June 10, 2014
Economic Development Organization Presents Annual Activity Summary, Achievement Awards
Operation Oswego County (OOC) held its 62nd annual meeting at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center, Tuesday, June 10.
Kevin LaMontagne, president of the OOC board of directors, welcomed more than 160 representatives of businesses, government, education, labor and other ally organizations to the meeting.
Key note presenter Zelko Kirincich, Executive Director of the Port of Oswego Authority, highlighted plans to increase activity at the port, efforts to market the port and several enhancement projects that are scheduled to begin in 2014, including improved rail access and service, improved marina construction, and the installation of solar panels that will enable the port to be energy independent. As the first port of call in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, the Port of Oswego is part of over 2,300 miles of water transportation from Duluth, Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean and a key logistical asset for Oswego County.
L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of OOC, reported that in 2013, projects assisted by OOC resulted in the creation or retention of 920 jobs with over $263 million in capital investment associated with 50 new, expanded or retained facilities.
Treadwell noted that, over the last few years, there have been six projects representing significant foreign investment in Oswego County including SAM North America (South Korea), Teti Bakery USA (Canada), K&N's Foods USA (Pakistan), Novelis (India), Huhtamaki (Finland), and Felix Schoeller (Germany). These projects represent a total investment of $434 million and will create/or retain 640 manufacturing jobs in Oswego County.
Treadwell also outlined several future projects and initiatives in progress including the Next Great Idea Business Plan Competition in Oswego County, the expansion of Fred Raynor Ford in the City of Fulton, the redevelopment of a vacant hardware store in Town of Hastings by Design Concepts and Enterprises, the development of an office/warehouse on a 3.2 acre lot in the Airport Industrial Park by Doty Contracting in the Town of Volney, the development of the Central New York Raceway Park in the Town of Hastings and the redevelopment of a vacant Phoenix CSD school into Pennelville Senior Living Center in the Town of Schroeppel.
Three business organizations, a successful entrepreneur and a long-standing economic development advocate were also honored for significant contributions to economic development and job creation in Oswego County.
The Ally Award for 2014 was presented to Empire State Development Corporation, in recognition and appreciation of its significant contribution to the economic development process in Oswego County. Empire State Development Corporation was recognized for its outstanding support in helping to finance economic development projects since 2010 that will result in over $400 million in capital investment and the creation and retention of 950 jobs for such businesses as Central New York Raceway Park, Northland Filter, Southern Graphic Systems, Novelis Corporation, Felix Schoeller North America, Design Concepts and Enterprises, K&N's Foods USA, Stevedore Lofts, Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, Kallet Theater, Champlain Valley Specialty and Teti Bakery USA. They were also recognized as an essential partner in advancing and diversifying the economy in Oswego County.
The Business Excellence Award for 2014 was presented to Pathfinder Industries in recognition for demonstrating adaptation, commitment and perseverance in overcoming a devastating fire on March 9, 2013 to rebuild a new 18,228 sf plant in the City of Fulton, for the outstanding and dedicated leadership of the company that preserved 26 manufacturing jobs and that has continued the life of the third-generation family owned business, for its outstanding reputation of providing excellent customer service, quality parts and on-time delivery and for doing business in Fulton and Oswego County for 43 years.
The 2014 Jobs Award, recognizing significant capital investment as well as job creation and retention, was presented to Felix Schoeller North America for its significant contribution to the Oswego County and Central New York economies by investing in a $6.3 million expansion of its world class paper converting center in the Town of Richland, for creating more than 150 new manufacturing jobs, for being the 4th largest manufacturing employer in the County with 290 employees and for its 50 year history of doing business in Oswego County, NY.
Gregory A. Furlong and Patrick D. Furlong, Jr. received OOC's 2014 Dee Heckethorn Entrepreneur Award. The Furlongs were recognized for their exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and dedication to fostering economic and community growth through excellence in commercial and housing construction, being a catalyst to advancing Premier Living Suites, a 40,000 sf, 18 apartment student housing project in the City of Oswego, and for spearheading modular construction for housing and commercial use via Furdi's Homes, a family owned business started in 1979 and run by Gregory and Patrick since 2002. They were also recognized as owners of numerous rental properties including Utica Court Office Complex and developers of two major housing subdivisions that will represent 45 lots in the City of Oswego.
Ann C. Gilpin was honored with the 2014 Martin Rose Economic Developer Merit Award for her outstanding record of exhibiting leadership, vision, passion and dedication to advancing the transformation of healthcare services in Oswego County. Ann was recognized for serving as president and CEO of the largest private employer in Oswego County, Oswego Health, with over 1,200 employees, for expanding access to high quality healthcare services with the construction of the Fulton and Central Square Medical Centers and the expansion of Oswego Hospital, for serving on numerous boards and committees that play a vital role in community and economic development such as Operation Oswego County, Inc., CenterState CEO, Central NY Area Health Education Center and the Advisory Board for SUNY Oswego's MBA Program in Health Services Administration, and for playing an integral role in improving the quality of life in Oswego County, N.Y.
The OOC board of directors re-elected board members Pete Cullinan, Entergy; William Galloway, Century-21 Galloway Realty; Ann Gilpin, Oswego Health; Jeffery Grimshaw, SUNY Oswego Office of Business & Community Relations; Theresa Himes, Bosco & Geers Food Market; Daniel Murphy, Integrys Energy Services; Bruce Phelps, Fulton Tool Company; and Nancy Weber, Mexican Pride Farm.
The OOC board of directors also elected Zelko Kirincich, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority ; John Kleis, owner of Kleis Equipment; John Sharkey IV, vice president of Universal Metal Works; and Mike Leszczynski, owner of Dynamic Automotive & Home Accessories to the board.
A new slate of officers was also elected including Kevin LaMontagne, The Fulton Companies, as president; Barbara Bateman, NBT Bank, as vice president; Thomas Greco, Fulton Savings Bank, as treasurer; and Michael Quenville, Pathfinder Bank, as secretary.
For more information about economic development services in Oswego County, call OOC at 343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org.