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October 21, 2020 - 3:01pm
posted by Press Release in business, General Election 2020, steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is celebrating his endorsement and continued partnership with the Business Council of New York State Inc., as he continues his reelection campaign. Hawley, a committed advocate for businesses, their owners and their employees, is thrilled to continue his push for better business laws and fair treatment in government with the backing of the Business Council.

“I am both humbled and honored that the Business Council has recognized me for endorsement, as advocating for business owners and their workers is the reason I got into government,” Hawley said.

“In a post-coronavirus world, businesses need the support, cooperation and understanding of state government to help them jump-start the economy and return New York to the hub of industry and enterprise that it has always been known for.”

The Business Council of New York State Inc., is the leading business organization in New York State, representing the interests of large and small firms throughout the state. Their membership is made up of roughly 2,400 member companies, local chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations.

Although 72 percent of members are small businesses, they also represent some of the largest and most important corporations in the world. Combined, their members employ more than 1.2 million New Yorkers. They serve as an advocate for employers in the state’s political and policy-making arenas, working for a healthier business climate, economic growth and jobs.

October 20, 2020 - 7:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, news, downtown.


Legacy Insurance Group held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting today at the company's new office at 212 E. Main St., Batavia.

Legacy Insurance will be a local resource for Medicare Advantage plans through UnitedHealthcare, as well as several life insurance options, and can help with navigating health insurance choices on the NYS of Health Marketplace. 

Agent Diana M. Wagner resides in Stafford with her husband, Ron, and two of her three children, Bobby and Rachel.

In the photo, Wagner cuts the ribbon surrounded by friends and family along with Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and Ken Sciarrino, from United Healthcare (holding ribbon on right).

October 20, 2020 - 2:24pm

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) has rolled out Downtown Batavia BINGO Boards, sponsored by M&T Bank. Downtown BINGO allows people to get out and about, exploring our community and supporting our small businesses safely.

All BINGO tiles must be completed specific to Downtown Batavia Businesses only. Find a full list of Downtown Businesses at www.DowntownBataviaNy.com

Downtown BINGO Boards are available online at www.DowntownBataviaNY.com. Get five spaces in a row and win prizes, courtesy of Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District and M&T Bank. Rules and regulations for BINGO are available online.

For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit our website at www.downtownbataviany.com.

October 16, 2020 - 2:55pm

Press release:

ESL Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce that for the 10th time since 2010, Great Place to Work® and Fortune magazine named the locally owned financial institution one of 2020’s Best Medium Workplaces.

ESL ranked number 61 on the list of 100 medium-sized companies (100-999 employees). This award marks the third Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine accolade received by ESL in 2020; ESL was also named a Best Workplace in Financial Services and Insurance, and a Best Workplace in New York State.

In Genesee County, there is a branch of ESL Federal Credit Union at 4214 Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia.

“We are thrilled to be named one of the best medium-sized workplaces for the tenth time since 2010,” said President and CEO Faheem Masood. “Amid these extraordinary times, we reaffirm our commitment to invest in our unique workplace practices. While these investments in our employee experience are important, our employees tirelessly live our core values, and are the biggest factor to what makes ESL such a great place to work and bank.”

The list considered survey feedback of more than 189,000 employees working in small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States. The following highlights from the Great Place to Work survey tells why the locally-owned financial institution continues to earn this distinction:

  • 97 percent of employees are proud to say they work for ESL
  • 96 percent of employees feel welcome when they join the company
  • 96 percent of employees feel good about the ways ESL is contributing to the community

The full list can be viewed here.

About ESL Federal Credit Union

With 100 years of locally owned history, ESL Federal Credit Union serves as a full-service financial institution to more than 374,000 members. Founded in 1920, the company provides personal banking, business banking, mortgage services and wealth management services through its locally based 22 branch network, telephone, mobile, online and live chat center.

The Rochester-based financial institution employs approximately 850 people in the Greater Rochester area and holds more than $7.3 billion in assets. Since 1996, ESL has paid out 25 consecutive Owners’ Dividends to its members totaling more than $170 million. The company has appeared on the Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list 10 times since 2010. ESL Federal Credit Union is headquartered at 225 Chestnut St., in Rochester, and can be found online at www.esl.org.

October 15, 2020 - 3:45pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, business, graham corp..

Graham Corporation (NYSE: GHM), a global business that designs, manufactures and sells critical equipment for the oil refining, petrochemical and defense industries, announced today that it will release its financial results for the second quarter fiscal year 2021, before the opening of financial markets on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

The company will host a conference call and webcast to review its financial and operating results, strategy and outlook.  A question-and-answer session will follow.

Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Results Conference Call
   Wednesday, Oct. 28
   11 a.m. Eastern Time
   Phone: (201) 689-8560
   Internet webcast link and accompanying slide presentation:  www.graham-mfg.com

A telephonic replay will be available from 2 p.m. ET on the day of the teleconference through Wednesday, Nov. 4. To listen to the archived call, dial (412) 317-6671 and enter conference ID number 13710948, or access the webcast replay via the Company’s website at www.graham-mfg.com, where a transcript will also be posted once available.

Click here to view the entire release.

October 14, 2020 - 3:06pm
posted by Press Release in business, batavia, Legacy Insurance Group.

Press release:

Legacy Insurance Group will be having a Grand Opening & Open House at their new office location 212 E. Main St., Batavia, from 2 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 20th.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 o'clock. Social distancing and masks required.

Legacy Insurance will be a local resource for Medicare Advantage plans through UnitedHealthcare, as well as several life insurance options, and can help with navigating health insurance choices on the NYS of Health Marketplace. As of now, due to offsite events and individual appointments, hours will be by appointment or by chance.

Agent Diana M. Wagner resides in Stafford with her husband, Ron, and two of her three children, Bobby and Rachel.

She greatly enjoys the relationship that she builds with her clients, being a local point of contact, and being a resource in the community.

Most Fridays during market season, Wagner can be found with a Medicare information table set up at the Genesee Country Farmer's Market. She is also on hand at local retailers such as Walgreens and Tops, as well as senior residences like 400 Towers, and various other venues to bring Medicare information and answer questions. 

Please stop by to enjoy some cider, donuts and coffee!

October 12, 2020 - 3:21pm
posted by Press Release in business, East Main Street McDonald's, batavia.

Press release:

Holly Carney (photo above), general manager of the McDonald’s Restaurant located at 587 E. Main St., Batavia, has been selected to receive McDonald’s Outstanding General Manager Award. This is an accolade that recognizes only top performing 10 percent of McDonald’s Restaurant Managers.

Carney was one of only 33 McDonald’s Restaurant managers from New York State to receive the honor which includes a cash prize and a trophy. She has worked at McDonald’s for nine years, eight of which have been at this restaurant.

Ryan Richardson and Lisa Ryan from the McDonald’s corporate office, presented Holly with the Outstanding General Manager’s Award Tuesday Oct. 6 and they celebrated -- socially distant of course.

Also in attendance were restaurant owner Harry Schatmeyer and Darrin Glass, director of operations for the Schatmeyer organization.

"It’s awesome, so exciting," Carney said. "I have great people who are always where they need to be when they need to be there in order to deliver the best customer experience.”

McDonald's independent franchisees and regional management nominate restaurant managers for the Outstanding General Managers Awards to recognize their hard work, dedication and commitment to McDonald's and its customers.

“Holly’s done a fabulous job growing the restaurant, and delivering A-plus operation, both in the restaurant and the drive thru," Schatmeyer said. "This is well deserved.”

McDonald’s is committed to creating employment opportunities for people of allages and from all backgrounds, as well as boosting employability to help peoplegain the skills and experience, they need to progress in their careers. McDonald’s provides opportunities for progression and promoting from within; around 90 percent of restaurant management began their careers as crew members.

About McDonald's

McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with more than 37,000 locations in 120 countries. Over 90 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

October 9, 2020 - 5:18pm
posted by Press Release in Chapin Manufacturing, business, batavia.

Press release:

Chapin International is expanding operations to Kentucky with the purchase of the former Eagle Manufacturing facility in Mount Vernon, a municipality in Rockcastle County. The 175,000-square-foot facility in the Rockcastle Business Park will provide greatly needed production and warehouse capacity to position the company for further growth.

With this facility Chapin’s USA manufacturing and warehousing footprint is over 1.25 million square feet. Clearly by volume and size Chapin International is the largest manufacturer of compressed air sprayers in North America today. 

The company’s investment will also provide employment opportunities and economic activity to the local community.

“This is just a continued expansion of organic growth that Chapin has been having over the last 15 years” said Jim Campbell, CEO of Chapin Manufacturing. “We have been growing at a rate of anywhere between 4 percent and 9 percent a year for the last 15 years, so things have gone well for us.” 

Chapin International is a subsidiary of Chapin Manufacturing based in Batavia, New York. The company is a leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of high quality compressed air sprayers and hand sprayers used in home, garden, commercial landscape, agricultural and industrial applications.

Chapin Manufacturing was established in 1884 in Oakfield, New York by hardware store owner Ralph E. Chapin who set up the manufacturing business in Batavia. The company also conducts business via Chapin Custom Molding in Elyria, Ohio and two additional Chapin International operations in Coopersville, Michigan and Clarence, New York.  

Campbell said Chapin Manufacturing has been looking for more warehouse space in either Tennessee or Kentucky for quite some time to more efficiently serve customers in the South and Midwest.

“We needed another shipping point other than New York and this facility came available to us” he said. “This particular facility…made product out of resin which is what we do.

"We actually purchased additional blow molding equipment from a company in Kentucky. So it all came together quite well for us – buying equipment from one company and just moving it a couple hundred miles to our new facility in Kentucky.”

He said the company simply has run out of room at its plant in Batavia.

“We have no additional space. It’s 700,000 square feet here and it’s overfull,” he said. “We’ve been renting warehouse space in other states now so, really, we’d like to do away with some of that rental stuff and put it in our own facility.”

The Kentucky facility will be used primarily for warehousing, with about 20 percent to 30 percent designated for manufacturing. All metal sprayers are made in Batavia, New York and will stay here,” Campbell said. “We will make a couple of different models of sprayers in Kentucky – products that are much larger than what we mold today in Batavia.”

Sprayers made in the new plant location will be made exclusively of HDPE plastic. Machine tools needed to produce sprayers for customers in the South and Midwest regions of the country will be relocated to Kentucky, which will free up more warehouse space in the Batavia facility.  

Campbell said the company “is excited to be setting up a new operation in Rockcastle County, Kentucky” and praised leaders there for acting rapidly to make the purchase possible.

“We went down there and they had the judge, which is the County executive for them, (Rockcastle County Judge /Executive Howell Holbrook Jr.), and the executive director of the IDA along with their state legislator and one of the Project managers from Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development along with one other from the county – all five people sat down at the table and we could just finish the deal there,” he said.

“All the stakeholders in one room. In New York state that never happens. You have to go through layer after layer for permission.”

He said the deal came together “quicker and better” because the county owns the building that the company purchased.  

Chapin’s investment in the Bluegrass State is estimated at about $5 million. Campbell said employees at the Kentucky facility will be local residents, and he anticipates a workforce of 100 within 3-5 years.  

The company’s incentive package from the state of Kentucky is modest compared to some of the tax abatements approved in New York State.

“As long as we hit the employment number they will give us a tax break -- that’s the total incentive package” he said. 

Requirements for the incentive to kick in are creating and maintaining 100 full-time jobs over 10 years for Kentucky residents and paying an average hourly wage of $22.40, including benefits.  

Campbell said the Kentucky contingent had all of the environmental aspects of the transaction in place and Chapin is looking forward to starting operations quickly.

Chapin is always on the lookout for opportunities to acquire companies or products in the lawn and garden market, as well as custom molding, if someone is looking to sell a company or blow molder they should shoot Chapin International an email.

October 7, 2020 - 3:59pm

Submitted photos and information from VA Western NY Healthcare System.

Sgt. Major Bill Joyce, Army (retired), and director of the Genesee County Veteran Service Agency, noticed earlier in the year that our “saluting monuments” representing all the branches of the military services needed refurbishment at the Batavia VA Medical Center.

The monuments are located in front of Building 1.

He then asked employees of Graham Manufacturing in Batavia to restore the monuments. They did so by late July, and in great fashion.

On Tuesday, four employees were recognized by Royce Calhoun, associate director for VA Western New York Healthcare System (center of second photo below).

Calhoun thanked and provided certificates of appreciation to employees of Graham Manufacturing, Batavia, who painstakingly restored and repainted our saluting military branch monuments to their original splendor, says Calhoun.

They are Bob Yungfleisch, Tom Herold, Ed Harding and Pat Coughlin.

"They look terrific! THANK YOU Graham employees and SGM Bill Joyce ... for making this project happen!”

October 7, 2020 - 3:02pm

Press release:

Genesee County Job Development Bureau is hosting a Virtual Job Fair via Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 15th from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Register by Oct. 14th at (585) 344-2042 or emailing [email protected]

Whether you are hoping to find a fresh start, a better job, or a new career direction; job seekers will find some exciting opportunities at the Virtual Job Fair. 

“We are excited to partner with the GLOW Workforce Development Board to bring employers and job seekers together,” said Teresa Van Son, director of the Genesee County Job Development Bureau.

Local employers will be in attendance, eager to hire for immediate openings in a range of occupations. The job fair is open to the entire community.

“This virtual event links potential workers with great employers looking to hire. The job fair is a way to connect face-to-face,” Van Son said.

Come prepared by attending our Job Fair Success Virtual Workshop on Oct. 13th at 2 p.m. (call 344-2042 to register). Learn how to make the most of a job fair and turn it into a job offer!

You can also register for the Interviewing Skills Virtual Workshop on Oct. 20th at 2 p.m.

For more information, please contact the Genesee County Career Center, at (585) 344-2042 or [email protected]

October 6, 2020 - 2:36pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, business, coronavirus.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) has cosponsored four pieces of legislation to help drive economic recovery – the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, a bill extending coronavirus aid for airlines, the Small Business Expense Protection Act of 2020, and the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act.

“As we work through the unprecedented challenges facing our nation, my focus is ensuring we have a strong and robust economic recovery," Jacobs said. "We must get Americans back to work safely, support our major industries, and provide vital resources to small businesses so we can protect American jobs and give companies the ability to create new ones.” 

The four pieces of legislation Jacobs cosponsored are:

  • H.R. 7777 – Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act would forgive any Paycheck Protection Program loan under $150,000. 
  • H.R. 8345 – to provide support for air carrier workers, would extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP) for airlines for an additional six months through March 2021.
  • H.R. 6821 – Small Business Expense Protection Act of 2020 would allow businesses to deduct expenses covered with forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans from their federal taxes.
  • H.R. 7642 – Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act would provide assistance to bus and motor coach operators that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. In addition to supporting employees, these funds could be used to support operation and maintenance of existing equipment. 

“Supporting the American workforce and reducing the burdens placed on our small businesses are critical to bolstering our nation’s economic recovery," Jacobs said. "As I continue fighting for policies that put American workers and small businesses first, I am also strongly urging the Speaker, the Senate, and the White House to reach a bipartisan deal to provide comprehensive COVID-19 relief for our families, small businesses, and farmers.”

October 3, 2020 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, BID, business, batavia.


Local businesses and community groups, as part of a project hosted by the Batavia Improvement District, have decorated Downtown with their Halloween scarecrows.







October 1, 2020 - 5:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Angry Charlie's Carolina BBQ, food, restaurants, business, batavia.


With winter on the horizon, Chuck Martin has found a location for indoor dining in Batavia for his BBQ stand, Angry Charlie's.

In June, Martin and partner Ken Prufrock opened Angry Charlie's at a location on West Main Street. By a week from Tuesday, they hope to be ready to open at 341 Ellicott St., Batavia, at the corner of Ellicott and Swan, the former location of Pasquale's Italian Eatery.

The restaurant will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There will be indoor dining for about 25 people and as long as the weather holds, a couple of picnic tables outside.

The change will also allow Angry Charlie's to free up its food trailer for catering and events.

There will also be a couple of menu changes: brisket every day, smoked haddock on Fridays, and (whether permitting) BBQ chicken on Saturdays. There will also be a children's menu.


Video Sponsor
September 30, 2020 - 10:33pm
Video Sponsor

Press release from the Governor's Office:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction for a $1.1 million redevelopment project in the City of Batavia. This project, awarded through Batavia’s DRI Building Improvement Fund, will rehabilitate a three-story, 7,500-square-foot building built in 1865, in Downtown Batavia. Batavia’s downtown area is a mixed-use, affordable neighborhood with access to jobs, anchor businesses, and city and county services.

“The Downtown Revitalization Initiative in Batavia is driving strategic investments and helping bring new mixed-use development to the area to benefit the entire region,” Governor Cuomo said. "This historic building will be preserved to continue with Batavia's rich history and character and will be the propeller of future growth not only for Batavia but for the entire region.”

“Our Downtown Revitalization Initiative is transforming communities statewide by empowering local stakeholders to put forward their best ideas on economic development based on collaboration and shared purpose,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

“Batavia is uniquely positioned between two major urban areas but has carved out its own identity with projects like 99 Main Street. These projects will attract new people with a new life, energy, and sense of pride, and help New York build back better for a post-pandemic future.”​

The renovation and redevelopment of this historic building will include a new storefront, façade, and reconstruction of the existing three floors. A dental practice will operate on the first floor with the second floor being developed for commercial office space. The third floor will include two two-bedroom market-rate apartments.

The redevelopment of this historic building is part of the DRI award for the Building Improvement Fund, which provided the city with the resources to award building improvement projects Downtown. The award from the Fund is $137,600 with a total estimated project cost of $1,165,000. The Fund is operated locally by the Batavia Development Corporation and administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center also supported the redevelopment through mortgage and sales tax incentives of $63,500. Neppalli Holdings LLC will also invest nearly $1 million to renovate the building as part of the public-private partnerships for DRI.

Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “The Batavia’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative is becoming a reality and it will bring a new look and way of life for residents to live, work and play in their business district. The Building Improvement Fund award provides an opportunity for economic investments in Batavia through the redevelopment of its business district, attracting a new generation of social and commercial enterprises to the city. This project is a testament that hard work and dedication, even in these unprecedented times, can yield progress and a bright future.”

NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Through Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we are working directly with communities across the state to implement targeted economic development projects like this one that expand housing opportunities, enhance the downtown streetscape, and create a more lively and walkable commercial district.

"Batavia’s Building Improvement Fund will utilize $138,000 in DRI funds to transform this historic property at 99 Main Street into a beautiful mixed-use building with new office space and two apartments on the third floor. By supporting local efforts to strategically improve downtown districts with state resources, we are breathing new life into Batavia, the Finger Lakes Region, and beyond.”

Senator Michael Ranzenhofer said, “I am very happy that Batavia was chosen for this project. Investing in our Upstate communities is extremely important and this funding will help further the growth and redevelopment we have seen in Batavia.”

Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said, “Thanks to smart and expansive developments, Batavia will grow into an even greater destination and hub for Western New York than ever before. From the addition of a new performing arts center to the revitalization and renovation of a commercial hub to the continued development and upgrading of Downtown, Batavia is poised to be a bastion of community and comfort for the area. This investment will go a long way towards the continued fostering of community and cooperation for years to come.”

Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said, “The DRI award is critically important in our efforts to revitalize Downtown Batavia. It’s vital that we continue working with our partners at the state and local level to continue the momentum of the private and public sector investment in the county’s urban core.”

Batavia Development Corporation Board President Lori Aratari said, “The Building Improvement Fund created through the DRI provides grant funding for applicants to implement interior and exterior building improvements in Batavia’s Business Improvement District (BID) for commercial and mixed-use structures. This project exemplifies how we are using this fund to fill vacant and under-utilized structures in the city.”

Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein said, “The Genesee County Legislature recognizes the importance of the economic vitality of the City of Batavia for our county and region. I am especially pleased to see all levels of government working so closely in our efforts to bring private sector investment to the city.”

Genesee County Economic Development Center President and CEO Steve Hyde said, “To have so much support from so many leaders in the community gives me confidence that our project will be a great success and I hope will encourage others in the private sector to seek investment opportunities in Batavia. I want to thank all of our government partners for their continued support and collaboration in our collective efforts to encourage private sector leaders such as Dr. Neppalli to invest in Batavia.”

Batavia was named a DRI Round 2 winner. The downtown area is a mixed-use, affordable neighborhood with access to jobs, anchor businesses, and city and county services. The area has an excellent foundation upon which to continue its revitalization, including amenities such as recreational sites, healthcare facilities, food markets, a library, and various retail and restaurant venues in a walkable environment.

The Strategic Investment Plan for Downtown Batavia is working closely with private partners and local assets to implement the other eight projects awarded. These projects alongside all of the projects that will be awarded through the DRI Building Improvement Fund will create opportunities for economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with the community's vision for downtown revitalization and that are ready for implementation.

The Downtown Batavia Strategic Investment Plan is guiding the investment of DRI grant funds in revitalization projects that advance the community's vision for its Downtown and that can leverage and expand upon the state's $10 million investment.

September 30, 2020 - 1:39pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, business, Paycheck Protection Program.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) signed a discharge petition yesterday to force a vote on H.R. 8265, a bill that would release the over $130 billion in unspent Paycheck Protection Program funds currently available.

“American small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges, and we have an excellent opportunity to deliver them critical aid now," Jacobs said. "The success of the Paycheck Protection Program cannot be disputed, so the fact that this bill has been used as a pawn in partisan games is an appalling disservice to the American people.

"I was proud to cosponsor H.R. 8265, and I am proud to sign this discharge petition and join my colleagues to support American small businesses. I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to sign this petition to help us get this critical funding to our small businesses and main streets."

September 29, 2020 - 3:38pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in business, Pavilion, bergen, news, Nazi Germany, Pavilion Gift Company.

Photo: Klaus Kremmin, founder of the Pavilion Gift Company, poses outside the front door of the company’s modern facility, now in Bergen.

BERGEN – Klaus Kremmin knows the meaning of hard work, and at 74, he shows up for work nearly every day.

Kremmin owned an injection-molding company, which he started in Pavilion, and which evolved into the Pavilion Gift Company, now located in Bergen and where he has an office.

Risking All for a Better Life

Kremmin’s story about his family begins in the early 1930s in Nazi Germany. His father worked for the gestapo -- a secret-police organization employing underhanded and terrorist methods against persons suspected of disloyalty.

As years went by, Kremmin’s father didn’t like the direction the gestapo was taking – putting up barbed wire and land mines. He was becoming dissatisfied with their actions, and they were suspicious of him. 

“They were monitoring my father, and if they thought he didn’t agree with them, he would be sent to Moscow or Siberia for 20 years,” Kremmin said.

So his father made the decision to escape.

Kremmin was 7 the day his parents, Rudi and Frieda, each took two of the children and boarded separate trains for a day trip. 

“My father told the Border Patrol we were going for the day,” he said. “They asked where the rest of the family was, and my father said my mother was home with the other two kids, waiting for our return. My mother told them the same thing, that my father was home with the other two kids.”

The family reunited at a predetermined location in West Berlin. They escaped with only the three layers of clothing they were wearing. 

The family lived in a refugee camp for two years, waiting for someone in the United States to sponsor them. During that time, his father worked on the wharf in Bremen. In 1957, a church in Barre, Mass., agreed to sponsor them, and they arrived in the United States with $600 to their name.

Kremmin’s father had served in World War II and was captured in Tunisia while serving under Germany's General Johannes Erwin Eugen Rommel. He was held prisoner of war in Kentucky.

“He loved the United States very much,” Kremmin said. 

His father, who is now 97, wanted to move to Rochester, because he had learned a friend who had also escaped from Germany and was living there. So the family moved to Rochester, where he got a job in a day on Brooks Avenue.

Kremmin met and married his wife, Anna, who is Ukranian and with whom he has been married 52 years. They have a son and daughter.

Anna’s family were migrant workers in Germany, and they escaped and went to Brazil, later moving to Rochester.

Kremmin joined the military service here and was stationed in Frankfort, Germany. His daughter, Zina, was born there. His son, Klaus II, was also born in Germany. He got out of the service in 1971 and got a job working for Kodak research. He had gone to college on the G.I. Bill.

Then he took a job with a plastic company near the airport in Rochester.

“The company grew and grew, but the owners were gone all the time,” Kremmin said. “So I decided if I was going to run a company, it might better be my own.”

An Entrepreneurial Family

His first business, injection molding, was started in his father’s garage on Dean Road, off Ridge Road in Rochester.

“There were times when I only had the change in my pocket and I wondered how I was going to feed my kids,” Kremmin said. 

His business grew, and he outgrew the garage.

“In the early 1980s, I bought a building in Pavilion, which used to be DeWitt’s heliport,” Kremmin said. “My brother was working with me, and at one time, we had 20 employees.”

His company, Syntec, was very successful. He said they always tried to hire local people. Their customers included Kodak and medical companies, making very precise parts for blood analyzers and gyroscopes.

Klaus II had graduated from MIT and Zina graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Business Management.

He wondered what Zina was going to do and how he could help her.

Zina had designed a line of collectible figurines called “Zingleberries,” which she promoted at trade shows around the country. It was there she met her husband, Rich Hocker. 

Kremmin and his brother hit on an idea to make a stand on which Zina could display her figurines. Thus, was born the revolving display stand. The stand can be activated by AC batteries or solar power. 

Zina started her business in 1998 in Le Roy, where she rented space for two years. She was selling her merchandise and the display stands at trade shows and business was so good, in 2000, Kremmin sold the business in Pavilion.

They built the new modern facility in Bergen, which he and his brother designed. They added on to the building in 2007.

Today, the Pavilion Gift Company sells wholesale gift items all over the world and the Hockers run the business.

Klaus II started an injection-molding company making plastic gears, and his company is now located in part of Pavilion Gift Company.

Kremmin admits to having often worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

“I love to work, and I love this country,” Kremmin said. “And I count my blessings every day for the opportunities I’ve had here.”

Kremmin officially “retired” in 2000, but comes in to work almost every day. He looks after the building, fixes the faucets and the electrical if something is wrong.

Cheerfulness in Tough Times

“I cheer everybody up if I can,” he said. “I also have a hobby shop here.” 

He said the first months of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown were terrible. Orders were canceled and help was laid off.

“So Zina decided to make masks,” Kremmin said. “Things are starting to pick up.”

With his work ethic, he is disgusted, however, with the employees who refused to come back to work because they were getting government money. Many of them still haven’t come back, he said.

Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Below, this case shows some of the rotary displays invented by Klaus Kremmin, of Bergen.

Below: Klaus Kremmin invented the rotary display shown here. His invention evolved into the Pavilion Gift Company, now located in Bergen where he still has an office.

September 28, 2020 - 4:47pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is pleased to announce the promotion of Kristen Lazarony (inset photo left) to Independent Living Specialist in the RapidRehousing Program, where she will be helping individuals with disabilities in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties to obtain housing in the homes and communities of their choice.

Lazarony previously served as a Facilitated Enroller in ILGR’s Medicaid Application Assistance Program, helping people with disabilities and older adults, obtain medical insurance.

Prior to joining ILGR, she served in varied positions in the medical field with several local companies including United Memorial Medical Center, WellNow Urgent Care, and Pembroke Family Medicine.

Lazarony is a graduate of Batavia High School, Class of 2003.

ILGR is delighted that Lazarony will be serving the disability community in this new position.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

September 27, 2020 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in M&T Bank, corfu, business.

The M&T Bank branch at 1 E. Main St., in the Village of Corfu, is closing its lobby and offices but keeping its ATM, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

Customers were informed on Friday, according to Julia Berchou, VP, public relations for M&T.

"We have no plans to close any other branches in Genesee, Orleans or Wyoming County," Berchou said.

Customers can also bank by phone (1-800-724-2440), online at www.mtb.com, and via Apple and Android mobile apps.

Berchou said bank staff at other nearby branches are available for virtual meetings with customers.

In addition, team members at nearby branches are also available to meet virtually with customers.

The decision to close the branch was difficult, Berchou said but the closure will help improve efficiency and help the bank serve customers where they are located.

"From banking online or by phone to scheduling branch appointments—customers have greater access to the bank than ever before," Berchou said. "And because our customers’ needs and the ways they bank with us constantly change, we continually evaluate where our branches are located and how we can deliver the best value and convenience to our customers."

September 21, 2020 - 2:23pm

Press release:

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Committee announces that the 2020 Annual Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 27 at The Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia.

This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism.      

Please note that a brief write-up will qualify your nominee for consideration.

Nominations are now being accepted for: Business of the Year; Entrepreneurial Business of the Year; Agricultural Business of the Year; Innovative Enterprise of the Year; Special Service Recognition; and Geneseeans of the Year.

Business Nominees must be a Chamber Member (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify).   

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia and can also be down loaded from the Chamber Website at www.geneseeny.com.  

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY Dec. 30 to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call or email Kelly J. Bermingham, director of Member Relations & Special Events at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 1026, [email protected].

September 18, 2020 - 2:39pm

Press release:

Washington, D.C. – President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced up to an additional $14 billion dollars for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.

Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin Sept. 21st and run through Dec. 11.

“America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump is once again demonstrating his commitment to ensure America’s farmers and ranchers remain in business to produce the food, fuel, and fiber America needs to thrive,” Secretary Perdue said. “We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations’ farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted.”


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will use funds being made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES Act to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and many additional commodities. USDA has incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based from stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. 

Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. This program provides financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers will be compensated for ongoing market disruptions and assisted with the associated marketing costs.

CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities – Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops and Sales Commodities. 

Price Trigger Commodities

Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum 5-percent price decline over a specified period of time. Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton, and all classes of wheat. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of the crop, excluding prevented planting and experimental acres. Payments for price trigger crops will be the greater of: 1) the eligible acres multiplied by a payment rate of $15 per acre; or 2) the eligible acres multiplied by a nationwide crop marketing percentage, multiplied by a crop-specific payment rate, and then by the producer’s weighted 2020 Actual Production History (APH) approved yield. If the APH is not available, 85 percent of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield for that crop will be used.

For broilers and eggs, payments will be based on 75 percent of the producers’ 2019 production.

Dairy (cow’s milk) payments will be based on actual milk production from April 1 to Aug. 31. The milk production for Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 will be estimated by FSA. 

Eligible beef cattle, hogs and pigs, and lambs and sheep payments will be based on the maximum owned inventory of eligible livestock, excluding breeding stock, on a date selected by the producer, between Apr. 16 and Aug. 31.

Flat-rate Crops

Crops that either do not meet the 5-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre. These crops include alfalfa, extra long staple (ELS) cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale, rapeseed, and several others.

Sales Commodities 

Sales commodities include specialty crops; aquaculture; nursery crops and floriculture; other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco; goat milk; mink (including pelts); mohair; wool; and other livestock (excluding breeding stock) not included under the price trigger category that were grown for food, fiber, fur or feathers. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales. 

Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren’t eligible in the first iteration of the program. If your agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April, we encourage you to apply for CFAP 2. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.


There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2.

Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.

Applying for Assistance

Producers can apply for assistance beginning Sept. 21. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 11.

Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply. For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated. 

Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call (877) 508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment.

Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.   

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