April 27, 2014

Business briefs: April 24, 2014


Retirement announcement

PLATTSBURGH — After 18 years of service with Westaff, Gary and Estella Wagoner, co-owners and managers of the branch, have decided to retire.

Along with their partners, David and Fran Mount of Burlington, they decided to venture into new territory opening the doors of what was then called Western Staffing Services in 1996, placing individuals in the pharmaceutical/scientific and light-industrial fields on their very first day.

Gary Wagoner has been in the staffing and human-resource industry for more than 35 years, contributing success to companies such as Revere Copper & Brass in Rome, N.Y., as well as Wyeth-Ayerst in Rouses Point prior to his career with Westaff. He has served as former board member for the North Country Chamber of Commerce as well as the North Country Workforce Investment Board. He has instructed human-resources and business-management courses for two local colleges as well as serving on various business-development and medical-technology committees within the community.

Estella Wagoner handed payroll and accounting functions, ensuring that each of the 100 to 200 weekly associates are paid in a timely manner.

Westaff plans on continuing the legacy of its office and corporation. The Wagoners’ daughter, Katie McClelland, will be continuing as the branch manager of the Plattsburgh location and will follow in the footsteps of her parents in the human-resources and personnel world. She has been with the company since 2001.

“I have had the great priviledge of training and learning under my father and mother, whom I respect and love, and their many years of knowledge and wisdom,” she said.

Westaff in Plattsburgh was the second franchise office to open in the Mount Family Group, a group that has now grown to 13 franchises across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachussettes and Rhode Island. Westaff is a part of the Select Staffing Family of Companies with over 300 offices nationwide. Those in need of jobs or employees may call Westaff at 566-6061, visit them at or visit their Facebook page.

Agency honored

PLATTSBURGH — Allstate exclusive agency owner Beverly Peryea-LaBarge has been designated an Allstate Premier Agency for 2014. This designation is being presented for her outstanding business performance and commitment to putting customers at the center of her agency’s work.

“The Premier Agency designation is not just about Beverly’s successful business results,” said Eva McIntee, Allstate New York’s field vice president. “The honor also demonstrates Beverly’s commitment in being accessible to customers and using knowledge to help ensure customers have the insurance products they need to protect themselves and their family.”

Peryea-LaBarge’s agency is located at 34 Skyway Plaza, Suite 4, in Plattsburgh and can be reached at 563-2124 or

The Allstate Corporation is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate branded insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services are offered through Allstate agencies, independent agencies and Allstate exclusive financial representatives as well as via, and 1-800 Allstate.

The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners strive to support their local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners have donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.

Winner announced

PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh Noon Kiwanis Club has unveiled the winner of its annual K-melt drawing. The winner was David Kerr of Plattsburgh.

The winning ticket was sold by Kimberly Davis. The winner had to guess the day the 350 lb. “K” on the CVPH pond would fall through the ice. All entrants who had the correct date (April 14) had their tickets put into a hat and Kerr’s ticket was drawn.

The winner receives $1,000, the Foundation of CVPH receives $1,000 for families with young children who have to travel out of the area for medical treatment and The Plattsburgh Noon Kiwanis Club uses the remainder of the money for community projects.

Building seminar

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh Housing Outlet Inc. will hold a Home Building Seminar on Thursday, May 8, from 6 until 8 p.m. at Dino’s Pizza, 795 Route 3, in Plattsburgh.

The seminar will offer guidance on topics such as lender requirements, manufactured and modular homes, advice on finding and developing a building site and time frames for home building.

Experts from all areas of construction will give an overview of the process and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Dinner will be served during the event and there is no cost or obligation. Participants (adults only) must RSVP ahead of time as space is limited. Anyone interested may call 800-794-6250 or email with their name, phone number and number in their party.

Participants will receive a free “how-to” packet, a free copy of their credit report and a discount coupon for attending the seminar. They will leave with the information they will need to make an informed decision about new construction and home ownership.

Plattsburgh Housing Outlet was named Retailer of the Year by the Manufactured Housing Institute for the Northeast/ Mid-Atlantic region in 2003 and 2013, one of four companies in the nation.

For more information, contact Michelle LaBounty at 563-6250, Ext. 21.

Open house

WEST CHAZY — Earthwood Building School will hold an open house in West Chazy on Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This free open house showcases a variety of green building techniques. The complete tour takes almost two hours.

Participants will see several living roofs, earth-sheltered housing, a dozen different cordwood masonry buildings, a masonry stove, a sauna, a bicycle-powered water system, an off-the-grid solar electric system, raised-bed gardening and the Earthwood stone circle.

The event will be held at 366 Murtagh Hill Road. Call 493-7744 for more information.

Sweepstakes announced

PLATTSBURGH — Charter Communications Inc. has unveiled a new sweepstakes, Power Your Business.

In a recent survey, 90 percent of consumers said they would take their business elsewhere if a small business was using outdated technology. The sweepstakes offers Charter Business customers the chance to win one of nine weekly $3,500 technology prize packages to upgrade and enhance the technology they depend upon, which when matched with Charter Business solutions will better drive their success.

The prize packages may include the latest HDTVs, wireless printers, tablets, phones and laptop computers every week from now to June 20. Businesses may also enter without making a purchase. See official rules for further details and restrictions.

Existing Charter Business customers upgrading their services or new Charter Business customers who order any or all of Charter Business services will be automatically entered to win. Sweepstakes winners will be posted online and through social media every week throughout the duration of the sweepstakes.

Charter Business helps businesses achieve better results by delivering reliable Internet, Ethernet, Phone and Enhancement solutions. Charter Business offers a wide range of products — from high-quality broadband services to phone systems and top-tier digital TV and music packages that are flexible and can meet the demands of growing businesses.

Business mixer

LAKE PLACID — One hundred years ago, the community foundation concept was born, giving rise to a new philanthropy, a new way of participating in community and a new vision for the future.

Adirondack Foundation will celebrate this milestone when it hosts the North Country Business Council Business After Hours from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, at Heaven Hill Farm, Lake Placid.

Area business people are invited to attend this event, which will offer networking opportunities and examples of Adirondack Foundation’s partnership with Adirondack businesses and community organizations. Admission is $2 with a reservation. Hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer will be provided as well as special door prizes — five $50 grants to any project on Adirondack Foundation’s crowdfunding website, Adirondack Gives.

Call Kerry Shannon at 523-2445 or email to RSVP.

Business After Hours is open to members of the North Country Business Council, North Country Chamber of Commerce, and partner organizations including ROOST, Saranac Lake Area Chamber, Tupper Lake Chamber, Ticonderoga Area Chamber, Schroon Lake Chamber, Malone Chamber, North Warren Chamber, Adirondack Speculator Region Chamber, Indian Lake Chamber, Gore Mt. Regional Chamber, Whiteface Region Chamber, Stony Creek Chamber and Inlet Area Business Association.

The North Country Business Council is a division of the North Country Chamber. Anyone not yet a member of the NCBC or any partner members may call for a guest pass at 563-1000.

Chamber forums

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Chamber of Commerce is hosting two back-to-back events with New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

A Government Affairs Breakfast Forum will take place on Wednesday, May 7, at 8 a.m. at the Holiday Inn in Plattsburgh. The breakfast will feature remarks by DiNapoli regarding state finances and the work of the Comptroller’s Office followed by a question-and-answer session. Registration for the breakfast is $20 per person for members of the chamber or one of its partner chambers, or $35 for not-yet members. A full breakfast buffet is included.

At 10 a.m. at the same location, the chamber is conducting a special workshop titled Venture North: North Country Investment Forum. Organized in collaboration with DiNapoli, the program will feature investment managers affiliated with the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s In-State Private Equity Program as well as a representative of Armory Square Ventures, a newly established early stage capital fund focused on northern and central New York.

Several other key investment specialists visiting the North Country for the event will be featured in addition to Clarkson University as home of the new North Country Innovation Hot Spot.

Presenters will include Kevin Halpin of DeltaPoint Capital, Tom Rest of Grosvenor Capital Management, Somak Chattopadhyay of Armory Square Ventures, Pat Mackrell who is president and CEO of the New York Business Development Corp., Frank McEvoy who is the In-State Equity Fund portfolio manager, and Matthew Draper of Clarkson University. Presentations will be followed with a networking period over lunch.

Registration for the Venture North Investment Forum is $55 per person including registration for the 8 a.m. breakfast or $40 for the 10 a.m. Investment Forum only. Space is very limited and advance registration is required. To register, contact the chamber at 563-1000.

The Venture North Investment Forum is co-sponsored by Global North Country, an initiative of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, and the North Country Alliance.

Money unclaimed

PLATTSBURGH — More than 10,000 individuals and health-care providers in New York state, including hundreds across the Utica/Rome/North Country Region, have forgotten about more than $1.4 million in checks sent by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. These checks were issued in 2010 but were never cashed. If the funds aren’t claimed by the end of August, the health insurer is required by law to turn the money over to the comptroller of the State of New York.

“This is money that was paid for claims or refunded premiums,” said Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield regional president. “It belongs to our members and providers and we want to make sure they have one more chance to claim it.”

A complete list of people and providers with outstanding checks, along with instructions on how to claim those forgotten funds, is online at Printed legal notices listed by county have been or will be placed this week in regional daily or weekly newspapers across New York state.

Each April, New York state requires health insurers to make a list of unclaimed checks that are at least three years old. The names are then published in legal notices in a final attempt to find the people who have money to claim.

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

To claim a check prior to Aug. 31, current health-plan members can call the Customer Service phone number on their member ID card. Former members, or those calling on behalf of an estate, can call Excellus BlueCross BlueShield at 1-877-242-9464. Checks will be mailed to claimants after Aug. 31.

Increased care

PLATTSBURGH — Behavorial Health Services North has been accepted as a Learning Community in the National Council for Behavioral Health’s 2014-2015 project to promote trauma-informed care within organizations, according to BHSN’s Clinic Director Henry Goldenberg.

The majority of people seeking mental-health services have experienced trauma sometime in their lives,” he said. “We canvassed our clinic therapists about additional training to strengthen their practice, and providing trauma-informed care was one identified. Our application was rated very highly among an especially talented and large number of organizations.”

BHSN will receive training and support over a one-year period to promote awareness and practices of trauma-informed care in a variety of domains including:

• Effectiveness of screening and assessing for trauma;

• An organizational workforce educated and responsive to the needs of people who have experienced trauma;

• Organizational support and responsiveness to staff who experience vicarious/secondary trauma;

• Availability of evidence-based practices for individuals seeking treatment for/recovery from trauma;

• Creation of physically and psychologically safe and secure environments for agency activities.

“The experience of trauma is widespread, and the impact on survivors profound and potentially harmful and damaging,” Goldenberg said. “It is important for the community to know that help for recovery from trauma is available and that we are an organization devoted to improving our awareness and sensitivity to the needs of those who have experienced trauma.”

Noele Brabon of the Child and Family Clinic and Rheta Recore of the PROS program will be participating in the trauma-informed track of the Council’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., this May and will help lead an agency team for the project upon their return.

Client sought

PLATTSBURGH — SUNY Plattsburgh’s student-run public relations firm, Cardinal PR, is in search of a new client for the upcoming academic school year.

Cardinal PR provides free public-relations services to local nonprofit organizations in the Plattsburgh community. The firm will be holding client interviews Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Angell College Center on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus.

The firm has collaborated with Hannah’s Hope Fund,, Imaginarium Children’s Museum and, most recently, First Weekends in Plattsburgh Inc.

For more information or make a client-interview appointment, contact future Cardinal PR President Rhiannon Brown at

Workshop offered

MALONE — A workshop titled “What Are Your Customers Saying About You, How to Know What Your Customers Want” sponsored by the Malone Chamber of Commerce, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County and the North Country Small Business Center will be held at no charge on Tuesday, May 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at One Work Source, 158 Finney Blvd., Malone.

Registeration can be made at or call 564-2521.

Wellness summit

LAKE CLEAR — Increasing the area’s role as a wellness travel destination and furthering the region as a healing center are the two themes for the Adirondack Wellness Summit to be held on Tuesday, May 13, at the Lake Clear Lodge and Retreat.

Wellness travel is growing world-wide. It involves not only practitioners but related wellness activities including outdoor recreation, local food and culture. Also, the idea of a wellness center where professionals, families, veterans and others come to the Adirondacks’ “healing woods” for coordinated programs and activities will be explored.

The Wellness Summit will be a series of interactive workshops with featured speakers and panel discussions as well as networking opportunities.

“Virtually all of our businesses and communities can take advantage of this new wellness movement,” said Ernest Hohmeyer, president of Adirondack Spirit, one of the summit sponsors. “Audiences are looking for a broad range of wellness activities from outdoor recreation to immersing themselves in local culture.”

The keynote speaker will be Camille Hoheb, CEO and founding director of Wellness Tourism World-wide.

WTM is a leader in education, development and promotion of wellness travel. As founder, Hoheb has spoken all over the world on health and travel. She holds an M.S. degree in Healthcare Administration and serves on several advisory committees including the World Food Travel Association and the Institute for Healthy Destination Accreditation. Hoheb is the editor of the Wellness Travel Journal and author of “The Guide to Selling Wellness Travel.”

A host of organizations are partnering to develop an Adirondack Small Business Week May 12 to 16 spearheaded by the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. The Adirondack celebration is in recognition of National Small Business Week.

Advanced registration is $15. For more information and to register for the Adirondack Wellness Summit,

To date, sponsors or panelists include Wellness Tourism World-wide, Activate Wellness Naturally, Adirondack Bank, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Adirondack Economic Development Corp., Adirondack Massage Cruise, Adirondack Wellness Network, AromaVital Essentials, Dockery Chiropractic, Homeward Bound, North Country Community College, Paul Smith’s College, Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and the Center for Adirondack Spirit Inc.