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December 18, 2017 - 5:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, steve hawley.
Press release:
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today criticized Gov. Cuomo’s new proposal to mandate businesses pay the same minimum wage to tipped workers as other employees in their region.
The plan calls for the New York State Department of Labor to hold hearings to gain input on the issue.
Gov. Cuomo signed legislation in 2016 that increases the minimum wage in New York City, Long Island and Westchester to $15 per hour by 2021 and at least $12.50 per hour for the rest of the state.
“The governor’s war on small businesses continues with this new proposal,” Hawley said. “Many workers in the service industry are competitively compensated due to the large share of their income that is comprised of tips.
"By allowing our employees to be paid by tips we are letting their performance and work ethic determine their income to a large extent which raises standards across the industry and provides a better quality of service. Another minimum wage hike will surely be a blow to small businesses and stifle job creation when what we need is tax and regulatory reform to allow these companies to thrive.”
December 17, 2017 - 3:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, lawley.

Press release:

Lawley, for the second year in a row, has been named a Best Place to Work in Insurance  in the annual list by the magazine "Business Insurance."

The company was honored in the medium-sized category (250-999 employees). The award recognizes employers for their outstanding performance in establishing workplaces where employees can thrive, enjoy their work and help their companies grow.

Lawley, a family-oriented company, has built its culture around an internal wellness program focused on both physical and mental health benefits. The company offers a number of perks to employees, including:

  • Annual Employee Appreciation Week
  • On-site biometric screenings and complementary yoga classes
  • College scholarship programs and paid trainings/certifications
  • Summer hours

"We pride ourselves on investing in our most valuable asset – our people. Our success as a company is due to our ability to offer remarkable service and build relationships, which ultimately starts with treating our employees well,” said Bill Lawley, Jr., managing partner at Lawley. “We make it a top-priority to provide the resources, culture and environment to ensure time spent at work is rewarding, educational and fun.”

Lawley is deeply committed to the communities they serve. Social responsibility is a priority and has direct, positive impact on those communities. Lawley employees spend a significant time throughout the year giving back locally.

In addition to being named a Best Place to Work by Business Insurance, Lawley has been recognized as a Top Work Place by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and named to Buffalo Business First’s Best Place to Work list for more than eight years.

“Being named to Business Insurance's list of the Best Places to Work in Insurance for 2017 demonstrates that Lawley has built a culture in which employees are supported and engaged, which benefits their customers and the employers’ financial performance,” says "Business Insurance" Publisher Peter Oxner.

Best Places to Work in Insurance is an annual feature that lists the agents, brokers, insurance companies and other providers with the highest levels of employee engagement and satisfaction.

Harrisburg, Pa.-based Best Companies Group identifies the leading employers in the insurance industry by conducting a free two-part assessment of each company. The first part is a questionnaire completed by the employer about company policies, practices and demographics. The second part is a confidential employee survey on engagement and satisfaction.

The program divides employers into the categories of small, 25-249 employees; medium, 250-999 employees; and large, 1,000 or more employees.

This year’s report features 75 companies of various sizes, from 25 employees to more than 4,000. The ranking and profiles of the winning companies were published in the magazine and online at

Lawley is a privately-owned, independent regional insurance firm specializing in property, casualty and personal insurance, employee benefits and risk management consulting and ranked among the 100 Largest Insurance Brokers in the United States, according to "Business Insurance" magazine.

For more than 60 years, Lawley’s team of more than 375 associates have developed customized property, casualty, surety and benefits insurance programs for businesses and municipalities of all sizes along with personalized protection for individuals and their families.

December 16, 2017 - 2:45pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Anthony Angotti, president and owner of Beers of the World in Batavia (a business of Angotti Beverage Corp.) was honored Dec. 2 with the Star District Award by the Knights of Columbus.

Angotti is the only member in New York State to receive this recognition and one of only 18 members worldwide to achieve this designation.

The Star District Award goes to district deputies attaining 100 percent or more of their district’s membership and insurance quotas, and, in addition, at least one of their active councils must attain one of the levels of Star Council.

Anthony Angotti joined the Knights of Columbus Our Lady of the Genesee Council #4812 in April 1993. It was shortly thereafter he became Deputy Grand Knight and then Grand Knight for the same council. During his elected position as Grand Knight, fundraising for those in need were among many of Tony’s responsibilities.

In 1995, he took his 4th degree and then became Navigator at the Bishop Kearney Assembly. He was assigned to guide the 4th degree assembly for two years including fundraising for the Canandaigua VA Hospital. At that time, he also became a Knight of Columbus Color Guard and then went on to become Assistant Commander. The Color Guard’s presence is mainly known at the Greater Rochester International Airport during the arrivals of the Honor Flights. They also perform the Memorial Day and Veterans Day Missing Man Ceremony in Canandaigua.

Tony was elected to the position of Trustee, and then shortly thereafter was appointed the position of District Deputy which he has held since 2014. He oversees five councils within Monroe County including, Our Lady of the Genesee Council #4812 in Henrietta, St. Louis Council #15833 in Pittsford, Ascension Council at St. James #15638 in Irondequoit, St. Stanislaus Council #9326 in the City of Rochester, and St. John of Rochester Council #15917 in Fairport.

His duties include ensuring that all of the Councils have the proper paperwork for the Knights of Columbus State Office, fundraising for the VA hospitals and collecting money and goods for Coats for Kids. Tony also is a member of a group of Knights that purchases or refurbishes chalices to be given as gifts to newly ordained priests.

“After immigrating to the United States 62 years ago, we left our native land with nothing but what we could carry by hand on the boat and no money in our pockets," Angotti said. "I will never forget those that helped us when we arrived and because of that I will forever be grateful. I have a great appreciation for this land and the Veterans that have fought for our freedom.

"It has been such a pleasure being a part of an organization as the Knights of Columbus. My membership has afforded me the opportunity to repay my appreciation by helping those in need especially the veterans of the United States."

About the Knights of Columbus

With more than 1.8 million members, is the world’s largest lay Catholic fraternal service organization. It provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, its’ pastors and their community. The guiding principles of the order are: Charity; Unity; Fraternity; and, Patriotism.

December 15, 2017 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, batavia, news, business.


The same technology that is changing how you watch a basketball game or movie on your home television is also making surgery safer and more efficient at United Memorial Medical Center.

Two operating rooms at UMMC have been outfitted with a 4K camera system from Olympus and 4K large-screen monitors from Sony.

"We are one of the few hospitals in the region who has it," said Dr. Andrea Zucchiatti, a surgeon at UMMC. "Nobody in Buffalo has it. Nobody in Syracuse has it. Nobody in Albany has it. They have one in Auburn and Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong has it and we have it."

The medical camera is an improvement over previous high-definition systems not only because of the higher and more detailed resolution but also because more light can get in through the lens, allowing for brighter exposures in dimly lit areas of a human body.

Zucchiatti said the technology allows surgery to be performed faster -- the patient is under sedation and in the operating room for less time -- and incisions can be smaller.

"We can perform safer and more efficient surgeries," Zucchiatti said.


December 13, 2017 - 1:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Announcements, Seniors, Health Care, Premier Genesee.

Press release:

Premier Genesee (the former Genesee County Nursing Home) has named a new administrator, Christine Schaller, and a new Director of Nursing, Mihael Toole, RN.

Schaller, who served at the administrator of the home between 2012-16, lives in Batavia.

Toole, who most recently served as director of Quality Assurance for Avanti, resides in Hamburg.

The new management team plans a series of new services and community events in 2018 to serve the care needs of seniors in Batavia and our Western New York neighbors.

There are plans to offer Respiratory Therapy Services and expended in-patient and out-patient therapy programs.

Adult Day Health Services will continue to be offered as well as skilled nursing and long-term care.

Premier Genesee welcomes the opportunity to be a part of the fabric of Batavia.

December 9, 2017 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Adam Miller Toys & Bicycles, batavia, news, business, downtown.


Carter McClellan, 15 months old, wasn't too happy during his first visit with Santa today at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle.

Santa visited Adam Miller so the store could provide a free visit and a chance to get pictures with Santa for customers who came in the store today.

Penelope Ortiz, 18 months, below, was also a little unsure of the Santa thing, but didn't cry.

Chase McClellan, 7, was quite ready to let Santa know what tops his Christmas wish list.




December 9, 2017 - 7:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, batavia, business, news.


Bill Hume popped up in Falleti Ice Arena today with a "pop up store" for Foxprowl.

It's the second time he's set up a retail location in Falleti and he said later this month he will do what he's calling a "flash store" inside Record Revival on East Main Street.

Earlier this year, Hume shut down his permanent retail store at Jackson and Main, Batavia, but sees the trend for "pop up stores," which are common in metropolitan areas, as something he would like to see catch on Batavia.

December 9, 2017 - 4:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, business, richmond library, computers.

Press release:

Once again Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia will be offering a series of computer classes designed for those who are finally ready to take the plunge and learn the ins and outs of computers and those who would like to improve their computer skills. There is no charge.

Registration is required and can be done by stopping at the library or calling 343-9550.;

The library is located at 19 Ross St.

Email Start to Finish: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m on Tuesday, Jan. 16

  • Learn about email and sign up for a new account, if desired. If you already have an email address log into it and let’s get the most from it.

​​Windows 10: from 1 to 4 p.m.​ on Tuesday, Jan. 16

  • Introduction to Windows 10, the latest operating system from Microsoft. Use our machine or bring your Windows 10 machine.

Facebook Combo: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18

  • Learn about Facebook and sign up for an account, if desired. If you already have an account, let’s get the most from it.

​Gadgets and Gear/Open Access: from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18

  • Bring your questions and gadgets! Ereaders, phones, laptops, tablets!

Gaga for Google! Cut, Copy, Paste!: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 5

  • Do you use Google? This powerful tool is more than a search engine! We’ll explore some of its many uses. Please note: This class is for people who are very comfortable using the Internet, and also navigating Web pages. We will also copy information from the Internet into the Microsoft Word program.

Internet Resources: Safety, Security, Fun!: from 1 to 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 5

  • Take your Internet experience to the next level! Examine Youtube, Twitter, Wikipedia, and your Library Catalog! Help keep your computer, yourself, and your loved ones safer while surfing. Class includes Downloadables with Apps.

Flash Drives/File Management: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6

  • This class focuses on saving, moving, and retrieving any file on a Windows-based computer. We will learn how to add new folders to the computer, and rename both folders and individual files, with a focus on saving, renaming and deleting documents.
December 9, 2017 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in tompkins financial corporation, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Corporation has named Abby Peterson as Marketing Communications Manager.

Peterson will be responsible for overseeing the marketing communications efforts for Tompkins Financial’s four community banks: Tompkins Bank of Castile in Western NY, Tompkins Trust Company in Central NY, Tompkins Mahopac Bank in the Hudson Valley, and Tompkins VIST Bank in Southeastern Pennsylvania. She will be based in the company’s Ithaca headquarters.

“Abby's experience in the marketing industry, her time with Tompkins Financial and her deep commitment to our communities and customers will allow her to excel in this roll," said Susan Valenti, EVP, Marketing, Sales and Service. "I look forward to her continued contribution to our organization."

Prior to joining Tompkins as a Marketing Communications Business Partner in 2016, Peterson served as a marketing and public relations specialist at Hagan Associates in Vermont, where she planned and managed marketing and public relations initiatives for multiple clients. She received her bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Ithaca College in 2011 and has resided in Ithaca with her wife since 2013.

Peterson is an active member in the community and serves on the Downtown Ithaca Alliance Board of Directors and marketing committees, and the Historic Ithaca Development Committee. She is also a Leadership Tompkins Graduate, and Fab5 Planning Committee Member/Tompkins Trust Company Representative.

About Tompkins Financial Corporation

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Ithaca, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Tompkins VIST Bank, Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors.

For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit

December 9, 2017 - 3:15pm

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, in collaboration with Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, will be offering a CDL Training Program for Genesee County agriculture producers and their employees for Class A and Class B licenses.

This training program is designed for producers and farm employees that have some experience with commercial truck operation.

An informational meeting will be held on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building at 420 E. Main St., Batavia.

This meeting will explain how the program works and answer any questions you may have. The required training materials and medical forms will be passed out at this time.

Classroom instruction dates are Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building in Batavia. Drive time will be scheduled with the instructor at a later date.

Full payment (check or cash) is due at the class on Jan. 31st. The cost for Class A is $625 and the cost for Class B is $475.

Class size is limited. Registration is required and will be accepted until Jan. 23rd or until the class is full.

For more information or to register, contact Jan Berlinger at 343-3040, ext. 132 or Brandie Waite at ext. 101.

December 7, 2017 - 4:09pm

Clean Cut Barbershop in the City of Batavia is offering $5 off a haircut from Dec. 12-16 IF you donate a new, unwrapped toy or gift suitable for a child age 6 months to 16 years old.

The donations received will benefit the nonprofit Hillside Children's Center in Batavia (located at 50 City Centre).

Bring your donation to the city's newest barbershop at 466 Ellicott St.

Co-owner Joey Williams says the guys there are "always looking to spread love in the city and do positive things for kids."

The event that starts next Tuesday will add to their list of good deeds, which also includes giving away back-to-school supplies, breast cancer awareness month events, customer appreciation days and more.

"We want to make this event as big and impactful as possible," Williams says.

December 7, 2017 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in The Manor House, batavia, news, business.


Braelynn Cook, 4, received a free scarf from Leanne Mullen, owner of Tahoe Pines Custom Sewing and Design, yesterday during the St. Nick’s Christmas Bazaar at the Manor House.

This was the first year the Manor House hosted the bazaar and Braelynn was there with her mother, another vendor, and Mullen thought she deserved a scarf​ for being a good girl during the event.

The bazaar was open to the community as well as Manor House residents to help with Christmas shopping.



December 7, 2017 - 10:00am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Parson's Place, news, Attica, business.


When 25-year-old Nikki McMahon’s grandmother was reaching retirement, she decided last month to take over Parson’s Place, a Christian book and gifts store her grandmother started in Attica.

Sally Harding, McMahon’s grandmother, launched the business in 1991. It's located at 11157 Alexander Road on Route 98. McMahon started working for her grandmother during busy seasons and breaks during schooling.

“I’ve been around Parson’s Place my whole life,” McMahon said. “I wanted to see this place go on. I didn’t want to see it end with her.”

McMahon has traveled to Europe, lived in North Carolina and Florida for a period of time, but grew up in Attica, down the street from her grandmother.

After taking over the business, McMahon decided that she wanted to create more of an online presence for the store.

“I’ve been posting on Facebook more,” McMahon said. “We are also on Google now. So, when you search ‘Christian Book Stores’ Parson’s Place shows up. It’s been helping a lot.”

More things are also being added online to their website, located here, including an online store.

“I’m hoping we have a more thriving online store eventually,” McMahon said.

McMahon is trying to think outside the box with advertising and other things to get the word out about the store. An open house was held a couple weeks ago, which was popular, McMahon said.

“I’m just hoping to bring in some newer things,” McMahon said. “I’m focusing on inspirational gifts rather than books. Even though we do still have the books, the gifts are more popular right now. I want to bring the influence of the next generation into the store.”

McMahon said being a young business owner is a lot more work than she anticipated.

“Honestly, it’s great working for myself,” McMahon said. “It's rewarding and I love talking to customers that come into the store.”

Parson’s Place is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“My grandma opened this store as a source of inspiration in ministry for Western New York,” McMahon said. “I intend to do the same for as long as I can.”

December 6, 2017 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, business.

Press release:

According to the findings of a new poll commissioned by Batavia Downs Gaming, Western New Yorkers overwhelming believe that all gaming facilities in Western New York should be taxed at the same level. Sixty-nine percent of Western New Yorkers support changing the tax code to ensure tax fairness. In addition, twice as many respondents see Batavia Downs as a benefit to the local community.

“As the only municipally owned gaming facility in New York State, Batavia Downs Gaming is not only a strong economic driver for Western New York, but it provides critical funding for community development which creates jobs, keeps Western New York families safe and helps to offset tax increases for residents,” said Michael Nolan, chief operation officer of Batavia Downs Gaming WROTB.

“Unfortunately, Batavia Downs Gaming is losing critically needed revenue because we pay the highest tax rate of any Western New York gaming facility. As this survey demonstrates, Western New Yorkers understand the positive impact we have on the community and want to see a change in the tax code to ensure tax fairness.”

This survey was conducted Dec. 2-3, with a margin of error of +/- 2.12 percent, with a 95 percent level of confidence. 2,133 likely 2018 general election voters who live in the 15 Western New York counties that own and operate Batavia Downs Gaming participated in the survey.

The full survey, complete with crosstabs and methodology, can be viewed here.


Buffalo News: OTB chief: Higher tax at Batavia Downs means lower payments to local WNY governments
Niagara Gazette: OTB officials make case for lower tax rate
Buffalo News Column: Another Voice: Publicly owned gaming facility is taxed unfairly


December 5, 2017 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, business, ferrellgas.

Press release:

As a company that serves the propane needs of hundreds of local homes, businesses, and farms, Ferrellgas knows a thing or two about keeping the members of this community warm.

This year, the company is once again asking local residents to partner with them to spread even more warmth throughout the area.

Now through Jan.12, Ferrellgas is collecting new and gently used coats, hats, scarves, and gloves and putting them in the hands of the less fortunate members of our community.

Donations can be given to Ferrellgas drivers or brought to the Ferrellgas office at 655 Ellicott St. At the end of the coat drive, Ferrellgas will donate items collected to one or more local charities.

“Dropping off that coat you’ve had in the back of your closet or a new pair of mittens may seem like a small thing to do, but it can have a big impact in the lives of our fellow community members," said Douglas Muha, Ferrellgas general manager. "For some families, a warm coat is a luxury that cannot be taken for granted, and we are grateful for all the donations that will be collected to meet this critical need."

Muha said his team has once again selected Community Action as the beneficiary of the local Ferrellgas’ office’s coat-collection efforts.

Local residents do NOT have to be Ferrellgas customers to participate in the donation drive.

For more information about this effort, please visit

December 5, 2017 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Valu Home Center, batavia, news, business.


The staff at Valu Home Center in Valu Plaza, Batavia, are looking to spread Christmas cheer to those who might need a little extra help this holiday season. They've set up a donation box and Christmas tree they're asking people to help decorate with a new hat, scarf, gloves or socks.

Submitted Photo: Store Manager Barbara Nichols, Floor Manager Amber Stearns, associates Hunter Lin and Maureen Smith, and Project Director Jeff Donahue.

December 4, 2017 - 10:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in business.

Press release:

Hodgins Engraving today (Dec. 4) announced Becky Almeter has been named President, effective immediately. As President, Almeter will have responsibility for all company operations and will report directly to outgoing President, Bob Hodgins.

“We are privileged to have Becky on board.  Her energy, enthusiasm, and industry knowledge will help us take the company to the next level” former-President Bob Hodgins said. “I couldn’t be more proud to turn over the operations of the company I have nurtured for 34 years, to Becky.” Bob will remain with the company in an advisory capacity.

Almeter, 34, is an 11-year veteran of Hodgins Engraving and has served as General Manager since 2014. 

Since coming to Hodgins Engraving in 2007, Almeter has held various positions including Production Manager and Customer Service Manager. She has also played a major role in overseeing the company’s efforts in restructuring their online presence.

In addition, Almeter has been instrumental in leading the company through a new production management and CRM software implementation. Under Almeter’s leadership, Hodgins Engraving has shown continuous improvement in their internal operations and customer service capabilities.

“I am excited and honored to continue my family’s tradition of entrepreneurship. I look forward to continuing to provide all of the excellent products and services that the Hodgins name has become associated with through the work of my father, Bob, and grandfather, John,” Almeter said. “I am privileged to work with a great team of people who make this job fun and fulfilling every day, and I am excited for our future.”

About Becky Almeter

Becky Almeter has been with Hodgins Engraving since 2007. She holds bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Spanish from Eckerd College. 

About Hodgins Engraving

Hodgins Engraving, located in Batavia (NY) is an industry-leading international producer of high-end, custom print products. 


December 1, 2017 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Auto Wash, batavia, business, news.


A third-generation carwash operator is breathing new life into a car wash on West Main Street Road, Batavia, that has sat empty and unused for years.

Bobby Marchenese, whose family has long operated a car wash in Canandaigua, said he and his crew are replacing all of the equipment in the car wash with the latest high-tech car-washing machines.

This is the fifth location for Marchenese. Besides Canandaigua, he has locations in Tonawanda and Geneva and will soon open a location in Auburn.

"We had our eye on the market for a while," Marchenese said. "We tried to contact the previous owner several times, no response, then we noticed the for sale sign one day so we called and we were able to put a deal together."

The location operates under the brand name Auto Wash and Marchenese believes he and his team will have the facility ready for its first wash within three weeks.

The car wash will be fully automated. When vehicles pull in, a computer will profile the vehicle's height so the wash area can be adjusted. This eliminates the need to hand-prep the car for the wash. The machines themselves are variable speed with soft starts. All of the lighting is LED.

"We will have the most energy-efficient car wash out there," Marchenese said. 

The end of the wash is fully automated, too.

"With the advanced technology we’ll be using we won’t actually towel dry cars,"  Marchenese said. "We have an automated drying system at the end of the car wash after the blowers, so that will dry the vehicle as it goes through."

Photo: Greg Farkas, Ryan Schmeer, Bobby Marchenese, and Zach Letta. Letta will manage the Batavia location.

November 27, 2017 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Olympia Sports, business, batavia.


Olympia Sports, a national retail chain with a location in the Tops Plaza, is closing its Batavia location.

November 25, 2017 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia's original, batavia, business, news.


Kathy Ferrara, with her husband, Dan, children Marygrace, Daniel, Ashley, and grandson Brently, celebrated her purchase of Batavia's Original earlier this week.

After thanking the community, employees, and her family for their support, there was a ribbon cutting outside.

Previously: Batavia's Original, formerly Pontillo's, returns to local ownership

Note about the ribbon-cutting pictures. I messed up and forgot to change my camera settings when we shifted from inside to outside, so my ribbon-cutting photo was overexposed. Below there is a picture from the Kelly Birmingham of the Chamber of Commerce, and my photo in black and white.




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