Spotlight on Business: Nov. 21, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDEDSeaComm Federal Credit Union officials pose for a photo during a late October event where the bank recently covered the cost of apples and donuts at Banker Orchards. Pictured is (from left) Assistant Vice President of Retail Operations & Regional Manager Yvonne Alterie, SeaComm Marketing-Communications Specialist Tyler LeBoeuf, Banker Orchards Patron Nicole Gillespie and SeaComm Business Development Representative Jonathan Manor. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, the first 200 individuals to arrive at the orchard received either one peck of apples or one dozen donuts for free. The gesture was part of the credit union’s Pay-It-Forward Program, which enabled SeaComm staff to perform random acts of kindness in the communities they serve. 

Tri-county Literacy Volunteers receive grant

PLATTSBURGH — Literacy Volunteers of Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties received a generous grant from the International Paper Foundation, which will go towards Literacy Volunteers’ life skills curriculum.

Founded in 1972, Literacy Volunteers has made it their mission to empower residents who seek to improve their literacy skills, including reading, writing and speaking, as well as math and High School Equivalency prep. Literacy Volunteers provides one-on-one tutoring for both basic literacy and English language learners. Services are delivered free of charge by well-trained tutors and staff who assist learners in achieving their personal, educational and job-related goals.

The International Paper Foundation is one of the ways International Paper strives to reach its vision to be among the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world. Started in 1952, the foundation annually provides millions in grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to address critical needs in the communities where its employees live and work. Funding priority is given to programs related to its signature causes: education, hunger, health & wellness, disaster relief and initiatives that improve the planet.

Throughout the past year, Literacy Volunteers of Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties has continued its commitment to community residents by adapting to online learning formats. Both individual tutoring sessions and group classes are available through various platform including, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp and others. Literacy Volunteers has also mailed out learning materials for those without access to the internet, ensuring that all learners have the ability to continue to achieve their literacy goals.

“In the Adirondacks, and across rural America, residents are struggling with financial instability and social isolation. Inadequate education and insufficient literacy skills are among the root causes of this struggle,” Executive Director Linda Carela said. "It is critical to the region's viability that we address literacy so residents can secure a living wage, make sound health and financial decisions, and participate in the community.

"Our grant from International Paper will help Literacy Volunteers of Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties develop & implement life skills by incorporating financial, health, parenting & employment instruction into lessons."


Castine Properties adds new team member

PLATTSBURGH — Castine Properties recently announced the addition Jason Greer. Greer joined the team as a real estate salesperson.

He was born in Bozeman, Mont. and spent his childhood years following his dad around job sites learning the ins and outs of homebuilding and property management. He later spent a few years in Hemmingford, Quebec where he finished his high school education and met his wife, Vanessa. They attended college together and later started Greer Cicarelli Photography and settled with their two kids in Plattsburgh. 

Greer has remodeled his own homes and owns two rental properties that he fully renovated himself, as well. After 20 years successfully running his own photography business, COVID struck, and he decided to diversify. With a lifelong love of real estate, this next step was a no-brainer. He is fully confident that he can, in fact, wear both hats and that his photography skills will be nothing more than an edge in making his listings look as polished as possible.


Elizabethtown Hospital welcomes new Board of Trustees members

ELIZABETHTOWN — The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital recently announced the election of Terri Morse and Dr. Joseph Bogardus to its Board of Trustees. The new members were formally elected by the UVM Health Network Board in September and will begin their three-year terms in January.

Elizabethtown Community Hospital is a designated critical access hospital and the primary health care provider serving the 39,000 people who live, work and vacation in Essex County and the surrounding region. The hospital is one of the community’s largest employers with 350 employees. Across its campuses, it maintains two 24-hour emergency rooms, a 25-bed inpatient unit, physical therapy, laboratory, and digital radiology departments, and a variety of specialty physician clinics.  

The University of Vermont Health Network is an academic health system that is comprised of six affiliate hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and a home health agency. We serve the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives.

Morse worked for Essex County Mental Health Services for 15 years, including three years as Director of Mental Health and Community Services. Prior to her work with the county, she served as a counselor at St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers. She has also served as a board member for Families First and the Mental Health Association of Essex County.

“Terri brings a wealth of experience in mental health services and will help strengthen our commitment to integrating behavioral health into all we do. With his decades of leadership in the pharmaceutical industry, Joe will be a tremendous asset to the Elizabethtown Community Hospital Board of Trustees,” Board Chair Dominic Eisinger said.

After more than 40 years in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Bogardus moved to Keene where he is a consultant for KeenePharma, a pharmaceutical product development firm.

John Remillard, president of Elizabethtown Community Hospital, said, “the expertise and energy our new members bring will be vital to our Board and help further the hospital’s mission.”

The UVM Health Network Board also confirmed Susan Allott as Chair, Evan George as Vice Chair, Steven Cacchio as Treasurer, and David Shelmidine as Secretary of the Elizabethtown Community Hospital Board of Trustees. Rolly Allen and Mike Diskin were re-elected to a one-year term; Margie Emery-Ginn to a two-year term; and Susan Allott, David Shelmidine, and Steven Cacchio to a three-year term.

All terms begin January 1, 2021. 


Small Biz Center launches Buy Local or Bye-Bye Local campaign

PLATTSBURGH — The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and regional partners launched a Buy Local or Bye-Bye Local campaign, which was meant to bring awareness to consumers on how crucial it is to shop locally, especially for the upcoming holiday season and the slower winter months. 

The shop local educational campaign will highlight gift ideas that can be purchased locally and feature small businesses that continue to operate with significant restrictions placed on them including restaurants, salons and spas, bowling alleys, movie theaters, gyms, non-profits, breweries and more.

The SBDC has partnered with business organizations across seven counties, including the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce, Franklin County IDA/LDC, Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, the Saint Lawrence County Chamber and the Essex County IDA. The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) is another partner as an extension of its #clicklocal campaign, which encourages North Country residents to consider shopping local even when they are online.

"Thinking local is so important for our communities," Ti Chamber President and CEO Matthew Courtright said. "When you spend local you are supporting your friends, family, neighbors and the future of your community. Whether you are eating local, shopping local, utilizing local services, attending events, or just showing your support by sharing a local businesses or organizations posts. It all makes a huge difference."

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