April 8, 2012

Business briefs: April 8, 2012


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Appointment announced

PLATTSBURGH — Coldwell Banker Whitbeck Associates has retained Melvin Browndorf to its firm as business development manager. He will focus on growth and productivity with an opportunity to bring his real-estate skills and past business experiences to the team.

Browdorf, a GRI, CRS and associate broker, graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a degree in economics. He built a career in business development, including ownership of a previous real-estate and title company.

Clients he has worked with include Glaxo, Smith Kline, Lockheed Martin, Merk, DuPont and Xerox.

Awards received

PLATTSBURGH — Several sales professionals of the Della Auto Group have received high sales honors and accomplishments that are recognized nationally by the automotive franchises for 2011.

At the Della Honda location, the following sales leadership awards were given: Gold Master Level, Jean Worland and Leisa Hamilton; Gold Level, Ben Bradford; Silver Level, Adam Walton, Kent Schmidt and Brian Chambers; and Bronze Level, Wayne Lapier.

The Honda Council of Sales Leadership is an annual recognition program designed to encourage professional development and sales excellence throughout the dealer network. With a primary focus on training, sales volume and customer satisfaction, the program identifies sales consultants who excel at enhancing the buying experience.

Della Honda was also awarded the Customer Service Excellence Award.

E Della Toyota had similar success from its sales associates.

John Kinsman, Chris Saroj and Gabe Thume were all honored with the title of being Toyota Master Certified. This means they have Toyota's stamp of approval as a sales associate based on outstanding product knowledge.

Kenneth Gray also won the Toyota Parts Management Excellence Award. These associates, along with management and other employees at Della Toyota, helped the dealership win the Toyota 2011 President's Award, which is only awarded to those dealerships that have demonstrated a commitment to maintaining Toyota's high standards for customer satisfaction.

▶ Christopher Chevrolet Buick (part of the Della Auto Group) in Ticonderoga also had employees recognized for their sales efforts. Fran Bronson, Shawn Johndrow, Joseph Orta and Skip Woodcock were recognized by the 2011 GM Mark of Excellence program. These accolades are earned based on excellent customer service and progressive growth in sales. The awards are given by GM to dealerships and employees that exhibit superior sales volume and customer satisfaction.

▶ The team at Della Suzuki was also recognized for winning the 2011 Suzuki President's Award, based on the highest number of sales and outstanding customer service. Only 16 dealerships in the country were chosen as recipients.

"I am extremely proud of all the employees who received these franchise honors," said Michael Della Bella, president of Della Auto Group. "It is important to me and Della that the community recognizes these employees' hard work."

For more information, visit

Medication program

PLATTSBURGH — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield members who take brand-name medicines for pain, heartburn, gout, high blood pressure, overactive bladder and migraine headaches now have an added incentive to ask their doctor if a generic drug might be right for them.

This consists of a free initial 30-day supply of a generic option to try at no cost, plus lower copays going forward if they continue with the generic.

The health plan's Generic Trial Program had included 13 different generics in seven disease categories, accounting for about 41 percent of all prescriptions written for its members. Excellus BCBS now has expanded the program to 29 generic drugs covering 10 disease categories.

"Our program is an alternative to the free samples of heavily marketed drugs that pharmaceutical companies supply to doctors in hopes that patients become loyal users of the higher-cost brand," said Joel Owerbach, Excellus BCBS vice president and chief pharmacy officer.

A 30-day supply of an average brand-name prescription drug retails for $208, as opposed to $18 for an average generic.

Nearly all of Excellus BCBS' commercial benefit plans participate in the Generic Trial Program, which does not apply to Medicaid Managed Care, Family Health Plus or Child Health Plus. Members may ask about their particular plan by calling the Pharmacy Help Desk at (800) 724-5033.

More information regarding Excellus BCBS' Generic Trial Program, along with a library of information on savings opportunities with generics, is available at

Workshops offered

ALBANY — As part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's statewide Small Business Outreach Initiative, a team of state agency officials will travel to every region of the state to host workshops designed to help small-business owners learn about opportunities, resources and programs to start and grow their businesses in New York.

Representatives from six New York State agencies, including Empire State Development, the Departments of State, Labor, Taxation and Finance, the State Liquor Authority and the Workers Compensation Board will be on hand to answer questions and offer assistance.

For more information, visit: -Business.

For information and materials designed to assist small businesses, visit www.NYOpenforSmall

Business mixer

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Chamber of Commerce invites area business people to Business After Hours from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on April 19 at Legends Bistro in the Comfort Inn.

Co-hosts with Legends are TwinState/Voice.Data.Video, and WOKO / WIZN / WJOY / WKOL / WBTZ.

Attendees will connect with friends and make new business contacts while enjoying food from Legends new menu. Business cards will be entered in a drawing to win door prizes. Everyone will receive a goodie bag from the Comfort Inn properties containing one gym pass, two pool passes, two putt passes, two bowl passes, one wine or craft brew for Legends and a discount coupon for Perkins.

Business After Hours is open to all chamber members and their employees. Future members are encouraged to contact the chamber for a special-guest pass. The fee is $3 with an advance reservation and $4 without.

For more information or to make reservations, call the chamber at 563-1000.

Auxiliaries honored

MALONE — The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) has released its annual publication, New York's Health Care Auxiliaries: Profiles in Community Outreach, which recognizes member hospitals' auxiliaries and the many services they provide.

This year's book showcases programs by 32 auxiliaries nominated for HANYS's 2011 Auxiliary of the Year Award. They include the Alice Hyde Medical Center Auxiliary of Malone.

"Our health care auxiliaries provide a critical link between their institutions and surrounding communities," said Daniel Sisto, HANYS' president. "This publication demonstrates the many ways auxiliaries help their hospitals fulfill their missions, from presenting health and wellness seminars and coordinating blood drives to organizing collections for families in need and helping seniors find appropriate services."

HANYS established the award in 2007 to recognize the exceptional achievements of member auxiliaries in community outreach and advocacy. The document highlights the key activities of each of the nominated auxiliaries.

Women in Business

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Chamber of Commerce and Sen. Betty Little will co-host A Celebration of Women In Business. This luncheon will be held at West Side Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 4.

It's an opportunity to celebrate women at work in the North Country, network with area business people and gain valuable information to help with success. Agencies such as Empire State Development, the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise, the Department of Transportation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Office of General Services and the Small Business Development Center will have information stations providing information specific to women in business.

Guests will network and be presented with a session called Social Networking — The 15 Minute Drill.

Bridget-ann Hart is the keynote speaker. As the president of Kinney Drugs, she sets an example to all working women and will share her insights and secrets to success.

Space is limited, so reserve today. Tickets are $35 each. Everyone who attends will be entered in the Stafford, Piller, Murnane, Plimpton, Kelleher & Trombley, PLLC iPad give-away. Go to or call the chamber at 563-1000 for more information.

This event is co-sponsored by TwinState/Voice.Data.Video, Monaghan Medical, Spherion Staffing and Worlco Management Services.