Monday, July 22, 2013

Observer-Dispatch: Nonprofit, Rome Mayor at Odds Over Recycling Initiatives

Nonprofit, Rome mayor at odds over recycling initiatives
Posted Jul 20, 2013 @ 01:37 PM

Business News

Rome Clean & Green wants to increase the city’s recycling rate.
But first, the nonprofit needs city funds that the mayor is not willing to provide, said Tanya Davis, executive director.
“We have the council’s support, a lot of community support, and you have one person saying, ‘I don’t think so,’” Davis said. “The mayor holds all the cards on this at this point — that’s what’s frustrating.”
The Board of Estimate recently tabled the organization’s $48,000 contract to provide educational services to the city.
“We are looking into expanding our recycling program, and at some point, I think Clean & Green can be of assistance to us,” Mayor Joseph Fusco said. “We just don’t know at what level that assistance is going to be.”
The organization has pledged to bring the recycling rate from 17 percent to 27 percent, which would save the city $120,000 in garbage tipping fees, Davis said.
The national average is 34.1 percent.
 “It’s a small investment with a big return,” she said.
Last year, the city gave the nonprofit $20,000 in federal block grant money that allowed it to hire Davis part-time for 10 months.
As a result, the Keep America Beautiful affiliate regained good standing with the national organization, Davis said.
The local nonprofit also leveraged $36,500 in grants, added 80 members, organized into 10 committees and transformed its marketing efforts, she said.
In the organization’s proposal to the mayor, President Tim Birnie said the Environmental Protection Agency recommends cities partner with nonprofits to convey effective messages to the community as peers rather than enforcers.
“Nonprofits are viewed as approachable and helpful, and why wouldn’t you take advantage of having that in your community?” Davis said.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Arts Mean Business Event at Rome Arts and Community Center Recap

By STEVE JONES Staff writer

CASHING IN ON CULTURE — Audience members smile as Rep. Richard L. Hanna, R-22, Barneveld, speaks about the importance of art in the community and as a tool for economic development. (Sentinel photo by Makenzi Enos)
The arts bring to a community experiences that are often hard to define in dollars and cents, but they are necessary for a community to have in order to stay "dynamic, livable," said U.S. Rep. Richard L. Hanna said Friday at the Rome Art And Community Center’s "Arts Means Business" presentation.
"The arts can’t thrive in a community that can’t thrive also," said Hanna, R-22, Barneveld, to a crowd of about 50. "What you give to people to experience, they can’t live a full life without."
The challenge, said Hanna, is often to convince people and government, that the arts are not something one has to measure against needs such as food and shelter when it comes to monetary support. "I don’t think that’s the choice," he said.
A community can have it all, he said. But it’s not easy to make that clear. "You’re critical to development, but you’re also in danger." A community, he said, must incorporate the arts into a larger push to be a good place to live. Don’t put people in a position to have to choose between supporting the arts or funding basic needs for its citizens.
"Things will turn around," Hanna said. His district, before recent redistricting changed its boundaries, had the most universities and colleges of any district in the country. The overall need, he said, is to make a community where students stay here after graduation.
For example, Rome, Hanna said, has a classic piece of Americana in its Honor America Days parade. It brings people out and brings them together "as a human family."
Hanna also noted the area’s growing immigrant population. While the Mohawk Valley needs young people to make it a home, it also has an influx of immigrants who have their own cultural expectations. Find out what those needs and desires are and address them, he suggested. "I look around and see the average white guy, but that’s not the demographic of where we live."
Peggy O’Shea, president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, also spoke. She outlined the Foundation’s efforts to bring cultural groups from the area together.
Using techniques from other areas, the group created a powerful tool — a community events calendar.
The online calender now available at is a place where arts groups can post events, which can lead to cooperation, complimentary programs and coordination of schedules, she noted.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Honor an Outstanding Board Member

2013 Michael H. Urbach, CPA, Community Builders Award Now Accepting Nominations
Submission Accepted through August 23rd, 2013 Sponsored by the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA)
Berardi Award 2012
Left to right: Doug Sauer, NYCON CEO; Allen Fetterman, CPA; William F. Berardi, CPA, 2012 Urbach Award Recipient; Ellen Kotlow, NYCON Board President
The New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. (NYCON) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) are pleased to announce this call for nominations.
The award is named in honor of the late Michael H. Urbach, CPA, former partner of Urbach, Kahn and Werlin, former NYS Commissioner of Tax and Finance and Chair of the State Employees federated Appeal, and board leader of a number of charities. This award is in recognition of the important role, talents and leadership that a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York State can provide as a board member for community-based charities.  

Award Criteria & Submission 
Candidates must:

  1. Be a CPA in good standing and a member of NYSSCPA
  1. Have served as an Officer on at least 3 different charitable 501c(3) community-based nonprofits with service as President/Chair at least once
  1. Have demonstrated exemplary board leadership resulting in significant and positive organizational impact including, but not limited to, financial turn-around, growth, and/or organizational re-structuring; and
  1. Preference will be given to nominees whose board leadership accomplishments have been with community-based charities
 Nominations addressing the candidate's qualifications must be received by August 23rd, 2013.  Nominators are strongly encouraged to address the qualifications related to the four (4) criteria mentioned above and to include at least three (3) letters of support from the charities who have benefited from the candidate's volunteer leadership. 

To Nominate a CPA: 
Email your submission to Melissa Currado at or mail two (2) packets of nomination materials to: Urbach Community Builders Award Committee, NYCON, 272 Broadway, Albany NY 12204.

For more information, visit NYCON on the web at or contact us via phone at (800) 515-5012.

Announcement & Presentation 
Craig Sickler, CPA receives the Urbach Community Builder Award
Craig Sickler, CPA receives the Urbach Community Builders Award at the 2006 Annual Meeting
The 2013 award will be formally presented at the Annual Member Meeting of NYCON slated for the afternoon of October 10th, 2013at Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York. 

The Luncheon will take place during CAMP FINANCE, a two-day retreat that provides the very best in knowledge, skill and strategy sessions for nonprofit staff and volunteer leaders. 
In honor of the late Harold Mandel, a CPA who worked for Urbach, Kahn & Werlin in Albany, NY and retired in West Palm Beach, FL, the 2013 Urbach Honoree has the privilege to award one (1) nonprofit executive of their choice a Camp Finance scholarship in Hal's name.  In 2009, Mr. Mandel's family accepted a posthumous Michael H. Urbach, CPA Community Builders Award in his honor.
Thank You to Our Supporters!

NYCON and NYSSCPA would like to recognize The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Regionfor their grant contribution towards the Michael H. Urbach, CPA Community Builders Award.

Past Urbach Award Honorees
Lewis Kramer, Urbach Award Recipient and Doug Sauer, CEO, NYCON
Lew Kramer, CPA and Doug Sauer, 
William F. Berardi, CPA

Thomas D. Weddell, CPA; Newburgh

Edward S. Mucenski, CPA; Potsdam   


Lewis "Lew" Kramer, CPA; Chappaqua   


Mel Zachter, CPA; Staten Island      
Eugene H. Fleishman, CPA; Poughkeepsie

Craig Sickler, CPA

Paul Battaglia
CPA, Batavia

Co-sponsored by
The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants  


DenPubs: Nonprofit Leaders Pleased With Revitilization Act Passage

Non-profit leaders pleased with Revitilization Act passage

 — Nonprofit leaders from across the Adirondacks are applauding the recent passage of the Nonprofit Revitalization Act, which represents the first major overhaul of New York state’s charities laws in more than four decades.
The bipartisan legislation, authored by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, will enact substantial reforms to cut red tape and enhance governance and oversight of nonprofit organizations.
Cali Brooks, executive director of ACT, the community foundation serving the Adirondack region, was a member of Schneiderman’s Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization, a group of 32 nonprofit and legal representatives that helped create the bill.
“After 40 years, it is exciting to see that Attorney General Schneiderman, the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo have modernized the oversight system for nonprofit governance,” Brooks said. “The Nonprofit Revitalization Act will serve to strengthen the entire nonprofit sector not only through streamlined and modernized processes, but through a heightened focus on effective and accountable governance.
“The Attorney General’s committee gave New York’s nonprofit organizations a chance to make their voices heard in reshaping New York’s charities laws,” Brooks added.
“The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Art’s partnership with the Redhouse in Syracuse would not be possible without video technology and email,” said Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts Managing Director Alexandria Harris. “Making this a standardized practice will allow more beneficial partnerships to form, further enhancing Adirondack nonprofits.”
“The goals of the Nonprofit Revitalization Act include reducing outdated and unnecessary burdens on nonprofits and expediting the application process, improving both transparency and governance in the name of improving public trust in charities,” said Hannah Hanford, executive director of the Adirondack Health Foundation. “The Board of Trustees of the Adirondack Health Foundation believes strongly that charitable boards take their oversight role seriously because a nonprofit’s integrity is its most important asset. This new law reflects their philosophy and practice while it recognizes modern communication methods to streamline board e-communications to allow business to be accomplished in a timely manner.”
“Nonprofit organizations are the backbone of many services throughout the North Country,” Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, R-Peru, said. “The taxpayers simply could not afford to provide all of the services to thousands of people who benefit from the various agencies. I was pleased to vote for the Nonprofit Revitalization Act, which amends several outdated sections of several current laws. While increasing oversight to prevent fraud, the bill also reduces unnecessary requirements which should ultimately lower the cost of doing business, allowing more money to go to direct services.”
New York’s nonprofit sector generates hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue and is responsible for one in seven jobs, according to Schneiderman’s office. The bill will make New York a more attractive destination for nonprofit organizations and a model for governance and oversight.
The bill overwhelmingly passed both houses of the Legislature in June. It has since been returned to the Assembly and is awaiting Cuomo’s signature.

Via Denton Publications (link)

Rome Sentinel: "Art Means Business" Gathering with Richard Hanna Friday

‘Art Means Business’ gathering with Hanna Friday

Rome Art And Community Center presents "Arts Means Business" Friday at 8:30 a.m.
Keynote remarks will be given by Rep. Richard L. Hanna, R-22, Barneveld. A panel of speakers includes Peggy O’Shea, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Andrew Marietta, regional manager of New York Council of Nonprofits, and Stephen Butler, executive director of CNY Arts, as well as local leaders and legislators.
Admission is $15 a person and includes a buffet breakfast.
An optional free roundtable discussion will follow the program, at around 10:30 a.m.
Topics will include arts and business partnerships, arts as a vehicle for economic development, arts entrepreneurialism, success stories, and community arts impact.
To register, call RACC Executive Director Lauren Getek at 336-1040.

Via the Rome Sentinel (link)

Monday, July 8, 2013

WWNYTV: Jump-Starting the Economy Through the Arts

Jump-Starting The Economy Through The Arts

North county cultural leaders are looking to find ways to help the region. 
Representatives from the North Country Arts Council, the Clayton Opera House and about 20 other groups sat down recently with state officials to look at ways to jump-start the economy through the arts.

State officials say the sky's the limit.

"What can't we get aligned with," said Lisa Robb of the New York State Council of the Arts. "The world is our oyster."

"We can work with arts organizations, we can work with municipal government, we can work with higher education, K-12 education, veterans."

Watertown was one of several stops for state officials. It's part of an initiative spearheaded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

Via WWNYTV (link).
Video on linked page.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 12 Event: "Art Means Business"

Arts Means Business
Friday July 12, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM EDT
Add to Calendar

Rome Art And Community Center
308 West Bloomfield Street
Rome, NY 13440
Driving Directions
"Arts Means Business" 
Business Breakfast Presentation
with Congressman Richard Hanna
Rome Art And Community Center is excited to present "Arts Means Business", a business breakfast presentation with Congressman Richard Hanna and special guests: NYSCA; Peggy O'Shea, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Oneida and Herkimer Counties; Andrew Marietta, Regional Manager of NYCON; and Stephen Butler, Executive Director of CNY Arts- as well as local leaders and legislators.
Why should business leaders attend?
1. Arts Means Business will help you think outside the box, by utilizing arts as a resource to attract and keep key employees.
2. Discover the potential of arts partnerships to help you leverage your: marketing dollars, tax deductible donations, employee benefit packages, and more.
3. Learn firsthand from NYS leaders how the arts are impacting our economy and sparking economic development in our communities.
4. Network with other area businesses, organizations and legislators.
Why should arts organizations and nonprofits attend?
1. Gain inspiration from examples of successful arts & business partnerships.
2. Learn how you can use regional models to stimulate your organizational budget and local economy through the arts.
3. Hear arts impact updates from NYS leaders.
4. Participate in the Roundtable Discussion!  Make your voice heard and participate in important discussions that may impact the Regional Assessment.
5. Network with other area businesses, organizations and legislators.
$15 Event Fee Includes:
  • Coffee networking time
  • Breakfast buffet catered by Spressos
  • Keynote Address by Congressman Richard Hanna
  • Informative speakers
  • Optional Roundtable Discussion after the morning session
Register Now!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Utica OD: A New Glass Ceiling, Caps on Non-Profit Salaries

A New Glass Ceiling- Caps on Non-Profit Salaries

Print Comment      
By Alyssa Spina

Starting in July, following an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo,  The New York State Dept. of Health and at least a dozen other state agencies will cap employee salaries at $199,000.  The order requires that providers, receiving more than $500,000 each year in state funding and at least 30 percent of their annual funding from the state, cap employee salaries at $199,000.  The motivation for this regulation is to “protect the recipients of services” by insuring that non-profits are not being wasteful. (You can read the Executive Order Here:
Looking more into this regulation, I realized the effect would not be a drastic as it sounded. Doug Sauer, CEO of the New York Council of Nonprofits, a trade association whose members will be subject to the rules said “The thing has been so gerrymandered that the big providers have gotten the outs that they’re looking for and won’t feel an impact.” If the additional revisions didn’t provide that “out”, there is one last safety valve- a state-approved waiver. Some are even hopeful that the regulation may prove that most all non-profits pay their employees correctly.
For those that will be affected, what are the implications of this regulation? In general, most agencies that will feel the effect of Executive Order 38, are those in the health care field. With the new & changing health care environment, executive positions are increasingly more demanding & agencies are working harder at providing competitive packages to retain and attract experienced, skillful employees. Taking away a competitive salary means that agencies may lose out on hiring or retaining the ideal candidate, which ultimately hurts the public.
I want to pause here and insert my own personal opinion. I honestly believe no person needs to make $4 million… whether it is Herbert Pardes, executive vice chairman of New York Presbyterian, who was paid that amount in 2011, or a CEO of a Private Sector company.  Does anyone really need that kind of money? Sure, it would allow you to have a second (or third) home, or send all of your kids to elite colleges, or even buy your own island (this is an actual thing… islands are for sale for around $1 million and up), but no one really needs any of those things. So I say recognizing the wasteful spending habits of organizations on lavish salaries, bonuses, and perks is a step in the right direction. However, solely focusing on non-profit executives has some nasty repercussions and underlying implications for the non-profit job market and the future of United States Social Services. In my opinion, based on some basic knowledge of economic theory, limiting salaries would mean:
1.     Less people applying for non-profit jobs- everyone has cut off for a salary they would accept, capping salaries for executives in non-profits means losing a portion of the applicant pool, less applicants means less opportunity to hire the ideal employee (we will assume in this case that the ideal employee cares about money).
2.     It emphasizes private sector jobs-  In a society that correlates your value to society with the wages you make, many people often choose a job or career that will be most financially rewarding. I am not saying that everyone chooses a career just for the money, but realistically it is big a factor. If private sector jobs are the jobs that pay the most, then we are discouraging people from choosing jobs that benefit the public good. And in turn, we are saying that we value the work done through the private sector over the public sector.
3.     It is just plain hypocritical- If the point is to decrease waste, why do we allow .0001% of America (400 people) control $1.7 trillion dollars. (Forbes top 400) I mean seriously, how can you say that is not wasteful? Furthermore, take the theory of “trickle down economics,” Reagan asserted that tax breaks to the rich would allow them to “create jobs” and give money back, meaning more money at the top results in more opportunity for the bottom. Or Kuznet’s Curve which establishes that as national income increases, inequality increases & then decreases, implying that the richer we become the less inequality would exist. Both of these theories support modern ideals of free market exchanges between employer and employee. They are based on (whether true or not) the fact that wealth and wealthy people are good for the economy because they give back. Isn’t it fair to assume those who run public service organizations are likely to give back much of their wealth, in the same way Bill Gates and other wealthy people do? So why are we robbing them of that opportunity?
Opposing View Point:There are a  few great points to consider that are in opposition to my initial argument, to try to give a rounded summary of the Executive Order, I thought I would add an opposing view point. More than $200,000 is a large amount of money, more than most people need. While a higher salary may allow better talent, there isn't really a proven correlation between salary and talent. Furthermore, the government & public shouldn't be funding a "guess and check" with our tax dollars, ie. someone may look great on paper and ask for more money, but will they do more good than someone willing to accept $199,000. While there are executives in the private sector making more money than they should, there is a qualitative difference, because non-profits are tax-exempt and therefore they owe a debt to the public and should be held accountable. The boards that should be enforcing regulations and holding non-profit executives accountable, sometimes do not, and they are not public representatives, but rather are chosen by those within the organization. 
All in all, my overall assessment of this Executive Order, is that (thankfully, in my opinion) it won’t have too much of an actual effect on many of the non-profit organizations it was aimed at. If there is an issue of corrupt spending, reining in excess and enforcing regulations is still unaddressed by Executive Order 38. However, I wonder what future regulations Executive Order 38 is a precursor to, and what this means for the non-profit sector in years to come.

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