Finding the Funding: Small businesses find financial support

Laurel K. Zarnosky stands behind the ice cream counter at her newest business Simply Sweets at the Top of the Square Plaza, Watertown.

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Commitment to the Community: WSB celebrates 125 years


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Watertown Savings Bank president given Founders Award by DPAO

JUSTIN SORENSEN n WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES The Disabled Persons Action Organization members left Pauline A. Donato, Joseph L. Rich, and Elva LaComb, right, present Watertown Savings Bank president and CEO Mark R. Lavarnway with the innaugural Founders Award Tuesday at the DPAO.

The Disabled Persons Action Organization members left Pauline A. Donato, Joseph L. Rich, and Elva LaComb, right, present Watertown Savings Bank president and CEO Mark R. Lavarnway with the inaugural Founders Award Tuesday at the DPAO.


Dozens came out to the Disabled Persons Action Organization to remember the organization’s decades of work, and remember those who made it possible.

On Tuesday morning President of Watertown Savings Bank Mark R. Lavarnway was presented with the first ever “Founders Award” by DPAO.

The now-retired founder and executive director Joseph L. Rich, presented Mr. Lavarnway with a plaque honoring him for his support and fundraising over the years. According to Mr. Rich, Mr. Lavarnway and Watertown Savings Bank have given over $100,000 to the organization in the last five years.

“This award is for your untiring dedication and support,” Mr. Rich said. “We could not have done it without (you.)”

The DPAO is a nonprofit organization that works with developmentally disabled children and adults in Jefferson and Lewis counties to provide specialized assistance and services. It was started in 1976, several years after Ronald P. Donato was shot in a hunting accident and left paralyzed and unable to breathe on his own. A community benefit concert was held with the help of Mr. Rich to raise money for the Donato family. DPAO was born out of those efforts and the desires of other families to be able to care for their loved ones in their homes rather than send them away.

Mr. Donato died in 2002 at the age of 41, but his mother, Pauline A. Donato, helped present Mr. Lavarnway with the award.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by you when I look at your founders and the impact they’ve had,” Mr. Lavarnway said.

Longtime friend of the organization Mel Busler, who opened the ceremony, also closed by addressing the many disabled members of the crowd.

“The DPAO loves you and we know you love DPAO. It’s because of you that we do this. Thank you all,” the TV-7 sports editor said.

July 2016: Business Briefcase


Community Broadcasters expands into Florida

Watertown-based Community Broadcasters, LLC, has purchased four signals from Apex Broad Broadcasting, Inc., in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fla., market and filed for transfer of the licenses pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission in June. [Read more…]

June 2016: Business Briefcase

American Wine Society honors Coyote Moon

Coyote Moon Vineyards’ 2013 Marquette Special Reserve was named among the “Top 21 Wines to Watch” by Ellen Landis of the American Wine Society’s Wine Journal. [Read more…]

January 2016: Real Estate Roundup

Realtors honor service, change officers

Evans_LanceWEach December, the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors and the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors thank their volunteers, install new officers and directors, award special honors, and raise money for local charities. [Read more…]

October 2015: Nonprofits Today

Transparent nonprofits build trust

Bob Gorman

Bob Gorman

An employee of the Jefferson Rehabilitation Center was recently arrested for allegedly stealing $45,000 from the bank accounts of JRC clients.

Such news is the last thing any nonprofit wants to hear. But the good news is that JRC did the right thing — it investigated the allegations, called police and is now letting the chips fall where they may. [Read more…]

People On the Move – Sept. 2014

New staff at Bowers & Company CPAs

Bowers & Company CPAs, Syracuse, has hired Nathaniel J. Carroll as a senior tax accountant in its Watertown office. Mr. Carroll earned a bachelor’s degree in 2009 and a masters of professional accountancy in 2010 from West Virginia University. He is a certified public accountant.

Shirley A. Ostrander has also joined the firm as a new staff accountant in the Watertown office. Ms. Ostrander graduated in 1989 from Aquinas University of Legazpi, Philippines, and holds a CPA license in the Philippines. Prior to working with Bowers & Company, she was a staff accountant at Stackel & Navarra CPAs. [Read more…]

WSB goes mobile

Scott M. Pooler, chief information officer and vice president of Watertown Savings Bank, displays the bank’s new smartphone app, which allows customers to deposit checks by phone, as well as view account balances and complete other banking transactions. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Business

Smartphone app enables check deposits by phone [Read more…]

Five businesses net honors from Watertown chamber

At the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce annual meeting Business of the Year awards ceremony Wednesday afternoon four businesses were given top honors for 2012.

For the first time, the chamber honored an Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which was presented by the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency’s Don Alexander. The award was given to All American Real Estate NNY LLC, Black River, and accepted by owner James M. Conlin. According to Mr. Conlin, sales for 2012 saw a 250 percent increase over 2011, totaling more than $8 million.

In the nonprofit sector, two awards were given:

  • USO Fort Drum received the Business of the Year Award for a nonprofit agency with fewer than 50 employees.
  • Transitional Living Services of Northern New York received the Business of the Year Award for a nonprofit agency with more than 50 employees.
In the for-profit business sector, information technology firm and communications provider Westelcom, which is headed by president Paul Barton, received the Business of the Year Award for a firm with 50 or fewer employees.
Watertown Savings Bank received the honor of Business of the Year with more than 50 employees.

In addition, the chamber honored Jeany Danielsen, of Rose & Kiernan Insurance, as Ambassador of the Year for her work as a volunteer and incoming member of the board of directors.

Mark Gaines, of Stephens Media Group and current second vice chair of the 2013 chamber board of directors, was given the Board Member of the Year honor.

Wednesday’s luncheon was held at the Black River Valley Club and sponsored by M&T Bank, Davidson Auto Group, GYMO Architecture, Engineering & Land Surveying, Timeless Frames and Expressions, Watertown Daily Times and NNY Business magazine.