Thursday, January 26, 2012

Partnering for Financial Success Program: John Zogby and Special Panel Discussion Videos

On January 18th, the Mohawk Valley Nonprofit Leaders Group held Partnering for Financial Success. This program focused on different types of nonprofit partnerships, and featured a video message from John Zogby followed by remarks from NY Council of Nonprofits CEO Doug Sauer. The program then featured a panel made up of organizations that have successfully partnered in four ways: merger, coalition, outsourcing and shared services and facility, and regionalization. Video from the program is available below. The panelists were:

Video Welcome: John Zogby, Chairman of the Board and Chief Insights Officer of IBOPE Zogby International

Merger: Center for Family Life and Recovery (Cassandra Sheets, CEO) and Child Care Council of Cooperative Extension (Lorraine Kinney-Kitchen, Executive Director)

Statewide Trends: Doug Sauer, CEO of New York Council of Nonprofits

Outsourcing/Shared Facility or Services: Parkway Senior Center (Kelly Walters, Executive Director)

Regionalization: Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson (Margaret Roberts, CEO)

Monday, January 16, 2012


You are invited to the NEXT Family & Community Connections (F&CC) Meeting: 8AM, WEDNESDAY, January 18, King School, 211 Square Street.

(Use the intercom to enter through the front door. Or the parking lot side door is also open at this hour.)

· Updates on:
o King School Visit by Congressman Richard Hanna.
o King School Quality Review and Report.

· Prospects for establishing a health care center at King School, including program partners, space requirements, draft facility plan.

· King School community garden, including draft plot plan, funding application(s), operations management and supervision.

· Discussion, decisions, and action regarding:

§ Programs / Activities
§ Results / Consequences
§ Needs Served
§ Funding

All interested persons are invited and encouraged to attend, engage, and participate. Inquiries by phone or email taken by:

Mark DeSalvo 792-2175
Tim Trent 525-5591

Principal Mark DeSalvo has asked community agencies to use F&CC sessions as a forum to coordinate with each other and with school staff about their programs, activities, challenges, and successes at MLK Jr. School.

Please Note: Whenever possible, F&CC meetings are held at 8:00am on the third Wednesday, every month, in the MLK, Jr. Elementary School Library.

Family & Community Connections (F&CC)
“Working Together To Make Our Community Better”

PREVIOUS Meeting Summary:
November 16, 2011 at King School, 211 Square Street

Present: Tony Colon, Mark DeSalvo, Venice Ervin, Lynne Gates, Barbara Gibbs, Laurie Hotaling, Langston Leslie, Darby O’Brien, Tim Trent

Agencies Represented: BSA (Boy Scouts of America); Community Residents; King Elementary School; MVCAA (Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency); NIA (Neighborhood Investment Association); Oneida County Youth Bureau; Perinatal Network; MVLA (Mohawk Valley Latino Association); Technologic Solutions, Inc.; Thea Bowman House; Utica Public Library

Key discussion points included:
· Lynne Gates announced that the Perinatal Network will intensify efforts to open communitywide access to health resources. (The agency recently was awarded a grant to serve as a community health advocate.)

· Mark DeSalvo urged planning now for community gardens in the King School neighborhood. Spring is fast approaching. Now is the time to prepare for community garden construction, supplies, and planting. Also, the community gardening leadership circle needs a replacement is needed for Quinton Babcock. (Quinton recently assumed new responsibilities in a professional position elsewhere.)

· Lori Hotaling led discussion of dance and afterschool programs being developed by NIA (Neighborhood Investment Association).

· All were reminded that developing King School as a community center will take compelling messages, active community voices, and vigorous advocacy.

King School Executive Advisory Committees and Members--
Email Phone
Christine Ervin 733-4873
Cristel Byrne 792-2205
Dianne Dimeo 7937612
Tim Trent 525-5591
Langston Leslie 735-4437
Kelly Domizio 982-1403

Curriculum / Data—
Darby O’Brien 735-2279
Kelly Domizio 982-1403
Langston Leslie 735-4437

Events / Functions—
Sherry Drake 792-2175
Meghan Klausner 792-2175
Langston Leslie 735-4437

Tim Trent 525-5591

Thursday, January 12, 2012

GENESIS GROUP GENERAL MEETING & 6th Annual Regional Community Forum: Featuring Elected Officials

Hello Genesis!

Join us as we begin the new year by focusing on the "Community's Agenda"

GENESIS GROUP GENERAL MEETING & 6th Annual Regional Community Forum

Friday, January 27th ~ 7:30am to 9:00am
Radisson Hotel Utica Centre, 200 Genesee St., Utica
COST: $15.00 pp for Breakfast/Forum

Participants include: (updated list)
Congressman Richard Hanna
Senator Joseph Griffo
Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi
Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney
Assemblyman Marc Butler
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente
Herkimer County Legislature Chairman Vincent Bono
Rome Mayor Joseph Fusco
Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri

For Reservations, contact Genesis Executive Director Ray Durso, Jr. by calling 792.7187 or by email,

The Regional Community Forum is sponsored by The Genesis Group and The Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley, representing Chambers of Commerce from the Boonville Area, Camden Area, Clinton, Herkimer County, Kuyahoora Valley, Marcy, New Hartford, Greater Oneida, Rome Area, Trenton Area, and affiliate partners: Oneida County Tourism, Mohawk Valley EDGE, Leadership Mohawk Valley and Genesis.

SAVE THE DATE ~ Tuesday January 24th at 5:00pm
Genesis Group Discovery Tour at WUTR Television Station

Thank you for your continued support!
Raymond J. Durso, Jr.
Executive Director
The Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley Region
SUNYIT 100 Seymour Road, Utica, New York 13502
315.792.7187 (T)
315.797.1280 (F)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rural giving tied to economic growth

Article of interest for our region:
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Born and raised in rural Jones County, one of North Carolina's poorest counties, Chris Meadows opted after college to stay rather than join the exodus of young adults moving out of the county.

Now, as principal of Jones Senior High School in Trenton, Meadows wants to inspire other young people to remain, and give them tools to succeed.

In a collaborative initiative that includes the N.C. Rural Center, the Jones County affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation is working to raise $10,000 to create an endowment fund to support an entrepreneurship program at the high school.

"If we get our kids to come back and start a business and be successful, they will start a cycle of transferring wealth from one generation to the next and keep the wealth here instead of going out of state or out of the county," Meadows says.

The Jones County initiative is part of a larger effort by the Rural Center and the North Carolina Community Foundation, and their counterparts in states throughout the U.S., to reverse the flow of wealth and residents from rural counties.

"Throughout rural America, kids are leaving because there aren't jobs," says Jason Gray, director of research and innovation at the Rural Center. "Homegrown philanthropy can and should be a resource to plug into targeted community economic-development work that makes these communities a place where their children can stay."

Over the last two decades, while the statewide population under age 18 grew 22 percent and the population age 24 to 30 grew 5 percent, 22 rural counties lost population under age 18, and 54 rural counties lost those age 24 to 30, including 15 counties that lost over 20 percent of that age group.

In Jones County, for example, the number of residents age 24 to 30 fell by 232 from 1990 to 2010, or 23.4 percent.

The Jones County initiative has the goals of inspiring students to launch local businesses, and inspiring donors to invest in endowment funds to boost the local economy while retaining philanthropic assets in the community.

Beth Boney Jenkins, vice president for development at the North Carolina Community Foundation, says a local couple has pledged to give $1,000 to create the new Jones County fund if the foundation's local affiliate can raise $10,000.

"Rural development philanthropy," she says, involves "bringing people in rural communities together to teach them how to use philanthropy to raise local dollars to address their own needs."

Sally Migliore, director of community leadership at the North Carolina Community Foundation, says the Jones County initiative can serve as a model for other rural counties, each of which can identify and address its own needs, "inspiring and promoting philanthropy over the long haul" to address local needs.

Gray says the Jones County initiative is part of a larger effort by the Rural Center to help rural communities retain and support youth and young adults.

Meadows says a key goal of the entrepreneurial fund will be to "showcase the potential" of staying and working in the county.

"That's one of our biggest challenges," he says. "We just have to show kids there's a lot we can do in Jones County if we decide to stay here."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fulton and Montgomery County Chambers look at Consolidating

Boards of Directors come together to investigate joining forces; retain facilitation and legal assistance

Amsterdam, NY and Gloversville, NY–The Boards of Directors of the Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce announced today that they are in the process of investigating the possibility of a merger/affiliation of the two Chambers of Commerce. They also announced that to move the process forward, they have retained the services of facilitation and legal assistance from the New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.
“With the departure of both Executives of the Chambers (former Presidents Deb Auspelmyer and Wally Hart), we thought it a great time to look at the possibility of joining forces,” said Chuck Schwartz, Chair, Montgomery County Chamber Board of Directors. “We always want to be proactive for our members in looking at ways to maximize their Chamber membership.”
“There is definitely strength in numbers,” said Mark Finkle, Chair, Fulton County Chamber Board of Directors, “and with an affiliation with Montgomery County, our business communities become a much stronger voice in our region, in Albany, and even in Washington, DC.”
Both Chambers’ Boards of Directors have appointed from their membership an Affiliation Task Force; in Fulton County the Task Force members are Mark Finkle (Stevenson Distributing, LLC), Terri Easterly (Coldwell Banker-Arlene M. Sitterly), Amy Karas (Ruby & Quiri), Jim Landrio (Holiday Inn of Johnstown-Gloversville), Larry Raike (WalMart DC #6096), Diana Marshall (Gloversville Sewing Center) and as a non-voting member Terry Swierzowski, the Chamber’s Interim President. From the Montgomery County Chamber, the Task Force is comprised of Brennen Parker (Rose & Kiernan), Vic Giulianelli (St. Mary’s Healthcare), Lesley Lanzi (FMCC), Judy Phetteplace (Judith Ann Realty), Mike Decker (Liberty Enterprises), Kevin McClary (Amsterdam Recorder), and the Chamber’s Interim President Peter Capobianco, who is a non-voting member.
The issue of affiliation will be discussed at both Chambers’ Annual Dinner Meetings which are scheduled for Thursday, January 19 for the Fulton County Chamber at the Holiday Inn of Johnstown-Gloversville and for the Montgomery County Chamber on Friday, January 27 at the River Stone Manor in Scotia. Members of both Affiliation Task Forces will be at both events to elicit discussion about the issue from members in attendance. In addition, both Chambers will hold informational sessions about the possible affiliation. These will be scheduled for after the Annual Dinner meetings.
The next steps in the Affiliation process: The Affiliation Task Force will pursue a Due Diligence Analysis of a wide variety of corporate documents, budgets, program operations and all the internal controls in both Chambers to determine the best structural manner to affiliate, making the same recommendation to the respective Boards of Directors, who will then seek the permissions of their respective Memberships to formalize the affiliation in the Spring of 2012. The New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. will facilitate the same and file the required documents with the New York State Department of State after the formal action of the two Memberships.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Three Area Groups Receive Grants Totaling $248k

Three organizations received grants totaling $248,000 from the The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, to support projects in the area.

The Saint Elizabeth Foundation and the Presbyterian Homes Foundation each received $100,000 in grants, while Rome and Utica’s “Dollars for Scholars” were awarded four scholarships worth $3,000 each year for four years.

The grant money will be used by Saint Elizabeth to purchase digital mammography equipment, and by the Presbyterian Homes Foundation to assist in Phase One of their Parkinson’s Unit Renovation Project.

Utica and Rome’s “Dollars for Scholars” are using their new scholarships to help one high school senior, excelling in math and science, pursue four-year college degrees each year.

The Community Foundation has been in operation since 1962 and has made more than 3,500 grants, worth more than $31 million.

Study: CABVI has $17 million impact on local economy

The Herkimer Telegram related: An impact study of the Industries for the Blind of New York State and its Affiliated Agencies conducted by the University of Buffalo details the economic and quality of life impact in communities that employ blind or visually impaired workers.

“The key for improving prospects for people who are blind and want to work is improving opportunity and that’s the goal of this impact study,” said Rudy D’Amico, president and chief executive officer of the Central Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, during a press conference Tuesday at CABVI’s main location on Kent Street, Utica.

Eight nonprofit organizations across the state partner with IBNYS to provide employment for blind New Yorkers. According to CABVI, the study released in October 2011 showed “the economic impact of the eight agencies on the state’s economy is $168 million reflecting, $88.3 million in direct sales, through more than 21,600 orders as well as $80 million in spin-off activity in related industries.”

D’Amico said during the press conference CABVI’s economic impact in Central New York is $17 million each year, including $4.4 million in payroll. He also said Central Industries expects its revenue to exceed $37 million this year, compared to $12 million in 2000.

The conference was held inside the association’s Central Industries manufacturing area, where blind and sighted workers work side-by-side to produce goods on about 30 product lines. In 2010, the association had 200 total employees with 79 of whom were blind or visually impaired.

“There is a perception the challenges associated with the unique needs of an employee who is blind cannot be overcome. This is not true,” said D’Amico. “With CABVI’s support and that of the state Commission for the Blind we can help employers and employees achieve reasonable accommodations.”

D’Amico also said they have a goal to double the number of blind and visually impaired individuals at each IBNYS affiliate to nearly 1,000 by 2016.

“CABVI and New York are working hard to breakdown barriers in the community,” he said.

State Sen. Joseph Griffo said about 60 percent of those who are blind in New York are unemployed, and about 70 percent nationally.

“CABVI is so important in playing such a significant role for individuals who want and need that chance to work, said Griffo, R,C,I - Rome, during the press conference.
“Many individuals suffer from blindness from birth or injury and are frustrated with the challenges they have to face and confront. Trying to find a job compounds that frustration.”

Griffo said he and other legislators will continue to support the efforts of CABVI and the IBNYS.

Assemblyman Marc Butler was among the state legislators who showed their support for CABVI, which serves those in Herkimer, Fulton, Montgomery, Oneida, Jefferson, Lewis and northern Otsego counties, during the press conference.

“Many of us have believed in the high quality and reliable workforce here at CABVI and now its there in black and white,” said Butler, R,C,I - Newport, about the study after the press conference.

Butler said by supporting their efforts, they are “helping these people and helping the economy.”