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News and Info from members of the North Country Chamber

Joy in Childhood Foundation award helps feed eligible youth during school year

Citizen Advocates, Inc. is proud to announce the award of a $10,000 grant from the Joy in Childhood Foundation, which is committed to providing moments of joy to sick and hungry kids. The grant from the Joy in Childhood Foundation will support the Citizen Advocates' Backpack Program, and its mission to provide eligible children in kindergarten through sixth grade with nutritious food for the weekend during the academic year.

Roughly 3.9 million children in the nation live in “food-insecure” households where there is a limited or uncertain amount of nutritionally adequate or safe food. Children are at dramatically higher risk for food insecurity if they live in households where income levels are near or below federal poverty levels or are headed by single parents. In the Malone area, the percentage of individuals and families living in poverty is 31.1 percent, with the largest demographic being females age 35-44, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Both Citizen Advocates and the Joy in Childhood Foundation have a passion for helping people, and the Backpack Program is one of the most direct ways we can make a positive impact in the lives of hungry kids," said Dean Johnston, CEO of Citizen Advocates. "This generous gift from the Foundation puts us on strong footing for the coming year, and closer to our goal of reaching a maximum number of youth during the 2017-18 academic year." 

“The Joy in Childhood Foundation is proud to support local organizations such as Citizen Advocates that share our commitment to bringing joy to hungry kids and to helping them live healthier lives so that they can reach their full potential,” said Karen Raskopf, Co-Chair of the Joy in Childhood Foundation.

The Backpack Program operates on an annual budget of roughly $70,000 with all of the funds applied directly to feeding children in grades kindergarten through six. No state or federal money is received for this program, which is administered and operated entirely by volunteers.  During the 2016-17 school year, nearly 525 young students were served through the Backpack Program with a total of 33,600 meals served thanks to the efforts of about 44 volunteers working a combined 2,112 hours.

The annual Taste of Malone Dinner, a significant fundraiser for the Backpack Program, is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 4 at the Malone Golf Club.  Additional details are forthcoming, so be sure to save the date. To learn more, or to support the Backpack Program or the Adopt-A-Kid Campaign contact Joe Riccio at Citizen Advocates at (518) 651-2760 or e-mail 


Champlain Centre, operated by Pyramid Management Group LLC. will be celebrating their 5 year anniversary as a ‘Smoke Free property’.  The policy which was implemented back in 2012 covered both inside and out and includes all entrances, hallways, sidewalks, loading dock areas, parking lots and construction areas.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, secondhand smoke has been classified as a CLASS A Carcinogen, placing it in the same category as radon, benzene, and asbestos. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, over 40 of which are known to cause cancer in humans and many of which are strong irritants. The Surgeon General has declared that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke even small amounts of secondhand smoke can trigger allergies, asthma attacks and other breathing problems.

“Providing a healthy environment for our customers and tenants is our goal,” expressed Alan Fortine, General Manager of Champlain Centre. “The implementation of the ‘Smoke Free Property Policy’ takes that commitment to another level. Offering a smoke free atmosphere will go a long way in impacting the health of a significant number of individuals.”

In celebration of this anniversary, Champlain Centre will be creating a butterfly garden near their Regal entrance. The butterfly is a symbol of change so the garden will be representative of the positive change that occurs when people decide to quit smoking.  Tobacco Free Clinton Franklin Essex partnered with Champlain Centre in this great community project. The Butterfly Garden will be launching May 31st.

Burnham Benefit Advisors is sponsoring an educational NYS Paid Family Leave Law seminar
on Thursday, June 15th at the West Side Ballroom in Plattsburgh, NY.

The seminar will address how the NYS Paid Family Leave Law will impact employers, the penalties for non-compliance, and proactive strategies to prepare your business now. With the new law taking effect on January 1st, 2018, come find out what you need to do now.

The seminar is free and open to the public and registration by June 9th is strongly encouraged. A complimentary continental breakfast will be served at 8:30am followed by the presentation from 9:00am to 10:30am. For more information or to reserve your space, contact Burnham Benefit Advisors at 518-523-8100 or

Barton & Loguidice Welcomes Matthew Cooper to Our Watertown, NY Office

Barton & Loguidice (B&L) announces Copenhagen resident Matthew J. Cooper, P.E. has joined the firm as a Senior Managing Engineer in the Watertown, NY office.  With over 20 years of engineering and management experience, Cooper will help lead the firm’s continued growth as well as guide public and private sector projects for the firm’s North Country clients. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York and a graduate of Clarkson University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering.

Cooper’s background includes municipal wastewater and water system projects throughout Northern New York as well as the design of numerous structures from treatment plant tanks to buildings, highways, bridges and site development. He will be responsible for all aspects of project management including initial feasibility evaluations, project scoping, funding and grant assistance, permitting, design, regulatory compliance, bidding assistance, and construction administration.

“We are excited to have Matt Cooper join our Watertown office as he is a recognized leader in the community,” said Paul R. Czerwinski, P.E., Principal and Chairman of the Firm’s Board of Directors. “His municipal experience and extensive knowledge of the people, geography and facilities in the North Country make him a valuable asset to the firm.”

Cooper is the recipient of the Northern New York Business Magazine’s 20 Under 40 Award for emerging leaders as well as the Central New York Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty Awards for business accomplishments and civic leadership. He is a member of the American Water Works Association, American Concrete Institute, Precast Concrete Association of NY, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, NYS County Highway Superintendents Association, Northern New York Builders Exchange, Past-President. He is also Chairperson of the Jefferson/Lewis County Workforce Development Board.

Kevin Brady Appointed to Champlain National Bank Board of Directors

Peter S. Paine, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors of Champlain National Bank and its holding company, Champlain Bank Corporation, is pleased to announce that at a recent board meeting, Kevin Brady of Lake Placid was elected as a new member of both Boards.

"Kevin brings to our Bank not only broad financial experience but also extensive contacts in the Tri-Lakes market,” Paine said.  “With our rapidly expanding Lake Placid branch and a new branch about to open in Saranac Lake, I am confident Kevin will make a meaningful contribution to the growth of our Bank in the years ahead.”

Mr. Brady is a partner and co-founder of Long Run Wealth Advisors, LLC, a Lake Placid based financial advisory firm.  He has been involved in asset management, securities trading and research for more than twenty years at a variety of global institutions.  He also serves on the boards of the Adirondack Health Foundation, St. Joseph’s Treatment and Recovery Center, Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and the Lake Placid Land Conservancy.  Mr. Brady grew up in Saranac Lake and lived for more than two decades in Boston and New York City before returning to the Tri-Lakes.  He and his wife, Teresa, are active members of the community and are excited to have the opportunity to raise their three children in the Adirondacks.

“I am excited about joining the Champlain National Bank Board and being a part of such a long-standing local institution,” Mr. Brady said.  “From their headquarters in Willsboro to their branches serving Essex, Franklin and Clinton counties, they are deeply invested in the growth and well-being of North Country businesses and residents.  The commitment to the area exhibited by the Bank is wonderful, and their ability to provide strong client service and understand the needs of the local residents truly sets them apart.”

Koch and Whitman Join Beardsley Architects + Engineers

Beardsley Architects + Engineers is pleased to announce that Lawrence S. Koch, R.A., has joined the firm as Architect and Daniel J. Whitman, CPD, has re-joined the firm as Plumbing Senior Designer.

Mr. Koch has over 30 years of experience in the architectural design of educational facilities, manufacturing facilities, administrative buildings, and county office buildings. He has served as a project manager for multi-million-dollar design and construction projects, leading project teams and coordinating closely with clients.

Mr. Whitman has over 24 years of experience in the design of plumbing and fire protection building systems for commercial, educational, residential, retail, and medical facilities. He returns to Beardsley where he previously served as a department manager in addition to his work as Plumbing Designer.

For more information on Beardsley Architects + Engineers, visit  

CITEC Welcomes Steve Lockwood as Business Development Director

Steve Lockwood joined CITEC as Business Development Director bringing his leadership experience in manufacturing and sales to connect CITEC's clients with resources to grow their businesses. 

Steve worked as a CITEC Business Advisor before leaving to join Citizen Advocates as Director of Vocational Programs in 2014. Prior to that he held various positions at Camoplast/Rockland, Multina USA, and General Motors. 

"We are excited to have Steve back. His broad experience will be a great asset to our clients," says Reg Carter, CITEC Executive Director. 

CITEC Business Solutions offers consulting and training services to help business grow. They focus on continuous improvement, safety, business development, human resources, leadership development, marketing, and executive services. More information is available at

Times Union Names Barton & Loguidice a Winner of the Capital District 2017 Top Workplaces Award

Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C. (B&L), a northeast regional engineering, planning, environmental, and landscape architecture firm with nine offices across New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, announces that it has been named to the Albany Times Union’s Top Workplaces list for 2017. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC.  Several aspects of workplace culture were measured as well as employee benefits, support of the local community and the strong connection between employees and the company.  Most importantly, a top workplace embodies an organization where the employees take pride in providing solutions to problem a community or company has while striving to be leaders in the industry.

In the Albany office, as in all of Barton & Loguidice’s locations, employees work collaboratively amongst their various disciplines to create successive projects and innovative solutions that help build a great company; where exceptionally talented people want to be and where each employee is excited to go to work. “Since the Albany office’s inception in 2001, we have strived to hire talented professionals with the intent of creating a team that produces exceptional outcomes for our clients and meaningful work for our employees, said Richard Straut, Firm Principal- in-charge of the Albany office. “Our work culture rewards excellent client service and innovation, while balancing work-life demands,” Straut added.

According to Straut, “We appreciate the hard work and dedication our team has exhibited to our clients and each other.  Survey responses, such as those below, make us all proud to be a part of the B&L team.”

“In my opinion, I feel like upper management does a great job of communicating with staff to make sure we’re getting what we need. Knowing that my managers are behind me and want to see me succeed, only encourages me more to start thinking creatively.”

“At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s the staff. The office that I am in is a positive, respectful, and genuinely friendly place to work.”

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together.” Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

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