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Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Businesses invited to BID workshop on 'Winning Customers Through Visual Merchandising & Customer Service'

post by Billie Owens in BID, business

A workshop on "Winning Customers Through Visual Merchandising & Customer Service" will be presented by the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District from 8 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 4.

It will take place at the GO ART! building located at 201 E. Main St.

Retailers, restaurants and professionals can benefit from this workshop. The presenter will be Greg Lindberg, an economic development specialist for the state's Small Business Administration. He will focus on: layout tips for store design; product location and displays; how colors drive pruchase decision; better ways to servce customers; winning new customers; how to increase loyalty, and lots more.

The fee is $5 per person and open to all businesses. Light refreshments will be available.

RSVP by Monday, June 2 by calling 585-344-0900.

For more information about this program and other BID events and programs visit this Web site:  <www.downtownbataviany.com>

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:52 am

Pizzeria owner teaches the 'way of the warrior'

post by Bonnie Marrocco in batavia, Bushido Martial Arts, business

Eric LeVan, pictured right, knows something about running a successful business. The Churchville native opened Mark’s Pizzeria in Batavia two years ago and he is also co-owner of one in Gates as well.

When he’s not making pizza, he’s engrossed in martial arts.

“When I was a kid I took martial arts classes, but it was eight years ago that I seriously got into it. I found that I loved doing it and I was passionate about it,” LeVan said. 

LeVan, along with his good friend, neighbor and fellow martial artist, Russ Corey, decided to turn their love of martial arts into a business by opening a dojo (Japanese for martial arts school) at the old location of Grammy O’s Laundromat in Batavia’s Valu Plaza. After redoing the entire space, the new 2,200-square-foot facility now has new walls and carpet, fresh paint and authentic martial arts memorabilia on the walls.

“The only thing left from the original building is one wall. We added two bathrooms, two changing rooms, an office and the workout area,” LeVan said. “We were weekend warriors who came in and got it done, although most of the credit goes to our friend and fellow martial artist, Dick Shamp, who knows more about this stuff than Russ or I do.”

Bushido Martial Arts officially opened earlier this month. If you’re looking to learn how to do fancy jumps or mixed-martial-arts type of moves, this is not the place for you.

“Our school is very traditional. We teach centuries-old Japanese martial arts traditions,” LeVan said. “Our style of Goshin Jutsu Karate is a good mix of Karate, Judo and Jujitsu. It includes punches, blocks, strikes, stances and throws used for the sole purpose of self-defense.”

Bushido means “Way of the Warrior” in Japanese. There are seven virtues associated with the Samurai Code of Bushido which is stressed at the school: Gi -- Integrity, Yu -- Courage, Jin -- Compassion, Rei -- Respect,  Makoto -- Honesty, Meiyo -- Honor, and Chugi -- Loyalty.

All classes are taught by Sensei Eric LeVan, Sensei Russ Corey or Sensei Dick Shamp, who are all black belts of varying degrees. They emphasize self-defense, help you gain mental and physical confidence, as well as provide a good workout. There are also women’s self-defense classes and anti-bullying classes available.

"I love martial arts and I’m passionate about teaching it and passing on the art,” LeVan said. “Our instructors are high energy, respectful martial artists that will work with each student one-on-one to reach their full potential, with over 30 years training and/or teaching experience.”

Bushido Martial Arts is located at 452 W. Main Street Road in Batavia at the Valu Plaza. You can visit their Web site at www.bushidomartialarts.org or call Eric LeVan 585-330-4616 or Russ Corey​ 585-303-7696 for more information.

Photo by Howard Owens.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Ag Society hosting vendor blender at fairgrounds

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Genesee County Agriculture Society

The Genesee County Agriculture Society is sponsoring a vendor blender from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

At least 56 vendors will be on hand, including homemade crafters and retailers.

The event is open to the public with free admission. 

Food and refreshments available for purchase.

Pictured, representing the Ag Society's event organizers, Kristen Meeder.






Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Business Education Alliance hosts annual Spring Breakfast, theme is agribusiness career paths

post by Billie Owens in announcements, agribusiness, business

The Business Education Alliance will be hosting their Spring Breakfast and Annual Meeting at 7:30 a.m. on May 16. The theme of this year’s breakfast is “Agribusiness Career Paths in Our Region” and will highlight area agribusiness education programs for students in kindergarten through college.

The breakfast will feature speakers from Pavilion CSD, Cornell Cooperative Extension, WNY Tech Academy, The Ag Academy, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, and Genesee Community College.

The breakfast will be held at the Genesee County Fairgrounds in the Kennedy Building. Reserve your spot online at www.beagenesee.com <http://www.beagenesee.com>. The cost is $15/pp.

Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 12:11 am

Photos: Opening day at Darien Lake

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Darien, darien lake theme park

In another sign that spring is really here, Darien Lake opened to the entire public today (season pass holders had access last weekend).

Friday, May 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Western OTB picks Belmont Stakes winner, giveaway sponsor is local businessman

post by Billie Owens in belmont stakes, business, OTB, sports

Press release:

Officials from Western Regional Off-Track Betting and Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning announced the winner of this year’s Belmont Stakes Trip Giveaway at the OTB Corporate headquarters in Batavia this afternoon, May 9.

The winner was chosen from the 8,000 OTB customers that signed-up at their local OTB branch on derby day for a chance to win the Belmont Stakes trip. The winner was Ron DiRose of Webster.

Ron wins hotel accommodations for two nights at the Courtyard Marriott, located 12 miles from Belmont Park and $1,000 in expense money.

“Western OTB would like to thank Bill Hayes, president of Turnbull Heating and Air for sponsoring the Belmont stakes giveaway,” said GM of Live Racing at Batavia Downs, Todd Haight. “It’s something we do each derby day and the number entries and interest in the giveaway grows every year.”

Western OTB posted record wagering handles on this year’s run for the roses, at it’s OTB locations, at Batavia Downs Gaming and it’s on-line wagering platform, Batavia Bets.com.

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia. WROTB owns and operates 30 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.

Pictured are trip giveaway sponsor Bill Hayes, president of Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning, and Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing at WROTB, with the lucky drawing slip.

Friday, May 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Batavia Allstate Agency named a 2014 Premiere Agency

post by Billie Owens in batavia, allstate, business, Milestones

Press release:

As a business leader and involved citizen in the Batavia area, Allstate exclusive agency owner Jason Juliano has been designated an Allstate Premier Agency for 2014.

The Allstate Premier Agency designation is bestowed on less than 48 percent of Allstate’s nearly 10,000 agency owners across the country. This designation is being presented to Juliano for his outstanding business performance and commitment to putting customers at the center of his agency’s work.

“The Premier Agency designation is not just about Jason’s successful business results,” said Eva McIntee, Allstate New York’s field vice president. “The honor also demonstrates Jason’s commitment in being accessible to customers and using knowledge to help ensure customers have the insurance products they need to protect themselves and their family.”

Juliano’s agency is located at 590 E. Main St. in Batavia and can be reached at (585) 344-1400 or http://agents.allstate.com/jason-juliano-batavia-ny.html <http://agents.allstate.com/jason-juliano-batavia-ny.html>

Friday, May 9, 2014 at 10:08 am

Batavia company gets big contract to help produce new search and rescue boats

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Rebel Liners

You wouldn't necessarily associate artistic flare with pickup truck bedliners, but the ability of Nate Fix to precisely spray protective coating helped him land a contract spraying liner on a new model of search and rescue watercraft. 

Bombardier designed the new craft to meet the needs of fire departments involved in all types of water rescue and developed very exacting specifications for the hulls of the craft.

Fix, an art major in college and owner of Rebel Liners, on West Main Street Road, Batavia, is spraying coating on 100 boat bottoms for the Canadian-based company.

Fix is an emergency dispatcher for the county and assistant chief with the Town of Batavia Fire Department, so the contract hits another sweet spot for the lifelong Batavia resident.  

The boats use Bombardier's Ski-Doo snowmobile platform.

The SARs (search and rescue) crafts are suitable for surf and white water rescue as well as bodies of water that are only eight-inches deep.

Rebel Liners was the fifth or sixth company that was contacted by Bombardier and the first that could assure the manufacturer of a coating application that would meet spec. The coating can't vary in thickness from stem to stern, from port to starboard, by more than 2.6 to 3.2 millimeters. Any greater variation would inhibit the proper water intake of the craft's engine as well as affect steering.

"I've been spraying for a little over 10 years now and when you get into bedliner equipment and machinary -- and being that I'm a speciality guy and I spray $50,000 and $60,000 trucks and I have to make them look pretty -- I was the only one in the country they could find who could do the job," Fix said.

When Fix was first approached about the project, however, he was skeptical. In fact, at one point, he was going to turn it down.

The project was at that time top secret.

"I couldn't know what it was about or who it was for," Fix said. "It went on for two months and got to the point where I told them, you know what, I'm not interested. I don't even know who I'm doing this for."

Then he received the CAD plans and notice the copyright down in a lower corner. Bombardier.

"Then I realized it wasn't just mom and dad making a couple of boats and wanting to see if it would work," Fix said. "I realized this was big time."

The coating fix uses is by SPI, a K5 polyurea. It's the same coating he sprays into pickup trucks. It protects the hull of the rescue crafts if they hit rocks or buried tree stumps. Fix said Bombardier tested one of the boats he sprayed and dropped it 17,000 times.

"If it was just the fiberglass, it would have cracked," Fix said.

That's art.

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 11:50 am

Photos: House demolition on West Main Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Castilone Chrysler

A demolition crew spent the morning tearing down the second house on West Main Street next to Castilone Chyrstler Dodge to make room for the dealership's expansion. Rather than move out of the city, the owners Steve Castilone and Greg Strauss decided to remodel their existing showroom and expand on West Main.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 9:37 am

Company pitches idea of plant that converts food waste into energy at planning board meeting

A company with roots in New York, but currently based in Connecticut, is looking to build a plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park that would convert food industry waste into heat and electricity.

"We make green power out of organic waste," said Paul Toretta, CEO of CH4 Biogas, while presenting his company's plans to the Town of Batavia Planning Board. "Once the digester does its thing, it captures methane and powers an engine that makes green power and puts it on the grid. The engine produces heat that can be used to heat Quaker Muller and Alpina, helping them cut their heating bill."

The cost of the plant is $15 million and CH4 has already secured a $2 million Cleaner and Greener grant from NYSERDA to help fund the project, but is looking to the state for more help.

Toretta said state officials recommended the company present its proposal to the town planning board because the state wouldn't get behind the idea unless it has community support. The state backing would help the company secure bank loans to completely finance the project.

"We're in a holding pattern while looking for help with funding," Toretta said when asked about the timetable for the project.

Once funding is in place, the plant would take nine months to build. The design is already completed because it's the same design used by the company for plants in Wyoming County and Ohio (for Campbell's Soup).

"We only build one plant," Toretta said. "It's the same plant over and over again."

CH4 would use local contractors to build and maintain the plant, which would eventually employ eight people full time, Toretta said.

"When you put that much concrete and steel in the ground there will be a number of people employed," Toretta said.

The plant would be expected to last at least 30 years.

"The project is upfront capital intensive," said Toretta, who is originally from Potsdam. "It takes 15 years to return the money invested to do this. It's a slow, steady project. You borrow money and it takes 15 years to make any return."

CH4 already processes whey and other waste from the Alpina and Quaker Muller (no whey comes out of the Muller plant) in Wyoming County.

A plant in the ag park would reduce transportation cost and the impact on the environment to truck it more than 20 miles away.

The plant would also help the Genesee County Economic Development Center attract more food processors to the ag park, Toretta said.

Chris Suozzi, GCEDC's VP for business development, agreed.

"It would complement what we're already doing," Suozzi said. "It would definately help with the marketing when you have a green ag park. What better way to market the park and bring in more companies?"

The plant would be set up so it could take any sort of organic food waste, including waste from products that were already packaged but were found to be defective in some way so couldn't be shipped to customers. Toretta said the plant could separate the food waste from the packaging and then recycle the plastic or metal containers.

The plant would produce very little waste itself, but what it did produce would go into the local sewer system, but with much less biological chemicals and suspended salts than could otherwise go into the waste stream.

The plant would also produce little in the way of odor, which is important to Alpina and Quaker Muller because the plant would be upwind from those facilities.

"If there was any type of odor, as you can imagine, Campbell Soup would not allow us to operate our plant there," Toretta said.

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