WILLSBORO — Eric Cioppa, a 1976 graduate of Willsboro Central School, was recently appointed to the position of superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Insurance by Maine's governor, Paul LePage.
Cioppa joined the Bureau of Insurance in 1988 as a statistician III and served as the supervisor of the Workers' Compensation Section prior to becoming deputy in 1998. He recently served as acting superintendent prior to this permanent appointment.
Cioppa serves as co-chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions Joint Working Group.
He is currently the co-chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Advisory Organization Exam Oversight Group.
Cioppa receved is Bachelor of Arts Degree from Potsadam State Universidy and his MBA from Clarkson. He is the son of Marion Cioppa of Willsboro and the late Anthony Cioppa, both former teachers at Willsboro Central School. He now resides in China, Maine.
PLATTSBURGH — Usherwood Office Technology has appointed Victoria Glasser to the position of director of production systems.
Glasser brings information and experience to Usherwood with more than 20 years in the office-equipment industry focusing on the production segment. For the last 10 years Glasser was a regional field analyst, Production Print, for Canon USA Inc. She was the top producer in production equipment placed every year and was instrumental in the launch of Canon's Production Program with the VP Series, both color and black and white. Glasser's certifications and software-solution experience include CDIA Plus, Network Plus, CIP (color imaging professional) and more.
Glasser will be supporting all Usherwood Technology offices including the one in Plattsburgh.
Usherwood Office Technology is locally owned and operated in Upstate New York and has provided sales and service of office technology since 1976. Usherwood sells and provides local service for copiers, laser printers, computer networks, IT solutions and advanced application software.
PLATTSBURGH — Andrew Beach has joined the team at Taylor Rental in Plattsburgh as their newest technician and recently received special training in his field.
Beach has extensive experience in both small engine and ATV repair. A Plattsburgh native, he recently attended a three-day-long extensive JLG Electric Lift Service training in McConnellsburg, Pa.
PLATTSBURGH — The Champlain Valley Business and Professional Women's Club will be holding its annual holiday auction fundraiser on Tuesday, Dec. 6. The auction will be held at the American Legion Post 20, Quarry Road, in Plattsburgh. The cost is $10 to attend happy hour with hors d'ouerves and cash bar during the auction preview, which will be from 5 to 6 p.m. The auction starts at 6:15 p.m.
The auction is made possible each year through the donations of business owners and community members and usually includes gift baskets, gift certificates, home items and many homemade treats.
Proceeds go toward helping the club achieve its mission by assisting working women in the Champlain Valley. For instance, each year it gives four scholarships out to area women, some returning to school at a non-traditional college age. The club is a nationally affiliated group that helps lobby legislation on behalf of working women and families. For more information, visit www.bpwusa.org.
Gifts for kids
PLATTSBURGH — Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree stores have joined forces again this holiday season to gather holiday gifts for military children. The toys will be donated by customers of the more than 4,000 Dollar Tree and Deal$ stores nationwide.
The local effort is part of a nationwide campaign by Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree, now in its fifth holiday season. Last year, Dollar Tree patrons donated more than 6 million toys nationwide, and this year hopes to beat that record.
The toy drive comes at a time when Operation Homefront, a national non-profit that provides emergency financial and other services to military families and wounded warriors, met 5 percent more needs for families and saw requests for food assistance more than double in the last two years.
"For the last five years, Dollar Tree and its customers have helped boost the morale of our community's service members," said Jim Knots, president and CEO of Operation Homefront.
"Military families are not only dealing with the effects of the war, but also the current economic difficulties."
Dollar Tree will collect items through Tuesday. Local military support groups will distribute the toys to military families and their children.
PLATTSBURGH — Geoffrey's Pub and WOKO/WIZN/WBTZ/WJOY/WKOL will co-host a special North Country Chamber of Commerce Holiday Business After Hours on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Geoffrey's Pub.
Attendees will enjoy food and a cash bar while making new business contacts. Guests may win one of the door prizes provided by the sponsors.
Business After Hours is open to all chamber members and their employees. Not-yet members are encouraged to contact the chamber for a special-guest pass.
Admission is $3 with a reservation and $4 without. For more information, or to make reservations, call the chamber at 563-1000.
Support for games
LAKE PLACID — A regional coalition came together one year ago to continue the legacy of the Empire State Winter Games when New York State's budget crunch eliminated the competitions.
Stewart's Shops saw the value of the games, a tradition that began in 1980 just weeks after the Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games, and partnered with organizers for the 2011 edition. Now, Stewart's has committed to team with the games again in 2012, making the convenience stores the first sponsor to do so.
"Community involvement is an important part of Stewart's culture, of what makes Stewart's work," said Gary Dake, president. "We are an employee- and family-owned company, and we believe that giving back to the communities we serve is the right thing to do."
Stewart's Shops is confirmed as an official Bronze Level Sponsor of the games, scheduled for Feb. 2-5 in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Wilmington.
The designation allows Stewart's the use of the games' logo in its promotional material, placement in promotional and informational materials, venue signage, opportunities for product samplings, ski passes to Whiteface, VIP passes for bobsled rides, sponsorship of one sport and other benefits.
As they did a year ago, Stewart's will offer assistance for the Torch Run leading into the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 2 in the Olympic Center. Stewart's will provide hot chocolate and cookies at its various locations along the route.
Corporations and businesses interested in becoming partners can see an overview of sponsor packages by logging on to www.empirestatewintergames.com and click on Sponsorship.
PLATTSBURGH — During October, Ninety Nine Restaurants held their annual Boys and Girls Club Fundraiser raising $202,000 for local chapters of the Boys and Girls Club in communities throughout New England and New York.
The Plattsburgh and Williston Ninety Nine Restaurants raised $4,928.00 for the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington.
Through the generosity of Ninety Nine Restaurants' guests and team members, the goal was exceeded.
Every time a specially created Boys and Girls Club Sandwich was ordered, $1 was donated. Also, $1 from the sale of each special Halloween entrée featured during the Halloween weekend promotion was contributed, $5 for commemorative bracelet sales was given and a $1 or more addition to the total guest check was donated.
"We are passionate about our relationship with the Boys and Girls Club as we enter into our 15th year of service to the organization and look forward to continuing that relationship for years to come," said Ninety Nine Restaurants President John Grady. "We are involved with almost 70 local chapters of the Boys and Girls Clubs and are very proud to have set a new company-wide fundraising record this year."
Toy drive held
CHAZY — A toy drive will be held at The Station Cafe & Gifts at 23 Old Station Drive in Chazy on Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Bring in a new unwrapped toy or item for a teen and get a coupon for a free small hot beverage, limit one per customer.
There will also be a massive clearance in the gift shop.
For more information, call Carolyn Tetreault or Chantal DuBrey at 846-7245.
PLATTSBURGH — This season, Adirondack Dance and Fitness Academy is offering mini holiday shoots, which will capture special memories for years to come and benefit the Salvation Army.
Each 15-minute sessions is $25 Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 17-18. A total of $10 from every session will be donated to the Salvation Army. With the purchase of a session, participants will receive an eight-by-10 and a CD with three to five edited images burned onto it for printing needs. For a donation of $20 or more, half off a one-hour session by Point-n-Click Fauxtography will be offered.
Also, Autumn Love, one of the more widely recognized Zumba teachers in town, will be giving two free passes to her class at the academy with every mini session purchased.
Saturdays will be booked sessions, with availability between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Sundays will be first come first served.
Adirondack Dance and Fitness Academy is located at 72 Pine Street in Plattsburgh. Email Spu firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
ALBANY — Representatives from AstraZeneca recently donated a check for $10,000 to the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York for its disaster-relief efforts post-Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee and subsequent flooding.
AstraZeneca is making donations because they assist the communities where a number of AstraZeneca employees live and work.
"The American Red Cross has served tirelessly on the front lines of the recovery efforts in New York and New Jersey," said David Nicoli, vice president, corporate affairs. "We hope this contribution will help improve the health and well-being of the families who were impacted by Hurricane Irene."
Throughout New York State, the Red Cross opened more than 100 shelters, served more than a half million meals and snacks, distributed more than 20,000 clean-up and comfort kits to storm victims and provided mental-health support to thousands of people.
AstraZeneca is a global biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease.