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The Otsego County Chamber salutes

Robert A. Harlem The Otesaga Resort Hotel
Contributed photo

Citizen of the Year

and Business of the Year

Above: Robert A. Harlem, seen in this formal portrait from the late 1970s, was named The Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen of the Year by The Otsego County Chamber. At left: The Otesaga Resort Hotel, seen in early March, was named The Otsego County Chamber/NBT Bank Distinguished Business of the Year.
Crier photo by Michelle Miller

A supplement to The Daily Star on Tuesday, March 31, 2009, The Cooperstown Crier on Thursday, April 2, 2009, and The Weekly Star on Friday, April 3, 2009.

The Otsego County Chamber/NBT Bank Distinguished Business of the Year

The Daily Star, Tuesday, March 31, 2009; The Cooperstown Crier, Thursday, April 2, 2009; The Weekly Star, Friday, April 3, 2009

The Otesaga going strong after 100 years
By Cassandra Miller Contributing Writer
Sitting on an elevated spot on the south shore of Otsego Lake, with an imposing brick facade and an interior of high ceilings, chandeliers and jewel-tone carpets, the Otesaga Resort Hotel is very much the “grand dame” of Cooperstown. One hundred years old this year, the Otesaga is aging gracefully. Once considered elitist, it’s changed its reputation in the past several years. It’s more approachable than in years past, reaching out to local businesses, organizations and citizens. It’s in better shape than ever due to a recently completed $40 million restoration, and is attracting social guests, business organizations, Baseball Hall of Fame tourists and professionals who stay for conferences and bring business to the area. The Otsego County Chamber is recognizing the historic hotel as the NBT Bank Distinguished Business of the year because of its commitment to the community. “We look for a business that has staying power and in a large part gives back to the community,” said Rob Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber. The Otesaga gives back by generously supporting area charities and not-for-profit groups, including Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care Inc., the Pathfinder Village, Bassett Healthcare, American Red Cross and the Otsego County Food Bank. “I’m thrilled (about the award),” said John Irvin, general manager of the hotel for the past seven years. “It recognizes us for what we’ve tried to do, and that is be a good business partner in the county. ... It’s nice to learn that people have noticed what you try to do. It was a surprise and 19 years ago as a bellboy and worked his way through the ranks, said the Otesaga has become more a part of the community since he was a young boy growing up in Cooperstown. “We have definitely become more a part of the village. I used to think it was elitist,” White said. But now local people are in and out of the hotel for affordable dining, events or just to have a drink on the veranda overlooking the lake on a summer night. “It’s seldom in the summertime that I cannot see local people having a drink on the veranda, and then they’ll just walk home,” Irvin said. The hotel, which has 135 guest rooms and suites and nine meeting rooms, is also a popular place for school reunions, birthday parties and weddings. “Weddings are the most fun,” said White, who is involved in managing all of the nuptial celebrations at the hotel. The staff of more than 300 take great care in making sure guests are happy. White remembered one particularly chilly autumn when a bride was disappointed that the usually brilliant fall foliage had fallen off the trees before her wedding. White paid a bunch of his friends $50 each to sail their boats across the lake so the bridal party had something special in the backdrop. Whether providing the setting for a wedding or a Sunday brunch, the Otesaga is one of Otsego County’s most-impressive and elegant meeting places. And its recently renewed dedication to area charities and nonprofit organizations have made the Otesaga go from “a good corporate citizen to an outstanding corporate citizen,” Robinson said. The Otesaga will be recognized at a dinner at the State University College at Oneonta on Friday.

The Otesaga Hotel is seen in 1909.
an honor.” As far as staying power is concerned, the Otesaga has been going strong for all 100 years it has been open. “I have yet to find another hotel that has continuously operated for 100 years under the same ownership,” Irvin said. The hotel first opened the summer of 1909 under the ownership of Edward S. and Stephen C. Clark and has been in the family since. Jane Forbes Clark now oversees the hotel. “She’s in and out of Cooperstown a lot and lets me know how she wants things done,” Irvin said. “She really enjoys this hotel ... I thoroughly enjoy working for who I work for.” The hotel was the location of the prestigious Knox finishing school from 1920 to 1954, and then was a training center for American Telephone and Telegraph from 1961 to 1970. Every summer for the past 100 years, the Otesaga has operated as a resort. The Otesaga’s season is from mid-April to Thanksgiving. Otesaga means “a place of meetings” in Iroquois, and it has lived up to its name in a variety of ways. On the hotel’s premises is the Leatherstocking Golf Course, which is considered one of the most scenic and challenging in the Northeast _ and it’s open to the public. The course, along with “offseason” events such as cooking classes, concerts, comedy nights and two restaurants, are

Contributed photo

meant to provide socializing opportunities for community members. “The community looks to us to find out what we‘re doing ... Most everyone in Cooperstown eats at the Hawkeye at least once or twice in the winter. (The Otesaga) is a social gathering spot,” Irvin said. “We don’t want any of the local people to feel that those gates out there are a closed door. We want to be a part of the community.” The Hawkeye Grill is the hotel’s restaurant, which offers casual dining year-round. The hotel’s main dining room is also open to the public. Conference Service Manager Jonathon White, who started working at the Otesaga

Harlem’s influence felt in many areas
By Cassandra Miller Contributing Writer
Robert A. Harlem has quietly left his mark on the greater Oneonta community through his involvement in numerous area organizations. Those have included the Oneonta Boys and Girls Club, Rotary Club, Elks Club, A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital and Hartwick College, among others. His innate drive to be a good neighbor and an active part of his community by being involved in a variety of organizations coupled with Harlem’s successful career as a trial lawyer and later a judge, influenced the Otsego County Chamber in its decision to give Harlem the Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen Award. Harlem has helped make the community a better place and has humbly been involved in the community for decades without ever seeking acknowledgement, according to Rob Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the Otsego County Chamber. “I’m not sure we have a complete list of all of the organizations he’s contributed to or been a part of,” Robinson said. When Harlem, 82, was told he had received the honor, he tried to argue his way out of it, saying that he shouldn’t be the recipient and that he’s done what he’s done because it’s his community, according to Robinson. But many people in the community believe that he is very deserving of the honor. “It’s easy to see the things that he’s done in the 15 years I’ve been here,” said Robinson, who has lived in four states, but said that he hasn’t seen the same commitment to quality of life from citizens and businesses as he has in the Oneonta area. Harlem’s professional life

Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen of the Year

The Daily Star, Tuesday, March 31, 2009; The Cooperstown Crier, Thursday, April 2, 2009; The Weekly Star, Friday, April 3, 2009

has been defined by fairness, knowledge and “a commanding presence,” according to lawyer Edward Gozigian, who has tried cases against and in front of Harlem. Harlem was admitted to practice law in New York state in 1953 and was what Gozigian describes as “a formidable” trial lawyer before he was elected to the Otsego County and Surrogate Court as judge in 1972, and then to the Supreme Court for the Sixth Judicial District in 1978. “He was an outstanding jurist because of his extensive experience as a trial lawyer, at which he excelled,” said Gozigian, who has known Harlem for 50 years. “He’s very much in charge when he’s on the bench. I liked trying cases before him because he was both knowledgeable and a commanding presence.” Harlem retired from the bench in 1991, but has since privately practiced law with his son Richard at the Law Office of Harlem and Jervis in Oneonta. When it comes to working with his dad, Richard said, “he’s a remarkable legal mind,” adding that “it’s always wonderful to work with top-

Contributed photo

The Low Office of Harlem and Jervis, formally known as the Harlem Law Office, is seen Wednesday, March 25. Robert A. Harlem, seen at left, works with his son Richard at the firm.
notch people.” Richard said that his dad has led a good life, helping a lot of people, never for a pat on the back, but because it’s the right thing to do. “He still helps people, and you don’t even know it,” he said. Richard described his dad as a hard worker who always insists on doing what’s best for other people. Harlem’s family members, of which there are many, are very important to him. They are one of the defining characteristics when people speak of Harlem. “He certainly has a large family of which he’s very proud, and understandably so,” Gozigian said. Apart from Harlem’s accomplished children are Harlem’s granddaughters Madie and Lesley, Richard’s daughters, who were two of the starters on the Oneonta girl’s varsity basketball team, which played in the state finals. “I’m a pretty lucky guy,” Richard said of his father’s and daughters’ successes this year. The focus growing up in Harlem’s house was on disciple, being a good person and being a good neighbor, according to three of Harlem’s six children. Richard remembers one Christmas when his parents told them to take their favorite toy and give it to an agency that collected toys for kids who didn’t have them. Two of Harlem’s other children, Bob Jr. and Rebecca Lloyd, who work together at Bob Jr.’s business, Picket Building Materials, spoke about having strict guidelines, which included daily chores and not being allowed to watch television on weeknights during school. They read books, played games or went to their neighbors in Oneonta’s West End “to help out, mow their lawns, whatever needed to be done,” said Rebecca, who added that her dad always led by example and emphasized taking care of your neighbors and doing “the right thing.” Harlem resisted the idea of being recognized for his service to the community and said “I don’t want that” when he talked to his children, according to Bob Jr., who said his dad explained that he has been involved in his community because it’s where he lives and he has just wanted to make it a better place. Harlem has been involved in the community “not for accolades, but because it’s his community, and he leaves it a little better than when he found it,” Bob Jr said. Of the organizations Harlem has been a part of, which include St. Mary’s church, A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, Hartwick College, Oneonta Country Club, Oneonta Elks Club and Opportunities for Otsego, the Oneonta Boys and Girls Club has consistently been an important part of Harlem’s volunteerism. See HARLEM on Page 4

Star photo by Brit Worgan

Continued from Page 3 Harlem helped Carl Delberta Sr. incorporate what was then the Oneonta Boys Club at its River Street location in 1968, and is still involved with the club today. Carl Delberta Jr. was a child when he first met Harlem, but has worked closely with him at the club in the past couple of decades. Harlem has been “a key member” of the club and has helped “build one of the best clubs in the country,” according to Delberta Jr. Harlem and Delberta Sr., met in the mid-1960s. Delberta was a police officer at teh time. Harlem “started to support right away what (Delberta Jr.’s) dad was doing” with the Boys Club. “Bob’s a great man,” Delberta Jr. said. “He’s honest and open. He’s a sincere person. He’s absolutely a wonderful person. ... Bob went along with my dad’s lines of helping the kids who otherwise wouldn’t be taking advantage a wonderful community in which to raise children. The people are welcoming. There’s a wonderful school system, good security, unending academic opportunities. We have a lot of pluses in the whole county.” Harlem brushes off the recognition from the Otsego County Chamber because, he said, he doesn’t feel like any acknowledgement is necessary for the work he’s done in the community. “I just did what I enjoyed doing. I’m overwhelmed. I certainly don’t feel that I deserve it. I feel they’re being very generous in doing what they’re doing,” he said. “I’m extremely grateful for all of the things Otsego County has done for me. I’m humbled by all of this that’s happening.” Harlem will be presented with the award at the Chamber’s annual Banquet and Celebration of Business on Friday at the Hunt Union Ballroom at the State University College at Oneonta.

The Daily Star, Tuesday, March 31, 2009; The Cooperstown Crier, Thursday, April 2, 2009; The Weekly Star, Friday, April 3, 2009


The Boys and Girls Club in Oneonta is seen Wednesday, March 25. Robert A. Harlem has been a supporter of the club since its inception in 1968.
of these opportunities. ... I think the world of Bob. He’s been 100 percent behind the club and I wish him the best always. He’s a wonderful person.” Harlem considers Oneonta his home, even though he now lives in Milford and spends winters in Florida. He hadn’t heard of Oneonta before he was offered a job at Farrington and Bookhout in Oneonta out of Albany Law School in 1953, and he’s never felt any desire to leave since. “My home is still in Oneonta,” Harlem said. “I think it’s

Star photo by Brit Worgen

It’s time for a rebirth for New York state
In upstate New York, we are facing some of the most challenging times most of us have witnessed. We are seeing things we thought were solid fall apart right before our eyes due to greed, lax enforcement and limited personal responsibility. This situation is both a threat and an opportunity. At The Otsego County Chamber, our mission is to assist in developing a future that will make our children and grandchildren proud of what we have left them. To do so, we must take personal responsibility _ have a little skin in the game _ to return basic logic to the role government plays in the lives of our families, employees and citizens. The Otsego County Chamber is pleading with Albany to adopt a new way of doing business, and a budget, that speak to some basic tenents to create new opportunities for our grandkids: Fairness: Level the playing field for all businesses to be able to compete with our out-of-state competitors in the financial situation that now exists. Accountability: We strongly demand our elected representatives show vigorous, effective leadership in, and support of, the reduction in the burdensome cost of all levels of government and its effect on our ability to


create jobs. Reduce spending: New York’s financial crisis is not one of revenue; it is one of spending at a pace that is unsustainable. The cost of government and education activities continues to outpace the economic growth of our businesses and citizens. Until the spending urge is reduced, our economy will not be able to allow for personal income growth. No new taxes or fees: Backdoor taxes only hide the real individual cost of government _ and its need for money. Government needs to review its scope of services in line with the constitutional role of government. Those items that are “the legitimate” role should be supported directly from the general fund and not by special fees and assessments. Dedicated SUNY tuition: The best

engine we now have to jump-start New York’s economy is the State University school system. We should not balance the state’s spending appetite by “sweeping” away college tuition. SUNY campuses must be able to keep all the tuition revenue and operate under a rational tuition policy that sets the fee based upon campus needs and not legislative fiat. No unfunded mandates: The state can not be allowed to balance its spending glut by passing down to the cities, towns and schools boards the cost of mandated programs or programs the state no longer wants to fund. If the feds or the state wants to mandate a service, program or reporting function, then they must fund it! No mandates on health insurance coverage: The state must not add more mandated coverages or services to the small group or other markets for health insurance without funding them. No new taxes on health insurance are to be added to balance the budget, as these costs will only be added to the premium cost for the subscribers. New York state has one of the highest costs, and the most mandated specific coverage, for health insurance. Expand BOCES’ role in regional educational shared services: School districts and the state Education

Department should use the investment already made in the BOCES system to help component districts to share services and activities and reduce the cost to individual districts. Such services might include: BOCES-wide centralized reporting to government, human resource activities, union negotiations, and others functions that would save money and improve efficiencies for component districts. Enhance consolidation/shared services activities: We must put in place efficient methods that will aggressively explore logical consolidation of governmental entities/agencies to maximize the services our citizens receive at an affordable cost. Together, we can make a difference in Albany and in our local communities. It is time for a fundament shift to living within our means and allowing businesses and citizens an opportunity to seek the real American dream. That dream where hard work is respected and rewarded, where giving back to your community with your time is revered, and where the pursuit of individual success is again an honorable goal. Rob Robinson is president and chief executive offi cers of The Otsego County Chamber.

The Daily Star, Tuesday, March 31, 2009; The Cooperstown Crier, Thursday, April 2, 2009; The Weekly Star, Friday, April 3, 2009

George Allen ....................................... 6 Mark Barstow ..................................... 7 Carol A. Blazina ................................. 7 Chad Bommer .................................... 7 Scott Bonderoff ................................... 8 Karyl Clemens .................................... 9 Scott Davis .......................................... 9 James Empie ...................................... 9 Sean Gahagan .................................... 9 Mark Grygiel .................................... 10 Douglas C. Gulotty ........................... 10 Jon Hansen ....................................... 10 Richard Harlem ............................... 11

Chamber Board Member Index

Roxana Hurlburt .............................. 11 Brian Hutzley ................................... 12 Kerri Insinga .................................... 12 Rachel Lutz Jessup .......................... 12 Marc Kingsley ................................... 13 Paul A. Lawrence ............................. 13 Peter Livshin .................................... 13 Tanya Shalor .................................... 14 Russell A. Southard Jr. ................... 14 Michele Stoeger................................. 15 Leif Van Cott .................................... 15 Cyndy Yager ..................................... 15

Past Otsego County Chamber Distinguished Citizens and Businesses
Year Citizen
David Brenner

George Allen
George Allen is sales manager of Northern Eagle Beverages in Oneonta. Allen, 44, has worked for Northern Eagle Beverages since 1988 and became sales manager in 2001. He was born and raised in Oneonta and is an Oneonta High School graduate. He attended the State University College of Technology at Delhi and the University of South Florida. He graduated from the State University College at Oneonta, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Allen lives in Oneonta with his fiancee, Elizabeth Murwin, and two Labrador retrievers, Buckley and Higgins. He is a member of the Oneonta Elks Club and the Oneonta Country Club and is president of the board of directors for the United Way of Otsego and Delaware Counties. This is his second year on The Otsego County Chamber Board of Direc-


Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care Arnan Corp. (Oneonta Block/ Otsego Ready Mix/Pickett’s) Mirabito Fuel Group /Mang Insurance Agency BK Associates/ The Neptune Diner The Daily Star Bassett Healthcare

The Daily Star, Tuesday, March 31, 2009; The Cooperstown Crier, Thursday, April 2, 2009; The Weekly Star, Friday, April 3, 2009


2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988

Dr. William F. Streck Carl Delberta Sr. Jane Forbes Clark Geoffrey Smith Award named for Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Marion Mullett

Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Qs State University College Edward Stack at Oneonta William R. Davis A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital VanNess D. Robinson Oneonta Athletic Corp. Hiram Skinner Hartwick College New York Central Mutual D.K. Lifgren Fire Insurance Co. Robert Moyer no award given Walter G. Rich no award given Gordon B. Roberts no award given Dr. Phillip Wilder Medical Coaches Sidney Levine Wilber National Bank Wilmer and Phillip Bresee The Clark Foundation LeRoy “Sonny” House no award given Joan Lutz no award given

tors. He sits on the Member Services, Business Action and Technology committees. “After completing my first year on the Chamber Board, it was interesting to see how many local businesses are enhanced by being a member of the Chamber,” he said. Allen’s hobbies include golf, canoeing, skiing and travel. “For any local businesses that are not a member they should consider joining,” he said. “The resouces available that come with a Chamber memebership will help local business not only survive but thrive in today’s economy.”

Chad Bommer
Chad Bommer is the vice president of sales at Support Services Alliance Inc., an Excellus company, located in Oneida and Schoharie counties. He is responsible for all new business sales and sales retention for all products within SSA’s portfolio across upstate New York. He moved here from Ohio, where he worked for seven years for Aetna Health Plans in the Cleveland market. He was formerly the regional sales manager for Excellus in the Utica region before joining the SSA team in 2006. Bommer has a ty Chamber and is on the Chamber’s Business Action Committee. He is also president-elect of the board of the Syracuse Chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters. Bommer grew up in Bellaire, Ohio, a rural area that sits on the Ohio River across from Wheeling, W.Va., and about 50 minutes’ drive from Pittsburgh. He now lives in Holland Patent with his wife, Molly, who is a registered nurse at M.I. Bassett Hospital, and their 3-year-old son, Harrison, and 18-monthold daughter, Ada.

Carol A. Blazina
Carol A. Blazina is the vice president for community relations and has been a teaching professor at the State University College at Oneonta for more than 36 years. She serves as college spokeswoman and is responsible for coordinating the college’s public, community and governmental relations efforts. She serves as chairwoman of the Commencement and College Enhancement committees, and is faculty adviser for the Terpsichorean Dance Company at the college. In 2001, she was honored by SUNY

The Daily Star, Tuesday, March 31, 2009; The Cooperstown Crier, Thursday, April 2, 2009; The Weekly Star, Friday, April 3, 2009

secondary education degree in social studies and history from Walsh University in Canton, Ohio, as well as an executive Master of Business Administration degree from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He serves on the board of directors for The Otsego Coun-

with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. She serves as chairwoman of the Chamber’s Tourism Committee and is a member of the Business Action Committee and The Otsego County Chamber Board of

Directors. A member of Kiwanis, Blazina served as president of the Oneonta Kiwanis from 1999 to 2000. In 2002, she was honored for her distinguished service with the George F. Hixson Award, the first woman ever recognized with the award by the Oneonta Kiwanis. She also served as chairwoman of the board of directors of Saturday’s Bread, strategic planning facilitator for St. Mary’s Church, and a board member for Planned Parenthood and the Oneonta Newman Club.

Mark Barstow
Mark Barstow is vice president of operations for Oak Tree Homes in Unadilla. Barstow has been with Oak Tree Homes since 1989 and has built more than 140 custom homes in the area. He has been part of The Otsego County Chamber board for one year and is serving on the Business Action Committee. Barstow, his wife,


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Visit the Chamber at 189 Main St., Suite 201, in Oneonta

Scott Bonderoff
Scott Bonderoff is the administrative director for Bassett Healthcare’s departments of emergency and trauma services and radiology. He sits on hospital committees for business development, quality management and patient flow, among others. In addition to services on the Cooperstown campus, his work reaches into Oneonta, Herkimer County and Bassett’s affiliates around the region. Before working for Bassett Healthcare, Bonderoff worked in management for Rehabilitation Support Services Inc. in Otsego County and Albany. Bonderoff has a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the State University College at Oneonta and a Master of Business Administration degree in health care administration from Binghamton University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Association of Medical Imaging Management. As a first-year member of The Otsego County Chamber Board of Directors, Bonderoff sits on the Special Projects Committee. Bonderoff has lived in the Cooperstown area for 17 years with his wife, Mary, and three sons, David, Max and Sam, where he is a coach for the Cooperstown Youth Little League. He is also a board member for Cooperstown Youth Football. He enjoys baseball, soccer and biking, and also volunteers as a ski patroller.


Robert A. Harlem
Eugene A. Bettiol, Jr., Distinguished Citizen Award and

The Daily Star, Tuesday, March 31, 2009; The Cooperstown Crier, Thursday, April 2, 2009; The Weekly Star, Friday, April 3, 2009

The Otesaga Resort Hotel
The Otsego County Chamber/NBT Bank Distinguished Business

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The Otsego County Chamber
honoring our area businesses, recognizing THE OTESAGA RESORT HOTEL as the NBT Bank Distinguished Business of the Year. Congratulations to Honoree JUDGE ROBERT A. HARLEM Eugene Bettiol, Jr. Distinguished Citizen of the Year.

One Associate Drive Oneonta, NY 13820
1-800-NBT-BANK With offices in: Cherry Valley, Cooperstown, Edmeston, Oneonta and Richfield Springs

Member FDIC

Open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Karyl Clemens
Karyl Clemens is special assistant to the president at Hartwick College in Oneonta. A resident of Oneonta for 30 years, Clemens serves on The Otsego County Chamber Board of Directors and is a member of the Chamber Personnel, Education and Scholar Recognition committees. She is also a past member of the board of directors of the Oneonta Rotary Club, and serves on the Civic Beautification Committee for the city of Oneonta and on the Board of the Catskill Sym-

Scott Davis
Scott Davis is a graduate of Keystone College in La Plume, Pa., with a major in business. He is chief executive officer of The Country Club Automotive Group, a seven-franchise auto group, which sells Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet, Mitsubishi and Kia vehicles, on Oneida Street in Oneonta. He is president of Oneonta Automotive Lease & Rental Center Inc., an automobile rental car company with Rent-A-Wreck and Priceless car rental franchises and a 50car rental fleet, at 48 Oneida St. in Oneonta. Davis is also president of West End Self Storage, a 100-unit self-storage business located at 48 Oneida St. in Oneonta, which is also a Penske Truck Rental Dealer specializing in local and one-way moving

James Empie
James Empie is vice president and manager of Key Bank in Cooperstown. He serves on the Chamber Business Action Committee. He is chief of the Worcester Fire Department and an EMT-D with the Worcester Emergency Squad. He also serves on the Worcester Advisory Committee of the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation, the Penska Foundation Board and is on the board of the

The Daily Star, Tuesday, March 31, 2009; The Cooperstown Crier, Thursday, April 2, 2009; The Weekly Star, Friday, April 3, 2009

phony. Clemens is a graduate of Kirkland College. She and her husband, John, professor of management at Hartwick College, live in the city of Oneonta.

Sean Gahagan
Sean Gahagan, a Binghamton native, is the vice president of retail merchandising and licensing for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Before joining the Baseball Hall of Fame, Gahagan worked in various brand management positions for licensees of Ralph Lauren, Nike and Wilson Sporting Goods. He received his undergraduate degree from the State University College at Oneonta, and a Master in Business Administration degree from Binghamton University. A first-year mem-

truck rentals. He is a member of the board of directors of A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta and a member of the board of directors of the technology division of the State University College of Technology at Delhi. Davis and his wife, Kathy, live in Otego and have two daughters, Heather and Erin. A first-year member of the Chamber Board of Directors, Davis serves on the Member Services Committee.

Maple Grove Cemetery Association. Empie and his wife, Michelle, live in Worcester.

ber of The Otsego County Chamber board, Gahagan serves on the board’s Education and Membership committees. Gahagan and his wife, Kelly, live in Binghamton and have two children, Grace and Ryan.

Mark Grygiel
Mark Grygiel is assistant vice president at New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Co. in Edmeston. A lifelong resident of Oneonta, he graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science in 1990. He joined New York Central Mutual in June 1990. He joined The Otsego County Chamber in January 2007, and is chairman of the Special Projects Committee, a member of the Executive Committee and vice chairman of the Board of Directors. “I am very fortunate that New York Central is such a strong advocate of community involvement,” he said. “It is because of their support and encouragement I am getting more involved.” His wife, Michelle, is an English teacher at Oneonta High School. They have a 3-year-old son, Zachary. “Throughout my entire life, I have benefited from a countless number people who have invested time and money in many of the activities and organizations I have been associated with,” he said. “Now it is my turn to `pay it forward.’ The challenges the businesses and residents

Douglas C. Gulotty
Douglas C. Gulotty was named president and chief executive officer of both the Wilber Corp. and Wilber National Bank on Jan. 2, 2006. Gulotty is a graduate of the State University College at Oneonta with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and economics, graduating magna cum laude. He is also a 1995 graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware, graduating cum laude. He began his career in financial services with Wilber National Bank as a management trainee in 1985. In 1993, he was promoted to vice president of retail banking, and in 1998, to senior vice president of customer delivery. In 2000, Gulotty was appointed executive vice president of the bank. He was named president and chief operating officer of the bank in 2005. Gulotty serves on the boards of directors of The Otsego County Chamber, the New York State Bankers’ Association, Springbrook and the Oneonta

Jon Hansen
Jon Hansen is serving his fourth term on The Otsego County Chamber board after joining in January 2006. He has been in the insurance business since 1980 and is a partner at the Gordon B. Roberts Agency Inc. He is a member of the Chamber’s Business Action Committee. Hansen lives in

The Daily Star, Tuesday, March 31, 2009; The Cooperstown Crier, Thursday, April 2, 2009; The Weekly Star, Friday, April 3, 2009


of Otsego County face this year are ones many of us have never been confronted with before. The Otsego County Chamber has always been on the front line battling for local business in Albany, but the time has come for all of us to stand together and let our voices be heard. It is our goal, as the Chamber, to educate our members and the community on how all of the new taxes and fees proposed by the governor will impact us. “I feel very fortunate to be associated with such a strong team of board members,” he added. “We all come from diverse business backgrounds and are a very strong representation of our local economy. I look forward to working with our team to come up with new and innovative ideas that will help strengthen our economy.”

Family YMCA. He also serves as trustee on the A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital Foundation board and the Schenevus Central School District Board of Education. The Wilber Corp. is a single bank holding company, which, through Wilber National Bank, its subsidiaries and affiliates, offers a full range of banking, trust, financial planning, investment and insurance services. The bank was chartered in 1874 and has 21 branches in Otsego, Delaware, Schoharie, Ulster, Chenango and Broome counties, and loan production offices in Clifton Park, New York City and Syracuse. The company has total assets of about $925 million.

Oneonta with his wife, Maureen.

Call the Chamber at 877-5-OTSEGO

Richard A. Harlem
Richard A. Harlem is managing partner of the Law Office of Harlem and Jervis in Oneonta, which concentrates on real estate, wills, estates and trusts, general litigation, business law and municipal law. He has been practicing law in Oneonta since 1983. Harlem received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University College at Plattsburgh and his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in Toledo, Ohio. He is an Executive Council member and past president of the Hartwick College Citizens Board, and a member of the Newman House Board of Directors. He is also a member of St. Mary’s Church, the Elks Club, Oneonta Lodge #466 Free & Accepted Masons, and Kiwanis. He is a two-term past president of the Board of Education of the Oneonta City School District, former Milford town justice and a former member of the Otsego County Republican Committee. He also served on the boards of directors of the United Way and the Ricky J. Parisian Foundation.

Harlem is a founding member of the State University College at Oneonta Children’s Center and has coached Oneonta Little League and basketball in the Pickett’s League at the Oneonta Boys and Girls Club, as well as the club’s girls’ traveling team. He is a member of the New York State, Florida, Otsego County, Delaware County and Broome County bar associations, is a former president of the Otsego County Bar Association, and is a member of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. Harlem serves on The Otsego County

Roxana Hurlburt
Roxana Hurlburt is vice president of Information Systems Division Inc. She joined The Otsego County Chamber Board of Directors in 2008. She is serving as second vice chairwoman of the board and serves on the Executive Committee and Chamber’s Business Member Services Committee. Action Committee “It is a wonderful and Technology opportunity to serve Committee and is chairman of the Per- as a voice for business. Our Chamber sonnel Committee. connects its memHe and his wife, bers to the people, Debra, a teacher issues and inforat Greater Plains mation that matter Elementary School, most to business in have three children, these very complex Zachary, Madeline economic times. In and Lesley. today’s environment

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it is imperative that people `give back’ to their communities,” she said. “We are so very fortunate to live and work in the greater Otsego County.” Lifelong residents of the area, Hurlburt and her husband, Jim, live in Otego.


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Brian Hutzley is vice president for business and finance at the State University College of Technology at Delhi. His responsibilities include strategic visioning, budget and planning, computer information systems, food service, campus bookstore and business and community service including continuing education programs. He also serves on the SUNY Chancellor’s Leadership Advisory Committee.

His prior positions include director of finance and strategy for Mead in Sidney, where he drove acquisitions and alliances processes, budgeting, credit and collection and accounting services. Before Mead, he held management positions at Amphenol Aerospace, AT&T and NCR. His expertise includes strategy and implementation, financial planning and controls, and organizational and leadership development.

Brian Hutzley


He is on the board of directors for The Otsego County Chamber and on the Chamber’s Business Action Committee. Hutzley is also on the Delaware County Empire Zone Administration Board and the Sidney Community Foundation Board. Hutzley has a Master of Business Administration degree from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He is originally from Michigan and now lives in Gilbertsville.

Kerri Insinga
Kerri Insinga is the sales manager at WCDO radio in Sidney and has been with WCDO since 2000. She also began her own business, Celebration Creations Wedding & Event Planning, in 2006. Insinga is an active volunteer within the tri-county area, serving on a variety of boards and committees. She is vice president of the Sidney Chamber of Commerce, ambassador for woman of the TriCounty Young Professionals and was recently appointed to The Otsego County Chamber board. Insinga loves spending time with her family, reading, running and her friends. Insinga and her fiancé, Blake Green, are looking forward to their upcoming winter wedding. They live in Sidney with their children, Kelsey, Rachael and Grace.

Rachel Lutz Jessup
Rachel Lutz Jessup is banking officer and branch manager for NBT Bank of Oneonta. Jessup was born and raised in Oneonta, daughter of Sayers and the late Joan Lutz, who have both been active members of The Otsego County Chamber. Jessup has been in the banking profession since 1986, the past seven years with NBT Bank. She graduated from Oneonta High School and has her Bachelor of Arts detive member of Main Street Oneonta, a member (and first female member) of the Oneonta Rotary Club and a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Oneonta. This is Jessup’s second year on the Chamber Board of Directors. She is on the Chamber’s Executive Committee and Special Projects Committee. Jessup lives in Oneonta with her twin daughters, Kacey and Jamie, and her son, Andrew.

Commerce Chenango, board member of the Delaware County Chamber, chairwoman and a founding board member and chair-

gree in psychology from Alfred University. Jessup is a board member for the Future of Oneonta Foundation, an ac-

Peter Livshin
Peter Livshin has been the superintendent of schools for the Milford Central School District since July 1997. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Trinity University, Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Syracuse University in social studies education and international relations and a Certificate of Advanced Study in educational administration from the State University College at Brockport. Before becoming superintendent, Livshin was a secondary school principal in Fort Edward, social studies supervisor in the Skaneateles Central School District and a social studies teacher in the Albion Central

Paul A. Lawrence
Paul A. Lawrence is general manager of the Holiday Inn in Oneonta. He and his family moved to Oneonta three years ago from Gainesville, Fla., due to a transfer with his company, Charter One Hotels Inc. He is graduate of Concord University in Athens, W.Va., with a degree in travel industry management. Lawrence is a second-year member on the board of directors and serves on the Tourism Committee. Lawrence and his wife, Cherie, have four boys, Taharen, 14, Anthony, 9, Zyeir, 6, and Kar’ri, 5, which keeps them very active in school functions and sporting events.

Marc Kingsley


School District. A sixth-year member of The Otsego County Chamber board, he is chairman of the board. He also serves on the Education and Business Action committees. He is on the boards of directors of the United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties and Leatherstocking’s Promise Inc. _ The Alliance for Youth.

Marc Kingsley is a native upstate New Yorker and the owner/innkeeper of the Inn at Cooperstown, an 18-room restored historic hotel located in downtown Cooperstown. He is responsible for all daily aspects of running and managing the hotel. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 10 He has been the years before receivmanager of the ing an honorable Country Club Minor discharge and movLeague Baseball ing to Atlanta, Ga. Team for three He met his wife, seasons, and supSherrie, in Georgia, ports Oneonta High and she persuaded School athletics as him to move back to a member of the upstate New York. Booster Club. The Lawrences purchased a house in Oneonta and live in a neighborhood that has made them feel welcome, he said.

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They now live in Cherry Valley. He serves on the Otsego County Chamber Board of Directors and is president of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce.

Eugene A. Bettiol, Jr. Distinguished Citizen


NBT Bank Distinguished Business

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Tanya Shalor
Tanya Shalor is the publisher of The Daily Star and all associated products. She started her newspaper career with the company as the comptroller and human resource director in 2000 and was promoted to her current role in 2007. Before her position with the local newspaper, Shalor worked with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in Manhattan as a fund accountant and with a local waste disposal firm. Shalor received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Elmira College with honors ber of the Oneonta Business Women’s Club, an Interactive & Newsmedia Financial Executives member, a Rotarian, volunteers for the Women Helping Girls Make Choices and Girls on the Run, and coaches youth soccer. Shalor serves on The Otsego County Chamber Board of Directors and on the Chamber’s Business Action Committee, Tourism Committee and Special Projects Committee. Shalor and her husband, Kevin, a contractor, live in Worcester with their daughter, Hailey.

Russell A. Southard Jr.
Russell A. Southard Jr. is general manager of Mirabito Energy Products headquartered in Binghamton. Before his employment with Mirabito, which began in September 2000, he worked for New York State Electric & Gas Corp. as a commercial/industrial marketing representative for 14 years. He graduated from the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Morrisville with an associate’s degree in business administration. er of the Elm Park United Methodist Church Board of Trustees. A sports enthusiast, Southard spends much of his free time as a volunteer coach for various youth sports in the Oneonta area and being a spectator and supporter of Oneonta High School athletics. He also enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family. He and his wife, Tammy, live in Oneonta and have three children, Reisa, Brandon and Tyler.

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and is a graduate of the Leadership Otsego program and now serves on the Advisory Council for the organization. She is also a board member of the TriCounty Young Professionals. Shalor is a mem-

As a sixth-year member, he is past chairman of the Otsego County Chamber Board of Directors (2008), and also is on the Chamber’s Executive and Business Action committees. He is also treasur-

Michele Stoeger
Michele Stoeger is the executive officer of the OtsegoDelaware Board of Realtors, which has about 450 members who serve Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Madison counties. Stoeger grew up in Otego and has been involved in the real estate business since 1975 in Florida and New York state. She lives in Davenport with her husband, Gary, and they enjoy many outdoor activities with their blended family of four children and

Leif Van Cott
Leif Van Cott is director of operations at Unadilla Silo Co. Inc. Van Cott was born in Sidney and lived in Oneonta until the age of 6. His family’s business, Unadilla Silo Co. Inc., has been operating in Otsego County for more than 100 years. His involvement in the company represents the sixth generation of Van Cotts. At 13, he began attending Eaglebrook School, a small boarding school in Deerfield, Mass. After graduating in 1994, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., where he met his future wife, Erin. They married in 2003. After graduating from Exeter in 1997, he attended Boston University. He then graduated from BU’s School of Management in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. During his high school and college years, he interned at Unadilla Silo in the estimating and accounting department to become familiar with the family busi-

Chamber staff
Pam Ferguson
Pam Ferguson joined The Otsego County Chamber in May 2006 and is the membership coordinator/administrative assistant. She is the first point of contact for most people with the Chamber. Her duties also include coorFerguson dinating membership issues, organizing meetings and special events.

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eight grandchildren. Stoeger has served on the board of directors of The Otsego County Chamber and on the Tourism Committee since 2005.

Cyndy Yager
Cyndy Yager is the controller at A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta. She is responsible for all of the reporting and accounting functions for the hospital and its various entities. Yager grew up in the Oneonta area and graduated from the State University College at Oneonta with a bachelor’s degree in business economics with a minor in accounting. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Otsego County Chamber and is on the Chamber’s Business Action Committee. Yager

serves on hospital committees including the Revenue Cycle Committee and the Strategic Planning Management Advisory Group Committee. She lives in Otego with her husband, Wayne.

ness. Shortly after graduating, he moved to New Hampshire and took a position in the human resources department at Wheelabrator Technologies, a subsidiary of the Waste Management Corp. In late 2004, he returned to upstate New York and took over as director of operations at Unadilla Silo Co. He lives in Oneonta with his wife, Erin, and their children, Xander and Gwyneth. He said, “I feel great being able to work for an organization that is deeply committed to fostering the financial success of Otsego County businesses.”

Shelly Giangrant
Shelly Giangrant joined The Otsego County Chamber in 2000 as the executive administrator and was promoted to the position of the director of operations in January 2008. She is responsible for the Chamber’s day-to-day activities, financial activities and concentrating on expanded Giangrant internal efficiencies and cost-beneficial services to members.


Visit the Otsego County Chamber online at

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