April 22, 2012

Business briefs: April 22, 2012


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Awards received

PLATTSBURGH — Kathy Bennett and Michelle Fowler of RE/MAX North Country have been awarded the Accredited Buyer's Representation (ABR) designation by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC) of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Bennett and Fowler joined more that 30,000 real-estate professionals in North America who have earned the ABR designation. All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on a buyer-representation specialty, both in addition to submitting documentation verifying professional experience.

REBAC, founded in 1988, is the world's largest association of real-estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real-estate buyer. There are more that 40,000 active members of the organization worldwide. NAR, "The Voice for Real Estate," is the world's largest professional association, representing more than a million members involved in all aspects of the real-estate industry.

Contact Bennett and Fowler at RE/MAX North Country, Clinton County's No. 1 real-estate company in residential sales for 2009 through 2011, at 563-1200.

New associate

PLATTSBURGH — Joyce Samonek 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, Samonek 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 Joyce on our team," said Peter Whitbeck, broker/owner.

"She has an excellent background and is extremely knowledgeable about the North Country market."

Samonek is a long-time Chazy resident. She is a private business owner of a local bed and breakfast as well as an antique store, past editor of Chazy's Town Talk and has a degree in Interior Decorating and Design.

Coldwell Banker Whitbeck Associates is located at 20 Miller St. in Plattsburgh and 2577 Main St. in Lake Placid.

Samonek can be reached at 562-9999.

Coldwell Banker Whitbeck Associates has been an affiliate of the Coldwell Banker system for over six years.

Certification obtained

SARANAC LAKE — Five more members of the patient accounting team at Adirondack Health have demonstrated their commitment to excellence by passing the Certified Patient Account Technician (CPAT) exam.

The members are Colleen Bruce, Amy Clark, Gerry Higgins, Paula Preston and Renee Wright. A total of 11 patient-accounting employees at Adirondack Health have now passed the CPAT exam.

The exam is offered by the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management. Successful completion indicates an individual has mastered the common body of technical knowledge required of an employee in the Patient Accounts Department.

Patient account representatives play a central role in the delivery of health care. They are responsible for reviewing a patient's account to ensure the charges are accurate. Furthermore, they assist patients in understanding the costs of the services they have received. The account representative may also collect the patient's payment after services have been provided. In many cases, account representatives communicate with the patient's insurance company to ensure services are approved for payment. They also assist patients in applying for health-care resources such as Medicaid.

To learn more about the career opportunities at Adirondack Health, log onto

Business Expo

PLATTSBURGH — Area businesspeople are invited to showcase their businesses and meet new customers at The Business Expo 2012. Booths are available and may be reserved today.

With 186 booths, the Business Expo is a showcase of North Country businesses, a place people go to find out what products and services are available.

Exhibitor will have the opportunity to promote their products and services and make hundreds of new business contacts. It's also a chance to personally speak with current customers and thank them for their business. This is the only time during the year that this many people will be under one roof at one time for the sole purpose of networking and making business contacts.

Businesses of all types and sizes will be there. More than half of the booths have already been reserved. Area businesspeople are encouraged to register a booth and make plans to show potential customers what they have to offer.

The cost for North Country Chamber members is $420, partner chamber members $470 and not-yet members $520. Nonprofit organizations may share a booth with another nonprofit.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 7 at the Plattsburgh State Field House. General admission is $5. Call the chamber at 563-1000 for more information.

Station honored

BURLINGTON, Vt. — WCAX-TV has received three Edward R. Murrow regional journalism awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Murrow awards are given to recipients who demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Edward R. Murrow made standard for the broadcast news profession.

The news team was awarded a first place for continuing coverage of Tropical Storm Irene.

"This was a life-changing natural disaster. We found amazing stories of destruction, sadness, strength and hope," News Director Anson Tebbetts said. "WCAX will continue to follow the impact from Irene for a very long time."

Reporter Jennifer Reading and photographer Joe Carroll were awarded a first-place award in the hard-news category for their reports on how communities were isolated after Tropical Storm Irene.

Reporter Gina Bullard and photographer Lance MacKenzie received a first-place award in the investigative category with their series of reports on homeless camps in Vermont.

RTDNA received more than 3,500 entries during the 2012 awards season, setting an all-time record in what proved to be one of the most competitive seasons in RTNDA history. WCAX competed with stations from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

WCAX-TV is the CBS affiliate in Burlington and is owned and operated by Mt. Mansfield Television, Inc.

Recycling program

JAY — Ward Lumber is partnering with Casella Waste Systems to lead the way in innovative, sustainable recycling solutions. As the first business in Essex County to implement zero-sort recycling, Ward Lumber has taken another step by beginning a pilot program to recycle used plastic shrink wrap by using a light-blue Casella zero-sort bag.

They are currently the only test site Casella is working with to pilot this new methodology to capture a stream that until this point has been hard to manage.

Ward Lumber is currently working with a number of contractors that are using Casella's bags to aid in the collection of their used plastic shrink wrap.

Once a bag is full, it goes into a Casella zero-sort container at Ward Lumber's facility as part of their zero-sort recycling service. The bags then get transported to Casella's zero-sort processing facility in Rutland, Vt., where the blue bag is easily identified, collected and baled to ultimately be turned back into useful products.

"Previously used shrink wrap that was thrown in the trash is now being recycled in this test," said Jay Ward, president of Ward Lumber.

Melissa LaClair, territory manager at Casella, said, "We look forward to our continued partnership in making the recycling of more materials both simple and easy for Ward Lumber and their customers."

Consultant hired

PLATTSBURGH — Jim Wemette recently joined the NeuEon team as a principal consultant based in Plattsburgh. His primary responsibilities will focus on engaging with clients to deliver NeuEon technology services.

Prior to joining NeuEon, Wemette served in various line and staff positions at Burlington Telecom where his last position was a division manager of network operations.

He was part of a team responsible for the design, construction and operation of a fiber-to-the-home deployment in Burlington.

Prior to that, he served as part of a core team responsible for the design, construction and operation of the City of Burlington's municipal fiber network.

Wemette holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts Degree from American Military University and is presently pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Engineering and Global Operations Management at Clarkson University.

NeuEon is a technology advisory services firm providing strategic technology guidance and leadership to established and emerging organizations. For more information, visit, call Wemette at 572-9658 or email him at

Alpaca forum

JAY — Ward Lumber is hosting a free Alpaca Night on Tuesday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m., for anyone interested in learning more about or raising alpacas.

Some topics include history of alpacas, housing, pasture, feed, medical, care, fleece, finances and tax considerations, and marketing. Alpacas will be on site, and there will be a spinning demonstration and hands-on opportunities. Pizza and refreshments will be served, and there will be a prize drawing.

The presenter will be Jay Ward, who grew up with livestock and has raised, shorn and showed alpacas since 2003. He and his family own AuSable Valley Alpacas.

Ward Lumber stocks Poulin Grain and Green Mountain organic feeds for a variety of livestock including alpacas, poultry, equine, goat and swine. They are hosting this seminar and other livestock-related seminars such as Chicken Harvest, Goat Night and Hog Harvest to provide customers with information about raising and harvesting their own livestock.

For more information, including a complete outline of topics and to register, go to