March 2016: Business Briefcase


1000 Islands to host tourism conference

The New York State Tourism Industry Association will host the 2016 Empire State Tourism Conference from May 2 to 4 at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton.
The theme of this year’s conference, “The Future is Now,” will be complemented by breakout sessions and panel discussions on topics including social media to audience targeting.

Keynote speakers include Barbara Wold, an internationally known speaker and authority on the retail, consumer, hospitality and tourism industries with 40 years of experiences, and Michael Johnson, dean of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

The three-day conference will kick-off with opening remarks by New York State Sen. Richard Funke, chairman of the Senate’s Cultural Affairs, Tourism and Parks & Recreation Committee, and a presentation by I Love NY.

Evening festivities include a tour boat ride and reception at Boldt Castle.
The conference’s logo was designed by Riverside Media of Clayton and features the 1000 Islands International Bridge, the Rock Island Lighthouse and the Antique Boat Museum’s commuter yacht Zipper.

To register for the conference, visit Contact Dawn Borchert,, for sponsorship opportunities.


Granger Nursery & Gifts opens on Arsenal Street

Granger Nursery recently relocated from West Main Street to the building previously occupied by the Cardinal Shoppe at 834 Arsenal St., according to an announcement on the business’s Facebook page, and has changed its name to Granger Nursery & Gifts.

Tracy A. Granger, who took over the building last month from James Livingston, plans to sell an array of plants, flowers, gifts and collectible items and provide horticultural services, according to the announcement. Due to renovations, the store temporarily closed last week and is expected to reopen on Saturday.

The building, which has more space than the former 949 W. Main St. location, will enable the business to sell a larger inventory of plants and flowers in the spring. It will be open year-round and new inventory will be added weekly.

Follow the business on Facebook at


Potsdam Chamber seeks award nominations

The Potsdam Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its 2016 Business of the Year award.

This award is presented to a Potsdam business that has excelled in at least one of the following areas: improvements that enhance the community, increases in the volume of economic activity growth in employment levels or excellent customer service.

Nominations can be made to the chamber by an application provided by them or a letter explaining how the business meets the criteria.

The award will be presented at the chamber’s annual Spring Luncheon during the second week of May. The nomination deadline is 4:30 p.m. April 12. Send mailed nominations to 24 Market St., Potsdam, NY 13676, or email them to


St. Lawrence University receives endowment

Film actor Kirk Douglas, a 1939 graduate of St. Lawrence University, and his wife, Anne, have pledged $2 million to the university to further endow student scholarships and the operations of the residence hall named after Mr. Douglas.

The gift designates $1 million to the Kirk Douglas Scholarship fund, established in 1999, and $1 million to the improvement, repair, maintenance and operation of Kirk Douglas Hall, a 155-bed residence that opened in 2014.
Two Douglas Scholars are selected each year from underrepresented and low-income backgrounds. They are chosen for demonstrated leadership skills, ambition and potential to contribute to diversity in the campus community.

The scholars receive mentoring, a loan-free education and a guaranteed experiential learning opportunity that could include an internship, research fellowship or a self-designed opportunity.

The university currently has six Douglas Scholars from California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota and New York.

The Douglas’s have donated a total of $7 million to St. Lawrence University since 2012 through the Douglas Foundation.

Mr. Douglas grew up in Amsterdam and graduated from St. Lawrence University with a degree in English. The university awarded him an honorary degree in 1958.