Harness Racing Resumes At Saratoga Casino Hotel, Four Days A Week, Thursday To Sunday

October 7, 2016

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Harness racing resumed in September and will be running four days a week through Dec. 18 at the harness track that is part of Saratoga Casino Hotel on Crescent Avenue.

Courtesy Saratoga Casino Hotel

Live harness racing resumed in September and will continue to be held four days a week through Dec. 18.

Thursdays will feature a 4 p.m. post time. Friday and Saturday racing begins at 6:45 p.m. and Sundays start at 12:15 p.m.

The racing season features eight New York Sire Stakes Consolation Finals, which will offer a combined $200,000 in purses. Other highlights include the Jim Derue Memorial Trotting Series and Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series, both kicking off their first legs on Oct. 10.

"We look forward to an exciting second half of our 2016 season," said John Matarazzo, director of racing operations at Saratoga Casino Hotel. "We've already seen some tremendous moments thus far, and we wish all of our horsemen the best of luck as we look to cap out the year on a high note."

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GlobalFoundries Says Billions To Be Invested In Malta Plant To Produce New Microchips

October 7, 2016

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GlobalFoundries will make an additional investment in its plant in Malta to enable development and production of its new cutting-edge 7 nanometer (7nm) technology.

Courtesy GlobalFoundries

GlobalFoundries plans to make an additional multi-billion dollar investment in Fab 8--its plant in Malta--to enable development and production of its new cutting-edge 7 nanometer (7nm) technology.

Company officials said the new technology is expected to deliver more than twice the logic density and a 30 percent performance boost compared to today's 16/14 nanometer foundry FinFET offerings.

The platform is based on an industry-standard FinFET transistor architecture and optical lithography, with EUV compatibility at key levels. Officials said this approach will accelerate the production ramp through significant re-use of tools and processes from the company's 14nm FinFET technology, which is currently in volume production in Malta.

The 7nm semiconductors are expected to complement the 14nm products, not replace them, Fab 8 Senior Vice President And General Manager Dr. Thomas Caulfield said in Malta on Sept. 15.

He said the technology is expected to be ready for customer product design in the second half of 2017 ramp to production in early 2018. The multi-billion dollar investment in Fab 8 will come before the production stage, to enable development and production.

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Uncommon Grounds Set To Open A Coffee Shop In March In Clifton Park, Its Third Store

October 7, 2016

By Jennifer Farnsworth 

Uncommon Grounds, a local coffee and bagel shop, is planning to open a third store, this one in Clifton Park.

Owner Dan Murphy said the new location will be ready in March of 2017, putting it between the two current locations, Western Avenue in Albany and 402 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.

With the continued success of the two current locations, Murphy said he feels this is the perfect time to expand, adding that Clifton Park has the perfect demographic for Uncommon Grounds.

"Using market awareness to pick the locations, Clifton Park just seemed like a great choice," said Murphy.

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'Empire Crate' Introduces Customers To Food Produced Throughout The State Of New York

October 7, 2016

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The Empire Crate offers subscribers a box filled with a variety of food products.

Courtesy Empire Crate

Brandon and Brianne Dingeman of Stillwater have launched a company called the Empire Crate.

The couple has developed a way for people to enjoy a variety of New York state products every month by having them delivered to their doorstep.

The owners said they scoured the entire state researching possible products they could access. Their focus was on "canvassing the multitude of talented, motivated artisans within the state's borders, sampling their products and then choosing the cream of the crop to present to you," they said in a news release.

The Dingemans developed the concept for The Empire Crate while living in Astoria, Queens.

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Personnel Briefs: October 2016

October 7, 2016

P Brief - Jack Arnold.jpgThe Wesley Community announced that Jack Arnold was appointed to its board of directors.

As executive vice president of operations, chief administrative officer, chief financial officer and treasurer of the Adirondack Trust Co., Arnold brings comprehensive leadership and financial skills to the Wesley Community.

Arnold previously served on the board of Transitional Services Association Inc., a Saratoga Springs-based nonprofit organization. During his tenure, he held the positions of president, vice president and treasurer.

He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accounts. He is also a member of the New York Bankers Association Tax Committee. He received his bachelor's degree from Elon University in North Carolina, where he studied accounting.

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Ballston Spa National Bank announced a recent promotion and two new hires.

P Brief - Kathy Fialkowski new.jpgKathleen Fialkowski was promoted to assistant vice president and business development officer II at Ballston Spa National Bank.

Thomas Ratsep was named vice president and commercial banking manager and Deborah O'Connor was named vice president and cash management advisor

Fialkowski will be responsible for developing, retaining, andP Brief - Tom Ratsep.jpg expanding relationships with new and existing customers.

She joined BSNB in 2014 as a branch manager with more than 24 years of experience in the financial services industry. She was promoted to business development officer I later that same year.

In 2016, BSNB honored Fialkowski with the Summit Employee of the Year award recognizing excellence in customer service.

P Brief - Deborah O'connor.jpgShe is president of the Schenectady Kiwanis, is active in the Burnt Hills- Ballston Lake Business and Professional Association and serves on the Glenville YMCA advisory committee and the Glenville Local Development Corp. governance committee. She received an associate degree in marketing from Hudson Valley Community College.

Ratsep joins the management team and will contribute to strategic planning efforts as well as develop new lending relationships, oversee lending decisions and manage the bank's team of commercial lenders. He joins BSNB with more than 22 years of banking and commercial lending experience in the Capital Region.

Ratsep is director and treasurer for Saratoga County Rural Preservation Co. in Ballston Spa. He has a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Vermont and is also a graduate of both the New England School of Banking at Williams College and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania.

O'Connor will be responsible for providing cash management solutions to established customers and prospective corporate clients.

She comes to BSNB with more than 35 years of experience in the banking industry including the areas of business development, treasury management and for the past 17 years, government banking. Most recently, she was a government relationship manager for First Niagara Bank in Albany.

O'Connor is a volunteer with the Reading is Fun Program (RIF). Through a partnership with the Schenectady City School District, RIF mobilizes volunteers to teach reading and conversational skills as well as vocabulary to children.

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Leadership Saratoga's 13th Class Under Way; Projects Will Benefit Four Nonprofit Groups

October 7, 2016

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Participants in the 13th Leadership Saratoga class held its opening retreat in September at Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake.

Courtesy Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce

Leadership Saratoga, a program of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, announces its 13th class of participants.

The group held its opening retreat on Sept. 18-19 at Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake. The program selects up to 24 people each year to participate in an intensive nine-month training program designed to teach skills for stronger leadership, group dynamics and issues facing Saratoga County and area nonprofit organizations.

After completion of the program participants are expected to volunteer as leaders in their communities within Saratoga County.

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'Pet Lodge' Day Care And Board Business Eyes Building A New Location In Saratoga Springs

October 7, 2016

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This is the Pet Lodge facility in Saratoga County, located in Clifton Park. The company is making plans for a new building in Saratoga Springs, which would be its sixth overall.

Courtesy Pet Lodge

By Liz Witbeck

Pet Lodge, a dog day care and boarding company, is seeking to establish a sixth location, this time in Saratoga Springs.

The owners have proposed a plan to construct a new facility at the southern end of the city.

The company started in 2012. Currently there are locations in Clifton Park, Latham, Glenville, Plattsburgh and Williston, Vt.

"We love Saratoga. We think it is a perfect place to open a business," said Matt Sames, managing partner of Pet Lodge. "People have been asking us for years if we would open a location in Saratoga."

Sames and his business partner, Dr. Tom Brown, are proposing the construction of a new building on Route 9, South Broadway, next to the Hibachi Sushi Bar restaurant. The building would be approximately 3,000 square feet.

Pet Lodge is in the process of meeting with Saratoga Springs officials to get approval for construction. Sames said if approved, construction could start in early 2017. He plans on having the facility constructed by the middle of next year.

He said each Pet Lodge location offers state-of-the art, luxury kennels that have monitoring systems so owners can see their dogs while they are away. There is a large yard at each location for dogs to get exercise. Those will also be features of the proposed Saratoga Springs location.

Sames said there are a lot of benefits to placing a dog in a day care or boarding facility.

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GEICO Insurance Sponsors Program To Urge People To Stop Texting-While-Driving Habit

October 7, 2016

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State officials and GEICO representatives, along with its well-known mascot, gather at an event to announce the Text Stops program that encourages people to pull of the highway if they are gong to text.

Courtesy GEICO

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll announced in September that GEICO is sponsoring a Text Stops program along state highways operated by the department that it hopes will discourage texting while driving.

Officials said it could also provide nearly $1.3 million in revenue to New York state over the next five years.

"This innovative partnership with GEICO supports New York's broad efforts to curb distracted driving and the traffic safety hazards it creates," Driscoll said. "This sponsorship agreement provides one more way to encourage motorists to focus on driving and pull off the road to text or use mobile devices."

The program was started in September 2013, expanding upon efforts to reduce distracted driving by highlighting places for motorists to pull off the highway, park and use their mobile devices. Park-and-ride facilities, rest stops and parking areas along state highways and the state Thruway serve a dual function as texting zones.

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Woman To Open 'Cosmetic Laser Therapy' Business This November In Saratoga Springs

October 7, 2016

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Erin Schreiner will open Cosmetic Laser Therapy in Saratoga Springs in November.

Courtesy Cosmic Laser Therapy

Erin Schreiner has been in the business of helping people feel more comfortable in their own skin for over 30 years.

"I was obsessed with skin care since I was a teenager," she said. "I sold Jafra products, then Mary Kay product, then was an electrologist for many years. In the 90s, I was trained by a plastic surgeon in laser therapy. I got my certifications, started my business in Manchester [Vermont] and now am excited to expand my business in Saratoga."

Cosmetic Laser Therapy will open in mid-November at 377 Church St. in Saratoga Springs, with introductory hours on Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Schreiner is a certified laser professional, license esthetician and registered electrologist (CLP LE RE). Her specialty is in skin tightening.

Schreiner will be introducing her clients to the Pellevé skin tightening machine. She said it is a state-of-the-art machine recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"Pellevé provides the most effective laser treatment in the industry today," she said. "The process eliminates down time and has no contradications for being in the sun afterwards." The machine is manufactured by Ellman International.

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Saratoga Cycling Studio Expands With New Location For Personal Training On West Ave.

October 7, 2016

By Liz Witbeck

Saratoga Cycling Studio, opened in 2012 at 422 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, has expanded its services and has an additional studio at 120 West Ave., also in the city.

"We're really excited to expand our offerings," said owner Angela Amedio.

At the new studio, she has added personal training to the lineup of services.

The Broadway center offers a wide variety of spinning classes for beginners up to lifetime enthusiasts. It also has as barre, yoga, and combination classes.

Personal Training by SCS is officially opened for business on Sept. 1.

The space is being used exclusively for personal training. Five personal trainers, including Amedio, are available. All of the instructors are certified and have additional degrees in their fields.

Amedio holds the designation of master spinning instructor, held by only approximately 60 people in the United States, she said. She is involved in continuing education for spinning classes and holds dozens of other fitness certifications.

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Patient Growth Leads To Expansion For The Saratoga-Schenectady Endoscopy Center

October 7, 2016

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This rendering shows what the new Saratoga-Schenectady Endoscopy Center building off of Route 50 in Burnt Hills will look like when complete some time next year.

Courtesy SSEC

By Susan E. Campbell

Saratoga-Schenectady Endoscopy Center LLC has broken ground on a 35,000-square-foot structure that will more than double the existing capacity to perform endoscopy procedures, according to Deborah Hunt, RN, and administrator for the center.

The buildings at 846 and 848 Route 50 in Burnt Hills currently are used as offices for a number of independent gastroenterologists and their practices. One-half of the space also houses four operating rooms. Even though the physicians do procedures at Saratoga Hospital and Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, as well as the Endoscopy Center, the demand for these types of procedures has been mounting.

"We never thought we would outgrow the four-room facility," said Hunt.

Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person's digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, a doctor can view pictures of a patient's digestive tract on a monitor.

"More important, we do a good job at performing high-quality, low-cost procedures," said Hunt. "The insurance companies like us and so does the community."

"There are many other facilities like ours," Hunt said. "But our patients are coming from Albany and Fulton counties as well as Saratoga and Schenectady."

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American Institute Of Architects New York State Gives Award To Phinney Design Group

October 7, 2016

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Phinney Design Group in Saratoga Springs, recently won the People's Choice award for this Bio Building, part of the Wild Center/Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks in Tupper Lake.

Courtesy Phinney Design Group

Phinney Design Group in Saratoga Springs, recently won the People's Choice award for 2016 from American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York State.

The People's Choice award winner was selected by popular vote online, open to the public.

The company was recognized for its design efforts on the Bio Building, part of the Wild Center/Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks in Tupper Lake. The mission of the museum is to "ignite an enduring passion for the Adirondacks where people and nature can thrive together and set an example for the world."

Michael Phinney, principal architect, accepted the award on behalf of Phinney Design Group at the AIA New York State Design Awards event in Saratoga Springs on Sept. 30.

Earlier in the year, Phinney Design was awarded an Excelsior Award from AIA New York State for the Bio Building. The winners of the Excelsior Awards are chosen for providing a model of excellence for state-funded design, professional practice and advocacy.

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Apartment Rentals In Saratoga County Are Strong; 'Walkable' To Downtown Is Important

October 7, 2016

Ellsworth Commons is one of the many apartment complexes in Saratoga County.

©2016 Saratoga

By Jill Nagy

A mix of millennials and empty nesters are keeping the Saratoga rental market booming.

One area property manager said that the proportion of those renters attracted to new, higher-end, apartments is far higher than the national average of 20 percent.

With rents on new luxury apartments ranging from approximately $1,600 a month for a studio apartment to $3,700 a month for a larger apartment, a significant portion of the apartment market is under-served.

"We are not serving the young professional needing something in the $1,000-a-month range," said Jason Thomas of Roohan Realty in Saratoga Springs. They have to go to older properties with fewer amenities or, in some cases, join others in similar circumstances to rent a house together.

Be that as it may, Thomas and his colleagues in the business are optimistic.

Peter Rosecrans of Burns Property Management, which has numerous apartments in Saratoga Springs, said "things are going well," both locally and in the rental industry as a whole. "Members of the millennial generation are really waiting on purchasing a house."

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Real Estate Agent Scott Varley Joins A New Group, Linking Up With Keller Williams Inc.

October 7, 2016

Scott Varley has joined Keller Williams Realty Inc. He has an office on Broadway.

©2016 Saratoga

By R.J. Deluke

After 27 years with RealtyUSA, well-known real estate agent Scott Varley has parted company with the group with which he was a top seller.

Varley has joined Keller Williams Realty Inc., a company based in Texas that is said to be the largest real estate franchise, by agent count, in the world with more than 800 offices and 149,000 associates across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Varley serves customers in Saratoga, Warren, Washington, Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties. He said the move enables him, potentially, to branch out even more.

With RealtyUSA he "reached the point where we had outgrown the model," he said.

"RealtyUSA is local, not national," he noted.

Varley said he did research Keller Williams for over a year and decided the time was right for a switch.

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The Lofts In Malta Filling Up; GlobalFoundries Investment Expected To Spawn More Growth

October 7, 2016

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The Lofts at Saratoga BLVD in Malta will have 214 townhouse-style apartments.

Courtesy Hayes Development

BY MAUReen werther

The Lofts at Saratoga BLVD is one of Malta's newest apartment communities offering maintenance-free living and many of the amenities that are becoming staples of apartment living.

According to Robert Hayes of Hayes Development, the company broke ground on the $36-million project in 2014 and, when the project is complete, there will be a total of 214 townhouse-style one- and two-bedroom apartments, with attached garages.

Hayes said the recent announcement made by GlobalFoundries to invest $1 billion at its Malta facility in the next few years will continue to fuel both residential and commercial growth in the surrounding area and his company will continue to pursue real estate development projects in Saratoga County.

To date, 122 units have already been completed and Hayes said they have a 95 percent occupancy rate. He expects the remaining 92 units to be ready for occupancy by Spring 2017. Hayes noted that the market studies his company performed all indicated that it would take approximately six months to achieve full occupancy once the units were finished.

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Latest Data Shows Sale Of Homes In Saratoga County Remains Strong; Sellers Market Seen

October 7, 2016

In the Capital Region sales jumped 4 percent to 1,183 houses sold in the region during August 2016, according to the Greater Capital Association of Realtors (GCAR).

According to data released in September, the city of Saratoga Springs had 61 new listings in August, compared to 46 in the same month of 2015, a hike of 32.6 percent. There were 39 closed sales, up 11.5 percent from August of 2015.

The number of closed sales in the city rose from 35 to 39, an 11.5 percent hike for the month, and the median sales price dropped in August from $381,000 to $351,000, a dip of 8.1 percent.

Overall in the region, GCAR said the number of homes for sale was down compared to this time last year. Inventory levels market-wide decreased 24.7 percent to 6,554 units. Months' supply of inventory was down 34 percent to 6.6 months. Demand is showing no signs of changing as inventory continues to decline.

In the Capital District, new listings dropped 3 percent from August 2015 to 1,652 homes placed on the market last month. Sellers are receiving 95.2 percent of original list price, with homes spending an average of 63 days on market until sale.

Greater Capital Association of Realtors President Marie Bettini of Albany Realty Group said now is the time to sell.

"As inventory continues to drop, the contradictions in this market are evident. Sellers should feel confident enough to list homes at fair prices and receive meaningful offers in a healthy residential real estate and overall positive economic environment," Bettini said.

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Maria Billis Says Inspiration and Motivation Are Keys To Her Success As A Businesswoman

October 7, 2016

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Maria Billis is an independent consultant for Young Living Essential Oils.

©2016 Saratoga

By Jennifer Farnsworth

Maria Billis just might have the key to success. She lives the mantra that if you believe in what you are doing, and love doing it, then success will follow.

This Saratoga business woman was once the owner of a popular restaurant before she made a career change, which has led her to being a powerful entrepreneur.

Billis works as an independent consultant for Young Living Essential Oils, a wellness company that focuses on both the aspects of physical and emotional healthy living through everyday products. The company is centered around nature's living energy, while allowing its consultants to enjoy a financial rewards program by selling its products.

Billis said she became involved with the company through a trusted friend.

"A close friend of mine gave me the Young Living Wellness products as a gift and I fell in love with them. Wellness has always been an integral part of my life and after sharing both the products and business opportunity, I knew this was would be both amazing and exciting and that I would be very successful at it," said Billis.

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Jesse Elwert Peters Uses Native Species To Create Beautiful Landscapes And Gardens

October 7, 2016

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Jesse Elwert Peters starting her landscape design and installation on a part-time basis.

©2016 Saratoga

by maureen werther

Like many entrepreneurs, Jesse Elwert Peters' path to start Jessecology and become Saratoga County's only grower of all native plants and designer of all native gardens has been a circuitous one. But, like most winding paths, it has taught her a great deal about who and what she wanted to be.

She grew up surrounded by family members who were avid gardeners, farmers and proponents of ecologically-friendly forestation and sustainability. One aunt has a master's degree in ecological forestry, and another has a working farm in Vermont. But the aunt who made the greatest impact on Elwert Peters growing up lives in Brooklyn and has had an elaborate roof garden for years. It was there, ironically, on a rooftop in the world's busiest city, that she first became interested in gardening.

"She helped me plant my first garden and we also went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens together. It was there that I got my creative inspiration," she said.

After high school, she wasn't ready to go on to four years of study. Instead, she travelled west, ultimately landing in Yosemite, where worked for four years in the Yosemite National Park.

When Elwert Peters made the decision to return home, she earned an undergraduate degree in horticulture, ecology and botany She has spent the past 11 years cultivating her greenhouse of indigenous plants and educating consumers on the benefits of using all-native plants in residential as well as commercial gardens and landscapes.

Starting out doing landscape design and installation on a part-time basis while paying off her school loans, she was able to turn her business into a full-time career six years ago and, by the end of that first year, her business was self-sustaining.

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Jennifer Ricupero Gets Her Clients Outdoors As Much As Possible In RAW Fitness Programs

October 7, 2016

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Jennifer Ricupero, owner of RAW Fitness in Saratoga Springs

©2016 Saratoga

By Lisa Balschunat

Four years ago, Jennifer Ricupero packed her bags and her business in Tampa and headed back home to the Capital Region. With three degrees in hand--a master's in education, bachelor's in recreation and leisure management, and minor in business administration, and years of experience as a fitness director in Vermont, Florida and then Albany--Ricupero landed in Saratoga Springs with an intention and a business plan to help people feel better about themselves through physical activities and recreation.

"When I started RAW Fitness, I wanted to get people outdoors. Deep down we all crave to be outside," she said. "It's human nature. The idea of RAW was and still is being 'ready and willing' to find a physical activity that makes you happy, then weaving physical and mental goals into that activity to develop the body as a whole."

At first, some of her classes were held in a studio, but most were held outdoors--on a path, in the woods, in Congress Park, in a client's backyard.

In 2012, Ricupero, an AFAA-certified fitness professional, opened RAW Fitness on Beekman Street in a small rented garage space, that she transformed it into a workout studio. She offered only three classes at the onset, but as word got out about her energetic and down-to-earth style of teaching, her classes started to filled.

She outgrew the 300-square-foot space in six months. She moved in April 2014, and then again in September 2015 to her present location at 51 Caroline St. RAW Fitness now employs five part-time instructors and two-full time staff. All instructors are certified in CPR, First Aid and AED, and they complete a one-month RAW instructor training, Ricupero said.

"Most of my instructors were in my classes before they decided they wanted to teach," she said. "When they begin teaching they follow the basic vision of RAW, but they can build own class personality."

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Woman Flies Helicopter, Gives Flight Lessons, Provides Transportation Out Of Local Airport

October 7, 2016

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Heather Howley is the owner of Independent Helicopters.

©2016 Saratoga

By Susan E. Campbell

Adventurous young women often make their dreams take flight by starting their own businesses. For Heather Howley, taking flight literally means putting a 1,500-pound helicopter into the air every day.

Howley is chief pilot and CEO of Independent Helicopters, a flight services company she founded in 2008 at age 25.

Originally from Niskayuna and educated at Hudson Valley Community College, Howley was in California working in her field of study, biology, when she decided to follow up on a new-found interest in flying that unfolded while traveling through Europe.

She took a flying course at a community college in San Diego, where her female instructor and mentor suggested piloting helicopters rather than planes "because the industry is more stable than the airlines."

But it was a free ride for the helicopter students that changed her life.

"I was hooked," Howley said.

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M2CON Conference Oct. 19 In Lake George Offers Practical Digital Marketing Sessions

October 7, 2016

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Participants listen to a presentation at last year's M2CON conference for business owners, executives and marketing-communications professionals. This year's conference is Oct. 19. in Lake George.

Courtesy Mannix Marketing

Registration is open for M2Con, the one-day conference from Mannix Marketing designed for business owners, executives and marketing-communications professionals from small and medium-sized businesses.

The conference will be held Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fort William Henry Hotel & Conference Center in Lake George.

M2Con 2016 will feature tactical digital marketing sessions with advice attendees can immediately put into action at their companies.

"This conference will be jam packed with strategies businesses can employ to get more traffic through their doors," said company founder and CEO Sara Mannix. "We received so many rave reviews after our previous conferences because businesses could take what we showed them and immediately put it to work for themselves and get results."

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Social Media Important To E-Commerce And Branding, Understanding Customer Base

October 7, 2016

Megan Cornell, right, of SIX marketing says technology helps marketers serve customer needs.

©2016 Saratoga

BY Molly Congdon

In a growing technological world, e-commerce for many businesses continues to rise.

Much of that push is driven by convenience. Customers are able to visit their favorite store 24 hours a day, in the comfort of their own home. The process is constantly evolving.

"We believe it's paramount to provide amazing content that motivates your demographic to become fans, patrons and ultimately brand advocates," said Megan Cornell, chief social media officer with SIX marketing in Saratoga Springs. The day of shouting your message for all to hear has come and gone."

SIX aspires to make a connection with customers that is lasting and memorable.

It's never been easier to utilize technology to the advantage of your business.

"We all know it's a new world where we have to be connected to each other in real-time all the time," Cornell said. "Brands need to be in front of their customers now more than ever. The digital space provides the resources for them to do so. It provides marketers with valuable insights into consumer behaviors that help us serve them with better marketing."

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Business Report: 5 Misconceptions About Cybersecurity

October 7, 2016

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Michael D. Billok is an attorney with Bond, Schoeneck & King.

Courtesy Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC

By Michael D. Billok, Esq.

As a business owner or operator, there are always a half-dozen items that require your immediate attention, and then the dozens of other items on the "back burner" that you would like to get to when there is time--but there never seems to be time available.

Unless, of course, a back-burner item "blows up" and becomes a front-burner item, now requiring your immediate attention.

For small and mid-sized businesses, cybersecurity routinely is one such back-burner item, not getting the attention it deserves unless something does "blow up," for example there is a hack, a data breach or some release of employee or customer personal information that now requires immediate attention. This is due to several common misconceptions about cybersecurity, such as:

• I'm small. I won't be hacked or compromised. False.

Larger organizations have spent the past several years improving their cyber defenses to make it more difficult to access their data. As a result, hackers look to smaller organizations with less resources available to buttress their defenses as a jumping-off point to access larger organizations. Remember the national-news data breach at Target that occurred two years ago? Hackers didn't directly "target" Target. They first hacked into an HVAC subcontractor's network, and after compromising the subcontractor's system they were then able to hack into Target utilizing the subcontractor's access to Target's network.

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Business Report: Maximize Employees' Mobile Productivity

October 7, 2016

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Craig Stephenson, administration, compliance manager, Tech II Business Services Inc.

Courtesy Tech II Business SErvices

By Craig Stephenson

Virtually every employee today has a smartphone. Many also have tablets, such as iPads and android devices. Most businesses are under utilizing these devices, because in most cases they belong to employees. These devices are BYOD, "bring your own device," as they say.

Your hyper-connected employees are glued to their mobile devices, and savvy business owners and executives have realized the secret to higher employee productivity is embracing mobility and the BYOD trend. Find ways to help your staff work more, work smarter, and serve your clients better. The key is to empower the mobile experience of your staff, without compromising security and control of your corporate data.

Business-class file sync services can give you the best of both worlds however you need to be aware that all cloud services are not alike. One of the most popular cloud services has been hacked more than once and for those in the medical and financial industry, may find the compliance lacking. However Tech II Business services Cryodrive can allow your corporate data to be synced to employee mobile devices, without giving up control of your corporate data and remaining HIPAA compliant. Here's how:

1. Sync to smartphones. Business-class cloud file sync services allow employees to sync their critical work files between their desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and the cloud.

Your staff becomes more nimble and productive when they have their files at their fingertips, no matter where they go. Whether it is iOS, android, or Windows Phone, business-class sync keeps users connected on the go.

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Saratoga Casino Holdings, With Its Partner Churchill Downs, Buys Casino In Maryland

October 7, 2016

Churchill Downs Inc. and Saratoga Casino Holdings LLC announced in August a joint venture to purchase Ocean Downs harness track and casino near Ocean City, Md., for an undisclosed price.

The groups--owners of Saratoga Casino Hotel in Saratoga Springs--bought all of the equity interests of Ocean Enterprise 589 LLC, Ocean Downs LLC and Racing Services LLC, the entities that own and operate the casiano at Ocean Downs and Ocean Downs Racetrack.

The purchase was made from a private ownership group led by William M. Rickman Jr.

Churchill Downs Inc. and Saratoga Casino Holdings LLC formed a new company to execute the definitive agreement to acquire these equity interests, Old Bay Gaming & Racing, LLC, which is 50 percent owned by Churchill Downs Inc. and 50 percent owned by Saratoga Casino Holdings LLC.

By virtue of its 25 percent ownership of Saratoga Casino Holdings LLC, Churchill Downs Inc. will indirectly own an additional 12.5 percent of the new properties for a total interest of 62.5 percent.

The economic terms of the transaction are confidential, officials said.

Rickman remains a senior advisor to the new owners in his capacity as executive vice president of Maryland Gaming LLC.

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Track Season Attendance Rises 5.4 Percent; Mechanicville Native Wins Training Title

September 8, 2016

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Practical Joke, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Jose Ortiz, won the 112th running of the Hopeful on the final day of racing at Saratoga Race Course, Sept. 5.

Courtesy NYRA

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) concluded its 2016 season at Saratoga Race Course with all-sources handle of $647.3 million, matching last year's record wagering that had shattered the previous high water mark by more than 10 percent, officials said on Sept. 6.

"The 2015 season, which saw uncommonly good weather and the presence of a Triple Crown champion, was historical and one for the ages," said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay.

The meet also saw Mechanicville native Chad Brown set the Saratoga record for wins by a trainer with 40, capturing his first H. Allen Jerkens training title while jockey Jose Ortiz collected 65 victories in securing his first Angel Cordero Jr. riding crown.

Total paid attendance for the 2016 Saratoga meet was 1,123,544, an increase of 5.4 percent over the 2015 season, officials said.

"This year's meet was outstanding in its own right despite severe storms which forced the cancellation of part of a Saturday race card for the first time in modern history, as well as inclement weather on three Sundays," he said. "Even with these challenges, the New York Racing Association generated total handle in line with last year's record-shattering numbers.

"Our success is a reflection of the confidence that our fans and horseplayers have in our ability to deliver a reliable and consistent product of world-class thoroughbred racing and great entertainment. We thank the owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, fans and the entire community who joined us this summer at Saratoga.

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First-Ever 'Equestricon' Convention To Be Held In Saratoga Springs In The Summer of '17

September 8, 2016

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Dan Tordjman, co-founder of Equestricon, addresses a group gathered outside Saratoga City Center, giving details about the horse racing convention and industry trade show set for next year.

Steve Crayne

Saratoga Springs has been selected to be the host city next year for a first-ever international horse racing convention and industry trade show.

The inaugural event--called Equestricon-- will bring together fans, horseplayers and stakeholders from every corner of the sport in an atmosphere of non-stop entertainment and lively discussion, organizers said.

Equestricon LLC., the group producing the show, announced the event on Sept. 2 outside Saratoga City Center in Saratoga Springs.

Equestricon 2017 is scheduled to kick off on Sunday night, Aug. 13 and continue through Tuesday, Aug. 15. It will be held at the Saratoga Springs City Center.

"Above all else, we are focused on one thing--the racing fan," said Dan Tordjman, co-founder of Equestricon and correspondent for America's Best Racing. "Equestricon is committed to creating an extremely fun and unprecedented outlet for any and all racing enthusiasts to engage with the sport like never before."

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'Fireball Run' Challenge, An Internet Network Series, To Stop In Southern Saratoga County

September 8, 2016

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'Fireball Run' participants begin and end each day with a public event.

Courtesy Fireball Run

The televised adventure travel series "Fireball Run" ( is coming to the Hudson Valley in late September, before arriving in southern Saratoga County.

Half of the entire season's schedule (13 of 26 episodes) will be filmed throughout New York state, including western New York, Dutchess County, southern Saratoga County and Putnam County.

"Fireball Run" is an adventure-travel television series and competition. It involves 40 teams of adventurers, taking the road less traveled, in a quest for obscure and historic artifacts.

The participants cover some 2,000 miles over the 26 episodes. Every driving team is assigned a child missing from their home of origin, and they are provided 1,000 missing child flyers to distribute along the journey, thus aiding in efforts to find them, according to the producers.

On the show, contestants perform various secret "missions" before visiting Ballston Spa the evening of Thursday, Sept. 29, having a reception and staying overnight in Clifton Park. They will leave the area the following morning with a send-off on Clifton Country Road.

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Tickets Are Available For 2016 Showcase Of Homes And Its 'Taste Of Showcase' Preview

September 8, 2016

Tickets for the 2016 Saratoga Showcase of Homes are on sale.

The event will be presented over three weekends: Sept. 17-18, Sept. 24-25 and Oct. 1-2.

Tickets are available at Adirondack Trust Co., Saratoga National Bank, Trustco Bank, Curtis Lumber in Ballston Spa and Queensbury, Realty USA in Clifton Park and Roohan Realty in Saratoga Springs.

Tickets, $20 each, are always available at any showcase home during tour hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or can be purchased online at

Each showcase ticket holder will receive a free tote bag at the first home visited.

This year's edition features 20 homes in Saratoga County from 16 area builders.

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Children Encouraged To Use Imagination, Not Computer Games, At Clifton Park Play Site

September 8, 2016

Giggle Lounge owner Traci Montanino works with a child at her Clifton Park business.

©2016 Saratoga

By Liz Witbeck

A new family friendly entertainment option for children has opened in Clifton Park Center Mall.

The Giggle Lounge offers a variety of fun, imaginative play activities for children. The space is designed for children ages 8 and younger.

It consists of an indoor playground that accommodates many kinds of activities. It stresses hands-on activities that allow for creativity. The facility features a car fix-it area, a bakery, a grocery store, wooden structures kids can play in, and more. There is also an art room that engages children in a variety of projects.

The space covers 1,500 square feet.

"My kids were my biggest inspiration" for starting the business, said owner Traci Montanino. She has two children, ages 11 and 2.

She said she had been considering the idea for a while and as her children grew older. It was her observation during those years that "the industry had not changed at all. There was nothing available for good old-fashioned imaginative play."

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Japanese Steakhouse In Congress Plaza Offers A Variety Of Steaks, As Well As Asian Cuisine

September 8, 2016

The chef at Kin Jo Japanese Steakhouse cooks in front of customers at the new eatery located in Congress Plaza in Saratoga Springs.

©2016 Saratoga

By Maureen Werther

Kin Jo Japanese Steakhouse, 68 Congress St., Saratoga Springs, is the third restaurant for owner Allen Dong. But, it is his first venture in Saratoga Springs.

For Dong, who owns two other Japanese restaurants in Albany, he is very excited about operating a business in Saratoga, located in Congress Plaza.

"Saratoga has so much to offer, with the racetrack, SPAC and the Spa State Park. I think it is a very good place to open a restaurant," said Dong.

Kin Jo opened its doors on July 12, after extensive renovations to the property. Renovations took approximately eight months to complete.

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Sage Wine & Spirits Owner Enjoys Educating Customers About Locally Produced Products

September 8, 2016

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Jes Rich is the owner of Sage Wine & Spirits on Front Street in Ballston Spa.

©2016 Saratoga

By Maureen Werther

Jes Rich chose the name of her new shop wisely. Sage Wine & Spirits, which opened at 55 Front St. in Ballston Spa in July, is all about helping people learn more about wine and spirits.

With a focus on sustainable, local, organic and craft products, Rich feels the village of Ballston Spa is "ripe for this kind of boutique business," and she is excited to share her knowledge with customers as they expand their palates and try locally produced wines and spirits.

Rich is encouraged by the reception she has already received from other shop owners, customers and local residents, calling the village "a wonderful community."

Rich has an eclectic background and is something of a "sage." Originally from the area, she moved away to attend college, receiving her undergraduate degree in sociology from Amherst College in Massachusetts. From there, she went on to receive masters degrees from University of Chicago, Tufts, and the University of Sterling in Scotland.

In between her academic studies, she worked in the fields of college administration and resident life, as well as gaining knowledge and experience in horticulture and sustainable practices while working on organic farms around the country.

After returning to school once more, this time enrolled in the doctoral program at Tufts, she decided that the world of academia was not for her and, in the spring of 2014, she returned to her roots.

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Manufacturing Plant In Mechanicville Is Set To Expand By 10,000 SF, Add Nine More Jobs

September 8, 2016

Rajat Ghoshal of Polyset says the company plans to expand its warehouse space.

©2016 Saratoga

By Maureen Werther

Polyset, a designer and manufacturer of protective coatings, resins and filtration adhesives, is preparing to expand its operations in the coming year.

A manufacturer of polyurethane adhesives, elastomers and foam systems for the air filtration industry for more than 30 years, the Mechanicville-based company has continued to diversify and expand its market share over the past three decades.

Under the leadership of its partners and brothers Rajatat and Nil Ghoshal, the company has expanded into other markets. In addition to its strong presence in the air, liquid and water filtration industries, the marine, construction and petro-chemical industries constitute a large and growing share of their business.

The company has been ISO 9001-certified since 2008 and is also a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in New York state.

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Business Briefs: September 2016a

September 8, 2016

Members of the Women in Business Committee of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County gathered on Aug. 17 for the ninth year in a row to assemble new backpacks filled with school supplies to benefit chamber member Wellspring, formerly Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga.

The committee donated over 100 filled backpacks, thanks to donations from members and the community.

Backpacks of Hope is part of the committee's charitable initiative, which benefits families who seek the assistance and refuge of Wellspring. As financial hardships only add to the burden of a family facing domestic violence issues, providing a child with a brand new backpack filled with school supplies helps ease that burden at the start of the school year, committee officials said.

The Baskets of Hope program has assembled over 4,000 baskets with personal care items and provided 700 filled backpacks to Saratoga County domestic abuse victims since the program began in 2005.

Donations for women's personal care items are accepted year-round at the Chamber office, 58 Clifton Country Road, Suite 103 Clifton Park. For further information, contact member services manager Liz Roggenbuck at 371-7748.

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Fall class registration at the Academy for Lifelong Learning (A.L.L.) continues through mid-September.

Thirty-seven classes, including several lecture series run through Nov. 10. Fall term class registration and membership application packets can be found in area libraries, the Academy office at 111 West Ave. in Saratoga Springs or on the website at

Registration forms are being accepted for open classes through the beginning of the term. Two classes have filled: Great Decisions and Legend, Literature and Mythology in Music. Waiting lists have been started. Call the Academy office for current class availability at 587-2100, ext. 2415.

The classes cover a wide range of genre including: history, art, media, health, religion, writing and economics. Volunteer-led classes typically meet for two hours once a week for eight weeks. Most classes are held in SUNY Empire State College classrooms at 111 and 113 West Ave. in Saratoga Springs, and there are several offerings at a variety of local outdoor venues.

New this term: History of Religious Ethics, Genealogy in the 21st Century, the 2016 Election, Transitions in Life Series, Shakespeare's Unhappy Comedies, Mind the Gap: Selected Studies of Political & Cultural Conflict in America, Medical Ethics & Controversies, Victorian Novels and Religion, History in Our Capital Region Towns Series, Art Talk: The Language of Art, Behind the Scenes On & Off Broadway, and a one-day Creative Writing seminar.

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Former Prosecutor Settles Into Life As A Beekman Street Antique Store Owner

September 8, 2016

Laura Kruegler, a former prosecutor, has opened A Touch of Dust LLC, an antique store in the Beekman Street Arts District in Saratoga Springs.

©2016 Saratoga

BY Molly Congdon

A Touch of Dust LLC is a new antique store at 30 Beekman St. in Saratoga Springs.

Its owner, Laura Kruegler, is a former prosecutor, having begun her career in the Rensselaer County District Attorney's Office in 2001. She stayed through three administrations. 

"While there, I specialized in domestic violence and sex crimes," Kruegler said. "I also prosecuted homicides and other major crimes. I'm sure I handled over 20,000 cases during my time there. The last two years, I prosecuted child abuse and neglect for the Saratoga County District Attorney's Office."

In April, after 15 years as a public servant, she resigned.

"One of the biggest factors in that decision was the toxicity of the job," Kruegler said."Hearing horrid details of child abuse every day is like living an episode of 'SVU' every day. It affects your entire life. So, after careful consideration, I decided I would rather not know if aliens exist, and live my future life without that plague."

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After Five Decades, JIMAPCO Decentralizes Operations And Segues Into New Ownership

September 8, 2016

After 50 years in business, JIMAPCO has closed its flagship building on Route 9 in Clifton Park in order to decentralize its operations.

It also involves a change in ownership.

When Dave Fisk's father, Jim Fisk, started the new speculative map-making venture in 1966, neither of them had any idea that the company would still be in business 50 years later.

"In those days, we'd split $60 at the end of the day and consider the day a success", said Dave Fisk, president of JIMAPCO. "Now the company is 50 years old, and still synonymous with premiere mapmaking, including custom, retail, online, mobile, and digital production.

But he and his wife sought retirement, so it was time for some changes.

"Fortunately our long-time employees want to keep JIMAPCO moving into the future, so we are delighted to report that the business will essentially continue, just at different locations and under different leadership," he said.

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Woman Chosen As New SPAC President Has Background In The Arts, Recording Industry

September 8, 2016

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Elizabeth Sobol is the president and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center as of Oct. 1

Courtesy Dario Cantatore

Elizabeth Sobol, a veteran of the music and recording industry, is the new president and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center, beginning Oct. 1.

She replaces Marcia White, who held those positions for the past 11 years and who decided earlier in the year to step down at the end of the 2016 season, the 50th anniversary for the renowned performance venue.

Sobol has a three-year contract that was finalized in August, SPAC officials said.

White came into the position with no experience in arts administration but with ties to the community through her previous career as a political staffer. During her tenure, the organization reconstituted its board of directors and operated in the black every year.

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Bucketlist Vacation Planners Wants To Give Customers Dream-Fulfilling Adventure Trips

September 8, 2016

Tony Mariotti says he 'caught the travel bug' after college and has opened Bucketlist Vacation Planners to help customers find and enjoy adventure trips.

©2016 Saratoga

By Jennifer Farnsworth

Tony Mariotti is doing what he loves and says his clients are loving what he's doing.

With a passion for travel, he has developed a new travel agency service in Saratoga that is spreading his infectious affinity for hitting the road.

"I caught the travel bug after college when I spent two months touring Europe, on a shoestring budget," said Mariotti.

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Ferraro, Amodio, Zarecki CPAs Specializes In Fraud And Financial Investigation Services

September 8, 2016

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The staff at Ferraro, Amodio and Zarecki CPAs in Saratoga Springs focuses its tax expertise in the field of forensics accounting, including fraud and financial investigations.

©2016 Saratoga

By Jennifer Farnsworth

Steve Ferraro said people who call his accounting firm during tax season will not find basic tax preparation services.

Instead, in calling Ferraro, Amodio and Zarecki CPAs, they will have contacted an office that has focused its tax expertise in a different direction--forensics accounting.

Ferraro said the specialized service his firm provides is not only greatly utilized, keeping him and his partners more than busy, but one that is exciting as well.

Ferraro and his partners, Charles Amodio and Paul Zarecki, are all certified public accountants that specialize in fraud and financial investigations. The firm opened an office at 18 Division St., Suite 413, in Saratoga Springs earlier this summer. Ferraro said the location was an obvious win for both he and his colleagues.

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Windsor Development Group Has Plans For A Hotel, Apartments, Retail Space In Clifton Park

September 8, 2016

By Jill Nagy

Windsor Development in Clifton Park is planning a large development that will consist of a walkable town center clustered along Route 67 east of Northway Exit 12 in Malta.

Bob Miller Sr., the company's CEO, has filed plans with the town for a hotel, 11 apartment buildings and at least four retail complexes, to be built on 46 acres the developer owns.

Windsor has owned the land for 10 years and plans to develop it gradually, Miller said.

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