Business briefs: March 2, 2014 - Press-Republican: Local News

Business briefs: March 2, 2014

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Posted: Sunday, March 2, 2014 2:28 am

Restaurant honored

PLATTSBURGH — The Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative (IOC) has honored the Plattsburgh Ground Round Grill & Bar with its annual Restaurant of the Year award for 2013 at its recent owners convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The award is given by The Ground Round IOC to the franchise restaurant that demonstrates reliable and consistent quality and service to its guests while achieving strong results with an active presence in the community and promotion of the brand.

According to Jack Crawford, president and CEO of the Ground Round IOC, “Our Plattsburgh, N.Y., Ground Round team stood tall against new competitors this year and drove guest loyalty through their marketing and promotional efforts, community involvement and delivery of outstanding product with the quality service that Plattsburgh guests have come to expect from this team. They were also instrumental to the brand in providing some of their best employees as trainers for newer locations and to train newly hired managers for other franchise partner locations.”

“We are very proud to receive this award,” said Bob Smith, president of Nine Platt Hospitality, owner and operator of the Plattsburgh Ground Round. “These awards cannot be received unless there is teamwork on the part of our whole staff and our supporting vendors and suppliers. I am very proud to be associated with this brand and I thank our kitchen, dining and lounge staff for their consistent, professional performance in our competitive hospitality industry. It is my honor to bring this award home to them.”

Nine Platt Hospitality also owns and operates the Best Western Plus, Inn at Smithfield, also in Plattsburgh. For more information, visit or

Promotion announced

PLATTSBURGH — Catherine A. Steele has been promoted to officer at Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Co..

In her former role as branch manager and now as officer, Steele oversees operations at the Margaret Street Office. She joined Glens Falls National Bank in 1997 and has more than 20 years of banking experience. Throughout her career, she has earned numerous awards and recognitions, including being elected twice by her peers to the Bank’s High Performer Club.

Active in the community, she is treasurer for the Plattsburgh Downtown Association, serves on the Strand Theater board and participates in the Heart Walk, March of Dimes and Relay for Life. She is a graduate of Beekmantown Central High School.


TICONDEROGA — The Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union (TFCU) has added Jon Savio to its team as chief financial officer.

In that role, he will oversee the accounting and finance functions for the institution. Savio brings nearly 15 years of experience in the financial-services industry with considerable asset-liability management and fixed-income investment experience.

“I am thrilled that Jon has joined the executive leadership team in such a key role. His education, experience, temperament and commitment to the credit union philosophy make him an ideal addition to TFCU,” said Shawn Hayes, TFCU president and CEO.

Before joining TFCU, Savio was a managing director/portfolio strategist at CNBS, LLC, in Overland Park, Kans. While at CNBS, he worked as a consultant and investment adviser to credit unions throughout the country providing balance-sheet and investment advice as well as economic and market commentary and strategy on issues affecting credit unions.

Prior to CNBS, he worked at First St. Louis Securities, a regional broker dealer, as a fixed-income portfolio accountant and analyst for community banks. Savio’s career includes experience working as compliance officer and as a teller and personal banker.

Savio received his Master of Business Administration and Bachelors of Science in Business Administration Degrees from Avila University in Kansas City.

Manager named

DANNEMORA — Dannemora Federal Credit Union President Randall Martin has named Tina Ramsey branch manager and senior loan officer of the Credit Union’s Dannemora location.

Ramsey has been with the Credit Union since 1993 and has held several positions including teller, secretary to the Board of Directors and CEO, and most recently, loan officer and managerial assistant for the Board of Directors and CEO.

She has continued to attend training that is beneficial to her career at the Credit Union.  

Dannemora Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered credit union offering personal financial services to more than 14,000 members. The Credit Union has more than $135 million in assets. Anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Clinton County is eligible for DFCU membership.

Award received

PLATTSBURGH — Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker Scott Tetreault of Century 21 Foote Ryan has won the Century 21 Masters Diamond Award, which is the highest Masters Producer Level Award. The Diamond Award is designed to honor qualifying sales associates as they strive toward Centurion. 

Also at the agency, Licensed Real Estate Associate Brokers Mary Frenyea and Jody Bourdeau-Fountain have won the Century 21 Masters Ruby Award. This acknowledges the efforts of each qualifying sales associate and is the entry way to the path of Centurion.

In addition, the Century 21 Foote-Ryan Office has won the Quality Service Award. This award is presented to those offices that have delivered exemplary service as determined by rating results from the Century 21 Quality Service Survey completed by clients. 

Licensed Real Estate Broker/Owner George Barnett, Licensed Real Estate Associate Brokers Tetreault and Frenyea, and Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate Kenna Felio, have also won the Century 21 Quality Service Award. This award is presented to sales associates who delivered exemplary service determined by rating results from the Century 21 Quality Service Survey completed by their customers.

Insurance information

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Chamber of Commerce is reminding small businesses and other employers, self-employed people and individuals across the region that there is still time to obtain information and select a health-insurance plan ahead of the federal mandate that all individuals be insured by March 31, 2014.

Through its licensed subsidiary, the Plattsburgh-North Country Service Corp., the chamber is offering health-insurance assistance throughout the North Country region to small businesses, non-profits, employers of all kinds, self-employed people and individuals and their families. Its trained and licensed professionals can answer questions and assist with available health-insurance choices both on and off the new state exchange all at no cost to the client.

The chamber and its service corporation are the official providers of health-insurance services for many partner chambers in the region including ROOST, the Saranac Lake Area Chamber, the Malone Chamber, the Ticonderoga Area Chamber, the Schroon Lake Chamber, the Whiteface Region Business and Tourism Center, the Indian Lake Chamber, the Adirondacks Speculator Region Chamber, the Gore Mountain Region Chamber, the Tupper Lake Chamber, the North Warren Chamber and the Stony Creek Chamber.

For information, answers to questions about the new health-insurance market, or assistance with enrollment, contact Sandra Duquette or Kelli Hewson at the chamber at 563-1000.

Benefits breakfast

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Chamber of Commerce is hosting a free benefits breakfast on March 11 from 8 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 7061 Route 9, Plattsburgh.

Whether new to the chamber or a long-time member, there are probably a number of benefits and services that haven’t been discovered yet. It is now more important than ever to take advantage of everything that is available. This informational meeting will cover the many ways the chamber can help businesses succeed, including cost-saving opportunities, ways to meet potential customers and more. They will also give an overview of chamber activities regarding tourism promotion, government affairs, small-business support and economic development.

For those not yet a member of the chamber, this is an opportunity to learn more about the organization and find out what the chamber can do.

This free breakfast is open to all members of the chamber as well as “not-yet members” who are interested in learning more about the many benefits and services offered. To RSVP or for more information, call the chamber at 563-1000.

Hospital awards

PLATTSBURGH — Forty-seven upstate New York hospitals and health centers last year earned $24.5 million in quality-improvement incentive payments from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as part of the health insurer’s Hospital Performance Incentive Program (HPIP). In the past 10 years, quality performance incentives from Excellus BCBS have exceeded $169 million.

“With all the changes in health care brought about by the Affordable Care Act, we applaud our hospital partners for continuing to focus on improving the quality of care and patient safety,” said Carrie Frank, vice president of quality and health informatics at Excellus BCBS.

Ten hospitals in the Utica/Rome/North Country Region participated in this program in 2013, including Adirondack Medical Center and CVPH Medical Center.

“With the financial pressures being faced by hospitals, particularly in upstate New York, many of us would not be able to devote the resources necessary for these very valuable projects without the assistance Excellus BCBS provided,” said Dr. Albert D’Accurzio, vice president of medical affairs at St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

Areas targeted for improvement include clinical processes of care focused on improvements in heart-attack care, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care; patient safety, centered on reductions in hospital-acquired infections, falls, pressure ulcers, readmissions and other adverse events or errors that affect patient care; and patient satisfaction, using the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, which is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care 

“Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has continued to reward improvements in quality through our contracts with hospitals,” Frank said. “These improvements also have the effect of lowering the costs of care, which is critical to hospitals in this environment.”

Building seminar

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh Housing Outlet Inc. will hold a Home Building Seminar on Thursday, March 20, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Dino’s Pizza, 795 Route 3 (next to Wilson Appliance) 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 and there is no cost or obligation. Participants (adults only) must RSVP ahead of time, as space is limited and the room has been at capacity the last several times. 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.

Mardi Gras celebration

PLATTSBURGH — Behavorial Health Services North’s 12th Annual Mardi Gras North will be held today at Anthony’s Restaurant & Bistro on Route 3 in Plattsburgh from 5 to 8 p.m. with masks, beads, live Dixieland jazz music and lots of good times with friends and neighbors.

Participants may join this year’s Mardi Gras North Royalty, John and Sharon Schenkel, along with about a hundred fun-loving business professionals from around the North Country.

Costumes are encouraged. Attendees may bring their own mask or choose among the many provided along with colorful beads.

Tickets are available by calling 563-8206, Ext. 139, or online by clicking the Donate button at