May 2016

In this issue of Strictly Business we feature some of the people who are living their dreams in the North Country. Most were born and raised here, left the area for a time, but then returned and are happy they did. We’ve also included a few who came to the area, fell in love with it and stayed to build lives and careers.
Our cover story features an amazing couple who saw opportunity where others had not. Emily and Eli Schwartzberg, owners of the Champlain Valley Senior Community in Willsboro, both went to school in Lake Placid, left to pursue higher education and reconnected when they returned to the Adirondacks. The business they developed has created opportunities in Essex County and pro- vides a level of service for seniors and their families not previously found in our area.

When Natalie Peck came to SUNY Plattsburgh to work in the university’s library she never imagined she would find her passion on a farm in Mooers within sight of the Canadian border. Make sure to read her inspirational story in this issue.

And speaking of farmers, check out our piece about Ashlee Kleinhammer and Steven Googin of the North Country Creamery at Clover Mead Farm in Keeseville. The couple produce milk, cheese and yogurt and are leaders in the area’s move to focus on locally grown food.

Matt Murphy and Kiel Peryea of All Action Painting are an example of what hard work and dedication can produce. The partners are building a reputation for quality work and great customer service.

Chris and Tracy Rosenquest relocated to the area to pursue their dream to “come home and build home.” While Chris’ goal to become mayor of Plattsburgh didn’t work out, the couple found purpose when they refocused their energy and bought Conroys Organics in 2015. Read about the changes they have implemented and their goals for the future.

Livingoods owners Matt and Jess Ray realized their dream to combine a brewpub with their successful restaurant when they relocated to Peru, New York. Now they are leaders in a movement to create an Adirondack Coast Brewers Coalition.

And then there is this month’s Insight feature with Mike O’Connor, a senior vice president and investment officer at Wells Fargo in Plattsburgh. He is a local boy who lived for a time in Florida, but found his hometown was where he wanted to be.

The North Country is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, but if we are going to retain our young people, or draw them back once they have spent time away, we will need to offer the jobs and quality of life they want. To do that will require us to work together and think big, and if we do, it will be good for business.