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Tompkins Community Bank promotes Stacie Mastin to Senior Vice President

By Press Release

Press Release:

Stacie Mastin
Submitted photo

Demonstrating its commitment to fostering internal growth, Tompkins Community Bank (Tompkins) has promoted Stacie Mastin to senior vice president, director of human resources. Bringing nearly three decades of financial and banking industry experience to her new role, Mastin will align human resources practices with the organization’s overall goals, while also providing guidance and support to employees. She succeeds Bonita Lindberg, who retired from the role this May.

“Throughout her 16 years at Tompkins, Stacie has consistently demonstrated her commitment to our employee's well-being, and the company’s overall goals,” said Steve Romaine, president and CEO, Tompkins Financial. “Stacie has shown an impressive ability to enrich our corporate culture and we look forward to her bringing that talent to her new role.”

Previously, Mastin served as vice president, manager of human resources, at Tompkins; during this time, she led several strategic initiatives that created a welcoming environment in which employees, and clients, felt valued. In addition, Mastin previously served as a Wealth Advisor with our partners at Tompkins Financial Advisors. A graduate of Post University with a bachelor's degree in human services and a concentration in human resources management, Mastin worked as a multi-site branch manager at M&T Bank before joining Tompkins in 2008. Currently, she serves as the president of The Society for Human Resource Management of Tompkins County (SHRMTC) and is a former community fund committee member of United Way.

Today, Mastin resides in Lansing, New York with her husband Greg and their son.

UConnectCare named one of 27 ‘Best Companies’ in NYS

By Press Release

Press release:

The New York State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management, Best Companies Group and Rochester Business Journal have named UConnectCare Behavioral Health Services as one of the 2024 Best Companies to Work for in New York.

This is the sixth consecutive year that the local nonprofit agency, formerly known as Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, has been recognized by Best Companies to Work for in New York, a research-driven program that examines a company’s practices, programs and benefits and also surveys its employees for their perspectives.

UConnectCare was one of 27 businesses in the state receiving the honor in the medium companies (100-249 employees) category.

“As our agency continues to grow, I am especially proud of how our staff has pulled together to provide a wider spectrum of services, while also expressing their satisfaction on the survey in terms of their workplace experience,” UConnectCare Chief Executive Officer John Bennett said. “I am delighted by the level of professionalism and compassion displayed by our employees throughout the organization.”

To be considered, companies must have at least 15 full-time or part-time employees working in New York; be a for-profit or not-for-profit business or government entity; be a publicly or privately held business; have a facility in the State of New York and be in business a minimum of one year.

There were two parts used to determine the rankings. The first consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices and demographics, worth approximately 25 percent of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience, which consisted of 75 percent of the total. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final rankings.

For more information on the Best Companies to Work for in New York program, visit

ESL Federal Credit Union names Monteleone, Rudolph as business development representatives

By Press Release

Press Release:

Joe Monteleone
Submitted photo.

ESL Federal Credit Union recently named Joe Monteleone and Pam Rudolph as business development representatives. They bring a combined 55 years of experience to the financial institution. In their new positions, Monteleone and Rudolph will aid with strengthening the expertise of ESL.

Monteleone’s experience spans 30 years, having previously worked at Five Star Bank and most recently Tompkins Trust Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Oswego.

Pam Rudolph
Submitted photo.

Rudolph joins the ESL team with 25 years of experience. Her previous employment also includes Five Star Bank and Tompkins Trust Company. She holds an associate degree from Genesee Community College.

Rudolph is actively involved in her community, serving as an Attica Central School District School Board Member, Attica Booster Club Board Member, Trinity United Methodist Church Trustee, Attica Historical Society Board Member, and Attica Village Board Trustee.

Sponsored Post: Join the Early Access Pass today and receive a $50 T.F. Brown's gift card

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Early Access Pass, T.F. Brown's

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Members of Early Access Pass help support local journalism and get early access (currently, four hours) to select stories published by The Batavian.

Tom Fagen joins Oxbo's high value crop division

By Press Release

Press Release:

Tom Fagen
Tom Fagen
Submitted photo.

Oxbo, a leader in specialty harvesting and controlled application equipment, is pleased to announce Tom Fagen has joined Oxbo as Sales Manager for the North American High Value Crop team. With decades of experience in sales leadership roles, Fagen’s proven track record aligns with Oxbo’s commitment to team development and customer satisfaction.

“I am thrilled to have Tom at Oxbo,” said Curt Schaben, Director of Marketing & Sales for Oxbo’s High Value Crop Division. “Tom brings extensive sales and management experience that will help Oxbo get closer with our customers.”

“I am honored to join Oxbo at such an exciting time in its journey. I look forward to working closely with this talented sales team to deepen customer relationships and drive sustainable growth across North America,” stated Fagen.

Oxbo’s High Value Crop Division serves seed corn, vegetable, and application customers; Oxbo’s direct-to-customer sales and service approach sets it apart from many in the industry. For more information on Oxbo, please visit

Graham Corporation announces filing of universal shelf registration statement

By Press Release

Press Release:

Graham Corporation (NYSE: GHM) (“GHM” or “the Company”), is a global leader in the design and manufacture of mission-critical fluid, power, heat transfer and vacuum technologies for the defense, space, energy, and process industries, announced today that it has filed a universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  

If and when the shelf registration is declared effective, it will permit the Company to offer and sell, from time to time in one or more offerings, up to $150 million of common stock, preferred stock, warrants, purchase contracts, units, or any combination of these securities.

Christopher J. Thome, Chief Financial Officer, commented, “We believe a shelf registration is a demonstration of good corporate governance as it provides GHM with enhanced financial flexibility to meet our long-term strategic goals.  It enables us to access the capital markets quickly and efficiently, if and when favorable conditions align for the Company and our shareholders."

Jim Campbell passes Chapin's leadership role to WNY native Tim Onello

By Howard B. Owens
Timothy Onello and Jim Campbell, Chapin International
Timothy Onello, left, the newly appointed president and CEO of Chapin International, based in Batavia, and Jim Campbell, who is retiring as president and CEO.
Photo by Howard Owens.

As Chapin International prepares to celebrate its 140th year in business, it will do so with a new president and CEO in place, a Western New York native whose manufacturing career has taken him across the United States.

Chapin was founded in Oakfield and remains based in Batavia, with its headquarters on Ellicott Street. The company's growth has led to the opening or acquisition of plants in other states and parts of the world.

With all of that, and the challenging business climate in New York, Chapin remains committed to Batavia, said the new CEO, Tim Onello.

"I think that is where our priority is," Onello told The Batavian in an exclusive joint interview On Thursday with Jim Campbell, who is retiring as president and CEO. "I know the company is 100 percent committed to this area and to ensuring we're a good employer in the region. So, yes, our number one commitment is to stay here in Batavia."

Onello said he is looking forward to continuing the growth Chapin has enjoyed under Campbell's leadership. Campbell was Dave Ward's successor. After Ward, Campbell was the second non-family member to run Chapin. With 20 years in the CEO seat, Campell was the longest-serving person in that position.

Though Onello has been an executive with lawn and garden manufacturing companies throughout much of his business career, Chapin's line of sprayers and related products is a slightly new field to him. 

"I think what attracted me to the company was, first, all of the product range," Onello said. "Even though it's a little bit outside of my background, my background is hand tools and power tools, a lot of them are sold in the same channels as Chapin."

That mix of products at Chapin and its track record of growth is an opportunity and challenge, Onello suggested. 

"Where's that next growth coming from? So, I think part of where we'll dig in with the team is just to find out how can we grow the business and take it to the next level," Onello said. "Jim and team have done such a great job at growing this business over the past 20 years, and I think Jim took it four times where it used to be. It's my job, with all the marketing and product experience, to really look at adjacent areas for this company to manufacture new products and take it to that next level."

Onello was VP and general manager of ITW, a Fortune 200 company. While employed by ITW, he was based in San Luis Obispo, Calif.  Prior to joining ITW, he spent nearly 12 years with JPW Industries in Nashville, rising to the position of VP and general manager.

He has MBAs from Thunderbird School of Global Management and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a bachelor of science in marketing and psychology from Northern Michigan University.

Chapin was founded in 1884 in the back of a hardware store in Oakfield, where R.E. Chapin made oil storage containers for oil lamps.  In the early 1900s, the company moved to Batavia and started manufacturing garden sprayers. 

Today, the company has six major product lines with more than 650 different items for sale to retail and business customers.

Campbell is proud of the company's accomplishments during his tenure. 

"If you're not growing, you shrink," he said, which is why the company works through five-year strategic growth plans. The most recent plan expires as he exits. 

"This will be the first year that we didn't quite meet the strat plan," Campbell said. "That's because in the strat plan was another acquisition for about $40 million. We didn't do another acquisition. That's the only part of the five-year plan we didn't meet. All the organic growth we did meet, and (the company) is still growing. We should be able to make another $50 million to $60 million in three or four years."

That's gross revenue.

Chapin isn't a publicly traded company, so it generally does not disclose revenue and profits, but publicly traded companies, such as another big manufacturer in Batavia, Graham Corp., are required to release financial reports, and so Campbell offered this comparison: "We do more dollars than Graham." 

Graham's reported revenue for 2023 was $147.1 million.

Campbell's role in helping the board of directors select a new CEO focused primarily on ensuring the board understood the complexities of the job. He put together a job description that filled a three-ring binder with 150 pages.

He said job candidates also agreed to a psychological profile, which is common in the business world these days, especially for executive positions. 

Onello was attracted to the job not only because of the product line but also because it offered him a chance to move back home to raise his three teenage daughters close to family in Western New York.

"I grew up in Cheektowaga and went to schools in West Seneca," Onello said. "I have a ton of family in Buffalo and was bringing my family back here three times a year to visit the area, so when the opportunity came up to return to Western New York, to be able to jump into an adjacent industry, to be back with family and friends, it was just ideal."

Onello said he was impressed with Chapin's culture and praised Campbell's ability to maintain a loyal workforce.

"One of the biggest things, it's always about the people, right?" Onello said. "I think Jim's built an incredible culture here where you have long, tenured, loyal workers who really care about the brand and care about the company. There's a lot of pride in the company. Many employees have 30 years or 40 years of tenure, and that just doesn't happen in so many other areas. That loyalty to the brand, to the company, is really exciting."

Campbell's plans in retirement — he's rooted in Western New York with a residence just inside of Erie County from Pembroke — and a plot of land in Pembroke with an orchard and elderberries and a big barn, don’t include moving elsewhere.

He said he plans to spend more time with his wife Caite.  They also have a cottage in Canada.

"We're a real outdoor, hunting and fishing kind of family," Campbell said.

He also enjoys blacksmithing, primarily making knives.

As for Onello, he doesn't have time for many hobbies.  His daughters are 13 and 15.

"When I'm not working, I'm usually chasing them around, taking them to their events and sports," Onello said. "Of course, naturally, I look forward to being able to go to  a few Bills and Sabres games now that I'm back in the region."

Tompkins Community Bank welcomes Don Cortina as SVP, Commercial Regional Manager

By Press Release

Press Release:

Submitted photo of Don Cortina.

An expansion of its commercial lending services, Tompkins Community Bank (Tompkins) has welcomed Don Cortina as senior vice president and commercial banking regional manager. Before joining Tompkins, Cortina worked as a senior relationship manager, global and commercial banking, at Bank of America. 

Bringing over 20 years of banking and financial experience to his new role, Cortina will oversee the commercial lending team across Monroe County, focused on developing and expanding new client relationships, while strategically working to enhance commercial services for Tompkins’ business clients.

“Don’s extensive industry knowledge and experience, particularly in terms of new business development, will be an asset to our organization, and our clients,” said Steven Beardsley, SVP and commercial lending division manager at Tompkins. “We look forward to seeing Don strengthen the capabilities of our commercial lending team and further expand Tompkins’ impact in Monroe County.”

A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Cortina is a seasoned veteran of the banking and financial industry, having previously held roles at KeyBank, Five Star Bank, M&T Bank, and JP Morgan Chase, in addition to his recent leadership role at Bank of America. Cortina sits on the Junior Achievement of Central New York’s Board of Directors and resides in Fairport, New York, with his wife, and two children.

Space to grow, better parking, among advantages for new Smith's Great Outdoors location

By Howard B. Owens
smith's great outdoors
The staff of Smith's Great Outdoors: Ray Smith, Bayden Smith, Matt Welch, Kevin Corser, Randy DeMars.
Photo by Howard Owens. 

A better spot with more room was a strong incentive to change locations, said Ray Smith, owner of Smith's Great Outdoors, which sells most things any dedicated hunter or fisherman might need.

For the past few years, Smith's has been located at Lewiston Road and Veterans Memorial Drive, near Applebees.

The store is now at 8282 Park Road, Batavia. There will be a grand opening from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. 

"We've always enjoyed the outdoors on hunting, and so why not do it (own a store)" Smith said. "The kids work here so it's great. Brayden is in college. He helps out from college, and my two daughters help out here and there with this and that, and my wife helps. Then we've got a good group of employees to make it all happen."

The location also offers more parking, and the lot is easier to get in and out of, Smith said.

"The main thing here is more room, so we can expand some more and put in a range," Smith said.

He said the range is still early in the planning stages, but it will be inside. He's looking at a 40-yard range, but he's not sure how many targets yet.

"We're just kind of in the beginning stages of that," Smith said.

Smith's has a large selection of guns, bows, crossbows, accessories, reloading supplies, and bait and tackle.

There's no gunsmith at the store, but Smith said the staff can clean guns and do minor repairs.

"We got a new full-time archery kid starting in May," Smith said. "He'll be here all week long, and he'll be able to do any bow, fix just about whatever problems people have."

He invited everybody to come out to the grand opening on Saturday.

"We'll have the Elba High School track team here," Smith said. "They will be selling hotdogs and hamburgers, and we'll have a whole bunch of different reps from different product lines here and a whole bunch of specials, and we've got a bunch of good giveaways and stuff going to go on."

Photos by Howard Owens

smith's great outdoors
smith's great outdoors
smith's great outdoors
smith's great outdoors
smith's great outdoors

Buffalo-native with more than two decades manufacturing experience named new Chapin CEO

By Howard B. Owens
Timothy Onello

Buffalo-Native Timothy Onello has been named president and CEO of Chapin International, taking over from Jim Campbell, who is retiring.

Onello is taking over a company that now has production facilities in the U.S. and overseas but was founded in Oakfield 140 years ago.

The firm is celebrating its 140th anniversary in June. 

From 2020 until February of this year, Onello was VP and general manager of ITW, a Fortune 200 company. He was based in San Luis Obispo, Calif.   Prior to joining ITW, he spent nearly 12 years with JPW Industries in Nashville, rising to the position of VP and general manager.

He has MBAs from Thunderbird School of Global Management and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a bachelor of science in marketing and psychology from Northern Michigan University.

He's also held positions at Hilti Tools, Positec Tools, and Irwin Industrial Tools.

Chapin manufactures sprayers, broadcast spreaders, handheld spreaders, ATV sprayers, backpack sprayers, and specialty sprayers.


Chapin announces retirement of longtime CEO and president, Jim Campbell

By Press Release
jim campbell
Submitted photo

Press release:

Chapin International would like to announce that Jim Campbell, longtime CEO and President of the company, will be retiring at the end of 2024. Jim has not just guided but rather propelled Chapin through tremendous growth over the last twenty years of management.  

Since assuming the reins as CEO, Chapin has experienced exponential growth of over 400%, broadening its footprint with facilities in four states and two foreign countries, all under his visionary leadership.

Chapin's product portfolio has expanded from a market scope solely focused on sprayers to a multitude of adjacent categories, including lawn and salt spreaders, bird food and accessories, water and irrigation products, and custom blow molding. Chapin continues to develop new product offerings and expand within the market today. 

When asked about retirement, Jim quickly acknowledges that his team and all the folks who work in Batavia and the outside businesses have been critical to Chapin's continued success. 

“All good things happen because people pull together and make things happen,” said Campbell. “I am really proud to have worked with the men and women at Chapin. It is hard to leave as these are some of the best friends I have in the world. As I prepare to retire and join all my friends who have gone before me, I feel good about leaving the company in a very strong financial position, much larger, more resilient, and more diverse than when I started many years ago.”

Jim has been named to the Buffalo Business First List of the Power 250, recognizing the most influential people in Western New York's business community, for the last three years running.

Jim will continue to assist at Chapin from “time to time” in between fishing and working on his orchard.

We wish Jim a long and enjoyable retirement, which he has certainly earned. We are deeply grateful for his leadership and the indelible mark he has left on Chapin International.


Empire State Development honored as partner of year at GCEDC annual meeting

By Press Release
Empire State Development receiving an award from GCEDC for partner of the year.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Empire State Development receiving an award from GCEDC for partner of the year.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Press release:

At its annual meeting, the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) celebrated another successful year of economic development activity, including 11 projects that will generate up to $700 million in economic impact in Genesee County.

The gathering of over 230 stakeholders and partners was thanked for their role in growing Genesee County’s economy, including Friday’s announcement that Edwards Vacuum has started construction of a $319 million semiconductor dry pump manufacturing campus at the STAMP mega-site. 

The meeting also was a celebration of the service and leadership of Steve Hyde as President and CEO of the GCEDC, who announced Friday that would be retiring in July from the GCEDC after over 21 years as the organization’s professional leader.

“It’s always difficult to put into few words all of Steve’s achievements,” said GCEDC Board Chair Pete Zeliff. “Over 20 years as President and CEO, Steve and Genesee County have accomplished significant economic growth and prosperity of the community with all of these projects, investments and new jobs. It’s appropriate that the announcement of Steve’s retirement comes on top of the start of construction at STAMP of the Edwards Vacuum project as STAMP is the cornerstone of Steve’s vision for Genesee County as an advanced manufacturing hub.”

Following a video featuring well wishes from past board members, community leaders, and economic development partners, Hyde reflected on the support given in pursuing economic growth, led by the Genesee County Legislature, GCEDC board members, municipal and community leaders.

“That has been our ‘True North’ for over 20 years now - to build back manufacturing and create more and better jobs for our residents and children,” Hyde said. “Because of your support, we’ve developed and activated 8 shovel-ready industrial park sites. Existing businesses have expanded, and new businesses have chosen Genesee County. Thousands of youths have been guided through career-focused workforce programs.”

During Hyde’s tenure, the GCEDC has completed over 500 projects generating over $2.5 billion in investment, supporting thousands of careers both created and retained by businesses.

Empire State Development (ESD) was among the partners recognized at the annual meeting. It was named the GCEDC’s Economic Development Partner of Year. ESD Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Development/Global NY Jeff Janiszewski accepted the award and provided the event’s keynote address.

Mark Masse, GCEDC Senior Vice President, led the proceedings with remarks highlighting the successful projects underway in Genesee County. In addition to Edwards Vacuum’s construction, Genesee County in 2023 welcomed the announcement of a $120 million expansion by HP Hood at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, and completion of major distribution, healthcare, manufacturing, and equipment operations.

Masse also noted that National Grid completed a significant milestone to support STAMP’s current and future tenants by completing a powerline re-route that supports the first distribution line from the 600-MW substation being constructed at STAMP.

“It may sound like a broken record, but 2023 was another hugely successful year for our county and 2024 is already off to a strong start,” said Masse.

Hyde said the projects underway after years of development, planning, and implementation reminded him of a sentiment he has shared frequently during his time at the GCEDC, “economic development is a marathon, not a sprint.”

“I can see the finish line for me getting closer, but this is not the end of the race,” Hyde said. “It’s really the beginning. The assets for continued economic growth and success have been built. I hope that in years to come, we can look back at this moment as the humble start of something even greater.”

Peter Zeliff GCEDC board chair.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Peter Zeliff GCEDC board chair.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Steve Hyde recognized for 22 years of service with GCEDC.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Steve Hyde recognized for 21 years of service with GCEDC.  
is Photo by Steve Ognibene
Jeff Janiszewski, Empire State Development receving award.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Jeff Janiszewski, Empire State Development receving award.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Jeff Janiszewski, Keynote address  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Jeff Janiszewski, Keynote address  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Pediatric Associates of Batavia joins Oak Orchard Health

By Press Release

Press Release:

As of April 30, Pediatric Associates will join Oak Orchard Health (OOH) in Batavia. Drs. Muhammad S. Idrees, a Board Certified Pediatrician, and Nashiha Shahid, Board Certified in Family Medicine and Geriatrics, will be seeing patients at Oak Orchard’s location at 319 West Main Street, Batavia.

“Oak Orchard Health is pleased to have two experienced physicians join our staff in Batavia. Drs. Idrees and Shahid are both dedicated to their patients and share so many of our core values that it made it an easy decision to add them to our panel of providers,” said Karen Kinter, EO, Oak Orchard Health.

Submitted photo of Dr. Muhammad S. Idrees, a Board Certified Pediatrician.

“I am incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity to embark on this journey at Oak Orchard Health. As a pediatrician, empathy and compassion are at the core of how I interact with my young patients and their families. I strive to understand the full impact of illness on their lives, both physically and emotionally. Oak Orchard Health shares my values of patient-centeredness and helps people from all walks of life. Dr. Shahid and I are looking forward to working at Oak Orchard Health,” said Dr. Muhammad Idrees, pediatrician, Oak Orchard Health (formerly at Pediatric Associates of Batavia).

Submitted photo of Dr. Nashiha Shahid, Board Certified in Family Medicine and Geriatrics.

“Oak Orchard Health shares my belief to serve everyone, no matter their situation. Joining a community health center is another way for me and Dr. Idrees to continue to make a difference and contribute to the well-being of the people in this community. At Oak Orchard Health we’ll be able to give our patients access to additional services such as behavioral health, dental, and vision care. In addition, their care management team helps people overcome obstacles to accessing medical care. This is all a plus for our patients,” said Dr. Shahid, Oak Orchard Health (formerly at Pediatric Associates of Batavia).

Drs. Idrees and Shahid will be joining Oak Orchard providers Mohammadreza Azadfard, MD, Christina Sobczak, PNP, Lauren Rogers, PA, Emily Hein, PNP, and Megan Krebs, LMSW (Behavioral Health).

For more information or to make an appointment, contact Oak Orchard Health at Batavia at 585-599-6446 or visit our website at

Tompkins Financial Corporation reports first quarter financial results

By Press Release

Press Release:

Tompkins Financial Corporation ("Tompkins" or the "Company") reported diluted earnings per share of $1.18 for the first quarter of 2024, up 12.4% compared to the immediate prior quarter, and down 12.6% from diluted earnings per share of $1.35 reported in the first quarter of 2023.

Net income for the first quarter of 2024 was $16.9 million, up 12.5% compared to the immediate prior quarter, and down 13.0% from the $19.4 million reported for the same period in 2023.  The decrease in net income from the first quarter of 2023 was mainly a result of lower net interest income, driven by increased funding costs and increased provision for credit loss expense.  Decreases in net income were partially offset by growth in fee-based revenues and lower operating expenses year-over-year.  

Tompkins President and CEO, Stephen Romaine, commented, "In the first quarter we saw positive earnings momentum and continue to be well positioned with strong capital and liquidity.  For the quarter we saw continued loan growth with a year-over-year increase of 7.0%, moderation in deposit cost increases, and 8.5% growth in noninterest income.  We remain focused on noninterest expenses, which were lower in the first quarter compared to prior year.  As the industry challenges continue in light of the current economic environment, we plan to leverage the strength of our balance sheet and drive growth through quality customer relationships."


  • Net interest margin for the first quarter of 2024 was 2.73%, compared to 2.82% for the fourth quarter of 2023, and 2.99% for the first quarter of 2023.
  • Average cost of deposits were up 11 basis points compared to the fourth quarter 2023, down from a 23 basis point increase from the third quarter to the fourth quarter 2023. 
  • Fee-based services (insurance, wealth management, service charges on deposit accounts and cards) revenues for the first quarter of 2024 were up $3.1 million or 18.4% compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, and $1.5 million or 8.1% over the first quarter of 2023.
  • Total operating expenses of $49.9 million for the first quarter of 2024 were down $1.4 million or 2.8% compared to the compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, and $301,000 or 0.6% from the first quarter of 2023.
  • Total loans at March 31 were up $34.6 million, or 0.6% (2.5% on an annualized basis), compared to the immediate prior quarter, and up $366.9 million, or 7.0%, from March 31, 2023.
  • Total deposits at March 31 were $6.4 billion, up $49.8 million, or 0.8% (3.1% on an annualized basis), from December 31, 2023, and down $59.4 million, or 0.9%, from March 31, 2023. 
  • Loan to deposit ratio was 87.5%, compared to 87.6% for the immediate prior quarter.
  • Regulatory Tier 1 capital to average assets was 9.08% at March 31 unchanged from December 31, 2023, and down compared to 9.63% at March 31, 2023.


Net interest income was $50.7 million for the first quarter of 2024, down from $52.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2023, and $54.2 million for the first quarter of 2023. Net interest income for the quarter ended March 31 was impacted by increases in interest expense, which totaled $32.5 million for the first quarter of 2024 compared to $15.0 million for the same period in 2023, partially offset by increased interest and dividend income, which increased by $13.9 million when compared to the first quarter of 2023.  

Net interest margin was 2.73% for the first quarter of 2024, compared to 2.82% reported for the fourth quarter of 2023, and 2.99% for the first quarter of 2023. The decrease in margin from the fourth quarter of 2023 was due to higher funding costs, driven by market rates and higher borrowings due to seasonal deposit changes outpacing increases on interest earning asset yields and growth in average loan balances.

Average loans for the quarter ended March 31 were up $134.9 million, or 2.5%, from the fourth quarter of 2023, and were up $370.3 million, or 7.1%, compared to the quarter ended March 31, 2023. The increase in average loans over both prior periods was mainly in the commercial real estate portfolio. The average yield on interest-earning assets for the quarter ended March 31 was 4.47%, which was up from 4.34% for the quarter ended December 31, 2023, and up from 3.81% for the quarter ended March 31, 2023.

Average total deposits for the first quarter of 2024 were down $123.9 million, or 1.9%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, while period end balances were up $49.8 million or 0.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2023 driven by seasonal deposit trends.  Average deposits for the quarter were down $206.8 million, or 3.1%, compared to the same period in 2023. The decrease compared to the prior year was largely driven by inflation and persistent rate competition for deposits due to the current interest rate environment and tightening monetary policy.  The cost of interest-bearing deposits of 2.17% for the first quarter of 2024, was up 13 basis points from 2.04% for the fourth quarter of 2023, and up 107 basis points from 1.10% for the first quarter of 2023.  The ratio of average noninterest bearing deposits to average total deposits for the first quarter of 2024 was 28.8% compared to 29.6% for the fourth quarter of 2023, and 31.4% for the quarter ended March 31, 2023.  The average cost of interest-bearing liabilities for the first quarter of 2024 of 2.51% represents an increase of 26 basis points over the fourth quarter of 2023, and an increase of 125 basis points over the same period in 2023.


Noninterest income of $22.1 million for the first quarter of 2024 was up $1.7 million or 8.5% compared to the same period in 2023.  The increase was mainly due to increases in fee-based revenues which included insurance commissions and fees, up $750,000, wealth management fees, up $428,000 and card services income, up $257,000.  Noninterest income represented 30.4% of total revenue at March 31, compared to 26.5% at December 31, 2023, and 27.3% at March 31, 2023.


Noninterest expense was $49.9 million for the first quarter of 2024, which was down $301,000 or 0.6% compared to the first quarter of 2023.  The decrease was mainly driven by lower other expenses (legal fees, marketing expense, and travel and meeting expense) and lower salaries, wages and other employee benefits in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.


The provision for income tax expense of $5.2 million for an effective rate of 23.5% for the first quarter of 2024, compared to tax expense of $3.1 million and an effective rate of 17.2% for the fourth quarter of 2023, and $5.9 million and an effective rate of 23.3% for the same quarter in 2023.


The allowance for credit losses represented 0.92% of total loans and leases at March 31, in line with December 31, 2023, and up from 0.87% at March 31, 2023. The ratio of the allowance to total nonperforming loans and leases was 82.47% at March 31, compared to 82.84% at December 31, 2023 and 162.11% at March 31, 2023.  The decrease in the ratio compared to the same prior year period was due to the increase in nonperforming loans and leases discussed in more detail below.

Provision for credit losses for the first quarter of 2024 was $854,000 compared to a credit of $825,000 for the same period in 2023. The increase in provision expense for the first quarter of 2024 was mainly driven by increased off-balance sheet exposures related to growth in commercial loan pipeline, loan growth, and changes in asset quality.  The provision credit in the first quarter of 2023 was largely driven by significant net recoveries.  Net charge-offs for the first quarter of 2024 were $228,000 compared to net recoveries of $1.3 million reported for the same period in 2023.

Nonperforming assets represented 0.81% of total assets at March 31, up from 0.80% reported at December 31, 2023 and 0.37% at March 31, 2023. At March 31 nonperforming loans and leases totaled $62.7 million, compared to $62.3 million at December 31, 2023 and $28.4 million at March 31, 2023. The increase in nonperforming loans at March 31 compared to the same period in 2023, was mainly due to the addition of one relationship with two commercial real estate properties totaling approximately $33.8 million included in the office space and mixed use properties portion of the commercial real estate portfolio during the fourth quarter of 2023. The Company believes that the existing collateral securing the loans is sufficient to cover the exposure as of March 31.

Special Mention and Substandard loans and leases totaled $118.7 million at March 31, compared to $123.1 million reported at December 31, 2023, and $85.6 million reported at March 31, 2023.


Capital ratios at March 31 remained well above the regulatory minimums for well-capitalized institutions. The ratio of total capital to risk-weighted assets was 13.43% at March 31, compared to 13.36% at December 31, 2023, and 14.62% at March 31, 2023. The ratio of Tier 1 capital to average assets was 9.08% at March 31, unchanged from the most recent prior quarter, and down compared to 9.63% at March 31, 2023.


The Company's liquidity position at March 31 was stable and consistent with the immediately prior quarter. Liquidity is enhanced by ready access to national and regional wholesale funding sources including Federal funds purchased, repurchase agreements, brokered deposits, Federal Reserve Bank Discount Window advances and Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB) advances. The Company maintains ready access liquidity of $1.5 billion, or 19.3% of total assets at March 31. As a member of the FHLB, the Company can use certain unencumbered mortgage-related assets and securities to secure borrowings from the FHLB. At March 31 the Company had an available borrowing capacity at the FHLB of $773.4 million. Through various programs at the Federal Reserve Bank, the Company has the ability to use certain loans and securities to secure borrowings from the Federal Reserve Bank's Discount Window.  At March 31 the available borrowing capacity with the Federal Reserve Bank was $138 million, secured by loans. In addition to the available borrowing lines at the FHLB and Federal Reserve Bank, at March 31, the Company maintained $579.6 million of unencumbered securities which could be pledged to further enhance secured borrowing capacity. 

GCEDC announces changes to sewer line plans for WNY STAMP

By Press Release

Press release:

“The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) is pleased to announce that we are working closely with the towns of Oakfield and Alabama, along with the village of Oakfield and regulatory agencies, to construct a force main to accommodate the current projects at STAMP and a potential future project.

“This project would result in capital improvements to the Village of Oakfield wastewater treatment plant, including the installation of equipment to reduce the current phosphorus discharge into Oak Orchard Creek.

“As the Oakfield line cannot fully replace the Orleans County line, we will continue to pursue the force main to Oak Orchard Creek in the town of Shelby through a different construction method, and we look forward to working with the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Tonawanda Seneca Nation as this process moves forward. The Oakfield plan alleviates the timing pressures for the build-out of the force main to Oak Orchard Creek.

“As a result of being recently notified by the USFWS that our permit for horizontal directional drilling for the force main to Oak Orchard Creek in the town of Shelby has been terminated, we are in the process of submitting a new permit application to propose an open cut construction method which will avoid the types of incidents that resulted from the former method.

“The determination by USFWS is unrelated to claims made by Orleans County regarding the force main to Oak Orchard Creek.  Those claims brought by Orleans County were recently dismissed by the State Supreme Court following an Article 78 hearing.”

Mark E. Woodward receives Circle of Success recognition at Ameriprise Financial

By Press Release

Press Release:

Submitted photo of 
Mark E. Woodward.

Mark E. Woodward, CFP®, CLTC®, APMA TM, a Private Wealth Advisor with Fieldstone Private Wealth, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. in Batavia, has qualified for the company’s Circle of Success annual recognition program and will be honored for this achievement in 2024.

To earn this achievement, Woodward established himself as one of the company’s top advisors. Only a select number of high-performing advisors earn this distinction.

He has 30 years of experience with Ameriprise Financial. As a private wealth advisory practice, Fieldstone Private Wealth provides financial advice that is anchored in a solid understanding of client needs and expectations and provided in one-on-one relationships with their clients. 

For more information, please contact Mark Woodward at 585-344-1262, visit the Ameriprise office at 219 East Main Street, Batavia, or visit their website at

Retiring optician looking to get Batavians framed before closing up shop

By Howard B. Owens
classic optical closeout

Even as he heads off into retirement after 40 years in business, Bob Chiarmonte wants to ensure that many of the 1,500 backstock of eyeglass frames he has go to his former customers and other local residents before sending them to auction.

Chiarmonte is offering the remainder of his inventory of eyeglass frames for $10 to $25 per frame, which can be filled with prescription lenses by any optometrist shop. That's a good bit less costly than the typical retail price of $100 to $150, Chiarmonte said.

Chiarmonte is keeping the shop open into sometime next week in order to sell as many frames as possible. He's also selling all of his store fixtures -- and if there's an  optometrist looking for examination gear, he's got that, too.

Classic Optical is located at 44 Batavia City Centre, Batavia. 

Previously: Optician sets his sights on family, travel in retirement after nearly 40 years

Photos by Howard Owens

classic optical closeout

UConnectCare hires coordinator to lead GOW Opioid Task Force

By Press Release

Press release:

Submitted photo of Jay Baran.

UConnectCare (formerly Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse) has hired Jay Baran as the coordinator of the GOW Opioid Task Force.

Baran, 26, is responsible for overseeing the three-county – Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming – volunteer organization that is dedicated to saving lives by reducing overdoses and overdose deaths.

A graduate of St. Mary’s of Lancaster, Baran earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a minor in Biology from SUNY Brockport in 2022. She replaces Christen Foley, who accepted the position of project director of the Western New York Prevention Resource Center, a program of UConnectCare.

In her role as coordinator, Baran will provide assistance to the task force’s six work groups – steering committee, access to care, data, community education, law enforcement, and family, loved ones, and allies. She also will be setting up quarterly meetings and events, with Overdose Awareness Day on August 28 next on the schedule.

“I have a passion for public health and am grateful to be able to serve in that capacity (with UConnectCare),” she said. “The GOW Opioid Task Force has made quite an impact over the past several years and I am looking forward to the initiatives that lie ahead.”

Baran served as a camp counselor for Just for Kids in Orchard Park before taking a position with Citibank in Buffalo for a year. Last year, she managed the social media account and coordinated a team of volunteers at Uplift Irondequoit, a coalition that supports programs and activities related to prevention, education, and reduction of youth substance use.

For more information about the GOW Opioid Task Force, contact Baran a or at 585-815-1863.

Bergen company celebrates another 'moment of validation' with groundbreaking

By Joanne Beck
craft cannery bergen ground breaking 2024
Craft Cannery CEO Paul Guglielmo talks to community members gathered for a groundbreaking Wednesday at the Bergen facility.
Photo by Howard Owens

Just about a year ago, Tom Riggio, partner with Paul Guglielmo of the booming Craft Cannery business venture in Bergen, spoke about the site's future expansion on Appletree Avenue and plans to hire more employees along with the physical growth.

Food and manufacturing officials brought the shovels out Wednesday for the ceremonial groundbreaking and celebration of the $1.5 million, 6,300 square-foot warehouse that will allow for a second kitchen and bottling line facility and, in turn, take on more clients, churn out more products and create more jobs.

Despite the continuous growth, there’s one element that has remained throughout the manufacturing process that may take a little more time but has most definitely been worth it for a winning product in the end, Guglielmo says.

“We make it exactly how you would make it at home. We put oil in, we let the oil get hot, and we put onion, garlic bell pepper in there and we sauté, then we add our tomatoes after that, our spices after that, and then we bottle it,” he said to The Batavian. “So, really, there's no difference between what I actually do at home versus what we're actually doing in the plant. And I think that's the secret when you get into big industrial packing. There are some secrets to how they're able to move so fast. That takes away some of that homemade aspect. So it really has to do with just making it exactly the way you make it home, just at a bigger scale.”

He spoke to a small gathering as part of the celebratory event, sharing how it all began with two special memories.

“The life-changing moment that really occurred first was when my wife told me it wasn't a stupid idea to start bottling sauce back in like 2013. The second life-changing moment was when a category merchant from Wegmans named Dan Mezzoprete showed up … and he's the guy who actually said we're gonna give this a shot, kid. So thank you,” he said to the small crowd gathered at the property. “So I think that today is really nice and validating. Grow New York was a validation for us. Today's another validation for us that we did what you set out to do when you start a business: find a problem that needs to be fixed. And I really feel as though we have found a problem that needs to be fixed.”

The company specializes in producing pasta sauces, barbecue sauces, salad dressings, oils, marinades and such on a large scale for local and regional food brands, retailers and restaurants that may not have the money, facilities, time and labor to do it themselves. As Guglielmo said, "Problem fixed."

“This world of contract manufacturing has a lot of big players who do a phenomenal job, but it doesn't have a lot of small players. There are some commissaries and commercial kitchens, and then there are big industrial co-packers, and people are doing really good jobs in those areas. But there's this thing that Cornell University described to me years ago, as almost like a death valley of contract manufacturing, and my partner Tom and I feel we really identified a niche, a problem,” he said. “And that is, our three main types of customers needed us: one was the startup entrepreneur with $1, and a dream, they want to bring their product to market, like Jerri Lynn from Blue Ridge BBQ. There's the restaurant food service, somebody who says, look, it doesn't make sense for us to come in and make dozens and dozens of gallons of barbecue sauce every day. What if you batch it for us? That will help our business efficiencies grow. And then of course, there's the regional players, like Wegmans, who we’re so proud to see here today as well, who say, Look, you know, we've got some skews that require a little more culinary expertise that we'd really like to see brought to market.”

Working at a small co-pack facility such as Craft Cannery allows staff to “really take your time on those kinds of recipes” before bringing them to market, he said, giving a thoughtful and modest nod to the company team that does “all the actual work.”

Riggio credited his partner’s dedication as the reason everyone was there to celebrate. They acquired the business nearly four years ago, and at the time, it was doing “minimal business,” Riggio said. 

“We do more in two weeks now than the business used to do in a year. The employees were three at that point. We’ve now got 15 full-time employees. When this expansion is complete, we’ll be adding another six to eight employees. We’ve actually had to turn business away over the last four years; some major players have come to us, and we just couldn’t support the business,” he said. “There are a bunch of products that are in those storage containers outside to make room for you to stand where you're standing. This is a great opportunity for us to continue to grow our business and support additional small clients, midsize clients and larger clients. We are looking forward to adding in the 6,300 square feet, looking forward to adding a second kitchen, second production line, second bottling line, and a second shift to support all of those, and we are really happy that you guys are out here.”

In the middle of COVID, about April 2020, an unflinching Guglielmo approached Wegmans Italian Foods Category Manager Steve Chichelli with his idea to open his own facility and forge a collaboration with the grocery giant. Chichelli had already known of Guglielmo as a radio personality with his stories about his grandfather’s homemade pasta sauce, and all of that had been "a great interaction.”

“So I'm thinking a guy, a local guy, ready to give jobs to a local community. And that's what Wegmans is about, too; we share a lot of the same values that he does, building up local businesses and creating jobs. So it was at that point we were like, hmm, how do we get him more? He's got his branded product, so I'm like, let's talk about private labels. Where could he fit in being a small co-packer, but let's partner him with our chef team,” Chichelli said. “So we started our endeavor with our first private label product with him, which is our Wegmans brand spicy tomato oil, one of my favorite items we have ever developed at Wegmans in the Italian categories. And that item has just grown to be great. When that launched, I mean, it was cross merchandised everywhere in the store, all departments got behind it: bakery department, prepared foods, we displayed it, and it's turned into a great item for us.”

He also said that they are developing a lemon butter and a marsala sauce to be launched this fall. 

“I give Paulie all the credit here. I'm just the guy who forms a strategy. He's the guy who works hand in hand with our chef team,” Chichelli said. “The tenacity, the passion that comes out in him—the chef team absolutely adores him.”

Major portions of the company’s growth have also been possible with infusions of funding — including $500,000 from winning second place at 2022 Grow-NY, a global food and agriculture innovation competition. 

“What began as a dream, nurtured by innovation and fueled by determination and unlikely a little bit of Paulie’s abundant energy, led to Craft Cannery’s Grow-NY winner's badge in 2022, and ultimately, a pivotal moment when their team now stands ready to embark on a new chapter of growth and success,” Program Manager Sarah Meyer said. “Beyond bricks and mortar, today we celebrate the profound impact Craft Cannery has had on its community, the Grow-NY Region and New York State as a whole. Since receiving their $500,000 prize, Craft Cannery has created and cultivated opportunities for growth and advancement as a contract manufacturer. They have established a space for innovation and created numerous job opportunities, fueling economic growth and fostering talent within their local community.”

Business neighbor Charlie Cook, founder of Liberty Pumps, further confirmed what a stellar job Gugliemo did on his Grow-NY pitch, which is viewable on the company website. Cook can see a lot of parallels between Liberty Pumps and Craft Cannery, he said.

“That we started from pretty basic beginnings and identified a niche that we could succeed at and excel at it,” Cook said. “And to have him right here in Bergen, being a Bergen business, especially a manufacturer in Genesee County, is fantastic. And it’s just been fun to watch him grow, and really, we wish him the best going forward.”

The company also received approval from Genesee County Economic Development Center for payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT), sales, and mortgage tax exemptions valued at $72,496 to support the expansion. The proposed incentives for the additional 4,000 sq. ft. are estimated to return $3.06 million in projected wages and municipal revenues. The project would generate a $62 economic impact for every $1 of requested incentives.

“With their flexible and hands-on approach, we’ve seen Craft Cannery become a go-to provider for contract manufacturing,” said Chris Suozzi, Vice President of Business and Workforce Development at GCEDC. “The GCEDC was thrilled to support the expansion of Craft Cannery in our Appletree Acres business park. This project is yet another example of the continued growth of the food and beverage sector in Genesee County.”

craft cannery bergen ground breaking 2024
Participants in ceremonial groundbreaking pose for photos outside the Craft Cannery shop in Bergen.
Photo by Howard Owens.
craft cannery bergen ground breaking 2024
Photo by Howard Owens.
craft cannery bergen ground breaking 2024
Tom Riggio, Craft Cannery co-owner.
Photo by Howard Owens.
craft cannery bergen ground breaking 2024
Charlie Cook, chairman, Liberty Pumps
Photo by Howard Owens.
craft cannery bergen ground breaking 2024
Photo by Howard Owens.
craft cannery bergen ground breaking 2024
Photo by Howard Owens.
craft cannery bergen ground breaking 2024
Photo by Howard Owens.

Fieldstone Private Wealth earns Ameriprise Client Experience Award

By Press Release

Press Release:

Fieldstone Private Wealth, A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, in Batavia, has earned the Ameriprise Client Experience Award for 2023.

Fieldstone Private Wealth was honored with this award because its ability to consistently deliver personalized, goal-based advice and exceptional client service. Award recipients earned an overall client satisfaction rating equal to or greater than 4.9 out of 5.0 and maintained stellar business results. 

The award represents an elite group of Ameriprise advisors recognized as leaders for their commitment to making a difference in the lives of their clients.

As a private wealth advisory practice, Fieldstone Private Wealth provides financial advice that is anchored in a solid understanding of client needs and expectations and is delivered in one-on-one relationships with their clients. 

For more information, please contact Mark Woodward at 585-344-1262 or visit the Ameriprise office at 219 East Main Street, Batavia.

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