May 5, 2013

Business briefs: May 5, 2013


---- — Realtor of the Year

PLATTSBURGH — As the Clinton County Board of Realtors (CCBR) celebrates 65 years of providing confidence to both the buyer and seller of real estate, almost one half of its membership gathered in Plattsburgh to recognize Roger Wright of Coldwell Banker/Whitbeck Associates as the 2012 Clinton County Realtor of the Year.

He was recognized for his service to his community and his fellow Realtors and was given an engraved pen and presentation case.

Wright, a resident of Saranac, is active in several local municipal, church and foundation boards and planning committees and is currently serving as the 2013 Clinton County Board of Realtors president. His leadership throughout Clinton County earned him this distinction among his peers. Statewide, he was recognized this past February at the New York State Association of Realtors midwinter meetings in Albany.

On Oct. 11, 1948, the Clinton County Board of Realtors was the 47th board established with the New York State Association of Realtors “to better serve the public, to improve business ethics, to benefit public welfare, and to study local conditions and real estate problems.”

The group continues to meet these goals today as a strong association of local men and women living in the communities they serve.

Executive named

PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton County Board of Realtors (CCBR) recently named Michael Coughlin as their association executive to oversee the day-to-day management of their association and the associated Adirondack Champlain Valley Multi Listing Service (ACV MLS), with which many home buyers and sellers in the North Country are familiar.

Coughlin, a 20-year resident of Plattsburgh, has a distinguished career in fund development, grant writing, communications and general operational management.

“I feel I bring a new, fresh perspective to the Realtor Association and have thoroughly enjoyed my first few weeks,” Coughlin said.

On June 26, New York Association of Realtors Board President Margaret Hartman will be honored at a luncheon in Plattsburgh. At that time, the 2013 Clinton County Board of Realtors scholarships will be announced. Each year, depending on applications submitted and governed by specific rules, the CCBR awards a $1,000 college scholarship and a $500 CV-Tech scholarship.

Recognition received

LAS VEGAS — Members of the manufactured and modular housing industries gathered April 17 at an awards luncheon to recognize individuals and companies for outstanding achievements.

Plattsburgh Housing Outlet Inc., owned by Eric and Michelle LaBounty of Plattsburgh, received the Retail Sales Center of the Year award for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region. Entries were judged based on an entry statement, management philosophy, retail center aesthetics, marketing materials and community and industry involvement.

Plattsburgh Housing Outlet has been building quality, affordable homes in upstate New York and northern Vermont since 1991. The LaBountys have been recognized by the Foundation of CVPH and the Ronald McDonald House of Burlington, Vt., for their community-service efforts. They were also recognized for their no-cost, no-obligation home-building workshop series, offered each year to educate interested buyers.

This is the second time Plattsburgh Housing Outlet has been named Retail Sales Center of the Year. The couple received the award in 2003, just three years after purchasing the business.

The National Industry Awards, presented during the 2013 National Congress and Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing, recognized the highest achievers from all sectors of the industry.

“These industry role models have made significant contributions to the industry and are leading the way in providing outstanding customer service, products, value, creative solutions and state-of-the-art homes for today’s homebuyers,” said MHI president and CEO Richard Jennison.

MHI is the preeminent national trade association for the manufactured and modular-home businesses, representing all segments of these industries before Congress and the federal government. For more information, visit

Business mixer

LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid Center for the Arts, located at 17 Algonquin Dr., Lake Placid, invites everyone to the North Country Business Council Business After Hours on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Attendees will enjoy an evening of networking while enjoying free hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Business cards will be entered to win door prizes. Admission is $2.

Call Arlene at 523-2445, Ext. 133, or email to RSVP.

Business After Hours is open to members of the North Country Business Council, North Country Chamber of Commerce and partner chambers. The Business Council is a division of the North Country Chamber. Those who are not members of the NCBC or any partner members may contact the group for a guest pass.

Forgotten funds

PLATTSBURGH — More than 9,100 individuals and companies in New York state have forgotten more than $1.1 million in checks issued by Excellus Health Plan, including by its d.b.a., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS). This is in the form of unclaimed checks issued in 2009 to members and providers. 

A complete list of names of people and companies with checks to claim is available on the company’s website at Printed legal notices listed by county have been or will be placed in regional daily or weekly newspapers.

Every year, the state requires insurers like Excellus BCBS to make a list of unclaimed checks that are at least three years old. The names are then placed in advertisements in local papers in an attempt to find the people who have money to claim. If the property is not claimed by the end of August, the money is then turned over to the comptroller of the State of New York.

“This is money that was paid for claims or refunded premiums. If the money remains unclaimed, it will go to the state,” said Eve Van de Wal, regional president. “It rightfully belongs to our members or providers and we want to make sure they have one more chance to claim it before it goes to the state.”

Checks may not have been cashed for a number of reasons. The member may have moved and has not left a forwarding address, a member may have died, or the member simply forgot about the money.

If you are currently a health-plan member and want to make a claim, call the phone number on your member identification card. If you are no longer a health-plan member, or if you are calling on behalf of the estate of a family member, call Excellus BlueCross BlueShield at 1-877-757-3850. Checks will not be mailed to claimants until after Aug. 31.