Category Archives: Made in New York

Finch Paper boosts margins with new products, leadership

Business Council member Finch Paper has introduced an average of one new product a month since CEO Debabrata Mukherjee took over at the Glens Falls paper company in May 2013.

Mukherjee, is chief executive officer of Finch Paper, a manufacturer of uncoated paper that employs 617, making it one of the largest employers in the 11 county region. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
Since taking over as CEO following the retirement of Joseph Raccuia, Finch Paper has seen earnings improve for six consecutive quarters.

Now, Finch is in the early stages of a $20 million project to purchase and install new equipment at its’ wood yard to reduce fuel and electricity consumption. The project also will replace a portion of Finch’s largest paper machine. New York State’s economic development arm awarded $1 million in December to help underwrite the cost of those improvements. The upgrades at the wood yard are expected to be finished by September.
Muhkerjee told The Albany Business Review’s Robin Cooper, “It’s about supplementing what you have with new talents, creating a culture of winning and bringing new products to market. I’ve done this before.”

Finch’s $20 million in upgrades will improve efficiency without reducing headcount, he said.

Those improvements come as Finch prepares to bring more products to market. In the past 18 months, Finch introduced 18 new products including tags for clothing and gift cards. The company also began making more paper for envelope manufacturers and has worked to increase its market share of paper used in books and uncoated magazines.

Please read Cooper’s complete story here.

Mom’s recipe becomes Worthy Jerky

Alex Krakoski was finishing high school in Switzerland on a scholarship when he ran short of money, and that is when he got in touch with his mother and asked her to send him the jerky recipe.

This was not just any beef jerky. This was the jerky his mother made for him as a kid using the best natural ingredients.

Describing what makes his mom’s jerky so special Alex said, “My mother was a dedicated cook and didn’t want me to eat junk food, so she would make this really good jerky with steak, fruits and vegetables and spices.”

Alex started making his mother’s jerky in Switzerland for about $3 a pound and began selling it to his fellow students for about six times as much. That generated the cash he needed for the trip back to the United States and it planted a seed that has grown into Worthy Jerky, a business that Alex and his fellow Cornell University classmate Benjamin Pham founded and continue to operate with a management team comprised of several other Cornell students.

Worthy Jerky is one of the newest members of The Business Council of New York State.

As with most startups, there is an idea guy and a business guy. Alex is the CEO and idea guy. Ben is the COO and business guy. Other students handle product development, creative strategy, public relations, finance, manufacturing, distribution and marketing.

Alex describes the nutritional value of Worthy Jerky as comparable to Chobani Yogurt in that both are made from natural ingredients.

The jerky caught on and Alex and Ben faced the happy decision of how to grow their business. “We had a choice to make,” Alex told a member of The Business Council staff during a recent visit to Albany. “We could drop out of college, open our own facility and produce jerky, or we could find a contract producer to make and package our jerky.”

They decided to stay in college and found a company in Sherill, N.Y. to handle the manufacturing and packaging of Worthy Jerky. Worthy Jerky is now sold in the Cornell Campus Store and P&C Fresh supermarkets in Ithaca and Cortland.

When this team of Cornell students graduates next year, they will not only have college degrees, they will have a business that is poised to grow and a fantastic experience with capitalism.

Visit Worthy Jerky’s website for more information.

Schenectady’s Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola joins Made in New York

Schenectady, N.Y. based, Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola, recently joined The Business Council of New York State’s Made in New York program.  Made in NewYork is an exclusive benefit for Business Council members who produce or manufacture products in the Empire State.

“Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola illustrates how ingenuity and enterprise translate to success and boost Schenectady’s economy,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. president and CEO of The Business Council.  “Gatherer’s is a welcome addition to Made in New York showing that New Yorker’s don’t have to go far for healthy, delicious food options.”

“The Made in New York program offers Gatherer’s, and many other small businesses, an opportunity to tap into a deep pool of valuable business contacts without dealing with mountains of red tape,” said Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola’s founder, Alessandro Gerbini.  “For Gatherer’s, this means more sales and connections on a shorter time frame than would otherwise be achievable.”

Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola began with a family recipe, and was founded by Alessandro Gerbini in 2010 when he was just 23 years old. Since then, the company has grown, providing eleven jobs to New York’s economy and selling to retailers in eleven states, including various supermarket chains.  In August of 2013, Gatherer’s used Kickstarter, a crowdfunding website, to raise money in order to launch three new flavors. “

Made in New York provides one-stop shopping for consumers interested in boosting New York’s economy and growing local jobs, both priorities of The Business Council.  Gatherer’s products featured on Made in New York include: Squirrel Bait, Chipmunk’s Choice, Fox’s Fancy, Bee’s Knees, Badger’s Best, Turtle Tracks.  All six flavors are Non-GMO Project verified, and three are certified gluten-free.

To view the Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola Made in New York page or for more information on Made in New York, visit www.madeinny.org.  Gatherer’s own website, www.ggranola.com features information on their products as well as where they are sold.

New York’s Mighty Middle Market

New York state is home to one of the nation’s largest middle market sectors, representing 10,000 businesses. Defined as companies with annual revenues of $10 million to $1 billion, this economic engine employs more than 4 million New Yorkers and generates approximately $500 billion in annual revenue — nearly 20 percent of total state revenue.

Nationally, the middle market reported a year-over-year increase in revenue growth of 6.5 percent for the past 12 months and added workers to the payroll, according to the National Center for the Middle Market’s Middle Market Indicator.

Despite the impact of the “Mighty Middle Market” on the state’s economy, this sector is frequently overlooked in discussions about economic growth.

The Business Council of New York State and the Albany-based Center for Economic Growth will convene representatives of middle market companies to explore the triggering events and game-changing strategies that propel middle market companies into the ranks of sustained growth firms.

Featuring a keynote discussion led by Thomas A. Stewart, executive director of the National Center for the Middle Market, and a panel of local middle market experts, attendees will learn about the triggering events and game-changing strategies that propel middle market companies into the ranks of sustained growth firms.

Panelists will include: David William Davis, president and COO of Simmons Machine Tool Corporation; Roger A. Hannay, chairman of the board of Hannay Reels, Inc.; and Thomas D. O’Connor, Jr., chairman and CEO of Mohawk Fine Papers, Inc.

Founded out of a multiyear partnership between GE Capital and The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, the National Center for the Middle Market exists for a single purpose: serving as the foremost expert and leading resource on the U.S. middle market economy. In this capacity, the Center provides critical insights and analyses that drive growth, increase competitiveness, create jobs for the middle market, and, ultimately, the overall U.S. economy.

The event will be held on Tuesday, July 1, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, 660 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, New York, 12211.

There is no fee to attend, but pre-registration is required.  Register here.

American Made Movie – Tonight

The local debut and screening of the American Made Movie, a new documentary, will take place at the Proctors GE Theatre in Schenectady tonight, Tuesday, January 21 at 6:30 p.m.  A panel discussion that features The Business Council’s Vice President of Government Affairs Ken Pokalsky will take place after the movie.  Pokalsky will discuss manufacturing and jobs from a statewide perspective and discuss the Made in New York program.

Other panelists include U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko; Vice President for State Governmental Affairs Brian Lombardozzi with the Alliance for American Manufacturing; President Dr. Quintin Bullock of Schenectady County Community College; Senior Advisor, Marketing and Government Affairs Traute (Trudy) Lehner with SuperPower Inc.; and President Alessandro Gerbini of Gatherer’s Granola.

Tickets to the American Made Movie event are $5.00, available online at www.proctors.org and at the Proctors box office. Proceeds from the event will benefit a one-time scholarship for a YouthBuild participant who will be pursuing a Manufacturing Technology program at Schenectady County Community College.

Arrive early for a Networking hour from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm where a dozen local manufacturers, sponsors and/or stakeholders will have table displays and information in the atrium of the GE Theatre.

For more information visit www.proctors.org.

American Made Movie – January 21, 2014

The GE Theatre at Proctors in Schenectady will present the movie American Made Movie on Tuesday, January 21 and will feature a post-move panel discussion that includes The Business Council’s Vice President of Government Affairs Ken Pokalsky as a panelist.  Pokalsky will provide a statewide perspective on this issue of American manufacturing and highlight our Made In New York program.

This compelling new documentary explores the impact of American manufacturing on both ordinary citizens and the national economy.  American manufacturing employment has been on the decline for decades, unleashing a devastating effect on our local and national economies. Fortunately, people are making a difference by doing their part in their local communities.  Be inspired by individual and corporate efforts highlighted in this new critically acclaimed documentary.

For more information on the event click here or purchase tickets online at www.proctors.org.

Manufacturing Day 2013

The second annual Manufacturing Day is set for this Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. The day showcases the importance of manufacturing nationwide and illustrates is impact on the economy.

Many New York businesses are participating, member companies holding events include Tough Traveler in Schenectady – offering a factory tour – and SUNYIT in Utica – hosting a National Manufacturing Day Conference, “The Resurgence of Manufacturing in NY.”  SUNY’s Clinton Community College will also host an event.

A column in the Olean Times Herald from John Stahley general manager of Dresser-Rand Co. in Olean focuses on the importance of Manufacturing to New York’s economy and what it means to celebrate Manufacturing Day.

Is your company holding a Manufacturing Day event?  Let us know and we will post it on our blog; contact Kristin Legere.

Getting New York’s economy going again through manufacturing is a matter central to The Business Council.  At our 2013 Annual Meeting, held last week at The Sagamore Resort, The Council announced the Upstate Futurist Project, aimed at revitalizing the upstate New York economy focusing on creating solutions to the most pressing issues hindering economic development and business growth in upstate New York and on leveraging the region’s strengths to make upstate New York economically vibrant.

For more on the Upstate Futurist visit The Council’s website.

New York Farm Day in Washington

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-N.Y.), hosted a New York Farm Day event yesterday at the in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. The event featured beer, foods and wine from Central New York. This was the 12th year New York Farm Day to be hosted at the nation’s capital.

For more great Made in New York products, visit our website.

Taste NY on NYS Thruway

IMG_0712 (2)Travelers looking to experience the best of what New York has to offer can now experience Taste NY at New York State Thruway travel plazas.  The kiosk, pictured here, compliments the “Tailgate Farmer’s Markets” tourists are familiar with seeing at the travel plazas, which feature locally grown NY products.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Taste NY would be sold at strategically located rest stops across the state as part New York’s largest investment in tourism to date.

Visit the New York State Thruway website for locations and more information on the Thruway’s 27 travel plazas.

New York’s McCadam’s cheddar cheese tops at state fair

McCadam Cheese logoMcCadam Cheese probably would have been happy with one gold medal, happier still to get two. But, the New York based cooperative swept all three of the available gold medals in the cheddar cheese categories at the 2013 New York State Fair.  McCadam swept the “Aged,” “Super Aged,” and “Current” cheddar categories with its Sharp, Adirondack, and Mild Cheddar. This is the fourth consecutive year that McCadam was awarded gold in the “Aged” category.

“We are extremely honored by McCadam’s excellent showing at the New York State Fair,” says Tom Herbick, McCadam’s creamery manager. “Taking gold in each of the three cheddar categories is a mark of pride for all of the McCadam family. Our success is the product of a team of hard working men and women, from the farmers, to the plant workers, to the cheesemakers, and everyone in between.”

This is the first time McCadam has accomplished the sweep of medals since joining the Agri-Mark family in 2000. Agri-Mark is a member of The Business Council.

You can learn more about McCadam Cheese by going to their Made in New York webpage.