March 25, 2012

Business briefs: March 25, 2012


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Agents recognized

PLATTSBURGH — At the Century 21 International Convention held in New Orleans, La., recently, the following Century 21 Foote-Ryan agents were recognized for their achievements in 2011.

Mary Frenyea, associate broker, was one of the system's top producers nationwide and received the Ruby Level Century 21 Masters Award. This status is awarded to an agent who has met minimum sales production of $100,000 or 30 closed transaction sides within a calendar year.

Associate Broker Kevin Barnaby received the Century 21 Quality Service Pinnacle Producer Award, based on results of the Century 21 Quality Service Survey. To earn the award, an agent must receive completed customer surveys with an average survey score of at least 95 percent or better for two consecutive years.

Century 21 Foote Ryan as an office was awarded the 2011 Century 21 Quality Service Pinnacle Award.

Associate Brokers Scott Campbell and Jody Bourdeau-Fountain and Licensed Sales Associate Kenna Felio received the Century 21 Quality Service Producer award. This national award is presented annually to those agents who receive a minimum satisfaction rating of 85 percent in customer surveys regarding the purchase or sale of a home.

Program supported

CHAMPLAIN — In the spirit of community collaboration and teamwork taught through youth sports, Parker Chevrolet is supporting Rouses Point/Champlain youth baseball/softball leagues through the Chevy Youth Baseball Program.

This sponsorship will include both monetary and equipment donations during the spring 2012 youth baseball season. Chevy Youth Baseball is a grassroots initiative that establishes a positive relationship between local dealers and the communities they serve.

Over the course of the season, Parker Chevrolet will donate equipment to the league that may include equipment bags, baseballs, softballs, catcher's gear, batting helmets, ball buckets, umpires' equipment, coach kits, break-away bases, bat racks and first-aid kits.

In addition, each sponsored league will take part in the Chevy Youth Baseball Double Play Giveaway, a fundraiser that can earn each league $10,000.

The giveaway features a grand prize of the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, along with other prizes such as HD televisions. Also, youth baseball participants will have a chance to attend a youth clinic with a local professional baseball team.

"We are looking forward to a great season with Rouses Point/Champlain youth baseball/softball leagues that will be filled with exciting games and an enhanced experience for the teams through the equipment and cash donations," Rolla Parker of Parker Chevrolet said. "Chevy Youth Baseball is just one example of how committed our dealership is to supporting the youth and families in our community."

Food drive

PLATTSBURGH — The Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC), as part of the New York State ARC Gives Back initiative and in conjunction with Disabilities Awareness Month, will be conducting a food drive for the month of March to benefit the JCEO and Plattsburgh Interfaith Food Shelves.

Individuals from the Day Habilitation Programs decorated boxes recently, delivering them to various agencies, businesses and community sites. They will be periodically retrieving donations and will be at Sam's Club today collecting also.

Holiday match

PLATTSBURGH — Stewart's Shops has mailed 1,455 checks totaling $1.4 million in grants to non-profit organizations receiving Stewart's Holiday Match funds.

The money, contributed by customers and the company, will assist local children's charities in the 30 counties where there are Stewart's Shops.

"That is a 3 percent increase in the number of Holiday Match grants compared to last year," said Susan Dake, Stewart's Foundation president. "Thanks to the generosity of our customers, in this flat economy we were able to respond to the additional requests and bring the total to over $16 million in contributions for the 25-year-old program."

Business forum

LAKE PLACID — More than 110 private- and public-sector participants at the second Connecting Business, Education and the Community forum in Lake Placid will meet on Tuesday.

The event at the Crowne Point Resort and Golf Club in Lake Placid begins at 8 a.m. with registration beginning at 7:30. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.

Topics include whether high-school students are prepared to enter the workforce, how the school day can change to make it more meaningful to students and how business and schools can work together more closely.

The forum, co-sponsored by The Development Corporation (TDC) and the North Country Workforce Investment Board (WIB), will examine one of the most urgent challenges facing the North Country, how to prepare young people to succeed in the 21st century.

"TDC is proud to co-sponsor this important event that will help drive collaboration between private and public organizations to improve graduation rates and encourage successful transitions from adolescence to adulthood by developing a system of high-quality options for young adults," said Fred Woodward, interim CEO of TDC.

The forum will feature a facilitated discussion among a panel of high-school students.

"Our goal is to mobilize educators, business and community leaders to weave together multiple pathways to success in a format that can be replicated across the region," said Joe Riccio, chair of the WIB.

Awards received

LAKE PLACID — Adworkshop, an employee-owned, full-service, digital-marketing agency, won three awards for outstanding advertising creativity at the Albany Ad Club's first annual ADDY Awards.

This year's ceremony was held on March 16 at The Hilton Garden Inn in Troy.

For 38 years, the club has held its own competition called the NORI Awards. This is the first year the Albany club has participated in the ADDYs.

Advertising agencies from northern New York and throughout the Capital District submitted entries in various online and print-media categories.

The winning work will go on to compete in regional and national finals against more than 200 American Advertising Federation affiliates.

Adworkshop won for the following: The Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism mobile website; the Greene County Economic Development, Tourism and Planning, Great Northern Catskills website; and the Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Physical Therapy/Activities of Daily Living Newspaper, fractional page, color advertisement.

Phone drive

TICONDEROGA — The Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union (TFCU) concluded its third annual cellphone drive Feb. 29. The drive asked the public to donate their old cellphones and chargers as well as women's clothing and toiletry items at TFCU's three branch locations throughout January and February.

Dozens of cellphones and several large bags of clothing were collected and donated to the STOP Domestic Violence Center of Essex County, where the phones will be turned into emergency 911 lifelines for victims of domestic violence.

"We're extremely pleased to support this important agency in our communities through the generosity of our members," said TFCU President and CEO Shawn Hayes.

The cellphones serve about 50 clients annually. Any phones that are not given out by the end of the year are sent to Verizon for refurbishment, with proceeds from refurbishment being returned to the center to help support their program.

STOP Domestic Violence provides confidential safe dwellings, supportive counseling, a 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention and advocacy through the courts, Department of Social Services and police. The STOP Domestic Violence hotline number is 1-888-563-6904.

Anyone wanting to donate cellphones can mail them to Verizon's Hope Line Project. A postage-paid mailing label is available in the Newsroom on TFCU's website,

Tax volunteers

ALBANY — The Internal Revenue Service is seeking civic-minded New York volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a federal advisory committee that listens to taxpayers, identifies key issues and makes recommendations for improving IRS service.

"TAP members give the IRS insights from every corner of our nation, helping the agency in its continuous effort to improve tax administration," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.

TAP provides a forum for taxpayers to raise concerns about IRS service and offer suggestions for improvement. TAP reports annually to the secretary of the treasury, the IRS commissioner and the national taxpayer advocate.

To be a member of TAP, volunteers must be able to commit 300 to 500 hours during the year. New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2012. If you're chosen as an alternate member, you'll be considered to fill any vacancies that open in your area during the next three years.

Applications will be accepted through April 27. Applications are available at

For additional information, call 888-912-1227.

Workshop offered

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is sponsoring a workshop for individuals who are thinking about starting their own business but do not know where to begin.

This workshop will provide information about what to do before hanging up an "Open for Business" sign.

The workshop will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at 194 U. S. Oval, upstairs in Room 220. Prospective business owners will learn about legal requirements, business entities, writing a business plan and financing options available to new businesses.

This workshop is free and open to the public. To register, call the small Business Development Center, 564-2042, or register at north

North Country SBDC is part of a statewide program funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.