September 2016

Change affects us all and it comes to us in many ways. In this issue of Strictly Business we focus on how a number of North Country businesses have met the challenges of change, embraced them and benefited from them.

Our cover feature Dr. Julia Overton-Healy talked to SB writer and editorial coordinator Kristin Cleveland about how higher education has evolved to meet the needs of today’s students and the expectations of the parents who are paying the bills. And she offered details about the new and innovative ideas that are helping students prepare for the changing work place.
An automobile used to be a device to get us from one place to another. Today’s vehicles not only transport us, but entertain us and keep us safe as well. Karen Bouvier’s article about the changes in the auto industry and her interview with three North Country dealerships — Della Honda, Parker Chevrolet and Riley Ford — is an eye opener.

Two hundred years ago, 90 percent of the U.S. population lived on farms and produced their own food. Today, only two percent of the population produces the food that feeds the nation. SB writer Justine Parkinson spoke to partners who operate Fledgling Crow and Adirondack Farms to learn how they have changed the way they do business.

As our population increases and ages and millions of new people are covered by insurance, the demand for doctors who practice Family Medicine is being felt across the country, especially in rural areas like the North Country. That makes the news that our University of Vermont Health Network, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital now has four new doctors, all doing their family medicine residency in Plattsburgh so important. Learn how this program came about and what it means to our area in Meg LeFevre’s article.

Our Insight interview this month is with attorney and former Congressman Bill Owens. Bill has played a critical role in the North Country for decades. He is known for his wisdom, his leadership and his sense of humor. If you would like to hear about what Bill learned during his time in Washington and how it changed him you should read Michelle St. Onge’s article.

And don’t miss contributions from attorney Jackie Kelleher, BHSN’s Employees Assistance Service Director Bonnie Black and Chamber president Garry Douglas.

Change is inevitable and we can either resist it or embrace it. The North Country can be proud of how it has handled devastating change in the past — the Ice Storm and the closure of Plattsburgh Air Force Base, serious river and lake flooding, the Imperial Wallcoverings shutdown, and more. Businesses have sold, merged and failed, layoffs have occurred and yet we’ve worked together to move forward and have triumphed, and that has been good for business.