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November 10, 2017 - 4:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Mercy Flight, M&T Bank, business.

Photo courtesy of Sam Kuminecz.

Press release:

It is with great enthusiasm that Mercy Flight Inc., which provides service in Genesee County, announces a major EMS helicopter acquisition: three new 2017 Bell 429 helicopters.

This significant fleet upgrade will help sustain Mercy Flight’s commitment to bringing expert and unparalleled medical care with rapid response for many years to come.

In late October, Mercy Flight signed a Purchase Agreement and placed a deposit with Bell Helicopter for the new helicopters. This opportunity was made possible through a combined $23 million long-term lending effort from the USDA Rural Development Department and M&T Bank. These joint 20-year loans from the USDA and M&T Bank create an affordable option that will allow Mercy Flight to replace its four aging 1980s model BK-117 helicopters.

The helicopters are slated to be completed and delivered ready for EMS operations in the late Spring of 2018.

“These Bell 429s will represent a significant step in our goal to remain Western New York’s independent, nonprofit provider of emergency air medical services for many years to come,” said Mercy Flight’s Founding President and CEO Douglas Baker.

“Our current BK-117 helicopters have been pillars of our operation for a number of years, but this creative financing opportunity provided to us by the USDA’s Rural Development team and M&T Bank will allow us to retire these aging aircraft and replace them with more reliable, modern equipment.”

“USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities program is designed to assist nonprofit organizations just like Mercy Flight – with equipment like this,” said USDA Rural Development Loan Technician Sandra Snyder. “This funding builds on the USDA’s continued investment and commitment in rural communities throughout New York.

"While the added features, expanded service range, increased speed and state of the art capabilities of these new and dependable airframes are impressive, we at Rural Development in NY also believe the pilots, emergency technicians, dispatchers and ground teams are equally impressive.”

In 2010, Mercy Flight similarly collaborated with the USDA and M&T Bank for joint loans for the organization’s first Bell 429 helicopter. This aircraft has since proven its merit, as has Bell Helicopter’s customer service. Mercy Flight is looking forward to performing its lifesaving, nonprofit mission while flying exclusively Bell 429 helicopters.

“Mercy Flight’s decision to upgrade their existing fleet to all Bell 429’s reflects both the tremendous capabilities of the aircraft and the unrivaled support Bell Helicopter is known for,” said Ron Orndoff, Bell Helicopter Regional Sales Manager. “Their fleet of four aircraft will bring the total to 21 Bell 429’s operating in the Northeast U.S., representing every mission segment.”

Mercy Flight serves the Western New York Community and beyond with its fleet of five helicopters, twenty ambulances, six paramedic fly cars, and exclusive use of a dedicated Learjet to transport patients in need nationwide. Since 1981, Mercy Flight has safely completed more than 27,000 patient missions, including scene emergencies and inter-hospital transfers.


Mercy Flight Inc., d/b/a Mercy Flight of Western New York and Mercy EMS, is an independent nonprofit provider of medical transport services. It began in 1981 as the first medically-dedicated air ambulance service in New York State. Today, the charitable organization operates four helicopter bases staffed by pilots, flight paramedics and flight nurses in Buffalo (headquarters), Olean, Springville and Batavia.

Long distance air transports are conducted using a Learjet 31 and the same critical care medical teams that staff the helicopters. Flight physicians also join the team as needed based on the condition of the patient.

Mercy Flight’s ground ambulance division, Mercy EMS, provides service for Genesee County, Niagara County, and the Town of Concord and Village of Springville.

Together, the organization’s employees, now over 200 strong, support the mission of providing unparalleled, critical emergency care, in the air and on the ground, “WHEN MINUTES MATTER."

November 9, 2017 - 2:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, Announcements, job training, employment, GCC.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is accepting applications for Finger Lakes Hired Employment Program. This initiative includes career guidance and job search support, as well as potential funding for tuition and more for eligible applicants.

Applications for this program are due by Nov. 21.

The Finger Lakes Hired Employment Program (FLH), which established the grant, is part of a four-year, federally funded initiative operated in partnership with RochesterWorks! to place long-term unemployed individuals into local high-demand jobs. The FLH program stipulates that applicants must:

  • Have been out of work for six months (27 weeks) or more, or must be currently under-employed;
  • Be pursuing an academic program in Advanced Manufacturing, Health Care, or Information Technology;
  • Be on track to graduate the program by May 2018.

There are strict deadlines for training grant applicants. Individuals seeking assistance with non-credit courses must submit application and necessary documentation between now and Jan. 5.

Through The BEST Center, GCC currently offers several certificate programs in the industries the FLH grant targets. In the healthcare arena, the Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate Program, Patient Access & Registration Professional Certificate Program and the Phlebotomy Certificate Program are currently available. In addition, on the job training opportunities are also available for newly hired employees in the areas of IT and Advanced Manufacturing.

There are also training grants opportunities for college credit-bearing courses for returning GCC students to complete their degree by May of 2018. There are more than 15 potentially eligible academic degree programs available through GCC.

For assistance with the training grant application process contact: Andrew Gerber, liaison and case manager at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6002, or by email: [email protected](link sends e-mail), or Emily Cooper, education and employment specialist at 585-397-5807, or by email: [email protected](link sends e-mail).

For online details go The Finger Lakes Hired website: is external)

November 9, 2017 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in dri, downtown, batavia, business.

Press release:

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Local Planning Committee (LPC) will hold a meeting at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at City Hall in the Council Board Room, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia.

The City was awarded a $10 million DRI award from the State of New York to advance downtown revitalization and this is the first LPC meeting to introduce the DRI program, LPC members and next steps.

The program is administered by the New York State Department of State in coordination with the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal.

The meeting is open to public and persons attending will have an opportunity to speak at the end of the meeting.

November 9, 2017 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Feeds, batavia, business.


Genesee Feeds celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a party at Batavia Downs last night sponsored by Purina.

Photo: Joshua Fullmer, Josh Jr., Sunny Rathod, Thomas Winters, Henry Winters, Lee Winters, and Larry Love (representing Purina).

Previously: The Winters now in fourth generation in the feed business

November 9, 2017 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in T-Shirts Etc., batavia, business.


Twenty years ago, Brian and Beth Kemp went into the T-shirt printing business with a shop in the Harvester Center. Over 20 years, the business has grown, moving to bigger locations along the way, from Harvester and Main, to the former Newberry's Building on Main Street, to a large building on Center Street.

The Kemps celebrated the 20th Anniversary of T-Shirt's Etc. last night with an open house. Visitors were treated to hors d'oeuvres, a chance to print the back of their own T-shirt, see beanies embroidered and receive another commemorative T-shirt and glass.

November 8, 2017 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) announced that the agency was presented with the Edward J. Pawenski Business/Industry Partnership Award at the New York Community College Trustees (NYCCT) annual awards ceremony on Oct. 21. The GCEDC was nominated for the award by the Genesee Community College Board of Trustees.

The Edward J. Pawenski Business/Industry Partnership Award is the highest recognition that can be bestowed upon a business or individual and recognizes a partnership and commitment with a community college. Pawenski was one of the founding Trustees at Niagara County Community College.

“The growth and success of Genesee Community College is due in large part to our long-standing collaboration and partnership with the GCEDC,” said GCC President James M. Sunser, Ed.D. “We are training our students to meet the demands of the ever-changing workplace especially in the areas of advanced manufacturing in the agricultural and renewable energy sectors.”

The GCEDC and Genesee Community College have collaborated on programming and curriculum related to agribusiness and advanced manufacturing among others. The goal of the collaboration is to prepare the next generation of workers to fill jobs for businesses operating in the Genesee County Agri-Business Park and the anticipation of businesses opening in the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP).

“On behalf of our Board and staff, the GCEDC is honored to be recognized with such a prestigious award,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “Our partnership with Genesee Community College is critically important to our efforts to economic development efforts in Genesee County.”

The NYCCT is a voluntary nonprofit association of community college trustees established to strengthen the effectiveness of New York’s community college trustees as an active force in the development and implementation of public policy impacting community colleges. The NYCCT represents the appointed board members who govern the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.

November 7, 2017 - 3:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Empire Access, business.

Press release:

Empire Access, a leading telecommunications service provider based in the Finger Lakes region of New York, announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire the Axcess Ontario fiber ring. The Axcess Ontario fiber ring is a state-of-the-art 200-plus-mile open-access fiber-optic network in Ontario County in Upstate New York. The fiber ring offers telecommunications carriers access to a countywide fiber optic network with the ultimate goal of improving telecommunications services in Ontario County.

“By combining our networks, we can offer fiber services to substantially more homes and businesses in Ontario County,” said Jim Baase, COO of Empire Access. “We’re eager to continue the expansion of the Axcess Ontario fiber ring and increase fiber optic service availability within the County.”

"Empire Access is a natural fit. They’re a fast-growing local company with a proven track record of successfully using open-access networks to provide high-quality services to residential and business customers,” said Sean Barry, CEO of Axcess Ontario.

Since 2005, Axcess Ontario has built and maintained a robust open-access fiber-optic network infrastructure within Ontario County. Axcess Ontario was established by Ontario County local law as a local development corporation with headquarters in Canandaigua, New York. The open-access network provides advanced connectivity for telecommunications carriers and business-to-business companies. The Axcess Ontario fiber ring has been recognized as a national broadband model and is the epitome of 21st-century public infrastructure.

"As a family-owned and operated company, we share in Axcess Ontario’s original goal of serving the public through the deployment of cutting-edge communications technologies,” said Jim Baase, COO of Empire Access.”

Empire Access currently offers residential and business fiber optic services in the Village of Naples, NY, along with a wide array of fiber optic business services in the Cities of Canandaigua and Geneva by way of the Axcess Ontario network. The company will expand service availability to surrounding communities in the upcoming months and offer fiber optic high-speed Internet, phone and security solutions to residential and business customers within Ontario County.

November 7, 2017 - 11:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

kelley_matt.jpgPress release:

Tompkins Financial Advisors has expanded its capabilities for specialized portfolio management and investment strategies in Western New York with the hiring of Matt Kelley as the company’s Portfolio Manager.

Kelley will be a key member of the Tompkins Financial Advisors Investment Committee and is the first Portfolio Manager to join the company. He will be responsible for developing and implementing investment strategies for individuals and institutional investors. Kelley will also serve as an investment specialist supporting the Tompkins Financial Advisors business development team.

“Our clients will benefit from Matt’s experience as a research analyst, and his ability to develop customized investment strategies,” said Jim Sperry, Tompkins Financial Advisors Managing Director for Western New York. “Like every member of our team, Matt will be focused on understanding our clients’ complete financial picture so we can provide the wealth management strategies that make a meaningful difference in their lives.”

Kelley has more than nine years of client management and portfolio management experience. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations. Kelley most recently served as Assistant Vice President of Graystone Consulting, a unit of Morgan Stanley. Within that role, he directed research and managed a globally diversified portfolio of more than $1 billion for high net worth families and institutions.

Kelley earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Rochester, and his Master’s degree in Finance from the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester, where he graduated with Beta Gamma Sigma honors. Beta Gamma Sigma is the international honor society serving business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a business program accredited by AACSB International.

Kelley and his family live in Victor, N.Y.

November 6, 2017 - 5:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, news, notify, STAMP, business.

A spokesperson for the Department of Energy contacted The Batavian today to explain that the reason 1366 Technologies hasn't received its loan guarantee yet is that the company has yet to meet all the criteria of the original 2011 loan guarantee agreement.

On one hand, that appears to be true. The DOE says 1366 needs to secure $100 million in private investment. That hasn't happened yet. The second qualification, that 1366 has yet to select a site for its factory, is a matter of how the DOE interprets 1366's agreement with New York to build at the STAMP site in Alabama.

Asked about the seeming incongruity of 1366 announcing a site selection in 2015 and the DOE now claiming no site has been selected, the spokesperson said, "In a meeting with DOE officials last month, 1366 Technologies stated that it was considering three possible locations for their facility, of which one location is in New York."

Laureen Sanderson, speaking for 1366 Technologies, said 1366 is committed to building in Genesee County but the company also let the DOE know that if the loan guarantee wasn't approved, the company would have to initiate its contingency plans, which likely means building a plant in another country.

"Of course, we discussed contingency plans with DOE," Sanderson said. "That's par for the course when talking with a partner, but our focus remains on New York."

She added, "What’s important to recognize is that our commitment to New York remains. That's the site we selected in 2015. State and local officials have been wonderful. We’re doing everything we can to make that site a reality."

What both sides can agree on is that negotiations on the loan guarantee agreement are ongoing and active. Sanderson characterized the discussions as positive and productive.

"We have a shared goal with the Department of Energy to create U.S. manufacturing jobs," Sanderson said. "That's what we both want to do and that’s what we hope we can achieve together with the Department of Energy."

The spokeswoman confirmed there was a loan guarantee finalized in 2011 but said it was contingent on 1366 securing $100 million in equity financing and finalizing a location for its manufacturing plant.

Sanderson confirmed 1366 has so far raised only $89 million but emphasized again the company is committed to New York and creating U.S. manufacturing jobs.

The negotiations with the DOE are necessary, in part, because the solar industry has continued to evolve since 2011.

"A lot has changed in the solar industry but what hasn’t changed is the strength of the technology," Sanderson said.

The lag time between announcing the company's plans to build at the STAMP site and now, Sanderson said, has enabled the company to improve the energy efficiency of its solar wafers, working with partner Hanwha.

"The technology has only gotten better," Sanderson said. "Our technology not only improves the manufacturing process and reduces costs but every wafer we produce is a better product."

The proprietary technique development by 1366 at MIT's labs in the Boston area uses molten silicon to make a wafer, rather than the cutting and grinding process the solar industry has used for 40 years. This reduces waste and energy used to make wafers.

Right now, 1366 only has a demonstration production facility in Medford, but the company, working with Hanwha, has continued to improve efficiency by .08 percent annually, making 1366's wafers the most efficient in the industry, Sanderson said.

When the company can go into full production, it can continue to make efficiency gains as well as work with solar panel companies to find other uses for this new technology. The company will be able to make thinner wafers that are strong and more flexible. Current wafers are too brittle for thin, flexible uses.

"Because we are able to work at the melt level, we are able to introduce new features the industry has long wanted but can't achieve," Sanderson said. "There is only more innovation and discoveries to be had through the manufacturing process."

When 1366 announced its intention to build in Alabama, CEO Frank van Mierlo cited lower cost, clean hydropower from Niagara Falls as an attraction to the location. Sanderson added another reason 1366 wants to stay in the United States, if at all possible -- a superior silicon supply chain.

"Our technology is the first major change in the solar industry in more than 40 years," Sanderson said. "We solved a manufacturing challenge that the industry has wanted to solve for 40 years. There is a lot of technological strength in the U.S. supply chain and with that strength, the U.S. has a real chance to establish manufacturing leadership."

November 5, 2017 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, tourism, business.


Press release:

The New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) recognized individuals and organizations for their high level of excellence and accomplishments in New York State’s tourism industry at the 2017 Tourism Excellence Awards Dinner, held Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Glen Club of the Watkins Glen International.

Kelly Rapone, tourism director for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, was presented with the 2017 Excellence in Leadership award, which honors a tourism professional for leadership through outstanding initiative, impact of their work, and inspiring others around them.

In remarks read at the presentation by Nicole Mahoney, president of Break the Ice Media, noted that Kelly Rapone is a leader in the New York State tourism industry, exemplifying outstanding initiative.

“She is dedicated to bringing tourism into her county, as well as her region and the state.”

Rapone’s influence goes beyond her county borders. The impact of her enthusiastic work is felt statewide. With the launch of the Haunted History Trail in 2013, she created a product for a niche market that helps many historic sites and lesser-known attractions get recognized, and provides a direct economic impact of more than $1.5 million. This is just one of many initiatives in which she takes a leadership role.

Mahoney went on to remark that Rapone is an inspiration to many in the tourism industry.

“From mentoring young professionals to helping interns grow in their careers, to providing guidance and genuine interest to small business owners throughout her county and beyond, she has earned respect and admiration from her peers near and far, and is truly worthy of this honor.”

Rapone has long been a supportive leader with NYSTIA, serving on the board of directors and actively chairing the scholarship committee, which this year raised more than $11,500 dollars to benefit college students.

The winning individuals or organizations of NYSTIA’s 2017 Tourism Excellence Awards were nominated by their peers and reviewed by NYSTIA’s awards committee. The recipients were selected based on demonstrated commitment, leadership, and accomplishment in travel and tourism.

Jill Delaney, NYSTIA president and CEO said, “As the fourth largest employer in the State of New York, the tourism industry continues to grow and evolve, leading to ever more impressive accomplishments. We are honored to have a night set aside to recognize the successes of our industry innovators with the goal of inspiring creativity and passion throughout New York State’s tourism industry.”

Submitted photo: Jill Delaney, NYSTIA president/CEO, Kelly Rapone, Valerie Knoblach, NYSTIA Board chair.

November 4, 2017 - 5:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, Genesee County Farms.

Press release:

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director John Mietz in Genesee County today announced that producers who file accurate and timely reports for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage, can prevent the potential loss of FSA program benefits. Please pay close attention to the acreage reporting dates below and note the reporting date for perennial forage, pastures, and forage seedings is Nov. 15, 2017.

“In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the Genesee County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline,” said Mietz.

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Genesee County:

Nov. 15, 2017: fall perennial pasture, hay, cover crops and fall grains (wheat, etc.) December 1, 2017: maple sap
Jan. 2, 2018: honey

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates:

  • If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

  • If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

  • If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing” or “seed,” then the acreage must be reported by July 15, 2018.

According to Mietz, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP-covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact the Genesee County FSA office at (585) 343-9167. 

November 4, 2017 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, genesee county farmers.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director John Mietz in Genesee County reminds producers to review available 2018 USDA crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the fall crop deadline of Nov. 20, 2017.

Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities, such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, maple sap, bioenergy and industrial crops.

The following fruit tree, nut tree and perennial crops in New York have a NAP application deadline of Nov. 20, 2017: Apples, Apricots, Asparagus, Blueberries, Caneberries, Cherries, Chestnuts, Cranberries, Currants, Ginger, Grapes, Gooseberries, Elderberries, Horseradish, Juneberries, Kiwi, Mulberries, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Plums, Plumcots, Prunes, Quince, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Walnuts, and Willow.

Dec. 1, 2017 is the NAP application deadline for Honey and Maple Sap.

“NAP policies allow producers to protect their investment by purchasing coverage for noninsurable crops,” Mietz said. “Natural disasters are an unavoidable part of farming and ranching and FSA programs like NAP help producers recover when they experience a loss.”

USDA has partnered with Michigan State University and the University of Illinois to create an online tool at that allows producers to determine whether their crops are eligible for federal crop insurance or NAP and to explore the best level of protection for their operation. NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production, with higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price available, including coverage for organics and crops marketed directly to consumers.

Federal crop insurance coverage is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. Agent lists are available at all USDA service centers or at USDA’s online Agent Locator at 32T Producers can use the USDA Cost

Contact: John Mietz [email protected] or phone (585) 343-9167. 

Estimator at 32T to predict insurance premium costs.

For more information on NAP, service fees, premiums and sales deadlines, contact the Genesee County FSA office at (585) 343-9167 or visit

November 3, 2017 - 5:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, tompkins financial corp..

Press release:

In recognition of its commitment to the community, Tompkins Financial Corporation was honored by the Center for Youth as a recipient of the Chuck Cuminale Youth Advocate Award. The award was presented during the Center for Youth’s annual meeting on Sept. 25 at the Strong Museum of Play.

Created in memory of a dedicated Center For Youth counselor and champion for youth, the Cuminale Award is the agency’s highest honor. The Cuminale Awards are given to community leaders and philanthropists who are committed to improving the lives of young people in the community.

The team at Tompkins was recognized for providing support to the Center for Youth on behalf of a homeless youth who had lost both parents in a short time. Accepting the award on behalf of Tompkins Financial Corporation were Ela Hakiel, Tompkins Financial Advisors vice president and senior wealth advisor, and Lisa Formicola, Tompkins Bank of Castile Pittsford branch manager. Hakiel and Formicola led the team from Tompkins as they provided guidance to help the Center for Youth ensure the safety and security of the young person in need.

“Lisa and I are fortunate to be employed by a company whose core values include the highest commitment to the community and to the customer,” Hakiel said. “We are humbled by this honor, but the true heroes are the staff, social workers, board members and others who make significant daily contributions to the community through their work at the Center for Youth. All of us at Tompkins Financial are committed to acting as good stewards and supporters of the Center in the community.”

Tompkins Financial has a strong commitment to the community, and to the Center for Youth. In addition to the receiving the award, David Boyce, President of Tompkins Insurance Agencies, was elected as a new member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Youth.

Learn more about the Center for Youth at

October 31, 2017 - 9:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, business.


The staff at L&L Transmissions are ready for Halloween. Dressed up as Minions are Nick Newton and Greg Lyons.

If you and/or your co-workers dressed up for Halloween today, send a picture to [email protected] and we'll add it to this post.


Submitted by Tammi Ferringer. Genesee County employees.





Four photos above, Grandma’s Luv’n Care had a "friendly grandmother" costume contest today.img_179halloween.png

Jeremy Yasses and Joe Pellegrino

October 30, 2017 - 4:25pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Respirations, news, business, batavia, sleep therapy.

Lisa A. Slichta, a Certified Respiratory Therapist of 16 years, opened Respirations LLC, on Aug. 31, to better serve the community for greater patient care for sleep needs.

Slichta also provides liaison services to medical communities such as physician practices, hospitals and rehab facilities.

“Due to my experience, and relationships that I built over a decade with the medical communities, the medical offices call on me to make sure the referral order gets handled promptly for their patients and are serviced within a timely fashion,” Slichta said.

Respirations is located at 653 E. Main St. in Batavia, and can be reached at 344-3000.

The business is based on a contract service, working with several durable medical equipment, DME, companies and sleep medicine companies.

Respirations provides continuous positive airway pressure or bilevel positive airway pressure therapy, home oxygen services, home sleep apnea testing, non-invasive ventilation therapy and cough assist afflovest therapy, for obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorder breathing patients, and patients with chronic lung diseases.

“As the contracted therapist, the DME companies and sleep [companies] provide me with the equipment needed to start patients on their prescribed therapy or needed sleep testing,” Slichta said.

Patients pick up their equipment and and are instructed during an appointment on how to use prescribed equipment in the office. Under certain circumstances, Slichta can travel to the patient’s home for setup.

“It’s part of my business to make sure that the patient’s insurance is covered by the DME or sleep medicine company that accepts the patient’s insurance,” Slichta said.

She said the physician offices that choose respirations no longer have to spend a large amount of time on the phone calling around to find their patient medical equipment.

“This concept helps these practices focus more on patient care and not wasting an astronomical amount of time on the phone trying to expedite a referral,” Slichta said.

She is planning on having several other therapists join the team, to continue with great customer service.

“My growth in the community is very important to me, and customer service is what I have always strived for,” Slichta said. “I am planning on expanding services and having more retail sleep products in the very near future, making my shop a one stop shop for all your obstructive sleep apnea needs.”

October 27, 2017 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, business, news.

Both the total number of Genesee County residents with jobs and the total number looking for jobs declined in September compared to the year before, according to data released by the State Department of Labor.

There were 28,800 residents with jobs, according to the release, and 1,200 people designated as unemployed.

The total size of the labor force is 30,000 compared to 30,200 a year ago.

That makes the unemployment rate 4.1 percent, compared to 4.2 a year ago.

According to Scott Gage, director of the county's job bureau, there are more than 580 job openings being advertised in the county.

The 4.1 rate is the lowest for any month since May 2016 when it was 3.8 percent.

The GLOW area rate is 4.5 percent compared to 4.5 percent a year ago.

Rochester has dropped from 4.8 to 4.7 and Buffalo 4.9 from 5.1.

The state's rate is 4.7.

Nationally, the rate has fallen from 4.8 percent to 4.1 percent.

October 27, 2017 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, news, agriculture, business, agritourism.


Agritourism is itself a growing industry in New York and with Genesee County being a major contributor to the state's agriculture industry, Genesee Community College hosted a free agritourism symposium yesterday.

The event was organized by Amy Slusser, professor of GCC’s Tourism and Hospitality Management Program.

“Our region of New York State offers some of the best agritourism opportunities in the nation,” Slusser said. “From our dairies for cheese and yogurt, while not forgetting milk, butter and of course, ice cream, to the many acres of fruits and vegetables. And, New York wineries are now competing with great success against both European and Californian varietals. Now is the time for agritourism in the Upstate New York.”

Sophie Winter, Ph.D., was the keynote speaker with a theme of “Evolution, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agritourism.” A native of Southern France, Winter earned her master’s degree in Agricultural Business from Illinois State University and her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Arizona State University. Currently, she teaches agricultural marketing, sales, retail management and entrepreneurship at SUNY Cobleskill.

There was also a panel discussion with:

  • Barbara Dominesey, general manager of Hidden Valley Animal Adventures in Varysburg;
  • Chad Heeb, director of marketing of New York Chips and Marquart Farms in Gainesville; and
  • Betty Burley, owner of East Hill Creamery in Perry.

Photos courtesy GCC.




October 27, 2017 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, fashion program, business.


Hélène Biandudi Hofer, journalist, documentary filmmaker and the host and producer of WXXI-TV’s newsmagazine show "Need to Know," spoke at Genesee Community College on Wednesday spoke to fashion students about her new project "The Empty Hanger." 

Hofer kick-started her own career at just 8 years old using a makeshift production studio in her childhood home to produce news stories and fashion shows. From there, Hofer grew her passion into an award-winning career.

"The Empty Hanger" is an original human-interest series revealing the untold and often overlooked stories of the people who design, manufacture, tailor, study, wear, talk about and claim to be forever changed by clothing.

Photos courtesy GCC.



October 27, 2017 - 1:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Corporation reported diluted earnings per share of $1.14 for the third quarter of 2017, which represents an increase of 14.0% compared to the $1.00 reported in the third quarter of 2016. Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $17.4 million, up 14.9% compared to the $15.1 million reported in the third quarter of 2016.

Year-to-date diluted earnings per share of $3.27 for the first nine months of 2017 represents an increase of 12.0% over the same period in 2016. Year-to-date net income was $50.0 million through the first nine months of 2017, an increase of 13.2% over the same period in 2016.

President and CEO, Stephen S. Romaine said “We are extremely pleased with our earnings performance as the reported results reflect the best third quarter and best year-to-date performance through the first nine months of any year in our Company’s history. A key growth driver for the quarter and year-to-date periods has been the improvement in net interest income, which has benefited from solid growth trends in loans and deposits.”


  • §  Best earnings performance for the first nine months of any year in our Company’s history. Also, the best third quarter earnings performance in our Company’s history.

  • §  Net interest income for the quarter was up 12.5% compared to the third quarter of 2016, and up year-to-date 11.2% compared to the same period in 2016.

  • §  Net interest margin of 3.40% for the quarter and 3.41% for the year-to-date, are both improved from the same periods in 2016.

For more information contact:

Stephen S. Romaine, President & CEO Francis M. Fetsko, Executive VP, CFO & COO Tompkins Financial Corporation (888)503-5753

  • §  Total loans of $4.5 billion were up 9.8% over the same period in 2016; and are up 5.5% over December 31, 2016.

  • §  Total deposits of $4.9 billion reflect an increase of 5.4% over the same period last year, and are up 6.9% from December 31, 2016.

  • §  Third quarter return on average equity was 11.77% compared to 10.81% for the same quarter last year.


    Net interest income of $51.0 million for the third quarter of 2017 increased by $5.7 million, or 12.5% compared to the same period in 2016. For the year-to-date period, net interest income was $149.3 million, up $15.1 million, or 11.2% from the same nine-month period in 2016.

    Growth in net interest income for the third quarter of 2017 over the third quarter of 2016 was largely driven by $430.1 million of growth in average loans over the third quarter of 2016, an increase of 10.7%. Average deposits increased $249.1 million, or 5.5% compared to the same period in 2016. Included in the increase in average deposits was a $165.7 million or 14.4% increase in noninterest bearing deposits. For the third quarter of 2017, net interest margin measured 3.40%, compared to 3.45% for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, and 3.31% in the third quarter of 2016.


    Noninterest income represented 25.2% of total revenues in the third quarter of 2017, compared to 28.3% in the same period in 2016, and 25.8% for the most recent prior quarter. Noninterest income of $17.2 million was down $703,000, or 3.9% compared to the same period last year. The third quarter of 2017 included a loss on sales of available for sale securities of approximately $423,000 compared to a gain of $455,000 reported in the third quarter of 2016. Sales of available-for-sale securities are generally the result of general investment security portfolio maintenance and interest rate risk management.

    Year-to-date noninterest income of $51.9 million was in line with the previous year noninterest income of $52.5 million.


    Noninterest expense was $41.9 million for the third quarter of 2017, up $1.6 million, or 3.9%, over the third quarter of 2016. For the year-to-date period, noninterest expense was $124.8 million, up $5.6 million, or 4.7%, from the same period in 2016. The increase in noninterest expense for both the third quarter and year-to-date periods was mainly due to higher salaries and benefits. Expenses for the quarter also included $345,000 of expense related to OREO properties held by the bank.


Asset quality trends remained strong in the third quarter of 2017. Nonperforming assets represented 0.37% of total assets at September 30, 2017, compared to 0.36% at December 31, 2016, and 0.32% at September 30, 2016. Though credit quality metrics showed some modest deterioration during the quarter, overall credit quality remains strong and compares favorably to our peers. Nonperforming asset levels as a percentage of total assets of 0.37% compares favorably to the most recent Federal Reserve Board Peer Group Average1 of 0.51%.

Provision for loan and lease losses was $402,000 for the third quarter of 2017, down $380,000 compared to the third quarter of 2016. Net recoveries for the third quarter of 2017 were $479,000 compared to net recoveries of $205,000 reported in the third quarter of 2016.

The Company’s allowance for originated loan and lease losses totaled $37.9 million at September 30, 2017, and represented 0.91% of total originated loans and leases at September 30, 2017, relatively unchanged from the most recent prior quarter and the third quarter of 2016. The total allowance represented 170.12% of total nonperforming loans and leases at September 30, 2017, compared to 164.98% at December 31, 2016, and 186.45% at September 30, 2016.

The level of Special Mention originated loans increased during the quarter to $50.4 million, up from $27.2 million a year ago, and up from $38.5 million at June 30, 2017. The increase is largely related to the Company’s agricultural portfolio that has been negatively impacted by lower average milk prices in 2016, which had an unfavorable impact on operations of our agricultural customers. Milk prices have rebounded in 2017. As of September 30, 2017, payments on all loans in our agricultural portfolio were current. Of the $50.4 million of loans currently listed as Special Mention, 94.3% of the dollar amount outstanding was current on their payments as of September 30, 2017.


Capital ratios remain well above the regulatory well capitalized minimums. The ratio of Tier 1 capital to average assets was 8.50% at September 30, 2017, compared to 8.41% reported at December 31, 2016. Total capital to risk-weighted assets at September 30, 2017 was 12.52%, compared to 12.22% at December 31, 2016. Both ratios are down from the same period last year, in large part due to the redemption of $20.5 million of 7% fixed rate Trust Preferred securities in January 2017. 

October 27, 2017 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Corporation announced today that its Board of Directors approved payment of a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.47 per share, payable on November 15, 2017, to common shareholders of record on November 7, 2017. The current dividend represents a 4.4% increase over the $0.45 cash dividend paid in the third quarter of 2017.

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, NY, 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


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