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December 4, 2012 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, business, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Each year, the members of the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association look to recognize a member of the racing community who has selflessly given of their time and effort for the betterment of the sport and its horses.

This year, the organization will honor a man who has been doing it for more than three decades. Peter Kanter, D.V.M., Ph.D., has been practicing equine medicine in Western New York since 1973, after graduating from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. While servicing the needs of horsemen in the morning, he has also been the paddock vet at both Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway each night since 1979.

But this is only part of the story. Besides caring for his four legged patients, Dr. Kanter was also working to defeat a human disease that has touched everyone’s life at some point. From 1973 until 2008, Dr. Kanter served as a director in the Division of Drug and Treatment Development as well as being in charge of the Department of Comparative Surgery at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. Among his many accomplishments there, he was responsible for bringing a plethora of treatment drugs to market and also helped develop the techniques of what is now commonly known as minimally invasive surgery.

At the track, his commitment to the sport and its participants has been unparalleled and his many clients are a testament to that. He has made an uncountable number of horses better through his work and he continues to be there to address their needs before or after the races. While at Roswell Park, his work was responsible for helping to ease the pain and suffering of thousands of people while aiding the fight to a cure.

It is for his life’s work to improve the lives of both man and beast that Dr. Peter Kanter was chosen the 2012 UNY USHWA Unsung Hero. Dr. Kanter will receive his award trackside at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 8) during the fifth annual “Night of Distinction” awards presentation, where all the best equine and human performances of the current Batavia meet, as well as the best in Western New York for the entire year, will be feted.

December 4, 2012 - 12:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, Alabama, STAMP.

Press release:

The Town of Alabama today released results of a survey presented to residents of the town to gauge their support for the proposed Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP). It is a 1,200-acre site in the Town of Alabama which is currently under development by the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC).

The survey found that more than two out of every three residents in the Town of Alabama who responded to the survey are in favor of the STAMP project (68 percent), while 62 percent of residents feel that the proposed $10.2 million Incentive Zoning Agreement between the town and the GCEDC is “sufficient” for the STAMP project to continue.

The town negotiated for additional amenities including expanding the new water district to include more households. With this change, 433 households will now receive water through the project. The town also negotiated additional revenue to be used for capital projects in future years.

“Given the size and scope of the STAMP project, feedback from the residents in the Town of Alabama is critically important as the board approaches a decision,” said Alabama Town Supervisor Daniel Mangino.

Both the Genesee County and Town of Alabama planning boards have recommended the rezoning of the site. Final approval of the rezoning rests with the Town of Alabama.

Conducted by Goldhaber Research Associates, LLC (GRA) on behalf of the Town of Alabama, the survey was mailed to 1,500 Town of Alabama residents from Oct. 12-14. A one-page flier with information about STAMP as well as a copy of the Incentive Zoning Agreement were included in the mailing. The survey generated 707 total respondents, including 53 that arrived after the Nov. 2 deadline.

To maintain confidentiality, names of the respondents were not associated with the responses in the data files, and the information about who completed the survey or who responded in a particular way to the survey was not shared.

November 30, 2012 - 6:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Shop Local.

There are numerous locally owned shops in Genesee County that are ready to lift your spirits this holiday season, including our locally owned liquor stores.

Our locally owned businesses give to the community all year long. During the holiday season is a time to give back by keeping your hard-earned dollars in our local community and shopping locally as much as possible for your gift and entertaining needs.

Above, Christine Crocker, owner of YNGodess.

Chris Blossom, West Main Wine and Spirits

Priya Rathod, Mr. Wine and Liquor

November 29, 2012 - 4:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Shop Local.

Of course you can find great gifts in locally owned stores, and at prices you can afford.

Above, Rich Mortellaro and Doug Barnard of R&D Outlet Center.

Guy Clark, Cedar Street Sales and Rentals.

Barbara Rumsey and Jeanne Walton, the Artisan Shop @ The YWCA (Barbara is one of the local artisans whose work is available for purchase at the store).


November 29, 2012 - 9:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

GCEDC released this notice today:

For several months it has been widely reported that a mushroom growing farm, involving a $20 million investment and up 100 new jobs to the region, is being planned in the Batavia Agri-Business Park. As this initial first phase of this project continues to move forward, we are now actively pursuing Phase 2, which seeks to purchase a minimum of 5 acres to 10 acres of vacant land for the development of a composting facility.

Besides the 5-10 acre size, other features that we are seeking are as follows:

  • Zoned for Agriculture -- it may be possible that commercial or industrial zoned land can work as well;
  • Water and electric service to the site;
  • Topography: flat and cleared is ideal but anything reasonably close will be considered;
  • Topsoil -- active farm land with topsoil is "not" required, therefore, if you can use or derive additional value by using/selling this topsoil then please do;
  • Preferred location is on the west side of Batavia in zip codes 14020 / 14036 /14013 / 14005 but areas anywhere within a 5-mile radius around the Agri-Business Park will be considered;
  • Landowners be assured that the buyer is a well-qualified cash purchaser.

Should this opportunity be of interest to you please contact Steve Blake at (716) 362-8707 or e-mail at : [email protected]

November 28, 2012 - 6:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Shop Local.

Here's your challenge for your next holiday shopping excursion: Stop into at least three locally owned businesses and see what they have to offer.

Local business owners are your family members, friends, neighbors and biggest boosters of our community. When you support them, you're really supporting yourself.

You can also find great gifts, affordable prices and get great service to boot.

Above, Sherry Valvo of Floral Fantasies. Below, Greg Gluck of Alberty's and Kurt Fisher of Fisher Sports.

BTW: I had an interesting conversation with Fisher last night. He pretty much exploded the myth that chains are less expensive than locally owned stores. He said his prices are consistently lower than chain sporting goods stores in the area, especially for coaches looking to outfit teams, but even on licensed products such as Bills and Sabres jerseys.

November 28, 2012 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC.

The Genesee County Legislature meets at 7 tonight and will vote on whether to approve the 2013 budget, which includes funding for GCEDC. Local businessman Vito Gautieri submitted this opinion piece on the matter:

I have seen a lot of comments on the $213,000 given to the GCEDC; some for, some against. The legislators voted, so I guess we have to take that as the pulse of the county? Then why did the 78.55% of taxpayers say no to funding and only 21.45% say yes (Batavian poll of November 21, 2012)?

I will not get into my accusation of the CEO of the GCEDC/GCLDC for his delay in awarding the contract on the Med-Tech project across from the GCC campus. My belief is that at least $50,000 to possibly $500,000 of taxpayers’ money was misspent. I am working on getting the state Attorney General or Comptroller office to look into my allegations. I welcome anyone who will help.

Two of our largest county not-for-profits, Genesee Community College and United Memorial Medical Center, are paying $15 a square foot for space at the Med-Tech Center, and the offices of the GCEDC/GCLDC are only paying about 1/3 of that ($5 +/-) for their space. The agency will not give me a pro-forma on the Med-Tech Center.  They say that is private information and FOIL tells me they should release the info. You know I do not mind paying $0.25 a page as required by FOIL law, but deep down I wish the agency would be more transparent to taxpayers. We can do a lot to make this agency more transparent.

Anyone interested in helping, please e-mail me at [email protected]. We will meet to discuss all this further.

Thank you,
Vito J. Gautieri

November 28, 2012 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Sponsored Post, advertisement, Southside Deli.

In recognition of Power Ball reaching a $500 million prize pool, the New York State Lottery has provided Southside Deli with two tickets to this Sunday's Buffalo Bill's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium as a prize for a raffle drawing.

To enter the raffle, you most drop off a losing scratcher at the deli. Write your name and phone number on the back of the ticket. The winner will be selected Friday night in a drawing from all of those losing tickets. (If you don't have a losing ticket, go to Southside, buy some scratchers and leave a loser behind with your name and number on it for the drawing.)

Southside Deli is located at the corner of Ellicott and Liberty streets, Batavia.

The winner of the drawing gets both tickets. There is only one prize.

November 27, 2012 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Shop Local.

'Tis the season to support your local business owners ...

Today we feature Cory Richenberg, Hardcor Audio, Mike Barrett, Barrett's Batavia Marine, and Phil Pies, Max Pies Furniture.

November 26, 2012 - 9:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

A proposal by the city clerk to raise the solicitor and vendor license fee from $25 to $200 failed to fly with city council members Monday night.

While some increase is appropriate, council members said, and other fee hikes met no opposition, the solicitor increase might discourage some street sellers.

"My first reaction was a very strong concern that local vendors are part of our community and probably something like this could present difficulties to some of those vendors," Councilman John Canale said.

Councilman Brooks Hawley called the increase excessive. He said he could support an increase to $100.

So did Councilman Pierluigi Cipollone.

"It's a huge jump," Cipollone said. "Driving in here tonight I was thinking about the hot dog vendor who was here this summer. He makes maybe 10 percent or 20 percent on a sale, so he would have to sell 250 hot dogs and a Coke to recoup (the fee)."

A fee half of that proposed might be more manageable for such a vendor, Cipollone said.

Under city ordinances, any solicitor or vendor who wants to hawk wares or food on the sidewalk or go door-to-door must apply and pay for a license.

Batavia has the lowest fee of any small city in Western New York, said City Clerk Heidi Parker (inset photo), at least among the dozen or so she surveyed. Typically, the fee is at least $300 and one municipality charges $500 while another charges $25 per day.

Raising the rate would help address some problems with door-to-door solicitors, Parker said.

"We're hoping that by increasing the fee, vendors will take their actions more seriously," Parker said. "At $25, if you lose your license it's not a big deal, but at $200, we hope vendors will be more respectful of the people they're visiting."

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian said she is very concerned about the conduct of some solicitors, but is also concerned about the people who seem to go door-to-door posing as solicitors but might have more nefarious activities in mind.

She recalled calling the police on one suspicious character in her neighborhood over the summer, but when police arrived within minutes of her call, he couldn't be found.

Her request: That solicitors be required to wear and display a conspicuous ID badge.

"I want it pinned right on them," Christian said.

In the past year, Parker said, 27 vendors and solicitors paid for licenses and total revenue was $675. At $200, she said, only four would need to pay for a license for the city to maintain close to the same level of revenue on the licenses.

No decision was made at Monday's conference meeting. Parker will bring back a revised proposal at a future meeting.

The council expressed no opposition to raising the tax search fee -- for real estate transactions to find delinquent taxes and utility bills -- from $5 to $10, or the bounce check fee from $15 to $20.

On the tax search fee, Parker said, "It's not a charge to taxpayers. It's a fee for service."

The tax search fee hasn't been raised in 15 years and Batavia has, and will still have, the lowest rate among the municipalities Parker surveyed. Total revenue will rise about $1,500.

On bounced checks, the raise in revenue will be minimal since the city receives very few overdraft notices each year.

November 26, 2012 - 6:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown.

Local artist Brandi Bruggman was at Coffee Culture on Court Street this evening painting the windows of the coffeehouse with snowmen, snow-covered trees and wreathes for the holidays.

November 26, 2012 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Shop Local.

As we pointed out Friday, local shop owners are standing by, ready to help you with the perfect holiday gift.

And as we said, when you shop local, more of your hard-earned dollars stay in our local community where they can do the most good.

Above, Jim and Tina Lambert, Lambert's Design Jewelers.

Ross Walker, RW Vapors.

Bill Hume, Foxprowl.

November 26, 2012 - 12:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business, abdul rathor.

Press release:

Respected local physician, Abdul Rathor, M.D., has announced his planned retirement from United Memorial’s Cardiology and Internal Medicine practice effective Nov. 30.

Dr. Rathor began practicing in Batavia in September 1975 after completing a Fellowship in Cardiology at Albert Einstein Medical Center, a Residency in Internal Medicine at Grasslands Hospital in Valhalla and an Internship at Flushing Hospital. He was a 1965 graduate of King Edward Medical College in Lahare, Pakistan.

Dr. Rathor has served in many healthcare leadership roles including chief of Cardiology for Genesee Memorial. During the merger period of Genesee Memorial and St. Jerome Hospitals, Dr. Rathor joined in practice with Dr. Keun Oh and Dr. Midul Khan forming Genesee Cardiology and Internal Medicine at 229 Summit Street, Batavia.

In 2011, following the retirements of Dr. Kahn and Dr. Oh, the practice became affiliated with United Memorial and Cardiologist Syed A. Shah, M.D., joined the practice.

To provide continuity of care, Susan Riner, N.P., will continue to care for patients and Michael D. Merrill, M.D., has started practicing at United Memorial Cardiology and Internal Medicine. Dr. Merrill serves as the vice president of Medical Affairs for United Memorial and was a hospitalist for the Endion Hospitalist Group.

Patients of Dr. Rathor may choose to continue with Dr. Merrill at the practice or contact the office to have their medical records transferred.

“Dr. Rathor’s day-to-day presence, care and clinical expertise will be greatly missed by his patients and colleagues. We appreciate his many decades of dedicated service and wish him well in his retirement,” said UMMC President and CEO Mark Schoell.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, patients may call (585) 344-4440.

November 23, 2012 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Shop Local.

When you do your holiday shopping at a locally owned store, not only will you find unique and special gifts, more of your dollars will stay in the local community and do the most good.

Local shop owners are the people who do the most to support your community, from volunteering for local organizations to donating to local charities. Strong communities have strong local business communities, and the more we support our local businesses, the more our local economy will grow.

I stopped in on three local businesses today just to get three pictures of local people in local shops as a reminder to shop locally this holiday season.

Above are Mary Valle and Carrie Lawrence of Valle Jewelers.

John Roche, Adam Miller Toy and Bicycles

Don Brown of Charles Men's Shop

November 21, 2012 - 8:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Delavan's Restaurant.

Sunday morning Bill Cultrara, owner with his wife, Patti, of Delavan's Restaurant at 107 Evans St., Batavia, received a phone call from his cook. He quit. No notice. No reason. No explanation. Nothing. He was done.

The last time that happened about six months ago, Cultrara vowed that if happened again, he would close the restaurant, so Sunday, that's what he did.

By Tuesday afternoon, Tony Mancuso was hanging a "For Rent" sign on the building.

"He (the cook) left us high and dry," Cultrara said.

Patti said another cook quitting was just too much.

"We've been through 16 cooks in five years," Patti said. "That's all we could remember. There's others. We could remember their tattoos but not their names."

The last cook was a good employee, Bill said. He didn't smoke. He didn't gab on his mobile phone. He showed up for work. If he had a problem, he never let Bill know about it, he never offered to discuss it.

Bill said finding good professional cooks who are willing to work is just getting harder and harder.

"The restaurant business is very stressful," Bill said. "You don’t know if you’ve got a cook everyday and people are calling in sick all of the time. I’ve had enough. The stress is off of my shoulders."

Bill has a full-time job with the Sheriff's Office as manager of food services for the jail. Patti already has two new job offers lined up, including working as the Tuesday and Thursday afternoon bartender at the city's newest restaurant, Daphne's. 

He said closing the popular restaurant where he and Patti made so many friends over the years was bittersweet. He hates closing. He's glad to be rid of the stress.

Bill and Patti met at 107 Evans St. when the location was a bar and grill in 1971. Eventually, they owned the business and the building. At one time they thought they would take over Alex's Place, but when that didn't work out, so they reopened Delavan's.

With the restaurant closed for good, Bill said he will still take orders for his popular sausage and they're still selling his famous wing sauce.

So long as Bill keeps the books open on the business, which he plans to do, the variance to run such a business in its residential location will remain valid.

Bill hopes somebody will come along who wants to run a restaurant and bar in the building. Whomever it is, he says, needs to have restaurant experience. He's not going to turn the location over to somebody who he doesn't think can make a go of it.

The person who gets it and is willing to maintain the same "Cheers"-like neighborhood tavern and restaurant ambiance might find a built-in customer base. Delavan's remained very popular with a large group of loyal customers right up until its final day of business, which was Friday.

"It would be good for somebody who came in here and had a lot of energy," Bill said.

NOTE: If you purchased a gift certificate from Delavan's, or received one as a gift, you have until Dec. 31 to redeem it. Mail it to Delavan's at 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY 14020.

But if you purchased a gift certificate from The Batavian in the past 30 days, mail it to our office at 200 E. Main St., Room 5, Batavia, NY 14020. We will refund your purchase price through PayPal.

November 21, 2012 - 12:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC.

The Genesee County Legislature voted 5-3 Tuesday night to continue for another year funding GCEDC to the tune of $213,000.

A motion by Legislator Ray Cinanfrini to cut funding by $100,000 unless the GCEDC board declines to pay out bonuses to employees for 2012 failed with only Frank Ferrando and Marianne Clattenburg supporting the proposal.

The motion came after a 90-minute session that included a presentation by GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde about the work of the industrial development agency, a closed session on pending deals and personnel and, finally, a discussion on Cianfrini's motion.

"They're going to pay incentives," Cianfrini said. "They're going to pay incentives, I'm told, out of money other than what we put in for operating expenses, which tells me, they have the money available to pay those incentives. The question arises -- do you need our taxpayer dollars to fund your operation?"

That was exactly the point Hyde made during his presentation. He said that while profits (flowing through the GCEDC's sister nonprofit corporation, the GCLDC) help fund GCEDC's operations fund, the $213,000 provided by county taxpayers is critically important to the GCEDC balancing its $1.2 million operating budget.

Hyde said the money provided by the county helps pay base salaries and is not used for incentive bonuses. The bonuses are paid entirely, he said, out of revenue generated by GCEDC/GCLDC projects.

In 2012, the agency worked on 33 projects that represent $223 million in investment and the promise of 400 jobs, Hyde said.

Since 2003, GCEDC can tally 335 projects, $820 million invested and 3,500 pledged jobs.

Projects that received waivers on property tax increases since then now account for $3.5 million of property tax revenue in the coffers of various government agencies and in 10 years that total will exceed $6.4 million.

The money from the county, Hyde said, can help "remake our community and region and put money back in people's pockets."

Cianfrini's motion received support from two of the City of Batavia's three representatives.

Ferrando said there is no doubt Hyde and his team have done a great job in bringing business to the county and creating jobs, but the problem with the bonuses, he said, isn't about whether they're deserved, but with the political perception by residents.

"There is no way that I can honestly say that the people I represent can seperate what we give to the GCEDC from the bonuses and from the salaries," Ferrando said. "It just isn't going to happen. I don't think that's fair. I certainly don't think it's fair for Steve because he's sitting hear dealing with an issue he shouldn't have to deal with. But as long as that money is tied that way, I don't think there is a public relations program out there will be able to convince them them differently. "

From Clattenburg's perspective, GCEDC just hasn't done enough to help the City of Batavia. She noted that according to census figures, one-fifth of the city's residents live below the poverty level and she doesn't see Hyde and his team doing enough to generate revenue and jobs in the city.

"My territory is counted in streets, not acres, and I walk those streets and I see what the income level of my neighbors are, what their houses are worth and some areas are poorer than others," Clattenburg said. "A long time back you guys had a strategic vision for this county and it's been fulfilled to its hilt. We see it all around us.

"But somewhere along the line this strategic vision did not include us. We represent 25 percent of this county's population in just five miles, so it would be nice to see the governor here."

Ed Dejaneiro, who also represents the city, said that while he agrees there needs to be a break in the perception that taxpayer money is being used to fund bonuses for GCEDC staff, contractional obligations might prevent the board from paying bonuses for 2012.

"There are a lot of very good arguments that were made with respect to public funds and how those public funds are given and how we're looked upon as contributing to incentive payments instead of the nitty-gritty operational or project monies," Dejaneiro said.

"It's hard for us to justify with the public how this money is being spent, but I think the long and short of it is that we like what they're doing. It's a successful agency and it's one that depended on that $213,000 that we were going to contribute."

Legislator Esther Leadley, Robert Bausch, Shelly Stein and Mary Pat Hancock all spoke against Cianfrini's motion to cut funding.

Leadley said there is a false perception floating about that all of the county residents are opposed to the county giving money to GCEDC and the bonuses paid to Hyde and the rest of the staff.

"There is this implication that all of the legislators have received an enormous amount of push back on GCEDC," Leadley said. "I have not. I have heard from some people, but it has not been an absolute rush to condemn this."

Leadley said that executives from the Quaker-Muller yogurt plant have told her that a key factor in PepsiCo picking Genesee County for their facility was that Genesee County and the legislature had "skin in the game," by making a financial contribution to grow the local business community.

Bausch compared Clattenburg's experience with his own. He said when he walks around his community he passes the buildings of two companies that would not have businesses in Genesee County now if not for GCEDC.

"I've heard from constituents on both sides," Bausch said. "When I hear from the negative side, my answer has always been the same as it is now. I wish the bonuses paid were three times the amount because that would mean we had three times the jobs for our community."

Stein, who is the legislature's representative on the GCEDC board, said that it is the business community that creates the jobs that make it possible for government to function, therefore it is critical for the legislature to support GCEDC.

Hancock made the most impassioned defense of GCEDC.

"The particular investment that we have in this organization, one for 16," Hancock said. "One dollar for 16. Do the math. We need skin the game."

She also defended Hyde from some of the public attacks he has been subjected to over the past few years.

"We're always talking about the people who go away to make money and be successful," Hancock said. "We've got somebody here from our own county, from the Batavia School District, that went away, came back and became a big tiger. He's a big dog in his particular area. Where's the pride? That is super. That is super."

UPDATE: Point of clarification, Legislator Annie Lawrence was unable to attend the meeting.

November 20, 2012 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs, employment.

The number of people working in Genesee County in October is higher than in 2011, but so is the unemployment rate, according to figures released today by the Department of Labor.

There are 30,200 people working in the county, the DOL reports, which is up from 29,700 a year ago; however, the unemployment rate year-over-year went up from 6.8 percent to 7.2 percent.

The state counts 2,300 unemployed people in the county for October 2012 and 2,200 a year ago.

There were 30,300 people employed in the county in September 2012 and the unemployment rate that month was 7.1 percent.

November 20, 2012 - 9:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Tim Horton's.

Tim Horton's is moving forward with plans for a new location in Batavia, on Lewiston Road, near West Main Street Road, and the company cleared another regulatory hurdle Monday night.

The Town of Batavia Zoning Board approved a setback variance for the restaurant building, allowing the structure to be located about 15 feet from the property line.

The current, vacant, building is 10 feet from the property line and the local zoning law requires a 30-foot setback, unless a variance is granted.

The zoning board approved the variance unanimously.

The board also completed a short-form environmental review and found that the one issue to be resolved is what traffic impact a Tim Horton's will have on the already busy intersection of Lewiston and West Main.

A couple of area residents spoke out against the proposed location saying additional traffic will make an already bad intersection all that much more dangerous.

A Department of Transportation traffic study for the proposed site has already been ordered and the town's planning board will take up that issue and any other issues at a public hearing Dec. 5.

Bob Bender, real estate project planner for Tim Horton's, said he doesn't know what the traffic study will show and didn't speculate about any findings.

There would be two ingress and egress points to the proposed location, one off of Lewiston Road and the other off West Main Street. The blueprint shows the West Main driveway in the same location as this tree.

The building will be 1,953 square feet.

A franchise owner for the location will not be announced until the project is approved, Bender said.

If the project is approved, construction would start in March or April.

November 16, 2012 - 2:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones.

Five Star Bank has appointed Yvonne D. Peck as assistant vice president and branch manager at its Batavia West location. In this role, she will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and administration of the Batavia West branch.

Peck previously was employed for 26 years by First Niagara Bank, serving in a variety of roles including teller, head teller, assistant branch manager and manager.

She is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia, where she served as treasurer from 2004 to 2008. She currently serves on the board and has been active with the organization’s annual fundraising gala to support the Child Advocacy Center. She is also a board member for the Justice for Children GLOW Foundation.

Peck is a 2002 graduate of Leadership Genesee and completed the Leadership Edge Program in 2008. She resides in Batavia with her husband, Randy, and daughter, Taylor.

November 13, 2012 - 5:32pm

If you've wondered what Muller Quaker Dairy is all about, or want to find out about employment opportunities, today was the day to meet executives, try out some yogurt or put in a job application at GCC.

Hundreds of people turned out in the afternoon and the event continues until 8 p.m. in the forum.

"We're excited to be a part of the local community, so we wanted to open our doors and let people know a little more about us," said Scott Gilmore, director communications for PepsiCo, one of the partners in the new yogurt plant at Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

There were executives on hand to explain plant design and operations, the booming yogurt industry and the nature of the partnership between PepsiCo and the Germany-based Theo Muller Group.

The yogurt plant is expected to employ nearly 240 people in its first round of hiring, and some local residents have already landed jobs with the company.

Muller Quaker HR personnel were on hand today accepting applications, meeting with job candidates and explaining more about employment options at the new plant.

At one point today, the job applicant line was more than a couple dozen people long.

Gilmore said people in blue jeans and people in suits showed up today, demonstrating the diversity of jobs that will be available at the plant.

If you're not able to make it to GCC by 8 p.m., Gilmore said the company plans more such community events, or job applicants can e-mail their resumes to [email protected].




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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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