June 15, 2014

Business briefs: June 15, 2014


Consultant hired

PLATTSBURGH — Adam King was recently hired as a financial consultant located at the NBT Financial Services office located in the NBT Bank of Plattsburgh, according to Senior Vice President and Market Manager James Campone.

In this position, King will assist clients in the pursuit of their financial goals using his experience in investments, insurance, retirement plans and the overall financial-planning process. He will provide customers in Essex, Clinton, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties with access to financial and insurance products through LPL Financial.

“We welcome Adam to NBT Financial Services,” Campone said. “His experience in financial services will be a valuable resource for our customers seeking assistance with their financial-planning needs.”

King has 15 years of experience in the financial-services industry. Most recently, he was a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley in Burlington. Prior to that, he was senior sales executive and financial adviser at Northern Insuring Agency in Plattsburgh.

He earned his bachelor’s degree at Saint Michaels College in Colchester, Vt. He holds New York State and Vermont licenses in life, health and long-term-care insurance. He is FINRA series 7, 63 and 65 registered with LPL Financial.

A resident of Morrisonville, King serves as vice president on the Board of Directors of MVP Kids Inc., a non–profit organization that provides athletic programs for children in the autism spectrum.

New associate

PLATTSBURGH — Karl Weiss has joined the office as a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX North Country.

From New Jersey originally, he moved to the North Country 10 years ago with his wife, a Plattsburgh native. He is a graduate of Villanova University with a degree in Civil Engineering and has worked locally as a professional engineer. He is also a member of the City of Plattsburgh Zoning Board.

“Through my experience as an engineer, I have gained the skills required to provide exceptional service to my clients,” he said, “attention to detail, critical thinking and effective communication.”

An investment-property owner, Weiss has a strong interest in and enthusiasm for real estate and is ready to assist both residential and commercial buyers and sellers.

“Over the years, I have made many contacts in the community and I look forward to utilizing my experience to help others with their real-estate needs,” he said.

“We are excited to have Karl here at RE/MAX North Country,” Broker Tina Calkins Covey said. “He will be a wonderful addition to our already successful office.”

RE/MAX North Country is located at 68 Cornelia Street in Plattsburgh. Weiss can be reached at 563-1200or

Anniversary marked

ELLENBURG DEPOT — LaBarge Agency, Inc., an insurance agency in Ellenburg Depot, recently celebrated its 90th anniversary with Merchants Insurance Group.

The agency, which serves the personal and business insurance needs of Clinton County, joined with Merchants in 1924, but has been in business since 1920.

Merchants is proud to partner with agencies such as LaBarge Agency Inc., which focuses on the client first by matching quality insurance products to their clients’ needs and providing outstanding customer service.

Merchants Insurance Group offers personal and commercial insurance through a network of more than 600 independent insurance agents throughout the Northeast and North Central United States. Its corporate headquarters and regional operations are located in Buffalo.

For more information, visit

Standards exceeded

UTICA — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield paid out $864 million more for medical care on behalf of its insured membership than what federal and state standards required for the first three years of newly required reporting, officials said recently. 

To cap profits and administrative costs of health plans in order to maximize medical benefits to consumers, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and state regulations set certain medical benefit spending levels for insurers. In the third consecutive year of the new rules and reporting, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield well exceeded the standards for the benefit of its membership.

“Our members are getting high value from the premiums they pay,” said Christopher Booth, chief executive officer of the health plan. “Collectively our members get more hospital and physician services, prescriptions and other medical benefits throughout the year than what federal and state government standards require.”

Some health insurers that don’t meet the standards are required to pay refunds, but only to levels that would bring their membership up to the minimum thresholds.

State and federal standards, as they apply to New York commercial insurance customers, set the minimum level of benefits to be 82 percent of premium revenues in the individual direct-pay and small-group markets and 85 percent for large groups. Excellus BCBS reports that it spent 94.2 percent of premium revenues on medical benefits for its individual direct-pay membership, 91 percent for small groups and 91.8 percent for large groups in 2013.

Attraction expanded

WILMINGTON — Visitors are invited to come to Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington this summer and fill their day with adventure, fun, thrills, food and entertainment. This year features the addition of the new Adventure Zone.

This summer, Whiteface has transformed into the Whiteface Adventure Park. This collection of activities include the scenic Cloudsplitter Gondola ride to the top of Little Whiteface, 4 by 4 Alpine Adventure, airbag freefall, mountain biking, Yoga, guided hikes, disc golf, Rock the FACE, J.LOHR café, Cloudspin Lounge and the new Adventure Zone.

The adventure zone is a new addition to the usual summer offerings and includes a bungee trampoline, spider mountain with giant slide, rock climbing wall, bounce house, double lane blow up slide, slackline park and many more fun activities for the entire family.

Spider Mountain is the revolutionary climbing concept of the future. It’s an exciting way to challenge yourself as you climb and maneuver through and out of the rubber webbing. From this base, you stand up on the trampoline bottom and propel yourself vertically.

The bungee trampoline is a safe and accessible way for children and adults to experience all the thrills of acrobatics and bungee jumping. Jumpers can attain heights in excess of 24 feet in the air while safely strapped into a harness.

Whiteface was a TripAdvisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence Award winner.

The adventure park will be open daily from June 20 to Oct. 13. The hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with extended hours with the park open until 7 p.m. Saturdays from July 5 through Aug. 30. The cost is $10 for the first hour, $20 for an all-day pass and season passes are available for $50. A money-saving Olympic Sites Passport is available.

For more information, visit