Local Business2013 Leading EDGE Award Winners
This year’s honorees include:
• Burrow’s Paper Corporation, Little Falls;
• Matt Brewing Company, Utica;
• Meyda Lighting, Yorkville;
• Rome Strip Steel, Rome; and
• Symeon Tsoupelis, owner of Symeon’s Greek Restaurant will receive the Christopher Destito Leading EDGE Award.
Air Force Research Laboratory
The mission of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
Information Directorate is to lead the discovery, development,
and integration of affordable warfighting information
technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace forces.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the technology
development component of the Air Force Materiel Command
and is responsible for providing the Science and Technology
underpinning for all Air Force Systems. Both the Air Force
Materiel Command and the Air Force Research Laboratory
are headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
near Dayton, OH. The Information Directorate, one of ten
directorates within the AFRL, is headquartered at the Rome
Research Site in Rome, NY.
The Information Directorate is on the cutting edge of
information technology development for today’s cyberspace
battlefield. We develop and integrate programs to acquire
data and find better ways to store, process, and fuse that
data into information. We create a means to deliver and
present secure, tailored information, enabling military decision
makers to have access to the entire sphere of information
necessary for successful operations.
The Information Directorate at Rome Research Site operates
a world-class research facility with an annual budget of $768
million consisting of 1,333 civilian and military government
employees and in-house supporting contractors – a vibrant
confluence of computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists,
professional technical support staff, electrical and computer
engineers, and information specialists.
26 Electronics Parkway
Rome, NY 13441
American Alloy Steel
For over 20 years American Alloy Steel has had a presence in Rome, NY. They are a leading steel plate distributor in the Steel Service Center Industry, supplying Pressure Vessel steel plate and other quality alloy and carbon steel plate and bar products, many kinds of which are not commonly stocked elsewhere.
In 2007, American Alloy Steel began to investigate options for a new facility to increase efficiencies and maintain its competitive advantage in the marketplace. Their intention was to stay in Rome but they had very specific needs due to the heavy nature of steel and the logistics of steel operations.
The site American Alloy Steel ultimately selected was the former General Cable site on Railroad Street in East Rome.The City of Rome along with Empire State Development and Rome Industrial Development Corporation and Mohawk Valley EDGE worked in harmony to clean the site of environmental concerns.
Construction of their 57,000 square foot facility was completed by mid 2009. The new space has a rail spur, ample room to store, move, cut and ship very large and heavy pieces of steel.
The project also provided many local companies with work revolving around the building- contractors, engineers, landscapers, pavers and interiors were all sourced locally. The 23- employee Rome division of American Alloy Steel is now positioned to grow and is able to compete with companies that they were not able to before moving to their new facility.
1212 E Dominick St, Ste 1
Rome, NY 13440
Assured Information Security
Assured Information Security, Inc. (AIS) was founded in 2001 as a software company that focused on research elements of critical Air Force and DoD cyber technology requirements. AIS, Inc.'s capabilities include cyber technology, command and control, human effectiveness and signals. AIS, Inc. grew to become a leader in this highly dynamic and emerging technology, supporting several customers across the federal government. By 2005, they had operation locations in New York and Oregon. They have been recognized twice by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies int he United States. AIS, Inc. has built strong collaborations with other defense contractors and more than a dozen highly regarded universities including MIT and Harvard.
AIS, Inc.'s founding principles stem from their vision to be creators and defenders of a secure cyberspace where citizens have the safety and security to operate and conduct business with confidence and efficiency.
In January, 2006 they took occupancy of new research facilities in Rome, but in four short years they outgrew them. Ground was broken on September 20, 2010 on a new 46,305 square foot corporate headquarters for AIS, Inc. at Griffiss Business and Technology Park at the junction of Route 825 and Brooks Road- the former site of EDGE and Griffiss Local Development Corporation (GLDC) offices.
Construction of the two-story building is estimated at $10.585 million. Financing for the project came from multiple sources. Empire State Development provided $1 million in funding to support the project and Cardinal Griffiss Realty, a subsidiary of GLDC/EDGE, financed it with $5.6 million in various loans including $1.585 million from Oneida Savings Bank and $2.386 million in New Market Tax Credits through US Bancorp Community Development Corporation.
The company expects to add 39 employees over the next three years and its current space just couldn't accommodate that type of growth. They will initially utilize 36,000 square feet of the new building and reserve 10,000 square feet for future expansion. The new facility is planned to be operating by the end of 2011.
"The new facility not only solidifies our commitment to this area, but will also help us compete on a national scale for talent and resources to support research and development of computer network security technologies." President and CEO Charles Green said.
The presence of AIS, Inc. at Griffiss adds to a growing cluster of cyber security-focused companies spurred by the proximity to the Air Force Research Laboratory, a cornerstone of Central New York's growing IT corridor.
153 Brooks Rd
Rome, NY 13441
Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS)
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service - Rome was activated April 3, 1995, as part of the consolidation of service finance and accounting operations. Located inside Griffiss Business and Technology Park it is currently headed by Director Aaron Gillison and has grown from 65 employees to over 1000 with a $60 million operating budget. With a $xx facility expansion scheduled for this year, they project hiring an additional 65 people by the Fall.
DFAS-Rome controls about $53 billion annually, providing its customers with the best finance and services possible during times of peace and conflict. Their services include: vendor pay, accounting data processing and reports production and system support to numerous U.S. Army activities in the United States and around the world. With plans to expand their scope of service, they have recently become the center of excellence for Navy medical and are poised to attract additional support contracts.
325 Brooks Road
Rome, NY 13441
Delta Hardwoods located in Lee Center is a new business start up as of September 11, 2009. Their rapid start up and success shows that a small business, producing a premium product, can start up and thrive in the Mohawk Valley, even in a year that made many companies shudder. "Not that the first year didn't hand us any challenges!," shares president Randy Bowers. "Some mechanical issues with a piece of equipment forced us to pull that piece of the plan from year five to year once, but overall, our progress has been beyond what we could have hoped for."
Delta landed a three-year contract to exclusively manufacture product for Green River Flooring/American Heritage Flooring out of Oswego, New York and are working on their partnerships that will increase their growth and annual sales dramatically. 100% of Delta's sales are domestic and when looking for vendors, local is preferred. The new piece of machinery mentioned above will be coming from Portland, Oregon- the other company that they could have purchased it from was in Germany. 90-95% of their raw material is also from the U.S. where the species are native, most coming from New York, Pennsylvania and New England states. The other 10% comes from Quebec.
A recent quality study on the plant operations left reviewers blown away. Delta's product quality and procedures shadow those of other flooring manufacturers- from the consistency of cutting wood down to 1/1,000th of an inch, to shipping and receiving procedures. Randy is nothing short of humbled and pleased when reporting this. "Everybody is important in a success story," he says, "from those out marketing to those that are in charge of maintenance of the building. Every tiny bit of effort makes a huge difference and sets a tone of quality that will become ingrained in our culture."
Mohawk Valley EDGE assisted Delta Hardwoods with a $50,000 loan from the Rural Development and Agri-Business Assistance Program. Along with funding from Rome Savings Bank, the money is being used to renovate a building, make improvements , buy equipment, tools and supplies and provide working capital. Delta went from 0 to 18 employees in just over a year and expects to increases employment to around 30, with the possibility of adding a second shift.
Randy shares that his experience with EDGE was very positive. "I can't say enough about my EDGE representative, Peter Zawko. From putting together the process of the loan package to site visits to see how we were progressing, he really was there for us."
The Oneida County Rural Development & Agri-Business Loan Program is designed to support rural economic development and agri-business ventures by securing financing not normally available through traditional channels. The Program is designed to provide low interest loans to help small, existing or start up companies provide new job opportunities, keep existing jobs and broaden the tax base in eligible rural areas of Oneida County. Funding for the Rural Development & Agri-Business Program is through a grant to Oneida County from the New York State Office of Community Renewal.
9523 St Rt 26
Lee Center, NY 13363
Eastern Air Defense Sector
The Eastern Air Defense Sector in Rome, NY plays a pivotal role in monitoring and controlling one million square miles of the nation’s busiest airspace east of the Mississippi.
This year EADS has completed construction on their new $10.1 million headquarters at Griffiss Business and Technology Park. The move will allow for enhanced communication and greater security as command staff, security forces and operations move from three separate buildings into one.
The unit directs the employment of almost 200 radars, 8 fighter alert locations, Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, a Battle Control Center and joint air defense artillery assets to defend millions of people.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Eastern Air Defense Sector has supported Operation Noble Eagle in the United States and, in November 2006, the unit doubled its area of responsibility when it was assigned to protect more than one million square miles from terrorist air attack both inside and outside the U.S.
In addition, the Eastern Air Defense Sector rapidly responds to non-military threats by supporting civilian agencies before and during emergencies, natural or man-made disasters. This role allows us to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance where and when it is needed most in the United States.
The unit is composed of more than 400 people, both civilian and military, in many career fields. Including fighter pilots, intelligence, Communications, Public Affairs, Contracting Management and many others.
ECR International, Inc. has been located in New York State since 1928 when Earle C. Reed established manufacturing facilities for cast iron boilers and radiators in Dunkirk and Utica, New York. ECR was formed in 1999 as a merger of The Utica Companies (Utica) and Dunkirk Radiator Corporation and named in his honor. ECR is a strong supporter of local charities and is proud to be a founding sponsor of Utica’s famous Boilermaker road race.
Now under new leadership and battling a very different economy, they needed to realign their facilities and operations to remain competitive and efficient. A new focus has been placed on manufacturing green, environmentally friendly products. At the forefront of ECR’s improved green product line is the freewatt® mchp system, a heating system that while producing heat for the home also produces free eco-friendly electricity.
ECR invested fourteen million dollars on renovations in their Utica and Dunkirk facilities. Renovations consisted of building a new 25,000 square stamping plant in Dunkirk and upgrading the manufacturing equipment. At the Utica facility a 30,000 square foot expansion was added to their manufacturing facility. A world class research and development lab for hydronic, warm air and cooling design will be completed by June of this year.
With a product line that covers nearly all space heating and cooling needs, revolutionary engineering and new capabilities and space, ECR is in a great position globally to design and manufacture cutting edge products in New York State.
2201 Dwyer Avenue
Utica, NY 13501
F. X. Matt Brewery
On May 29, 2008, the opening night of the season's first Saranac Thursday event, the F.X. Matt Brewing Company's bottling and canning facility caught fire. The billowing smoke could be seen for miles and firsthand by many Thursday night enthusiasts that were just getting to the Brewery for the festivities.
"Our first concern was to make sure that every employee and person was accounted for and was safe. Our second concern was to get over the shock and figure out what we were going to have to do to get back in business," shares Nicholas Matt, Chairman and CEO of the F.X. Matt Brewing Company. "I have seen and been through a lot in business over the years, but never a fire. The things that go through your mind at a time like that are insurmountable. In the sea of conversations and suggestions from so many people, EDGE proved to be a trusted voice that helped us immediately in an area that we might not have thought of right away. They were a very important piece of the puzzle."
Edge representatives helped the Brewery learn of and take advantage of property tax breaks and sales tax exemptions through the help of the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency (a strategic partner of EDGE). A temporary cap allowed the Brewery to complete their new construction and significant equipment purchases. The ten-year agreement put a cap on property taxes in the first exemption year. In years two-five, the company will pay taxes at the same level they were paying before the fire. In years six-ten, the company will pay either the pre-fire tax amount of two-thirds of the current tax rate, whichever is higher. The agreement also helped offset sales tax on construction materials needed too renovate and build.
OCIDA looked at the Brewery project thoroughly from multiple viewpoints. They wanted to review how the taxpayers (county, city and school) would be affected and they needed to see what the financial potential of the company would be to offset the taxes.
Sensitive to the fact that an appropriate, fair agreement should be reached, the Brewery wanted to be sure that they got back into the building and back into production with assistance that made sense. The temporary breaks will help the Brewery get back on their feet, but as they move along, the tax breaks will end.
"The process with EDGE was as simple as it could be and fair." Nick shares, "what we asked is for a solution that would be good for the community and that is what we received."
The May 29, 2008 fire affected the Brewery's bottling and canning operations in one of their three story buildings. The 15,000 square foot second floor has been rebuilt and is now filled with equipment that cans and packages 6 pack hi-cone packages, 12 packs and 24 pack cases of Saranac and other products. The third floor, which was used for warehousing product, was lost and replaced with a new 25,000 square foot warehouse on premise.
The Matt family, even in the midst of their own crisis, made a point to utilize local companies in almost every facet of the restoration and new build out. The project employed local electricians, architects, plumbers, roofers, engineers and others. EDGE president Steve DiMeo adds, "the tax break agreement that was reached was very applicable in this instance. It not only helped a local company get back on its feet, but it also helped create jobs for a multitude of local small businesses." A local icon is now back up and running, is poised to be more competitive and will continue to generously give back to their community.
EDGE offers a great variety of assistance and guidance to companies, no matter if they are just moving to the area or if they have been here for generations, like the F.X. Matt Brewery. Many times EDGE is brought in to help the company remake themselves. In the Brewery's situation, an unfortunate crisis turned into a development and expansion opportunity which will allow them to continue to grow right here in the Mohawk Valley.
Now that operations are fully functioning once more, the new space and equipment will allow the Brewery to be more flexible and competitive and its capabilities can evolve. In the near future, packaging for slim cans (think cans like Red Bull) will be possible.
A goal of the Brewery is to get to consistent 2-3 shift operations, thus producing more jobs for the local economy. It will also allow them to produce more for other breweries and beverage manufacturers and to build the widely-loved Saranac brand.
Court & Varick Street
Utica, NY 13501
PEMS Tool & Machine Inc.
In 1983, Peter Stone and one manual milling machine, started a precision-milled parts manufacturing operation in the family garage located in the rural, Fulton County Township of Oppenheim. The business was eventually incorporated as PEMS Tool & Machine, Inc. It wasn’t long before the business grew into a larger adjacent building, and despite undergoing four expansions, was too small to contain the burgeoning industry housed within it.
In 1998 PEMS Tool & Machining began search for a larger facility, and found the right candidate in a vacant, 12,000square-foot, former women’s dress factory, on Southern Ave in Little Falls, alongside the Mohawk River. Starting with a team of 19 in the Little Falls facility, business continued to grow and the space was gradually filled with additional machinery and employees. By 2008, PEMS had had once again outgrown its environs, and a 5,000 square foot expansion was undertaken, and additional equipment installed.
Today, with increasing numbers of customers, PEMS is in the process of purchasing two additional production machines that will allow the company to increase capacity, ensure quality control, and maximize efficiencies. Expanded employment in its second-shift operation is planned, and the company foresees as many as 45 employees in the near term, up from the current 38, and 50 milling/turning machines in operation.
PEMS creates precision milled machine parts and conducts non-destructive testing primarily for the aerospace, automotive, and firearm manufacturing industries. Isabella Stone is the President of PEMS Tool & Machine.
125 Southern Ave
Little Falls, NY 13365
Premier Aviation Inc., with its corporate headquarters located in Trois Rivieres, Quebec completed its purchase of the assets in October, 2010 of Empire Aero Center (EAC) and assumed occupancy of the hangar space previously subleased by EAC at Griffiss International Airport. The facility consists of approximately 379,000 square feet of space, with three wide body hangar bays, back shops, administrative offices and also includes 13.5 acres of aircraft ramp space. One of Premier's hangar bays is a fully equipped strip and paint facility. Premier has started with 73 mechanics and administrative staff Employment is expected to increase to 275 over the next five years based on anticipated sales growth.
When EAC downsized their workforce, Premier took notice and approached Oneida County and EDGE about a possible expansion at Griffiss International Airport. 394 Hangar Road Corporation, a subsidiary of EDGE, is the landlord for the hangar property. They negotiated a sublease for Premier, as well as reaching an agreement with IAI North America to release EAC from their existing lease.
Countless hours were devoted to leveraging the aviation assets that have been developed at Griffiss, manage the multi-party transactions and review the region's skilled aviation work force.
The hangar property never sat empty during the transition due to a contract secured by IAI North America with DS2 for maintenance of C-5 aircraft. The timing, the strategic investments made at Griffiss International Airport- including the MVCC A&P School- and the improvements to the EAC hangars were major factors in Premier's decision to select Griffiss for its U.S. expansion.
The collaboration between IAI North America, EDGE, Oneida County and Premier also helped provide an orderly transition from EAC to Premier.
"It is core to our mission," shares Steve DiMeo, "to assist in recruiting and helping a new business come to the area. Premier is a perfect example of that."
394 Hangar Road
Rome, NY 13441
Remington Arms Company
Remington Arms Company, Inc., founded in 1816 in Ilion, NY, is the nation’s oldest continuously operating manufacturer still producing its original product. With corporate headquarters in Madison, N.C., the company designs, manufactures and markets sporting goods products for the global hunting and shooting sports markets ,as well as products with military, government and law enforcement applications. The product line consists primarily of firearms (shotguns and rifles) and ammunition, but includes hunting and gun care accessories, licensed products, clay targets, powder metal products and apparel. Products are marketed predominantly under the Remington, Marlin, H&R, New England Firearms, L.C. Smith and Parker brand names, with the goal being to market a broad assortment of general-purpose firearms together with more specialized products that embody emphasis on value, performance and design.
Remington is the only U.S. manufacturer of both firearms and ammunition products and one of the largest domestic producers of shotguns and rifles. The Company had revenues in 2008 of approximately $590 million and distributes its products throughout the U.S. and in over 55 foreign countries.
Remington Ilion recently manufactured its 5 millionth Model 700 Rifle and 10 millionth 870 shotgun, which attests to the popularity and endurance of the products. However the Company is also an innovator in the marketplace, as evidenced by the new Model 887 Shotgun, which is rust proof and designed to be the most durable shotgun ever built.
Over the past 12 months, Remington has added over 100 new employees to the Ilion plant, bringing its workforce in Ilion to approximately 850.
14 Hoefler Avenue
Ilion, NY 13357
Formed in October, 2007, Solo Scientific has seen incredible growth- after being a finalist in the Mohawk Valley Emerging Business Competition in 2009, sales quadrupled. While the company's primary product and research focus is hydrogen fuel cells, what has really taken off for them and helps fund the work they are doing on their main product- the Aurora Fire Starter.
The Fire Starter is a survival tool that will work in any environment and is proudly made in the USA, utilizing many local businesses. Vendors in Utica are used for steel and aluminum and local machine shops help support orders that have grown from 300-400 pieces up to batches of 5,000. In a short time, 400-500 dealers are now carrying the home grown invention across the country and five distributors help them get sold around the globe. They are sold in 8,000 army/navy stores, through dealers in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Canada and are also used on four military bases. The company recently found out that their product made the trip up Mt. Everest with a seasoned mountain climber from California!
As with any new business, growth needs to be managed and challenges arise. Solo Scientific's quick growth and increase in orders led to them running out of inventory.
The relationship with EDGE that started during the Emerging Business Competition continued when the company was looking for funding to assist with keeping up with their inventory. A call to EDGE president Steve DiMeo began a process of guidance and eventually led to a loan of $28,000 and additional funding and support from Rome Savings Bank to help the company fulfill orders quickly and keep sales flowing.
Solo Scientific founder Andy Putrello who grew up in the Mohawk Valley and spent time in Los Angeles, shared what it's like to start a business from scratch and grow it in our area. "This is where I want to raise my kids, I love the Adirondacks, and we're making this happen. There is a great opportunity to bring money into our local economy from all over the world to sustain us and allow us to help other businesses here. Sales that we make globally spur money back to us in Utica and we can then hire machine shops and vendors right here to help us make the product. It helps everyone.
Solo Scientific uses internet advertising through Google, Bing, and Yahoo to drive sales to both potential dealers and end customers. Marketing efforts are also done regularly in other states. Andy has driven 60,000 miles in the past two years to solicit dealers and show demos of the product. A licensed pilot, he's now taking to the skies to continue intense marketing in additional states.
"Our company lives by the motto of 'made locally, sold globally' and that's how we can grow as a company and help the local economy at the same time."Andy shares. "It's a lot of blood, sweat and tears to start a company- but we're finally figuring it out!"
P.O. Box 565
New Hartford, NY 13413
Founded in 1810 and headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, The Hartford is one of the nation’s largest financial services companies and a leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits; automobile and homeowners products; and business property and casualty insurance. The company has had a presence in the Mohawk Valley since 1976.
In 2008, The Hartford continued its long-time presence in the region when the company moved into a new, 129,456 square-foot, three-story facility in New Hartford. The Hartford’s 680 New Hartford employees provide customer service and sales support for business insurance customers and independent agents.
As part of The Hartford’s commitment to being an active corporate citizen in the communities in which it operates, the New Hartford Center is doing its part. Last year, employees in the New Hartford Center volunteered hundreds of hours to community service, supporting 19 local not-for-profit organizations that provide services within the communities where our employees and their families live.
4401 Middle Settlement Road
New Hartford, NY 13413