April 2019

Nearly 30 years ago, when Mary and I had just launched Strictly Business, a friend asked me how we were going to sustain a monthly business magazine. His comment was, “This is a small area. How are you going to come up with interesting articles each month?” Good question! Our plan was to frame each issue around a theme. Every January we would cover the SB Forum. Each April we would write about new construction and development. In other months we would focus on topics like health care, retail, tourism, services and more. We even did an issue on death once (Funeral homes, etc.)

Now, three decades later, we’re still finding interesting people to write about. North Country businesses are always reaching for more, embracing change and finding success and we are proud to bring you their stories.

We kick off this construction/development issue with the culmination of Dr. Kurt Kline’s dream – an office and teaching facility that will allow him to pass on his knowledge of implant technology to dentists from around the world. The new facility offers the latest in technology in a luxurious setting. Kline has thought of everything, from a special bus to move the doctors from the airport to local motels and then to the Implant Dental location on DeGrandpre Way, as well as on-site catered meals, and a classroom designed for comfort and enhanced learning.

Following the Implant Dental article, we bring you a look at Beardsley Architects + Engineering, the company that worked with Kline to turn his dream into a reality. Mike Reynolds is the man behind many of Beardsley’s successful projects, including Adirondack camps and boathouses, medical facilities and churches. Based in Malone, New York the award-winning company’s reach extends well beyond the North Country.

Even if you are not a fan of camping, don’t miss our article about Momot Trailer Sales. Owner John Momot has turned a lifetime of ideas collected from visits to attractions like Disney World into a magical place that includes a brook, trees, outhouses, cabins, and an amazing diorama that will make you think you are in a campground.

Donnie Phaneuf may have been born into the roofing business but he has earned his reputation all on his own. Over 20 years Phaneuf has gone from being what he calls “the new kid in town” to being “a big wheel in the local industry”. Hard work has paid off for this entrepreneur. Don’t miss his story.

Connecticut Court, the newly opened mixed-use housing development on the former Plattsburgh Air Force New Base, is the result of years of planning by the Advocacy and Resource Center. The 40 apartments are fully occupied and there is a waiting list, proof that, as ARC executive director Theresa Garrow said, “The project is good for the city and town, good for everyone.”

Where ever you live in the North Country, there is probably a Stewart’s Shop close by and it is likely undergoing changes in either its physical layout or its product lines. With more than 300 stores in New York and southern Vermont, Stewart’s has committed $50 million to capital improvement over the past three years. The company’s efforts have resulted in larger, more modern stores with more changes to come.

Upstone Materials, with 20 locations in the North Country, is a provider of high-quality aggregates, hot-mix asphalt and ready-mix concrete. The company, formerly owned by Graymont, was purchased by Barrett Industries in 2016. With 100 employees during the busy construction season and 40 year-round, Upstone is committed to operating with a set of core values that area manager Doug Henry was eager to share with SB readers.

And then there is this month’s Insight feature with Jaci Kelleher. Her candid comments about finding her way through difficult times and coming out the other side are an inspiration.

Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with a look at a busy spring agenda for the North Country Chamber of Commerce including work on the North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment, advocacy for the USMCA (the revised NAFTA plan) and the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College as well as the Chamber’s annual Business Expo on June 6th.

In this issue of Strictly Business we celebrate the success of individuals and companies who are building our future and creating jobs… and that’s good for business.