Saturday, October 31, 2009

Health-Insurance Rates Set To Rise In 2010 related that major health-insurance carriers serving Central New York are currently working to determine how much of a rate increase their customers will face in 2010.

Spokespersons for Rochester-based Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Schenectady-based MVP Health Care, and UnitedHealthcare, which has its upstate headquarters in DeWitt, say it's "too early" to provide definitive rate information for their 2010 health plans. Carriers typically file their rates with the New York Insurance Department on Nov. 30.

However, recent survey reports and interviews with employee-benefit consultants shed some light on what businesses can expect to see in rate increases. Figures in the 2009 Small Business Health-Care Reform Survey from the National Small Business, Association indicate 92 percent of respondents are planning for an increase in their premiums in 2010.

The average expected increase is 13 percent, and about 20 percent of small businesses anticipate premium increases of more than 20 percent next year, the survey found.

Consultants and brokers in upstate New York say businesses should expect to see increases of at least 6 percent, ranging into double figures, depending on plan design.Concrete numbers on health-plan rates won't be available until early November, says Christian (Chris) Marshall, executive vice president of brokerage services with Falcone Associates, Inc. of Syracuse.

New state taxes and fees imposed on health-insurance plans earlier this year will likely be reflected in 2010 premiums, says Ross Kraft, president of the Meridian Group of New York, Inc. in Utica and current president of New York State Association of Health Underwriters. Meridian helps clients in New York and neighboring states design employee-benefit programs for-their employees.

Rates for health-maintenance organization (HMO) plans in New York could rise between 15 percent and 20 percent because it's "a dwindling pool," says Kraft, referring to the decline in the number of people who are enrolling in HMO plans.

Another upstate employee-benefit consultant, Thomas Flynn, a Rochester-based principal with the consulting firm Mercer, agrees that HMO plans could see a double-digit rate increase. Flynn also believes health insurers are trying to help employers keep costs down by promoting their consumer-directed health-care plans.

CDHPs are high-deductible plans with an employee-controlled spending account - a health-savings account (HSA) or health-reimbursement arrangement (HRA).

MVP expects CDHPs will attract a larger share of the employer-sponsored health care market because of rising premiums, Gary Hughes, MVP's director of public and community relations, said in an e-mail message. Read more here.

If you are looking for health insurance assistance for your nonprofit, contact NYCON's insurance brokerage, Council Services Plus, for assistance and information. Click here to e-mail for assistance.

Monday, October 26, 2009

NYCON Launches Assistance for Nonprofits Facing Leadership Transition

Interim Executive Leaders can help manage your Nonprofit's Leadership Transition

In 2006, a study of 2,000 Executive Directors conducted by the Meyer Foundation and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, noted that 75% of respondents did not plan to be in their current job in five years.

What is the Interim Executive Leadershp (IEL) Program?
The IEL Program is a comprehensive training, placement and support initiative designed to place qualified, experienced nonprofit professional in transitional Executive Director/CEO positions in New York State nonprofits.

The program is designed to help meet the needs of nonprofit agencies as significant numbers of nonprofit executives are expected to retire over the next 5 years.Leaders trained through our program can provide effective transitional leadership to nonprofits in order to strengthen organizational health and effectiveness during a time of transition.Consider hiring an Interim Executive Leader if your organization:
  • Is currently operating without an Executive Director;
  • Has experienced Executive Director/CEO turnover in the last few years and the agency requires stabilization;
  • Is expecting your Executive Director/CEO to retire or resign, and you require sufficient time to conduct a thorough search process;
  • Is seeking an experienced, qualified nonprofit professional trained in transition management to guide the organization through a short-term period of transition
NYCON has developed a pool of highly qualified and experienced Interim Executive Leaders ("IELs") that are available to meet your needs.

For additional information please contact:
Jennifer Lockwood, Program Director
Phone: 845.454.5062 ext. 102
Or click here to submit your inquiry online.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Seventh Annual Best Practices for Nonprofits

November 19, 2009
Holiday Inn Liverpool

9:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m.
Concurrent Session 1
Section A
Panel Discussion
Mission Refinement: Program Prioritization/Program Reduction
Pat Leone, Contact Community Services, Inc.
Linda M. Wright, The Salvation Army of the Syracuse Area
Michael F. Melara, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County

Section B
Defining And Developing Your Organization’s Strategic Plan, Business Plan And Budget
Susan Burgess, MA, MS, True North Group

Section C
Panel Discussion
Forming Strategic Partnerships
Mary Ellen Bloodgood, Jewish Home of Central New York / Menorah Park
Dr. Thomas H. Dennison, Syracuse University’s Maxwell School Health Services Management and Policy
John G. Eberle, Central New York Community Foundation
Michael West, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.

10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Concurrent Session 2
Section D
Panel Discussion
Staff Issues In The Downturn – Compensation And Retention
Peter A. Jones, Esq., Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
John E. Matson, Syracuse University

Section E
Exploring Funding Streams
Speaker TBD, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Section F
Panel Discussion
Managing Volunteers From Acceptance Through The Volunteer Life Cycle/Creating “Meaningful” Work
Karen Hargrave, Vera House
Craig Collie, United WayNancy Stewart, Crouse Hospital

11:00 a.m.-Noon
Plenary Session
Panel Discussion
Attracting And Engaging The “40 Below” Board Member And Volunteer
Kelly Bayne, United Way of Central New York, Inc., 40 Below Civic Engagement Task Force
Sean Becker, 40 Below Civic Engagement Task Force
Brian Hoke, 40 Below, Thursday Morning Roundtable Advisory Committee
Kelly Knab, United Way of Central New York, Inc.

7:30 am - 8:00 am
Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Keynote Address
ePhilanthropy: Using the Web for Fundraising
Erica Campbell, Assistant Vice President, CCS Fundraising

Holiday Inn Syracuse/Liverpool, 411 Electronics Parkway, Liverpool, NY 13088 315-457-1122
November 19, 2009 Liverpool, New York
Registration Fees: $70 – BS&K/ParenteBeard LLC Clients $85 – General PublicRSVP Deadline: November 12, 2009Please indicate which of the Concurrent Sessions you will attend:Session 1: A B C Session 2: D E FRegister online at www.bsk.comor complete and return the registration form below.
Name:_________________________________________________Title:_______________________________________________Organization:________________________________________________________________________________________________Address:___________________________________________________________________________________________________City:___________________________________ State:____________________________ Zip:______________________________E-Mail:_______________________________Telephone:____________________________Fax:____________________________The following people will also attend:Name:____________________________________Title:______________________________ E-Mail:_________________________Name:____________________________________Title:______________________________ E-Mail:_________________________Name:____________________________________Title:______________________________ E-Mail:_________________________Refunds will only be made for cancellations received 5 business days before event.Register online at or complete and return the registration form to:Ms. Toko Moyo, Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, One Lincoln Center, Syracuse, NY 13202Fax: 315-218-8100 Questions: 1-800-339-8897 E-mail: tmoyo@bsk.comPlease make checks payable to Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLCIf anyone attending needs any special accommodation, please call Liz Poda at 315-218-8526.This seminar is intended for the invited guests of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, Central New York Community Foundation, Inc.,The Gifford Foundation, ParenteBeard LLC and the United Way of Central New York, who reserve the right to deny admission to any applicant.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Coalition Undertakes Community Indicators Study

The Onedia County Courier reported that three local community organizations working together to identify and meet the area’s most pressing needs undertook the first step in a Community Indicators study today. The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc., Mohawk Valley EDGE and United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area are working together as initial partners in the Leadership Alliance for a Vital Community (LAVC) on this project, the results of which will inform each organization’s work and be shared with the entire community.

Community indicator studies provide objective snapshots of an area’s quality of life.

This is an opportunity to engage in a community-wide conversation about the current state of the Mohawk Valley region and how to respond collectively to issues and opportunities that we face. The indicator categories are arts and culture, economic self-sufficiency, economy, education, environment, health, housing, public safety, technology and transportation.

The Herkimer and Oneida County Indicators study in particular will help the community develop and focus on shared goals toward increasing its economic viability, well-being and sustainability. LAVC believes that with this information, organizations and individuals will form partnerships and take action to build a vital community. Read the article here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oct 28th Presentation of Oneida County's New Tourism Brand

You are Invited

Join the Genesis Group, Oneida County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Trainor Associates during a Community Presentation of Oneida County’s new tourism brand and marketing campaign initiative…The Getaway Region, Oneida County NY – Get away to it all!

Be a part of the presentation and connect with the community…
Join us on Wednesday October 28, 2009 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Historic Hotel Utica

This Community Presentation is open to the general public and is being promoted to the following:
· Members of the Genesis Group and those on their email database
· Members of the Convention & Visitors Bureau
· Members of all 10 Chambers of Commerce in Oneida & Herkimer Counties
· Elected Officials in Oneida & Herkimer Counties
· Realtors
· Education Industry
· Health Care Industry
· Newcomers
· Young Professionals
· And of course the MEDIA!

Admission is FREE, with Hors d' oeuvres and a Cash Bar, Raffles & Prizes too!

For Reservations, contact Genesis Executive Director Ray Durso, Jr., by calling 792.7187 or by email,
Thank you for your interest and support of Oneida County's
$ 1 Billion Tourism industry!

Kelly Blazosky Tim Trainor Ray Durso, Jr.
Oneida County CVB Trainor & Associates The Genesis Group

Friday, October 9, 2009

Genesis Group Event Update

Hello Genesis!

The Genesis Group unites Indidviduals and Organizations to Promote and Celebrate
the Mohawk Valley, in order for the Region to continue to Prosper and Grow!

"Community Pride Luncheon in Herkimer County"
sponsored by Genesis & The Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce

Thursday October 29th - 12:00pm
Herkimer County Community College, Alumni Hall

The following businesses and organizations will be highlighted:
Herkimer ARC - Hummel's Office Plus - Valley Health Services
DeOrio's Quality Dough Products/Vilolet Packing LLC

The Genesis Community Pride Luncheons are designed to bring together Elected Officials, Business and Community Leaders from around the region, to share good news and positive information. The luncheons began about 6 years ago and have attracted more than 4000 guests!

Cost for Luncheon: $ 20.00 pp (tables of 8 are available)
For reservations, contact Genesis Executive Director Raymond J. Durso, Jr. by calling 315.792.7187 or by email,

"Fourth Annual Celebration of Education"

Education is a billion dollar industry in our region. Genesis looks forward to promoting American Education Week in November, when we'll honor outstanding Educators and Programs from pre-school through graduate school.

To nominate an outstanding Educator or Program, visit our website, then download, complete and submit your nomination form.

"Welcome Student Initiative"

More than 20,000 college students are currently studying in our region. Almost 100 businesses are offering discounts and incentives to help these students feel "welcome" and a part of our community!

For more information on how you can get involved, visit our website, Also, click on the College Community Calendar for a list of more than 700 events taking place at area campuses.

“Genesis Technology Committee Meeting”
Tuesday October 20th – 5:00pm
Tiny’s Grill, 1014 State Street, downtown Utica

All are welcome to join us as we’ll be discussing, “Technology in the Mohawk Valley region.”
Committee Co-Chairs are Dr. Gerard Capraro & Frank Przybycien

The Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley Region
PO Box 3050
Utica, New York 13504
315.797.1280 fax

Monday, October 5, 2009

Top 15 Non-profit Board Governance Mistakes

The Charity Lawyer blog has a great post about governance mistakes, which has been mentioned by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Nonprofit Quarterly, and numerous others. The list was also expanded by San Francisco tax-exempt organizations lawyer and publisher of the Nonprofit Law Blog, Gene Takagi.

Here is excerpt. We would encourage you to view the entire list and details here.

1. Failing to Understand Fiduciary Duties.
When you volunteer to serve as a director or officer of a non-profit, you accept the responsibility to act with the duties of good faith, due care and loyalty. You also accept the potential liability for failing to fulfill those duties. Increased scrutiny from the I.R.S., Congress, state attorneys general, the Department of Justice, donors and the media require vigilance at every step. It is no longer sufficient to rubber stamp committee or staff recommendations or to simply “abstain” from dicey decisions. Today, board service comes with real responsibilities and real consequences for those that fail to live up to them.

Read about the next two points and more.
2. Failing to Provide Effective Oversight.
3. Deference to the Executive Committee, Board Chair or the Organization’s Founder.