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April 25, 2018 - 4:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in O-AT-KA, batavia, news, business, NHRA.

Press release:

O-AT-KA Milk Products is proud to announce that Donna Maxwell, vice president of Human Resources, was presented with the prestigious HR Executive of the Year Award by the Rochester Affiliate of the National Human Resources Association (NHRA).

Maxwell was honored at the NHRA’s fifth annual awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 18th, at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford.

The award recognizes exceptional leadership in innovation and operational excellence. Nominated along with four of her peers in the region, Maxwell was selected for her exemplary leadership in organizational development.

She was also presented with the Transformational Business Partnership Award in recognition of outcomes achieved in labor relations management.

“To be effective as a leader it takes courage; strength of character; intellectual honesty; the ability to build trust; integrity; experience and wisdom,” said Bill Schreiber, CEO of O-AT-KA. “These are all personal characteristics that Donna Maxwell brings to the job each and every day. She never mails it in.”

Maxwell has had responsibility for Human Resources and Technology strategy for O-AT- KA Milk Products for the past three years. During that time she has driven the company to a new and sustainable technology vision that includes mobile technology and remote functionality in a manufacturing environment.

She has solidified O-AT-KA’s position as an employer of choice with the renegotiation of cost effective, best-in-class employee benefit options.

For information about working at O-AT-KA and to view open positions, visit www.oatkamilk.com/careers.

April 23, 2018 - 4:26pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today called on U.S. trade officials to secure a level playing field with Canadian producers during the renegotiation of the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Schumer said that in recent years, Canada has established dairy pricing policies and has maintained high tariffs that have effectively created a “Dairy Wall” stopping most U.S. dairy products from accessing Canadian markets and distorting global trade.

Dairy farmers and producers, like the 340 dairy farmers who make up Upstate Niagara Co-Op, which supplies O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative Inc. in Batavia, have been severely hurt by Canada’s manipulative trade practices and it will only get worse without action.

O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative Inc., with more than 400 employees and majority owned by Upstate Niagara, has already lost millions of dollars in contracts due to Canada’s actions “Dairy Wall.”

Schumer said that the time to secure a level playing field with Canada by expanding market opportunities and eliminating Canada’s unfair pricing policies – is now and we cannot let this opportunity go to waste.

“Our hardworking New York dairy farmers and producers like Upstate Niagara Co-Op’s 340 farm family members across the Finger Lakes and O-AT-KA Milk Products in Batavia are the most competitive in the world, but they depend on stable and fair rules to compete in a global economy, to sell their dairy products, expand their business and create new local jobs,” Schumer said.

“As trade officials near a deal to renegotiate NAFTA – an issue President Trump and I both agree on – we must make it a top priority to begin reversing restrictive dairy pricing policies in Canada that are hurting our dairy producers at their core, and now is a real opportunity to do just that.”

Schumer explained Canada has an unfair advantage over New York dairy farmers and producers. In addition to Canada’s 270 percent tariff on milk, a program called the “Class 7” pricing program, a market-distorting supply management system, has caused severe pain to New York dairy producers like Avon’s Anderson Farm and their fellow Upstate Niagara Co-Op dairies since it came into force last year.

In fact, Canada has used the Class 7 program to triple its milk powder exports in the past year by creating excess milk production capacity within Canada, then dumping the resulting milk powder onto world markets. To further prove this dumping exists, Schumer added that Canada’s dairy farmers are some of the highest paid in the world, yet Canadian dairy companies are still able to be among the lowest cost sellers of Class 7 products globally.

Anderson Farm is one of the 340 dairy farm members of the Upstate Niagara Co-Op, which is the majority owner of the O-AT-KA Milk Products facility in Batavia. More than 400 employees work at O-AT-KA. Upstate Niagara dairies throughout the Rochester Finger Lakes Region like Anderson Farm depend on O-AT-KA to purchase their milk to then manufacture and sell milk products for the domestic and international markets.

Since Canada’s implementation of Class 7, O-AT-KA lost $19 million in annual sales of Ultra Filtered milk (UF Milk), a product used to make cheese and other dairy products that it had been exporting into Canada. Moreover, the production of this UF milk for the Canadian market had accounted for 20 percent (about 180 million pounds) of all of O-AT-KA’s milk volume.

This severely undercut a $16 million investment made by O-AT-KA in 2012 to build a two-story addition at its Batavia plant to manufacture UF Milk to support its export business to Canada. When Canada unfairly cut off UF Milk imports and implemented Class 7, it dealt a significant blow to the local agriculture economy and was a factor in the current U.S. milk inventory imbalance that is contributing to now drive the price of milk down.

Schumer was joined by Jim Anderson, fourth generation owner of Anderson Farm, O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative Inc. President & Chairman John Gould, local dairy farmers, and elected officials.

Gould, who also owns an Upstate Niagara Co-Op dairy farm in Genesee County, said “Canada has a long history of erecting barriers to trade when it comes to dairy and the creation of Class 7 is an example of that. Canada's Class 7 market manipulation has caused harm to O-AT-KA Milk Products and their farm family owners, whose investments in serving legitimate customers in Canada have been blocked.

"As NAFTA is renegotiated, it is time that Canadian gamesmanship ends and a constructive agreement is reached that allows market participation and access under rules that all trading partners can follow. We thank Senator Schumer for his leadership and work in keeping this important issue top of mind as negotiations proceed."

As U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade officials are closing in on a deal to revamp North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Schumer said now represents a real opportunity to dismantle Canada’s market-distorting policies and ensure a level playing field for American dairy farmers and producers.

Schumer noted that he has directly stressed the importance of securing meaningful changes in our dairy trade relationship with Canada to past and current administration officials, including current United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, President Trump, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton, and the U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft who have all committed to address this issue.

Right now, products manufactured by O-AT-KA Milk Products include non-fat dry milk powder, buttermilk powder, whey powder, canned evaporated milk, butter, fluid condensed milk, iced coffee, nutritional beverages and other various drinks.

O-AT-KA has gross annual sales of more than $300 million and is a significant employer and economic development engine in Upstate NY’s dairy and manufacturing industries. Schumer said that in order for Upstate Niagara member dairies and O-AT-KA to continue to be global leaders, Canada’s rapacious dairy-related trade policies need to be addressed and that NAFTA represents a major opportunity to do so.

Here's Schumer's letter to Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative:

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:

As the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations come towards a conclusion, I would like to again emphasize the importance of securing meaningful concessions from Canada to provide stable market access for our dairy producers. Securing meaningful and enforceable commitments that will allow U.S. dairy producers to compete with Canada’s on a level playing field should be a top priority in NAFTA renegotiations. As I have expressed to you many times, I strongly believe that we should not miss this opportunity to protect our dairy producers from Canada’s recent predatory trade practices.

As you know, Canada’s Class 7 pricing program, a market-distorting supply management system, has caused severe pain to New York dairy producers since it came into force last year. Canada has also maintained large tariffs on dairy products, including a 270 percent tariff on milk. New York’s dairy farmers and companies like Cayuga Milk Ingredients, O-AT-KA Milk, and Ideal Dairy Farm, rely on market-based trade with Canada for a significant percentage – millions of dollars – of their revenue. Not only are New York’s producers locked out of Canada’s ultrafiltered milk market, but in just a year’s time, Canada has used its Class 7 program to triple its milk powder exports, dumping powdered milk products into global markets and undercutting New York dairy producer’s exports. This Class 7 system is likely a violation of Canada’s World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, but addressing it quickly through NAFTA renegotiation is needed, rather than waiting for years for a WTO determination. This Class 7 system should be dismantled through new NAFTA commitments.

In our discussions, you have committed to me that you would prioritize addressing this issue through NAFTA renegotiations. The President has also privately expressed to me his explicit desire to address this issue and has publically emphasized, many times, the unfair way that Canada has treated our dairy producers, noting just last month: “Canada must treat our farmers much better. Highly restrictive.”

Our hard working dairy producers are the most competitive in the world, but they depend on stable and fair rules to compete in a global economy. Again, I urge you to make meaningful and enforceable commitments that level the playing field for our dairy producers a top priority as NAFTA renegotiations conclude.

Thank you for your attention to this issue.

April 23, 2018 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in EDEN, news, batavia, downtown, business, freshLAB, Eli Fish Brewing Company.

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Eden, the new vegan food booth inside the Eli Fish Brewing Company restaurant at 111 E. Main St., Batavia, held a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting Sunday afternoon.

Eden is one of two new food establishments opening inside Eli Fish, as part of an initiative sponsored by the Batavia Development Corp. called FreshLAB. 

Owner Judy Hysek cuts with the ribbon Jim Turcer, left, the first paid customer, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Turnbull, Chris Hysek, Judy's husband, Tracy Burgio, representing FreshLAB, and David Balonek, Judy's father.

April 20, 2018 - 2:29pm

Press release:

The cofounder of The Essential Oil Center in Batavia is conducting a shoe drive fundraiser now through June 10 to raise money for a Uganda Mission Trip in September.

Michelle Gillard will earn funds based on the total weight of the pairs of gently worn, used and new shoes collected, as Funds2Orgs will issue a check for the collected shoes. Those dollars will benefit the Uganda Mission Trip that Gillard will be serving on this fall.

Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used and new shoes on Sunday, June 10, at the Artisan Vendor Carnival at Batavia Downs Gaming from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., or by contacting Gillard at 297-0779 for pickup at any time.

If you or your organization feel you can collect 25 pairs of shoes, contact Gillard and she can provide you with the materials to collect them.

All donated shoes will then be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise (small business) partners. Funds2Orgs works with micro-entrepreneurs in helping them create, maintain and grow small businesses in developing countries where economic opportunity and jobs are limited.

Proceeds from the sales of the shoes collected in shoe drive fundraisers are used to feed, clothe and house their families.

"We are so excited about this shoe drive," Gillard said. "We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets they would like to donate to us.

"By doing so, we raise money for this great cause, and we have the chance to help families in developing nations who need economic opportunities. It's a win-win for everyone. We have already reached 25 percent of our goal.”

By donating gently worn, used and new shoes to the Uganda Mission Trip the shoes will be given a second chance and make a difference in people’s lives around the world.

Requirements for Shoes:

Shoes must be new or gently used. They should be clean, no rips, no tears and soles must be attached. If possible each pair should be tied or rubber-banded together. Kids and adults shoes are accepted. Sneakers, shoes (even heels), boots and sandals are all acceptable.

About Uganda Mission Trip:

Gillard became involved with the organization Sole Hope a couple years ago. What started as an individual fundraiser to help Sole Hope has turned into a heartfelt passion to help others on multiple levels. Join us in supporting great causes, Funds2Orgs and Sole Hope and the people of Uganda.

Gillard's planned trip to Uganda in September will be the first of what she hopes are many mission trips to serve in that nation's slums and orphanages.

April 20, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in batavia, downtown, business, tourism, chamber of commerce, restaurants, Vegan.

This Earth Day, the very first 100-percent vegan restaurant in Genesee County is opening up to share a different kind of delicious food with locals and visitors alike. Yep, you read that right! One-hundred-percent vegan food will be served up at Eden Café & Bakeshop!

Located inside Eli Fish Brewing Company, at 109 Main St., Batavia, there is a glimpse of the garden, with generous plant-based meals, fresh juices, and even treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. Join Eden Café & Bakeshop for their grand opening THIS SUNDAY, April 22nd, starting at 12 p.m.

There will be lots going on including a Cutco knife giveaway, raffles, and branded tumblers will be available for purchase. Be one of the first to experience a new kind of cuisine after the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. 

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What began as a thought of opening a zero-waste store, slowly turned into Eden Café & Bakeshop. Owner, Judy Hysek, is bringing some seriously tasty and animal-free food choices to all in and around Genesee County!

Hysek has been vegan for three years, which just so happens to be enough time to experiment with plant-based foods and create some delicious concoctions to share with you!

“I’m hoping to open the community up to a new way of eating," she said. "I want to make it easier for people who don’t know how to eat without meat and dairy… I would have gone vegan a lot sooner if there was more support, education, and availability... I’m just trying to add to the awareness and make it more accessible."

Now, let’s get down to business. Let’s talk about the food!

Carrot Dogs: You may have heard of these soon-to-be-famous “dogs” already, especially if you follow Eden Café & Bakeshop’s Facebook Page.

Imagine a carrot, in the shape of a traditional hot dog, which has been infused with deliciousness and then topped with more deliciousness of your choice. You’ll have to try it for yourself the next time you're in Eli Fish.

Word on the street is that even omnivores can't tell the difference between a carrot dog and a traditional hot dog. We dare you to give it a try and test your taste buds to see if you can tell the difference. Try your first carrot dog on a roll or wrapped in a pretzel and baked until golden brown! 

Cauliflower Wings: Where have these been all our lives? Since Western New York is the home of Buffalo Wings, it only makes sense to have “wings” on the menu at Eden.

You can have your wings tossed in Buffalo sauce or topped with the sweet mustard sauce. You can’t go wrong with either sauce -- so good! The breaded and baked florets are served with carrots and celery sticks with a house-made dip. The cauliflower wings can also be made gluten free and they're just as tasty!

Loaded Nachos: What goes better with a cold brew from Eli Fish than a pile of nachos? What about a pile of nachos smothered in a vegan beer cheese? There is nothing more satisfying!

Speaking of cheese…

Eden will have a variety of house made vegan, artisan cheeses including almond feta and cashew mozzarella, which will come on the poutine. (Poutine is a dish originating from the Canadian province of Quebec consisting of French fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy.) Where else can you get poutine in Batavia, let alone a vegan poutine?!

Other menu items include desserts like cashew cheesecake, cookies, brownies and more. Desserts will rotate to give everyone the opportunity to try something new and yummy!

Last but definitely not least -- fresh juices, smoothies, lemonades and kombucha! This week I was lucky enough to try a fresh juice made of apples, strawberries and raspberries. (Please make this a rotating juice, it was so good!)

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Did you know?

Veganism is on a climb throughout the world. In the United States, a recent report by Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017, says “6 percent of U.S. consumers now claim to be vegan, up from just 1 percent in 2014.”

Eden is here to satisfy some taste buds and open some minds to the benefits of eating healthy, saving animals, and the planet. Everyone should rejoice and get involved in the efforts to sustain our planet and you can start right at home, or at Eden.

Oh, and by the way -- Eden is donating all gratuities to a nonprofit right here in Genesee County. Mockingbird Farm Sanctuary in Byron provides a home and lifetime care to animals regardless of their condition or past. Their goal is to improve the mental, physical and emotional well-being of the animals who live on the farm. Eden is already showing love to others trying to make a difference right here at home!

For more information on Eden Cafe and other hotspots in Genesee County, visit: https://visitgeneseeny.com/

April 20, 2018 - 1:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements, business, ferrellgas.

Ferrellgas in Batavia is hosting its annual Customer Appreciation Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 12. It is located at 655 Ellicott St.

Grill tank fills -- unlimited quantity -- will be $5.

All attendees will be eligible for drawings. No purchase necessary to enter the drawing.

"On-site raffles will be huge this year," says management.

They include Omaha steaks, a TV, propane prizes for new and existing customers, and lots of basket raffles for kids and adults alike.

All proceeds will benefit the Michael Napoleone Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research.

Pre-sale raffle tickets are available at the Ellicott Street store.

First-place prize is a dual fuel grill and patio heater; Second-place prize is a stainless steel grill and accessories; Third-place prize is a propane firepit and accessories.

Call 1-800-437-4856 for more information.

April 20, 2018 - 1:45pm

Press release:

Join us as we walk Garry Wilson’s rented pastures where he grazes stocker cattle and discuss improvements.

Nancy Glazier, Small Farm specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NWNY Team, will lead discussion at 8962 Transit Road, Stafford (approx. address) starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17.

Wilson will begin the discussion his objectives for the summer grazing season in regards to improvements, rotating the cattle through the pastures, and supplemental feed at the old railroad right-of-way. He has some ideas, but is open to suggestions.

We will end the evening at Garry’s home farm at 9420 Warsaw Road, LeRoy, for further discussion and refreshments. The evening is scheduled to end by 9 p.m.

Registration is required by May 15 for planning purposes. The cost for the event is $10 per person. To register contact Cathy Wallace at 585-343-3040, ext. 138 or [email protected].

April 19, 2018 - 8:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, GCEDC, batavia, business, news.

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Students at Genesee Community College competed today in a business idea pitch competition. with a couple of hundred dollars in prize money at stake from StartUp Genesee Committee of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

In all, 17 individuals and teams competed, including Gino Vos, above, who pitched his idea of a tourism-related T-shirt company in his home of Kurasoleno, in South America. He won second place in the "Most Likely to Succeed" category.

The winner in that category was Glenn Holmes, with Livestock Haulage Company. Holmes is also an international student from Ireland.

The "Most Creative" prize went to Josh Berranco, Nathan Maniscalko, and Richard Estes, with the TV Show, "Spooky Kooky Investigation Inc." (see video below)

Second in "Most Creative," Paige Biggins, hockey for children with special needs.

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Casey Smalls, a GCC fashion student, pitched a new natural eyelashes product.

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Zoe Falsone, Paul Elliott, and Dave Inzinna, a TV show, "Music Then, Now, Forever."

April 19, 2018 - 5:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Five Star Urgent Care, batavia, news, business.

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Five Star Urgent Care held a ribbon cutting yesterday for its new location on Veterans Memorial Drive, next to Home Depot, in Batavia.

Cutting the ribbon is Denae McPherson, the regional practice director for Five Star.

The location is the 18th for the company.

April 18, 2018 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in magicians, magic convention, tourism, news, business.
Press release:
 

Batavia will once again host the “Original Close-Up Magic Convention” Obie’s 4F convention. This very prestigious gathering draws close-up magicians from 21 countries all over the world. While the first event was held in 1971, Batavia has been the host location for the last 20 years.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has been assisting conference planners with their visit, providing dining guides, visitor coupons and the area visitor guide. The estimated economic impact for this five-day event is $86,000 being left in our community.

The Quality Inn in Batavia is the host location for the more than 250 people that arrive Wednesday to Sunday, April 25-29. This “by-invitation-only” convention will also honor Rocco Silano, an American born, award-winning magician who has appeared on many television shows.

Obie Obrien is the founder of the convention and has an impressive resume filled with not only numerous awards in magic, two master's degrees; but also experience playing, coaching and refereeing several sports, including being an official scorer at the 1980 Olympic Games.

The convention kicks off on Wednesday evening and carries through Saturday with lectures, classes, and shows. The majority of the guests are picked up by shuttles from the Buffalo and Rochester airports and brought here. Once in Batavia, they will travel on foot and by taxi to explore the area.

On Sunday April 29, the Magician’s Alliance of Western New York (MAWNY) has a one-day convention at the Quality Inn Batavia. This event is open to the public; magicians may register in advance for the show and the show itself is open to everyone. Doors open at 6:10 p.m.; adults are $13; and age 12 and under are $10. More information is available at www.mawny.org.

April 17, 2018 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, business, news, The ART of Mandy, art studio.

Press release and submitted photos:

Local artist and art instructor Mandy Humphrey will be opening an art studio in Le Roy next month. It is located at 20 Main St.

The studio, called The ART of Mandy, will be offering weekly classes for ages 2 through adult. Classes include: drawing, painting, photography, ceramics and more. Mandy also hosts on- and off-site paint parties, private and corporate events and birthday parties.

Please join us in celebrating the grand opening of this new studio on Saturday, May 5, at a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony (in cooperation with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce) at 2 p.m., followed by an open house from 2:30 to 4:30. Guests will enjoy snacks, a FREE craft, gift basket raffles and more!

Humphrey, originally of Stafford, graduated from Le Roy High School and pursued her Fine Arts degree at SUNY Cortland. After her undergraduate work, she continued her education earning a master's degree in Art Education from the Rochester Institute of Technology. While also being an award-winning exhibiting artist, Humphrey has been teaching publicly and privately for the past five years with experience in several different mediums.

For more information visit: www.TheARTofMandy.com

April 11, 2018 - 2:08pm

Press release:

“Active Shooter in the Workplace – It Can Happen to You” will be the subject of a small business workshop to be hosted the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce on April 18.

This is the one of a series of business workshops held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

“Unfortunately in today’s world dealing with an active shooter in the workplace is a possibility that everyone faces,” said Tom Turnbull, Chamber president.  “This workshop will offer tips on how to make a plan to deal with this horrific situation. It’s a plan we hope no one ever has to use.”

Deputies Rich Schildwaster and Joe Loftus of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department will conduct the workshop.

The workshop will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia. The session will run from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. and includes a question-and-answer period.

Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee. Chamber members and Batavia Business Improvement District members may attend all small business workshops free of charge but should make reservations to insure space.

To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected].

April 9, 2018 - 4:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, batavia, news, BID.

Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District will hold its Annual Meeting & Awards Breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 27th at City Church Generation Center, 15 Center St., Batavia. Registration opens at 8 a.m.

There will be an overview of this year’s goals, announcement of newly elected board members, and presentation of “Spirit of Downtown” Awards.

Cost is $20 to attend. All BID Members are invited. RSVP by Monday, April 16th to the Downtown Batavia BID office at 200 E. Main St., Suite 12, Batavia, NY 14020 or at www.DowntownBataviaNY.com.

This Year’s Spirit of Downtown Business Award winners are Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle and Genesee Valley PennySaver. Spirit of Downtown Volunteer Award winners are Jeff Gillard and Derik Kane.

For further information contact Beth Kemp at 585-344-0900 or [email protected].

April 2, 2018 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, idea pitch preparation workshop, GCC.

When:  Thursday, April 12, from 12:30 - 2 p.m.

Where: Genesee Community College ~ Batavia Campus ~ Room T121, Conable Technology Building

Who: Entrepreneurs of all industries! Highly recommended for Business Idea Pitch Competitors!

Every solid business venture starts with one thing -- a pitch! Whether making a sale or convincing an investor, your idea pitch has to be organized, well-thought out, powerful and convincing! GCC is here to help get you prepared!

On April 12, GCC will host a special workshop called "Idea Pitch Preparation" led by Sam Campanella of the Small Business Development Center. 

Idea Pitch Preparation will take place on Thursday, April 12, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in room T121 of the Conable Technology Building at GCC's Batavia Campus.

This workshop is free and open to the public; you do not have to be participating in the Business Idea Pitch Competition to attend these workshops. To sign up, please contact Amy Conley at [email protected]

Do you have a passion you'd like to turn into a business but you aren't sure if anyone else will think it's a good idea? Consider participating in a Business Idea Pitch Competition! You could even earn a cash prize!

The first-ever local Business Idea Pitch Competition will be held Thursday, April 19, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Conable Technology Building at the Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus. 

The GCEDC has donated cash prizes which will be awarded at the pitch competition on April 19. Pitches will be judged by members of the Startup Genesee Committee.

Participants in the Business Idea Pitch Competition are strongly encouraged to attend the Pitch Idea Preparation workshop in order to prepare for the competition on April 19. For additional details on the competition, please visit https://www.genesee.edu/home/events/businesspitch/

April 2, 2018 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, batavia, Harbor Freight.

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National retail chain Harbor Freight is opening a store in Batavia, in the shopping center behind Sport of Kings, on West Main Street. Today crews were hanging up the company's sign on the exterior of the building.

April 2, 2018 - 1:20pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in food, restaurants, business.

From the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce:

Whether you’re visiting for the first time or are a regular local – it’s hard to beat some of the delicious eats found in Genesee County. We’ve got everything from BBQ and burgers to sushi to classic diner foods – complete with craft beverages and creative culinary creations sure to make your stomach rumble.

On the days that you just don’t feel like cooking or the nights that you are looking to experience something new – we’ve got you covered. Start with one of these six local eateries for a fantastic meal with all of the enjoyment and none of the work.

  • Batavia's Original Pizza. This stop has been loved by Batavia for years! Located on Main Street, Batavia’s Original is locally owned and operated -- and always has been. Owner Kathy Ferrara learned the art of pizza making from legendary pizzaiolo Sam Pontillo – and those skills have served her well. She’s still cooking up some of the best pies around – homemade with the freshest dough and ingredients.

Must Try: Their traditional white pizza. With ooey-gooey, melty mozzarella and ricotta, fresh broccoli and spinach, this pizza is a Batavia favorite.

  • Bourbon & Burger Co. Bourbon & Burger Co. tells you all you need to know upfront -- they do burgers and they do them well. Their menu boasts nearly 30 kinds of mouth-watering burgers, including their signature Kentucky Bourbon Company Burger, and their bourbon menu has more than 80 different kinds. They also have a rotating burger of the month, daily specials and over 24 rotating craft beers on tap – whew!

Must Try: The burger of the month. With so many drool-inducing options, there’s no wrong choice here – and who better to trust than the chef himself? Whichever flavor their offering when you visit, it’s sure to be creative and delicious- a perfect combination.

  • Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant. This place has history – and a great menu. Nestled next to Indian Falls, Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant was built in 1946 as part of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Now, it strives to preserve that history, while also serving up delicious food and a fantastic view.  

Must Try: Buffalo Bread. It’s a creative twist on a classic favorite – chopped chicken fingers shaken in hot sauce, topped with melted mozzarella and blue cheese and smothered over soft, warm garlic bread. The perfect starter to a meal – or side to a cold brew!

  • Le Roy's No Finer Diner. Sometimes, you just need a classic diner meal. That’s what Le Roy’s No Finer Diner is all about – serving up cozy classics in a relaxing hometown atmosphere. There are so many options at this little eatery, it can be hard to know where to start!

Must Try: The Eggs Benny. The tasty hollandaise, runny eggs and succulent ham are sure to fill you up, served on a toasted English muffin with a side of home fries or hash brown. A classic diner meal done well, every time.

  • T.F. Brown's. For more than 20 years, T.F. Brown's has been a community staple -- so much so that we wrote a whole blog on just them! Brown's could be classified as a sports bar – they’ve got the TVs showing all kinds of games; the sports memorabilia lining the walls; and they were even named for Major League pitcher Mordecai Brown. But there’s something else there that makes this place unforgettable. Grab a bite or stop in and bowl a game (the restaurant is attached to the Mancuso Bowling Center!). We think you’ll see what we mean.

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Must Try: The Batavia’s Favorite. “The Best” Beef on Weck, six jumbo wings, and your choice of fries or macaroni salad. It’s all the local goodness packed onto one plate – and you just can’t argue with the locals.

  • Peking Buffet. All you can eat – and the perfect place to satisfy your craving for every type of Chinese food imaginable. At Peking Buffet, the food is fresh and the menu is plentiful – they’ve got soup, seafood, chow mein, moo shu, curry, egg foo young and everything in between.

Must Try: The sushi! You don’t expect a buffet to do sushi like this – but Peking sushi hits the spot: rainbow rolls, spider rolls, dragon rolls, asparagus rolls – raw, cooked, sashimi and more.

For more delicious eats in Genesee County, take a moment to explore the Dining section of the chamber's website and find your next favorite! Or visit www.visitgeneseeny.com for information about the area.

March 30, 2018 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, corfu, GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for two projects that would result in $1.3 million in capital investment, the creation of 10 new jobs and retention of 29 jobs at its March 29th board meeting.

The GCEDC also accepted an application for assistance that would result in a capital investment of approximately $800,000 that would create six new jobs and retain 14 jobs.

Genesee Lumber Company was approved to receive approximately $57,000 in sales and mortgage tax exemptions. The company plans to demolish an existing structure to make way for a new 7,158-square-foot warehouse in the City of Batavia.

The new warehouse will store lumber and other building products to better serve customers in Genesee County and surrounding regions.

Genesee Lumber will make a $300,000 capital investment creating three new jobs and retaining 29 jobs. The project in turn will contribute to the Batavia to Prosperity (B2P) and Reinvestment Fund.

Town Center Plaza LLC was approved for approximately $77,000 in sales, property and mortgage tax exemptions in order to build a new grocery store in the Village of Corfu on a site that was a former grocery store that has been closed for several years. The new 20,000-square-foot facility is a $1 million investment that will create seven new jobs.

While the grocery store is a retail project, it qualified for financial incentives because the store will be located adjacent to a highly distressed census tract. Both the Village of Corfu and Town of Pembroke passed resolutions supporting the project.

The GCEDC board also voted to accept an application from Xylem (formerly Godwin Pumps). The company is proposing to expand its existing facility of 18,282 to 26,382 square feet. The expansion would result in a capital investment of approximately $800,000.

Total incentives being sought are approximately $100,000 and as such would require a public hearing. Xylem is planning to consolidate Rochester operations into Batavia as well. It is estimated that for every one dollar of public benefit, that Xylem will invest $63.80 into the local economy.

“These projects are the foundation for our local economy and just some of the many local business success stories across Genesee County,” said Chris Suozzi, vice president of Business Development, GCEDC.

March 30, 2018 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, darien lake, Darien, news, business.

Press release:

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort will extend its operating season to six months for 2018, stretching from opening day on Saturday, May 5 to the conclusion of its new fall event, Jack-o-Lantern Jamboree on Sunday, Oct. 29.

The Jack-o-Lantern Jamboree will kick off Saturday, Sept. 28 for five weekends of pumpkin-themed entertainment including specialty foods, costume contests, a trick-or-treat trail, a pie-eating contest and a brand-new laser light show. In addition, park guests will have the unique opportunity to bring a carved jack-o-lantern to help Darien Lake break the Guinness World Record for most carved pumpkins in a line.

For guests 12 and under, bringing a carved pumpkin will earn them free park admission.

“With an extended operating season, not only is there even more time to ride the new Tantrum roller coaster but establish new family traditions as well,” said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe.

“Buying a family four pack of season passes to put in the Easter basket not only gets you unlimited park visits, free parking, and bonus friend tickets but a free camping visit as well.”

Some of the other events in Darien Lake’s vibrant 2018 event lineup include:

·         Season Pass Holder Appreciation Weekend – May 5-6

To open our 2018 season, we are inviting all season pass holders to be the first in line to process their passes and kick off the summer with a free souvenir mug, free friend tickets, free parking and a bonus free good any-day friend ticket.

·         Father’s Day Car Show and Beer Festival – June 16-17

Classic cruisers and specialty cold brews combine for an unforgettable weekend at our annual car show.

·         Color Me Rad – June 23

Back for the sixth year, runners will be color bombed with blue, green, pink, purple, and yellow cornstarch until their face, shirt, and body come out tie-dyed in this family fun 5K. Registration is now open.

·         Kingdom Bound – July 29-Aug. 1

The 32nd annual Christian music festival will return with performances by multiple artists and speakers, plus family-friendly activities. Mandisa, for King & Country and Danny Gokey, are just a few of the musical acts slated to perform.

·         Harvest Fest – Sept. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23

Food trucks, microbrews, live music and fall activities including crafts, pumpkin painting and beer slides will lead us into the extended Halloween season.

·         Jack-o-Lantern Jamboree – Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28

Five weekends of pumpkin-themed entertainment including specialty foods, costume contests, a trick-or-treat trail, a pie-eating contest and a brand-new laser light show.

For more information on any of Darien Lake’s events or to purchase park admission, accommodations or a season pass, visit DarienLake.com.

March 30, 2018 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city school district, business, news, batavia.

Batavia City School District Superintendent Christopher J. Dailey.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia City School District has been awarded a 2018 Top Workplaces honor by the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester.

The award is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage LLC (formerly WorkplaceDynamics), a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools.

The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“Top Workplaces is more than just recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover, and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.” 

For Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Dailey, the anonymous survey confirmed what he already believed to be true: “Our administration, faculty, and staff are second to none," he said.

“They are dedicated to improving all students in every aspect of their growth while enrolled at BCSD. In addition, our Board of Education, backed by our community, supports the administration in creating a positive environment for our students and staff to work, learn, and grow.”

The future, he noted, will hold more of the same. 

“This independent survey of all of our employees is an excellent recognition that defines our district as a great place to have a career that makes a difference in our world,” Dailey said. “We offer outstanding benefits to our employees and excellent professional development opportunities for continued improvement in all aspects of our district.

"BCSD also has tremendous facilities for our employees to impact the lives of our students. Our 2020 Vision Capital Project will enhance all aspects of our employee and student lives.” 

Claffey said, “Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy. It’s an achievement organizations have worked for and a distinction that gives them a competitive advantage. It’s a big deal.”

BATAVIA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT 

MISSION:
The Batavia City School District is committed to empowering students to achieve their maximum potential, while becoming socially responsible citizens.

VISION:
The Batavia City School District, in partnership with the Batavia community, will provide a safe and nurturing environment to develop students with high moral character who are able to successfully meet life's challenges.

March 27, 2018 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in ESL Federal Credit Union, business.

Press release:

ESL Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce today (March 27) that Great Place to Work® and "Fortune" magazine named the locally owned credit union one of 15 small- and medium-sized Best Workplaces in Financial Services and Insurance, ranking number four.

There is a branch in Batavia at 4214 Veterans Memorial Drive.

For a third year in a row, ESL is included among several other impressive financial institutions on the full list of 40 small-, medium-, and large-sized companies, including Edward Jones, Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, and American Express. The entire list can be viewed at Fortune.com, here.

ESL earned this ranking based on employees’ responses to questions about their experience at work. Employees answered questions on topics of professional advancement, fairness, camaraderie and other facets of a rewarding career. ESL exceeded benchmarks for comparably-sized organizations striving to create a great workplace.

“We are truly honored to be recognized alongside these prominent and well-known financial institutions – especially in a year when the list size is limited to just 15 small and medium organizations,” said President and CEO Faheem Masood. “It speaks volumes about ESL’s commitment to creating a superior experience for our employees, who are driven to deliver a superior banking experience to our customers.”

The Best Workplaces in Financial Services and Insurance is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and Fortune based upon employee survey feedback from Great Place to Work®-Certified organizations.  

ESL also ranked on the Great Place to Work Best Small and Medium Workplaces for seven years (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, and 2010) by Great Place to Work® and "Fortune."

About ESL Federal Credit Union

Founded by George Eastman in 1920, ESL Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution with $6.2 billion in assets. The locally-owned financial institution employs more than 750 people in Rochester, New York and, includes approximately 348,000 members worldwide.

The company has now appeared on the Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list for seven years since 2010.  Access to the credit union includes 21 branch locations and more than 40 ATM locations, locally-based telephone and internet chat centers, and online and mobile banking channels. The company is headquartered at 225 Chestnut St., in Rochester, and can be found on the Internet at www.esl.org

About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. In the United States, Great Place to Work® produces the annual Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For®" and a series of Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces lists, including lists for millennials, women, diversity, small and medium companies and over a half dozen different industries.

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Copyright © 2008-2017 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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