January 2016: Nonprofits Today

Be what’s right with our region this year

Richardson_RandeW-“Those who invest in our treasures are what’s right with Watertown. Make it your resolution to be a part of what’s right with Watertown.” — Mark Walczyk, newly elected Watertown city councilman

It is common at this time of year to look back and dream forward. During the New Year’s Day swearing-in ceremonies at Watertown’s Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, one didn’t have to listen too hard to find a theme emerge — hope and optimism for a greater community. Those assembled were gathered in a building that itself serves as a living example of civic pride, love of community, respect for heritage and giving back. It is hard to be in that space and not sense the importance of thoughtful stewardship. The best way we honor those who have led before us is by ensuring that this generation and the next recognizes the great responsibility, privilege, honor and joy of being a trustee. We honor yesterday by advancing tomorrow. [Read more…]

January 2016: Entrepreneur’s Edge

What are you willing to give up to achieve?

Joleene 115_MED WEBWhen I started my business as a speaker and coach in 2010, I floundered like a dying fish. I accepted speaking engagements for less than a tank of gas or a day old turkey sandwich. I customized talks for organizations that didn’t pay me and I coached clients that scoffed at my then-fee of $75 an hour. [Read more…]

January 2016: Economically Speaking

A healthy community: our best investment

Ian Grant WEBWhen asked what surprised him most about humankind, accomplished writer and world traveler James L. Lachard expressed concern that “[people] lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore health.” [Read more…]

January 2016: Small Business Success

It’s Maine-ly business in New England

OConnellWebLast October, I took a 1,500-mile solo road trip through New England to visit a small entrepreneurial venture way up in Down East Maine, and I’ll be sharing his story in my March column.

For now, I want to share a little bit of my adventure through the beautiful state of Maine. What I discovered was, you can take the small business advisor out of the office, but you can’t take the small business perspective out of her. [Read more…]

January 2016: Business Tech Bytes

‘Big data’ will drive transformational change

VanHoesenWAs 2015 trends appear in 2016 goals, fostering personalized customer engagement will continue to rise to the top. Tim Crawford, CIO and strategic advisor for AVOA, believes the Internet of Things, or IoT as its known, has changed the age-old saying “the customer is always right” to “customers care about their individual needs, not those of others.” [Read more…]

January 2016: Agribusiness

Orleans needs a new clean water supply

Matteson_JayWPeople’s lives and businesses in Orleans near Collins Landing are suffering because of a water pollution problem. An underground salt contamination plume is affecting many local residents. They are using water contaminated with salt, and possibly arsenic and other metals, to bathe in and clean with. No one should consume it or use it to cook. Our largest farm winery, Thousand Islands Winery on Seaway Avenue, is in the middle of the contamination plume. It does not use the groundwater for wine-making. Instead, it uses 5-gallon jugs of clean water paid for by the New York State Department of Transportation, to make wine. This is a very labor intensive problem. [Read more…]

December 2015: Business Tech Bytes

Maintain digital security this season

Jill Van Hoesen

Jill Van Hoesen

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. The most wonderful time of the year for cyber criminals, that is. ThreatMetrix, a digital identity company, recently released a report predicting a 25 percent increase in cyber attacks during the 2015 holiday season alone. Holiday scams of seasons past have been limited to telephone and direct mail, but cyber criminals will be in overdrive this holiday season trying to scam you and yours. [Read more…]

December 2015: Agri-Business

How will $15 wage impact farms?

Jay Matteson

Jay Matteson

According to Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau, “New York farmers are simply unable to afford a $15 minimum wage in this day of national and global competition that already leads to razor-thin margins.The governor’s proposal will increase costs on farms across New York by $500 million, when our business environment is already suffering. This is not the way to invest in the upstate and rural economy.” [Read more…]

December 2015: Strategic Planning

The season is now to make a plan

Paul Luck

Paul Luck

Making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out …

Welcome to the holiday season: family gatherings, big meals, shopping, parades, bowl games, shopping, presents, pageants, concerts and Tom & Jerry’s — did I mention shopping? — and so much more to add to the anxiety of life. [Read more…]

December 2015: Executive Insights

Are you a manager, a leader or both?

Columnist Bill Murray

Bill Murray

According to Stephen Covey, management is a bottom line focus: How can I best accomplish certain things? Leadership deals with the top line: What are the things I want to accomplish? [Read more…]