April 7, 2013

Business briefs: April 7, 2013


Designation earned

PLATTSBURGH — Palmer Veterinary Clinic Licensed Veterinary Technician Michaela Chase is Purina’s newest Certified Weight Management Coach, the second certified coach in the practice.

An in-clinic coach is available to provide support and tools to pet owners and to help fight the growing trend of pet obesity. As part of the Purina Certified Weight Coach Program, the local coach will specialize in pet obesity and serve as a resource for those owners who need support to get their pets closer to slimmer and healthier lifestyles.

According to the American Association for Pet Obesity Prevention survey, more than 50 percent of dogs and cats in America are facing obesity. Risks include diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

The Purina Certified Weight Coach Program is part of the nationwide “Project Pet Slim Down” initiative and certifies in-clinic coaches to provide specialized nutrition expertise and weight counseling for pet owners with overweight pets.

For more information, call Palmer Veterinary Clinic at 561-1893.

Franchise acquired

PLATTSBURGH — The DELLA Auto Group has added the Mitsubishi franchise to its location at 7 Della Drive, home to DELLA Suzuki-Motorsports.

DELLA Mitsubishi will be Plattsburgh’s premium Mitsubishi dealership for sales and service that comes along with the excellent customer service offered by all the DELLA Auto Group’s dealerships. New Mitsubishi inventory should be arriving at DELLA Mitsubishi early this month. 

“I am enormously excited to add Mitsubishi to the line of automobile franchises owned and operated by the DELLA Auto Group,” said Michael Della Bella, president DELLA Auto Group. “My family and I are looking forward to giving the residents of Plattsburgh and surrounding areas another opportunity in the car market. We want to continue to be a leader in sales and service in the automotive industry in this area and are energized to explore this new franchise of Mitsubishi.” 

Established in 1983, The DELLA Auto Group markets products and services through six retail facilities and employs more than 200 people in Upstate New York. For more information, visit

Awards received

PLATTSBURGH — Several sales professionals at the DELLA Auto Group have received high sales honors and accomplishments that have been recognized nationally by the automotive franchises for the year 2012.

At the DELLA Honda location, the following sales leadership awards were given:

Gold Master Level, Leisa Hamilton; Silver Level, Benjamin Bradford, Brian Chambers, Wayne Lapier, Adam Walton and Jean Worland.

The Honda Council of Sales Leadership is an annual recognition program designed to encourage professional development and sales excellence throughout the entire Honda dealer network. With a primary focus on training, sales volume and customer satisfaction, the program recognizes sales consultants who excel at enhancing the car-buying experience. DELLA Honda was also awarded with the Customer Service Excellence Award.

DELLA Toyota had similar success from one of its sales associates. Ronald Brunelle was recognized by Toyota for its Master Bronze Level sales award.

This award focuses on good customer service and requires the sale of 135 new Toyota vehicles at the close of the year. Brunelle, along with management and other employees at DELLA Toyota, helped the dealership to win the Toyota 2012 President’s Award, which is a very high honor a dealership receives from Toyota. It is only awarded to those dealerships that have demonstrated a commitment to maintaining Toyota’s high standards for customer satisfaction.

Christopher Chevrolet Buick (part of the DELLA Auto Group) in Ticonderoga also had employees recognized for their sales efforts. Shawn Johndrow and Skip Woodcock were recognized by the 2012 GM Mark of Excellence program.

These accolades are earned based on exceptional customer service and progressive increases in sales. The GM Mark of Excellence Awards are given by GM to dealerships and employees who exhibit superior sales volume and customer satisfaction.

“I am extremely proud of all the employees who received these franchise honors,” said Michael Della Bella, president of DELLA Auto Group. “It is truly amazing to have such committed employees with such wide-ranging knowledge of our business and enthusiasm for what they do. These employees set excellent examples for what we all should be working towards. It is important to me and DELLA that the community recognizes these employees’ hard work.” 

Vendor honored

PLATTSBURGH — The Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative (IOC) has named Media Central of Plattsburgh as their 2012 Vendor Partner of the Year at their annual owner’s convention.

The Ground Round IOC gives this annual award to a vendor that provides the organization and its franchisees with exceptional and prompt service and is instrumental in the ongoing growth of the Ground Round franchise and its brand.

“Media Central has been an outstanding partner for many years. They have served as our full-service marketing agency for all our advertising and brand-building activities, and they have been instrumental in leading and supporting our independent franchisees and their individual needs as well,” said Jack Crawford, president and CEO of Ground Round IOC.

“It is a pleasure to work with such a forward thinking, aggressive and growing organization as the Ground Round IOC. To be chosen from a field that includes large, multi-national companies is a great honor,” said Bruce Carlin, partner at Media Central. 

Media Central designed, programmed and maintains multiple websites, designs on-going print and promotional material and produces broadcast commercials and corporate videos for the Ground Round IOC.

Ground Round IOC represents a national group of independent franchise owners operating restaurants in 12 states across the Midwest and Northeast, with headquarters based in Freeport, Maine. For more information, visit

Media Central LLC is a full-service advertising agency and media-production company located on Margaret Street. In business since 1999, Media Central features high-definition video production, audio production, graphic and web design services, social-media management and marketing consultation. For more information, visit

Rating achieved

LAKE PLACID — With golf season approaching in the Adirondacks, the Whiteface Club and Resort has collected another prestigious award from Golfweek Magazine.

The John Van Kleek-redesigned layout, in consultation with Walter Hagen, is ranked 12th in New York State among Golfweek Magazine’s 2013 Best Courses You Can Play. In the publication’s Top 15, the Whiteface Club is in the company of two-time U.S. Open host Bethpage Black, two of the courses at Turning Stone in Central New York, Saratoga National and Ravenwood, outside Rochester.

It is the first time the Whiteface Club has appeared in this category.

“We are very pleased and honored to have been recognized for the second time in nine years by Golfweek in the Top 15 courses in New York State,” said Mark Sperling, general manager of the Whiteface Club Companies. “It is a testimony to our team of groundskeepers, superintendent and our legendary pro, J. Peter Martin.”

The challenging layout, carved from the Adirondack pines 115 years ago, plays to a par of 71 and benefits from a state-of-the-art irrigation system. Its’ dramatic signature hole, the par 5 sixth, presents a stunning view of Whiteface Mountain, site of the 1980 Winter Olympic alpine skiing events.

Golfers will not only enjoy the course, but other amenities, too, on the 400-acre property. Those include tennis, marina, The Café on the Green adjacent to the practice area, Moose Lodge Boathouse with dining overlooking Lake Placid lake and a popular Wedding Garden, recently named among the best in the state for 2013 by The Knot.

The Whiteface Club and Resort is sister property of the AAA Four Diamond-rated Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa in Lake Placid. These time-honored partners, separated by less than four miles, collaborate with attractive Stay and Play packages.

The golf course is slated to open May 3, weather permitting, and will feature a slate of exciting golf events. Among the highlights: The J. Peter Martin Whiteface Open, July 13-14, brings the region’s top men and women amateurs together for a 36-hole competition; The Whiteface Club Championship, another 36-hole event, is set for Aug. 17-18 for members of the club; The Adirondack Open and Pro-Am, part of the Cancun Sunbelt Senior Tour, Aug. 27-30, finds outstanding senior professionals tackling the difficult Whiteface Club track in a 54-hole stroke play format as they aspire to reach the Champions Tour.

New chairman

PLATTSBURGH — At the annual board meeting of Behavioral Health Services North (BHSN), Ray Domenico stepped down as chair after six years of service. He handed the gavel to Mark Lukens, who has been on the leadership team for three years.

Joe Heath and Jim Holmes were recognized for their 13 years and six years of service, respectively. Harry Cook retired on March 31 after 23 years with BHSN, the last 12 years as the president and chief executive officer.

“Our sincere appreciation goes out to Harry for his passion and years of work helping shape BHSN,” Lukens said.

On April 1, Craig Amoth replaced Cook as the president and CEO. Amoth comes to BHSN most recently as a consultant with the Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire and, over the past 30 years, has been the CEO of various mental-health centers in New England and the Midwest. He has been a part of leadership programs in three states, a member of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and is a Marriage and Family therapist.

“Craig’s motivation, passion and skill set uniquely fit the mission of BHSN,” Lukens said. “We are excited to have Craig on our team as a transformational leader who will capture not only our hearts and minds but the hearts and minds of all those who wish to offer opportunity to the people we serve.”

BHSN is a United Way Agency currently celebrating 139 years of commitment to individuals, families and businesses, serving the community since 1874.

Young savers

PLATTSBURGH — UFirst Federal Credit Union will celebrate Youth Week April 22-26 with a coloring contest and give-aways for all children.

UFirst’s children’s programs will help young people start working towards financial independence. UFirst FCU offers Burghy’s Kids Clubs, Cardinal Teen Clubs and College Survival Clubs.

For more information, visit one of their branches at 274 Rugar Street in Plattsburgh or 72 Champlain Street in Rouses Point (inside the Cornerstone Pharmacy) or call 324-5700. Visit their website at