore, the funds raised by PPA members so far in 2012 mean that more than 300 smiles will be saved.

Damian Battinelli Photography raised $720 at their Celebration of Smiles Day event. By donating at least $240 (enough to save a smile), the business is now officially designated as a 2012 Operation Smile Studio. As such, it is eligible to compete in a drawing for an opportunity to document an Operation Smile mission.

The Celebration of Smiles Day promotion provided consumers with the opportunity to receive a mini-session and a 5-by-7 professional portrait in exchange for a donation to Operation Smile of only $24.

Next year’s Celebration of Smiles Day is scheduled for April 6.

School-supply drive

PLATTSBURGH — and Staples are teaming up with teen actress and recording artist Bella Thorne for the fifth-annual Staples for Students national school-supply drive to help kids in need. The drive encourages local young people to collect school supplies and drop them off at their nearest Staples store now through Sept. 15.

All school supplies and donations will be given locally to the YMCA of Plattsburgh to ensure they get into the hands of disadvantaged youth just in time for the new school year. The local Staples store for supply drop off is located at 77 Consumer Square.

“I’m excited to help motivate fellow teens to make a difference in their communities,” Thorne said. “There are so many kids in America who return to school without basic school supplies, and I’m thrilled to team up with Staples and to encourage teens to lend a hand.”

To kick-start the campaign, Staples will donate $125,000 worth of school supplies to the program this year. In addition, Staples customers can donate $1 or more at any Staples store with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting local students in need. Since 2008, the campaign has raised more than $2 million for hundreds of thousands of students throughout the country. Past celebrity influencers have included Jordin Sparks, Ciara, Nikki Reed and the cast of Pretty Little Liars.

The Staples for Students campaign is offering easy, innovative and new ways for teens to get involved in this year’s programs. By visiting, teens can get all the information they need to take action.

Cancer awareness

SARANAC LAKE — In recognition of July as UV Protection Awareness Month, the Adirondack Health Foundation, Ruthie’s Run and Mary Kay Cosmetics joined forces on Friday to make it a lucky day for skin-cancer patients and customers.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ruthie’s Run in Saranac Lake donated 10 percent of its sales to the Julie Lamy Fund at Adirondack Health. This fund, established in the memory of Julie Lamy, provides services such as wigs and blankets to cancer patients who receive treatment at the Merrill Cancer Center at Adirondack Medical Center. AMC is a member of Adirondack Health.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed in more than two million people annually. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. UV protection is a key prevention.

Ruthie’s Run hosted Rebecca Bigelow, a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant, who demonstrated for customers the new summer eye shadow colors and sun-care products. Information on cancer screening was available. A free pair of Brighton Sunglasses and a Mary Kay gift certificate were raffled.

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