Fans of Wise Guys Sammy’s rejoice! The popular eatery celebrated the official launch of their expansion this morning with a ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce at 261-267 Main St. in Oneonta. The expansion has tavern style seating and boasts a wide selection of craft beers and wines to pair with your Sammy’s sandwich. Seen above are Jasmine Martinez, owner Sheryl Joubert, Donna Joubert, Barbara Ann Heegan, Roberta Vesley, Mayor Gary Herzig, Sheena Linebrink, Kayla Joubert, Tiffany Bettinger, Kelly Miller, Taylor Pushkar, Brett Burgin, Fred Vesely, owner Mike Joubert, Robin Bush, Tom Miller and Jacob Joubert. “This is a terrific Oneonta success story,” said Mayor Herzig, “It is a success built on hard work and quality food.” Mike Joubert, who owns the business with his wife, Sheryl, added, “This all started as a dream. But we continue to grow on a daily basis. This is our hometown, we are happy to be here and we love it!” Wise Guys Sammy’s also expanded to include their ice cream parlor Wise Guys’ Scoops, located across the street at 254 Main St. and run by Mike’s sister Megan Joubert.(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
‘PATHWAYS TO PROSPERITY’
ONEONTA – “How do we spark economic development in our region using the resources that we have?” asked Otsego County Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Ann Heegan.
That was the question that informed “Pathways to Prosperity,” the second annual Mohawk Valley Region Workforce Summit, being held – perhaps as you read this – at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall.
“Who better to answer that question than local leaders who have been 30 years in business, hiring smart people, moving their businesses forward?,” she continued in an interview. Further, “how can we tap into our abundance of higher education?”
Here are some of the highlights of the Workforce Summit:
• Governor Cuomo’s director of workforce development, Madhuri Kommareddi, planned to discuss the future of the state’s workforce.
• A presentation on SUNY Oneonta’s
Entrepreneurship Club and how to tap into its ideas, led by Wade Thomas, School of Economics & Business Dean, and Otsego Chamber board chair Al Rubin.
• Al Cleinman, president of
Cleinman Performance Partners, the national consultant to optometrists, who electrified last year’s conference at The Otesaga with a call to develop “knowledge workers,” planned to revisit and update his concept.
The Otsego Chamber of Commerce’s “Energy & Infrastructure Policy,” released last Thursday, June 13. The title sounds innocuous enough.
The whole of the Otsego Chamber’s new policy appears in this newspaper, beginning at right. Read it. But there are a couple of key paragraphs.
The first makes common cause with every sensible person’s aspirations:
“As we head toward the inevitable move to renewable energy, the Chamber will continue to support and help implement all forms of energy including wind, solar, natural gas, hydro as well as geothermal, ground and air source heat pumps. The Chamber will also help connect businesses … with organizations that can perform energy audits and make upgrades that can help decrease energy usage as well as providing information for rebates and financing options. The Chamber can work with elected officials and state agencies … to implement renewable energies and technologies.”
But Decompressor, Too
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County businesspeople support all energy options – renewables, yes, but also the controversial decompressor station proposed for West Oneonta – states a county Chamber of Commerce “Energy & Infrastructure Policy” released in the past few days.
The statement came bottom-up from the Oneonta-based organization’s countywide membership, said Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan, who also chairs the Economic Development Committee of the county board’s Energy Task Force. “They (chamber members) collectively shared that they want their voices heard,” Heegan added.
With businesspeople worried their perspectives would not be reflected in the Energy Task Force’s conclusions, Heegan said work began on the statement soon after county Rep. Meg Kennedy, C-Mount Vision, announced the Energy Task Force membership at the chamber’s Energy Summit in January at The Otesaga.
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – While the big tasks are still ahead for the Otsego County Energy Task Force, Barbara Ann Heegan, Otsego County Chamber president and chair of the Economic Development sub-group of the county’s Energy Task Force, is making sure that small businesses and the public can learn what they can do on the local level.
“We will be hosting a talk on ‘Understanding Energy Usage In Your Small Business: How to Increase Efficiency and Reduce Costs With An Energy Study’ from the Green Jobs, Green New York energy study,” she told the task force and public gathered for their second meeting this evening in Oneonta’s Town Hall. “We want to keep networking and keep these connections strong.”
The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be given by Michelle Wooddell, program coordinator for Green Jobs, Green New York at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8 at the Northern Eagle Beverage Center.
The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce held a recognition ceremony for 10- and 20-year members at a Business After Hours event in the Foothills Atrium. Above, the honorees pose for a group photo. Front row: Pat Knuth, ARC Otsego; Lizbeth Parent, Corning; Alicia Fish, Catskill Area Hospice; Mary Ann Bollinger, Community Bank, and Stacie Haynes, Susquehanna SPCA. Back row: Chris Hobert, Springbrook; Paul Landers, Pathfinder Village; Jim Kevlin, The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and All.OTSEGO.com; Alan Sessions, CDO Workforce; Nick Savin, ONC BOCES; Pete Armao, Country Club Auto; Dave Ohman, Delaware Engineering; Chris Kuhn, Oneonta Job Corps Academy, and Johnna Peachin, Peachin & Associates. At right, Otsego County Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan, presents Chris Kuhn, director of OJCA, with his certificate marking 10 years with the chamber. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Seeking ‘Balanced Agenda,’ 19 Speakers
Planned; Day Expands From 6 To 9 Hours
COOPERSTOWN – With a week to go, 125 people have already signed up for the Otsego County Chamber’s “Energy Summit: Infrastructure & Economy,” and the day has expanded from the original six hours to a nine-hour program to accommodate a growing roster of speakers.
Planned Thursday, Jan. 31, at The Otesaga, the summit will be able to accommodate about 200 people. To register, call 432-4500, extension 104, or email email@example.com.
After announcing the original concept, the phone started ringing with suggested speakers, Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan said in an interview a few minutes ago, and she kept adding speakers to ensure “a balanced agenda.”
FORUM PLANNED DEC. 31
ONEONTA – With the local debate raging over XNG trucks and a natural-gas decompression station suggested for the Pony Farm Business Park, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce is entering the discussion of future energy needs.
The chamber announced it will host an Energy Infrastructure Summit 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at The Otesaga. Registration details will be sent to chamber members.
Congressman John Faso, R-19, above, meets with the owner’s of Noah’s World in Oneonta, Sheila Andreic and husband Aleksandar, during a visit to Oneonta today. “The congressman … wanted to learn about initiatives in our county that focus on early learning and development.” said Barbara Ann Heegan, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce president. “I immediately thought of Noah’s World. They provide an excellent service for … parents who work struggle to find affordable, quality childcare.” He then went next door to tour the production floor of Toonie Moonie Organics with owner Kim Condon, inset, seen overlooking their kitchen. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Cites FOIL Requests, Council-Member Absences
By PARKER FISH • Special To www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Citing Freedom of Information Law requests which had yet to be fulfilled, and the absence of three Council members, Mayor Gary Herzig pulled a resolution from the agenda to approve a $230,000 Community Development Block Grant for Nick’s Diner at this evening’s Common Council meeting.
“In respect to people who have submitted FOIL requests and have not received them yet, and in consideration of the Council members who are not present tonight, and to allow Council members to digest some of the comments that were made, I’m going to remove the item from tonight’s agenda,” said Herzig. “I will reschedule it when people have received their FOIL requests and once all of the OtesOtCouncil members have had an opportunity to consider the comments.”
Herzig’s decision came as a surprise, even to himself; he said he only made the decision after hearing the public’s comments.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, APRIL 5
COMMUNITY PROGRAM – 5:30 p.m. Panel on “Downtown Renewal: Community Economic Revitalization” featuring panelists Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, Sociology Chair Dr. Alex Thomas, President/CEO Otsego Co. Chamber of Commerce Barbara Ann Heegan, more. Presentation followed by audience Q&A. Free, open to the public. Otsego Grille, Morris Complex, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-436-3498.
SENIOR PLAY – 7 – 9:30 p.m. CCS produciton of “Almost. Maine.” Auditorium, Cooperstown High School. Call 607-547-8181 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org