November 25, 2012

Business briefs: Nov. 25, 2012


Legal assistant hired

PLATTSBURGH — Leah Mills has been hired as the new legal assistant by the Law Office of Mark Schneider, a leading North Country Social Security and personal-injury law firm.

She is replacing Kaela Homburger, who has been promoted from legal assistant to managing paralegal. Mills will be assisting Homburger with direct client communications, as well as working directly with the attorneys on cases.

The office provides legal services to people in Clinton, Franklin and Essex counties. The Schneider Law Office is located at 57 Court St. in Plattsburgh. Mills will work with attorneys Mark Schneider, Heather Maure and Drew Palcsik, assisting in cases dealing with Social Security/SSI disability appeals, person-injury cases, civil rights, immigration, bankruptcy and criminal cases.

Mills is a 2002 graduate with honors from Beekmantown Central School. She participated in student government as a class officer and Student Council during high school. She played varsity volleyball, gymnastics and was part of the equine 4-H program where she participated and placed in the state competition for barrel racing.

Mills attended SUNY Potsdam, majoring in biology. She worked in the Biology Department as a teacher’s assistant. Mills has worked for the past three years as an assistant for the Saratoga Veterinary Hospital. She has moved back home to the North Country with her fiancé, Tim McDaniel.

Mark Schneider has been practicing law since graduating from Boston College Law School in 1981. He opened his Law Office in Plattsburgh in 1996 after many years of representing workers, immigrants and farmworkers. He practices in New York, Vermont, the United States District Court in Albany, the United States Court of Appeals in New York City and the United States Supreme Court. 

Canadian address

PLATTSBURGH — Dr. Michael Hawes, chief executive officer of Fulbright Canada, will deliver the Distinguished Canadian Address on Monday.

Hawes’s presentation, “Economics, Politics, Pipelines and the Election: Canada-U.S. Relations in an Increasingly Complex World,” will take place from 3 to 3:55 p.m. in Krinovitz Recital Hall, Hawkins Hall, at SUNY Plattsburgh.

An annual event sponsored by The Development Corporation and SUNY Plattsburgh’s Center for the Study of Canada, the Distinguished Canadian Address is designed to recognize individuals who have made a profoundly positive contribution to Canadian public life. This initiative provides a forum that showcases professors, business leaders and government officials. They offer public lectures on a wide range of Canadian issues as well as relations between Canada and the United States.

“We look forward to engaging Dr. Hawes on issues of importance to our center, the City of Plattsburgh and the entire North Country community,” said Dr. Christopher Kirkey, director of the Center for the Study of Canada.

Canada and the United States benefit from the largest trading relationship in the world, and Canada is the fourth largest source of foreign investment in the United States, according to Paul A. Grasso Jr., president and CEO of The Development Corporation.

The Development Corporation “is proud to be sponsoring public lectures that help to inform and engage the community with respect to the importance of Canada-U.S. relations to our local economic-development and expansion efforts,” Grasso said.

Employees honored

JAY — Jay Ward, president of Ward Lumber, has recognized Team Members for outstanding achievements and contributions to the company.

The following were selected for the third quarter of 2012:

Stephen Hansen, sales, Jay Store; Robert Rowe, hard lines supervisor, Malone Store; and Kevin Kennedy, IT manager for the Support Center located at the corporate headquarters in Jay.

Ward Lumber is a two-unit building materials supplier with locations in Jay and Malone. One of the largest private employers in Essex County, Ward Lumber manages more than 6,000 acres of timberland and operates one of New York State’s largest white-pine sawmills and planing mills.

Award received  

LAKE PLACID — Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa has impressed the readers of Conde Nast Traveler with yet another distinction.

As ski season approaches, the publication’s readers have placed the Mirror Lake Inn sixth among their Top 50 Ski Hotels in North America. In addition, as the top five are located in the western United States, the Lake Placid property becomes the poll’s top-rated ski hotel in eastern North America.

Just one month ago, the hotel, AAA Four Diamond-rated 28 consecutive years, was bestowed with the Readers Choice Awards No. 1 resort rating in the Northeast. The View Restaurant, located just steps beyond the inn’s front desk, has been designated a Four Diamond dining experience the past five years.

The Lake Placid Lodge tied for eighth place in the ski hotel survey, while the Whiteface Lodge was 11th.

“To receive one such honor is quite an achievement,” said Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa owner Ed Weibrecht. “But for us to back that up with another top award is really remarkable. We believe such distinction will not only help us, but I think it will enhance the overall brand of the Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain region.”

Weibrecht said it’s a dedicated staff that enables his inn to achieve.

“We could not do this without staff that comes to work each day seeking to provide every guest with an unforgettable experience.”

The Conde Nast Traveler methodology included the independent tabulation of more than 46,000 responses. All candidates were rated on a five-point scale from poor to excellent in categories such as Rooms, Service, Dining, Location, Overall Design and Activities. Only hotels that received a required minimum number of responses were eligible for inclusion.

Seminars offered

PLATTSBURGH — A series of programs called Technology Series: Making Sense of Social Media are being offered by the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mobile Apps and more have changed the way people do business. With technology moving at the speed of light, it seems impossible to keep up with the latest trends and make sense of social media. At the seminars, experts will show how to make the most of social media to help a company succeed.

Session 1 will be held Wednesday. It is titled Social Media, How to Make it Work for You. It will be presented by Emily Schwartzberg of Adworkshop.

Session 2 will be Dec. 6. It is called The Key to Social Media Success and will be presented by Taylor Kimbrell of Denton Publications.

Session 3 will be Dec. 12. It is called Measuring Your Efforts and is presented by Matthew Dodds of Brandthropology.

Session 4 will be held Dec. 20. It is called Let’s Get Specific and is presented by a panel of experts.

For more information, call the chamber at 563-1000.

Appreciation Day

PORT HENRY — The Port Henry Office of Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Co. will offer free document shredding and a chance to visit with Santa during its Community Appreciation Day on Tuesday.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4307 Main Street in Port Henry and will feature food and a visit from Santa. In addition, the Moriah Police Department will provide free fingerprinting and car-seat safety checks from 10 a.m. to noon, and Adirondack Mobile Shredding will be on hand to offer free shredding of confidential documents from noon to 2 p.m.

The public is encouraged to donate a nonperishable food item to support the Moriah Food Pantry, or a toy to support the Ladies Auxiliary’s Local Toys for Kids program. All customers who bring a donation will be entered into drawings for various prizes.

The Port Henry Office is among many Glens Falls National locations hosting Community Appreciation Days this year. The events are meant to show the bank’s appreciation for its neighbors while assisting local causes.

Glens Falls National Bank provides banking and financial services through 29 offices in Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Essex and Clinton counties.

New network

PLATTSBURGH — WPTZ NewsChannel 5 has reached an agreement to air the new classic TV network called “Me-TV” (Memorable Entertainment Television) in the Champlain Valley.

The network features all-time comedy classics like “M*A*S*H*,” “Cheers,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “I Love Lucy” and “The Bob Newhart Show.” In addition to comedies, classic dramas include “Perry Mason,” “The Untouchables,” “The Big Valley” and the original “Star Trek” and “Hawaii Five-O” series.

“When viewed in combination with our local news offerings on WPTZ and, and our NBC network affiliation, this acquisition is a prime example of our commitment to bringing quality programming and diverse choice to our viewers,” said WPTZ President and General Manager Kyle Grimes.

The network is owned by Weigel Broadcasting Co. It will debut on Jan. 2, 2013. The network will replace WPTZ’s current digital secondary channel “This TV,” a sister network to “Me-TV,” and will be available over the air on WPTZ 5.2, on Comcast digital channel 302, Burlington Telecom digital channel 305, Time Warner digital channel 854 and Charter Cable digital channel 296.

Workshop offered

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Small Business Development Center and TD Bank will co-host “Preparing a Winning Business Plan” Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the bank office, 714 State Route 3, Plattsburgh.

The free workshop is for anyone thinking about starting a new business or considering expanding an existing business. To register or for more information, contact the SBDC at 564-2042 or by email at

Agency honored

AUSTIN, Texas, — Plattsburgh native David Light has had his insurance agency in Austin, Texas, honored.

Light, a founding partner and executive vice president of Walker Myers Insurance and Risk Management, points to the unique Plattsburgh business mentality as an important part of what makes his business so successful.

This September, less than a year after its founding, Walker Myers was named Best Agency to Work For in the South Central U.S. by Insurance Journal. Light, who cut his teeth working with Robin Keysor at Maui North in middle and high school, is not surprised by the award, though he is quick to give credit where he believes it’s due.

“Looking at Plattsburgh’s successful businesses, it’s easy to see the common threads. Companies like Maui North, Northern Insuring and Lake Champlain Pools all have strong leadership, raw business expertise and the ability to surround themselves with talented employees. At Walker Myers, we’ve taken that Plattsburgh business mentality to heart.

Running a successful multi-state insurance business based in Texas, however, meant taking that mentality and expanding on it. Applying a youthful, technology-driven approach in what Light calls an “old, pale and stale” industry has worked wonders for Walker Myers. Henry Forrence, a Cornell graduate and friend of Light’s since the two met at Stafford Middle School, is a successful producer at Walker Myers.

”Not only has our youthful, fun approach been good for business, it’s made Walker Myers a great place to work,” said Forrence. “Having happy employees translates to better client service, and I think this award is validation.”

For more information, visit or

Nominees sought

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new online portal has been launched by the U.S. Small Business Administration to accept nominations for its 2013 National Small Business Week Awards, including the annual Small Business Person of the Year award.

The dedicated web portal, accessible at, will make it easier to submit and track submissions of nominees for Small Business Week 2013, and is now actively accepting nominations of noteworthy small businesses.

Since 1963, National Small Business Week has recognized the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions to their local communities and to the nation’s economy. In 2013, the 50th year celebration will honor the nation’s 27 million small businesses.

SBA Awards given in celebration of National Small Business Week include the following:

▶ National Small Business Person of the Year (chosen from among state award winners from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam).

▶ Phoenix Awards (recognizing outstanding accomplishments during disaster recovery).

▶ Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year.

▶ Small Business Subcontractor of the Year.

▶ The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence (recognizes large prime contractors who have used small businesses as suppliers and contractors).

▶ SBA 8(a) Graduate of the Year (for recent graduates of the SBA’s 8(a) contracting program).

▶ Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Award (nominations of SBA-funded SBDC Service Centers).

▶ Women’s Business Center (WBCs) of Excellence Award (nominations of SBA-funded WBCs).

▶ Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award (nominations of SBA-funded Veterans Business Outreach Centers).

In addition to the portal, nominations can also be sent directly to SBA District Offices, which can be located online at All nominations must be submitted or postmarked to the SBA by Jan. 3, 2013.

Winners of the Small Business Person of the Year awards and winners in the other award categories will be invited to Washington, D.C., to compete for national titles and to attend National Small Business Week events in 2013.